Donna M. Jennings is a shareholder in the Land Use and Environmental groups, a member of the Management Committee, and the firm's vice president at Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, P.A. Ms. Jennings has handled litigation related to the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) on behalf of individuals and institutions who were discriminated against by unfair zoning codes and landmarking laws. With regard to her affordable housing practice, both public and private entities seek from Ms. Jennings’ advice on compliance and regulations issues in connection with complex projects, ranging from site acquisition, through construction and permanent financing.
For over 20 years, Ms. Jennings has represented clients in land use approvals at all governmental levels, as well as in environmental and regulatory matters, including site plan approvals, subdivisions, variances, rezoning applications, environmental permits, access permits, and negotiations of agreements with governmental entities related to land development. She also handles litigation in both State and Federal Courts related to Right to Farm and Prerogative Writs matters. A selection of projects she has worked on include healthcare facilities, distribution centers, office parks, hotels, religious institutions, electric generating facilities, petroleum terminals, refineries, service stations, automotive dealerships, fast food restaurants and solar farms, in addition to a variety of residential, commercial, manufacturing, and other industrial projects. Prior to joining the firm, she served as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Robert J. Quackenboss, Chancery Division, Middlesex County.
Ms. Jennings is a frequent speaker in professional forums, including ICLE, Lorman Education Services, NBI, and the Atlantic Builders Convention. She has also published numerous articles and is a contributing author to the Land Use Chapter in Commercial Real Estate Transactions in New Jersey (ICLE 2003, 2006 & 2010).
In 2014, the New Jersey Supreme Court appointed Ms. Jennings to serve a 4-year term on the District VIII Fee Arbitration Committee and in 2017 she was appointed to serve as Chair.
In 2017, Ms. Jennings received the Professional Lawyer of the Year Award from the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law. Since 2015, she has been selected for inclusion in the New Jersey Super Lawyers list in the field of Land Use, and she has been recognized by Chambers USA since 2021 in the field of Land Use. In addition, she has been distinguished with a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating, was included in the list of "50 Women of Influence" in New Jersey in the commercial real estate sector by Real Estate New Jersey magazine, and was named to the New Jersey Law Journal's "40 Under 40" list. Ms. Jennings was selected for inclusion in the 2022 Best Lawyers in America list in the area of Land Use and Zoning Law.
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The New Jersey Law Journal "New Leaders of the Bar" list (https://www.law.com/njlawjournal/2022/08/11/new-jersey-legal-awards-honorees-announced/), formerly known as "40 Under 40," is published by ALM Media Properties, LLC.
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