R.J. Nutter II


Virginia Beach
Business Phone: 757.687.7502
Business Fax: 757.687.1514



R.J. Nutter's practice includes zoning, land use and environmental law, municipal corporations, commercial development, real estate investments and annexations. R.J. is a member of the Zoning and Land Use practice at Troutman Sanders. Chambers USA has ranked R.J.’s Southern Virginia Zoning and Land Use Practice as “Tier 1” and noted from client feedback, "He has been invaluable in allowing us to break ground as expediently and cost-effectively as possible."

Representative Matters

  • Represented one of the Region's largest hospital programs on approvals and funding for a major new hospital for Behavioral Health, which will be the largest such program in Virginia.
  • Successfully represented one of the Commonwealth's largest developers of continuing care retirement communities for a major expansion of their facility in Virginia.
  • Successfully represented one of the largest food production and process companies in the U.S. in negotiating state and local incentives and obtaining necessary land use and environmental permits for a new plant in Virginia.
  • Successfully represented an exciting new entertainment concept called TopGolf. This facility costing $28,000,000 sits on 14 acres with a 65,000 sq. foot building and targeted driving range. Obtained discretionary and administrative approvals from the city and assisted TopGolf with local incentives.
  • Represented one of the largest hotel developers in Virginia on obtaining state and local incentives and obtaining all public approvals for the restoration of a historic hotel; development of a residential community around the hotel and redevelopment of a large oceanfront hotel, conference center and condominium development all totaling approximately $500,000,000.
  • Represented Parsons Transportation on P3 proposal for extension of light rail in Virginia Beach.
  • Represented Breeden Companies on P3 project with City for a mixed use apartment, entertainment center and public parking complex.
  • Represented one of the nation’s largest banks in the financing of a 55MW utility-scale solar facility (approximately $250,000,000 in value) in New Mexico. The bank provided the construction financing and will provide the long-term financing.
  • Represented Town Center Associates in obtaining the necessary rezoning and text amendments to the City Zoning and Site Plan Ordinances to facilitate the $100,000,000 Town Center project in Virginia Beach consisting of high rise office buildings, 300,000 square feet of retail, a 13-story luxury apartment building, a hotel and other land uses.
  • Represented APM Terminals of Virginia (Maersk Sealand) to obtain local approvals and text amendments to accommodate an $800,000,000 port facility in Portsmouth, Virginia, which is the largest privately owned and operated terminal in the United States.
  • Represented Kellogg Brown & Root (formerly Brown & Root) to obtain VMRC approval for 250 slip marina in protected waters on the Eastern Shore.
  • Represented Sentara Health Systems, Inc. to obtain rezonings, conditional use permits and text amendments to accommodate a $100,000,000 hospital and office park facility in Virginia Beach.
  • Represented one of the largest hotel developers in Virginia on a 4-tower hotel, time share resort development resulting in approximately $250,000,000 of new capital investment.
  • Represented Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc. in annexation of property from one municipal corporation to another to accommodate the development of the largest marina and golf resort developments in Eastern Virginia.
  • Represented Galloway Corporation to obtain Wetland Board VMRC approvals for a 120 slip marina to facilitate an $80,000,000 redevelopment of a peninsula in Virginia Beach.
  • Represented AT&T Wireless, Inc. in deployment of telecommunication devices throughout Southeastern Virginia.
  • Represented McCale Development in the first large residential development in Virginia designed by Stephen Fuller & Associates of Atlanta.
  • Represents a wide variety of commercial businesses, national retailers and developers for a retail, mixed use and redevelopment projects throughout Southeastern Virginia.
  • Represented Hotel and Motel Association in protecting industry from proposed Base Realignment & Closure (BRAC) regulations.
  • Represented Goodman Company from West Palm Beach, Florida, for development of 500,000 sq. ft. regional mall known as Landstown Commons Shopping Center in Virginia Beach, and one other shopping center in Hampton Roads.

Presentations and Speaking Engagements

  • 2018- Featured Speaker at the ODU - E.V. Williams Center for Real Estate on Public Private Partnerships.
  • 2015- Featured Speaker at Annual Meeting of Virginia Zoning Officials on the Cavalier Hotel.
  • Presenter, 2011 Association of Defense Communities Annual Conference, Norfolk, Virginia on Post-Brac/Joint Land Use Study Implementation. July, 2011.
  • Past speaker on land use and environmental law for the American Planning Association, the Virginia Municipal League, Virginia Association of Zoning Officials and for CLE accreditation for attorneys, Local Government Attorneys Association in areas of Land Use Law and Chesapeake Bay Local Assistance Boards.
  • 2010- Speaker at Association of Defense Communities annual conference, San Francisco, California on Balancing private sector property rights while protecting local and regional military installations.
  • 2008- Speaker at annual meeting of local Government Attorneys Association on urban development areas.
  • 2009- Speaker at ULI of Hampton Roads program on Growth Opportunities.
  • 2009- Speaker and host of state-wide meeting of Virginia Association of Zoning Officials.
  • 2009- Speaker at Association of Defense Communities annual conference, Boston, Massachusetts on Encroachment Issues and Land Use Law.
  • 2009- Speaker at annual conference of Local Government Association on the use of Tax Incremental Financing to structure new deals.

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Virginia Beach Bar Association
  • Sandler Center Foundation Board of Directors, 2009-2014; Executive Committee 2012-2018
  • Base Realignment & Closure (BRAC) Citizen Advisory Panel, 2005
  • Virginia Beach Court Appointed Special Advocates, Inc., Board of Directors 2006-2007
  • ULI Advisory Panel Member for Loudoun County, 2005
  • Virginia Beach Visions, 2002-2015
  • Member of Urban Land Institute, 1990-2015
  • Board of Directors for the Contemporary Arts Center of Virginia, 1998-2002
  • Chairman, Zoning Subcommittee, Resort Area Advisory Commission, 1986-1991
  • Member of Large Retail Task Force for the Virginia Beach City Council 2002
  • Revise and monitor ordinances regulating the commercial and retail industry
  • Assistant City Attorney of Virginia Beach, Virginia, 1979-1984
  • Member, Association of Defense Communities, 2009-2014

Rankings and Recognition

  • Named in Best Lawyers as "Land Use Lawyer of the Year" for Norfolk area 2012, 2014, 2017, 2019.
  • Southern Virginia, Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use, Chambers USA (2013-2018). 
  • Named to Virginia Business magazine’s "Legal Elite" in Real Estate/Construction (2004) and Real Estate/Land Use (2007-2018).
  • Selected for inclusion in the May/June 2010 Law & Politics’ Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition.
  • Named to the 2006 Super Lawyers list in Real Estate/Eminent Domain Law and the 2007-2018 lists for Land Use & Zoning.
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America for Land Use & Zoning Law, Litigation - Land Use & Zoning, and Real Estate Law in the (2007-2019).



  • University of Richmond, J.D., 1978
  • University of Richmond, B.A., 1974

Bar Admissions

  • 1978 Virginia

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit