Matthew J. Fitzgerald

Senior Associate Buffalo, Chautauqua
Matthew Fitzgerald

A land use lawyer with experience across local, state and federal permitting levels, Matt has extensive expertise assisting clients navigate project development with a focus on speed to market.

With experience handling both large and small scale development projects through the permitting and environmental review processes, Matt has represented private developers, local and state agencies, and individuals seeking to work through local land use approvals, the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), permitting with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and obtaining financial incentives for projects.

Matt has represented clients across New York State on local land use matters, from Western New York to the Capital Region, from the Canadian border to Long Island, and many places in between. He currently serves as the vice president of the Buffalo Niagara River Land Trust and as an adjunct professor at the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning.


Honors & Awards

  • Named Upstate New York Super Lawyers® Rising Star, 2023
  • Named to Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America®
  • International Trademark Association Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition, Chicago Region Winner, 2018

Education & Admissions

  • University of Notre Dame Law School, J.D., 2018
  • State University of New York at Geneseo, B.A., 2014
Admitted to Practice
  • New York


Representative Matters
  • County of Erie, New York in successful completion of expedited environmental impact review pursuant to SEQRA for a new Buffalo Bills NFL Stadium.
  • Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) and affiliate, the Genesee Gateway Local Development Corporation (GGLDC) as counsel with respect to the STAMP project, a shovel-ready, six million square-foot advanced manufacturing park on 1.2+ acres in Genesee County, NY. Work included initial land acquisition, clearance from New York State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), wetlands permitting efforts with the USACE, negotiation of an $8.5 million incentive zoning agreement with the Town of Alabama, and permit applications for all infrastructure permitting with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NYSDEC and in consultation with the Tonawanda Seneca Nation.
  • On behalf of the GCEDC, the Phillips Lytle team succeeded in litigation regarding STAMP’s first tenant, a green hydrogen production and distribution facility.
  • JB2 Partners, LLC as counsel with respect to the development of a state-of-the-art 3.1 million square-foot e-commerce facility, including permit applications for land use, zoning, SEQRA, financial incentives and wetland permitting efforts with the USACE.
  • The Salvation Army (TSA) with respect to the redevelopment of TSA’s Main Street Campus, including all necessary land use approvals from the City of Buffalo, as well as approval from the SHPO.

Speaking Engagements

View All
  • Presenter, “Case Law Update,” Southern Tier West Annual Local Government Conference, June 2023
  • Presenter, “Q and A for Planning Boards and Zoning Boards of Appeal,” 32nd Annual Local Government Conference, NYS Tug Hill Commission, April 2023
  • Presenter, “Land Use and SEQR Case Law Update,” 31st Annual Local Government Conference, NYS Tug Hill Commission, April 2022

Activities & Professional Associations

Past Activities

  • University of Notre Dame Law School, Moot Court Board Member
    • Oralist Selection Chair, 2017

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association
    • Young Lawyers Division
  • Air & Waste Management Association
  • Bar Association of Erie County
  • New York State Bar Association
    • Environmental Law Section
    • Real Property Law Section

Articles & Publications


  • Co-Author, “Commercial Development, COVID-19 and the Biden Administration: Impacts of the Stimulus Bill and Goals Going Forward,” Buffalo Business First, April 2021


  • Co-Author “USA Regional Real Estate – New York,” Chambers Global Practice Guide, May 2020