Awards 2016



Robert Feder, Cuddy & Feder LLP

The Kheel Center and Land Use Law Center are pleased to honor Robert Feder with the 2016 Founder’s Award to recognize his work in furthering sustainable planning and development in the region. During his illustrious practice, Bob has exemplified the type of collaboration and spirit that the Kheel Center celebrates. Bob is an ideal recipient of the Founder’s award. His great success in negotiating the approval of real estate projects involving complex financial, organizational, zoning, and environmental issues is widely known and a testament to his ability to bring together stakeholders with widely disparate views of land development.  Behind the scenes, Bob has led many institutions that serve our region with respect to legal justice, performing arts, recreation, health care, historical values, and religious practice.  Among his many institutional contributions are his chairmanship of the White Plains Hospital Board, his presidency of the Legal Aid Society, and his service as a commissioner of the White Plains Housing Authority, among others. Bob is one of the founding Partners of Cuddy & Feder. He is primarily involved in the development, financing, construction, purchase, leasing and sale of real estate. He has extensive experience in the environmental review of large real estate projects and the complex zoning and planning issues associated with large scale development. He represented General Motors in their obtaining developmental permits, environmental clearance and sale of the 97-acre former assembly plant in Sleepy Hollow, NY. He is also actively involved in commercial transactions throughout the United States and abroad. Bob has represented most of the major developers and owners of commercial real property in Westchester and surrounding counties. Bob is a former adjunct professor of law at Pace Law School and Columbia University Graduate School of Business. He is the father of four daughters and a son, and the proud grandfather of eight.

The Theodore W. Kheel Center on the Resolution of Environmental Interest Disputes was launched in April 2008 to train lawyers and local leaders in environmental and land use dispute resolution. Located at the Land Use Law Center on the Pace Law School campus in White Plains, New York, the Kheel Center aims to promote the use of non-traditional forums to resolve environmental and land disputes. To further this mission, the Kheel Center bestows an annual Founder’s Award upon an individual or municipality that has worked collaboratively with a community and reinvented democracy to make change happen.



Suzanne Smith, Village of Hastings on Hudson

The Land Use Law Center is happy to announce that this year’s recipient of its Groundbreaker’s Award is Sue Smith from the Village of Hastings on Hudson. The Groundbreaker’s Award is given to a graduate of the Center’s Land Use Leadership Alliance (LULA) Training Program who has done exemplary work in a community or region using the types of land use and decision-making tools and techniques taught in the LULA program. Ms. Smith was selected from a prestigious group of other past LULA graduates nominated for this award.

Sue Smith has been an avid community activist and community builder, exemplified by her dedication and service to the Village of Hastings on Hudson. Sue has lived in Hastings on Hudson since 1967, raising her family within the Village. Since moving to Hastings, she has actively volunteered within her community in serving as Village Trustee from 1990 to 1996; a Board Member of the Hastings Historical Society since 1983; Hastings Farmers' Market Founder and Chair from 1997 to 2015; and serving on the St. Johns Riverside Hospital Board from 2000-2013.

Sue’s greatest achievement came in her service as the Hastings on Hudson Affordable Housing Development Fund’s (HOHAHDF) Committee Chair and President, a position she held from 1997 until 2015. As the Committee Chair and President of HOHAHDF, Sue was able to work with the Village Board to approve a revision of its zoning law which included a 15% mandatory set-aside of affordable housing within Hastings on Hudson. In addition, the Village of Hastings is perhaps the only community with a 99 year affordable deed restriction.

Since the new zoning law was enacted, HOHAHDF, with the guidance of Sue, has been able to create thirty-five new affordable housing units in Hastings. HOHAHDF has served as developer in the creation of many of these units, including the conversion of two single-family ownership houses into four units of affordable housing, which included accessory apartments with village donated land; three condominium apartments in a rehabilitated three story building purchased from an estate; and two units of affordable housing in a new single family ownership house.

HOHAHDF has also worked closely with for-profit developers in the creation of fourteen rental apartments on Town foreclosed property and twelve rental apartments as part of a larger market rate development of sixty-six units.

In addition to her service within Hastings, Sue has also been an intermittent project manager for small preservation or reuse construction projects within the Rivertowns area and a frequent guest speaker in many of the Land Use Law Center’s Land Use Leadership Alliance Training Programs on Fair and Affordable Housing.

As a committed citizen and volunteer, Sue has been awarded several times for her outstanding services. She was named by the Hastings Chamber of Commerce as Citizen of the Year in 1989, and was the Hastings Martin Luther King Community Service Honoree in 2014. Additionally, she received the Hastings Library Community Service Award in 2016.

Throughout her service, Sue has exemplified her dedication to her community by addressing the rising demand for affordable housing within Hastings on Hudson and been a true leader in the region.