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Land Use Solutions

 
  • Hill Wallack LLP has one of the premier land use practices in both New Jersey and Southeastern Pennsylvania.

    Our Land Use Team provides comprehensive solutions to issues arising in every area of law affecting the land development permitting process at the local, county, state and federal levels.


    About Hill Wallack's New Jersey Land Use Team

    Our Clients

    Our Land Use Team represents private and public sector clients in all facets of land development. Our clients include some of the nation’s leading homebuilders, office and commercial developers, redevelopers, financial institutions, state and local redevelopment authorities, public transportation authorities, municipalities and local boards, and other public and private entities seeking to cope with land use regulatory issues.

    We are also proud to serve as Land Use Counsel to the New Jersey Builders Association, representing the NJBA in a variety of concerns to the industry, including legislative, regulatory and litigation matters.

    Clients count on Hill Wallack LLP’s Land Use Team to create solutions for many of the toughest challenges they face. Our extensive experience enables us to present a number of pragmatic options to our clients. Where we can, we work to avoid litigation. But when litigation is our clients’ only - or best - alternative, we provide aggressive, cost-effective advocacy, at the trial court and appellate levels, and before our state courts and the federal courts.

    What We Do

    • Our attorneys are known for their successful pursuit of planning board approvals and development permits allowing construction of some of the largest developments in the State of New Jersey and, where required, litigation to obtain permits and approvals that have been wrongfully denied by the government.
    • We have represented developers and others in redevelopment projects of many varieties. Our work has included the preparation, analysis and critique of "area in need of redevelopment" designations, and redevelopment plans, studies and agreements.
    • We have represented clients in nearly every landmark land use case issued by our courts in New Jersey over the last few decades, including the Mount Laurel opinions striking down exclusionary zoning and regulations of the Council on Affordable Housing, redevelopment-related cases such as Gallenthin v. Paulsboro, cases evaluating the legality of development fees and other exactions, the Residential Site Improvement Standards, and the like.
    • We advise banks and other financial institutions on zoning and other regulatory issues affecting properties in which they have an interest.
    • We represent clients before the state agencies involved with the land development process, including the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Transportation, and the Council on Affordable Housing.
    • We advise clients on a variety of "green building" issues, including compliance with green building requirements.

    Representative Matters

    • Pursuit of development application approvals for single-family and multi-family communities throughout the State, both large and small
    • Drafting and execution of redevelopment plans, ordinances and redevelopment agreements for both residential and nonresidential projects
    • New Jersey Supreme Court proceedings involving redevelopment law, the Mount Laurel doctrine, and other land use issues
    • Pursuit of client rezoning objectives before the courts
    • Assisting the government with planning and zoning objectives, including provision of legal advice to the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) in the preparation and adoption of the Atlantic City Tourism District Master Plan

    Our Land Use Team attorneys collectively bring decades of experience to the table, in areas ranging from the regulatory analysis of land at the outset, to the acquisition of all necessary permits and approvals, along with the litigation that often becomes necessary in today’s anti-growth atmosphere. The Land Use Team includes former state officials and other recognized leaders in land use law, including two former chairs of the Land Use Law Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association, and others who have served on its Board of Directors.

    The Land Use Team is the legacy of firm founder Henry Hill, who pioneered in an area of the law – the Mount Laurel doctrine - affecting development throughout much of New Jersey for more than a quarter of a century. Over the years, the Hill Wallack LLP Land Use Team has built a reputation for uncommon devotion to the land use causes of our clients.

    Our Land Use Team operates within a diversified law firm that is well-equipped to provide clients with comprehensive, cross-disciplinary solutions to achieve client objectives most efficiently. We work with colleagues knowledgeable in areas that include real estate financing and transactions, community association law, insurance coverage, bankruptcy and workouts, and other areas of interest to those with land use concerns.


    About Hill Wallack's Pennsylvania Land Use Team

    Our Land Use Practice Group in Pennsylvania has deep and diverse experience in the fields of land use and municipal law that enables us to provide developers and property owners with the guidance and support needed to successfully work their way through the system. Our land use attorneys have decades of experience representing not only developers and property owners, but local municipalities as well. 

    Having written and enforced zoning ordinances, subdivision and land development ordinances and other municipal codes, we understand how those ordinances work, how they should be interpreted and how they should be applied. This unique blend of experience gives us the opportunity to develop and implement effective strategies for our clients and achieve their land use goals.

    We understand that most development projects involve more than just the application of zoning and land development ordinances. Because they affect neighborhoods and entire communities, oftentimes the public reaction and political realities are just as, if not more important than the strict application of the written words of an ordinance. We understand the value of community outreach when necessary and the development of consensus where possible. 

    We also understand that each project is driven by different priorities – sometimes time is of the essence; sometimes a particular design, amenity or capacity is paramount; and, sometimes the need to achieve a particular end result is more important than the means of achieving that goal. Our experience and skill sets allow us to see the different routes available to achieve our clients’ goals and then to develop and implement strategies that are most tailored to their needs. 

    Our attorneys have appeared before the Boards of Supervisors, Borough Councils and Zoning Hearing Boards of dozens of municipalities throughout Bucks County and Eastern Montgomery County. We are engaged in the communities in which we practice and have developed relationships that enable us to constructively engage and work with municipal staff and professionals. Our experience is as broad and diverse as the projects upon which we have worked with our clients, which include:

     
    • Land development approvals and zoning relief for an 8+ acre mixed-use, traditional neighborhood development, or TND, in the commercial core of a local borough, including 13 residential and mixed use (retail, office, restaurant), parking garage and public piazza;
    • Zoning approvals necessary for new radio communications towers and facilities in two townships as part of a county-wide upgrade of the County’s emergency communications system;
    • Land development approvals and zoning relief required for three new, state-of-the art regional elementary schools to replace nine aging schools in a local municipality;
    • Expansion of the buildings and parking area to accommodate the growth of a local church; and
    • Prosecution of land use appeal from denial of zoning relief needed to expand offices of local real estate broker.

    We routinely represent local and regional businesses with land development applications, variances and special exceptions before Zoning Hearing Board, and with zoning permits to allow those businesses to grow, better serve the community and strengthen the commercial, retail and industrial sectors of Bucks County and beyond.