Land Use & Zoning

Hollis Laidlaw & Simon helps clients large and small navigate the complex world of zoning, planning, land use and environmental approvals. The Firm’s attorneys regularly represent clients before municipal boards for zoning changes, variances, site plan approvals, subdivisions, special use permits, wetlands permits, and other required approvals in Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, and Orange Counties. Our clients range from single-family homeowners to developers of major residential, commercial, industrial, retail, and waterfront projects. In addition to helping secure land use approvals for clients, the Firm takes care to create proper administrative records before these municipal agencies, thereby protecting the clients’ ability to seek legal redress in the courts. These rights include matters involving unconstitutional “takings,” arbitrary and capricious approval determinations or violations, affordable housing, excessive impact fees, illegal zoning regulations, and civil rights violations. Many of the Firm’s litigated matters have been landmark legal cases that have created important legal precedent.

Environmental

The Firm assists individuals, developers, businesses, municipalities, not-for-profit, educational and religious institutions, and professional project teams in coordinating federal, state and local statutory, and regulatory environmental compliance. The Firm has extensive experience with the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), New York City Watershed Regulations, and local environmental laws. In addition to guiding clients through administrative and litigation processes, we counsel clients involved in commercial and real estate transactions with respect to due diligence, risk assessment, disclosure, legal liability, and financing issues. We also represent property owners to negotiate orders on consent with state and federal agencies in areas such as hazardous waste sites and oil spills.

Recent Matters

Accordion Content
  • Zoning, planning, and environmental approvals for 69-unit residential development in Irvington
  • Zoning, planning, and environmental approvals for 12-lot, 17-lot and 19-lot developments in Bedford
  • Zoning, planning, and environmental approvals for 237-unit residential golf course project in Carmel
  • Zoning, planning, and environmental approvals for 130-unit rental housing project in Bronxville
  • Zoning, planning, and environmental approvals for a major attached and detached housing project in Irvington
  • Rezoning and environmental approvals for residential multifamily development in New Rochelle
  • Rezoning, planning, and environmental approvals for first affordable senior housing development in Pound Ridge
  • Town of Eastchester approval for three condominiums, the largest recent subdivision in Eastchester
  • Planning and environmental approvals for a lakefront development in Eastchester
  • Zoning, planning, and environmental approvals for a luxury office/condo renovation in Bronxville
  • Also obtained, after successful litigation, approvals for a 168-acre subdivision in Patterson in Putnam County and a 58-acre subdivision in Cortlandt in Westchester County
  • Handled the largest residential parcel in Beacon, 100 acres, which involved litigation and the structuring of a sale to the City of Beacon
  • Also handled two of the largest undeveloped tracts in Lewisboro of some 100 and 400 acres respectively, both of which involved significant transactions with Westchester Land Trust, and one of which involved multiple appellate litigations
  • Redevelopment of 242,000-square-foot shopping center in Mount Kisco
  • 400,000-square-foot combined big box retail and multiplex theater facility in Yonkers
  • 24-hour convenience store/gas stations in Westchester County
  • Fast food restaurant in Mount Pleasant
  • 20,160-square-foot automobile showroom in Mount Kisco
  • 20,000-square-foot commercial office corporate headquarters in Mount Kisco
  • 27,500-square-foot light industrial/retail building in Katonah
  • 60,000-square-foot commercial subdivision in Katonah
  • Renovation of sports clubs in Bedford and Mount Kisco
  • Delicatessens in Millwood and Mount Kisco
  • Local distribution warehouse facility in Mount Kisco
  • Enlargement of facility and Education Center (zoning and development issues) for music and arts center in Katonah
  • Zoning amendment to permit creation of a nationally recognized garden center in North Castle
  • Approval for a motel facility in Putnam County
  • Successfully litigated and overturned a zoning restriction on 30,000-square-foot commercial shopping center in Pawling
  • Rezoning of 60,000-square-foot office and data center in Yorktown Heights
  • Conversion of a warehouse to self-storage facility in Mount Pleasant
  • A successful zoning and litigation matter for an existing shopping center in New Rochelle
  • A significant landfill matter in Clarkstown in Rockland County
  • Rezoning and environmental approvals for a portion of a 100-acre former landfill site for “big box” retail and other uses in Yonkers
The Firm has extensive experience successfully quarterbacking large and small scale commercial, industrial, and residential development projects throughout Westchester, Putnam, and Dutchess Counties from the conceptual stage to groundbreaking. The Firm’s partners are representing, and have represented, both private developers and municipalities in waterfront redevelopment projects, the scope of which have included obtaining zoning, planning, and environmental approvals and successfully prosecuting and defending related litigation. Representative projects include:
  • City of Yonkers: Served as project attorneys for the designated developers of a mixed-use waterfront community on the Hudson River. The first development phase included approximately 250 market rate residential units, retail uses, and office space. The Firm’s responsibilities included negotiating and drafting the Land Deposition Agreement, while navigating through the procedural and substantive complexities of the Urban Renewal Law and the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act, the New York State Cities Law, and the City of Yonkers local laws; and coordinating and obtaining all required land use and environmental permits on the local, state, and federal levels.
  • City of New Rochelle: Successfully prosecuted a contested application for a marina. Succeeded in obtaining environmental and rezoning approvals for a waterfront luxury senior housing project.
  • Village of Ossining: Successfully prosecuted an application for a testing laboratory on the Hudson River.
  • Town of Phillipstown: Represented a developer of a 93-acre site along the Hudson River, in which land use and environmental approvals were required to readapt a former monastery into a mixed-use development anchored by a newly created retirement village, a hotel, and spa with recreational facilities.
  • Village of Croton-on-Hudson: Represented a developer of a substantial waterfront housing project on the Hudson River.
  • Town of Cortlandt: Successfully represented the owner of a boat yard and marina in negotiations and related litigation, resulting in the development of a public recreational park facility.
The attorneys of Hollis Laidlaw & Simon possess the experience and skills to achieve land use and environmental approvals. We also recognize that litigation has become an unfortunate component of the approval process. Our Firm as an unparalleled record in successfully defending and prosecuting our clients’ rights in land use litigation. This combination of skills allows our Firm to achieve results for our clients, results that translate into groundbreaking ceremonies.

Related Areas of Focus

Contacts

David Simon
Partner
P. Daniel Hollis III
Partner

Environmental

The Firm assists individuals, developers, businesses, municipalities, not-for-profit, educational and religious institutions, and professional project teams in coordinating federal, state and local statutory and regulatory environmental compliance. The Firm has extensive experience with the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), New York City Watershed Regulations, and local environmental laws. In addition to guiding clients through administrative and litigation processes, we counsel clients involved in commercial and real estate transactions with respect to due diligence, risk assessment, disclosure, legal liability and financing issues. We also represent property owners to negotiate orders on consent with state and federal agencies in areas such as hazardous waste sites and oil spills.