Practice Overview

Jacob W. Steen advises and represents businesses, developers, and property owners seeking favorable government approvals including liquor licensing, zoning, environmental review, and other ‎regulatory matters. Additionally, Jake has represented clients and industry groups on environmental matters seeking favorable determinations from governmental agencies. His work includes representation before the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and the Environmental Quality Board with regard to state rulemaking for floodplain and shoreland regulations, environmental review determinations and drafting of model rules and regulations.

Representative Experience

Land Use and Zoning Law

Jake has broad experience working with federal, state, and local agencies, which he relies upon to identify and craft solutions for his clients. Prior to law school, Jake was a city planner for the City of Minneapolis where he worked extensively with the crafting and administration of zoning regulations and land use policy. As an attorney, he represents clients in performing zoning due diligence, obtaining land use and development approvals for clients and resolving zoning enforcement matters.

  • Zoning Due Diligence. Performed extensive zoning, permitting and entitlement due diligence for a national real estate investor as part of a multimillion dollar mixed-use investment near the new U.S. Bank stadium.
  • Multiple Family Housing. Represented a developer in obtaining zoning approvals for a contentious multiple-family housing development in Minneapolis.
  • Conditional Use Permits. Represented a property owner in obtaining a conditional use permit and variances to establish a heavy commercial/industrial use.
  • Lot Line Disputes. Obtained subdivision approval for a lot line adjustment and subdivision approval after the discovery of a lot line discrepancy between two lake front properties that delayed the sale of two Lake Minnetonka homes.
  • Sober Housing Reasonable Accommodation. Represented a culturally-sensitive sober house in obtaining reasonable accommodation under the Federal Fair Housing Act to permit the necessary occupancy of 12 residents in a single family home.
  • Comprehensive Plan Amendments. Represented a large wholesaler of agricultural products in obtaining a comprehensive plan amendment and rezoning to expand operations.
  • Zoning Text Amendments. Represented a large commercial shopping center to obtain several zoning code text amendments to allow for a flexible master sign plan.
  • Zoning Enforcement Matters. Represented a commercial landscaping and maintenance business in obtaining relief from zoning enforcement actions and land use approvals for expanded operations.
  • Environmental Reviews. Represented a major chemical distributor in obtaining zoning approvals for expansion of an existing facility and defense against an environmental assessment worksheet petition.

Liquor Licensing and Permitting

  • Obtain New Liquor Licenses. Represented an out-of-state corporation to negotiate interim management agreements and obtain all necessary permits and liquor licenses for several restaurants of a national restaurant chain.
  • Liquor License Violations. Represented a liquor license holder in negotiating a resolution of liquor license violation with law enforcement and licensing officials and obtaining renewed approvals of the liquor license.
  • Licensed Business Transition. Upon the unexpected sale of an existing liquor license holder, represented the new entity in obtaining a liquor license and resolving ongoing liquor license enforcement matters.

View All Related Experience

Bar Admissions
  • Minnesota


  • Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP)


  • William Mitchell College of Law, St. Paul, MN; J.D., magna cum laude
    • Editor, William Mitchell Law Review

  • Minnesota State University, Mankato, MN; M.A., Urban Planning
  • University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN; B.A., Political Science

Related Experience

  • Assistant City Attorney, City of Columbus, 2014-present