As the former Development Manager and Assistant City Solicitor for the City of Covington, KY, Donnie has extensive experience in real estate transactions, economic development projects, and administrative law. Donnie served as counsel to Covington’s Board of Adjustment, Urban Design Review Board, Historic Preservation Specialist, and Zoning Administrator. He also served as counsel for the City for three economic development projects that resulted in the adaptive re-use of two historic buildings and the attraction of over 500 jobs to downtown Covington.  

Donnie served as a Teach for America Corps member for two years (2005-2007) in Gallup, NM, and was nominated for the Sue Lehman award, a national award for the highest performing Teach for America Corps member .

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Donnie earned his J.D. in 2014 from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, graduating cum laude. He also holds an M.A. in English from the University of Cincinnati and a B.A. in English from DePaul University, where he served as captain of the cross-country and track and field teams and was an All Conference USA performer.

In Cincinnati, Donnie has served as the Vice-Chair of Mayor John Cranley’s Young Professionals Kitchen Cabinet from 2014-2015 and currently serves on the Public Allies Cincinnati Advisory Board.

Donnie joined Calfee in 2017.

Representative Transactions

  • Lead counsel for the City for the Duveneck Square mixed-use, multi-family development from the inducement of City-issued industrial revenue bonds through closing of project financing.
  • Project Lead and general counsel for the City for the 501 Main mixed use, multi-family development, including providing guidance with regards to all phases of development from the execution of the development agreement through design and the issuance of permits.
  • Lead draftsperson for the City for the first PACE/EPAD project (Energy Project Assessment District) in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, which involved the issuance of bonds secured by special assessments to finance the retrofitting of a senior care center in Northern Kentucky with energy saving improvements.
  • Lead draftsperson and counsel for vacant and abandoned property program, known as the Covington Community Developers Initiative, which included the transfer of over twenty-five (25) vacant and abandoned properties to pre-qualified developers subject to restrictive covenants securing development.
  • Drafted a variety of documents for real estate transactions, including deeds, revocable licenses, easements, leases, term sheets, and development agreements.

Zoning and Land Use

  • General counsel to the Zoning and Planning Specialist and the Historic Preservation Specialist with regards to all land use and planning issues, including interpretation of the Covington Zoning Code, KRS 100, and the Covington Historic Design Guidelines.
  • General counsel to the Urban Design Review Board and the Board of Adjustment, providing legal advice to the board throughout the administrative process to ensure due process and sound interpretation of the Covington Zoning Code and KRS 100.
  • Lead counsel for the Urban Design Review Board to uphold the Board’s decision to deny the demolition of the historic Bavarian Brewery based upon the City’s zoning code.
  • Delivered prevailing oral argument in Urban Design Review Board appeal involving a proposed structure that the Board determined to be non-compliant with Covington’s historical design guidelines.

Litigation and Administrative Appeals

  • Represented the City and individual employees in an ADA matter, drafting a prevailing motion to dismiss that resulted in the dismissal of all claims against the individual employees.
  • Represented the Urban Design Review Board in Kenton Circuit Court to defend the Board’s decision to deny the issuance of a Certificate of Appropriateness for the demolition of the historic Bavarian Brewery.
  • Represented the City in a Section 1983 claim, drafting a prevailing motion to dismiss all custom and policy claims as well as several claims against individual officers.

Contact Donnie

Practice Areas

Education

  • University of Cincinnati College of Law, J.D., cum laude, 2014
  • University of Cincinnati, M.A., English, 2009
  • DePaul University, B.A., English, 2005

Admissions

  • States of Ohio and Kentucky

Contact Donnie

  • dwarner@calfee.com
  • 513.693.4891
  • vCard

Practice Areas

  • Real Estate
  • Calfee Zoning
  • Public Law and Finance
  • Government Relations and Legislation
  • Real Estate Litigation
  • Calfee Strategic Solutions

Education

  • University of Cincinnati College of Law, J.D., cum laude, 2014
  • University of Cincinnati, M.A., English, 2009
  • DePaul University, B.A., English, 2005

Admissions

  • States of Ohio and Kentucky