Meridith H. Moldenhauer

Co-Chair, Zoning, Land Use & Development

Meridith uses her real-world experience with her extensive legal knowledge to provide her clients with creative and results-driven legal advice. Armed with her in-depth business and regulatory background, Meridith works closely with developers, architects, contractors, property owners, and tenants as an integral member of their team.

Meridith has deep roots in Washington D.C., growing up in both Annapolis and Georgetown, attending Georgetown University and the University of Richmond, and building her family on Capitol Hill. Meridith served as a board member and chair of the Board of Zoning Adjustment from 2009 to 2011 as a mayor appointee, appointed by Mayor Adrian Fenty. Meridith brings her knowledge of the region to her practice to provide her clients with informed legal insight and useful risk analysis. Meridith’s background in business, in conjunction with her regulatory experience, informs her approach to the practice of law and enables her to deliver realistic risk assessments and options, thus allowing her clients to proceed from an informed perspective. In addition to her focus on zoning, land use, and development, Meridith also possesses experience advising clients on a broad range of licensing, advertising, compliance, and distribution issues before the District of Columbia Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board.



More Than 200 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named Best Lawyers and Ones to Watch

August 22, 2022

210 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 24 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Meridith Moldenhauer Named a 2022 GlobeSt. Women of Influence

July 26, 2022

Moldenhauer was recognized at an awards ceremony on July 26, 2022.

More Than 205 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named Best Lawyers and Ones to Watch By The Best Lawyers In America

August 19, 2021

Best Lawyers selected 210 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 23 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Cozen O’Connor Promotes Six Members to Shareholder

August 24, 2020

Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce the promotion of six members to shareholders.

More Than 200 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named Best Lawyers and Ones to Watch By The Best Lawyers In America

August 20, 2020

Best Lawyers selected 201 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 23 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2021 edition of The Best Lawyers in America© (Copyright 2020 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC).

D.C. Council Approves Measure to Curb Wave of Development Appeals

October 09, 2019

Meridith Moldenhauer and Samantha Mazo comment on the D.C. Council’s vote to approve amendments to the Comprehensive Plan's Framework Element nearly two years after the Office of Planning introduced the proposed changes in an article in Bisnow.

Cozen O’Connor Names Jonathan Grossman, Robert Magovern, and Meridith Moldenhauer Washington, D.C. Office Leaders

August 27, 2019

Jonathan was promoted to office managing partner while Meridith and Robert will be co-vice chair, office managing partners.

Developers Say D.C. Comp Plan Changes Won't Do Enough to Beat Back Frequent Legal Challenges

July 22, 2019

Meridith Moldenhauer comments on the newly released amendments to D.C’s comprehensive plan in an article in the Washington Business Journal.

13 Cozen O'Connor Attorneys Recognized as Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

April 25, 2019

The 2019 Washington, D.C, edition of Super Lawyers Magazine, published by Thomson Reuters, has named 13 Cozen O’Connor attorneys to its list of Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.

Latest Chapter In D.C. Zoning Appeal Saga Pits Developer Against Developer

February 12, 2019

Meridith Moldenhauer weighs in on a dispute between an owner of a high-rise apartment building and a developer of a hotel in the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Washington, D.C., in Bisnow.

Proposal Calls For 26-Unit Apartment Building To Replace Columbia Heights Rowhouses

August 21, 2018

Meridith Moldenhauer, a member of the firm’s Real Estate Practice discusses an apartment development project in the Colombia Heights area of Washington, D.C.


Major Shake Up in the Department of Buildings’ Zoning Division [Get The Dirt Blog]

January 03, 2023

It is a New Year for D.C. zoning and we are all wondering what 2023 will bring given the recent changes at the Department of Buildings. As of October 2022, the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) was officially dissolved and split into two new agencies – the Department of...

Proposed Chevy Chase Small Area Plan [Alert]

March 17, 2022

Meridith Moldenhauer and Evan Pritchard discuss the Chevy Chase Small Area Plan.

D.C. Council Considers Changes to Condominium Warranty Adjudication Process [Get The Dirt Blog]

September 28, 2020

If the COVID-19 pandemic was not already difficult enough on the D.C. real estate development community, recent proposed legislation by the D.C. Council might make developing condominiums in the city more challenging. On September 17, 2020, the D.C. Council’s Committee on Housing and...

Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration Issues Fines to Restaurants and Bars Violating Social Distancing Measures [Get The Dirt Blog]

September 25, 2020

Dr. Robert Redfield, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during his testimony before a Senate subcommittee on September 16 that wearing face masks may be more effective than a vaccine at protecting against COVID-19. What is surprising is the authority tasked with...

Zoning Commission Approves Six-Month Extension of Orders Expiring Through December 31, 2020 [Get The Dirt Blog]

September 23, 2020

As part of the initial flurry of administrative and regulatory changes in response to the ongoing pandemic, the Zoning Commission (Commission) took emergency action to approve a text amendment to the Zoning Regulations extending the validity of approval orders that otherwise would expire between...

Board of Zoning Adjustment Reverses Zoning Administrator’s Interpretation on Multiple Dwelling Conversions in the RA-1 and RA-6 Zones [Get The Dirt Blog]

September 21, 2020

On July 1, 2020, the Board of Zoning Adjustment (Board) reversed a decision by the Zoning Administrator (ZA) allowing the by-right conversion of an existing dwelling unit into an eight-unit apartment house in the RA-1 zone. The crux of the appeal in BZA Case 20226 concerns the...

Summary of DCRA Business Licensing Virtual Meeting on COVID-19 Impacts to Operations [Get The Dirt Blog]

April 21, 2020

The District of Columbia’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) – the agency that, among other tasks, issues building permits and business licenses – conducted a virtual meeting on April 15, 2020. More than 500 residents and business owners submitted their business...

Important Update to the Office of Zoning Operations During the COVID-19 Emergency [Get The Dirt Blog]

April 08, 2020

As reported in this blog, on March 20, 2020, the District of Columbia’s Zoning Commission (the commission) and the Board of Zoning Adjustment (the BZA) suspended all public hearings and public meetings. But, in a glimmer of positive news, the District’s Office of Zoning has announced that the...

Fairfax County’s Response to COVID-19 [Get The Dirt Blog]

March 26, 2020

Part one in a series, we will examine the effect of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on the Fairfax County, Va., commercial real estate development community. The below provides insight into the status of critical Fairfax agencies as of March 25, 2020....

COVID-19 Impact on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals [Get The Dirt Blog]

March 24, 2020

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals (“Court of Appeals” or “Court”) is making significant operational changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as reflected in the March 23, 2020, Order entered by Chief Judge Blackburne-Rigsby. The change to Court procedures follows suit with many...

Status of D.C. Agencies Handling Commercial Real Estate Development Issues as of March 23 [Get The Dirt Blog]

March 23, 2020

This post is part one in a series that will examine the effect of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on the Washington, D.C. commercial real estate development community. Whether you are in the middle of construction or at the beginning of project due diligence, COVID-19 will impact all...

DC Office of Zoning Announces Six COVID-19 Changes to Business-As-Usual [Get The Dirt Blog]

March 20, 2020

The District of Columbia’s Office of Zoning (“OZ”) – the independent agency that, among other tasks, accepts development applications to the District’s Zoning Commission (the “Commission”) and Board of Zoning Adjustment (the “BZA”) – remains open for business in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak,...

Mayor to Announce District of Columbia Will Operate Under a Telework Schedule [Alert]

March 13, 2020

Meridith Moldenhauer discusses systems that may be impacted by D.C. mayor's decision to operate under a telework schedule beginning March 16.

Draft Snow Drift Issuance [Get The Dirt Blog]

October 31, 2018

We would like to circulate to our clients this draft document from DCRA intended to clarify the District’s interpretation of various regulations relating to snow drift. DCRA, developers, and neighbors have been struggling with how to interpret snow drift requirements. This clarification attempts to...

In DC, “H” Is Not For a Hairy Deal But, Rather, For Dealing with Historic Districts [Get The Dirt Blog]

August 30, 2018

It does not matter whether or not you are looking for a “hairy” deal – in DC, you will most likely find a deal that is “historic”.  More likely than not you will encounter (or already have encountered) the complexities of the DC’s Historic Districts. In April 2006, Mayor Anthony Williams said...


  • University of Richmond School of Law, J.D., 2004
  • Georgetown University, B.S., 2001

Awards & Honors

Rising Star, Washington D.C. Super Lawyers, 2013-2019

Best Lawyers in America, 2021-2023

Women of Influence, GlobeSt., 2022

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • Virginia