Byron D. Flagg


  • Overview


    Byron Flagg, a member of the firm’s Real Estate + Development Group, handles land use and environmental matters in Florida.

    Land Use

    Mr. Flagg helps clients navigate through legal issues involving the use of land, water, and natural resources. He focuses on representing businesses, local governments, individuals, and non-profit organizations that need advice and solutions on matters that include: land use development projects, environmental permitting, zoning, comprehensive planning, homeowner or condominium association issues, commercial lease agreements, real estate transactions, environmental due diligence, variances, special use permits, coastal projects, docks, sovereign submerged lands issues, FEMA floodplain issues, wetland issues, wetland mitigation banks, conservation easements, environmental enforcement and compliance matters, as well as regulation of navigation and boating in state waters. He handles matters in both federal and state court.

    Land Use & Environmental Permitting

    Mr. Flagg has conducted in-depth legal review and analysis on environmental resource permit applications for several large-scale projects in Florida, including waterfront resort development, a private rocket manufacturing plant at NASA Kennedy Space Center’s “Exploration Park,” a post-storm shoreline restoration effort, and wetland mitigation banks.  He also has extensive experience reviewing stormwater management permit applications related to commercial and residential development projects and environmental mitigation projects required to offset wetland impacts.


    Mr. Flagg is an experienced litigator who has represented clients in over 30 jury trials and numerous hearings. His litigation experience includes cases involving property rights disputes, inverse condemnation and takings issues, easement disputes, plats, restrictive covenants, ad-valorem property tax issues, and unusual real property issues. He has also represented private property owners before local government boards for site plan applications, cell tower variances, special use permits, building permits, zoning matters, and flood plain issues.

    Mr. Flagg is co-editor of Robinson+Cole's Florida Land Use and Development Law Blog, The F.L.U.D. Zone.

    Prior to joining Robinson+Cole, Mr. Flagg was an assistant general counsel for the St. Johns River Water Management District (a state agency that regulates water resources and wetlands impacts across 18 counties), where he represented the district in litigation and regulatory matters. Before that, he worked for several years as a land use and environmental lawyer, representing private property owners in Florida. He is a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard who was called to active duty following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He is also a former Assistant State Attorney who represented the state of Florida in felony and misdemeanor criminal prosecutions. He served as State Attorney Representative on the Alachua County Environmental Crimes Task Force, a role that involved regularly advising state, county, and city code enforcement officers. Mr. Flagg is known for his professionalism and for building exceptional client relationships.  

  • Experience
    • Experience


      • Provided in-depth legal review and analysis of environmental resource permit application for a waterfront resort development project submitted to a water management district in Florida.  Issues involved lease agreements between public entity and private developer, use of a federally owned canal right of way, navigation and boat dock regulations, mangrove regulation and manatee protection regulations.

      • Conducted legal review and analysis for a shoreline restoration project at Canaveral National Seashore, which had an eroded shoreline due to Tropical Storm Colin in June 2016.

      • Conducted legal analysis for an environmental resource permit application for a private rocket manufacturing facility at Kennedy Space Center ("Exploration Park"), including review of wetland and surface water impacts.

      • Provided legal analysis of and wrote necessary amendments to comprehensive plans and land development regulations for small Florida municipalities. 

      • Represented single family residential homeowners in inverse condemnation litigation against local government regarding maintenance of stormwater management infrastructure.

      • Represented religious non-profit organization in dispute regarding ad valorem property tax exemption.

      • Successfully defended employee of a hotel corporation who was accused of violating a state felony environmental crime in state criminal court.

    • Professional Associations

      Professional Associations

      Florida Bar Association
      Environmental and Land Use Section
      City, County and Local Government Law Section

      Growth & Infrastructure Consortium
      Board of Directors (2018 - 2020)
    • Honors + Awards

      Honors + Awards

      Listed in the 2017 edition of Florida Trend’s Florida Legal Elite™ in the area of Environmental & Land Use.

    • Community Involvement

      Community Involvement

      Hogtown F.C.

      Leadership Gainesville (2013)

      Business Community Coalition's Public Leadership Institute (2013)

      Florida Defenders of the Environment
      Advisor (2012 - 2014)

      City of Gainesville Development Review Board (2011 - 2013)

      City of Gainesville Energy Advisory Committee (2012 - 2014)
    • Publications


      "American attorneys partner to save endangered African wildlife," published in ABA Journal, co-authored with Peter R. Knight, Megan E. Baroni, Kelsey A. Cross, Diana E. Neeves, Emily C. Deans and Alec Rubenstein (July 2017)

      "Boating, Waterways & the Rights of Navigation in Florida," 2nd, 3rd & 4th ed., published by Florida Sea Grant (2015)

      "Florida's Forgotten Ports: Will the Smaller Ports of Florida Survive and Thrive in the 21st Century," published by University of Florida, Levin College of Law, Conservation Clinic (September 2011)

      "The Withlacoochee River Watershed: Biophysical and Regulatory Characteristics," published by University of Florida, Levin College of Law, Conservation Clinic (May 2011)

    • Presentations


      "Ethics for Planners, Engineers, and Lawyers," co-presented with Dwight H. Merriam, at the Growth & Infrastructure Consortium's (GIC) 23rd Annual Conference, Back to Basics in a Changing World, in Sarasota, Florida (10/19/2017)
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      "The Legal, Planning and Design Implications of Sea-level Rise for Landscape Architects," at Florida Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, Annual Conference & Expo (July 2013)

      "Any Port Law in the Storm? How Ports Legislation Can Help Working Waterfronts," at National Working Waterfronts Symposium (2013)

      "Anchoring Away, Local Government Regulation and Rights of Navigation in Florida," at Florida Sea Grant "Stem to Stern" Conference (2011)

    • News

      R+C in the News

      • February 15, 2018

        Byron Flagg Moderates Program on Water Supply

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      • November 7, 2017

        Byron Flagg and Dwight Merriam Present at GIC Conference

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      • July 6, 2017

        Robinson+Cole's Namibia Pro Bono Project Featured in ABA Journal

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      R+C News Releases

      • January 3, 2018

        Robinson+Cole Lawyer Appointed to Growth & Infrastructure Consortium Board of Directors

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      • June 27, 2017

        Byron Flagg Among Florida Legal Elite™

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      • April 21, 2017

        Robinson+Cole Expands Land Use and Environmental Practices in Miami