May 03, 2023
In this piece, we cover the most significant developments, issues and opportunities, as we see it, facing the road ahead. With foresight in mind, we can have a better understanding of the drivers of change and how we can prepare for them. Trends include climate action and the significant growth of the solar industry, the housing crisis, and infrastructure. With our depth of experience in all of these areas, Cuddy & Feder is well positioned to help its clients navigate regulations and develop creative solutions to achieve your project goals.
Renewable Energy
There has been a notable focus on developing renewable energy sources across the country, with the Biden administration's Inflation Reduction Act being a significant driver. Congress has allocated significant resources towards renewable energy, including tax credits and investments totaling $369 billion, to reduce the country's dependence on fossil fuels. As a result, private and public companies are adapting their strategies to incorporate renewable energy resources. For instance, major automotive manufacturers such as Ford and General Motors have pledged to phase out their gasoline-powered vehicles and focus solely on electric vehicles by 2040 or earlier driving the need for new and innovative EV infrastructure. Our Energy & Environmental lawyers are well equipped to implement IIJA funded projects at the state and local level, drawing on the expertise of our Land Use, Zoning & Development, Real Estate, Corporate, and Finance practices to ensure that projects are well-positioned for success. READ MORE>
Community Solar
With today’s focus on combating the negative effects of climate change, the Hudson Valley and greater State of New York has seen the rapid development of community-scale solar energy facilities. This trend is also driven by State level programs such as the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) which mandates certain benchmarks for renewable energy generation in the coming years as well as the federal government’s Inflation Reduction Act which provides green energy-related tax credits. Many communities have embraced a green energy future whereas others have hit pause on solar energy development while they revisit potentially outdated ordinances. The attorneys at Cuddy & Feder are experienced in handling all aspects of solar energy siting and development, from land acquisition and leasing to entitlement and PILOT negotiations. READ MORE>
Floodplain Development
Rapid change in weather patterns and an increasing number of severe weather events have highlighted the importance of effective floodplain management. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) play a crucial role in identifying flood hazards and risks for specified areas by classifying them into flood zones and assigning Base Flood Elevations. These designations not only determine insurance requirements and costs but also dictate construction standards and prohibitions for development. FEMA's detailed design and construction standards apply to new buildings, accessory structures, and some existing buildings that constitute a “Substantial Improvement.” However, it is important to note that in addition to federal law requirements, New York and Connecticut state laws require municipalities to adopt and enforce local floodplain management laws for flood-prone areas to reduce the risk of flooding.

Our experienced land use attorneys can guide you through the entire process of flood zone development, from reviewing and interpreting FEMA’s technical standards to obtaining variances from local floodplain development codes in cases of specialized circumstances. We work closely with FEMA's mapping specialist and engineers to amend flood zone classifications, ensuring that your project meets all requirements and is well-positioned for success. We understand that many communities have adopted their own floodplain development laws that exceed FEMA’s technical standards, and we can help you navigate these local laws to ensure that your project complies with all regulations. When planning for a project, it is crucial to review more than just the federal design bulletins, and we can assist you in reviewing and complying with all applicable regulations to ensure a smooth and successful development process. READ MORE>
Affordable Housing
The need for diverse and affordable housing options in the Hudson Valley has never been more urgent, as the region continues to experience rapid growth and change. To keep pace with this development and attract and retain a diverse workforce, it is essential to improve long-term affordability and upgrade the quality of life for all residents throughout the area. Cuddy & Feder fully supports the Governor’s NY Housing Compact, the WCA’s Pro-Housing Push, and the $150 million Mid-Hudson Momentum Fund (MHMF) program, all of which seek to encourage investment in mixed-use housing and infrastructure projects throughout the Mid-Hudson Region. We believe that providing zoning incentives to developers to encourage affordable housing would help address the financial burden on the private sector and, as a result, should expedite meeting this essential need for a diverse housing stock. By incentivizing developers to build affordable housing, we can ensure that the region's workforce has access to safe, quality housing that meets their needs and is conducive to a healthy and productive lifestyle. This will help to retain a diverse workforce and attract and retain employers, leading to continued economic growth and prosperity for the region.

