Land Use


Land use approvals are generally major hurdles to overcome in completing any development project. These include issues regarding zoning, subdivision permitting, comprehensive permits, environmental impact reports and reviews, and coastal zone and wetlands issues, as well as historic preservation approvals, solid and municipal waste permits, storm water issues, public way approvals, sidewalk permits, building permits, and certificates of occupancy.

At the outset of every project, we analyze the applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations, developing a comprehensive strategy to bring each project to successful completion. We work together with trusted, skilled consultants on environmental and other issues. We draft applications for all approvals required and we regularly advocate for our clients before federal, state, and local officials to obtain those approvals. When necessary, we litigate such matters, resulting in a record of success of which we are proud.

We understand that the value of our clients' real property is determined by how it may be used. We believe that our land use team is second to none in advocating for our clients to achieve the highest value for their land.

Representative Matters

  • Successfully represented our client in establishing that a local zoning bylaw allowed renovation of a mill building for residential use.
  • Won appeals of the denials of permits for a 44-lot residential subdivision.
  • Won appeals of the denials of permits for two "superstores" for a national retailer.
  • Represented a leading telecommunications company in its regional zoning and development matters.
  • Obtained permits for a combined independent senior housing and residential subdivision development.
  • Represented two affiliated development companies seeking to permit a 250-unit affordable housing development on 330 acres of environmentally sensitive land. A permit was issued and that decision was appealed. While the appeal was pending, the land and project were sold for $16 million, $10 million of which was reinvested by the companies as a like-kind exchange in the acquisition of three properties valued at $28 million as well as the assumption of $18 million in debt and new financing.
  • Obtained reversal of an Appeals Court decision from the Supreme Judicial Court that clarified the obligations of abutters challenging a zoning decision and reinstated our client's special permit to redevelop its property. Read the decision: Sweenie v. A.L. Prime Energy Consultants.
  • For a developer client, won a landmark decision that limited the authority of local conservation commissions to impose restrictions under local wetlands bylaws. Read the decision: Fieldstone Meadows Development v. Conservation Commission of Andover.
  • Participated in successful litigation to invalidate "rate of development" zoning bylaws that restricted issuance of building permits by local zoning boards. Read the decision: Zuckerman v. Town of Hadley.