Real Estate, Land-use, Zoning regarding Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial, and Residential Real Estate

  • Contract negotiation, title review, due diligence counsel, and closing services for commercial, industrial, and agricultural buy/sell agreements, including transactions involving preservation easements, contaminated sites, title issues, zoning issues, distressed properties, and inspection failures. Success with closing transactions after achieving reasonable resolutions to issues involving title, property condition assessments, environmental inspection, associations, and delays caused by home sale contingencies. Contract drafting and due diligence in buy/sell of agricultural properties including experience with FSA and Farm Credit East lending.

    • Representing land and business owners in applications and hearings before planning, zoning, and agricultural boards including negotiation of waivers and discretionary requirements, presenting applications, cross-examination, and post-approval counsel on contingencies. Major/minor subdivisions, site plan reviews, lot line adjustments, zoning appeals, Right-to-Farm applications, farmland preservation deed of easements, agricultural division of land.

    • Representing farmers in applications such as commercial farm certification and Site Specific Agricultural Management Practices submitted to County Agriculture Development Boards under Right-to-Farm applications, and including Right-to-Farm applications under New Jersey Highlands.

    • Counsel involving farming disputes, including representation before the New Jersey Agricultural Mediation Program.

    • Due diligence and compliance with respect to Farmland Assessment and Agricultural Preservation Easements.

    • Commercial lease negotiation including long-term leases with national real estate investors/REITs. Formation of real estate holding entities, lease review and negotiation, and negotiation of early lease termination. Negotiation of personal guarantees.

    • Easement/license/land lease negotiations, including with utilities and cell phone infrastructure.

    • Counsel on disputes pertaining to liability for contaminated properties, and counsel on regulatory oversight during property investigation and cleanup, including RCRA, SRRA, UHOT, and similar programs. Success with forwarding regulated properties to closure. Demonstrated success in facilitating client/environmental consultant/agency relationships in furtherance of client interests and goals.

    • Tax appeal representation for commercial and residential properties, including appeal preparation, discovery, and settlement. Successfully negotiated settlement of claims with landlord for failing to respond to chapter 91 demand, preventing tenant tax assessment appeal.

    • Easement drafting and negotiation, including review of conservation easements, access easements, municipal easements, and easements to resolve title issues. Negotiated more favorable easement terms in easements with both municipalities, utility pipeline, and residential neighbors.

    • Residential landlord/tenant representation, including general counsel to landlords pertaining to compliance with Security Deposit Law, Eviction for Good Cause, Landlord Registration Act, Consumer Fraud Act, and additional requirements imposed on landlords. Application and lease preparation, lease review.

    • Preparation of instruments of title, including deeds, easements, mortgages, promissory notes, powers of attorney.

    • Obtained favorable outcomes in appeals of administrative decision-making, including appeal of agency determinations in the administrative courts.

    Construction

    • Construction contract review and negotiation, and construction forms preparation, including review of compliance with Home Improvement Practices and Contractor Registration Act requirements, and litigation arising out of construction disputes. Demonstrated consideration of business realities in contract drafting to avoid common pitfalls.

      • Appeal and penalty negotiations for violations of construction and zoning code, and counsel on compliance. Appearance before County Construction Board of Appeals.

      • New Home Warranty arbitration, including appeal to Office of Administrative Law.

      • Private construction disputes for both new construction and home improvements, and including both commercial and residential buildings.

    Business Formation and Transactions

    • Business formations, business acquisitions, and asset purchases, including contract negotiation, due diligence, bulk transfer requirements, and closing services. Experience representing both buyers and sellers of business assets, businesses, and transfer of existing franchises. Experience supervising compliance with government-backed loan requirements, including SBA 504 loans and NJHMFA loan requirements for special needs housing.

      • Business contract review and preparation, including client services agreements, independent contractor/consulting agreements, confidentiality agreements, and membership agreements.

    Litigation, Past Work

    • Nicole’s practice currently focuses on transactions and administrative proceedings and disputes, with limited civil court practice. However, past litigation experiences relating to real estate, easements, construction, and land use provide valuable insight into proactive strategies, proper contract drafting, and partnering with civil litigators while handling administrative disputes and applications for shared clients.

      • Spill Act Contribution claims and defense including successful outcomes with oil companies responsible for contamination.

      • Advising on Consumer Fraud Act in various regulated fields, and litigation pertaining to same. Contract review for compliance with Consumer Fraud Act requirements. Experience with general contractors, trades, architectural professionals, landlord/tenant, and consumer transactions.

      • Representation in easement disputes including claims with and without title insurance coverage.

      • Representing landlords in disputes with tenants, eviction, and collection proceedings. Demonstrated success with negotiated eviction and opposition to request for hardship stay of judgment.

      • Collections of accounts receivable, and litigating associated claims. Demonstrated success with early resolution of claims, obtaining favorable arbitration awards in court-ordered arbitration, and with litigation practice, as required, to collect debt.

      • Obtained favorable outcomes for clients in court litigation, mediation, and arbitration proceedings, including disputes involving real and personal property, debt collection, contract claims, construction/trade transactions, municipal court, residential tax assessment appeal.

      • Foreclosure defense and loss mitigation counsel, assistance with deeds-in-lieu and modification.

      • Court appointed mediator with experience in mediating evictions and collections.