profile

Amy E. Souchuns

Partner

Fax

203-878-9800

With areas of concentration spanning the development process, Amy E. Souchuns represents prominent real estate developers, property owners, retailers and municipalities in complex land use and real estate matters throughout the state of Connecticut. Amy takes a hands-on approach, guiding clients with practical advice based upon the issues unique to each development and each municipality.

Throughout her two decades in practice, Amy has counseled clients in a wide range of matters that have reshaped Connecticut’s landscape. She represented a regional developer in obtaining land use approvals for a $200 million mixed-use development in Stamford that included 650 residential units, ground floor retail and the renovation of a 1920s-era post office building. She has represented several regional and national developers in obtaining approvals ranging from gas stations and auto repair facilities to multi-family apartments and medical complexes. She has worked to obtain approvals on other significant developments, including the transformation of the Hospital of Saint Raphael campus in New Haven and creation of a new boatyard and apartment community in Stamford.

For those clients beginning the land use process, Amy conducts zoning analyses for development sites and building acquisitions, often working closely with engineers and architects to advise the client on the potential opportunities. Amy also has extensive experience addressing affordable housing issues, having worked with private developers, non-profit agencies and municipalities on inclusionary zoning matters in Connecticut, including the drafting of regulations, development applications, and the administration of affordable units.

When litigation is unavoidable, Amy is a zealous advocate, with deep experience handling a range of administrative appeals and real estate related disputes before the Connecticut Appellate and Superior Courts. This includes the successful defense of land use approvals for individuals, international retailers and commercial users across the state, specific performance actions, and declaratory judgment actions before the Connecticut Superior Court.

With a wide range of long-held accolades including a designation as a Connecticut Super Lawyer in Land Use/Zoning, she is also AV Peer Rated by Martindale-Hubbell. An engaged leader in her area of practice, Amy is a past Chair of the Planning & Zoning Section of the Connecticut Bar Association and is a member of its Executive Committee. Most recently, Amy served on a CBA task force charged with drafting COVID-related executive orders designed to facilitate the continued processing of land use matters during the pandemic.

She is a member of the Home Builders Association of Connecticut’s Developers Council, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW). In addition, Amy has authored numerous articles and lectured to the Connecticut Planners Association, the Connecticut Bar Association, and other organizations on local and national land use issues.

Education

  • Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, Washington, District of Columbia
    • J.D.
    • Honors: cum laude
  • College Of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts
    • B.A.
    • Major: History

Bar Admissions

  • Connecticut, 1999
  • U.S. District Court District of Connecticut, 2000

Honors

  • Connecticut Super Lawyers "Rising Star" in the Area of Land Use/Zoning
  • Super Lawyer

Pro-Bono Activities

  • Home Builders Association of Connecticut and its Connecticut Developers Council
  • International Council of Shopping Centers

Classes/Seminars

  • Moderator, Connecticut Land Use Law for Municipal Land Use Agencies, Boards and Commissions, 2015 to 2015
  • Panelist, What Every Administrative Law & Land Use Attorney Should Know: Tips, Tricks & Pitfalls,, 2015 to 2015

Published Works

  • Land Use Legal Update, Connecticut Developers Council, February, 2011
  • Eminent Domain: How Far is Too Far?, International Municipal Lawyers Association, Spring, 2002
  • We All Gotta Get Religion: A Primer on the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, Connecticut Planners Newsletter, Spring, 2001
  • Old Paint, New Laws: Achieving Effective Compliance with the Residential Lead Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act, 47 Cath. U. L.Rev. 1411, 1998
  • Old Paint, New Laws: Achieving Effective Compliance with the Residential Lead Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act, National Law Journal's "Worth Reading" Column, April 19, 1999
  • n Overview of the Renovation Permitting Process, Fairfield County Business Journal, 2014
  • Appellate Court Update, CBA Connecticut Legal Conference, 2014
  • Annual Legal Update, Connecticut Chapter of the American Planners Association, 2014

Professional Associations

  • Connecticut Bar Association, Environmental Law and Planning & Zoning Sections, Member
  • Connecticut Bar Association, Member, Planning & Zoning Section's Executive Committee
  • Connecticut Bar Association, Secretary

Significant Representations

Significant Land Use Matters

  • Obtained land use approvals for regional developer for mixed-use development featuring 650 residential units and ground floor retail in two high rise towers and historic renovation of 1920s Post Office building in downtown Stamford.
  • Representing regional developer with multiple land use approvals from municipal boards and agencies and in land use appeals in connection with redevelopment of 80 acres of brownfields and former industrial space into mixed use community with 4,000 residential units and over 500,000 square feet of retail, commercial and recreational space.
  • Procured land use approvals in several Connecticut municipalities for a national fast food chain expanding into the New England market.
  • Obtained land use approval for conversion of a vacant “big box” store into national self-storage facility.
  • Represented owner/developer of age-restricted residential community on Connecticut shoreline to obtain permits for its proposed wastewater treatment system in contested hearing before state environmental agency.
  • Advised contract purchaser of zoning issues related to its office building acquisition in Fairfield County.
  • Handled land use applications, including zone change, special exception, site plan, coastal area site plan and road relocation, for LEED-certified office and residential development adjacent to Stamford Transportation Center.
  • Assisted international investment bank with land use permitting for new $400 million office building and trading floor.
  • Worked with clients, non-profit agency and municipal staff and agency to implement and administer local zoning regulation mandating the inclusion of affordable housing units in all residential developments of 10 or more units.
  • Procured land use approvals for numerous residential developments, including high-rise luxury condominiums, townhome communities and multi-family rental properties.

Significant Litigation Matters

  • Defending neighbor-led injunction action seeking to rescind national developer’s land use approvals for automotive facility in central Connecticut
  • Handled land use litigation for investment fund in easement dispute involving commercially used property in a shoreline municipality
  • Represented the City of Milford to obtain denial and revocation of administrative permits on the basis of the applicant’s fraud and misrepresentation to state agency (See In re Recycling Inc., DEEP App. # 200801014 & Recycling Inc. v. Klee, Docket No. HHB-CV15-6028562S)
  • Represented prospective residential purchasers in a specific performance action associated with their acquisition of a multi-million dollar home on Connecticut waterfront
  • Co-counsel in successful defense of land use approvals for an international retailer’s new store in Manchester (See Waverly Markets LLC v. Manchester Planning & Zoning Commission et al., 2015 WL 777151 (Conn. Super. Jan. 14, 2015).)
  • Co-counsel in the successful defense of the decision of town zoning board of appeals to deny a neighboring owner’s appeal from the issuance of a zoning permit for the operation of a veterinary clinic.  (See Heim v. Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of New Canaan, 289 Conn. 709, 960 A2d 1018 (2008).)
  • Co-counsel representing alleged partially responsible parties sued by contributing partially responsible party under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and state law to recover costs incurred in responding to soil and groundwater contamination allegedly caused by release of hazardous substances.  (See Durham Manufacturing Co. v. Merriam Manufacturing Co., 128 F. Supp. 2d 97 (D. Conn. 2001) and 294 F. Supp. 2d 251 (D. Conn. 2003).)
  • Co-counsel in successful defense of the City of New Haven in action alleging violations of the Fair Housing Act and Equal Protection Clause by residents of predominately African-American and Hispanic neighborhood who would be displaced by construction of a school in their neighborhood.  (See Batiste v. City of New Haven, 239 F. Supp 2d 213 (D. Conn. 2002)).

Representative Cases

  • Heim v. Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of New Canaan, 289 Conn. 709, 960 A2d 1018, 2008
  • Durham Manufacturing Co. v. Merriam Manufacturing Co., 128 F. Supp. 2d 97, 2001, D. Conn.
  • Durham Manufacturing Co. v. Merriam Manufacturing Co., 294 F. Supp. 2d 251, 2003, D. Conn.
  • Batiste v. City of New Haven, 239 F. Supp 2d 213, 2002, D. Conn.