Thomas Cody concentrates his practice on land use and real estate development matters. Tom has more than 30 years of combined experience in planning and law, and he has played a leading role in some of the most significant real estate projects in Connecticut over the past two decades. He provides clients with timely and strategic land use advice on complicated real estate projects.
Land Use - Zoning
Tom guides clients through local, state and federal permitting processes for all types of regulatory approvals associated with real estate development, including zoning map and text amendments, site plans and special permits, wetlands permits, subdivision approvals, state water resource permitting, and state traffic permitting. He appears regularly before planning, zoning, and wetland boards and commissions in Connecticut, as well as before state and federal environmental permitting agencies.
He has represented a range of clients, such as developers of retail, wholesale, and industrial projects, pharmaceutical companies, and health care institutions, in the permitting and development of new facilities. He collaborates closely with architects, appraisers, scientists, and design and engineering professionals throughout the process of bringing a project to fruition. Tom counsels clients on regulatory strategies for complex projects, such as brownfield redevelopment and remediation, and mixed-use development.
He drafted and obtained approval of new zoning regulations for the innovative Storrs Center Special Design District in Mansfield, Connecticut, a major mixed-use project involving the redevelopment of a new main street area for the town and University of Connecticut. The project involved preparing and approving a state-level municipal development plan, structuring public finance solutions, creating a new flexible zoning district for the project area, and project permitting.
Tom has worked on behalf of both municipalities and developers in the negotiation of development agreements for complicated public-private projects. These projects have required coordination of public and private financing, as well as the integration of public infrastructure investments with developer-funded project components. He counsels clients on a range of real estate-related transactions, such as acquisitions and dispositions, and he has represented large corporations in the disposition of excess property.
At times, development projects lead to litigation, such as when project opponents or environmental intervenors appeal successful development applications. Tom has successfully defended numerous permits and approvals on appeal in court. In those instances where complex civil litigation has been started, he works closely with the firm’s other experienced litigators to bring significant resources to the case.
Tom has represented several municipalities involved in land use litigation. He assisted the Town of West Hartford, Connecticut, with the review of land use applications and the successful defense of administrative appeals relating to Blue Back Square, a mixed-use retail, residential and entertainment project. He also represented the City of New Haven in the successful defense of its planned development district zoning ordinance, a case that was heard by the Connecticut Supreme Court.
Tom worked for four years as a city planner in the Denver, Colorado, metropolitan area, where he was responsible for zoning analysis and plan review for many large development projects. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America© in the area of Real Estate Law since 2007. He also has been selected to the Connecticut Super Lawyers list from 2006 to 2020.