Pace Law School’s Land Use Law Center Receives $133,000 Grant to Train Local Officials in Making Cost-Effective, Environmentally Sound Land Use Decisions

WHITE PLAINS, NY (March 31, 2009) – The Land Use Law Center at Pace Law School is the recipient of a $133,000 appropriation by the office of Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-Westchester/Rockland), a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee. The funding, seen by Congresswomen Lowey as an urgent priority for Westchester and Rockland counties, will provide the needed training and technical assistance to local leaders who are responsible for creating the land use patterns that support the current and future population in New York State.

“The Land Use Law Center is a critical resource for ensuring our communities are planned and developed in a way that maximizes livability and protects the environment,” said Lowey.  “I am pleased to have secured $133,000 in federal funding to support the Land Use Law Center’s mission.”

This appropriation allows the center to continue supporting land use leaders by providing them with the tools necessary to meet local housing needs, preserve agricultural resources, promote energy conservation and green development that is economically sustainable and preserve natural resources.

“Since most of the leaders who make these critical planning decisions volunteer their time, few have been able to learn about innovative approaches that can be used to address these types of land use challenges,” said Tiffany Zezula, director of training at the center. “This project is designed to equip local leaders with the necessary technical assistance to foster concrete plans and projects that create more sustainable communities.  When leaders attend the Land Use Law Center’s programs, they return to their community with the legal and leadership tools necessary to meet the needs of their community.”

Innovative training. By delivering relevant information in a variety of accessible formats, such as newsletters, an electronic database, live training and self-study modules, this project supplements existing programs offered by other institutions.

Jessica Bacher, director of research and innovation at the center, said: “Given projected U.S. Census Bureau estimates of population growth in our region, equipping our cities and towns to absorb a healthy percentage of expected new households is critical to energy conservation, the preservation of natural resources, storm water management (flood prevention), traffic management and the protection of air and water. Climate change is also on the mind of many following the convincing reports by the International Panel on Climate Change.  Several of the most effective strategies that mitigate these issues can be carried out through changes in land use law reform.”

“We are thrilled to continue our work in the Hudson Valley. The support of Congresswoman Lowey and her leadership in Congress are critical to our initiatives to train, educate and equip local decision-makers,” said John Nolon, counsel and founder of the center.

Leaders in the field. The Land Use Law Center is a national leader in training the local land use leaders who decide where development goes, the shape it takes and its impact on energy consumption, the environment and affordability. The center has developed an extensive database of innovative land use ordinances and smart growth development strategies, and has graduated over 2,000 local officials, developers and attorneys from its four-day, intensive Land Use Leadership Alliance training program.

Pace’s environmental law program, with which it often collaborates, is consistently ranked third in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The environmental legal education program offers lawyers practical grounding in key areas of practice: hazardous waste, brownfield remediation, clean air and water act regulations and business opportunities in climate change mitigation.

For more information on the Land Use Law Center and its programs, visit

Founded in 1976, Pace University School of Law has nearly 6,700 alumni throughout the country and the world and is consistently ranked among the nation’s top three programs in environmental law. It offers full- and part-time day and evening JD programs on its White Plains, NY, campus and offers the Master of Laws degree in Environmental Law, Real Estate Law and Comparative Legal Studies, and a Doctor of Laws in Environmental Law. The School of Law is part of Pace University, a comprehensive, independent, and diversified university with campuses in New York City and Westchester County.


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