Land Use Law Center Staff | Pace Law School

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Land Use Law Center Staff

Professor John R. Nolon

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 BacherJessica A. Bacher

Executive Director of Research, Land Use Law Center
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 ZezulaTiffany B. Zezula

Deputy Director, Land Use Law Center
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 BlanchardJennie Nolon Blanchard

Senior Staff Attorney & Urban Program Specialist, Land Use Law Center
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.

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.



Margaret E. ByerlyMeg Byerly Williams

Attorney Consultant, Land Use Law Center
Meg Byerly Williams is a consultant based in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she works on sustainable development projects promoting renewable energy, distressed property remediation, and sustainable neighborhood development, among other related subjects. Previously, Meg worked as a staff attorney at Pace Law School’s Land Use Law Center in White Plains, New York, where she served as lead author on several Center publications, administered academic seminars, guided student research projects, and wrote for legal publications on various sustainable development topics. She holds a JD from Pace Law School, as well as an MEM from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and an MS in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University.

Kevin Dwarka, J.D., Ph.D.

Attorney Consultant, Kevin Dwarka LLC
Kevin Dwarka JD, PhD is a land use lawyer and economic consultant specializing in the revitalization of urban neighborhoods. Headquartered on Wall Street, Dr. Dwarka’s firm provides legal guidance and quantitative analysis to real estate developers, municipalities, housing authorities, community development corporations, transit agencies, law firms, architects, and building contractors. He also serves as a Senior Fellow at Pace Land Use Law Center. Prior to forming his consultancy, he held senior positions at the Israel Union for Environmental Defense, New York City Transit, and Nelson Nygaard Consulting Associates. Land use services include zoning analysis, site selection, development approvals, environmental review, and right-way acquisition for transit infrastructure projects. Versed in all aspects of the New York City land use approvals process, Dr. Dwarka helps builders navigate the complex web of land use regulations enforced by the New York City Department of City Planning, Board of Standards and Appeals, the Department of Buildings, and the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Economic consulting services include real estate market analysis, affordable housing finance, infrastructure cost benefit analysis, financial feasibility analysis for redevelopment projects, and economic impact studies. Current projects include the Newburgh Broadway Corridor Access Plan; the Newburgh Land Use and Market Analysis; the Newburgh Neighborhood Redevelopment Plan, the Newburgh Waterfront Mobility and Access Strategy; the Poughkeepsie City Center Revitalization Plan, and the Ridgefield Economic Development Strategic Plan. His consultancy also provides a full suite of litigation support services including expert testimony, real property valuation, and technical analysis of land use, traffic, and environmental impact documents. Since 2010, he has served as an Adjunct Professor at Baruch College, where he has taught land use, urban economic development, and environmental policy. He also teaches Israeli Politics at Yeshiva University. His dissertation at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, examined the use of global capital and public private partnerships for financing light rail projects in Israel, the United Kingdom, and the United States. He received his BA from Columbia University, JD from Pace Law School, MCP from UC Berkeley, and PhD from Hebrew University. Dr. Dwarka is admitted to practice before the New York State Bar and serves on the New York City Bar Association’s Housing and Urban Development Committee. He also on the board of the New York chapter of the Congress for New Urbanism.


Graduate Fellow

Daniel DePasqualeDaniel DePasquale

Daniel DePasquale joined the Elisabeth Haub School of Law’s Land Use Law Center as a Graduate Research Fellow in Summer 2016.

Daniel received his J.D. from Western New England University School of Law in 2016, where he served as Symposium Editor for the Western New England Law Review.  During law school, he wrote his student note on the use of transferable development rights (TDRs) in a regional capacity to prepare for rising sea-levels.  The note won the American Planning Association’s Planning & Law Division’s Smith-Babcock-Williams Student Writing Competition.  He also externed in the following offices: United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Headquarters in Washington, DC, within the Office of Enforcement & Compliance Assurance’s (OECA) Office of Site Remediation Enforcement (OSRE); Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's (DEEP) Office of General Counsel; Connecticut Attorney General Office’s Environmental Department; and Massachusetts Community Legal Aid’s Foreclosure Defense Unit. 

