David Schnakenberg began his career as the Menapace Fellow in Urban Land Use Law at the Municipal Art Society of New York, in 2008, where he focused on policy issues related to zoning and land use, historic preservation, environmental review, and municipal governance.

After his fellowship, David taught the Law of Historic Preservation at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation as an adjunct, and joined a leading NYC real estate firm in the firm’s litigation group, where he focused on commercial real estate disputes, Article 78 proceedings, and zoning and land use matters.

In 2014, David joined the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals as Deputy Counsel and was subsequently promoted to General Counsel in 2015. As General Counsel, David advised the BSA’s Chair, Commissioners, and staff on issues related to zoning and land use and administrative law, reviewed applications for variances, special permits, and interpretive appeals, and drafted or reviewed all of the BSA’s written decisions. He also worked with the New York City Law Department in defending the agency against lawsuits related to its determinations.

In 2017, David moved to Vermont with his family and began working with the Greenfield Environmental Multistate Trust, the country’s leading environmental response trust, where he worked as in-house counsel and strategist overseeing the environmental remediation, redevelopment, and disposition of brownfield and Superfund sites around the country.

David joined GoldmanHarris LLC as Counsel in 2019. His practice includes applications to the Board of Standards and Appeals, Department of City Planning, and Landmarks Preservation Commission, as well as the negotiation of development rights deals. He has represented housing and commercial real estate developers, electric utility companies (including battery storage facilities), the owners of environmental legacy sites and brownfields, and non-profit institutions.

David lives in and works remotely from Vermont, but is in constant touch with the office and travels to the city as necessary for meetings and hearings.  He is an active member of the Municipal Art Society’s law committee.


  • J.D., Brooklyn Law School, 2008 (Richardson Scholar)
  • B.A., University of Massachusetts, Amherst 2001


  • New York State Bar, 2008
  • Vermont State Bar, 2019