Ms. Durden’s practice focuses on governmental, land use, environmental and administrative law. Clients include landowners, developers, local governments, banks, manufacturers, industrial and educational facilities.
Areas of Practice
Represents public and private clients in matters related to land development and sustainability, community redevelopment, transportation, zoning, comprehensive planning, campus master plans, water supply, port plans, real estate transactions, developments of regional impact, vested rights and concurrency, historic preservation, water law (surface and groundwater, stormwater management, consumptive use, wetlands and submerged lands), hazardous materials and contamination, remedial actions, solid waste, underground storage tanks and wastewater disposal.
Diverse experience with entitlements, permitting, compliance, transactional due diligence, litigation (including land use, Superfund and enforcement litigation), legislation and administrative rule making.
Serves as the City Attorney for the City of Atlantic Beach, Florida.
Professional, Civic and Community Involvement
Admitted to the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
The Florida Bar: Environmental and Land Use Law Section; City, County and Local Government Law Section; and Administrative Law Section, Member.
Jacksonville Downtown Investment Authority, Board of Directors, 2015-2018.
Florida Redevelopment Association, President, 2010-2019; Northeast Florida Regional Representative, 2005-2010; Board of Directors, 2010-present; Treasurer, 2015-2016; Vice President, 2016-2017.
Leadership Florida, Class XXX (2012).
Leadership Jacksonville, Class of 1998.
Urban Land Institute North Florida District Council, The Center for Leadership Committee, 2018-present; Chair, Women’s Leadership Initiative Committee, 2015-2016; Member, 2015-present; Management Committee, 2013-2016; Advisory Board, 2010-present; Treasurer, 2005-2010; Co-Chair, Reality Check First Coast, a regional visioning initiative, 2008-2009.
Northeast Florida League of Cities, Member, 1995-present.
Florida Municipal Attorneys Association, Member.
Northwest Jacksonville Economic Development Trust Fund Advisory Committee, Member, 2010-2016.
First Coast Manufacturers Association, Board of Directors, 2013-2015.
Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair, Board Member, 2003-2012.
Northeast Florida Regional Transportation Study Commission, Planning Committee Member, 2011-2013.
Jacksonville Bar Association, Member and former Chair of the Environmental and Land Use Law Section, 2000-2001.
Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce, Speaker’s Bureau for the “Vote No on Amendment 4” Campaign, Chair, 2009-2010.
Jacksonville Community Council, Inc., Chair, “Making Jacksonville a Clean City” Study, 2002.
Jacksonville Beach Elementary Preservation Fund, Inc. and the Rhoda L. Martin Cultural Heritage Center, Legal Counsel (Pro-Bono), 2000-2016.
Jacksonville Women’s Network, Member.
American Planning and Florida Planning & Zoning Associations, Member.
Frequent Speaker at statewide conferences on land use and environmental subjects.
Co-Author: Waiting for the Go: Concurrency, Takings and the Property Rights Act, Nova Law Review, Vol. 20, No. 2, Winter 1996.
Previous Professional Experience
Shareholder/Associate, Mahoney, Adams & Criser, P.A., 1987-1997.
Assistant Counsel, Office of General Counsel, City of Jacksonville, 1985-1987.
City Planner, San Luis Obispo, California, and Sarasota, Florida, 1977-1983.
Awards and Recognitions
Martindale Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated.
Best Lawyers in America, Lawyer of the Year, 2020, Land Use and Zoning Law, Jacksonville; Best Lawyer in Land Use and Zoning Law, 2009-2010 and 2013-present; Best Lawyer in Real Estate Law and Real Estate Litigation, 2006-present.
Ultimate Attorney Award, Jacksonville Business Journal, 2018.
Florida Trend Legal Elite, Environmental and Land Use Law, 2019.
J.D., University of Florida College of Law, 1985
California Polytechnic University, Post-Graduate Studies in Urban & Regional Planning, 1978-1980
B.A., University of South Florida, 1974