Kheel Center Staff

John R. Nolon

Professor of Law
Founder & Faculty Liaison

John R. Nolon is a Professor of Law at Pace Law School where he teaches property, land use, and sustainable development law courses and is the Founder of and Faculty Liaison to the Law School's Land Use Law Center. He has been an Adjunct Professor at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies since 2001, where he developed a curriculum concentration of five land use courses. Professor Nolon served as the James D. Hopkins Professor from 2009-2011 and the Charles A. Frueauff Research Professor of Law during the 1991-92, 1997-98, 1999-2000, and 2000-01 academic years. He received the Richard L. Ottinger Faculty Achievement Award in 1999 and won the Goettel Prize for faculty scholarship in 2006. In 2009, he was awarded the National Leadership Award for a Planning Advocate by the American Planning Association. Professor Nolon received his J.D. degree from the University of Michigan Law School where he was a member of the Barrister's Academic Honor Society. He has served as a consultant to President Carter's Council on Development Choices for the 1980's, President Clinton's Council on Sustainable Development, New York Governor George Pataki's Transition Team, and Governor Elliot Spitzer’s Transition Team. He is a member of the Editorial Board of THE LAND USE AND ENVIRONMENTAL LAW REVIEW, published by Thomson-West. He is also on the New York Planning Federation's Advisory Council. Professor Nolon received a Fulbright Scholarship to study sustainable development law in Argentina in 1994-95 and has published over a dozen articles, chapters, and books on that subject.


Jessica A. Bacher

Executive Director
Adjunct Professor of Law, Pace Law School

Jessica Bacher is the Executive Director of the Land Use Law Center.  Established in 1993, the Land Use Law Center is dedicated to fostering the development of sustainable communities and regions through the promotion of innovative land use strategies and dispute resolution techniques. As the Executive Director, Ms. Bacher’s responsibilities include development and implementation of projects relating to local land use practice, distressed property remediation, transit-oriented development, sustainable communities, land use responses to sea level rise, and code enforcement, as well as providing strategic assistance to numerous municipalities. Most recently, she led the City of Newburgh, New York, in the development of a distressed property remediation implementation plan that focuses on the development of a land bank.  Additionally, Ms. Bacher serves as a trainer for the Center’s award-winning Land Use Leadership Alliance Training Program that has educated over 2,500 local leaders in land use strategies, consensus building, and regional stewardship.  Ms. Bacher also chairs the Distressed Properties Sub-Committee of the Land Use Planning & Zoning Committee for the American Bar Association’s Section of State and Local Government Law. At Pace Law School, Ms. Bacher serves as adjunct professor, teaching Land Use Law, Sustainable Development Survey, and the Advanced Land Use and Sustainable Development Seminar. She also administers the Center’s academic programs and guides student research.  In addition, she is a guest lecturer and project supervisor at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where she manages the School’s Land Use Clinic. Ms. Bacher authors regular land use features in New York and national publications and has edited numerous small books in the fields of Land Use and Real Estate Law, including Breaking Ground and Planning and Building in Priority Growth Districts. She also presents at regional and national conferences and served on the New York State Sea Level Rise Task Force Legal Work Group. Ms. Bacher was selected by the American Bar Association to receive the Jefferson B. Fordham Award, an award presented to a young practitioner who has shown great promise through her contributions to the field. Ms. Bacher received her J.D. summa cum laude from Pace Law School in 2003, along with a certificate in Environmental Law.


Tiffany B. Zezula

Deputy Director
Adjunct Professor of Law, Pace Law School

Tiffany B. Zezula, Esq. is the Deputy Director for the Land Use Law Center at Pace University School of Law in White Plains, NY.  She is the primary trainer on consensus building techniques for the Center’s land use training programs for local officials, environmentalists, planners, and developers. She also is the national coordinator of the Center’s signature program – The Land Use Leadership Alliance Training Program, which due to its success in New York, has been modeled and transferred to over 5 states and includes over a hundred national, regional, and local sponsors. The program has trained over 2500 leaders in the Hudson Valley Region alone. Her work at the Center also includes coordinating and tailoring training programs and workshops to meet the needs of individual communities, whether that is a ½ day training program or four-day intensive workshop. Ms. Zezula also provides strategic assistance to local governments, including assistance in developing collaborative public engagement approaches on land use project disputes and comprehensive planning of a community.  Finally, Ms. Zezula is in charge of running the Center’s annual conference. The Center’s annual conference is a significant educational event in the region, with more than 250 attorneys, business professionals, planners and local leaders in attendance to learn about national, regional, and local innovations, challenges, and best practices. Ms. Zezula is a frequent national speaker on collaborative governance and local decision-making.  She is also a frequent guest presenter at the Yale School of Forestry and an adjunct professor at Pace University School of Law on Environmental Dispute Resolution. She received her J.D. cum laude from Pace Law School in 2003 along with a certificate in Environmental Law.  She is a certified mediator in the State of New York.

