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Partner - Timothy S. Hollister

Timothy S. Hollister


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Tim Hollister practices land use, environmental and municipal law, and handles a wide range of real estate and administrative law problems that arise in the context of land use and environmental matters. He has represented developers, corporations, property owners, municipalities, boards of education, and neighborhood and environmental groups in administrative proceedings before local, state, regional and federal agencies and litigation in the state and federal trial courts, and has argued more than 40 cases in the state and federal appellate courts.

Tim has specific experience in eminent domain and inverse condemnation, unconstitutional takings, exactions and other civil rights violations, workforce and affordable housing, fair housing, wetlands regulation, drafting and enforcement of land use regulations, inclusionary zoning, flood plain management, mineral rights, riparian rights, specific performance, landlord and tenant, quiet title, title insurance, tax appeals, broker's commissions and foreclosures.  He has been recognized nationally for his work in workforce and affordable housing development, wetlands regulation, and eminent domain.


  • Citizen of the Law Award, Connecticut Bar Association (2012)
  • AV Preeminent® Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers: Real Estate (2004-2014); Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use (2015-2020)
  • Listed as a Connecticut Super Lawyer®: Land Use/Zoning (2006-2019)
  • Listed as one of the Top 50 Lawyers in Connecticut by Super Lawyers® (2012, 2013, 2016)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®: Land Use & Zoning Law, Litigation-Land Use & Zoning (2009-2020)
  • Named "Lawyer of the Year": Best Lawyers Hartford Region Litigation-Land Use & Zoning; (2011-2014, 2017, 2020): Best Lawyers Hartford Region Land Use & Zoning Law (2016, 2018)
  • Steering Committee, HOMEConnecticut Campaign (2005-present)
  • Blue Ribbon Commission to Study Affordable Housing, State of Connecticut Office of the Governor (1999-2000)
  • HOBI Award, Connecticut Home Builders Association (2019)
  • Distinguished Service Award, Connecticut Home Builders Association (2004 and 2007)
  • Local Government Law Fellow, International Municipal Lawyers Association (2002-2007, 2012-2017, renewed in 2017, for 2017-2022)
  • Marvin Glink Private Practice Local Government Attorney/National Public Service Award, International Municipal Lawyers Association (2008)
  • Filed six petitions or briefs in the United States Supreme Court

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Connecticut Bar Association: Environmental Law Section, Executive Committee (1992-present); Chair (1996-1997); Chair, Affordable Housing and Homelessness Committee (2005-2008); Member, Planning and Zoning Section (1992-present)
  • International Municipal Lawyers Association: Member, Program Planning Committee (2002-present); Former Regional Vice President; Former State Chair

Community Involvement

  • Author, His Father Still: A Parenting MemoirOprah's Book Club Recommended Reading, July 2016
  • 2015 Teen Driving Safety Leadership Award, National Safety Council
  • Author, Not So Fast: Parenting Your Teen Through the Dangers of Driving, (Chicago Review Press, 2013),; Author, "From Reid's Dad," a national blog for parents of teen drivers,; National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Public Service Award (2010); AAA Club of Southern New England, Traffic Safety Hero of the Year, (2012); Public Service Award, Governor's Highway Safety Association, (2014)
  • Governor's Teen Safe Driving Task Force: Member (2007-2008)
  • Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness: Counsel (1988-present)
  • Asylum Hill Congregational Church: Task Force on Inclusiveness and Diversity, Co-Chair (2004-2006); Senior Minister Search Committee (2011)
  • Coro Foundation, New York Center: Founding Member, Board of Directors (1980-86)

Workforce and Affordable Housing Development

Represented the Home Builders Association of Connecticut in the landmark exclusionary zoning case Builders' Service Corp. v. East Hampton Planning and Zoning Commission, 208 Conn. 267 (1988). Also handled more than 100 matters under Connecticut's affordable housing law, including the first case under the statute, TCR New Canaan v. Trumbull Planning and Zoning Commission, 6 Conn. L. Rptr. 4, 91 (1992); and several landmark cases under the statute, including AvalonBay Communities v. Town of Orange, 256 Conn. 557 (2001); River Bend Associates v. Zoning Commission, 271 Conn. 1 (2004); and Brenmor Properties v. Planning and Zoning Commission, 326 Conn. 55, 161 A.3d 545 (2017).

