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Partner - Christopher J. Smith

Christopher J. Smith


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Christopher Smith has an extensive legal practice administering zoning, planning and wetlands matters before municipal land use agencies. He is experienced in litigating land use, environmental matters, exclusionary zoning and wetlands claims, and has argued numerous matters before the Connecticut Supreme Court and the Appellate Court. Specifically, Chris has participated in over 250 land use appeals in the Connecticut courts. Chris represents real estate developers, lenders, businesses, manufacturers, neighborhood associations and municipalities in land use matters. His practice includes due diligence, land use application preparation, filing and processing, and all associated court-related proceedings. Chris has written amicus curiae briefs submitted to the Connecticut Supreme Court on behalf of the American Planning Association, Connecticut Chapter; Connecticut Association of Zoning Enforcement Officers; the Connecticut Bar Association, Planning and Zoning Section; and the Home Builders Association of Connecticut.

Chris also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Antoinette L. Dupont, Judge of the Connecticut Appellate Court.


  • BV Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers: Environment (2007-2009) and Real Estate (2010-2014)
  • Listed as a Connecticut Super Lawyer®: Land Use/Zoning (2006-2014)
  • Special Master, Connecticut Superior Court
  • James W. Cooper Fellow, Connecticut Bar Association

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association: Urban, State and Local Government Law Section; Energy and Environmental Law Section; Natural Resources Section
  • Connecticut Bar Association: Chair, Planning and Zoning Section, Executive Committee (1997-2000); Conservation and Environmental Quality Section; Administrative Law Section
  • Bridgeport Bar Association: Chair, Land Use and Environmental Section (1995-1996)
  • New Haven County Bar Association
  • American Planning Association, Connecticut Chapter: Executive Committee

Community Involvement

  • Connecticut Chapter of the American Planning Association, Executive Committee (2000-present)
  • Connecticut General Assembly's Blue Ribbon Commission on Property Tax Burdens and Smart Growth Incentives (2002-2003)
  • Connecticut General Assembly's Blue Ribbon Commission to Study Affordable Housing (1999-2000)
  • Connecticut General Assembly's Inland Wetlands Task Force (1995-1996)
  • State of Connecticut Ethics Commission (2001-2004)
  • State of Connecticut Southwest Corridor Action Council (1996-2000)
  • Town of North Branford: Member and Chair, Conservation and Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency (1991-2003)
  • Town of North Branford: Town Council; Zoning Board of Appeals; Economic Development Commission (1983-1991)
  • Haddam Land Trust (2011-present)
  • Phare Programme: Educator on US Land Use Matters - Republic of Slovakia (1995-1996)


October 17, 2014  Takings in Land Use Law After Koontz
June 13, 2014  Hot Topics in Land Use Law and Practice 2014
June 21, 2013  Hot Topics in Land Use Law and Practice 2013
June 22, 2012  Hot Topics in Land Use Law and Practice 2012 - 5.5 CM credits, including 1.5 CM of Planning Law and 1.5 CM of Ethics
June 6, 2012  Aspects of Bozrah vs Chmurynski and Permitted and Prohibited Uses Within CL&P Easements
December 9, 2011  Public Act 11-79, "An Act Concerning Bonds and Other Surety for Approved State Plans and Subdivisions" Where do we go from here?
December 7, 2011  Overview of CT Land Use Law
October 20-21, 2011  Innovative Planning in the New Economy
October 18, 2011  Basic Land Use Law
June 10, 2011  Hot Topics in Land Use Law and Practice 2011- 1.5 CM, Ethics Training Only
June 10, 2011  Hot Topics in Land Use Law and Practice 2011- 5.5 CM Credits, Including 1.5 CM of Planning Law and 1.5 CM of Ethics
March 12, 2011  Nonconformities in Connecticut Land Use Law
September 30, 2010  Value Added: Finding and Saving Money in a Recovering Real Estate Economy
June 11, 2010  Hot Topics in Land Use Law and Practice 2010- 6.25 CM Credits, Including 1.5 CM of Planning Law and 1.5 CM of Ethics
November 5, 2009  2009 Southern New England American Planning Association Conference
October 14, 2009  The Basics of Connecticut Land Use Law
June 26, 2009  Hot Topics in Land Use Law and Practice 2009- 5 CM Credits
March 28, 2009  Connecticut Land Use Law For Municipal Land Use Agencies, Boards, and Commissions
November 11, 2008  Zoning, Subdivision and Land Development Law in Connecticut
October 29, 2008  Tips for Lawyers in the Land Use Practice
November 8, 2007  Advanced Zoning and Land Use
October 3, 2007  Basic Land Use
September 28-29, 2006  American Planning Association's 2006 Southern New England Planning Conference
November 18, 2005  Kelo v. New London and Other Recent Property Rights/Land Use Decisions and Legislative Preview
November 17, 2005  Recent Case Law and Legislative Update
November 10, 2005  Smart Growth Incentives
July 29, 2005  Recent Case Law and Legislative Update
March 5, 2005  Municipal Land Use
February 24, 2005  Recent Land Use Case Law
May 27, 2004  Smart Growth Incentives
May 13, 2004  Hot Topics: Land Use Law in Connecticut
April 29, 2004  Smart Growth Incentives from the Blue Ribbon Commission on Property Tax Burdens and Smart Growth Incentives
March 19, 2004  Water Resources and Section 22a-19 Environmental Interventions
March 15, 2004  Smart Growth Incentives
January 14, 2004  Property Rights and Land Use Law
March 1, 2002  Advanced Planning and Zoning: Hot Topics II

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Practice Areas


  • University of Connecticut School of Law, J.D., 1983
  • Providence College, B.A., 1980, cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • Connecticut

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, District of CT
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