Firm News

Firm News - 2012 2012 Legal News Shamberg Marwell Hollis Andreycak & Laidlaw, P.C. (SMHAL) Westchester Mt. Kisco NY Attorneys

Firm Obtains Favorable Opinion from New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets
The Firm represented a property owner in successfully petitioning the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets to review and issue an opinion letter regarding objectionable activities of a neighboring property owner, with the Department concluding that those activities were not protected as part of a farm operation under the Agriculture and Markets Law.

Firm Obtains Approvals for Accessory Cottage on Estate Property in Northern Westchester
The Firm successfully obtained site plan, special permit and variance approvals for a second accessory guest cottage where only one is permitted by local law on an estate property in Northern Westchester.

Firm Obtains Approvals for Recreational Accessory Structure for Estate Property
The Firm successfully obtained all environmental and zoning approvals for a recreational tennis pavilion accessory structure on an estate property in Northern Westchester.

Firm Obtains Approvals for Playing Field for Private School in Northern Westchester
The Firm successfully obtained all environmental and zoning approvals for a playing field for a private school in Northern Westchester, and negotiated the terms of a well remediation agreement between the school and neighbors.

Firm Keeps Abreast of Property Rights Issues Related to the Hydro-Fracking Debate in NYS
In June, two members of the Firm attended a full day program on the proposed New York State regulations and debate concerning hydro-fracking in New York. Participants in the program included a geologist, a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Deputy Commissioner and Deputy Counsel, energy company representatives and practitioners, environmental organizations, and practitioners representing lessor property owners.

John S. Marwell Appointed Chair of the NYSBA Finance Committee
John S. Marwell was appointed Chair of the New York State Bar Association Finance Committee as of June 1, 2012. He also serves as a member of the New York State Bar Association’s Nominating Committee and the Executive Committee’s CLE Subcommittee, and Vice-Chair of the Senior Lawyers Section and Co-Chair of its Membership Committee.

Firm Represents Teatown Lake Reservation in Preservation of 57-Acres
The Firm represented Teatown Lake Reservation, the largest nature preserve and education center in Westchester County, in the consummation of a three-party transaction involving the Open Space Institute and Westchester County. The transaction resulted in the preservation of 57-acres of key open space in the County.

Diana Bunin Kolev and Megan K. Collins published in NYSBA Journal
An article written by Diana Bunin Kolev and Megan K. Collins, titled “The Importance of Due Diligence: Real Estate Transactions in a Complex Land Use World,” was published in the March/April 2012 edition of the New York State Bar Association Journal. The article discussed the importance of negotiating and conducting a thorough zoning due diligence as a condition of a real estate contract of sale.

Firm Resolves Stormwater Runoff Dispute
The Firm successfully resolved a case in which the Firm’s client was sued by an adjoining property owner for trespass and other claims due to alleged diversion of storm water run-off. The Firm successfully brought in its client’s insurance carrier, which paid the cost of defense and provided indemnification against potential liability.

Firm Successfully Manages Oil Spill Closure
The Firm successfully managed the closure of an oil spill resulting from a leaking underground oil storage tank on a client’s Northern Westchester property in very close proximity to sensitive watershed property.

John S. Marwell Participated in Homes for Westchester Conference
John S. Marwell participated in the Homes for Westchester conference in April, a conference at which affordable housing industry representatives addressed the need for this housing in the County, and worked in small task forces to identify obstacles to achieving this housing and to craft proposed solutions.

Firm served as co-counsel on Amicus Brief in Willets Point Condemnation Case
The Firm served as co-counsel with the international law firm of Vinson & Elkins, LLP in representing the Property Rights Foundation of America in submitting an amicus brief to the Appellate Division Second Department on behalf of the property owners in the hotly-contested Willets Point eminent domain case. The City of New York submitted a brief in response to the amicus brief, and shortly thereafter, the City of New York withdrew the proposed condemnation.

Firm Wins Summary Judgment for Religious Organization in Real Property Tax Exemption Matter
The Firm won a summary judgment determination in Supreme Court on behalf of a religious organization entitling it to full tax exemption for two years for one of its properties, and a full refund, with interest, of all taxes paid, over vigorous opposition from the municipality.

Firm Obtained Extension of Affordable Housing Project Approval
The Firm obtained the extension of a controversial affordable housing site plan approval for housing units complying with the Westchester County Anti-Discrimination Center settlement in a Southern Westchester municipality.

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