Land Use & Zoning
The development of real estate can be a complex process in the State of New York, regulated at the municipal, county, state, and federal levels. Development and land use proposals may require multiple governmental approvals, including local zoning and planning boards, legislative bodies, state or federal permits, and building permits, and may involve compliance with the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). In some cases, projects may be controversial or generate opposition or litigation.
Our Land Use and Zoning team has the skills and experience to successfully lead development projects from initial planning and site selection, through design, approvals and construction. We understand the nuances of development in each of our communities. We recognize that each project, each community, and each client is different, requiring its own approach. For us, knowledge of the law is only a starting point. We work closely with every client and their design professionals or development team, whether on a specific approval or issue, or more holistically to develop a road map for a project, taking into consideration the particulars of the project, identifying potential issues, coordinating the various approval processes, and engaging local government.
We have represented developers, property owners, tenants, businesses, institutions, non-profits, municipalities and others throughout New York State. We draw on our broad experience and professional relationships to navigate unique local regulatory obstacles, build local support, and protect the project from the threat of litigation. Where litigation occurs, we are prepared to zealously defend an approval or challenge a denial- we are typically defending development approvals together with a municipality (as co-respondents). We also regularly serve as special counsel to many local municipalities, advising them on special topics such as SEQRA, assisting in the preparation and adoption of zoning ordinances, handling litigation on behalf of the municipality, and a variety of other matters.
Examples of our work include representation of clients in obtaining:
- Rezonings, Zoning Code or Map amendments;
- Incentive Zonings;
- Drafting of zoning regulations;
- Planned Development Districts;
- Special use permits;
- Use or Area Variances;
- Site plan approvals;
- Subdivision approvals, including conventional and cluster subdivisions;
- Obtaining Building Permits, Certificates of Occupancy, and resolution of related issues;
- SEQRA determinations;
- Historic preservation related decisions;
- State and Federal Permits.
As a corollary to the approval process for development, we also assist clients in public-private financing, such as Industrial Development Agency (IDA) incentives.