Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC
Jennifer Porter is a member in the firm’s Real Estate, Development & Land Use Group. Her ability to practice zoning and land use development law in four states (New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut) establishes her as a key player in helping clients expand into the regional real estate market. Jennifer represents clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to developers, owners and lessees of commercial, retail, industrial and residential properties. She represents client in all aspects of land use, zoning and development law.
Jennifer has worked on all types of land use applications, including:
Jennifer has appeared before municipal boards and handled numerous projects from post-approval condition compliance and ancillary permitting efforts with local, state and federal agencies. She has extensive experience in:
Jennifer successfully led a team of attorneys through an extensive, multi-state expansion project for a national financial services firm that resulted in the creation of over 85 new banking locations in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. She was also one of the lead attorneys for a major bi-state governmental authority in connection with several major interstate bridge projects and handled the preparation, negotiation and execution of over 20 master utility agreements, as well as multiple design and construction coordination agreements with various state agencies.
Real Estate Development and Land Use
Jennifer has significant experience in zoning, planning, and permitting matters throughout the Northeast region. She efficiently and cost-effectively navigates projects through plan development, filing, and application review and approval. Jennifer regularly appears before and interacts with planning boards, zoning boards of appeal, boards of adjustment, and governing bodies in municipalities throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut in connection with zoning and land use matters. She consistently works with some of the most highly respected and best known architects, professional planners, landscape architects, traffic engineers, engineering firms, and environmental consultants in the region.
Zoning and Building Code Violations & Enforcement Actions
Jennifer has substantial experience counseling clients faced with zoning, building code, or other municipal violations. She has appeared in countless municipal and justice courts in connection with zoning and building violations and in other zoning enforcement-type proceedings. Jennifer has a unique perspective on how zoning and building code violations are prosecuted, due to her prior experience as a municipal prosecutor in several municipalities in New York.
Zoning Due Diligence
Jennifer has conducted zoning due diligence for hundreds of sites throughout the tri-state area to determine site feasibility and the regulatory framework for proposed real estate projects. She has assisted clients with everything from zoning district and use analysis, conformance analysis of concept plans, and freedom of information or open public records requests to reviews of prior approvals and preparation of project timelines.
Land Use and Development (Public Sector)
Jennifer has experience on public sector transportation projects throughout the region. She was primarily responsible for the preparation, negotiation, and execution of master utility agreements with more than 20 utility companies in New Jersey and New York governing utility work that was required in connection with one of the interstate bridge projects. On one of these projects, she was also primarily responsible for the preparation, negotiation, and execution of design and construction agreements with various state entities in New Jersey and New York for work to be performed within their jurisdictional boundaries. Jennifer additionally handled the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) process for city map amendments required in connection with one of the interstate bridge projects, as well as numerous other aspects of both interstate bridge projects.
State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA)
Jennifer has experience with SEQRA compliance for residential and commercial development projects. She has represented developers and municipal entities as land use counsel with respect to the environmental quality review process in the development of multi-family housing projects, banks, restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, convenience stores and other types of uses. Jennifer also assisted with the preparation and review of SEQRA documents including environmental assessment forms, negative declarations, positive declarations, scoping documents, environmental impact statements, and findings statements. She has lectured and authored many articles on SEQRA.
Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP)
Jennifer has represented commercial clients, developers and a major bi-state governmental entity in navigating through New York City’s ULURP. She has counseled clients through each stage of ULURP and has appeared before administrative and polities bodies.
Prior to joining the firm, Jennifer was a Director of Real Property at Gibbons PC. She started her career as an attorney at Keane & Beane, PC, where she represented clients before municipal boards throughout lower New York and the Hudson Valley.
Jennifer earned her J.D. from Pace University Elisabeth Haub School of Law. During law school, she was a Casenote and Comment Editor for the Pace University Law Review and was Managing Director and Research Fellow at the Pace Land Use Law Center. Jennifer served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Charles L. Brieant, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. She also interned at the Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic. Jennifer received both her M.A. and B.A. cum laude from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.