Although Rodenhausen Chale LLP was formed in 2014, partners George Rodenhausen and Chris Chale had been practicing together in a predecessor firm for over twenty years. Victoria Polidoro began working with them as a second year law student in 2006 and has been with them since graduation. The attorneys and their experienced legal assistants form a fully integrated team sharing their varied backgrounds and expertise to brainstorm and solve client’s problems. We are highly focused on environmental, land use, municipal and municipal finance law.
George brings to the firm many years of experience in environmental, land use and municipal law, beginning with service early in his career as an attorney at the Environmental Protection Agency. His environmental experience encompasses virtually all aspects of environmental law and litigation, including environmental permitting, compliance, and negotiation, cost recovery litigation, cleanup of oil spills, industrial sites and waste sites in New Jersey and New York under state laws, the federal Superfund program, and New York’s brownfields program, drafting and negotiation of conservation easements and Article 78 SEQRA litigation.
In addition to being an attorney, George is an AICP certified planner and a member of the American Planning Association. He has served as town attorney, planning board attorney and zoning board of appeals attorney for many municipalities. He assisted the Hudson River Valley Greenway Conservancy and Greenway Communities Council in developing and interpreting the original Greenway program, and assisted the Dutchess County Department of Planning and Development in developing Greenway Connections, the first Greenway regional plan in the Hudson Valley.
Chris and George worked together on behalf of communities located in the New York City Watershed to negotiate the historic 1997 Memorandum of Agreement to protect the purity of New York City's water and the economic viability of the watershed communities. We have subsequently assisted nineteen municipalities in forming the East of Hudson Watershed Corporation to implement the stormwater retrofit program in the New York City Watershed.
Chris deepens our municipal practice by serving as “Red Book” bond counsel for general obligation bonds, water and sewer projects, industrial and commercial development revenue bonds, multifamily housing bonds, solid waste financings and 501(c)(3) project bonds. She acts as counsel to issuers, underwriters, borrowers, lenders and trustees in connection with public finance matters. Chris has experience with a broad range of public financing structures including Local Finance Law serial bonds, statutory installment bonds, BANs, TANs and RANs, lease financings, PILOT agreements, and current and advance refundings.
Chris acts as counsel to municipalities, public authorities and not-for-profit corporations regarding real estate development, conservation easements and land preservation, procurement and contracting, economic development loans, grant agreements, local laws, special legislation, ethics, planning and zoning, and general governance matters. She acts as general and special counsel to public authorities. She provides assistance with special district proceedings, including water and sewer districts, transportation corporations, and fire districts.
Victoria learned land use law from Professor John Nolon at Pace Law School, with whom she coauthored "Hydrofracking: Disturbances Both Geological and Political: Who Decides?" published in the Urban Lawyer. She currently serves as planning board attorney and zoning board attorney in several towns and villages, and she continues to teach land use law to municipal officials as a lecturer in the Land Use Law Center's Land Use Leadership Alliance Training Program.
Victoria and George worked together in successfully representing the town in Cooperstown Holstein Corp. v. Town of Middlefield, one of the first two decisions in the state defending the right of the Town to ban fracking for natural gas through the use of its zoning law. Victoria and George also worked together at the trial and appellate levels in Gabrielli v. Town of New Paltz, which successfully defended the right of the Town of New Paltz to regulate its wetlands and vernal pools in the face of a constitutional and SEQRA challenge. This decision established that towns do not have to accurately map each wetland before enacting a wetlands law, nor do they have to forego regulating vernal pools, though they may exist for only two months a year.
The ethic of our firm is to deliver excellence in every aspect of our work. We are sensitive to the demands presented to our communities and businesses by climate change and the world economy, and particularly aware of the need to provide legal services that achieve long term solutions for our clients. We look forward to assisting you.