Property Rights Foundation of America®


John S. Marwell

John S. Marwell

John S. Marwell is a founding member of Shamberg Marwell Davis & Hollis, P.C., a law firm with offices in northern Westchester County. The firm represents property owners, including developers, religious and educational institutions, industry groups and individuals, in matters relating to property rights, land use and environmental regulations and permits.

The firm has successfully litigated landmark cases in federal and New York State trial and appellate courts, including in the areas of environmental regulations, exclusionary zoning, affordable housing, unconstitutional takings of property by governmental entities, the imposition of impact fees by municipalities, the wrongful denial of real property tax exemptions to religious and educational institutions, and issues of public access to private property, including the issue of the navigability of water bodies located on private property.

The firm regularly handles applications for land use and environmental approvals before municipal and State regulatory agencies, including site plan, subdivision, and special permit approvals, and variances for commercial, residential, religious and educational projects. The firm prepares these applications with a recognition that recourse to the courts may be necessary, either to challenge the denial of the permit or to defend against a challenge from neighbors or advocacy groups opposing the applications.

The firm is also called upon by its clients to oppose the enactment of legislative initiatives by such agencies to impose greater restrictions on property owners rights, whether in the form of building moratoria, new wetlands or other environmental regulations, or revisions to existing zoning and land use regulations. If such regulations are enacted, the firm has created the administrative record so that clients may initiate litigation to challenge such laws on constitutional, substantive, and procedural grounds.

Mr. Marwell is a graduate of Columbia College and Columbia Law School. He is a vice president of the New York State Bar Association and a past president of the Westchester County Bar Association and the Westchester County Bar Foundation. He is a past chairman of Teatown Lake Reservation, Inc., the largest non-governmental nature conservation and education center in Westchester County.

Conference Speeches

"How Errant Golf Balls Threaten Private Property Rights" - Speech from the Eighteenth Annual Conference
"Today's Zoning vs. Historic Businesses & Homeowners in Upstate New York" - Speech from the Fourteenth Annual Conference
"Challenging Overzealous Zoning"
- Speech Summary from the Thirteenth Annual Conference
"No-Growth Zoning" - Speech from the Twelfth Annual Conference
"The Navigable Waterways Controversy" - Speech from the Eleventh Annual Conference

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