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. Michael also has experience working on unique matters such as cannabis dispensaries, high-rise signs and religious uses. 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.

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.

Professional Memberships

  • Co-chair, American Bar Association’s Section on State & Local Government
    • Young Lawyers Committee
    • Sharing Economy Committee
  • Co-chair, Chicago Bar Association Local Government Committee
  • Member, Illinois Bar Association
  • Member, American Planning Association


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

Published Works

  • Co-author, "New Chicago Air Quality Zoning Ordinance Adds Environmental Review Process; Public Participation Requirements," The National Law Review (April 30, 2021)
  • 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

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


  • Illinois