Recent Events

Downtown's New Direction:
Will Smart Growth Get Us There?


Join Westfair Communications and Pace Land Use Law Center for a talk on downtown development from a national expert and the local authorities. For more information and registration please click here.

Featured Speaker: Gov. Parris Glendening, President, Smart Growth America's Leadership Institute and the Governor's Institute on Community Design 


Noam Bramson, Mayor, New Rochelle

Alex Twining, CEO and President, Twinning Properties

Arthur Collins II, Co-founding principal and president of Collins Enterprises LLC

Joan McDonald, former Commissioner of the Department of Transportation in NY and Commissioner of Economic and Community Development Department in CT


Jessica A. Bacher, Executive Director, Land Use Law Center, Adjunct Professor of Law, Pace Law School

John R. Nolon, Distinguished Professor and Counsel to the Land Use Law Center at Pace Law School

When: Thursday, March 24, 2016 --- 11:30am -1:30pm
Where: Tudor Room, Preston Hall at Pace Law School, White Plains, NY

This Is Going to Be A Great Year!
Land Use and Sustainable Development Conference

For the past 20 years, the Land Use Law Center has sought to elevate the law, policy, and practice of land use and sustainable development in the Hudson Valley region and beyond. The Center’s 2014 conference brought together more than 350 attorneys, business professionals, planners, and local leaders to learn about national, regional, and local innovations, challenges, and best practices. Commissioner Mitchell Silver and Kaid Benfield provided fantastic keynotes to the day’s event.

Because zoning turns 100 years old in 2016, we plan to celebrate its impending centennial at our annual conference in December! Since zoning and land use regulation affect so many interests, our focus on zoning’s centennial provides us with a broad framework for the conference program.  Conference planning this year will concentrate on zoning's past, present, and promise for the future. For example, conference panels may tackle current zoning challenges, such as zoning for solar, district energy, water conservation, resilience, transit orientation, etc. If you have any suggestions or thoughts regarding this topic, feel free to contact Tiffany Zezula at We are looking forward to a great conference in December.

For more information visit our Conference Page.

When: December 11, 2015
Where: The New York State Judicial Institute at Pace Law School


Become a 2016 Conference Sponsor -- sponsorship opportunities.

Meeting Fair & Affordable Housing Needs

Advanced training on planning, financing, zoning, and public conversation on fair and affordable housing.

Newly designed sessions include presentations from regional planners, developers, attorneys and public engagement specialists. Skilled facilitators will conduct breakout exercises and guide group discussions. Participants will tour new sites and meet developers and community reps. Curriculum includes inclusionary zoning in practice, financing affordable housing, and the impact of new developments in fair housing law & policies. Don’t miss the special session on building inclusive and sustainable communities.

Participants must Register by September 14, 2015 for this free 3 day program. For more information...

CLE credits for attorneys (TBD) and Training Certificates for local board members will be available.

When: October 2, October 23 and November 13, 2015 (3 day program) --- 9:00am -4:30pm
Where: NYS Judicial Institute at Pace Law School, White Plains, NY

New York State has made a $1 billion commitment to solar power.
Is your municipality ready for what’s ahead?

Preparing Your Municipality for Growth in Solar:
What’s Coming and Technical Assistance to Help You Manage the Changes


On October 23rd, Solarize Westchester, Sustainable Westchester and Pace Land Use Law Center presented a morning workshop for local officials and volunteer committees on trends in solar photovoltaic installations in Westchester and how to handle the steep growth in installations. This session included:

  • Overview of Solarize Westchester and trends in solar in Westchester County
  • Survey of solar permitting in Westchester’s municipalities
  • A review of top zoning barriers to solar installations in Westchester and strategies to address them.
  • Lessons from the Front Lines: municipal officials share how their municipality has adapted
  • Model zoning for solar installations
  • Next steps: time limited technical assistance available

When: October 23, 2015 --- 8:30am -11:30am
Where: Moot Courtroom, Pace Law School, 78 North Broadway, White Plains, NY


Preparing Your Municipality for Growth in Solar
Solar-Friendly Permitting Examples
Barrier Removal for Solar Permitting
Sustainable CUNY - NYS Model Solar Zoning Law
EnergizeNY Finance solarize NY Update

Agenda - Municipal PV Meeting
Solar Barrier Removal Guide
Model Solar Resolution
Online Solar Resource List



FBC 301
Formulating, Adopting and Administering a Code

FBC 301 focuses on formulating, adopting, and administering a form-based code. The course will offer an in-depth look at the relationship between the comprehensive plan and a form-based code, the mechanics of code adoption, the advantages and disadvantages of mandatory, parallel and floating-zone codes, and ways to avoid common pitfalls in the drafting and administration of form-based codes.

Instructors will explain how to structure the process, including what must happen before, during, and after the code is drafted, what to keep and what to discard from an existing conventional code, how to relate the form-based code to the existing regulatory framework in a specific municipality, how to insulate a FBC against potential legal challenges, and issues of post-adoption implementation and project review. The course will examine specific examples and lessons learned from experience working with form-based codes and will include a hands-on exercise in code implementation.

NOTE: The one-day intro class ABCs of Form-Based Codes (or FBC 101e on-line) is prerequisite for taking FBC 301.

