Susan Rubright is a detail-oriented, dedicated, and thoughtful attorney with a thorough understanding of all aspects of real estate and real estate development. She has the ability to place development issues into the transactional context, including due diligence, purchase agreements and leases, land use, environmental permitting, and construction costs/timing. She has comprehensive experience with commercial developers and individuals in obtaining development (site plan, subdivision, and zoning variance) approvals. Representative clients include apartment, multifamily and single-family home builders, national pharmacy stores, retail centers, national renal dialysis centers, and other medical providers. Susan also takes pride in solving land use and municipal problems for individuals, small business owners, and non-profit groups who might otherwise find the process daunting.
Susan understands the redevelopment process from multiple angles. She has worked with redevelopers in pursuing redevelopment designations and related approvals. She has represented a planning board in designating areas “in need of development” and reviewing the related redevelopment approvals and agreements. She has also sought the removal of properties from inclusion in a redevelopment area, first by asking and then by filing suit.
Susan also counsels public and private clients on such complex matters as affordable housing and COAH, rezonings, environmental permitting, the Highlands Act, code compliance, farmland preservation and the Right to Farm, open space acquisition, and the Open Public Records Act (OPRA). Susan was the author of legal briefs on a novel statutory conflict issue between the Municipal Land Use Law and the Right to Farm Act. She negotiated and coordinated the first simultaneous closing in New Jersey that utilized state, county, and municipal farmland preservation funding in order to purchase development rights. She also prepared the model telecommunications ordinance used by numerous municipalities in the state.
On a weekly basis, Susan appears before planning and zoning boards throughout northern and central New Jersey, and regularly appears before such boards in Livingston, West Caldwell, West Orange, Florham Park, Wayne, Paterson, Newark, Flemington, and Tewksbury. When necessary, Susan litigates land use and zoning matters on behalf of private and public clients.
Susan currently serves as planning (combined planning and zoning) board attorney for Raritan Borough in Somerset County and the Borough of Far Hills. Previously she served as zoning board attorney and planning board attorney for White Township, planning board attorney for Hillsborough Township, planning board attorney for the Town of Phillipsburg, planning board attorney for Bloomsbury Borough and land use board attorney and special land use board counsel for Bethlehem Township. She has done real estate work for Lebanon Township, Lopatcong Township, and the City of Plainfield.
When representing governing bodies with borough, township, or town forms of government, Susan works to streamline procedures and promote efficiency and has done so on numerous issues including the development of budgets and capital improvement spending plans, bid documents, and contracts. She formerly served as municipal attorney for Tewksbury Township, Lebanon Borough, Bethlehem Township and Hardwick Township, and as assistant municipal attorney for the Borough of North Plainfield, East Amwell Township, Washington Borough (Warren), and Hampton Borough, and the Town of Clinton, Franklin Township (Hunterdon), Washington Township (Warren), and Paramus Borough.
Susan currently serves as Vice Chair of the Borough of Peapack & Gladstone Land Use Board.
Susan is a frequent lecturer on planning and zoning procedures and issues to municipal governing officials and planning and zoning board members on behalf of New Jersey Planning Officials and other organizations. In April 2015 she presented a webinar on "d" variances, co-sponsored by the NJ League of Municipalities and the NJ Association of Planning & Zoning Administrators. In October 2015 she was a panelist on "The A, B, C & D's of Zoning" sponsored by the Somerset County Bar Association. In October 2012, Susan presented two segments of a Land Use Law seminar sponsored by the National Business Institute, entitled "Understanding the Development and Utilization of the Comprehensive Plan" and "Ethics in Land Use." In June 2012, she lectured on "Signage II - Legal and First Amendment Issues" at a conference co-sponsored by the New Jersey Association of Planning and Zoning Administrators and the Rutgers University Center for Government Services.
In 2018, Susan outlined how open communication with a would-be project's neighbors goes a long way in an exclusive article on GlobeSt.com, "How To Be A Good Neighbor (And Get Your Project Approved)." In 2008, Susan was profiled in "Meet the Lawyers" and as a "Women of Influence," both in Real Estate New Jersey, and also in "Executive Women in Business" in the MidAtlanticReal Estate Journal. She has lectured for the National Business Institute (NBI) on legal issues involving local governments, in 2009. Her article, "Land Use Strategy in Times of Economic Strife," was published in New Jersey & Company in May 2009. Susan co-authored the article "Back to Blight?" published in January 2008 in Real Estate New Jersey.
ADDITIONAL NOTEWORTHY INFORMATION
Susan was honored by the Somerset County Commission on the Status of Women as its "Outstanding Lawyer for 2012."
Susan has been named "Associate of the Quarter" for the 3rd quarter of 2014 by Metropolitan Builders and Contractors Association.
Prior to her legal career, Susan served as a staff planner for the Somerset County Planning Board.
Susan is certified by the NRA to teach First Steps Pistol, Basic Pistol, Personal Protection in the Home and Personal Protection Outside the Home and enjoys teaching new and experienced shooters on a regular basis. She is also certified by the NRA as a Range Safety Officer.
Susan actively volunteers with animal rescue groups and is pursuing dog training as a hobby.
- Borough of Peapack & Gladstone Land Use Board, Member (2014 - present), Vice Chair 2018
- Borough of Peapack & Gladstone Master Plan Re-examination Committee, Member (2013 - 2015)
- Somerset County Business Partnership, Member (2011 - present)
- Somerset County Office on Aging Advisory Council (2008 - 2011)
- Somerset County Federation of Republican Women (2002 - present), Vice President (2010 - 2012)
- New Jersey Bar Association, Land Use Law Section (1995 - present)
- Somerset County Bar Association (2013 - present), Co-chair Real Estate Committee (2015 - present)
- Metropolitan Builders & Contractors (Formerly CBRA) (2008 - present), Member, Board of Directors (2011 - present), Associate Vice President (2015 - 2016)
- Bernards Township Cable Advisory Task Force (2008 - 2010)
- New Jersey Builders Association, Legislative Affairs Committee (2010 - present)
- New Jersey Planning Officials (2003 - present) Associate Counsel (2009 - 2014) Assistant Counsel (2015 - present)
- Cedars at Basking Ridge Condominium Association, Vice President (1993 - 1996)
- Borough of Peapack & Gladstone Environmental Commission (1978 - 1982)
- New Jersey State Bar Association, Member
- Florida Bar Association, Member