Our team of land use attorneys has extensive experience working with developers and local governments to facilitate the development of diverse housing and infrastructure projects throughout the region. We understand the importance of providing high-quality, affordable housing to support economic development and enhance the quality of life for all residents. We can help developers navigate the complex regulatory landscape and provide guidance on zoning incentives and other strategies to encourage the development of affordable housing in the region. READ MORE>
 Telecom Updates
The telecommunications industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace and staying up to date on recent legal developments and successful client outcomes is crucial to ensuring success in this dynamic landscape. We’ve included a selection of Cuddy & Feder's recent telecom wins and legal updates for clients operating in New York and Connecticut. Our team of experienced attorneys has a deep understanding of the industry and a track record of delivering excellent service and results for our clients. By leveraging our engineering, planning and legal knowledge in this area, we help clients navigate complex legal issues and achieve their business goals. For more information, please contact Christopher B. Fisher [email protected] and Lucia Chiocchio [email protected].
Small Cell Wins
Cuddy & Feder Obtains Preliminary Injunction Mandating the Installation of a Small Cell DAS Network on Telecommunications Act Grounds
Cuddy & Feder, led by Litigation Co-Chair Brendan Goodhouse and Telecommunications Chair Christopher Fisher, obtained a rare mandatory preliminary injunction on behalf of ExteNet Systems in an action in the Eastern District of New York, in which the Court directed the Village of Kings Point to grant ExteNet’s application to deploy 31 small wireless facilities in the Village. READ MORE >
Cuddy & Feder Obtains Summary Judgment Win on Telecommunications Act Claims
Cuddy & Feder, led by the team of Telecommunications Chair Christopher Fisher and Litigation Co-Chair Brendan Goodhouse, won summary judgment on behalf of AT&T in the Northern District of New York in a significant case regarding municipal regulation of small wireless facilities. READ MORE>
Tower Wins
Cuddy & Feder Obtains Approvals for a 185’ Monopole Facility for Emergency Communications in the Hamptons
Cuddy & Feder’s Telecommunications Practice Partners, Christopher Fisher and Lucia Chiocchio, secured special permit and site plan approvals on behalf of American Tower for a 185’ monopole facility in East Hampton New York. The tower facility will allow critical emergency communications by the Town of East Hampton as well as reliable wireless services including emergency services by the major wireless carriers – Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and DISH – in the hamlet of Springs. The new tower will replace a 60’ tall monopole used by Verizon. In addition to the evidence from the town’s emergency communications department regarding the need for the tower facility, anecdotal evidence from the neighborhood established the lack of reliable wireless service in Springs for several years, which some viewed as a threat to public health and safety. READ MORE>
Cuddy & Feder Secures Approval for a New Tower Facility in an Unserved Area of Fairfield County
Cuddy & Feder’s Telecommunications Practice, led by Christopher Fisher and Lucia Chiocchio, guided Homeland Towers, LLC and AT&T through a contested case before the Connecticut Siting Council (CSC) securing an approval for a new tower facility in the town of New Canaan Connecticut. This community along the Gold Coast of Connecticut historically lacked reliable wireless services, including public safety emergency communications. State approval for this new tower infrastructure project will fulfill the long-standing critical demand for network services to the public in parts of the state that have been unserved since the advent of commercial cellular. READ MORE>
New York City Wins
Cuddy & Feder Obtains Case of First Impression Tower Win in NYC
What happens when an 80’ hotel is built 10’ away from an existing 70’ monopole in NYC? For wireless network engineers it’s obvious, signal blocking to thousands of customers that needs to be fixed. For network siting teams, finding the right network solution and navigating complex zoning laws to fix the problem can be quite a bit more challenging. 

In a first of its kind decision in NYC, the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) granted a 36’ height variance to permit a monopole extension. The BSA carefully reviewed the evidence including proof that the new rooftop was unleasable, that there were no by-right alternatives in adjacent residential zoning districts, and that a 20’ federal EFR extension would not be sufficient to meet carrier needs in serving the community. Further, that alternatives like new towers in parks or other nearby residential districts that would require a special use permit would create more impact on the adjacent community in comparison to extending the existing monopole. READ MORE>
Cuddy & Feder LLP | 914-761-1300 | 914-761-5372 | [email protected] |
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