Robert W. Burgdorf - Real Estate - Nixon Peabody LLP

Robert W. Burgdorf

Bob Burgdorf’s practice concentrates on general real estate law, zoning, and legal services to higher education institutions. Representative clients include private developers, public utilities, college and universities, energy companies, and commercial landlords and tenants.

What do you focus on?

Land use and zoning

I have concentrated much of my practice in representing companies in contested land use and zoning projects, including securing permitting for more than 2,000 cell tower sites over the last 30 years for the nation’s largest cellular telephone provider. Related experience involves litigation arising out of the permitting for these types of projects as well as real estate litigation generally, commercial landlord/tenant disputes, and other general real estate and development matters.

Higher education

My practice also includes providing the broad range of legal services necessary for the day-to-day operations of higher education institutions.

Upstate New York

Land use and zoning matters have become increasingly complex as municipalities seek to regulate more rigorously what are often scarcely remaining developable areas in Upstate New York’s metropolitan areas. Prudent developers will be thoughtful about carefully considering all available permitting tools and will need to place additional emphasis on producing a proper record before boards.

What do you see on the horizon?

Government regulation has been, and will continue, reaching deeper into higher education operations, presenting additional burdens at a time when demographics provide new enrollment challenges.

Publications and presentations

  • “CAN-SPAM Act; Federal Compliance for Email Marketing,” Resort Developers Association Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, NV, March 2017
  • “Preparing a Legal Record for Zoning Approvals,” Wireless Telecommunications Training Program, Rochester, NY, Fall 2016
  • “FERPA—What your College and University Needs to Know,” Higher Education Training Event, Rochester, NY
  • “Siting Wind Farms in New York: Applicability of the Relaxed Public Utility Standards,” New York Zoning Law and Practice Report (Co-author)


Robert W. Burgdorf



Phone: 585-263-1333

Fax: 585-263-1600

Cornell University Law School, J.D., cum laude

St. John Fisher College, B.A., magna cum laude

New York

Bob was selected, through a peer-review survey, for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2022 in the field of Real Estate Law. Bob has been listed in Best Lawyers since 2018.

Bob has received an AV Preeminent® Peer Review RatingTM from Martindale Hubbell®, the highest possible rating for ethics and legal ability.

Bob is a member of the Monroe County Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association.
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