Soo Lee-Cho

"Effective advocacy in the land use and development arena requires not only knowing how to strategically navigate a client’s project through the applicable agency review process and achieve final approval – but knowing when to stand firm and when to find common ground. I strive to instill confidence in my clients by providing value-added counsel every step of the way."



Soo Lee-Cho is a Principal of the firm and Co-Chair of the Land Development Practice Group. Soo’s practice includes land use, zoning law, real estate development and administrative law.

Soo is focused and determined when it comes to achieving her clients’ development goals. A wide variety of property owners and developers (both local and national) have entrusted her with securing necessary entitlements to develop their properties, including local map amendments, sketch and site plans, subdivision approvals, zoning text amendments, historic preservation, master plan recommendations, water/sewer category changes, special exceptions/conditional uses and variances. She regularly appears before administrative boards, commissions and elected officials, including the Montgomery County Council, the County Board of Appeals, the Office of Zoning and Administrative Hearings, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, and the City Councils, boards and planning commissions of Rockville and Gaithersburg. 

Soo’s experience includes the successful representation of clients from multiple sectors including multi-family, senior housing/assisted living, affordable housing developers, real estate investment trusts (REITS), retailers, commercial and industrial landowners, private educational institutions, day care facilities, hospitals and churches. Representative clients include Quadrangle Development Corporation, The NRP Group, JBG Rosenfeld Retail, Exeter Property Group, Montgomery College, The Bullis School, Medstar Montgomery Medical Center and Bank of America.

Soo’s career spans nearly 25 years in land development, beginning with a municipal law and land development firm in Los Angeles, California, where her land use practice focused on development impact review, California Environmental Quality Act compliance and entitlements procurement in connection with entertainment/sports and commercial development. She is a graduate of The University of California, Los Angeles (Bachelor of Arts, 1993) and The Loyola Law School (Juris Doctor, 1996).


Soo provided guidance on our limited certified site plan process. We received Board approval on September 24, 2020 exactly on the date Soo’s timeline predicted. Her efforts included navigating through the County Planning Department and, in a lead role, attending meetings both in person and virtual, with The County staff, The Board, and our neighbors. Soo is professional, knowledgeable, personable and nimble. Her efforts have been a material contributor to our success thus far. I look forward to continuing our work with Soo over the course of the Development.

Jeremy Small, Exeter Property Group

Soo excels at taking a proactive approach towards assessing our needs, finding creative solutions and anticipating what to expect going forward. She always thinks three steps into the future. She is frankly an engine of solutions; she can't stop analyzing an obstacle until she's figured out a way to address it squarely. Soo thinks about our problems and our needs holistically and she is always quick to think outside the box. We could not recommend Soo more highly!

David Harris, Song Dog Distilling

Soo Lee-Cho's rapid mastery of our unusual business model, as well as her creative thinking, opened doors for us, and resulted in a smooth and efficient experience securing our permit. I am tremendously grateful for her incredible work.

John Wesson, DVM Dr. Boyd's Veterinary Resort

Soo and the MM&C team have been a tremendous asset in all matters of zoning and permitting law. We've completed several large-scale construction projects that have required significant coordination with county officials, and Soo's knowledge of the law and understanding of how the county process works has helped make a typically challenging undertaking very smooth and efficient. Soo fully understands complex zoning law and provides counsel in a practical and useful way that helps her clients make informed decisions.

William D. James, The Heights School

Bar Admissions

  • Maryland
  • California

Professional Affiliations

  • Bar Association of Montgomery County
  • Maryland State Bar Association
  • City of Rockville Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance Advisory Committee, Member, 2011
  • Rockville Science Center, Board of Trustees, 2009-present


  • Loyola Law School, J.D., 1996
  • University of California, Los Angeles, B.A., 1993

Honors and Awards


  • Best Lawyers, 2022
  • Urban Land Institute – Washington Regional Land Use Leadership Institute, Inaugural Class, 2011-2012

Case Studies

  • mixed-use-development-wildwood-residential
    Land Use & Zoning

    Mixed-Use Development / Wildwood Residential

    Project Scope: Approval of a preliminary plan and site plan to create two lots and one private road to allow additional 106,000 square feet of development including more →

  • civic-and-institutional-uses
    Land Use & Zoning

    Civic and Institutional Uses / MedStar Montgomery Medical Center

    Project Scope: Multiple reviews and approvals associated with a 50-year old more →

  • commercial-development-banks
    Land Use & Zoning

    Commercial Development / Financial Institutions

    Project Scope: Provide a full-range of services related to obtaining entitlement approvals for financial institutions such as Bank of America, M&T Bank, PNC Bank and more →

  • single-family-subdivisions-avalon-residential
    Land Use & Zoning

    Subdivisions / Avalon Residential

    Project Scope: Approval of rezoning application from residential zone to a floating townhouse zone and subsequent preliminary and site plans to permit 50 lots for a mix more →

  • variances-garage-addition
    Land Use & Zoning

    Variances / Residential Garage

    Project Scope: Side yard setback to enlarge a garage to provide additional space for ingress more →

  • educational-institutions-the-heights-school
    Land Use & Zoning

    Private Schools / The Heights School

    Project Scope: Special exception approval for a Campus Master Plan of a 20-acre more →

  • educational-institutions-the-bullis-school
    Land Use & Zoning

    Private Schools / The Bullis School

    Project Scope: Support independent private school that serves ages kindergarten through 12th grade with challenging land use approvals and amendments for their 102 more →

  • multi-family-dev-the-avondale
    Land Use & Zoning

    Multi-Family Residential Development / The Avondale

    Project Scope: Lead the development design team through a consolidated sketch plan and preliminary plan approval to develop a 55,000 square foot multi-family more →

  • multi-family-dev-pooks-hill
    Land Use & Zoning

    Multi-Family Residential Development / Pooks Hill

    Project Scope: A multi-phase approval process, through two owners, Pooks Hill Residential will deliver 562 multi-family units within two ‘chevron’ shaped high-rise more →

  • solar-facilities-fieldcrest-community-solor
    Land Use & Zoning

    Solar Facilities / Fieldcrest Community Solar

    Project Scope: Obtain approvals for a solar collection facility on a 20-acre property constrained by significant environmental features that required negotiation of more →

  • solar-facilities-cedar-ridge-community-solor
    Land Use & Zoning

    Solar Facilities / Cedar Ridge Community Solar

    Project Scope: Obtain Historic Area Work Permit (HAWP) and Site Plan approval for a solar collection facility to be co-located on property occupied by a church, consisting more →

View firm case studies