Paul Musso
Realty Connect USA
April 2020
3 Min Read

Q & A with Single Family Residential Development Specialist : Paul Musso

What is the first step for anyone looking to develop a piece of land that they own or are looking to acquire?

First, you must analyze the property for what the highest and best use is.  Questions you should ask yourself are, what the current zoning is for the property, and does that zoning meet what you have analyzed the property’s highest use to be.  If it is not the correct zoning for what you have analyzed the highest and best use to be you must make an application to the planning department of your like township building department.


Is there any document that you would need with you (other than an application) in order to apply for a change of zone? 

You would need a few things to go for a change of zone. You would need a petition form, a disclosure affidavit, a radius map, a site plan, metes and bounds, your deed or pending contract, deed restrictions or easements, environmental assessment form and some site photographs…plus any fees of course.  You are going to have to make a formal case in front of a town board which would then need to agree with you that your change of zone would positively impact the community.


What if your property does not require a change of zone? 

Oh that’s easy!  You would make a formal application straight to the building department for an “as-of-right” use.  You will also need to submit a site plan to the health department in order for them to approve your project.  The town could be in agreement to let you build but if the health department says no there’s nothing you can do!


Moving on to your business….are there any specific reasons that people should hire a realtor who is well versed in New Construction rather than one not so well versed in it to help them find a brand new home to build or buy?

There are many levels to understanding the new construction process.   Through understanding the cost factors, timing, and quality of products from doors, to windows, to foundations and framing.  There are so many integral components of building a home, and to not use a realtor who is as well versed in this will only do you a disservice in not getting everything you may want.


Do you have a specific township that you like to build in?  Is this due to anything specific?

Smithtown.  On a personal note, I raised my child in Smithtown and she still attends school here.  They are very in favor of development and re-development and are very proactive in making sure the town is in the forefront of being one of the most developmentally advanced towns in Suffolk County.  They have beaches and they have main streets; it is truly a lovely place to live. I also have great relationships with people in the building and planning departments, that allow me through my experiences, to expedite any type of information my client’s or myself may need.  I forged those relationships over decades and from being involved in many local town projects.


What would you recommend doing to forge those types of relationships for those who are looking to become as well versed in new construction development as yourself?

It is important to be involved in the community.  Volunteer at the schools, vote in local elections, and care about the towns well being in a selfless manner.  Join the town chamber, go to Zoning Board of Appeals Meetings, help & support local politicians who are pushing agendas to help make the town better.  GET INVOLVED!

Edward Bellacera contributed to the writing of this article.

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