Throughout her two decades in practice, Amy Souchuns has counseled clients on matters that have reshaped the Connecticut landscape. She represents prominent real estate developers, property owners, retailers and municipalities in complex land use and real estate matters throughout Connecticut. She takes a hands-on approach, guiding clients with practical advice based on the issues unique to each development and municipality.
Amy 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 national and regional developers in obtaining approvals on various property types, from gas stations and auto repair facilities to apartments and medical complexes. In addition, she obtained approvals on other significant developments, including the major expansion of the Hospital of Saint Raphael campus in New Haven and a new boatyard and apartment community in Stamford.
When clients need to evaluate their real estate opportunities, Amy conducts zoning analyses for development sites and building acquisitions, working closely with engineers and architects to advise their mutual clients. Amy also has extensive experience addressing affordable housing issues, having worked with private developers, nonprofit agencies and municipalities on inclusionary zoning matters in Connecticut, including drafting regulations, preparing development applications, and assisting with the administration of affordable units.
When litigation is unavoidable, Amy is a zealous advocate with deep experience handling administrative appeals and real estate-related disputes before the Connecticut appellate and trial courts. This includes successfully defending land use approvals for individuals, international retailers and commercial users, specific performance actions, and declaratory judgment actions.
With many long-held accolades, one of particular note is Amy's selection by Chambers USA in Band 1 in Connecticut in Land Use: one of the most prestigious honors in the legal industry.
- Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, Washington, District of Columbia
- Honors: cum laude
- College Of the Holy Cross
- Major: History
- U.S. District Court District of Connecticut, 2000
- Chambers USA Band 1: Connecticut Real Estate: Zoning / Land Use
- Martindale Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating
- Connecticut Super Lawyers: Land Use/Zoning
- "Rising Star" in the Area of Land Use/Zoning
- Connecticut Bar Association Seminar, Permit Validity
- Connecticut Land Use Law for Municipal Land Use Agencies, Boards and Commissions
- Connecticut Planners Association Annual Legal Update
- What Every Administrative Law & Land Use Attorney Should Know: Tips, Tricks & Pitfalls
- Old Paint, New Laws: Achieving Effective Compliance with the Residential Lead Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act, 47 Cath. U. L. Rev. 1411 National Law Journal's "Worth Reading" Column, April 19, 1999
- Connecticut Bar Association, Environmental Law and Planning & Zoning Sections, Member
- Connecticut Bar Association, Member, Planning & Zoning Section's Executive Committee
- Connecticut Bar Association, Planning & Zoning Section, COVID-19 Taskforce
- Home Builders Association of Connecticut and its Connecticut Developers Council
- International Council of Shopping Centers, Member
Significant Land Use Matters
- Obtained land use approvals for a regional developer for a mixed-use development featuring 650 residential units, ground-floor retail in two high-rise towers, and a historic renovation of a 1920s post office building in downtown Stamford.
- Represented national healthcare real estate firm in connection with land use approvals to convert vacant mall anchor into modern medical office space.
- Obtained land use approvals in multiple Connecticut municipalities for a regional medical and adult-use cannabis company.
- Procured zoning approvals for a regional construction company in connection with a single-family open space development in a shoreline town.
- Procured land use approvals in several Connecticut municipalities for a national fast-food chain expanding into the New England market and approvals for renovations of existing locations.
- Represented regional developer with multiple land use approvals from municipal boards and agencies and in land use appeals related to the redevelopment of 80 acres of brownfields and former industrial space into a mixed-use community with 4,000 residential units and over 500,000 square feet of retail, commercial and recreational space.
- Obtained land use approval for conversion of a vacant “big box” store into a national self-storage facility.
- Represented an owner-developer of an age-restricted residential community on the Connecticut shoreline in obtaining permits for its proposed wastewater treatment system in a contested hearing before a state environmental agency.
- Advised a contract purchaser of an office building in Fairfield County of zoning conformity issues related to the building.
- Handled land use applications, including zone change, special exception, site plan, coastal area site plan and road relocation, for a LEED-certified office and residential development adjacent to Stamford Transportation Center.
- Assisted an international investment bank with land use permitting for a new $400 million office building and trading floor.
- Worked with clients, a nonprofit agency, and municipal staff to implement and administer a 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
- Defended a neighbor-led injunction action seeking to rescind national developer’s land use approvals in central Connecticut.
- Handled land use litigation for an investment fund in an easement dispute involving commercially used property in a shoreline municipality.
- Represented the city of Milford in obtaining denial and revocation of administrative permits based on the applicant’s fraud and misrepresentation to a state agency (See In re Recycling Inc., DEEP App. # 200801014 & Recycling Inc. v. Klee, Docket No. HHB-CV15-6028562S).
- Represented prospective buyers in a specific performance action associated with their acquisition of a multi-million-dollar home on the Connecticut waterfront.
- Served as co-counsel in a 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)).
- Served as co-counsel in the successful defense of a town zoning board of appeals’ decision to deny a neighboring owner’s appeal of 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)).
- Served as 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 the 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)).
- Served as co-counsel in the successful defense of the city of New Haven in an action alleging violations of the Fair Housing Act and Equal Protection Clause by residents of a predominately African American and Hispanic neighborhood who would be displaced by the construction of a school. (See Batiste v. City of New Haven, 239 F. Supp 2d 213 (D. Conn. 2002)).
- 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.