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Zoning and Land Use
Practice Area

Zoning, Land Use, and Municipal Law

Our land use and municipal law attorneys recognize the interconnections between land use law, environmental law (including brownfields redevelopmentenvironmental permitting, and environmental impact review), renewable energy law, and municipal law, and understand how to meet every unique client’s needs for large and small projects alike.  When necessary, our formidable team of litigators step in. Our attorneys have a long history of successfully challenging (and defending) municipal land use decisions.

In New York City, we guide clients through permitting, proceedings, and appeals before the Department of City Planning, the Board of Standards and Appeals, the Department of Buildings, and the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Our attorneys provide zoning expertise and assist clients with:

  • Variance and special permit applications
  • Zoning text amendments
  • ULURP review
  • Transfer of unused development rights (air rights)
  • Subdivisions and lot line adjustments
  • Landmark designation and permitting

Outside of New York City, our attorneys represent municipalities, individuals, businesses and not-for-profit organizations on a variety of land use issues, including zoning amendments, site plan approvals, subdivision plans, special permits, variances, easements, historical preservation, and landmarks.  We provide zoning expertise for clients assessing the ability of a property to be developed and the siting of projects including:

  • Residential homes, multi-family development, and subdivisions
  • Commercial, retail, and mixed-use projects
  • Infrastructure, telecommunications, and utility projects
  • Renewable energy projects, including community solar generation
  • Marinas and waterfront developments
  • Sports and entertainment facilities

In addition to providing expertise on environmental and land use law, SPR frequently provides counsel to municipal governments, public authorities, and special districts such as school districts, sewer districts, and soil and water conservation districts on a wide range of legal issues including:

  • Code and charter revisions
  • Ethics, conflicts of interest, and public disclosures
  • Freedom of information law and public meetings law
  • Annexation
  • Village incorporation
  • Eminent domain
  • Inter-municipal agreements
  • Site license agreements for renewable energy projects
  • Procurement and contracting
  • Special district formation, operation, and finance
  • Intra-governmental disputes between executives and boards
  • Civil rights and personnel litigation
  • Tort liability


Development And Land Use
Environmental Impact Review/Permitting
Permitting and Litigation for Government-Sponsored Developments

The Governor Mario Cuomo Bridge

Location: Westchester, NY | Date: 2014

SPR represents the New York State Thruway Authority with respect to the replacement of the Tappan Zee Bridge, which connects Westchester and Rockland counties across the Hudson River.  SPR advised as to the project’s environmental review pursuant to National Environmental Policy Act and State Environmental Quality Review Act, and with regard to the environmental permitting and related requirements under both state and federal laws.  SPR also assisted in critical negotiations with public interest groups in order to avoid potential litigation challenging the project.