Office Locations

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New York, New York 10022
Tel: (212) 749-1448
Fax: (212) 932-2693
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94 White Plains Road
Tarrytown, New York 10591
Tel: (914) 333-0700
Fax: (914) 333-0743
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New Jersey
One Gateway Center
Suite 2600
Newark, New Jersey 07102
Tel: (973) 824-9772
Fax: (973) 824-9774
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Siting Solutions for Energy, Environmental and Telecommunications Projects.

Responding to Municipal Code Prosecutions: What You Need to Know

August 20th, 2010

Authored by Rick Turner, an attorney of Snyder & Snyder, LLP.
Published on August 12, 2010 in the New York Law Journal.

Click here to view the article in PDF.

Federal Environmental Review for Interoperable Public Safety Radio Projects

May 13th, 2009

By David L. Snyder, Esq.

Nearly $1 billion in federal grants for interoperable public safety radio projects could be lost unless grant applicants demonstrate compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act before the grant funding deadline of September 30, 2010. Read the rest of this entry »

Yellowstone National Park Adopts Development Plan for Wireless Services

April 30th, 2009

By David L. Snyder, Esq.

On April 7, 2009, the National Park Service (“NPS”) adopted a plan that will guide the development of wireless services in Yellowstone National Park (“Yellowstone”). Under the new Wireless Communications Services Plan (the “Plan”), visitors to Yellowstone can expect cellular and other wireless devices to work in developed hi-traffic areas of the park. The Plan does not envision bringing wireless coverage to the Yellowstone backcountry or to remote, unspoiled wilderness areas except where there is inadvertent “spill over” coverage from wireless sites serving more developed areas of Yellowstone. Read the rest of this entry »

Federal Zoning Protection for Religious Facilities

January 12th, 2009

Congress enacted the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) in 2000 to help religious institutions secure zoning and land use approvals for schools, houses of worship and related facilities. RLUIPA recognizes that the right to assemble for worship is at the “very core of the free exercise of religion” and that religious entities “cannot function without a physical space adequate to their needs and consistent with theological requirements.” Read the rest of this entry »

Zoning Exception Favors Wind Turbine Installation

October 25th, 2008

The developer of a small, rural wind energy project recently sought help from Snyder & Snyder after being issued a stop work order from a local town building inspector. The order halted construction of a single, 80-foot-tall wind turbine and directed the developer to apply for various local approvals, including a site plan, a special permit, and a building permit. This development was troubling, since some local politicians and community activists were opposed to the wind turbine. In the context of a land use proceeding, their opposition could translate into long delays, runaway costs, and an uncertain zoning outcome. Read the rest of this entry »

Consider Operating as a State-Chartered Public Utility

October 25th, 2008

Solar arrays, wind turbines, and micro-antennas supporting next-generation wireless networks may enjoy a more favorable, more relaxed standard of zoning review, or potentially avoid local zoning restrictions altogether, if they incorporate as a public utility with a statewide franchise or locate in the state right-of-way (ROW). The law governing utility siting and access to the public ROW varies from state to state, but in many jurisdictions, obtaining a statewide utility franchise will provide options and strategies for deployment of physical facilities otherwise unavailable. Read the rest of this entry »

Build a Record That Supports Your Project

October 25th, 2008

Construction permits for many projects, such as wind turbines, power plants, cell towers, and electric substations, are sometimes won only after a court battle. When an agency unreasonably delays, denies, or simply refuses to act on a permit application, a trip to court may be necessary. Regrettably, even when a project is approved, a trip to court may be required if a disgruntled activist group files a lawsuit to overturn the approval. Read the rest of this entry »

Generating Public Support for a Pipeline Extension

October 25th, 2008

Public support was the key to securing local approval for the extension of a natural gas pipeline. The project was approved in just one night.

When our firm was retained to assist in securing approvals for this pipeline project, we asked the sponsor for any letters from potential customers who were unhappy with current oil heating options and who might want natural gas service. The engineers we were working with did not know if such letters existed. This was not surprising since in large companies the construction division does not regularly exchange information with the customer care division. The customer care division may have information vital to supporting construction of a proposed energy or telecommunications project. Customer complaints about spotty wireless coverage or letters from consumers to their local utility to request renewable energy options can provide the nucleus for grassroots project support. Read the rest of this entry »

Make Environmental Reviews More Efficient

October 25th, 2008

Will your project require permits or approvals from federal, state, and local authorities? When three levels of government are involved in reviewing a project, any impact analysis prepared for the project should simultaneously satisfy the review criteria of all involved agencies. For example, if approval of your wind farm will require a computer-generated visual impact analysis, the initial scope of work for the analysis should include renderings that satisfy the requirements of all involved agencies. Read the rest of this entry »

Flexibility Reduces Permit Delays for Electric Substation

October 25th, 2008

Flexibility in the layout and design of a project can help minimize permit delays. Shifting a proposed communications tower a few feet may eliminate the need for a costly zoning variance. Moving a power plant 100 yards may remove it from a wetlands buffer. A slight reduction in the height of a wind turbine may avoid the need for an exhaustive viewshed analysis. Eliminating a discharge to a navigable waterway may avoid the need for a permit from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a review by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, or a filing with state and local wetlands preservation agencies. Read the rest of this entry »