Susan R. Rubright

Practice Areas

Bar & Court Admissions

  • New Jersey
  • Florida
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey


  • Seton Hall University, School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1985
  • University of New Hampshire, B.S., 1978
  • Rutgers University, MCRP, 1984
Susan R. Rubright QR Code

Susan R. Rubright


Norma Serio

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, "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.


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


NJ Expands MLUL's Definition of "Interested Party"Environmental & Land Use Blog | August 17, 2018

Housing Decision Likely to Have Impact On All NJ MunicipalitiesEnvironmental & Land Use Blog | March 9, 2018

Automatic Approval Of Site Plan Application Not Thwarted By Board’s “Denial Without Prejudice”Environmental & Land Use Blog | August 21, 2017

NJ Supreme Court Finds Municipalities Must Address "Gap Years" Housing NeedEnvironmental & Land Use Blog | February 2, 2017

NJ Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Appeal on "Gap Year"Environmental & Land Use Blog | September 12, 2016

Appellate Division Decides Affordable Housing “Gap Year” QuestionEnvironmental & Land Use Blog | July 18, 2016

Limited Permit Extension Act PassedEnvironmental & Land Use Blog | July 5, 2016

Affordable Housing - Discovery of Economists on Housing Numbers Includes So-Called “Gap” YearsEnvironmental & Land Use Blog | February 24, 2016

Check Your Permits Under The Permit ExtensionEnvironmental & Land Use Blog | February 24, 2016

Affordable Housing Numbers and Municipal Compliance STILL in LimboEnvironmental & Land Use Blog | January 12, 2016

Permit Extension Act - One More YearEnvironmental & Land Use Blog | December 29, 2014

Drafting of Affordable Housing Regulations Could Go Back to the CourtsEnvironmental & Land Use Blog | December 8, 2014

GOVERNOR Conditionally Vetoes Statewide Non-residential COAH Moratorium Bill, Calling For Overall Affordable Housing ReformEnvironmental & Land Use Blog | September 15, 2014

Council on Affordable Housing Proposes New RegulationsEnvironmental & Land Use Blog | May 5, 2014

COAH Saga Continues and To What End?Environmental & Land Use Blog | March 20, 2014

Notice of Roof Mounted Solar Panels Now RequiredEnvironmental & Land Use Blog | February 10, 2014

Site Remediation Reform Act - Follow upEnvironmental & Land Use Blog | January 27, 2014

New Jersey Legislature Passes Bill Extending the May 2014 Deadline for Site InvestigationEnvironmental & Land Use Blog | January 16, 2014

Minneapolis Residents File Class Action Suit Against General Mills over TCE Vapor IntrusionEnvironmental & Land Use Blog | January 8, 2014

EPA Adopts the 2013 ASTM Standard – E1527-13 for All Appropriate Inquires For CERCLA Innocent Landowner Liability ProtectionsEnvironmental & Land Use Blog | January 7, 2014

COAH Saga Continues: Do Builders Remedy Lawsuits Loom?Environmental & Land Use Blog | December 23, 2013

NJDEP Waiver Rule UpheldEnvironmental & Land Use Blog | October 15, 2013

Growth Share Not Consistent With Fair Housing Act-COAH Has 5 Months To Develop Second Round-Type RegulationsEnvironmental & Land Use Blog | September 27, 2013

COAH Ruling - Growth Share OutEnvironmental & Land Use Blog | September 26, 2013

NJ Supreme Court to Issue COAH RulingEnvironmental & Land Use Blog | September 25, 2013

Clustering - An Important Land Use Planning Tool - Gets a LiftEnvironmental & Land Use Blog | August 16, 2013

Reversal on Compensation for Loss of ViewEnvironmental & Land Use Blog | July 15, 2013

Group Asks NJ Supreme Court to Review Waiver Rule DecisionEnvironmental & Land Use Blog | April 19, 2013

Appellate Division Upholds the NJDEP's Waiver RuleEnvironmental & Land Use Blog | March 22, 2013

New Advisory Base Flood Elevation Maps Adopted Statewide and New Permits by RuleEnvironmental & Land Use Blog | January 25, 2013

Waiver Rule Argued Before Appellate DivisionEnvironmental & Land Use Blog | January 23, 2013

Permit Extension Act ExtendedEnvironmental & Land Use Blog | October 1, 2012

Affordable Housing Funds May Be Seized By StateEnvironmental & Land Use Blog | July 18, 2012

Affordable Housing Reform Debate ContinuesEnvironmental & Land Use Blog | Friday, January 14, 2011

Affordable Housing Reform May Be on Its WayEnvironmental & Land Use Blog | Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"Growth Share Metholodogy" Invalidated by Appellate DivisionEnvironmental & Land Use Blog | Wednesday, November 03, 2010