Case Studies

LULA Case Studies


Through the Land Use Leadership Alliance (LULA) program, the Land Use Law Center has trained thousands of local leaders.  With new tools in hand, graduates of the LULA program return to their communities recommitted to making a difference.

LULA Case Studies shine a spotlight on best practices for sustainable development and community decision-making.  These case studies are selected and published not only because the Center is proud of the achievements of its LULA graduates, but also so they may serve as examples for other communities.  The case studies presented here demonstrate the innovative tools and techniques that can be used effectively to overcome land use conflicts and to build community strength and collaboration.

Red Hook's Intermunicipal Task Force: Creating Centers & Greenspaces

Located in Dutchess County, New York, Red Hook is a rural community that is comprised of three municipalities: the Town of Red Hook, the Village of Red Hook, and the Village of Tivoli. In 2004, land use leaders from each of these municipalities attended the LULA training program in an effort to enhance their abilities to work together in order to achieve the strategic land use goals of their community. After their graduation from the LULA program in 2004, these land use leaders established an Intermunicipal Task Force in order to implement the innovative planning techniques taught at LULA training. By using the LULA program’s collaborative decision making techniques and smart growth strategies, the Task Force has created a Centers and Greenspaces Plan, which is designed “to protect the rural character [of the township], reinforce traditional village centers, and promote economic development.”  Read more...

Clarkstown’s Innovative Comprehensive Plan: A Land Use Case Study

The Town of Clarkstown in Rockland County, New York has taken an innovative approach towards the wholesale revision of its Comprehensive Plan. According to Jose Simoes, Clarkstown’s Town Planner, “after the 1999 updating of the town’s 1966 Comprehensive Plan, we realized that it was time to start over” and create a Comprehensive Plan that was better equipped to help the community achieve its long term planning needs. With the help of the LULA training program, Clarkstown’s land use planners have been able to achieve this goal by developing a unique comprehensive plan that should be celebrated for realizing the benefits of an efficient, environmentally sound design, maximizing the use of town-wide resources, and embracing the value of a grassroots approach in their use of collaborative decision making techniques.  Read more...

The Saw Mill River Coalition: The Unifying Force Behind Efforts to Restore the Environmental Health of the Saw Mill River

Since 1999, the non-profit organization Groundwork Yonkers has been working towards improving the environmental health of Yonkers, New York’s fourth largest city. One of the organization’s highlighted achievements is the creation of the Saw Mill River Coalition (Coalition) in 2001. Created with the help of the Land Use Law Center (Center) and funded by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the Coalition is dedicated to restoring the health of the Saw Mill River’s ecosystem. Utilizing consensus-building techniques and land use development tools learned through the Center’s Land Use Leadership Alliance (LULA) training program, Coalition leaders have been able to garnish broad support for resource conservation and remediation efforts needed to restore the health of the Saw Mill River. Based on past successes, and in light of current and future initiatives, the Center is excited about the specter of progress that the Coalition is poised to achieve.  Read more...


Want us to Profile your Community?

If you are a LULA graduate and would like for us to profile your community on our Case Studies page, contact Tiffany Zezula