Land Use & Environmental

Land Use and Environmental

Vermont has a well-earned reputation for its natural beauty, historic character, environmental protection and quality of life. These qualities provide some of the finest recreational opportunities, scenic beauty, environmental quality and personal security in New England and the country. Vermont also guards these desirable attributes with a thorough and complex system of state and local land use regulations.  Our neighbors to the west and south--New York and Massachusetts--share many of the same qualities and have similarly complex, though very different, regulatory structures in place.

If you need help with a sophisticated or complex development project in Vermont, New York or Massachusetts, call us. We have the training and experience to assist you through even the most challenging of issues.

Our firm has one of Vermont’s largest and most experienced practice groups in land use and development. Each of our senior land use attorneys has more than 20 years’ experience guiding clients through the intricacies of:

  • Vermont's Act 250
  • Comprehensive Vermont Land Use Law
  • Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Regulatory Programs
  • Municipal Zoning and Planning
  • Federal Land Use Regulatory Programs, Including Federal Wetlands and Water Quality Regulations

In addition, we have extensive experience navigating projects through the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act ("SEQRA"), and we have experience with the Massachusetts Environmental Protection Act ("MEPA") as well.

We have a comprehensive and detailed working knowledge of the laws, practices and policies of the regulatory programs in these states, and a reputation among administrators of these programs for thoroughness and professionalism.  Our practice group also includes a former in-house counsel with one of the northeast's largest solid waste and recycling management companies, bringing a unique perspective and skill set to our group.

We can help you prepare and present application materials for local, state and federal land use and development permits and approvals, identification and coordination of technical consultants and expert witnesses, and representation before local, state and federal agencies, regulatory authorities, boards and courts.

Our attorneys have successfully represented clients in major development projects including shopping centers; industrial parks and buildings; ski area development; resort, residential and multi-family housing; assisted living facilities; landfills and recycling facilities; mineral extraction, quarrying and processing operations; renewable energy facilities; and numerous other residential, industrial and commercial development projects.

Finally, we have extensive experience throughout the northeast dealing with contaminated sites, including hazardous waste site remediation and brownfield redevelopment.  We will work closely with the Real Estate Group to help owners, buyers, sellers and developers of real property to manage known and potential risks from environmental conditions and, if necessary, will engage in litigation involving these issues on behalf of our clients.

Our experience and expertise include the following fields:

  • Municipal Zoning and Planning in Vermont, New York, and Massachusetts
  • Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Permit Programs, including:
  • Water Supply Regulations
  • Wastewater Disposal Regulations
  • Water Quality Regulations
  • Air Quality Regulations
  • Stormwater Management Regulations
  • Wetlands Regulations and Policies
  • Streambank Management Programs
  • Wildlife Habitat Protection Policies
  • Solid Waste Management Regulations
  • Act 250, Vermont’s Land Use and Development Law, including:
  • Wastewater Disposal, Water Supply and Stormwater Management Impacts
  • Traffic and Associated Impacts
  • Impacts on Municipalities and School Systems
  • Economic Impact Assessment
  • Aesthetic Impact Assessment
  • Natural Resources, Natural Areas and Wildlife Habitat Impacts
  • Impacts on Agricultural and Forestry Resources
  • Conformance with Municipal and Regional Plans
  • New York State and Massachusetts Environmental and Land Use Programs, Including SEQRA, MEPA, and State and Local Permit and Approval Programs
  • Federal Land Use and Environmental Regulations, including:
  • Wetlands
  • Water Quality
  • RCRA
  • Environmental Assessments, Compliance and Due Diligence
  • Management of Contaminated Sites
  • Brownfields