Land Use, Zoning and Planning

Land Use, Zoning and Planning Law Includes:

  • Special use permits
  • Site plan and subdivision approval
  • Use and area variances
  • Non-conforming use determinations
  • Requests for interpretation of zoning laws
  • Adoption and amendment of zoning laws
  • Municipal zoning and planning counsel
  • New York City ULURP

Young/Sommer helps developers, municipalities, individuals and environmental organizations navigate the complexities of local zoning and land use control laws involving special use permits, site plan and subdivision approvals, use and area variances, non-conforming use determinations, requests for interpretations of zoning laws and the adoption and amendment of zoning laws. Our knowledge of the local planning process allows us to provide cost-effective advice to our clients and obtain the required approvals as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Project Management/Professional Relationships

We work closely with our clients to assemble project proposals that meet their development needs while ensuring that the project is consistent with community character and planning objectives. These projects frequently require the assistance of other environmental professionals such as engineers, surveyors and planners. As part of our client service, we have established relationships with technical professional firms and engineers. We understand the relationship between law and science in “getting the job done.”


In recent years, our land use attorneys have appeared before local zoning and planning boards on a wide range of projects involving construction and/or expansion of shopping centers and other commercial development, industrial facilities, sand and gravel mines, resort hotel/condominium developments, residential subdivisions, television broadcast facilities, cellular towers, wind farms and conversion of residential structures to commercial use.


The firm has decades of experience navigating the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and various state and federal environmental laws. We have also appeared on behalf of clients at many scoping and workshop sessions with local boards and at public hearings. We have advised town boards on the adoption of zoning laws and amendments ranging from limited changes to significant updating of existing laws. Over the years, several of our attorneys have worked as counsel to various local zoning boards, providing us with valuable insight into zoning issues from the municipal perspective. Our familiarity with both sides of the zoning process allows us to work with others to foster cooperation and achieve the desired results.

New York City Protection

We also are regularly involved in zoning issues in New York City and are adept at working through the New York City Uniform Land Use Review Procedure. In New York City we primarily represent land owners and community groups who are concerned with projects that will adversely affect their properties and we are one of a few firms with the skills and political independence to represent the rights of affected communities from a potentially harmful land use decision. Recent cases in this area include challenges to the Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn and the Yankee Stadium project.

Avramis v. Sarachan, 97 AD3d 874 (3d Dept 2012)

Young/Sommer won an appeal for the City of Ithaca (Tompkins County) in a zoning dispute over the proposed expansion of... READ MORE

Gellert v. Town of Livingston Planning Board, et al., Sup Ct, Columbia County, 2013

The firm represented Plaintiffs-Petitioners Anthony Gellert and Alexander Gellert in a combined proceeding brought pursuant to CPLR Article 78 and... READ MORE

In the Matter of the Application of Ten Towns to Preserve Main Street, et al. v. The Planning Board of the Town of Northeast, et al., Sup Ct, Dutchess County, 2013, Index No. 3816/2013

The firm successfully defended New York real estate developer Southern Realty and Development, LLC (“Southern”) in a State Environmental Quality... READ MORE

In the Matter of Lori Bergami, et al., v. Town Board Of The Town Of Rotterdam, et al., 97 AD3d 1018 (3d Dept 2012)

The firm represented Plaintiffs Lori Bergami and a group of neighboring property owners in a proceeding challenging the rezoning of... READ MORE

Highview Estates of Orange County, Inc. v Town Bd. of Town of Montgomery, Orange County, 955 NYS2d 175 (2d Dept 2012)

The firm represented Taylor Holdings Group, Ltd/Taylor Biomass Energy in overturning a lower court judgment that annulled several state and... READ MORE

Nesheiwat v. ElJamal, Sup Ct, Westchester County, 2012, Index No. 615/2011

The firm represented the plaintiff in a successful share holder derivative action and contract dispute involving the sale of commercial... READ MORE

Concerned Citizens of Cattaraugus County, Inc. v. Town of Allegany Planning Bd., et al., Sup Ct, Cattaraugus County, 2011, Index No. 79455

The firm represented the Respondents in an Article 78 proceeding involving the proposed construction of a 29 unit wind farm.... READ MORE

In the Matter of the Application of Ticonderoga Property Development LLC, APA Order Granting Variance, 2005-261V, October 18, 2006

The firm represented Ticonderoga Property Development LLC in its application in the Adirondack Park for a variance from Appendix Q3... READ MORE

Cring v. Bonnie Belle Association, Sup Ct, Warren County, 2004, Index No. 44157

In a case regarding the Plaintiffs’ ability to rent out vacant rooms in their home, the firm successfully represented the... READ MORE

Town of Henderson Town Bd. v. Town of Hounsfield Planning Bd., et al., Sup Ct, Jefferson County 2010, Index No. 2010-0336

In an Article 78 proceeding, the firm represented the Applicant for a proposed 82 turbine wind farm project in the... READ MORE

Dever v. DeVito, 84 AD3d 1539 (3d Dept 2011)

The firm represented the defendants in this residential property dispute involving private covenants and restrictions in a homeowner’s association. In... READ MORE