Zoning, Land Use and Real Estate Litigation

Zoning and Land Use
The Firm has extensive experience in land use and zoning matters and one of the firm’s partners, David Neufeld, currently serves on a municipal Zoning Board having previously chaired that Board for ten (10) years. We have appeared and made submissions before Planning Boards, Zoning Boards and other administrative agencies throughout New York State both on behalf of residential and commercial land owners. We have also litigated a number of matters involving land use, zoning and water issues, including in challenges to administrative determinations through Article 78 proceedings.

Recently, we have represented a property owner in Suffolk County who came to us in the midst of a longstanding dispute over the use of his property, which had been partially restricted by a Grant of Easement voluntarily entered into by the owner’s predecessor-in-title. After several years of hard fought, multi-pronged litigation in federal and state court, we were able to achieve a successful resolution for our client which not only secured the right to erect an agricultural structure the Town Planning Board had previously refused to allow, but secured vested rights to the broad development of a significant portion of the property. This hard-fought victory combined an aggressive approach with thorough research, including reviewing the history of certain amendments to the Town Zoning Code and developing uncommon applications of the vested rights doctrine.

Our experience in this area also includes supporting and opposing subdivisions, site plans for commercial malls, regulatory matters involving gravel and sand mines, enforcement of easements and rights of way and requiring compliance with ocean dumping regulations by the Sea Wolf Submarine Program.

Real Estate Litigation
We have also litigated other types of real estate claims, including matters involving title claims; easements; claims of adverse possession; seeking and opposing against requests for Yellowstone Injunctions; filed claims for specific performance and commenced actions involving regulatory matters concerning the use or occupancy of real property. This litigation includes the commencement of actions to quiet title; successfully defending against an adverse possession claim filed by a neighboring property owner in Suffolk County, New York; representing a management company against a rogue tenant who refused to follow the buildings by-laws and house rules in a Manhattan cooperative apartment; and litigation involving the right a family member to retain a rent stabilized apartment upon the death of the named tenant. We are familiar with and have commenced actions to enforce our clients’ property rights under the State Environmental Quality Review Act and the regulations promulgated thereunder, as well as various federal statutes including the Ocean Dumping Act.