William S. Green, 75, a lawyer who was a leading specialist in communications and broadcast law and who was a civic leader in Bethesda in efforts to block large development, died Oct. 16 at Washington Hospital Center after a stroke.
He began his career in the burgeoning field of broadcast law in 1952. He participated in a number of proceedings involving FM and television technology and came to specialize in programming and political broadcasting.
Mr. Green was also in charge of a hot line for the broadcast industry during the 1988 and 1992 elections, handling inquiries about political broadcasts. He also updated the Broadcast Law Supplement, known as the legal bible of the broadcast industry.
He retired in 1989 after 32 years with the firm of Pierson, Ball & Dowd, and later when the firm became Reed, Smith, Shaw & McClay, he worked as of counsel.
As a resident of Bethesda's Bannockburn community, Mr. Green led efforts over 35 years to preserve the residential nature of the neighborhoods along the Potomac River.
He was instrumental in blocking expansion of the Interstate 270 route along the palisades of the river into Washington. He also helped save Glen Echo amusement park from redevelopment and led opposition to the location of a massive landfill at Avenel Farm, site of the Kemper Open golf tournament.
Mr. Green, who was president of the Potomac Valley League, handled more than 50 pro bono zoning cases on behalf of civic groups. He fought against location of the Marriott Corp. headquarters on River Road at the Beltway, and the company built instead in North Bethesda. He also spearheaded litigation that limited development of the Wisconsin Avenue corridor in Chevy Chase.
In an effort to preserve beachfront property, Mr. Green successfully fought construction of high-rises at Sea Colony North in Bethany Beach, Del.
Mr. Green was born in Warsaw. His family resettled in Cumberland, Md., in 1938, and he learned English at the age of 13. He served in the Army in the Pacific during World War II. After the war, he graduated from Yale University and its law school.
He had served on the Montgomery County Board of Appeals and was chairman of the Potomac River Advisory Committee, Citizens Advisory Committee on the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Plan and a Montgomery County Council committee on town house zoning. He also had served as president of the Bannockburn Civic Association and the Citizens Planning Association.
He was a member of and confirmation class teacher at Congregation Beth El and a member of Congregation of Israel Synagogue in Pocomoke City, Md.
Survivors include his wife of 49 years, Tamara Wahl Green of Bethesda; three sons, Joel Green of Elkhorn, Wis., David Green of Greensboro, N.C., and Jordan Green of Kensington; and eight grandchildren.