Timothy Bates

Timothy D. Bates


Timothy D. Bates


  • Overview


    Tim Bates assists clients in meeting requirements for land development, particularly planning, zoning, and wetlands regulations. He appears before planning, zoning, and wetlands commissions throughout the State of Connecticut and has brought and defended numerous court appeals of these types of decisions, including several involving Connecticut's Affordable Housing Appeals Act.

    Mr. Bates was named one of seven members of the advisory panel to U.S. senators Dodd and Lieberman to solicit, screen, and comment on candidates for federal positions, such as U.S. attorney and other appointments. Mr. Bates was appointed by the chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court to the Committee on Uniformity of Court Procedures. He has spoken to bar members and to planning and zoning officials on subjects such as the appropriate conduct at hearings, mixed-use and new urbanism zoning concepts, and the effect of Connecticut's Affordable Housing Appeals Act. Mr. Bates has also delivered presentations to the American Planning Association on the right to farm, nonconforming uses, and review of Supreme Court cases regarding land use law. He has addressed the International Municipal Lawyers Association at its annual meeting on the legality of design review requirements in local zoning and subdivision regulations. Mr. Bates is an adjunct professor of environmental law at Mitchell College in New London, Connecticut.  Mr. Bates also has experience in general law practice and, as head of the firm's New London office, can support client needs in other areas of practice.

  • Experience
    • Experience


        Planning and Zoning

      • Defining the law of merger for undersized lots.
      • Establishing frontage requirements for parcel with both commercial and residential zones.
      • Other Experiences

      • Establishing open space as a public health and safety concern in an affordable housing plan.
      • Tax Appeal

      • Sheridan v. Town of Killingly
        278 Conn. 252, 897 A.2d 90 (2006)
        Successfully represented Town in overturning lower court ruling and requiring valuation of a leasehold interest in real property.
      • Other Experiences

      • Introducing mixed-use and new urbanism zoning concepts.
      • Representation of the Housing Authority of the City of New London, which operates five state-supported housing complexes and two federal complexes. Served as special counsel to assist in initiatives for improving its financial condition. The authority had designated two moderate-income state units for potential privatization and renovation. Robinson & Cole researched the title to these units, investigated funding alternatives, and advised the authority in developing a request for proposal from private developers. A private developer was selected, and Robinson & Cole negotiated complex development agreements, including three limited partnerships, of which the authority was a special limited partner, long-term ground leases, and operation and maintenance agreements. The firm then worked with the developer and the authority to secure financing through low-income housing tax credits and a loan program approved by and implemented through the Department of Economic and Community Development of the State of Connecticut and, in two of the three instances, the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority.
      • Representation of the Housing Authority of the City of New London to advise its board regarding defense of a class action suit for improvement of living conditions in a federally supported housing complex. Representation also includes assisting in forming a charitable organization to purchase, improve, and rent scattered site housing; representing the authority's board of directors on executive personnel matters; and serving as a liaison to the legal department of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, particularly in the development of request for proposals for property management.
      • Representation of the Housing Authority of the City of New London in a rent receivership action brought by Northeast Utilities, resulting in a series of forbearance agreements and a payment plan. Robinson & Cole also negotiated agreements between the authority and the City of New London regarding payments in lieu of taxes and water and sewer charges. The litigation in each of these cases exceeded $250K.
      • Real Estate

      • Represented a real estate developer in a partnership dispute concerning development rights to several large parcels of land in southeastern Connecticut. Successfully resolved the matter before trial.
      • Other Experiences

