Zoning and Land Use

Koester Law works with developers, builders, partnerships, companies and individuals on projects ranging from applications for minor variances or subdivisions to applications  for  approvals  and permits for major subdivisions and site plans for office developments, manufacturing, shopping centers, sports centers, health clubs, banquet facilities, warehouses, bank branch offices, retail developments, medical offices and facilities, automobile dealerships, golf courses, gas/mini-marts, garages, car washes, senior housing, religious institutions, cell towers and single and multi-family housing developments.

The firm’s attorneys have experience working with communities throughout Hunterdon County and neighboring counties to process applications for zoning and land use approvals. Whether it involves preparing and giving a presentation to a local land use board to explain a complex project, working through the regulatory maze of county and State regulations, wetlands issues, and sewer capacity concerns or drafting findings for a municipal board, we know how to make an administrative record that will support the optimal outcome possible for our client.

Koester Law has been involved on both sides of commercial and residential developments requiring subdivision and/or site plan approvals in communities in Hunterdon and neighboring counties. Projects have ranged from subdivisions to offices and business centers. Whether the application involves a retail shopping center, an automobile dealership, a house of worship, a quick mart, or an office building, the basic goal is the same: to present the proper information in a clear manner that complies with the state and local regulations. It requires careful preparation, close work with the client, good relationships with other professionals (including engineers, architects, planners, traffic engineers, consultants, environmental specialists, and contractors) and a working knowledge and experience with the local municipality, and County.

The firm has appeared in many communities and we know how to work through the often complex maze of procedures.

Whether the firm’s clients are developers or owners reviewing a project, Koester Law becomes involved at the earliest stages of a project and guides its clients through each procedural step in order to ensure compliance with the regulatory process. The firm’s attorneys view their roles not only as legal advisors but as team leaders to coordinate among the various consultants and experts to help provide the most consistent and comprehensive presentation or review possible. With any good multi-disciplinary team, a single leader is needed to coordinate and match the efforts by each player.

  • Subdivisions and Site Plans

Koester Law has represented individual property owners seeking to develop a single lot as well as large developers seeking approvals for larger scale developments. Whether you are seeking approvals for a 100,000 square foot commercial building or plaza, a new home development, a single lot to gift to a child, an expansion of your business or a site plan for a new shopping center or industrial building, we can handle your needs.

  • Variances

Area variances and use variances each require a different level of proof. Often critical to obtaining approval of a project, a variance can only be obtained if the proper information is presented to a Zoning Board of Adjustment. Koester Law has been representing both applicants and Zoning Boards of Appeals for decades. The firm understands the process and knows what needs to be done. Absolutely critical to this process is to present the proper proof and to make a record before the Zoning Board of Adjustment that supports the outcome our client is seeking.

  • Conditional Use Applications

Municipalities often permit “conditional use applications” for specific uses that require compliance with additional specific requirements, such as gasoline stations, car washes and wireless telecommunications facilities. Koester Law is familiar with the criteria necessary to make or review such applications. The firm has represented both applicants and municipalities in either making  or reviewing conditional use applications. We have also litigated matters relating to the granting or denial of such permits.

  • Rezoning and Redevelopment

A request to rezone a property before a municipality requires extensive knowledge of the municipal and state land  use laws and ordinances, as well as understanding the political climate at the time of the request. Koester Law has successfully rezoned properties for clients. In the process, the firm made the result a win-win situation for the client and the municipality.

A change in the zoning designation of property raises complex issues of property rights as such a zoning change often results in a loss of property value. Municipalities contemplating the rezoning of a parcel and the property owners faced with a rezoning must each act to ensure that the process protects property rights and reflects legitimate governmental interests. Koester Law has assisted property owners in challenging rezoning of their property when the procedural and substantive requirements have not been followed. Whether you are a municipality contemplating the review of local zoning regulations or a property owner caught up in a rezoning process, our experienced attorneys can help to ensure the process is fair and adequate.