Ann Neil Cosby


Telephone 804.672.4546
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Ann Neil is a land use and zoning attorney who assists clients in gaining entitlements and other land use approvals in Virginia. She guides developers of commercial, industrial, and mixed use real estate projects through the planning, zoning and permitting process, and is particularly experienced in addressing key issues related to the development of data centers and data center and digital infrastructure campuses. Ann Neil works strategically with clients to identify and address legal and other impediments early-on and helps facilitate collaborative outreach and discussions with community stakeholders and local officials.


Ann Neil has also been on the forefront of the development of renewable energy projects and has worked throughout Virginia on utility scale and community scale solar and energy storage projects. Ann Neil has extensive experience assisting developers of these specialized projects in navigating state and local land use requirements. She has negotiated Siting Agreements, worked on public facility reviews, counseled on the impacts of the adoption of local Solar Tax Revenue Share Ordinances and helped clients manage the challenges of new solar regulations that can frequently be adopted during the application review process.


In her commercial practice, Ann Neil assists clients in obtaining rezonings, conditional and/or special use permits, variances and zoning text amendments. She also assists clients through the site plan and land disturbing process and has extensive experience with stormwater management and Chesapeake Bay Act regulations and requirements. She has also represented clients in enforcement matters and lawsuits before state administrative agencies and in state and federal courts throughout Virginia. She has successfully argued land use matters before the Virginia Supreme Court.


Ann Neil currently serves on the Richmond board of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW). She has also served on a number of state regulatory advisory panels including those related to the Stormwater General Construction Permit, and the state’s regulations on hydraulic fracturing, as well as on the VSMP Stormwater Ordinance Advisory Panel and was highly involved in the development of the state’s model stormwater ordinance.


Throughout her career, Ann Neil has been asked to teach courses in land use, zoning and environmental law to professional planners and elected and appointed officials including for the Virginia Association of Zoning Officials (VAZO), the Rural Planning Caucus (RPC), Plan Virginia (formerly the Citizens Planning Education Association of Virginia). In 2012, she was selected as one of the year’s Influential Women of Virginia by Virginia Lawyers Weekly. Ann Neil was listed in Virginia Business Magazine’s Legal Elite for Administrative and Regulatory Law in 2010, 2012 and 2013 and has been listed as a Legal Elite for Land Use since 2014.

  • William & Mary Law School, JD, articles editor, Journal of Women and the Law, 1998
  • Virginia Commonwealth University, BA English, cum laude, 1991
  • Virginia