Municipal Law

Norris McLaughlin is experienced in representing municipalities, municipal authorities, county and regional public entities, and economic development, organizations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  We also represent individuals, as well as corporations, in all stages of subdivision, land development, and zoning processes. 

Who We Are

For our public entity clients, our attorneys serve as solicitors and special counsel, handling matters ranging from preparing ordinances and resolutions, to handling complex litigation. We provide representation to our private clients in a variety of public-related matters, from structuring favorable finance arrangements pertaining to large scale development, to obtaining necessary permits and approvals.

Attorneys at Norris McLaughlin have decades of experience offering municipal services and use the knowledge they have gained to represent clients effectively in a wide range of matters.  Our attorneys have written articles and made presentations on public entity topics and are recognized as regional leaders in select areas.  They are members of state associations, including the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors (PSATS) and the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB).    

What We Do

We advise clients on all areas of municipal law, which include subdivision and land development projects, labor, employment and civil service proceedings, financial and economic development opportunities, trial court and appellate level cases, and local law and rulemaking.

We have significant experience in representing both municipalities and private developers in residential and commercial development projects.  Our attorneys have advised municipalities in the planning and approval stages, and appeared in court in defense of approvals and denials of projects.  These court proceedings range from land use appeals at the county level to state and federal appeals. We represent private clients before planning commissions, governing bodies, and zoning hearing boards.  Our attorneys have served as counsel of record in reported cases that established legal precedent in the field of municipal law.  

Norris McLaughlin provides representation for labor, employment, and civil service proceedings.  We have advised municipal clients on public employee and union negotiations.  Attorneys have drafted and reviewed employment and service contracts, as well as termination and separation agreements.

Our attorneys have extensive knowledge of economic development initiatives, including  Pennsylvania Tax Increment Financing (TIF) projects, Keystone Opportunity Zones (KOZ), and Neighborhood Improvement Zones (NIZ).  We have represented numerous economic development organizations, which have spearheaded local and regional re-development.  We have helped establish public private partnerships (P3), resulting in large-scale public works construction, such as county-wide bridge replacement. We negotiate financing terms with banks and financial institutions to fund residential and commercial projects.  We also serve as environmental counsel when such concerns arise in connection with development.

We act as counsel of record for municipalities and private clients in administrative proceedings, including conditional use and special exception hearings, zoning hearing board appeals, and other public hearings.  We seek monetary judgments and injunctive relief, and handle condemnation and eminent domain actions.  We serve as collection agents for our municipal clients, and have filed liens and obtained civil judgements.  When necessary, we represent clients in appeals at the county, state and federal levels.  

We draft, interpret, implement and, when necessary, amend ordinances and resolutions regulating matters from permit issuances to zoning classifications. We assist municipal zoning and code officers in enforcement actions. We review contract and real estate documents, including commercial leases, municipal bond and note issuances. We are knowledgeable on state legislation, including the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act and the Right to Know Law, which guarantee public access to the records of local government.

Who We Help

Currently, we represent over 20 municipalities, municipal and regional authorities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  Norris McLaughlin attorneys also provide strategic and special counsel to economic development organizations.  Our private clients, who have ongoing development and municipal-related projects, range from individuals to profit and nonprofit corporations, and number in the hundreds.

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