About Tal Rappleyea
As a municipal lawyer, Tal Rappleyea gets asked this question all the time: What is a municipality?
A municipality is actually just a technical term for a county or city. Although municipalities are mainly responsible for creating their laws, they hire municipal lawyers that are responsible for enforcing those laws. Tal Rappleyea covers the following municipal law issues to reflect the needs of area residents:
- Education policies, which governs the safety and standards of education in public schools, accommodating students with disabilities, and job security for teachers.
- Property taxes, which outlines how taxed income from residents can be used to benefit the community.
- Police power, which oversees how police officers monitor resident behavior.
- Zoning, which determines how land in the municipality is used.
Some municipal lawyers work internally for one municipality, while others practice law individually for multiple municipalities. Tal practices law individually in his own private practice and serves several counties in the Albany metro area in New York state.
Tal Rappleyea was admitted to the New York State Bar Association in January 1989. This chapter of the bar association is actually the largest voluntary state bar organization in the nation with a membership of more than 74,000 lawyers. Tal is proud to be a member, considering former presidents Grover Cleveland and Chester A. Arthur were members of the New York State chapter as well.
With nearly three decades of experience and a Juris Doctorate from Hamline State University, Tal Rappleyea has explored municipal law in several roles as an attorney, ranging from positions as Attorney for the Town and Attorney for the Village of several municipalities. Currently, Tal is a solo practitioner in his own Law Offices of Tal G. Rappleyea in Valatie, New York and lists municipal law as one of his main concentrations.
Tal is a supporter the New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials (NYCOM), which is an organization that trains municipal officials and operates as a general support group for municipal officials in each state. He is also very active in his community, as he is a member of the Capital District Trial Lawyers Association and holds a position in the County Bar Association of New York State.
Although Tal Rappleyea maintains an active lifestyle by volunteering in his community and maintaining memberships in his field of practice, he still makes time for one of his pastimes, golf, by on the range.
- “Deal of the Year” Award from the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY)
- Named one of the three new inductees to the Ethics Committee of REBNY
- Named to the Executive Board of New York Residential Specialists (NYRS).
There’s no feeling quite like opening your own business. All of the hard work you’ve put into building a website, creating products or services, making calls, designing a logo, and so much more has finally paid off and you feel nothing but excitement about opening your home-based business. Before you open, make sure your home is zoned for business operations so it doesn’t miss a beat when it opens its door for the first time. To prevent your business from being shut down by your city before it gets a chance to thrive due to zoning laws, research and comply with the following suggestions.
Contact Your Local Zoning Office
To begin, research ordinances that apply to home occupations to see what is currently allowed in your area. If you rent, be sure to check your lease for any restrictions regarding running a business on the premises. Usually all it takes is a quick call to the zoning office to ask whether running a business is permitted or not.
Ask For an Exception/Variance If Needed
If your homeowner’s association does not permit your type of business to operate in the area, you have the right to ask for special exceptions. Most businesses get approved easily with this approach, especially if your business will not increase foot or vehicle traffic dramatically. Applying for a variance with your city typically requires more time, money, and effort than would normally be worth it, especially since they are usually denied.
Inspire Positive Change
One person will most likely not be able to inspire a city or town to change their zoning laws. If you’re passionate about your business and know it can bring something incredible to your community, rally those around you to present a compelling case from hundreds of voices.