Michael S. Giaimo

Partner

  • Overview

    Biography

    Michael Giaimo practices land use, real estate and environmental law. He represents developers, businesses, institutions, government agencies, and other property owners in permitting, regulatory compliance, transactions, and related litigation and administrative proceedings. He also consults with clients on land use policy matters throughout the country. He is a member of the firm’s Land Use Group and Real Estate + Development Group and co-chair of the firm’s Landlaw Section.

    Land Use

    Mr. Giaimo represents clients in permitting and enforcement matters before local zoning boards and other municipal  bodies, including planning boards, conservation commissions, historic districts, boards of health, boards of selectmen, city councils, town meetings, regional planning authorities, and state agencies. He helps them obtain the approvals and permits they need to develop their property and operate their businesses. He has successfully represented clients in obtaining approvals from permitting boards in well over 100 Massachusetts communities. He also represents clients in federal and state courts on zoning appeals and other land use matters.

    Mr. Giaimo has a Masters degree in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and more than 20 years of service on municipal boards. This includes prior service as a member and chair of his town’s planning board and as chair of its zoning board of appeals, and his current service as a selectman. This gives him a good appreciation of the view from the other side of the table—invaluable experience for advising and representing clients on the practical aspects of development permitting strategy, as well as the legal requirements. Mr. Giaimo has represented clients in the wireless telecommunications industry for more than 20 years, and he has successfully permitted hundreds of sites at the local level, in some cases after winning a judicial appeal. He has represented a national retailer in resolving abutter opposition and obtaining local and state approvals to construct and operate a gasoline station. He successfully represented another national company in navigating through local concerns to secure site plan approval of a distribution facility.

    Real Estate and Development

    Mr. Giaimo also represents clients in acquiring and selling residential, commercial and industrial property, including documenting the transaction and dealing with title and related matters. He recently helped a client purchase an office building in a Boston suburb. He helped homeowners abutting a recreational lake form a municipal district to successfully acquire and permit the reconstruction of a failing dam that posed a threat to their properties. He also represented a retail developer in acquiring rights needed for a parking area in connection with redevelopment of a shopping center.

    Mr. Giaimo has made frequent local and national speaking appearances before professional, business, civic, and student groups on zoning; constitutional issues, including takings, religious land use, and equal protection law; and other land use and environmental law subjects. He is a contributing author of the Massachusetts Zoning Manual, co-edited an American Bar Association treatise on religious land use law, and has contributed articles to numerous other publications. He co-chairs an annual seminar on zoning for Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education. The Massachusetts Superior Court has qualified him as an expert witness on land use permitting.

    Mr. Giaimo has been selected to the Massachusetts Super Lawyers list since 2004. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America© in the area of Land Use and Zoning Law since 2013 and in the area of Real Estate Law since 2016.

  • Experience
    • Experience

      Experience

      • Represent national telecommunications company on matters relating to preacquisition due diligence, zoning and other development permitting, appeals in federal and state courts, regulatory policy, and compliance. 

      • Represented national retailer in successfully obtaining zoning and other approvals for expansions at Massachusetts store locations.

      • Represented present owner of a historically contaminated industrial property in successfully obtaining local zoning and wetlands approvals and state permits needed for environmental response action, including wetlands remediation.

      • Advises national real estate trade association in connection with local and state planning and land use policy matters throughout the country. 

      • Advised public agency on various land use permitting and title issues affecting the valuation of land taken by eminent domain.

      • Represents a Boston area retail development and management company in real estate and land use matters. 

      • Represented an association of homeowners abutting a recreational lake in forming a municipal district to acquire a failing dam that posed a threat to their properties, and in connection with local and state permitting for the reconstruction of the dam, including the acquisition of rights in abutting property.

      • Represented coastal property owner in negotiating sale of property to municipality. 

      • Represent institutional client in title and permitting matters in connection with planned expansion. 

      • Represented an outdoor advertising company in successfully leasing space for, and obtaining state approval of, a new billboard on a prominent building adjacent to the interstate highway.

      • Represents coastal property owner with regard to land use and wetlands regulatory matters pertaining to real estate development and effects of coastal erosion.

      • Represented residential developer in Land Court action against municipality and its building official, successfully persuading Court of exception to exhaustion of administrative remedies doctrine, resulting in declaration in client’s favor that prior development approval authorizing cluster subdivision on property remained valid.

