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Phil Grillo


Phil is a seasoned land use attorney with over 30 years' experience in a broad range of planning, permitting, and development issues. He works closely with clients in industries such as health care, housing and mixed use development, telecommunications, energy, hospitality, agribusiness, and manufacturing. He is a founding member of the Working Waterfront Coalition, served as a former land use hearings officer, and is a frequent speaker on current land use topics.

Representative Experience

Ongoing Supreme Court appeal

Lead counsel in appeal involving the existing use protections for industrial land along the Willamette River Greenway in Portland, Ore.

Transit-oriented development

Obtained land use approvals for health care and higher education facility along light rail in Hillsboro, Ore.

Master planning*

Obtained land use approvals for research park facility along light rail in Hillsboro, Ore.

UGB amendments, annexations, comprehensive plan amendments and zone changes*

Obtained land use approvals for a hospital and medical campus in Newberg, Ore.

Subdivisions and mixed use development*

Obtained land use approvals for residential and mixed use developers throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Wireless and other telecommunication facilities*

Obtained land use approvals for national wireless carriers and other telecommunication facilities throughout Oregon.

Energy facilities*

Successfully defended comprehensive plan amendment that would have permitted residential use on industrial land adjacent to existing energy facilities.

Waterfront development*

Successfully represented industry association on challenges to local regulations that would have reduced the supply of industrial land and would have made it more difficult and costly to develop.

Vested rights and nonconforming use determinations*

Obtained favorable vested rights/nonconforming use determinations for existing and proposed developers in various jurisdictions in Oregon.

Affordable housing*

Successfully represented affordable housing provider in land use appeal in Medford, OR, including successful use of Fair Housing Act defense.
* Denotes experience completed at a prior firm

Additional Qualifications

  • Served as land use hearings officer for various cities and counties in Oregon and Washington
  • Partner, Miller Nash LLP, Portland, Ore., 1997-2011
  • Founding Member, Working Waterfront Coalition, Portland, Ore.

Professional & Community Activities

  • Former Member, Executive Committee; Member – Land Use and Real Estate Section, Oregon State Bar
  • Environmental and Land Use Section, Washington State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Oregon Planning Association
  • American Planning Association
  • Urban Land Institute
  • National Association of Industrial and Office Properties
  • Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland
  • Portland Business Alliance
  • Founding Member, Working Waterfront Coalition
  • Donor and Member, SOLV
  • Donor and Member, Oregon Food Bank

Professional Recognition

  • Selected to "Oregon Rising Stars," Thomson Reuters, 2014
  • Named one of "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" in Land Use Law by Chambers USA, 2012-2018
  • Named one of the "Best Lawyers in America" in Land Use & Zoning Law by Best Lawyers, 2008-present
  • Portland Business Alliance, Volunteer Recognition, 2011
  • Selected to "Oregon Super Lawyers," Thomson Reuters, 2014-2015
"He's a very good lawyer and very well respected in the state." -Chambers USA 2017