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Sean has a keen attention to the details of lawmaking that make a zoning code clear, consistent, usable and defensible. As a planner and a lawyer, he brings a unique combination of disciplines, skills and perspectives to planning and coding efforts across America.

From 2010 to 2014, he served as the Chief Counsel of Land Use and Planning for the City of Cincinnati where he represented the municipal corporation and its officials in all planning, land use, zoning, historic preservation and building matters.

Sean was the lead counsel for the Cincinnati Form-Based Code, an award-winning code that was a first for a large legacy city like Cincinnati. He also served as the lead counsel for the Cincinnati Land Development Code, a new take on the City’s remaining Euclidean zoning, and for the City’s award-winning Historic Preservation ordinance.

Sean is a leader in the Urban Land Institute, where he serves as a liaison between district councils in Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, Indiana, Pittsburgh and Louisville.

Sean is a frequent speaker and panelist on the topics of land use law, historic preservation law, and zoning, including as a presenter at the 2017 APA National Conference in New York City and APA state conferences in Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

In 2017, he served as Ohio faculty for the Form-Based Code Institute (201 level). He has served as an adjunct professor of land use law at the University of Cincinnati College of Law and has been a guest lecturer at the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning. His articles have been published in the Cincinnati Enquirer, Midwest Real Estate News, Cities & Villages Magazine, Ohio Planners News, and others.

In addition to his work with Calfee Zoning, Sean is a Partner in its affiliate law firm Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP. Sean is licensed to practice law in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee (inactive), and the District of Columbia. Sean has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019 in the area of Real Estate Law, he has been named to the 2018 Ohio Rising Stars List for Land Use/Zoning law by Super Lawyers, and was named a "Cincy Leading Lawyer" by Cincy magazine (2018-2020).

Honors & Recognitions

Cincy Magazine, "Cincy Leading Lawyers," Real Estate, Zoning, 2018-2020


J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 2004

Bachelor of Urban and Environmental Planning, with honors, University of Virginia School of Architecture, 2000



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