Stephen Wagner focuses his practice on municipal, environmental, and land use law matters, is a member of Rudman Winchell’s municipal law practice group, which has served towns, cities, and counties throughout central, northern, and downeast Maine for decades.
Stephen has doggedly pursued environmental and land use issues since first moving to Maine for college, working for a nationally recognized environmental litigation non-profit in San Francisco and a number of conversation groups here in Maine, before entering private practice. In the fall of 2018, after a couple years practicing law at a boutique environmental and land use law firm New Hampshire, Stephen decided to return to the Northern New England region that first inspired him to pursue a career environmental and land use law when he was an undergraduate at the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor. Since joining Rudman Winchell, Stephen has expanded his practice to include advising municipal clients on the myriad of legal needs Maine municipalities must confront.
With his diverse experience, combined with his legal acumen, Stephen is especially adept at cutting through the regulatory and technical fog to give pragmatic advice to municipal officials and boards, to assist private developers in securing approval for their real estate projects, and to guide neighbors and opposition groups in defeating or altering inappropriate or unsustainable developments.
Stephen is particularly experienced in:
- Advising municipalities and local boards on general administration, planning, and land use enforcement actions (so-called 80Ks);
- Counseling municipalities and business owners on all aspects of Maine’s evolving adult-use and medical marijuana regulatory regime;
- Drafting ordinances, legislation, and testimony;
- Navigating Maine’s Freedom of Access Act;
- Obtaining necessary permits and contract zone agreements for real estate development from state and federal agencies (DEP, LUPC, BPL, ACOE, etc.) and municipalities (subdivision approvals, variances, etc.); and
- Working with municipalities on negotiating and developing Tax Increment Financing (TIF) programs;
- Litigating municipal and governmental appeals on behalf of municipalities, developers, and neighborhood opposition groups.
Stephen graduated from the College of the Atlantic with a B.A. in Human Ecology and earned his J.D. at the University of Maine School of Law. After law school, Stephen clerked for the Maine Superior Court in Bangor, Maine.
Stephen Wagner's areas of practice: