Practice Areas

Land Development & Zoning

Keane & Beane attorneys advise both public and private sector clients in all aspects of land development. We regularly represent developers, sellers, purchasers, lessors and lessees of properties in obtaining land use approvals, including site plan approval, subdivision approval, variances and special permits from Planning Boards and Zoning Boards. Our experience includes securing permits and approvals for commercial uses including office buildings, shopping centers, utility facilities, restaurants, gasoline stations, retail establishments, wireless transmission sites, and solid waste disposal facilities. Beyond serving private sector clients, we also have extensive experience in obtaining approvals for residential development. We also serve as special counsel to several municipalities for zoning and planning, and advise numerous municipal clients on the formulation and enactment of zoning regulations, zoning compliance, environmental review issues, and other projects of concern to the local community. As a result of our work in these fields, Keane & Beane attorneys have a thorough understanding of the environmental review process associated with all aspects of land development. 

Some examples of our work in this area:

  • Served as legal counsel for the development of 408,000 square foot retail shopping complex located on the I-84 corridor in Putnam County and defended legal challenges to the approvals for this development; represented major multi-national company in the development of a corporate training center in Westchester County; represented nation-wide residential developers in connection with projects in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess Counties; obtained a contested approval for 104-lot residential subdivision located on 310 acres in the New York City watershed and successfully handled litigation commenced by environmental organizations challenging this project; obtained local approvals including special permit, site plan, subdivision and variances, for a $1.675 billion natural gas fired electric manufacturing facility in Dutchess County that will generate 1,000 megawatts of electricity and create hundreds of construction jobs.  

  • Successfully handled litigation involving land development, and served as legal counsel in cases that have impacted zoning and planning on a statewide basis. This includes litigation that has contested project denials, as well defending determinations rendered by local zoning and planning boards. We also have successfully represented municipalities in complex, multi-jurisdictional “border war” disputes involving high-profile projects within Westchester County. We have successfully argued landmark land use cases before the New York State Court of Appeals, including Real Holding Corp. v. Lehigh (confirming the right of a property owner to seek area variance relief from special permit dimensional requirements), and Riverkeeper, Inc. v. Planning Board of the Town of Southeast (confirming client's development project did not require further environmental review under SEQRA as the requisite "hard look" was undertaken by the Planning Board).

  • Active professional involvement. For example, four of our partners are either current or former Village, Town or City Attorneys and we currently represent several municipalities. Keane & Beane attorneys frequently lecture on zoning, planning and environmental review processes in forums hosted by the New York State Bar Association, the Westchester County Bar Association and law schools within the New York metropolitan area. Two of our attorneys served on a Special Task Force on Eminent Domain established by the New York State Bar Association in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Kelo v. City of New London.

Advantages for Clients

Unlike many firms, our perspective has been shaped by working on land use matters from “both sides of the table.” That is, Keane & Beane attorneys have both pursued approvals on behalf of applicants and lent their services to the review and processing of applications by municipal boards and agencies. This allows us to handle project applications in an effective fashion. In those instances in which approvals are litigated, we have an exemplary track record of success. Our attorneys are accessible and involved professionally and in their communities within this area. Our experience in related practice areas, including Real Estate, Business Transactions and Environmental Law, enables us to represent our clients through all phases of a development project.