      • Represented developer in conceiving and drafting a zoning amendment and providing legal and strategic support during local review and town meeting adoption process to construct a mixed-use development on an assembled parcel straddling multiple zoning districts in a Massachusetts town. Also supported the developer in securing zoning, wetlands, and related approvals for the proposed development.

      • Successfully represented owner of a residentially zoned nonconforming energy business in defending zoning enforcement action alleging improper change and expansion of business.

      • Obtained zoning site plan and variance approvals for an indoor field sports facility proposed by a private developer on a redevelopment site in a southeastern Massachusetts community.
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    • Professional Associations

      Professional Associations

      Urban Land Institute
      Sustainable Development Council (2005 - present)

      Real Estate Bar Association for Massachusetts
      Land Use Committee (2004 - present)

      The Abstract Club
    • Honors + Awards

      Honors + Awards

      AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated in Martindale-Hubbell™ in the areas of Zoning, Planning, and Land Use; Environmental Law; and Real Estate (Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings is a trademark. AV Preeminent is a certification mark of Reed Elsevier Properties, Inc.)

      Selected to the Massachusetts Super Lawyers list from 2004 to 2017.

      Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© in the area of Land Use and Zoning Law since 2013 and in Real Estate Law since 2016

    • Community Involvement

      Community Involvement

      Town of Sherborn, Massachusetts
      Chair of the Board of Selectmen

      Friends of Minuteman National Park
      Board of Directors
  • NEWS + PRESS
    • Publications

      Publications

      "An Encounter with the SJC's 'Bjorkland' Decision," published in The Real Estate Bar Association for Massachusetts (REBA) (Spring 2008)

      "Steering Your Way Through Local Zoning Requirements," published in MCLE Massachusetts Basic Practice Manual (2006 supp.)
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      "A Promising New Mechanism for Creating More Housing and Encouraging Mixed-Use Development in Massachusetts," published in Real Estate Finance, co-authored with Brian Blaesser and Matthew Lawlor (4/2005)
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      "Zoning Freezes," published in MCLE Massachusetts Zoning Manual, co-authored with Brian Blaesser (2005 supp.)
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      "Special Permits," published in MCLE Massachusetts Zoning Manual, co-authored with Christopher Foster (2005 supp.)

      "Historical Development of Massachusetts Zoning Law," published in MCLE Massachusetts Zoning Manual (2005 supp.)
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      "Chapter 40R: A New Mechanism for Encouraging Housing Construction," published in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, co-authored with Matthew J. Lawlor (12/2004)

      "Releasing the Choke Hold on Growth," published in Planning & Environmental Law, co-authored with Brian Blaesser (10/2004)

      "Challenging Improper Land Use Decision-Making Under the Equal Protection Clause," published in XV Fordham Environmental Law Review 335 (Spring 2004)

      "Church v. State," published in Planning, co-authored with Dwight Merriam (4/2003)
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      "Ill Will and Class of One: Equal Protection Claims after the Olech Decision," published in Land Use Law & Zoning Digest (2/2003)
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      "Book Review: Introduction to Zoning, 2d Edition," published in Journal of the American Planning Association (JAPA) (Autumn 2002)

      "The Land Court's Durand Case and the Doctrine of Contract Zoning in Massachusetts: A Promise Not Forgotten," published in The Conveyancer, co-authored with Janet Stearns (Summer 2002)

      "Preston v. Zoning Board of Appeals of Hull and the Zoning Doctrine of Merger: A Reminder from the Appeals Court," published in The Conveyancer (Summer 2001)
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      RLUIPA Reader: Religious Land Uses, Zoning, and the Courts, coedited with Lora A. Lucero (4/23/2009), copublished with the American Planning Association
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    • Presentations

      Presentations

      "Zoning Practice," co-chaired this Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education program (1/26/2016)
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      "The Takings Issue," co-moderated the webinar with Professor Daniel Mandelker of Washington University Law School; panelists were Professor John Echeverria of Vermont Law School and Hawaii lawyer Robert Thomas (8/10/2015)
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      "How to Avoid and Defend RLUIPA Suits," co-presented with Evan J. Seeman and Karla L. Chaffee (6/8/2015)

