Real Estate Land Use and Development

On the development side, few other law firms in the Northeast have the level of local and regional land use experience that Gibbons has, with the firm leading development projects in almost 450 municipalities in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. Gibbons is recognized for its significant experience in zoning, planning, and permitting matters, with particular emphasis on commercial, office, retail, and industrial uses. We consistently work with some of the region’s most highly respected and best-known architects, professional planners, landscape architects, traffic engineers, engineering firms, and environmental consultants.

Our attorneys have counseled clients or appeared before planning boards, zoning boards of appeal, boards of adjustment, and governing bodies in municipalities throughout New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, in connection with zoning and land use matters. We typically become involved with a project at the zoning analysis stage, to determine feasibility and establish a regulatory framework within which to design it. If the client wishes, we act as quarterback to navigate the project through the plan development, filing, and application review and approval processes as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. We are also experienced in commercial real estate acquisition and development, including leasing, purchase and sale transactions, environmental compliance, and due diligence, and in obtaining wetlands, stream encroachment, highway access, and other permits from state and county agencies. Our attorneys regularly handle land use litigation matters in which objectors challenge approvals we have obtained, or where clients are aggrieved by board decisions.

Gibbons attorneys also frequently appear before environmental agencies, county planning boards, and municipal construction departments in connection with permitting issues. While we seek to resolve issues at the initial level, we do appear before legislative boards and zoning boards of appeal, as well as in trial court and appellate courts, concerning such matters. The firm has handled appeals of building department determinations, counseled clients in disputes with municipalities concerning water and sewer connection fees, and appeared in municipal and justice courts to defend zoning and other code violations. In addition, we counsel clients who oppose municipal efforts to rezone their property or nearby property which will affect them, along with clients who seek zone changes to permit proposed developments.

Client Service Distinction: As an added distinction, we routinely assist with large volume multiple site developments for individual clients and provide comprehensive reporting and tracking of the complex approval process. To facilitate this, Gibbons designed and implements a proprietary development approval management process called “Site Tracker,” which employs “big picture” master reports, as well as detailed individual project timelines, to provide clients with up-to-the-minute real time information regarding the status of each site, the critical next steps, and the anticipated timeframes required to complete each development on time and within budget.