Thomas P. Cody


  • Overview


    Thomas Cody concentrates his practice on land use and real estate development matters. Mr. Cody has over 30 years of combined experience in planning and law, and he has played a leading role in some of the most significant real estate projects in Connecticut over the past two decades. He provides clients with timely and strategic land use advice on complicated real estate projects.

    Land Use - Zoning

    Mr. Cody guides clients through local, state and federal permitting processes for all types of regulatory approvals associated with real estate development, including zoning map and text amendments, site plans and special permits, wetlands permits, subdivision approvals, state water resource permitting, and state traffic permitting. He appears regularly before planning, zoning, and wetland boards and commissions in Connecticut, as well as before state and federal environmental permitting agencies.

    Mr. Cody has represented a range of clients, such as developers of retail, wholesale, and industrial projects, pharmaceutical companies, and health care institutions, in the permitting and development of new facilities. He collaborates closely with architects, appraisers, scientists, and design and engineering professionals throughout the process of bringing a project to fruition. Mr. Cody counsels clients on regulatory strategies for complex projects, such as brownfield redevelopment and remediation, and mixed-use development.

    Mr. Cody drafted and obtained approval of new zoning regulations for the innovative Storrs Center Special Design District in Mansfield, Connecticut, a major mixed-use project involving the redevelopment of a new main street area for the town and University of Connecticut. The project involved preparing and approving a state-level municipal development plan, structuring public finance solutions, creating a new flexible zoning district for the project area, and project permitting.


    Mr. Cody has worked on behalf of both municipalities and developers in the negotiation of development agreements for complicated public-private projects. These projects have required coordination of public and private financing, as well as the integration of public infrastructure investments with developer-funded project components. Mr. Cody counsels clients on a range of real estate-related transactions, such as acquisitions and dispositions, and he has represented large corporations in the disposition of excess property.


    At times, development projects lead to litigation, such as when project opponents or environmental intervenors appeal successful development applications. Mr. Cody has successfully defended numerous permits and approvals on appeal in court. In those instances where complex civil litigation has been started, he works closely with the firm’s other experienced litigators to bring significant resources to the case.

    Mr. Cody has represented several municipalities involved in land use litigation. He assisted the Town of West Hartford, Connecticut, with the review of land use applications and the successful defense of administrative appeals relating to Blue Back Square, a mixed-use retail, residential and entertainment project. He also represented the City of New Haven in the successful defense of its planned development district zoning ordinance, a case that was heard by the Connecticut Supreme Court.

    Mr. Cody worked for four years as a city planner in the Denver, Colorado, metropolitan area, where he was responsible for zoning analysis and plan review for many large development projects. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America© in the area of Real Estate Law since 2007. Mr. Cody has also been selected to the Connecticut Super Lawyers list from 2006 to 2017.

  • Experience
    • Experience


        Land Use and Zoning

      • Led team of attorneys and design professionals which represented the master developer of the Storrs Center project in Mansfield, Connecticut for over 13 years. Negotiated two master development agreements and several purchase and sale agreements for the disposition of state-owned land. Led professional team’s preparation of a state-approved municipal development plan, and drafted a new flexible zoning district to implement unique project goals. Handled project permitting at the local, state and federal levels.

      • Represented regional and national retailers in the development of over 50 supermarkets and wholesale clubs in New England. Handled zoning, wetlands, and traffic permitting at the local, state and federal levels. Coordinated multi-disciplinary teams of engineering, design and scientific professionals.

      • Represented the developer of a mixed-use project in downtown Westport. The project involved  repurposing a historically significant building and the redevelopment of an adjacent non-historic building. Successfully helped client obtain the necessary permits and approvals from numerous local boards and commissions.

      • Part of the professional team that handled all legal tasks associated with the development of a global research and development facility in New London. Drafted an entirely new zoning regulation tailored to the project. Coordinated brownfield elements such as environmental hold harmless agreements and covenants not to sue, real estate acquisitions, and numerous state and local permits and approvals.

      • Represented national retailers in obtaining local zoning approvals to expand existing retail facilities and to construct gasoline fueling facilities. 

