White, Carolynne C.

Carolynne White is a first-class real estate practitioner with an excellent zoning and land use practice. Clients praise her work on mixed-use developments and urban renewal, adding that she is "a leading person for tax increment financing." - Chambers USA, 2018

Carolynne White is co-chair of the firm’s Real Estate Department. Her practice spans the Land Use, Government Relations, Real Estate and Natural Resources groups. Carolynne is an experienced land use and public policy attorney, with strong state and local government relationships, and cutting-edge expertise. Her specialty is managing complex and challenging projects and navigating multiple regulatory environments for optimal outcomes for clients. Her strong local and state relationships with elected officials and staff statewide ensure that clients always have the best information and the best opportunity to be heard. One of only twenty-three LEED-accredited attorneys in the state of Colorado, Carolynne also holds a Masters degree in Public Policy, and in Urban and Regional Planning, from the University of Colorado at Denver.

Carolynne's practice focuses primarily on the zoning and entitlement process, with an emphasis on complex projects involving redevelopment, infill, brownfields, urban renewal, eminent domain, mixed use, transit-oriented development, PIFs and other public financing tools, and special challenges such as historic preservation. Carolynne has obtained entitlements for projects ranging from high-rise hotels to large-tenant retail to mixed use developments involving retail, office and residential components. Carolynne has also handled permitting for pipelines, compressor stations, and other mining and oil and gas related facilities. Carolynne also serves as special and general counsel to a variety of governmental and quasi-governmental entities, such as urban renewal authorities, special districts, and redevelopment authorities.

From 1999 to 2004, Carolynne was the staff attorney for the Colorado Municipal League, the nonprofit association representing the cities and towns of Colorado. In that capacity, she represented Colorado municipalities before the Colorado General Assembly, various state agencies and the courts. Focusing primarily on land use issues, Carolynne worked on state legislation dealing with growth management, comprehensive planning, impact fees, zoning, annexation, subdivision, urban renewal, condemnation and special districts. Additionally, she has also worked on legislation ranging from construction defects reform to governmental immunity.

From 1994 to 1999, Carolynne was a staff attorney in the legal department for the Denver Water Board where she handled a wide range of responsibilities that included litigation in federal, state and administrative courts; drafting policies and procedures; and handling real estate transactions dealing with Denver Water property.

Previous Experience

Carolynne White is a first-class real estate practitioner with an excellent zoning and land use practice. Clients praise her work on mixed-use developments and urban renewal, adding that she is "a leading person for tax increment financing." - Chambers USA, 2018

Representative Matters
  • Successfully represented GCC Energy, LLC, operator of an existing coal mine in La Plata County, CO, in much contested negotiations and interim hearings with the Board of County Commissioners for a land use permit for continued mine operation ensuring that over 250 local miners' and truck drivers' jobs remained secure. This controversial project involved more than five years of public meetings and more than 47 technical expert reports for the King II coal mine, which produces circa one million tons of coal per year. The firm continues to advise Grupo Cementos de Chihuaha regarding on-going permit compliance issues and permitting for related facilities.

  • Successful representation of municipality seeking over $140 million in state funding for large-scale development projects under Colorado's Regional Tourism Act.

  • Negotiated on behalf of a municipality an amended and restated development agreement and parks agreement with respect to a large master planned community.

  • Represented CBS Outdoor Inc. on Denver compliance and land use issues involving outdoor advertising devices, including matters involving ordinance changes to the Denver sign code.

  • Represented Alberta Development Partners, LLC in the development and financing of Cornerstar, a new mixed-use center containing 158 acres of retail and residential space in Aurora, Colorado. Brownstein handled the leasing and selling of portions of the center to national and regional retailers such as Target, Dick's Sporting Goods, Best Buy, Office Depot, 24 Hour Fitness and Sunflower Market.

News & Events

Board of Directors, Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities

Board of Directors, Downtown Colorado, Inc.

City and County of Denver, Zoning Task Force, 2005-2010

Metro State Foundation Board Member, 2008-2010

Chair, DU Law School Alumni Council

Board Member, Florence Crittenton Services, 2009-present

Colorado State University Real Estate Council

Sen. Michael Bennet Appointee, Bipartisan Selection Advisory Committee, 2015

Publications & Presentations
  • J.D., 1993, University of Denver Sturm College of Law
  • M.P.A., M.U.R.P., 2006, University of Colorado at Denver
  • B.A., 1987, University of New Mexico
  • Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

CREW Denver Top Achiever Award in Law, 2017

Chambers USA, 2016-2018

LEED Accredited Professional

Best Lawyers in America, 2013-2019

5280 Top Lawyers, Real Estate, 2017

Top Women Lawyer, Law Week Colorado, 2011

Colorado Super Lawyers, 2006-2007, 2018

Board of Governors, Colorado Bar Association, 1998-2000, 2003-2004, 2006-2008

Board of Trustees, First Vice President, Denver Bar Association, 2006-2007

Board of Trustees, Second Vice President, Denver Bar Association, 2003-2004

Editor, Colorado Lawyer, “Government and Administrative News” column, 1999-2006

Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates, Denver Bar Association, 1999-2005

Denver Bar Association Young Lawyer of the Year, 1999

Board of Directors, Legal Aid Foundation, 1995-1998


American Bar Association

American Planning Association

Colorado Bar Association

Colorado Bar Association Legislative Policy Committee, 1998-1999

Colorado Municipal League

Colorado Women's Bar Association

Denver Bar Association

International Council of Shopping Centers

National Association of Industrial and Office Properties

William E. Doyle Inns of Court, 1991-2009