Donet D. Graves


Don deciphers little-known facets of zoning law for land owners, developers and builders to leverage.

Don provides counsel in real estate transactions, community development projects, construction, administrative and regulatory matters. He is particularly adept in zoning and land use, including land development approvals, variances and special exceptions, zoning appeals and zoning code compliance.

Representing some of the nation’s foremost wireless telecommunications carriers, Don has assisted in the development of state-wide communications networks. He successfully argued the benchmark case that held wireless telecommunications carriers were not subject to township zoning regulating tower and antennae placement, except in limited circumstances.

When Skill Matters

  • Project attorney for County Demolition Bond Program; provided advice regarding the structure of the program, issuance and tax-exemption of bonds; draft legislation and program guidelines; negotiated and drafted contracts among County and Land Bank and municipalities in connection with the program.
  • Represented college district in development and expansion of campuses in Ohio involving zoning issues as well as local, state and federal regulations.
  • Represents national telecommunications provider in real estate, zoning and contract matters in connection with the construction of cellular towers.
  • Project attorney for housing authority in connection with tax credits, NSP II financing, HUD subsidies, FHA and bond financing for development of multiple low-income senior housing and community center projects.
  • Represent developers and non-profit organizations in business formation and operations, multi-family construction, condominium development, shopping center design and construction, and transitional housing development.

Distinctions + Awards

  • Lifetime Achievement Award – United Black Fund (2014)
  • Individual Philanthropy Award – United Black Fund (2000)
  • Leadership Cleveland – Class of 1995
  • AV-Preeminent Rated (Martindale-Hubbell)

Civic Involvement

  • American Red Cross of Greater Cleveland – Board of Directors (former)
  • Commission on Economic Inclusion and Partnership
  • Governor’s Commission to Study Gaming in Ohio
  • Greater Cleveland Roundtable – Board of Directors (former)
  • United Way of Greater Cleveland – Board of Directors (former)
  • United Black Fund – Board of Directors (former)
  • Cleveland Public Schools – Director (former)
  • Cleveland Zoological Society – Trustee (former)
  • Ohio Lottery Commission – Past Commissioner

Professional Affiliations



  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Norman S. Minor Bar Association

Related Practices

  • Labor + Employment
  • Education
  • Business Law + Corporate Transactions
  • Non-Profit Organizations
  • Economic Development
  • Public Sector + Municipal Law
  • Real Estate + Construction
  • Regulatory, Compliance + Community Development


  • Cleveland State University College of Law, J.D.

  • Cleveland State University, B.S.


  • Ohio

  • U.S. Tax Court

  • U.S. District Court – Northern District of Ohio

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