Special Municipal Counsel

Guiding municipalities and IDAs through complex redevelopments and public-private partnerships, including the use of eminent domain
Our Approach

Z&S serves as Special Counsel to municipalities and IDAs throughout the lower Hudson Valley and on Long Island on economic revitalization projects to transform downtowns, waterfronts, and other underutilized or blighted properties. We guide these efforts from the RFP stage to construction and through project implementation. These projects typically present issues related to land acquisition and disposition, Brownfield redevelopment, urban renewal, public amenities/infrastructure, PILOTs, affordable/workforce housing, zoning, planning and land use, and compliance with SEQRA and other environmental laws and regulations. Our role in these projects often includes assisting our municipal clients on the exercise of eminent domain, from the “public use” determination to serving as trial and appellate counsel on claims for additional compensation.

Z&S also assists municipalities in drafting and enacting new zoning and environmental regulations. We also serve as outside litigation counsel, defending municipal ordinances and determinations against Article 78 challenges, declaratory judgments, and land use civil rights claims.

What We Do

EMINENT DOMAIN PROCEDURE LAW

  • “Public Use” determinations and SEQRA compliance
  • Prepare valuations and advance payment offers
  • Trial and Appellate Counsel on claims for additional compensation regarding land and fixtures
  • EDPL 701 Claims

 

PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS

  • Land Disposition Agreements and Development Agreements
  • PILOTs, bond financing, and other public financial assistance
  • Drafting of zoning laws to facilitate traditional, transit-oriented, form based, and other development

 

LAND USE/ZONING AND ENVIRONMENTAL

  • SEQRA
  • PUD and other master plan, site plan and land use applications
  • State and County Agencies
  • USEPA & NYSDEC
  • State and Federal litigation and appeals
Recent News
Representing the purchaser, Jacob Amir spearheaded our client’s $14 million acquisition of an approximate 3 acres parcel in lower Westchester, including negotiating continued environmental remediation and obligations of various stakeholders. This purchase is part of a multi-tiered transaction, which also includes the anticipated formation of a long-term ground lease to occupy other commercial property for...
Lee J. Lefkowitz and Jaclyn Cohen, representing a property owner in Ossining, defeated a neighbor’s property owner’s motion for summary judgment in a case seeking to litigate a boundary-line dispute. As a defense, Z&S raised a claim of adverse possession, which Judge Janet Malone agreed raised a triable issue of fact sufficient to preclude the...
This week, Daniel Richmond and Kate Feinman obtained from the Town of Southeast Planning Board Site Plan, Conditional Use Permit, Architectural, and Wetland Permit Approval for a two-building logistics center/distribution facility, totaling 200,000 sf, with associated parking and loading spaces on a vacant property. Earlier this year, Dan and Kate also received approval of a...