Christen G. Pionzio, Land Use, Municipal and Zoning Attorney

November 15, 2017


Clients would describe me as energetic, efficient, and effective. It’s hard to sound humble saying this but I have an uncanny ability to analyze complex problems quickly. I come up with solutions that are clear, practical, and insightful. I use common words, I don’t beat around the bush, and I’m a passionate advocate. I change my style as circumstances present themselves, easygoing at times, and then I’m firm when necessary. And lastly, I’m comfortable in a room and think fast on my feet.

I’ve been practicing Municipal Zoning and Land Use Law for 22 years, same office same firm. In my practice is as much about relationships as it is the area of law itself. I am well respected and connected in the community. And playing both sides of the table gives me a unique advantage, currently I represent three municipalities and five zoning hearing boards, and then I have a large private practice. I understand what the issues are for everyone in the room. For private developers it’s easy, get approvals, and get them fast. For elected officials, municipal managers, solicitors, and engineers, they care about public health safety and welfare. Traffic, stormwater management, fire access, liability, potential precedent, and public perception. So, I strategize knowing what everyone’s needs are.

And when all else fails, I’m not above begging. Once I had an application where it was a December application, and the board was not inclined to give us an approval, and I gave the board a speech about spirit of Christmas giving. And we got our approval, whatever it takes.

So, I’m not sure there’s many things that would surprise clients about me but I can think of two things that they probably wouldn’t know. One, many Saturday nights, I spend at 5:00 mass with my three kids and my ex-husband, it’s not exactly typical. And secondly, I can whistle. Like really whistle with my thumb and my forefinger, it’s a great tool when you have three kids to this day. If they hear my whistle they turn their heads and they come running. It’s pretty awesome.

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