Perhaps the strongest manifestation of community autonomy is the control exercised by cities and towns over local land use and development.
We have participated in countless public hearings of local permitting boards, and devote a significant portion of our practice to interpreting and explaining the proper application of the Zoning Act, the Subdivision Control Act, the Comprehensive Permit Statute (Chapter 40B), and the Smart Growth and Housing Production Act (Chapter 40R) for our clients in all venues, including court.
We advise both private and public-sector clients with special permit, site plan, variance and comprehensive permit applications, and with expansion or alteration of non-conforming properties or uses. We also assist our clients in submitting or reviewing preliminary, definitive and “approval not required” plans filed under subdivision control. We guide our clients throughout the process, assist with initiation or review of the application, participate in the hearing process and decision making, and provide representation on appeal.
We have been involved in establishing, supporting, permitting or opposing a wide range of development projects, including hazardous and other solid waste facilities and transfer stations; power plants; shopping malls, lifestyle centers and “big box” stores; office facilities; highway projects; water and wastewater treatment facilities; a variety of residential, hotel and mixed-use developments; and a religious shrine.
We have negotiated and drafted numerous agreements for payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT), tax increment financing (TIF) agreements, and host community agreements (HCA) with major project proponents that provide for mitigation and offsetting benefits in municipalities that are asked to accept controversial facilities, provide zoning or tax relief, provide support in state permitting processes, or settle development-related litigation.
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