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


  • “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



  • 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



  • PUD and other master plan, site plan and land use applications
  • State and County Agencies
  • State and Federal litigation and appeals
Recent News
Z&S Partners David Cooper and Jody Cross have secured another favorable decision in the second of two lawsuits filed on behalf of the Hampshire County Club against the Village of Mamaroneck Planning Board concerning a proposal to develop 105 homes and a 9-hole golf course on the Club’s property. In June 2020, Hampshire filed an...
On October 26, 2022, the Appellate Division, Second Department issued a decision in Jaffe v. French-American School of New York, Inc. (Index No. 51577/2018), affirming Zarin & Steinmetz’s argument on behalf of the French-American School of New York (“FASNY”) that a nearly one-hundred year old restrictive covenant purporting to prohibit “institutions” did not prohibit the...
Z&S secured approvals from the Village of New Hempstead Board of Trustees in connection with a proposed Seasons Express convenience store, a 100% kosher convenience store and an affiliate to the national Seasons grocery store chain. In October 2022, the Village Board of Trustees granted Seasons Express’s application for a special use permit to allow...