Municipal & Land Use

Land UseCounseling the Local Government Client

At Saunders Law we represent local governments including counties, boroughs and townships, and municipal bodies such as redevelopment and sewer authorities in matters involving our core areas of practice: oil and gas, environmental and energy law. Having served as a member of his home townhip’s planning commission for over a decade, Steve Saunders has the practical working knowlege of zoning and subdivision matters. Whether an engagement involves advising municipalities on the extent of local zoning power over natural gas development activities or drafting or revising local ordinances, assisting a municipal authority with a federal or state permitting issue or facility upgrade, counseling a sewer authority regarding its enforcement authority or options in connection with a non-compliant industrial user, responding to a citation or penalty assessed by an administrative or government agency or negotiating a settlement on behalf of a governmental body, we are poised and positioned to respond to any challenge our clients face.

We have written about and spoken at oil and gas conferences on the amendments to the Oil and Gas Act contained in the Marcellus Shale legislation that will become law in Pennsylvania this Spring. If you are an official serving a municipality in any of the 39 counties in Pennsylvania that have Marcellus Shale deposits, Saunders Law is uniquely positioned to counsel your municipal governing body or planning commission on the impact of this new legislation and how it will affect local zoning authority.

Representing Private Parties

Land use law encompasses subdivision and zoning matters and requires an understanding of local ordinances and the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code and how a state or federal law may preempt or limit the ability of a municipal government to condition or regulate a land use. Saunders Law represents real estate developers seeking to obtain development rights, permits and approvals for all type of land development projects. We also have been retained by citizens groups, as well as individual residents, to inform and advise them of their rights in connection with land development projects especially when a central issue involves oil and gas, environmental or energy law. Some of the state and federal agencies that may have jurisdiction over a project with whom we regularly interact include the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Public Utility Commission, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency as well as a host of others.

Creativity in response to each situation, careful preparation, aggressive negotiation and the judicious use of dispute resolution alternatives, including litigation or mediation when necessary– the synergy of each of these elements – is what our clients count upon us to provide and result in the kinds of solutions you can expect from Saunders Law.