Howard D. Geneslaw – a licensed Professional Planner in New Jersey, member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), and a former consultant to municipal planning boards – relies on his focused industry training and experience to inform his comprehensive regional real estate development practice. Helping clients to expand their markets and establish significant presence throughout the region, he secures permits and approvals for store expansions and new construction on behalf of, among many other clients, supermarkets, fast food restaurants, convenience stores, and other retail chains, as well as financial institutions and real estate developers. He also handles liquor license issues for a variety of clients.

Mr. Geneslaw focuses on development, redevelopment, zoning, land use planning, and related permitting issues, as well as liquor licensing and alcoholic beverage control issues, in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. He served on the Board of Directors of the Land Use Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association (holding the position of Director for five years, after which he held the position of Secretary for the 2014-15 year, Vice Chair for the 2015-16 year, and Chair for the 2016-17 year) and has mediated various disputes as a court-appointed mediator.


The components of his practice include:

  • Applications for development, typically representing applicants and objectors in applications to planning and zoning boards and commissions, as well as to other municipal, county, and state agencies, in connection with restaurant, retail, hospital, residential, industrial, and warehouse projects and involving a wide range of issues such as zone changes, wetlands, highway access, sewer/water connection, State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), and other permitting and municipal law issues
  • Redevelopment, including assisting clients in securing or opposing redevelopment designations, drafting redevelopment plans, negotiating redevelopment agreements and payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreements, and representing clients in connection with designations as redeveloper
  • Litigation arising from applications for development, zoning disputes, redevelopment matters, and commercial lease disputes, as well as enforcement proceedings concerning code violations, including all aspects of litigation from drafting pleadings and developing case strategy, to conducting discovery and presenting oral argument at motion hearings and at trial
  • Due diligence investigations, typically for a purchaser or lender, concerning the permitting and approvals status of property to be acquired or financed, for single and multiple-site property acquisitions involving warehouse, shopping center, supermarket, office, hotel, and electricity generation facilities, to determine the validity and effect of development approvals, as well as the feasibility of future expansion

Mr. Geneslaw also practices in the area of liquor licensing and alcoholic beverage control, representing current or prospective licensees in obtaining liquor licenses or permits for on-premises or off-premises consumption. Alcoholic beverage licensing is subject to a comprehensive regulatory scheme in most jurisdictions, which requires extensive reporting and disclosure. Mr. Geneslaw represents buyers and sellers of licenses and permits, as well as licensees subject to enforcement proceedings; provides counseling concerning alcoholic beverage matters, such as BYOB, background checks, and purchase/sale agreements, as well as compliance and reporting issues; assists with renewals and changes in corporate structure; represents clients in objections to license issuance or transfer, and subsequent appeal proceedings; and represents clients seeking changes to the alcoholic beverage laws at the state or local level.


  • Columbia Law School (J.D.)
    • Winner of the James A. Coon Memorial Writing Competition, Municipal Law Section, New York State Bar Association
  • Washington University in St. Louis (B.A., cum laude)
  • Rutgers University (M.C.R.P.)

Professional Activities

New Jersey State Bar Association
Director, Land Use Section, 2009-2014
Secretary, Land Use Section, 2014-2015
Vice Chair, Land Use Section, 2015-2016
Chair, Land Use Section, 2016-2017

Supreme Court of New Jersey District Ethics Committee for Essex County V-B
Investigator, 2008-2011

American Bar Association

New York State Bar Association

Connecticut Bar Association

American Planning Association

New Jersey Planning Officials

Rockland Municipal Planning Federation

New York Planning Federation

International Council of Shopping Centers

New Jersey Brewers Association

National Association of Licensing & Compliance Professionals (NALCP)

Professional Admissions

  • State of New Jersey
  • State of New York
  • State of Connecticut
  • Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  • United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
  • United States District Court for the District of Connecticut
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • Licensed Professional Planner, New Jersey
  • American Institute of Certified Planners

Reported Decisions

Dunbar Homes, Inc. v. Zoning Board of Adjustment of the Township of Franklin, 233 N.J. 546 (2018)

Publications & Features


Selected to the New Jersey Super Lawyers list, Land Use/Zoning

Listed in Best Lawyers®, Land Use and Zoning Law

AV® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell

No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. A description of the selection process methodology for the awards referenced is available at gibbonslaw.com/awards/.

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