Robinson+Cole's Land Use Group provides sophisticated advice and counsel to clients regarding zoning and other land use requirements across the country. Clients turn to us for legal and strategic advice on how land use laws and regulations at the local, state, and federal level affect their businesses, property interests, and development plans. Our lawyers and professional analysts are also experienced at drafting land use laws, regulations, and regulatory amendments designed to accomplish client objectives. We work with our clients and their consultants on strategies to get these changes adopted by legislative bodies and regulatory authorities.
Our Services and Our Team
Legislative and Regulatory Analysis
Robinson+Cole enjoys a national reputation in the area of land use legislative and regulatory review. We represent several national clients with ongoing interests in state and local legislative developments across the country. We have developed customized services to keep clients up-to-date as laws change and to provide timely analysis of proposed local and state land use enactments to help them develop strategies for supporting, opposing, or advocating for changes in these proposals.
Strategic Land Use Counseling
Many of our clients seek our advice to better understand how land use regulations affect the use and development of property that they own or may be considering for acquisition or that they propose to lend against. This may include analyzing the development potential and risks for a specific site or a portfolio of property. Industry leaders ask us for advice on how zoning and other land use requirements are likely to apply to innovative and emerging land uses. We provide practical, business-focused advice about the opportunities, limitations, and risks presented by the applicable regulations. We function as part of the Robinson+Cole team involved in the transaction or overall business representation of the client. We also serve some clients as special counsel on these matters, working directly with the client and its other professional advisors.
Drafting Land Use Regulations
We often are called upon to draft and provide advocacy support for new land use regulations or amendments to existing regulations at the local and state level. In these instances, we bring a national perspective and experience in other jurisdictions to identify appropriate approaches for advancing our clients’ goals. We perform these services for property owners, developers, businesses, and industry associations. We also have experience performing “regulatory audits” and revising laws and regulations for municipalities and other government entities.
Represent the National Association of Realtors® as national land use development/real estate consultant in preparation of analyses of proposed state and local land use and real estate-related legislation and regulations affecting the real estate industry. We have prepared more than 700 analyses nationwide since 1999. Representation also includes preparation of Realtor®-sponsored state legislation on real estate-related issues, such as private transfer fees, eminent domain, and historic preservation. Legislation has been adopted in more than 30 states since 2000. We also prepare white papers on topics ranging from use and abuse of eminent domain, tax increment financing as a redevelopment tool, and short-term rental housing restrictions.
As counsel to a leading national wireless telecommunications provider in connection with the installation of wireless facilities throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts, including representation before the Connecticut Siting Council and the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) and before permitting boards in hundreds of local cities and towns. We have also advised and assisted in drafting local and state regulations and legislation relating to the application and approval process for wireless facilities.
Led the team of lawyers and design professionals that represented the master developer of the Storrs Center project in Mansfield, Connecticut, for over 13 years. Negotiated master development agreements and purchase and sale agreements for the disposition of state-owned land. Led the professional team in preparing a state-approved municipal development plan and drafted a new flexible zoning district to implement unique project goals. Handled project permitting at the local, state, and federal levels.
Advised the City of Lowell, Massachusetts, regarding the development of the Hamilton Canal District Form-Based Code. Robinson+Cole’s primary responsibilities included reviewing and suggesting revisions to the code as it was developed, drafting and advising the City on administrative and implementation procedures, and providing a legal analysis of the final code’s consistency with state zoning and subdivision law.