Available "green space" for development is dwindling. Complying with laws that impact land choices while locating first-class sites for projects has become more difficult than ever. And many potential traps lie at the intersection of land use and environmental laws. We counsel clients on creative ways to meet their project goals while averting costly confrontations and satisfying community and government stakeholders.

Our clients call on us to assist with impediments to projects arising from:

  • The presence of wetlands or endangered species habitat on a proposed development site
  • Specially protected streams
  • Storm water management limitations
  • Infrastructure availability

In instances where citizens groups take action in the courts to prevent, delay, or modify a project, our attorneys can step in as experienced litigators to defend against any claims and preserve clients' interests.


The presence of wetlands or endangered species on a proposed development site can adversely impact the best-planned project. We have helped clients obtain permits and develop projects on locations involving the presence of bog turtles in Pennsylvania, piping plovers and brown tree snakes in New Jersey, and cactus ferruginous pygmy owl and Southwestern willow flycatchers in Arizona.

With respect to wetlands permitting and development, our project success stories include a 1,000-unit housing subdivision in suburban Phoenix, power plant sitings and mining facilities in and around desert washes in Arizona, and pier construction and dredging projects in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. We have also helped developers navigate state and federal wetlands laws in connection with the development of large malls and shopping centers, auto dealerships, and condominium high-rises in metropolitan areas ranging from Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, to Denver, Salt Lake City, and Phoenix.

Special Waters

The location of projects in watersheds containing water bodies of high value can trigger rigorous pre- and post-construction storm water regulations that could render projects unprofitable. We have helped clients obtain permits to locate large retail stores, shopping centers, timber operations, and industrial facilities, ensuring project launches and best locations.

Storm Water

Storm water issues are by no means limited to the suburban landscape. Large cities with combined sanitary and storm water sewer systems have become the target of potential federal enforcement action. As a result, the first stop for developers often may be the city water department, which must be convinced that new projects will not increase the sewer and storm water overflows. We have shepherded a host of developments, from high-rise condominiums to scrap yards, through these obstacles.

Aging Infrastructure

Aging infrastructure, such as outdated water supply systems and sewage treatment works, has resulted in actual or de facto building moratoriums in a host of small and midsize communities across the Mid-Atlantic and intermountain Western regions. We have worked with clients and governmental authorities to obtain alternative sewage treatment facilities permits that clear the way for projects such as warehouse and distribution center development. We have also counseled major metropolitan agencies on financing and implementing sustainable infrastructure modernization programs, at times in the context of resolving environmental enforcement claims.