Michael Giaimo practices land use, real estate and environmental law. He represents developers, businesses, institutions, government agencies, and other property owners in permitting, regulatory compliance, transactions, and related litigation and administrative proceedings. He also consults with clients on land use policy matters throughout the country. He is a member of the firm’s Land Use Group and Real Estate + Development Group and co-chair of the firm’s Landlaw Section.
Michael represents clients in permitting and enforcement matters before local zoning boards and other municipal bodies, including planning boards, conservation commissions, historic districts, boards of health, boards of selectmen, city councils, town meetings, regional planning authorities, and state agencies. He helps them obtain the approvals and permits they need to develop their property and operate their businesses. Michael has successfully represented clients in obtaining approvals from permitting boards in well over 100 Massachusetts communities. He also represents clients in federal and state courts on zoning appeals and other land use matters.
Michael has a Masters degree in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and more than 20 years of service on municipal boards. This includes prior service as a member and chair of his town’s planning board and as chair of its zoning board of appeals, and his current service as a selectman. This gives him a good appreciation of the view from the other side of the table—invaluable experience for advising and representing clients on the practical aspects of development permitting strategy, as well as the legal requirements. Michael has represented clients in the wireless telecommunications industry for more than 20 years, and he has successfully permitted hundreds of sites at the local level, in some cases after winning a judicial appeal. He has represented a national retailer in resolving abutter opposition and obtaining local and state approvals to construct and operate a gasoline station. He successfully represented another national company in navigating through local concerns to secure site plan approval of a distribution facility.
Real Estate and Development
Michael also represents clients in acquiring and selling residential, commercial and industrial property, including documenting the transaction and dealing with title and related matters. He recently helped a client purchase an office building in a Boston suburb. He helped homeowners abutting a recreational lake form a municipal district to successfully acquire and permit the reconstruction of a failing dam that posed a threat to their properties. He also represented a retail developer in acquiring rights needed for a parking area in connection with redevelopment of a shopping center.
Michael has made frequent local and national speaking appearances before professional, business, civic, and student groups on zoning; constitutional issues, including takings, religious land use, and equal protection law; and other land use and environmental law subjects. He is a contributing author of the Massachusetts Zoning Manual, co-edited an American Bar Association treatise on religious land use law, and has contributed articles to numerous other publications. He co-chairs an annual seminar on zoning for Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education. The Massachusetts Superior Court has qualified him as an expert witness on land use permitting.
Michael has been selected to the Massachusetts Super Lawyers list from 2004 to 2015 and from 2017 to 2019. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America© in the area of Land Use and Zoning Law since 2013 and in the area of Real Estate Law since 2016.