Jennie Nolon Blanchard

Senior Staff Attorney
Adjunct Professor of Law, Pace Law School

Jennie Blanchard is a Senior Staff Attorney and Urban Program Specialist for the Land Use Law Center at Pace Law School in White Plains, NY, where she is also an Adjunct Professor. Ms. Blanchard’s work focuses primarily on the growth of urban centers, working closely with cities to address obstacles to redevelopment and sustainability. She also manages the Center’s student research; writes frequently on legal issues pertaining to land use and sustainable development; lectures at CLE programs, bar association events, and conferences; and trains local officials, environmentalists, planners, developers, and attorneys in land use law and consensus-building techniques. Ms. Blanchard graduated cum laude from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science degree in 2003.  In 2008, she received her Master of Environmental Management degree from Yale University with an advanced concentration in Urban Ecology and Environmental Design and her J.D. cum laude from Pace Law School, where she was on the Pace Environmental Law Review.  She has also achieved designation by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional, making her one of fewer than 40 LEED APs in New York State registered in the area of legal practice. With a keen interest for volunteerism, Ms. Blanchard serves as the Chair of the American Planning Association’s Planning & Law Division (PLD), is also PLD’s Newsletter Editor-in-Chief, has volunteered as a grader for PLD’s annual Smith-Babcock-Williams Student Writing Competition, is a board member of the Westchester Municipal Planning Federation (WMPF), and is a Junior Board Member of Music for Autism—an international organization committed to raising public awareness and improving the quality of life of individuals with autism and their families through music.


Jeffrey LeJava

Senior Staff Attorney, Land Use Law Center
Adjunct Professor of Law, Pace Law School

Jeff LeJava is a Senior Staff Attorney at Pace Law School’s Land Use Law Center for Sustainable Development where he conducts research and publishes on a variety of land use topics, including local food production, transit-oriented development, and the interplay between land use and climate change. He also provides technical assistance to communities in the Hudson Valley and beyond concerning the integration of sustainability in their land use practices. At Pace, Jeff is an Adjunct Law Professor teaching Land Use Law, Environmental Dispute Resolution and Sustainable Development Law. He has also served as a Lecturer-in-Law at Columbia Law School.

Previously, Jeff was Administrator of the Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) Program for the New Jersey Highlands Water Protection & Planning Council, a state land use agency that manages the protection and development of an 860,000-acre region of northern New Jersey. In that capacity, he developed and was implementing one of the nation’s largest TDR programs. He also served as Staff Attorney for the Council where his responsibilities included litigation coordination and overseeing the agency’s open space and farmland preservation activities. Before joining the Highlands Council in 2005, he practiced environmental law for seven years with White & Case LLP and then Latham & Watkins LLP.

Jeff is qualified to practice before the New Jersey and New York bars and the US District Court for the District of New Jersey. Jeff received his J.D., magna cum laude, from Pace University School of Law in 1998 along with a Certificate in Environmental Law, and his B.A., cum laude, from the College of the Holy Cross in 1994.


Ann Marie McCoy

Director of Administration

Ann Marie McCoy is the Director of Administration for both the Land Use Law Center and the Kheel Center on the Resolution of Environmental Interest Disputes. She has been with the Center since 1999, beginning as administrative assistant for both the Land Use Law Center and Pace's Graduate Program in Comparative Law. Ms. McCoy is responsible for all aspects of the administration of the Center, including its many educational and outreach programs. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Pace University magna cum laude in 2003, her Master of Science degree for Teachers from Pace in 2007 and Paralegal Studies Certificate in 2011.