Johanna Schneider

Johanna W. Schneider


  • 617-557-9723
  • 617-227-0781
  • 75 State Street
  • Boston, MA 02109

Johanna W. Schneider


  • 617-557-9723
  • 617-227-0781
  • 75 State Street
  • Boston, MA 02109

Practice Focus

Johanna W. Schneider advises clients on real estate development permitting and land use and environmental disputes. She represents public and private clients in real estate disputes at all stages of litigation, including mediations and appeals. Her experience includes:

  • Zoning, subdivision, wetlands and land use permitting appeals
  • Real property disputes, including easement, adverse possession and construction claims
  • Environmental contamination disputes

Working on complex real estate development projects, Johanna guides owners, developers and other entities through local, state and federal permitting processes. She frequently represents clients before permitting authorities, such as:

  • Boston Planning and Development Agency
  • Boston Zoning Commission
  • Municipal Zoning Boards of Appeal
  • City and Town Planning Boards
  • Conservation Commissions
  • MEPA

Johanna is active in industry associations and serves on her town’s Zoning Board of Appeals. Prior to practicing law, Johanna was a consultant to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

Representative Clients

  • Represented Boston-based developer in obtaining municipal approvals for development of more than 350 residential units in Brighton (Boston)
  • Represent local developer in obtaining municipal approvals for more than 300 residential units in Dorchester (Boston)
  • Represent local developer in obtaining state and municipal approvals for 1.5 million square feet of life sciences space in Somerville
  • Represent Boston-based developer in obtaining approvals for hotel expansion in downtown Boston
  • Assisted MA-based developer in obtaining local approval for more than 600 residential units in Everett
  • Assisted national REIT in obtaining state and municipal approvals for the development of 700+ apartment units in the West End of Boston
  • Assisted national real estate developer in permitting of 85-unit apartment complex in Kendall Square, Cambridge
  • Assisted Cambridge-based candy manufacturer in securing approvals for expansion of facility in Central Square, Cambridge
  • Assisted national REIT in obtaining state and local permits for 440-unit residential development in Chinatown neighborhood of Boston
  • Represented regional land use planning authorities in numerous permit appeals in Land Court and Superior Court
  • Represented financial institution and charitable foundation in mediation to resolve CERCLA liability arising from hazardous waste activities of predecessor entities
  • Served on allocation team for Remedial Design phase of remediation of Gowanus Canal under CERCLA


Named to the Massachusetts Super Lawyers list, 2014-2020

Activities and Publications

  • Co-Chair, The Real Estate Bar Association for Massachusetts (REBA) Litigation Section (2020-present)
  • Member, Massachusetts Land Court Working Group on Litigation Alternatives (2015-2017)
  • Co-Chair, Boston Bar Association Land Use and Development Committee (2012-2014)
  • Boston Bar Association Law Day Dinner Steering Committee Member (2014; 2016)
  • Co-author, "Landowner Actions to Determine the Validity or Applicability of Zoning Ordinances" chapter in the Massachusetts Zoning Manual, MCLE (August 2019)
  • Co-author, “Condo Developers Must Understand Building Defect Claims,” Law360 (March 2018)
  • MCLE Faculty member and presenter: Zoning: MCLE BasicsPlus! (2021); How to Maximize Compensation in Eminent Domain (2020); How to Be an Effective Advocate in Front of Local Boards (2020); Zoning Demystified (2020, 2019)
  • Frequent presenter on real estate permitting, land use, litigation, and renewable energy topics

Community Involvement

  • Town of Brookline Zoning Board of Appeals Member (2013-present)
  • Town of Brookline Zoning By-Law Committee, Member
  • University of Virginia Law School Foundation, Class Agent
  • Board Member, Driscoll Extended Day Program
  • PTO Room Parent, Michael Driscoll Elementary School, Brookline, MA

Johanna Schneider’s Comments on Real Estate Development

"Real estate development is complex. Achieving a client’s objectives requires an understanding of permitting requirements, the underlying real estate transaction, local political and community dynamics, and litigation risk. With a broad-based real estate background, I bring a combination of knowledge, experience, and practical advice to help my clients during every stage of a project."


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