Westchester County Business Journal features Land Use Law Center’s annual conference

Earlier this month, when approximately 200 people converged on the Pace Law School campus for the Land Use Law Center’s 10th annual Land Use and Sustainable Development conference, the Westchester County Business Journal was there.

According to the Journal’s story published today, panelists at the conference argued that “the rapid evolution of demographics and the demand for housing mean developers and city planners must confront redevelopment now rather than down the road.”

“There’s going to be a tremendous market for people to move close to transit, into cities and into older suburbs that can find some mixed uses and where people can walk to services and retail,” said Pace Law School Professor John Nolon. “The New York metro region is going to increase by three and a half million people over the next 20, 25 years, and those demographic trends are at work here (in Westchester).”

As transit-oriented developments gain steam, single-family housing developments will continue to lose their appeal and prices on homes will continue to drop as both older and younger generations are looking to be in more urban settings, Nolon said.

“The market for additional single-family homes, particularly on large lots, is gone, and home prices will continue to decline,” he said, citing speaker Arthur Nelson, director of the Metropolitan Research Center at the University of Utah. “This is different from the housing bubble bursting. They (home prices) are going to continue to decline because there’s nobody that wants to buy them any longer.”

To adapt to the inevitable shift in demand for housing, Nolon and several of the speakers advocated for a greater emphasis to be placed on mixed-use developments – for example, along the Platinum Mile corridor in White Plains – and for residents and municipal officials to be more open-minded on development-related issues.

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