FBC 301 is part of FBCI's 3-course series. It combines with FBC 101 (ABCs of Form-Based Codes) and FBC 201 (Urban Design), to complete a thorough instruction in the discipline of form-based coding. FBCI awards a certificate to all those completing the 3-course series.

When: November 4 and November 5, 2015 (2 day program) --- 8:30am -5:00pm
Where: NYS Judicial Institute at Pace Law School, White Plains, NY

For information on the FBCI abd their upcoming courses plese go to


FBC 101
The ABCs of Form-Based Codes

This intensive one-day class gives a useful overview of the process of creating a form-based code.  The class combines presentations and discussion with a hands-on exercise in observing a community's built form, and the use of regulation to shape public space.

Participants will see how form-based codes are essentially different from conventional land use regulation, and how they can solve many of the problems created by conventional zoning.

When: Friday, May 8, 2015 - 8:30am -5:00pm
Where: NYS Judicial Institute at Pace Law School, White Plains, NY

For additional information...

To register for the course, go to

Integrating Clean Energy into Your Community

The Orange County Municipal Planning Federation along with the Orange County Department of Planning is collaborating with NYSERDA’s NY-Sun PV Trainers Network to bring you a full day clean energy training event on Friday, March 20, 2015 in Goshen, NY. This full-day training will include workshops on Intro to Solar Policy, Adopting the New York State Unified Solar Permit, Zoning for Solar Energy and background on other forms of renewable energy, including wind and geothermal.

Municipal representatives including planning and zoning board members, planners, code officers, elected officials, and solar energy professionals and other interested stakeholders from around the Hudson Valley are invited to attend.

TO REGISTER via the Orange County Municipal Planning Federation:

TO REGISTER via Eventbrite:

When: Friday, March 20, 2015 - 8:00am -4:30pm
Where: Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame, 240 Main Street, Goshen, NY 10924

For more information...

Land Use and Sustainable Development Conference
Transitioning Communities

The Land Use Law Center is pleased to announce the theme of its 2014 Land Use and Sustainable Development Conference - Transitioning Communities.  The Conference will discuss topics and challenges that municipalities in the region are being faced with, such as the changing demographic pattern, changing community needs, the impact of a shrinking or growing pattern of development, and transitions between community environments - the suburban/rural-urban interface. The Conference will also highlight how communities are transitioning towards sustainability, disaster recovery, and revitalization. We will aim our sessions at addressing the needs of communities already in transition, as well as the idea of how to proactively transition communities toward something new. We invite you to spend the day at this educational event, with more than 250 attorneys, business professionals, and local leaders in attendance to learn about national, regional, and local innovations, challenges, and best practices.

There are several interesting sessions on the schedule, and we recently confirmed that Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, NYC Parks Commissioner; Past President, American Planning Association; Former Raleigh Chief Planning Officer; and City Innovator and Kaid Benfield, Special Counsel for Urban Solutions, Natural Resources Defense Council, will be our keynote speakers.

Conference participants can earn CLE, APA-CM, and New York State planning and zoning training credits.

We hope you can join us for this day-long event scheduled for December 5, 2014 at Pace Law School in the NYS Judicial Institute building.

There is additional information available on our conference page.

Solarize Westchester and Land Use Planning for Solar Energy

On September 4th, two great events were hosted at the Judicial Institute at Pace Law School regarding Solar Energy.

The morning session introduced participants, comprised of local government officials, businesses owners, and not-for-profits organizations, to Solarize Westchester. Part of New York State’s $1 billion investment in solar energy through the NY-Sun program, Solarize Westchester is designed to drive down the costs of solar installations to make Westchester County New York State’s solar leader – and to maximize the benefits of clean energy, cost savings and local jobs that solar energy offers. The initiative is a partnership of the Energy Improvement Corporation, Abundant Efficiency, Croton Energy Group, Pace Law School’s Land Use Law Center, SmartPower and Sustainable Westchester. The morning session’s first panel announced how Solarize Westchester will work with eight municipalities to select a qualified solar installer through a competitive bidding process, who will partner with each community to publicize opportunities for residents and business to generate their own solar energy. Interested communities in Westchester County may apply to participate in the campaign through October 16, 2014. Presentations also focused on how the Solarize Westchester program will be working with municipalities to eliminate regulatory barriers to solar installation and adopt the New York State Unified Solar Permit, a streamlined permitting process.

In the afternoon, participants joined Pace Land Use Law Center (LULC), a member of NYSERDA's NY-Sun PV Trainers Network, at an in-depth policy workshop to discuss strategies for developing a policy and planning framework that supports a growing solar market. Participants learned about community engagement techniques to support solar policies, the legal process in plan making, and nationally accepted best practices and common features found in comprehensive and other local plans.  Click here for the Workshop PowerPoint. This session also provided an overview of the NY-Sun PV Trainers Network, which is led by a consortium of partners to offer no and low cost training and technical assistance across New York State. The PV Trainers Network is part of NY-Sun, Governor Cuomo’s initiative to greatly increase the amount of installed solar capacity throughout the state. Through education, training, and technical assistance, the Network helps local governments and stakeholders identify opportunities, mitigate barriers, and create programs that drive development of solar electric (photovoltaic or PV) markets in communities across New York State.  With funding from NYSERDA, Meister Consultants Group has partnered with Entech Engineering, the City University of New York (CUNY), Pace Land Use Law Center (LULC) and a network of academic institutions to implement the Network. For more information, please visit or contact