      • Representation of two boroughs in a Connecticut town in yearly negotiations and threatened arbitration of tax revenues for borough police and highway expenditures.
      • Serve as general counsel to two health districts in the State of Connecticut, Uncas Health District and Ledge Light Health District, which include multiple towns in eastern Connecticut. As counsel, we advise and where necessary litigate on issuance, enforcement, and interpretation of regulations and permits regarding food service, sanitation, and public health issues.
      • Representation as general counsel to governmental entities in Connecticut, including Noank Fire District and the Westbrook Inlands/Wetlands Commission.
      • Represented regional community hospital in application to develop a 40,000-square-foot cancer facility. Necessary approvals included site plan, inland wetland permit, and coordinated approvals from water pollution control authorities of adjacent towns.
      • Representation of the Town of Plainfield in day-to-day advice to the first selectman on the administration of town business. Advised town departments, including the Planning and Zoning Commission, the zoning enforcement officer, the housing authority, and the police department regarding interpretation of state statutes, state regulations, the town charter, and town ordinances.
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    • Professional Associations

      Professional Associations

      Connecticut Bar Association (1990 - present)
      Chair of Planning and Zoning Executive Committee (2002 - 2003)

      International Municipal Lawyers Association
      Connecticut State Chair (2003 - present)

      Connecticut Bar Foundation
      James W. Cooper Fellow
    • Honors + Awards

      Honors + Awards

      Listed in Connecticut Super Lawyers® in the area of Land Use/Zoning Law since 2006 (Super Lawyers is a registered trademark of Key Professional Media, Inc.) 

      AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated in Martindale-Hubbell™ in the areas of Zoning, Planning and Land Use; Real Estate; and Municipal Law (Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings is a trademark. AV Preeminent is a certification mark of Reed Elsevier Properties, Inc.)

      Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in the area of Land Use & Zoning Law since 2012 (Copyright 2013 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC)

    • Publications


      "Creating Win-Win Situations," published in Inside the Minds/Municipal Building and Zoning Code Enforcement Best Practices (February 2009)
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      "Promoting Mixed-Used Zones in Euclidean Zoning Communities," published in Revitalization E-Digest (January 2008)
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      "McMansions and the Geometry of Zoning," published in Planning Commissioners Journal (Spring 2007)

      "Property Tax Assessment: Valuation Methods Combined for Leased Property," published in State and Local Law News, ABA Section of State and Local Government Law, vol. 30, no. 1 (Fall 2006)

      "Family Values," published in Commonweal Magazine at (1994)
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      "Developing the Undevelopable," published in Connecticut Law Tribune, Environmental Law Supplement (8/23/1993)
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      The Fourth Platoon and Police Deployment in New York City at (1973)
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    • Presentations


      "Land Banking: An Opportunity for Southern New England?" at Southern New England American Planning Association Conference: Planning at the Crossroads, Panelist (9/2012)

      "Planning Commission," at Connecticut Land Use Law for Municipal Land Use Agencies, Boards, and Commissions at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, sponsored by the Planning & Zoning Section of the Connecticut Bar Association (3/12/2011)

      "A Potpourri of Hot Topics: A Spicy Mix of Land Use Issues," at Connecticut Bar Association seminar on the latest topics in land use law, co-presented with John P. Casey (10/22/2010)

      "Introducing Mixed-Use Zones to Traditional Zoning Communities," at New York State Association of Professional Land Surveyors, 51st Annual Surveyors Conference & Exhibition, Turning Stone Resort, Verona, New York (1/15/2010)
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      "Mixed-Use and Form-Based Zoning," at South Central Regional Council of Governments, co-presented with Robert J. Sitkowski, Esq. (2009)

      "Planning Commissions," at Connecticut Bar Association (2009)

      "Mixed Use and Form-Based Zoning," at Connecticut Bar Association seminar on Advanced Land Use Law, co-presented with Robert J. Sitkowski (10/2008)

      "The Promise of New Urbanism," at Ariston Club, New London, Connecticut (2008)

      "Introducing Mixed-Use Zones to Traditional Zoning Communities," at Connecticut Bar Association (2008)

      "Appeals to Court," at Connecticut Bar Association, Basic Land Use, New Britain, Connecticut (10/3/2007)

      "Water Boundaries," at National Business Institute, part of "Boundary Disputes: Resolving Client Conflicts" (9/17/2007)

      "After Kelo: What is the Future of Eminent Domain," at Land Development East Conference and Expo in Orlando, FL (Spring 2007)

