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
Judge Hal Greenwald granted Z&S’s motion to dismiss, which resolved the case in their client’s favor, before any discovery commenced or any answer to the Complaint was filed. Z&S primarily argued that the case was an illegal “Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation,” under New York State’s new “Anti-SLAPP” legislation, which prohibits lawsuits focused on stifling...
Jacob Amir recently secured site plan approval from the Town of Pound Ridge Planning Board for the construction of an innovative art studio as part of the Oberon Foundation for the Arts’ new Artist-in-Residence Program. Designed by Steven Holl Architects, a world-renowned firm whose projects have included the Terezin Ghetto Museum in the Czech Republic...
David Steinmetz and Lee Lefkowitz successfully obtained a discretionary rezoning of a large area at the center of the Village of Piermont’s downtown – the first step towards revitalizing a long-vacant and prominent parcel at the main entry-point to the Village. This clears the way for redevelopment of that site with the client’s proposed 14-unit...