      • Transactional

      • Part of a team which represented the concessionaire in a public-private partnership with the State of Connecticut to redevelop, finance, operate, and maintain Connecticut’s 23 highway service plazas. The 35-year agreement was the result of extended negotiations with the state Department of Transportation. The service plaza overhauls included "green" initiatives to bring the facilities up to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards, improve water runoff patterns, and install idle-reduction technology for use by trucks on the Connecticut Turnpike, also known as Interstate 95. Including projected revenues, initial construction, and reinvestments, the benefit to the State of Connecticut is estimated to be almost $500 million over the term of the agreement.

      • Led team that negotiated a development and land disposition agreement with the City of New Haven on behalf of the designated master developer. The agreement included provisions relating to the purchase and sale of City-owned property, the timing and integration of public infrastructure improvements into the project, easements and licenses, project design and finance, public access, and construction schedules.

      • Represented the Town of West Hartford in drafting and negotiating a complex master development agreement for the development of Blue Back Square, a unique shopping, living, dining and entertainment destination in West Hartford Center. The master agreement addressed public financing mechanisms for public infrastructure including the creation of a special services district, the sale and disposition of municipally-owned land, and the drafting and negotiation of a complex array of public access easements to provide for significant public open space within the project.

      • Brownfields and Redevelopment

      • Represented a well-known diversified technology, media, and financial services company in deconstruction and remediation of a manufacturing facility with environmental, historic, and wetlands challenges in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

      • Litigation

      • Represented clients in over 25 administrative appeals in Connecticut courts arising from decisions by land use boards and commissions.  Cases involved all types of administrative applications, including zoning map and text changes, site plans, special permits, subdivision approvals, and inland wetlands permits.

      • Represented the City of New Haven in an appeal to the Connecticut Supreme Court that challenged the City’s use of planned development districts, a tool used in creating flexible zoning arrangements. The Court ruled that planned development districts were permissible and that the City’s zoning enabling legislation was sufficiently broad to enable their use. Robinson & Cole attorneys researched and authored the brief on behalf of the City and argued the case at the Connecticut Supreme Court.

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    • Professional Associations

      Professional Associations

      American Bar Association

      Connecticut Bar Association
      Planning & Zoning Section, Executive Committee

      International Council of Shopping Centers

      Urban Land Institute
    • Honors + Awards

      Honors + Awards

      Selected to the Connecticut Super Lawyers list from 2006 to 2017.

      Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in the area of Real Estate Law since 2007

      Robinson+Cole Community Service Award Recipient, 2014

    • Community Involvement

      Community Involvement

      Riverfront Recapture, Inc., Hartford, Connecticut
      Immediate Past Chair of Board of Directors
    • Publications


      "What's Recaptured Riverfront Worth? $7.25 Million and Change," published in Hartford Courant, co-authored with Joe Marfuggi, president and CEO of Riverfront Recapture (5/21/2015)

      "Greening Connecticut's Buildings," published in Construction Law Group Newsletter, co-authored with Michele L. Maresca (November 2009)

      Redevelopment: Planning, Law, and Project Implementation, coedited with Brian W. Blaesser, published by the American Bar Association, Section of State and Local Government Law (6/2008)

      "Brownfields Property Disposition Strategies," published in Robinson & Cole: The Law & The Land at (1996)

      "A Tale of Two Towns: An Affordable Housing Update," published in Robinson & Cole: The Law & The Land at (1994)

    • Presentations


      "Creating/Modifying Historic Preservation Ordinances," at International Municipal Lawyers Association webinar series, co-presented with Michele L. Maresca (June 2014)

      "Riverfront Recapture – Park Development Along the Connecticut River," at Southern New England American Planning Association Conference: Planning at the Crossroads (9/2012)

    • News

      R+C in the News

      • May 29, 2015

        Tom Cody Co-Authors Riverfront Recapture Op-Ed for Hartford Courant

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      • June 3, 2014

        Tom Cody Reelected to Chair Riverfront Recapture Board of Directors

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      • September 18, 2012

        Land Use Lawyers Speaking at 2012 Southern New England American Planning Association Conference

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      • May 7, 2012

        Tom Cody Re-elected to Lead Riverfront Recapture Board

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      • September 2, 2009

        Books by Robinson & Cole LandLaw Partners on Best Seller List

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      • March 2, 2009

        Robinson & Cole Partners Moderate Panel Discussion at LCD Seminar

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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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      • October 18, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers®

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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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      • September 4, 2014

        Robinson+Cole Announces Annual Community Service and Pro Bono Awards

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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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