Land Use and Environmental Law

Dolan and Dolan, P.A. has represented more than 38 municipal, zoning and land use boards over the years, as well as a full spectrum of private clients ranging from sophisticated major developers to individual clients simply seeking to build an addition to their home. Our firm has represented every municipality in the County of Sussex in one legal capacity or another and currently serves as either Municipal Attorney, Zoning or Planning Board Attorney, Municipal Prosecutor or Public Defender to numerous municipalities in Sussex, Warren, Morris, Hunterdon, Essex and other Northern New Jersey counties.

We also represent objectors and serve as special counsel to various municipal governments and agencies outside of the County of Sussex. Additionally, we have many times been engaged as co-counsel for litigation or appeals, as in the case of Nickels v. City of Wildwood, 140 N.J. 261 (1995), argued by Mr. Cox, invalidating an ordinance authorizing the expansion of nonconforming piers without declaring them to be permitted uses, thus usurping the Board of Adjustment’s statutory authority. Four years later in 1999, our late partner, Donald M. Ross, Attorney for the North Caldwell Zoning Board of Adjustment, successfully obtained a reversal of an Appellate Division decision which had set aside a variance issued by the Board. The Supreme Court upheld the decision of the Board of Adjustment in Lang v. Zoning Board of Adjustment, 160 N.J. 41 (1999).

Another case of note involved Mt. Laurel litigation in which a Builder’s Remedy suit was filed by a major commercial developer who was seeking to impose a regional shopping mall project under the guise of affordable housing. Mr. Roger Thomas, a partner in the firm and Attorney for Bedminster Township Planning Board, brought the case before Judge Eugene Serpentelli who rejected the developer’s claim and upheld the Bedminster town ordinance and master plan.

William M. Cox, a partner in the firm for over 50 years, is the author of New Jersey Zoning and Land Use Administration published by Gann Law Books, the reference book used by most municipal boards in the State of New Jersey and by the courts. The volume is updated annually. This enables the several members of the firm who represent boards or applicants before boards to always be up-to-date with knowledge of recent land use decisions in the courts.