Michael D. Noonan

Special Counsel


Michael Noonan is a special counsel and real estate business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. He focuses his practice on obtaining land use and zoning entitlements and working to build consensus between property owners, government officials, and community groups.

Michael has experience securing special uses, rezonings, text amendments, administrative relief, subdivisions, public way and sign permits, as well as other land use approvals for a wide variety of property owners. He represents owners of institutional, commercial, office, and residential property, as well as developers in securing land use and zoning entitlements from state and local governments. As a problem solver, Michael works with his clients and regulating bodies to come up with creative solutions to the legal problems facing building owners and developers.

In addition to land use and zoning, Michael also has experience handling eminent domain matters in Illinois, matters before the Chicago Department of Administrative Hearings, and in the Municipal Department of the Circuit Court of Cook County.

Michael currently serves as the co-chair of the Young Lawyers Committee, and the chair of the Transportation Committee of the American Bar Association Section of State and Local Government Law. He is also a member of the Illinois Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association, and American Planning Association.

Geographically, although Michael focuses his land use practice in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs, he has experience advising on land use matters across the country.


  • Chicago-Kent College of Law (J.D., 2015)
    • Certificate in the Program in Environmental and Energy Law (PEEL)
    • Land Use and Real Estate Society, President
    • Chicago-Kent Journal of Environmental and Energy Law, Associate Editor
  • Saint Xavier University (B.A., magna cum laude, 2009)
    • English

Published Works

  • Author, “Shared E-Scooters and Liability: When Are Cities on the Hook?” American Bar Association’s Section on State & Local Government, State & Local Law News, Vol. 43, No. 2 (Winter 2020)
  • Contributor, “Ezell v. City of Chicago: Resolving the Tension Between Zoning of Shooting Ranges and the Second Amendment,” Illinois State Bar Association’s Section of Local Governmental Law, Vol. 54, No. 1 (September 2017)
  • Co-author, “Intergovernmental conflict: Ambiguity in the codification of Gurba,” Illinois State Bar Association’s Section on Local Government Law, Vol. 53, No. 6 (February 2017)
  • Contributor, “Walking a Tightrope: Navigating Panhandling Regulation in Light of Reed v. Gilbert,” Illinois State Bar Association’s Section on Local Government Law, Vol. 53, No. 2 (August 2016)

Speaking Engagements

  • “New Dimensions in Affordable Housing: Part 1 – New Paths to Affordability,” Panelist, Chicago Bar Association, Local Government Committee, Annual Program (June 2020)
  • “Light Rail Networks” Presenter, American Bar Association, Section on State & Local Government, Land Use Committee Call (November 2019)
  • “Nuts and Bolts of Land Use Law and Zoning” Contributor, Land Use Law in Illinois – Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (March 2019)
  • “Zoning & Land Use 101 – Series: Cross-Fit Training for Business Lawyers,” Contributor, Financial Poise (February 2018)
  • “NIMBYism: Understanding and Combatting Objections to Real Estate Developments,” Contributor, Foley & Lardner LLP (April 2017)


  • Illinois



Land Use Connection Breakfast
06 November 2019
Chicago, IL
Land Use Connection Breakfast
27 February 2019
Chicago, IL
Land Use Connection Breakfast
26 September 2018
Chicago, IL
Land Use Connection Breakfast
14 March 2018
Chicago, IL