Consultations: 732-462-7170

Dennis M. Galvin

Practice Areas

Dennis M. Galvin is a partner in the firm’s Municipal and Real Estate and Land Use Departments. A recognized leader in the fields of land use and local government law, he served as Chair of the Local Government Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association during 2011 and 2012, and served as First Vice Chair during 2009 and 2010. Currently, he serves as an Assistant Counsel to the New Jersey Planning Officials.

While frequently representing municipalities on zoning, municipal land use and local government issues throughout New Jersey, he also advises developers and individuals with their site plans and variance applications, and has appeared before a variety of local boards. He has a background in the creation of Master Plans, Redevelopment Plans and Rehabilitation Plans. Dennis also has substantial experience in the areas of commercial litigation, business creation, business acquisition, landlord tenant law and collections.

Dennis’ extensive knowledge has earned him the position of Instructor at Rutgers State University in the areas of zoning law and municipal land use law. He is also a frequent speaker on zoning, local government law and ethics. Most recently, he was the moderator for a panel on Land Use at the New Jersey State Bar Association’s annual meeting.

Early in his career, Dennis was elected to serve as a Jackson Township Committee member; he now advises a number of local municipalities in various capacities, including as:

Fairfield Township Municipal Attorney (2009 – Present)
City of Hoboken Zoning Board of Adjustment Attorney (2010 – Present)
City of Hoboken Planning Board Attorney (2003-2005, 2013 – Present)
Township of Holmdel Planning Board Conflict Attorney (2015 – Present)
Township of Montclair Planning Board Conflict Attorney (2016 – Present)
Point Pleasant Beach Zoning Board of Adjustment Attorney (1992 – Present)
Point Pleasant Beach Planning Board Attorney (2008 – Present)
Borough of Somerville Zoning Board of Adjustment, Attorney (2006 – Present)
City of Summit Zoning Board of Adjustment Attorney (2002 – Present)

He has written numerous articles that have been published in the New Jersey Planner, the State League of Municipalities Magazine, the New Jersey Lawyer and the Local Government Law Review; he is currently the author of Local Government Law, 4th Edition, New Jersey Practice (Volumes 34-35 A), published by West Services, Inc.

Dennis is a recipient of the Michael A. Pane IV Award for Ethics, established by the Pane Family and the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, honoring a municipal professional who exemplifies the highest standards of ethics and whose work has significantly enhanced the integrity of local government.

Dennis received his J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law in 1986 and his B.A. from Montclair State University in 1980. He is admitted to practice in New Jersey and the US Court of Appeals, Third Circuit.

Admissions

  • New Jersey, 1987
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 2008

Memberships and Affiliations

New Jersey State Bar Association (Local Government Law Section, Chairman, 2011 – 2012; Vice Chair, 2009 – 2010)
Middlesex County Bar Association
Ocean County Bar Association
Institute of Municipal Attorneys, Member
New Jersey Planning Officials, Assistant Counsel
Citizen’s Campaign Legal Task Force, Member
New Jersey Institute of Local Government Attorneys, Member
Jackson Chamber of Commerce, Former President
Jackson Township, Former Committeeman

Classes/Speaking Engagements

Instructor for Rutgers State University in the areas of zoning law and municipal land use law, 2003 – Present
“Ethics for Municipal Attorneys” and “Representing Zoning & Planning Boards in New Jersey,” New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 2010 – Present
Frequent panelist/speaker for the New Jersey Planning Officials and the New Jersey League of Municipalities Conferences, The New Jersey Planning Officials, 1993 – Present
New Jersey Association for Planning and Zoning Administrators, Cutting Edge Issues
New Jersey State Bar Association Annual Meeting, Moderator, Panel on Land Use

Recognition

Recipient, Michael A. Pane IV Award for Ethics (2010)
Jackson Alumni Hall of Fame (2011)
Recipient, Outstanding Service Award, presented by the Ocean County Chapter of the Jersey Shore Council Boy Scouts of America (2008)
Recipient, Citizen of the Year Award, bestowed upon a citizen by the Jackson Chamber of Commerce, in grateful recognition of their remarkable record of service to the Jackson Township community and the community-at-large (2002)
Selected to New Jersey Super Lawyers list* (2012, 2013, 2015 – present)

 

Articles and Publications

Guidelines for Quasi-Judicial Bodies

By Dennis Galvin, Esq. and Jonathan E. Drill, Esq. Planning Boards when hearing a development application and/or when conducting a…

Conditions of Approval and Their Enforcement

By Dennis M. Galvin, Esq. Over the years, I have been frequently asked about a Zoning Officer’s ability and obligation…

“The Interpretation of a Zoning Ordinance”

By Dennis M. Galvin Published in Local Government Law Review, July, 2014. Zoning boards of adjustment are independent, quasi-judicial bodies.[i]…

“What To Do When Things Go Wrong”

By Dennis M. Galvin Published in New Jersey Municipalities, November, 2013 Every night, when we have a public meeting, we…

“Sign of the Times”

By Dennis M. Galvin Published in The New Jersey Planner, September/October, 2013 Digital signs are becoming the rage. They come…

“Bringing Non-Conforming Uses Into Conformity”

By Dennis M. Galvin, Esq. Published in the New Jersey Planner, November/December 2012 A non-conforming use is a use that…

“Roles of the Zoning Board of Adjustment & the Zoning Officer”

By Dennis M. Galvin, Esq. Published in The New Jersey Planner, May/June 2012 This article seeks to explain the roles…

“Honor Does Not Come in a Brown Paper Bag”

By Dennis M. Galvin, Esq. Published in New Jersey Municipalities, November 2011 Based upon my experience, the overwhelming majority of…

“It’s Time to Have X-Rated Vision”

By Dennis M. Galvin Published in Local Government Law Review, August, 2011 The Federal and State Courts have recently rendered…

“Board Members Have Immunity – Absolutely!”

By Dennis M. Galvin The New Jersey Planner, July/August 2010 It is important for you, as board members, to remember…

“Pay-to-play ordinances: logical, effective, legal”

By Dennis M. Galvin, Esq. Published in New Jersey Lawyer, August, 2008 Our Democracy depends on the character of our…

“It Takes Courage to Deny an Inherently Beneficial Use, and Wisdom to be Affirmed”

By Dennis Galvin, Esq. Published as a Special Feature in the NJ Planner, July/August 2007 Zoning Boards of Adjustment are…

“Despite Court Opinion, Board Members, Should Disclose Reasons for Vote”

By Dennis M. Galvin, Esq. Printed in the Summer 2004 edition of the New Jersey Planning Officials’ publication, The New…

“Radio Towers Are Not Necessarily Beneficial”

By: Dennis M. Galvin, Esq. Published in New Jersey Municipalities, March, 1997 Many municipalities throughout New Jersey have witnessed an…

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Freehold, NJ
Monmouth County