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.

For Parts I, II, and III, click here, here, and here.

As explained in the prior three posts on this topic, blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we buy, sell, and develop property in Pennsylvania. By leveraging the benefits of blockchain technology, we can simplify and streamline those processes while making them more transparent. It can save time, money, and resources – benefitting property owners, municipal governing bodies, developers, and other stakeholders.

We discussed several ways that the blockchain and smart contracts can benefit our industry. For example: Smart contracts can automate pieces of the sales process, the process of obtaining permits and approvals, the release of plans, and the depositing and release of financial security, among other processes. By recording documents on a blockchain, we make them more accessible and accurate. By creating a shared database of information on the blockchain, we can reduce duplication among agencies and departments and reduce errors. This automatic and tamper-proof approach creates a clean record of transactions, reduces costs, and saves time.Continue Reading The Future of Real Estate Sales and Development in Pennsylvania with Blockchain Technology (IV of IV)

For Parts I and II, click here and here.

Our prior two posts on blockchain technology and real estate looked at blockchain basics and how it can be used to make real estate transactions and the recording of documents more transparent, efficient, and secure. But I suggest that blockchain technology can do more. Specifically, when it comes to the land use process, which includes zoning, subdivision, land development, and related processes required to develop a property.Continue Reading Streamlining the Development Process with Blockchain Technology (III of IV)

For Part I of this series, please click here.

Chasing down documents, recovering escrow funds, and worrying about fraud are examples of things in the real estate world that create stress. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that your contract will be executed and carried out accurately and without fail? That it will occur almost automatically and with fewer 3rd-party hands touching it along the way? Your work life might be simplified in that case, freeing you up for other matters. Really, the process of transferring ownership of property in Pennsylvania can be complex and time-consuming. It typically involves intermediaries which can add significant costs to the transaction. Perhaps blockchain technology can simplify our lives and reduce transactional costs in the real estate context and elsewhere.Continue Reading Simplifying the Sale of Property with Blockchain Technology (II of IV)

As of late December 2023, Bitcoin was up more than 60% in the prior four months while another well-known cryptocurrency, Solana, was up over 240%. The cryptocurrencies were on their annual Fall bull run, but there seems to be more to why they have jumped in value in the past several months. At least in my opinion, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and related technologies and concepts are here to stay.

But this post, and the posts that follow, will not provide a primer or deep dive into cryptocurrency – at least not the direct investment potential of it. Rather, this series of four posts will discuss cryptocurrencies’ underlying blockchain technology that has the potential to revolutionize the way we buy, sell, and develop real property. By leveraging the benefits of blockchain technology, we can simplify, streamline, and make more transparent the real estate sales and development process for the benefit of property owners, developers, municipalities, and other stakeholders.Continue Reading Revolutionizing Real Estate Sales and Development One Block at a Time (Part I of IV)

With football season behind us, March arrives with bracket talk and the discussion of college basketball teams you have never heard of. Some of us spend hours researching or contacting that old college buddy to help fill our brackets, while others choose teams based on names or colors. No matter your strategy, March Madness and the brackets are here!Continue Reading Top 5 Ways to Encourage Controlled and Collaborative Development: Providing for Clearly Defined Processes (Part II of V)

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