      "Zoning Basics - Site Plan Review and Constructive Approvals," at Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education Course (Fall 2006)

      "Zoning Appeals," at MCLE 8th Annual Real Estate Law Conference (3/2006)

      "Class of One Equal Protection," at Georgetown Law Center Regulatory Taking Seminar, held at Harvard Law School (10/28/2005)

      "Site Plan Review and Constructive Grant," at MCLE Zoning Basics Seminar (2005)
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      "Zoning Freezes, Subdivision Controls, and Site Plan Review," at CLE International Land Use and Development Law (Boston, MA) (1/2004)
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      "Recent Developments in Federal Telecommunications Act Law," at Center for American and International Law Annual Program on Planning, Zoning, and Eminent Domain (Dallas Tx) (12/2003)
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      "More on RLUIPA," at Center for American and International Law Annual Program on Planning, Zoning, and Eminent Domain (Dallas, TX) (12/2003)
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      "Site Plan Review and Constructive Grant," at Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (11/2003)
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      "Challenging Improper Land Use Decision Making under the Equal Protection Clause," at Georgetown Center for Environmental Law Litigating Regulatory Takings Symposium (New York City) (10/30/2003)
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      "Religious Land Use Law," at Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute Annual Conference (Denver, CO) (10/2003)
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      "What Every Association Executive Should Know About Land Use," at National Association of Realtors Executive Conference (Chicago, IL) (3/2003)
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      "Religious Land Use," at Center for American and International Law, A Short Course on Land Use Law (Albany, NY), co-presented with Professor Daniel Mandelker (3/2003)
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      "Religious Land Use," at National Association of Towns and Townships Annual Meeting (Washington, D.C.) (9/2002)
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      "Religious Land Use," at Center for American and International Law Short Course on Land Use Law (New York City), co-presented with Dwight Merriam (6/2002)
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      "Religious Land Use," at Center for American and International Law (CAIL) Annual Institute on Planning, Zoning, and Eminent Domain (San Francisco) (2/2002)
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      "The Relevant Parcel and Partial Takings," at Center for American and International Law Annual Institute on Planning, Zoning, and Eminent Domain (San Francisco) (2/2002)
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      "Bad Faith in Section 1983 Takings Litigation," at Southwestern Legal Foundation Institute on Planning, Zoning, and Eminent Domain (San Francisco) (11/2000)
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    • News

      R+C in the News

      • February 22, 2016

        Mike Giaimo Co-chairs MCLE Zoning Practice Seminar

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      • August 20, 2015

        Land Use Lawyer Michael Giaimo Moderates IMLA Takings Webinar

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      • July 6, 2015

        Land Use Lawyers Present IMLA Webinar on Avoiding and Defending RLUIPA Suits

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      • September 12, 2014

        Michael Giaimo Appointed to Board of National Park Support Organization

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      • February 28, 2013

        Mike Giaimo Presents at Zoning Law Seminar

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      • December 2, 2010

        National Association of Realtors® honors LandLaw Partner and Firm

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      • September 17, 2009

        Robinson & Cole Attorneys Participate in Panel Discussion for Boston Bar Association

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      • September 2, 2009

        Books by Robinson & Cole LandLaw Partners on Best Seller List

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      • June 17, 2009

        Robinson & Cole Land Use Attorneys Volunteer in the Classroom

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      • May 1, 2009

        Robinson & Cole Land Use Partner Publishes Book on Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act

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      • April 8, 2008

        Robinson & Cole Partner's Article in REBA News

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      R+C News Releases

      • October 17, 2017

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers®

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      • August 15, 2017

        Fifty-Nine Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2018

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      • August 15, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Lawyer Count in The Best Lawyers in America® 2017

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      • October 19, 2015

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers®

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      • August 18, 2015

        Robinson+Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Lawyer Count in The Best Lawyers in America® 2016

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      • October 17, 2014

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers

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      • August 19, 2014

        Robinson+Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Lawyer Count in Best Lawyers National Peer Review Survey

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      • August 16, 2013

        Robinson & Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Attorney Count in Best Lawyers National Peer Review Survey

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      • October 22, 2012

        Super Lawyers® Names 49 Robinson & Cole Attorneys to 2012 List and Recognizes 26 as Rising Stars

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      • August 28, 2012

        Robinson & Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Attorney Count in Best Lawyers National Peer Review Survey

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