Morgan Hollis, Gottesman & Hollis, Nashua
Specializing in Land Use and Zoning Law
We’ve selected six Lawyers of the Year for portraits and to share trends in their legal specialties and a quotation that has inspired them in their work.
Notable trend: Proposals for multiple types of mixed uses in a single property are appearing more and more in larger urban areas — residential, office, industrial and retail uses within the same building or close to each other within the same zone. While such mixed uses are often permitted through conditional use permits issued by planning boards, because each use may have its own impact on the community (traffic, noise, pollution, water consumption, etc.), the uses may have peculiarities requiring zoning relief, such as exceedance in height, lot density restrictions and the sharing of parking spaces. This can require expert evaluation and analysis, plus the education of local land use boards — making presentations to the boards can continue for months, more like extended, interrupted trials. Now, the same phenomena is moving to towns, where oftentimes the zoning regulations remain unchanged from the days of segregated use. Similar expert evaluation and testimony is needed before these towns’ quasi-judicial zoning boards of adjustment, with neighbors who may not fully understand the proposed projects. Representing the developers, the neighboring property owners or the municipality requires an increased understanding of not only evolving law, but also the role of experts. It requires a more collaborative approach, or else there is a risk of ending up in front of a judge who is reviewing what is oftentimes a less-than-complete record of the proceedings before the land use boards.
— Oliver Wendell Holmes
Gottesman & Hollis, P.A.
39 E Pearl Street
Nashua, NH 03060