News & Announcements

Integrating Water Efficiency into Land Use Planning Guidebook

Earlier this year, Western Resource Advocates and the Center published Integrating Water Efficiency into Land Use Planning Guidebook to help growing communities throughout the Interior West reduce the water footprint of new development. “This comprehensive guidebook will be an invaluable resource to land use lawyers and planners looking for ways to manage water demands as they face a growing population,” said lead author Jennie Nolon Blanchard, Center Senior Staff Attorney and Adjunct Professor of Law. 

Vacant and Problem Properties Book

In May, the American Bar Association Section of State and Local Government Law released a new book co-edited by Executive Director Jessica Bacher, Vacant and Problem Properties. The book provides an assessment of the problems of vacant and distressed properties, the many actions that can be taken to bring these deteriorating assets back into use, and how to write defensible and effective local ordinances and regulations.  As part of the book launch, Jessica presented at the ABA Land Use Institute in Baltimore and the American Planning Association National Conference Bettman Symposium in San Francisco.  You can order a copy of the book here.  

Main Street Economic Development Strategy

The Center has been working closely with the City of Poughkeepsie, New York on the development of the Main Street Economic Development strategy (MSEDS). The MSEDS was created to reactivate the entire length of the Main Street corridor and reassert Poughkeepsie as the economic and cultural center of the Hudson Valley with a focus on reintroducing frequent transit along Main Street, Transforming Market Street into a Complete Street, Converting the Arterials surrounding the City into Boulevards, Restoring Main Street as the Region’s Primary Commercial Corridor, and Converting Vacant Lots into Transit-Oriented Housing.  Click here for more information and the MSEDS final presentation.

New Building Communities One Conversation at at Time

The Center, through the new Land Use Collaborative, developed and facilitated a community engagement process for the City of Derby, Connecticut. Staff worked with students from Pace Law School students and Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies to help Derby engage its citizens in land use decisions and modernize its Plan of Conservation and Development. Click here to view the final Report.

A New Publication From the Land Use Law Center: Protecting the Environment Through Land Use Law: Standing Ground, by John Nolon

Professor John R. Nolon’s Protecting the Environment through Land Use Law: Standing Ground takes a close look at the historical struggle local governments face balancing land development with natural resource conservation. This new book updates and expands on his four previous books, which established a comprehensive framework for understanding the many ways that local land use authority can be used to preserve natural resources and environmental functions at the community level.  All royalties from the book will go to the Center to support its staff and students in preparing research reports for local government leaders.  For more details and ordering information, click here.

Photo Credit: Somerville Station Area “Green Seam,” RPA Urban Design by Robert N. Lane. Rendering by Peter Roper.

Great Things Happening at the Land Use Law Center!

The Center recently received several honors and grants reflecting the importance of the work carried out by its staff members and student volunteers. The Center was awarded close to two million dollars in New York State funding to continue its sustainable development work. In partnership with Rutgers University and The College of New Jersey/Sustainable Jersey, Center staff will design and implement a comprehensive, state-wide community climate action certification program with a web interface that facilitates the application and certification process. 

Additionally, the Center was awarded a New York Department of State Local Government Efficiency grant to expand the Mayor’s Redevelopment Roundtable for cities in the New York Hudson Valley Region. This award recognizes the Center’s work providing cutting-edge policy research for and advising the cities and their legal, development, and planning departments to identify urban redevelopment barriers, develop best practices to overcome them, and implement these practices in each of the participating cities to create job-producing, sustainable neighborhoods. Read more.

Professor John R. Nolon Invited to Participate in Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Expert Meeting

Professor John R. Nolon, Counsel to the Land Use Law Center and Director of the Kheel Center on the Resolution of Environmental Interest Disputes, has been invited to participate again in the next Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Expert Meeting on Human Settlements and Infrastructure, which will be held this spring in Calcutta, India.  The meeting will be part of Professor Nolon’s involvement with the IPCC, assisting on a study of human settlements and climate change as a member of the expert group for the Panel’s Fifth Assessment Report scheduled to be released in 2014.

LULA Program Founder Among Westchester's "Most Influential Residents"

John R. Nolon was selected by Westchester Magazine as one of "Westchester's Most Influential Residents" for his work at the Land Use Law Center.  According to the article, published in November, 2008, "The planet, many of us have come to realize, is in need of help, and, it seems, no one has done more to help our piece of it than John R. Nolon..., the founder of Pace Law School’s nationally acclaimed Land Use Law Center, a training and research center for environmental and land issues.  Professor Nolon has taught, through a special leadership training program, more than 1,500 Hudson Valley leaders, decision-makers, legislators, citizens, and activists how to use—and, if necessary, change—local laws in order to protect and improve the environment and support eco-friendly development.  'John is known as the green guru of Westchester,' says Ned Sullivan, president of the 45-year-old and 25,000-member-strong environmental group Scenic Hudson. 'Not only is he a consummate legal practitioner, he is also a highly skilled mediator. I’ve seen him help Westchester public officials at odds over competing visions of land use to forge a shared agenda and move forward.'"


The USGBC & Land Use Law Center Announce Two Resources to Help Local Governments Create Sustainable Neighborhoods

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Land Use Law Center announce two new free resources – the Technical Guidance Manual for Sustainable Neighborhoods and the Neighborhood Development Floating Zone – to help local governments leverage the LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) rating system as a sustainability tool. The LEED-ND rating system aligns the principles of smart growth, New Urbanism, and green building into a set of national standards for green planning and design at the neighborhood scale. Accompanied by case studies of how municipalities have leveraged LEED-ND as a sustainability tool, the Technical Guidance Manual for Sustainable Neighborhoods will assist local governments in using the LEED-ND criteria to audit their land use regulations, plans, and policies to promote more environmentally sound and economically robust communities. Augmenting the manual, the Neighborhood Development Floating Zone is a model ordinance to help local governments foster green community development using the LEED-ND rating system.  The Floating Zone is offered as a cost-effective and efficient tool that can be used by local governments hoping to incentivize the private sector to follow green neighborhood development principles when the more extensive zoning update process laid out in the manual is not an option. Both resources are available for download at no cost:

Click here for the Technical Guidance Manual for Sustainable Neighborhoods
Click here for the Neighborhood Development Floating Zone

New Nolon & Salkin Book on Climate Change and Sustainable Development

From Professors John R. Nolon of Pace Law School and Patricia E. Salkin of  Albany Law School comes a  new book, “Climate Change and Sustainable Development Law in a Nutshell,”which comprehensively explores international, federal, state, and local laws and policies regarding sustainable development and climate change management.  The book – a part of the West Nutshell Series - illustrates how national and state governments can motivate local governments in the U.S. to use existing authority and to adopt effective local initiatives to mitigate and adapt to climate change. 
For more information, also see:
Nolon  and Salkin Book Announcement (scroll down to bottom of page) – a synopsis from the Land Use Prof Blog
New Book Published on Climate Change and Sustainable Development Law– a posting from Prof. Salkin on the Law of the Land blog
Alternatives to Kyoto Cap and Trade– a posting from Prof. Nolon on the Green Law blog

Join the Land Use Law Center on Facebook!
Connect with students, alumni, LULA graduates, and many others on the Land Use Law Center’s Facebook page.  See Center updates, photos, videos, event information, and more.   Click here to join our Facebook page.