Natalie L. Burns

Natalie L Burns - Maine Attorney at Law

AREAS OF EXPERTISE:

As a member of the firm’s Government Services and Land Use & Permitting Practice Groups, Natalie specializes in municipal, environmental, affordable housing, and land use law, representing both public and private clients.  Natalie has dedicated her career to the field of municipal law and serves as lead counsel for several Maine municipalities.  Natalie works closely with elected and appointed officials in many municipalities throughout the state on a wide array of legal matters including land use, development, code enforcement, ordinance drafting, appearing before and advising Boards, and public records.  Natalie also works closely with the other members of Jensen Baird’s Government Services Practice Group to assist public and private clients on legal matters involving municipal law.  

“Our team approach to providing legal services sets Jensen Baird apart from other firms and makes practicing law here particularly rewarding.  Our broad depth of knowledge and extensive experience allow us to offer a level of service that is truly outstanding in the field.”

Before joining Jensen Baird,  Natalie served as Associate Corporation Counsel for the City of Portland for 10 years.  She graduated from Bowdoin College, with departmental honors in Romance Languages.  Natalie has made presentations on municipal, land use and Freedom of Access Act issues at seminars sponsored by the Maine State Bar Association and other organizations, as well as many training sessions with clients of a variety of legal issues.

Natalie lives with her husband, Jim Robbins, in Cape Elizabeth

EDUCATION

  • Bowdoin College, A.B., cum laude
  • University of Maine School of Law, J.D.

ADMITTED TO PRACTICE

  • State of Maine
  • U.S. District Court, District of Maine
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit

MEMBER

  • Maine State Bar Association
  • Cumberland Bar Association
  • Co-Chair, Regional Organization of Municipal Attorneys (ROMA)
  • Finance and Audit Committee & Past President, Girl Scouts of Maine
  • Past President, Girls Scouts of Kennebec
  • Past Member/Chair, Conservation Commission in Cape Elizabeth

HONORS

  • The Best Lawyers in America©
    • Land Use & Zoning Law
    • Litigation-Land Use & Zoning Law
    • Municipal Law
  • Best Lawyers®
    • 2018 Municipal Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Portland, ME
    • 2016 Municipal Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Portland, ME
    • 2014 Land Use & Zoning Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Portland, ME
  • New England Super Lawyers (2014-2018) Land Use/Zoning, State, Local & Municipal

Notable Cases

Pike Industries, Inc. v. City of Westbrook, 2012 ME 78, 45 A.3d 707
(confirming that municipalities have the authority to resolve land use enforcement cases through the approval of consent decrees and establishing required procedures for that approval and the adoption of new performance standards associated with the consent decree).

Pike Industries, Inc. v. City of Westbrook, 2014 ME 85, 96 A.3d 73
(upholding the City’s approval of a consent decree and associated adoption of zoning ordinance performance standards).

Friends of Motherhouse v. City of Portland, 2016 ME 178, 152 A.3d 159
(upholding contract zoning approval as consistent with the comprehensive plan and restating that rezoning is a legislative process entitled to judicial deference

Estate of Robbins v. Chebeague & Cumberland Land Trust, 2017 ME 17, 154 A.3d 1185
(upholding Superior Court’s decision that private owners of land encumbered by a conservation easement did not have standing under Maine’s conservation easement laws to enforce the provisions of that easement against a landowner).

Golder v. City of Saco, 2012 ME 76, 45 A.3d 697
(affirming City’s approval of contract zoning agreement, including off-site recreational improvements).

Tomasino v. Town of Casco, 2020 ME 96
(upholding Zoning Board of Appeals decision that applicant had failed to demonstrate sufficient right, title or interest to remove trees and declaring that dispute between neighboring property owners as to easement rights had to be decided by a court and not by the Board).

Pierce v. Town of Ogunquit, 2018 Me. Unpub. LEXIS 74, Mem. 18-71
(affirming Superior Court decision upholding Planning Board’s denial of a dock application based upon environmental concerns).