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John B. Gontrum
Towson Commons, Suite 300
One West Pennsylvania Avenue
Towson, MD 21204-5025
Phone: 410.832.2055
Fax: 410.339.4058

Mr. Gontrum is director of the Towson office of the firm and is co-chairman of the Real Estate Section and also the Real Estate Development, Leasing and Land Use Industry Group.  He has over 35 years of experience representing industrial, commercial and residential developers, businesses, institutions and individuals on a wide variety of land use, zoning and development issues.  His practice concentrates on Baltimore County land use and development with particular attention to issues arising in eastern Baltimore County and waterfront development.

Land Use, Zoning and Development Issues

Community planning including participation on various economic and industrial planning committees for eastern Baltimore County

Land use zoning including comprehensive and site rezoning, zoning special exceptions, variances and special hearings

All phases of development  plan proposals including subdivision, industrial and commercial development including Planned Unit Developments (PUDs) involving community input, development hearings and appeals  and residential subdivision

Environmental impacts including percolation testing, forest conservation and forest buffers, Chesapeake and Coastal Bay Critical Area Law, and waterfront development

Adequate public facilities including water and sewer plan amendments, open space and county reservation

Landmark preservation issues and Agricultural and Conservation Easements

Real Estate Transaction Issues

Negotiating, drafting and reviewing contracts, leases, easements as well as researching and reviewing title documents

Review and drafting of condominium and homeowners' association documents

Property tax negotiation and appeal


AV Peer Review Rated: Martindale-Hubbell

Recognized in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, published by Chambers and Partners, 2017

Listed in Best Lawyers in America, 2010-present

Best Lawyer's "Lawyer of the Year" in the areas of Land Use and Zoning Law and Litigation: Land Use and Zoning, 2016

Listed in Maryland Super Lawyers: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011

Memberships & Activities

Past President: Baltimore County Bar Association, 2004-2005

Board Member: Baltimore County Bar Foundation

Board Member: Baltimore County Revenue Authority

Fellow: Maryland State Bar Foundation

Past Chairman: Franklin Square Hospital Board of Directors

MedStar Health Finance Committee Member

Treasurer: Friends for Grace C. Connolly, Baltimore County Register of Wills

Member: MBIA Land Development Council

Past President and Board Member: Essex-Middle River-White Marsh (Chesapeake Gateway) Chamber of Commerce

Past-President and Board Member: Eastern Baltimore Area/ Dundalk Chamber of Commerce

Past Member: Advisory Board Baltimore County Critical Area Commission

Past District Chairman: Boy Scouts of America, Chesapeake District

Past Chairman: Essex - Middle River Renaissance Steering Committee

Past Member: Baltimore County Planning Office Advisory Committees: Executive Committee - Essex Community Conservation Committee; Chairman - Greater Kingsville Community Conservation Committee; Southeastern Economic Development Plan


  • Duke University School of Law (J.D. 1976)
  • Duke University (B.A. 1973)