Fall 2007 Newsletter

Land Use Newsletter


Helping Communities Achieve Their Sustainable Future
A quarterly newsletter of the Land Use Law Center




Dealing with global warming and traffic congestion through land use law reform


Thursday, November 15, 2007 ---8:30AM - 1:00PM
Yonkers Public Library, One Larkin Center, Yonkers, NY



This conference is designed to discover and disclose all workable strategies for using land use law reform and other initiatives to create more transportation efficient development throughout the NY metropolitan area.  Experts from the national, regional, and local level will present on successful models for transportation efficient development.


To view the brochure and obtain registration information, please click here.


Climate change is on the mind of many following the convincing reports this year by the International Panel on Climate Change.  Several of the most effective strategies for reducing carbon emissions can be carried out through changes in land use laws that create more transportation efficient development patterns.

  • First, urban and older suburban communities can adopt Transit Oriented Development (TOD) zones and programs in higher density areas that greatly reduce vehicle trips by putting more homes near transit facilities, parks, retail goods and personal services.
  • Second, developing suburban communities can adopt Transportation efficient Development (TED) zones and programs in medium density areas to encourage more compact, mixed use development patterns that reduce the number and length of automobile trips per household.
  • Third, both TOD and TED zones can incorporate green site development and building requirements and reduce the size of the average home so that significant reduction in fossil fuel consumption is achieved.
  • Fourth, both TOD and TED can be supported by green infrastructure and other amenities that offset the increase in density they attract, create viable and livable neighborhoods, and mitigate carbon loading through sequestration.
  • Fifth, mixed-use development at higher densities can support a range of housing types including housing for those who work in TOD and TED zones, further reducing car dependency.

These strategies are practical and will succeed, not only because of support fro reducing carbon emissions, but because of changes in demographic patterns.  Projections estimate that the U.S. population will increase by 100 million people by 2043.  Whereas over two-thirds of the households in the last several decades have been traditional families seeking single-family homes, many of these new households will be one and two-person, young and older individuals and couples, and immigrants, who will be oriented toward urban living.  The pattern of growth and development spawned by our land use laws and practices in the past must change to accommodate these new demographics.


To read more about zoning and climate change, please click here to read an article written by professor John R. Nolon and published in the September/October 2007 issue of New York Zoning Law and Practice Report.




Congratulations to Supervisor of Fishkill, Joan Pagones, for being selected as this year's recipient of the Groundbreaker Award!!

This year we are pleased to give our Groundbreaker Award for distinguished leadership in the field of sustainable development to Supervisor Joan Pagones of the Town of Fishkill.  Supervisor Pagones' creative leadership and innovative planning lead to the Town adopting and implementing truly effective laws and policies that make the development of affordable housing possible.  She addressed a worsening crisis in our region where increasing numbers of citizens can no longer afford to live where they work or reside in the communities they have served prior to retirement or where they were raised.  Supervisor Pagones has demonstrated how local governments can reduce the barriers to affordable housing and create truly sustainable communities: places that serve the cause of equity as well as economic development and environmental protection.



To learn more about Supervisor Pagones' achievements, click here.



Gaining Ground Information Database: Sustainable Development

There are a variety of ways to search resources on smart growth through the Gaining Ground Database.  One method is to simply type "sustainable development" into the Search Resources box.  Use the Advanced Search option located on the menu on the right-hand side of the webpage.  After selecting this option, enter the words "sustainable development" into the "description" field on the top half of the page.  if you wish to narrow the search to commentaries, or to resources from a particular jurisdiction use the "limits" located on the bottom half of the page.  For example, limit the search by selecting "commentary" from the resource type options on the bottom half of the advanced search page, "state" from the jurisdiction and "New York" from the state options.  Scroll through the results and find a commentary on sustainable development in New York.

To perform a search on sustainable development, or another topic of interest click here...

The Gaining Ground Information Database (www.landuse.law.pace.edu) is an on-line database that contains information about the methods used by governments to control the use of land in the public interest.  It includes federal, state, and local laws and regulations, commentaries, research papers, and a variety of research aids.


The Case Law Update highlights relevant State and Federal judicial decisions, and provides access to full text of the New York State court decisions in the field of land use law.

To read the Fall 2007 Case Law Update click here...


New Publication!


Losing Ground: A Nation on Edge

Edited by Professors John R. Nolon and Daniel B. Rodriguez


Losing Ground: A Nation on Edge calls attention to the emerging issues involved in building on the edge of vulnerable places, explores why we do this, and proposes ways to mitigate its impact. This volume contains creative thinking and informative analysis about new approaches to ecosystem management and environmental regulation that localities and states can implement to protect the environment, society, and property rights. This book proudly joins ELI’s Ground Suite—the critically acclaimed suite of books on land use and environmental law by Professor John Nolon.


For more information or to place an order, click here.




Dynamic Places Workshop --- Redevelopment Successes

Explaining how complex urban revitalization projects work


The White Plains Story

Ritz-Carlton and The City Center


Thursday, December 6, 2007 --- 7:45AM - 10:00AM
Pace University School of Law, Judicial Institute

 78 North Broadway, White Plains, NY



  • Industry leaders and their lawyers will learn how developers build partnerships with city officials and the public to create dynamic downtown successes.
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester Hotel and Residences, which is being developed by Cappelli Enterprises in downtown White Plains alongside its successful City Center project, will be used as a prototype to demonstrate how the challenging problems of urban revitalization are solved.
  • Among the innovative aspects of the project are:

o       construction and permanent financing,
o       mezzanine financing,
o       complex acquisition challenges,
o       Industrial Development Agency’s involvement,
o       unique use of vertical subdivision,
o       brownfield issues,
o       zoning to allow movement of air rights,
o       affordable housing requirements, and
o       the successful involvement of several levels of government.

This breakfast workshop addresses issues critical to the success of cities in the New York Metropolitan Area that are experiencing exciting but often unplanned growth and development.  Private sector developers and their suppliers, service providers, and lawyers are integral to the success of all such development activities.  But the key to their success is often their ability to partner creatively with government agencies, local community groups, and not-for-profits to develop, finance, and execute multi-use, environmentally friendly, humane urban developments that are both profitable and sustainable.


Bruce Berg, Executive Vice President, Cappelli Enterprises

Alfred E. Donnellan, Partner, DelBello Donnellan Weingarten Wise & Wiederkehr, LLP

Ann Farrissey Carlson, Partner, DelBello Donnellan Weingarten Wise & Wiederkehr, LLP

Alan D. Fox, Counsel, Robinson & Cole LLP

Peter J. Wise, Partner, DelBello Donnellan Weingarten Wise & Wiederkehr, LLP


registration form


We would like to thank all those who participated and wrote pieces in past editions of the newsletter. We would again like to solicit case studies from municipal officials and local leaders in the region.  Case studies can be modeled after ones contained in previous issue, or, if preferred, we can write the case study based upon an interview.  All summaries must be submitted by February 1, 2008 in order to be included in the February newsletter. Please contact us at landusenewsletter@yahoo.com if you are interested. 

Additionally, if you have any items of interest, including upcoming events or conferences, that you would like included in the next newsletter, please contact us at landusenewsletter@yahoo.com.  Please provide a short summary of the event, along with any links to pertinent websites or materials, to be posted with the announcement.




Summer 2007

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