      "Real Estate Closings A to Z — Preliminary Work," at National Business Institute (2007)

      "Regulation of Nonconforming Uses," at American Planning Association's 2006 National Conference, San Antonio, Texas, chaired panel (Spring 2006)

      "Right to Farm Act: When Can Barring Nuisance Actions Constitute an Unconstitutional Taking?" at American Planning Association's 2006 National Conference, San Antonio, Texas; also presented at Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute, Denver, Colorado (2007), panelist (Spring 2006)

      "Kelo v. New London," at American Planning Association Seminar in San Diego, California (2006)

      "San Remo Hotel LP v. City and County of San Franciso," at American Planning Association Seminar in Chicago, Illinois (2006)

      "Affordable Housing Since Quarry Knoll II," at Connecticut Bar Association (1/2004)

      "Preserving Community Character in the Face of 'Teardowns' and 'McMansions' — Zoning Approaches," at International Municipal Attorneys Association (2004)

      "Motion Practice in Planning and Zoning Appeals," at Connecticut Bar Association (11/2002)

      "Wetlands and Watercourses as a Constraint for Development," at Environmental Issues in Real Estate Transactions, Connecticut Bar Association (2002)

      "Planning Commissions," at CBA (3/3/2001)
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      "Connecticut's Affordable Housing Act," at Connecticut Land Use Law for Municipal Land Use Agencies, Boards, and Commissions, Connecticut Bar Association (1999)

      "Aesthetic Zoning in Connecticut," at Connecticut Bar Association (CBA) (11/20/1998)
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      "Entering the Village: The Basis for Aesthetic Zoning in Connecticut," at Hot Topics in Connecticut Zoning and Planning Law, Connecticut Bar Association (1998)

      "Affordable Housing," at Connecticut Land Use Law for Municipal Land Use Agencies, Boards, and Commissions, Connecticut Bar Association (1997)

      "Planning and Zoning Appeals," at CBA (2/18/1991)
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      A Potpourri of Hot Topics: A Spicy Mix of Land Use Issues (10/22/2010), cochaired this panel discussion with John P. Casey in New Britain, Connecticut

    • News

      R+C in the News

      • April 8, 2013

        Robinson & Cole Participates in APA Meeting in New York City

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      • September 18, 2012

        Land Use Lawyers Speaking at 2012 Southern New England American Planning Association Conference

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      • November 3, 2011

        Pro Bono Work Helps Overcome Challenges for Construction of New Homeless Shelter

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      • April 5, 2011

        Land Law Lawyers Deliver Presentations for Connecticut Planning and Zoning Officials

      • November 3, 2010

        Attorneys Cochair Connecticut Bar Association Planning and Zoning Section Event

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      • July 23, 2010

        Connecticut Hospital Association Elects Timothy Bates to Board of Trustees

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      • August 18, 2009

        Robinson & Cole's Pro Bono Work Featured Prominently in Connecticut Law Tribune Feature Story

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      • March 19, 2009

        Robinson & Cole Partner Named to Senators Dodd and Lieberman Advisory Panel

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      • November 11, 2008

        Robinson & Cole LandLaw Attorneys Participate in CBA Advanced Land Use Law Seminar

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      • March 25, 2008

        Robinson & Cole Partner Writes Article for Revitalization e-Digest

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      • February 27, 2008

        Robinson & Cole Sponsors Concert at the Garde Arts Center

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      R+C News Releases

      • August 16, 2013

        Robinson & Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Attorney Count in National Peer Review Survey

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      • May 22, 2013

        Robinson & Cole Lawyers Provide Pro Bono Support to Norwich Soup Kitchen

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      • October 22, 2012

        Super Lawyers® Names 49 Robinson & Cole Attorneys to 2012 List and Recognizes 26 as Rising Stars

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      • August 28, 2012

        Robinson & Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Attorney Count in National Peer Review Survey

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      • September 12, 2011

        Robinson & Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Attorney Count in National Peer Review Survey

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