David L. Kleinfelter

Nashville, TN Office

David L. Kleinfelter advises clients on zoning and land use issues and the development approval process. David works with developers to guide projects through the community and government approval process.

David is certified as a city planner by the American Planning Association's American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).

Selected Recent Transactions

  • Worked with multiple clients to obtain Planning Commission and Metro Council approval of zoning requests in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Provides ongoing land use, development, and real estate representation for Nashville developers involved in multiple significant urban infill projects.
  • As president of local nonprofit corporation, led effort to obtain $600,000 grant and subsequent contract to provide bicycle and pedestrian programming and services in Metro Nashville.

Major Prior Work Experience

David was elected to the Nashville Metro Council in November 1994 and served until August 1999, when he was unable to run for re-election due to term limits.  In addition, he served a short time as an interim member of the Nashville Board of Education in 2000.  Prior to attending law school, David was Upper Middle Tennessee Field Director in the gubernatorial campaign of Ned McWherter and served as press secretary to the House Democratic Caucus of the Tennessee Legislature. David also served as law clerk to the Honorable Thomas A. Wiseman, Jr., Chief Judge, Middle District of Tennessee, U.S. District Court.  

Speaking Engagements

  • Introduction to Land Use and Zoning, National Business Institute, Online Seminar, August 2021
  • Land Use and Zoning from Start to Finish, National Business Institute, Online Seminar, August 2019
  • Guest Lecture on Zoning and Land Use, Fisk University, Dept. of Business Administration, October 2018
  • Saving the World Through Zoning and Land Use Regulations (Instructor) – Vanderbilt University Commons Seminar, Nashville, TN, January – April 2013
  • Case Study: Rolling Mill Hill Neighborhood Redevelopment – National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) 2012 National Conference, Nashville, TN, October 29, 2012
  • Solutions for Sustainable Communities, LEED-ND and Zoning Tools – ABA Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law, Washington, DC, May 24, 2012
  • HUD Sustainable Development Initiatives – Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, Washington, DC, November 2, 2011
  • Media Relations Panel (Moderator) – Tennessee Chapter, American Planning Association, Nashville, TN, September 29, 2011
  • The Planning Process and Metro Council – Nashville Neighborhood Defense Fund, Council Candidate Seminar, Nashville, TN, November 20, 2010
  • Green Infrastructure and Green Zoning – American Planning Association, National Capital Area Chapter, Washington, DC, July 18, 2009
  • How to Put an Affordable Housing Project Together, Zoning, Political, and Community Issues – NAHRO, Southeastern Regional Council, Memphis, TN, June 22, 2009
  • The Development Approval Process, Lorman Educational Services, Nashville, TN, July 9, 2008
  • Navigating the Maze of Land Use Regulations in Tennessee, Lorman Educational Services, Nashville, TN, February 22, 2006

Awards, Community Activities and Professional Activities

  • AICP-Certified City Planner since 2011
  • Member, American Bar Association, Tennessee Bar Association, and Nashville Bar Association
  • Member, American Planning Association
  • Member, Congress for the New Urbanism
  • Member, Nashville Civic Design Center
  • University of Tennessee College of Law, Order of the Coif, High Honors
  • University of Tennessee Law Review, Executive/Research Editor
  • Building Better Communities Award, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Nashville - Davidson County, 1997
  • Excellence in Advocacy Award, American Cancer Society, 1998
  • Walk/Bike Nashville, Founder and Board Member, 1999-2009, President, 2010-2014


University of Tennessee College of Law, J.D.

  • Executive Editor/Research Editor, Tennessee Law Review

Vanderbilt University, B.S. in Political Science

Bar Admission

  • Tennessee Bar
  • Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Middle Tennessee District Court


Knoxville, TN