Esch is an an at McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC in Harrisburg, PA.  He is a member of the Firm’s Real Estate Practice Group, Oil & Natural Gas Group and the Pipeline & Oil/Gas Infrastructure Group.

He focuses his practice on land use matters and permit approvals at the municipal, county and state level. His work includes reaching favorable zoning and land development outcomes by way of variances or waivers, special exceptions or conditional uses, zoning amendments and challenges to ordinances, and negotiations with municipalities and other government agencies throughout Pennsylvania. In addition, he works on storm water management and transportation issues that often arise with land use matters. On a national level, Esch conducts zoning and land use due diligence associated with mergers and acquisitions and the purchase or sale of properties and businesses. He has assisted commercial, industrial and residential developers, educational institutions, pipeline and other oil and gas related companies, telecommunication companies, and small business owners and start-ups. Esch has received favorable determinations, decisions and approvals for large warehouse and distribution centers, residential communities of all types, urban redevelopment projects, craft breweries and event venues, car dealerships, pipeline projects, and coal to natural gas conversion projects.

While in law school, Esch served as a Senior Editor of the Penn State Law Review, was the Dickinson School of Law Liaison to the Carlisle Borough Council, Carlisle, PA, and was a judicial intern to the Honorable Christopher C. Conner, U.S. District Court. Prior to his legal career, Esch spent seven years working in the claims department of a Fortune 500 insurance company.

Esch currently serves on the McNees Hiring Committee, is Co-Editor of the McNees Land Use Blog, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Carlisle Theatre.

We are not ashamed to admit that we LOVED Top Gun: Maverick (no spoilers, we promise). It’s been almost 30 years since Maverick and Iceman squared off in Top Gun. “You like to work alone,” Iceman accused Maverick. Yet, ninety minutes later, focused on a common goal, Maverick and Iceman teamed up to save the world. “You can be my wingman anytime,” the result of Maverick and Iceman’s collaboration.

While elected officials may not be saving the world from Mig-29s (or 5th Generation Fighters), they play a vital role in creating the envisioned growth of their communities. In many communities, the goal is controlled and collaborative development. As land use attorneys, we are fortunate to be part of that collaboration and, therefore, want to offer our top five ways to encourage controlled and collaborative development. This is the first post in a five-part series. First up, early collaboration between the stakeholders.

Continue Reading “You Can Be My Wingman Anytime”: Top 5 Ways to Encourage Controlled and Collaborative Development (Part I of V)

Thank you for continuing to follow our Land Use Blog into 2022. Below are the top 5 most viewed posts of 2021. Enjoy!

TOP 5 POSTS OF 2021

  1. Kandice Hull – PennDOT’s Capital Beltway Project Is Moving Forward
  2. Jon Andrews – More Sunshine? What Do Changes to the Sunshine Act Mean to Developers?
  3. Jon Andrews

Latrobe. As a kid growing up in Western PA, it has always meant Steelers’ preseason football camp. In my 20s, “33” and Rolling Rock’s green pony bottles – “from the glass lined tanks of Old Latrobe” – stole the limelight. Although the Steelers are still in Latrobe, Anheuser-Busch moved production of the classic pale ale in green bottles to New Jersey years ago. But it seems as if “green” might again be the second color of Latrobe.

Continue Reading Latrobe, PA: From Green Bottles to Green Charging Stations

Pennsylvania counties and municipalities could see a windfall from the nearly $14 billion in aid that will be delivered to the Commonwealth through the recently passed American Rescue Plan Act (“Rescue Act”).  While it will be welcome financial relief, counties and local governments should be aware of the rules and regulations regarding how those funds should be spent.  In fact, the Rescue Act rules and requirements will present similar challenges to the CARES Act requirements for local governments.

Last year, Zelenkofske Axelrod (“ZA”) helped nearly half of the state’s 67 counties navigate the regulatory issues related to the federal CARES Act financial relief package.
Continue Reading With Great Funding Comes Great Responsibility: Assisting Municipalities with American Rescue Plan Compliance

Thank you for following our Land Use Blog throughout 2020.  Without spending too much time on the past, please enjoy our Top 5 posts of 2020!

TOP 5 POSTS OF 2020

  1. Jon Andrews, Looking Through the Kaleidoscope – Land Use in Pennsylvania
  2. Claudia Shank, Simplified Zoning: Paradox or New Paradigm?
  3. Peter Wertz, Water Flows Downhill

McNees is hosting a Municipal Leader Roundtable to discuss ideas about how governments can address budget shortfalls expected to occur as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The discussion will include an overview and update regarding options available to municipalities, and the efforts of the state’s elected officials to assist municipalities facing significant budgetary constraints.

From our friends at Capitol Buzz:

As more counties move into the “yellow” and “green” phases of the Wolf administration’s plan to reopen the Commonwealth, Gov. Tom Wolf announced on Wednesday updated guidelines for dining services and professional sports. The governor also provided additional information and elaborated on general guidelines for “green” phase counties

The Governor vetoed HB 2412 today, but he also opened limited business transactions for real estate sales. From the Governor’s Office:

“Governor Tom Wolf today announced that starting today, businesses and employees in the real estate industry may conduct limited business-related activities statewide and provided guidance for this industry to operate in red phase and yellow phase counties.”

“We continue to review our policies and the scientific data to determine the safest approach for all activities in the commonwealth,” Governor Wolf said. “While at this point more than two-thirds of the state will be in the yellow phase of th
Continue Reading Governor Wolf: Real Estate Industry May Conduct Limited Business Transactions Statewide

On April 22, Governor Wolf announced an amendment to his standing shutdown and shelter in place order that permits construction projects to resume statewide on May 1st.  This news comes just days after the Governor’s office released its “Plan for Pennsylvania,” which authorized “limited construction” activities beginning on May 8th.  Per

With protestors afoot outside the Capitol building in Harrisburg, Governor Wolf provided additional information on the Commonwealth’s plans to begin reopening businesses, including construction sites, within Pennsylvania.  Per the Governor, “limited construction” activities will be permitted to resume on May 8, to the extent such activities can occur in compliance with job site regulations the