William F. Harrison, Partner, has a career has spanned several decades. As chair of Genova Burns’ Environmental Law and Land Use & Approvals Practice Specialties, he has provided years of guidance to countless clients. Harrison credits a position he held long before joining Genova Burns as inspiration. He regularly counsels clients on all phases of the real estate development process and has extensive experience in navigating complexities of acquiring zoning, planning, environmental and other regulatory approvals.

Mr. Harrison is a frequent speaker on land use, redevelopment and environmental law. From 2002 to 2005, he was Policy Director and Chief Counsel for the New Jersey Office of Smart Growth, Department of Community Affairs and for more than 20 years served as Assistant Director of the New Jersey Pinelands Commission. Mr. Harrison is the co-author of the Municipal Land Use Law chapter in the Complete Guide to Planning in New Jersey.  

As Assistant Director of the Pinelands Commission, Harrison spent over twenty years poring over thousands of pieces of legislation impacting the Pinelands area. It was this experience that helped him on his path to environmental law.

As climate change becomes a more tangible threat to our world, Harrison believes his work is now more important than ever.  Harrison feels that solar projects, raising elevation of the ground to avoid future flooding, and just recognizing the consequences of climate change are all things that development projects should take into account. 

One hope Harrison has for the future is for a mandate to divest from fossil fuels, instead focusing on alternative sources. He hopes that by doing so, people “see it as an opportunity, not a setback.”


Environmental Law, Commercial Real Estate & Redevelopment, Land Use & Approvals, Alcohol & Regulated Products Law


Real Estate, Energy & Regulated Utilities, Agriculture, Alcohol, Food & Beverage, Land Development

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  • Represents developers in obtaining local approvals for major residential, commercial and mixed use projects.
  • Advised developers in obtaining approvals from the Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Transportation.
  • Counseled developers in obtaining approvals in the Pinelands, Meadowlands and Highlands areas.
  • Represents developers in affordable housing matters.
  • Counsels developers in appeals of decisions of municipal and state agencies.
  • Represents developers in negotiations with municipalities concerning redevelopment plans and agreements.
  • Advises municipalities in land use, redevelopment and affordable housing matters.
  • Assists in drafting environmental and land use legislation and regulations.
  • Elected to the Montclair Charter Study Commission in 1978