Since 1990, Shipman & Goodwin has represented applicants/developers in workforce and affordable housing applications in Avon, Beacon Falls, Berlin, Bethany, Bethel, Branford, Burlington, Canton, Cheshire, Danbury, Darien, East Haven, East Lyme, Essex, Fairfield, Hamden, Lisbon, Milford, Monroe, New Canaan, New Milford, Newtown, North Canaan, Norwalk, Orange, Oxford, Ridgefield, Simsbury, South Windsor, Stamford, Stratford, Thomaston, Tolland, Trumbull, Wallingford, Westport, and Wilton.

In 2016, represented Signature Contracting Group of Norwalk, CT in obtaining approvals for a 52 unit apartment development, “Essex Station,” in Essex, CT; and obtained court approval of a 180 unit apartment development on Wheelers Farms Road in Milford, CT, Milford Developers L.L.C. v. Milford Zoning Board (Superior Court, Land Use Litigation Docket).

Significant Ruling Clarifies Scope of Environmental Regulation

Secured a victory in Tilcon Connecticut, Inc. v. Commissioner of Environmental Protection. Tilcon filed applications for water diversion permits in 2003, but DEEP’s processing evolved into a dispute over the agency’s authority under the Connecticut Water Diversion Policy Act (Act) to use the permit process to demand information about, and to regulate, Tilcon’s earth-excavation activities. In response to the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEEP) demand for information about Tilcon’s earth excavation activities, Tilcon filed a petition for a declaratory ruling to address the scope of the DEEP’s authority. The DEEP Commissioner deemed all of the Department’s actions authorized under the Act. In its July 28, 2015 ruling, the Connecticut Supreme Court reversed the DEEP Commissioner and the trial court decision, accepting arguments made by the Shipman & Goodwin team, that: (1) the Water Diversion Policy Act cannot be used to regulate earth materials excavation activities; (2) the Act does not authorize DEEP to reopen a duly issued wetlands permit; and (3) the DEEP cannot delay the processing of other permits as a way to leverage its demands under the Act. This ruling has the potential to benefit all businesses subject to Connecticut environmental regulations. To read more about Tilcon Connecticut, Inc. v. Commissioner of Environmental Protection, click here.


May 11, 2020  2020 Chambers Guide Recognizes Lawyers as Leaders in Their Field
October 17, 2019  CT Attorneys Recognized as 2019 Super Lawyers
August 15, 2019  Five Attorneys Receive "Lawyer of the Year" Honors
August 15, 2019  "Best Lawyers in America" Recognizes 43 Attorneys
April 29, 2019  Chambers Recognizes 18 Attorneys as Leaders in Their Field
October 18, 2018  CT Attorneys Recognized as 2018 Super Lawyers
August 15, 2018  "Best Lawyers in America" Recognizes 43 Firm Attorneys
May 3, 2018  Chambers Recognizes 23 Attorneys as Leaders in Their Field
October 17, 2017  CT Attorneys Recognized as 2017 Super Lawyers
August 22, 2017  Eight Firm Attorneys Receive "Lawyer of the Year" Honors
August 15, 2017  "Best Lawyers in America" Recognizes 43 Firm Attorneys
May 26, 2017  Chambers Recognizes 22 as Leaders in Their Field
November 3, 2016  Jim Bergenn, Joan Feldman and Tim Hollister Named "Top Lawyers"
October 18, 2016  CT Attorneys Recognized as 2016 Super Lawyers
August 23, 2016  Eight Firm Attorneys Receive "Lawyer of the Year" Honors
August 15, 2016  "Best Lawyers in America" Recognizes 39 Firm Attorneys
May 31, 2016  Chambers Recognizes 22 as Leaders in Their Field
October 19, 2015  CT Attorneys Recognized as 2015 Super Lawyers
August 24, 2015  Six Firm Attorneys Receive "Lawyer of the Year" Honors
August 17, 2015  "Best Lawyers in America" Recognizes 40 Firm Attorneys
August 14, 2015  Firm Secures Key Environmental Ruling in CT Supreme Court

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Practice Areas


  • Boston University School of Law, J.D., 1982
  • Occidental College, M.A., 1980
  • Coro Foundation Fellows Program in Public Affairs, , St. Louis, 1978-1979
  • Wesleyan University, B.A., 1978, cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • Connecticut

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of CT
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