Land use issues bridge the divide between public and private, development and conservation. In an area that blends law, advocacy and politics, touches on sensitive local issues and impacts generations of stakeholders, ensuring a successful result requires experienced representatives with the highest level of industry knowledge and legal sophistication.
Bryan Cave’s Land Use Team, consisting of lawyers, urban planners and registered architects, provides a full range of legal services in all areas of land use law, including advice on development enhancement strategies. We regularly represent clients seeking to obtain a variety of municipal and state approvals related to zoning, construction, building codes, historic preservation and related issues. We also represent clients in litigation arising out of land use and historic preservation administrative proceedings.
The Land Use Team has deep roots in New York and our experience there is comprehensive, including:
- Advising on compliance with the New York City Zoning Resolution and zoning and subdivision regulations in other municipalities and appearing before New York City land use agencies and boards in other municipalities in connection with applications for special permits, subdivision approval, variances, zoning text and map amendments and other administrative actions required in the development process. Our planners and architects bring a special perspective and appreciation of urban planning and design to the process. We have also served as zoning and planning counsel to a Westchester County municipality.
- Appearing before the New York City Department of Buildings in obtaining interpretations of the New York City Building Codes, the New York City Zoning Resolution and the New York State Multiple Dwelling Law, including working with City agencies on proposed legislation affecting various aspects of the development process. We have particular experience in the area of New York City sign regulations and building codes.
- Appearing before the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in seeking permission to alter protected properties or to develop in historic districts, including matters involving the application of the federal and state Historic Preservation Acts.
- Transferring of development rights in both complex and routine transactions.
- Litigating disputes arising out of land use and historic preservation administrative proceedings, including under the New York City Zoning Resolution, state and municipal subdivision and site plan regulations, landmark preservation regulations and federal and state environmental impact review statutes. We also handle litigation seeking monetary damages for constitutional violations arising out of zoning, planning board and related municipal regulatory activities.
- Advising on various New York City tax exemption programs, including an extensive practice counseling many of the major residential developers on all aspects of the 421-a program which provides tax exemption for new residential buildings.
Some of our clients include:
- Atlantic Development Group
- AvalonBay Communities, Inc.
- Boston Properties
- Brookfield Financial Properties
- The Carlyle Group
- The Clarett Group
- Consolidated Edison of New York, Inc.
- Dormitory Authority of the State of New York
- Empire State Development Corporation
- Extell Development Company
- Glenwood Management
- L&M Development Partners
- LCOR Incorporated
- Lincoln Property Company
- Long Island University
- Madison Equities
- Moynihan Station Development Corporation
- Phipps Houses
- Rockrose Development Corp.
- Silverstein Properties
- Tishman Hotel & Realty LP
- Town of New Castle
- Union Labor Life Insurance Company
- The Zucker Organization
- Representation of Gotham Organization, Inc. in a 1.1 million square foot development on West 44th Street in Manhattan. The project includes 1,350 new apartments, ground floor retail stores, 30,000 square feet of landscaped open space and a state-of-the-art public school to replace a landmark-quality school building that will be preserved and converted to apartments. The project required numerous land use approvals, including zoning map and text amendments, special permits, site selection and designation as a large scale urban development.
- Representation of the joint developers, The Rockefeller Group and TDC Development, in connection with land use approvals for the Flushing Commons project in Queens, New York. The project involves the redevelopment of a municipal parking lot into an approximately 1.16 million sq. ft. mixed-use five building complex with a 1.5 acre publicly-accessible open space and a 1600-space below-grade public parking garage.
- Representation of Empire State Development Corporation in connection with the environmental review and other public approvals for the $4.9 billion Atlantic Yards Project, which will include an 18,000 seat arena (the future home of the New Jersey Nets basketball team) and 16 other residential and commercial buildings comprising 7 million square feet of development on a 22-acre site in Brooklyn, New York.
- Representation of New York University in the development of a master plan and obtaining land use approvals for the “Plan 2031” project, a long-term city-wide strategy for growth involving the expansion of the University’s core campus in Greenwich Village.
- Representation of Moynihan Station Development Corporation in connection with the environmental review and other public approvals for the Moynihan Station development project, which includes the conversion of the Farley Post Office Building in Manhattan to serve as a new train station and more than 2 million square feet of related commercial, retail, residential and hotel development.
- Representation of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the seat of the Episcopal Bishop of New York and the largest Gothic Cathedral in the world, in completing a multi-year effort to structure a Landmarks Preservation Commission designation of a portion of the Cathedral’s 11.5-acre Close as a New York City landmark while leaving two sites on the Close free for development without Commission regulation.
- Representation of Consolidated Edison of New York, Inc. in litigation overturning the denial by the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals of a zoning variance to permit construction of a substation and successfully defending Con Edison’s right to build another substation at a second location.
- Representation of a developer in obtaining a zoning special permit from the New York City Planning Commission and City Council to permit the controversial conversion of a landmark office building to residential use.
- Representation of one of the City’s largest residential developers and owners in successfully negotiating with both City and State preservation authorities to permit a 650-unit apartment building to go forward notwithstanding claims that the project would adversely affect historic resources.
- Representation of the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York in litigation challenging its compliance with the State Environmental Quality Review Act in connection with the condemnation of property for the expansion of John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
- Representation of a joint venture between The Carlyle Group and Extell Development Company in obtaining the land use approvals for Riverside Center, a proposed 3 million square foot development project on the Hudson River.
- Representation of the developer of Palmer’s Dock in obtaining the land use approvals for a 1 million square foot residential development project on the Williamsburg waterfront.
- Representation of Boricua Village in obtaining the land use approvals for a 750-unit residential development project and the new home for Boricua College.
- Representation of a developer in obtaining a zoning variance from the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals for a new residential building in Soho over substantial community opposition.
- Representation of numerous developers in obtaining approvals for the construction of new residential buildings utilizing New York City’s Inclusionary Housing Program.
- Representation of a not-for-profit organization in obtaining variances to facilitate the first modern nursing home in Manhattan.
- Representation of a developer in obtaining variances to convert an abandoned public school in Harlem into a residential building.
If you would like more information about Bryan Cave’s Land Use Team, please call the team leader, Robert Davis
, at 212-541-2386.