Richard Wells focuses his practice in the areas of land use, zoning, environmental permitting, and regulatory compliance. Representing commercial and residential clients, Rich provides advice and counsel on various aspects of land use and zoning affecting current and potential development projects, including obtaining variance and site plan approvals.
Prior to joining Archer, Rich regularly advised public entities throughout South Jersey on the redevelopment process. Having served as solicitor to several land use boards, Rich has extensive experience providing guidance on complex issues regarding land use and zoning law. He regularly represents commercial and residential property owners and developers before municipal planning boards and zoning boards of adjustment, governing bodies, county boards, and regional agencies and authorities, and has successfully litigated a variety of land use appeals in both State and Federal Court.
In addition to his land use and redevelopment practice, Rich has worked with clients on various real estate matters, including property identification and acquisition, lease and purchase negotiations, and negotiation and drafting of access agreements and easements.
Rich has been significantly involved in the cannabis industry. During New Jersey’s last round of applications for licenses to operate medical marijuana alternative treatment centers, Rich assisted a number of teams in the site identification and acquisition process, negotiating lease, purchase, and option agreements tailored toward providing his clients with both the protection and flexibility required by the unique demands placed upon license applicants. As an advisor to several teams over the course of New Jersey’s medical marijuana program expansion, Rich has represented teams at community forums, and in presentations to municipal officials considering changing their zoning framework to permit cannabis-related uses.
While in law school, Rich received the Henry J. Raimondo Legislative Fellowship from the Eagleton Institute of Politics, where he received in-depth training from the Office of Legislative Services and hands-on policymaking experience in the New Jersey Legislature. Following law school, Rich served as a law clerk for the Hon. Douglas H. Hurd, PJ.Cv., Presiding Civil Judge for the Mercer County Superior Court.
Professional and Community Involvement
- Advisory Board Member, South Jersey Young Professionals (2018-present)
- Alternate Board Member, Haddonfield Zoning Board (2020)
- Camden County Bar Association, Young Lawyer Committee (2012-present)
- Former Board Member, Scarlet PAC (2018-2019)
- Eagleton Institute of Politics Alumni Committee (2017-present)
- Board of Trustees, Paul Robeson Charter School for the Humanities, Trenton, NJ (2016-present)
- Pro-Bono Counsel, Graceful Hope Charity for Ovarian Cancer Research (2014-present)
Articles and Presentations
- Panelist, Impact of Proposed Marijuana Legislation, Camden County Mayor’s Conference (March 2019)
- NJ Civil Trial Prep, Camden County Bar Association CLE (October 2015-2018)
- Social Media Discovery, Camden County Bar Association CLE (February 2015)
- The Mechanics of Election Law, Camden County Bar Association CLE (November 2014)