Daniel received his B.A. in Political Science and History from Stony Brook University and his M.A. in Political Science, with a specialization in Political Psychology, also from Stony Brook University. 


A Pragmatic Proposition: Regionally Planned TDR Programs in Light of Rising Seas, 48 The Urban Lawyer 179 (2016).

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW–CERCLA Enforcement: Terminology and Meaning of ‘Treatment’ Arranger Liability, expected publication in Western New England Law Review (Summer 2016).


Research Assistant

Mark FanelliMark Fanelli

Mark Fanelli graduated from the University of Scranton in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a minor in History. Before attending law school, Mark worked in the private security industry. He is in his second year at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, where he is expected to graduate in 2019 with his J.D. and his Environmental Certificate. He is currently the Vice President of the Environmental Law Society and the Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Society. In addition, he is an executive board member for the Food and Agriculture Law Society as well as the Bailiff Chair for the National Environmental Moot Court Competition. While interning for the Land Use Law Center this summer, Mark will also be working as Professor Nolon’s Research Assistant. He is looking forward to expanding his knowledge of Land Use and Sustainable Development Law during his time at the Center this summer.


Land Use & Sustainable Development Scholars

J. Justin Woods, J.D., M.P.A.

Sustainable Development Scholar, Land Use Law Center
Lecturer, Department of Public Administration, Pace University

J. Justin Woods is a Scholar at the Land Use Law Center where he conducts research, publishes, and speaks on a variety of land use law and public policy topics, including urban revitalization, land banks, and brownfields. His primary interests are in sustainable development and public administration related to environmental, economic, and social justice. After successfully teaching a sustainable development seminar as an Adjunct Professor for the Department of Public Administration at Pace University in the Spring of 2016, Mr. Woods was appointed as a full-time Lecturer for the 2016-2017 academic year. He is teaching sustainable development again as well as research methods and supervising graduate students’ capstone projects. Mr. Woods is also a Fellow at National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals in Washington, DC. He is a member of many professional organizations, including the International City Manager’s Association, American Planning Association, American Constitution Society, National Lawyers Guild, and Planners Network: The Organization of Progressive Planning. Mr. Woods graduated cum laude from Green Mountain College with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science and Public Policy in 2000, and received a Master of Public Administration and Juris Doctor, cum laude from Pace University in 2016. He also expects to finish a Master of Laws in Environmental Law on the Land Use and Sustainable Development track at Pace Law School in 2016.


Student Associates

Savannah BowlingSavannah Bowling

Savannah Bowling graduated from the University of Georgia in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Economics and Management along and a minor in Environmental Law (Go Dawgs!). Before attending law school, Savannah worked for Blasingame, Burch, Garrard and Ashley, a firm in Northeast Georgia, as a legal assistant in products liability litigation. Savannah’s interest in land use sparked throughout her undergraduate studies and while studying abroad in Australia and New Zealand where she experienced environmental stewardship and sustainable development initiatives on an international scale. Savannah is in her second year at Elisabeth Haub School of Law and is expected to graduate in May 2019 with an Environmental Law Certificate. She expanded her knowledge of land use, environmental, and sustainable development law while interning at the Land Use Law Center this summer and is looking forward to working as Professor Nolon’s Research Assistant this fall. Savannah will also serve a Junior Associate on Pace Environmental Law Review throughout the fall and spring.

Kasey BrennerKasey Brenner

Kasey Brenner graduated magna cum laude from Binghamton University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics, and Law and a minor in Environmental Studies. Kasey is in her second year of law school at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University and is expected to graduate in 2019 with an Environmental Law Certificate. Kasey is part of Pace’s inaugural class of Haub Scholars and is currently on the executive board of the Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Society and the Food and Agriculture Law Society. She has expanded her interests in land use and sustainable development through hands-on experience at the Land Use Law Center this summer, and will continue working with the Center as a Research Assistant in the fall semester. Beginning in the fall, Kasey will also serve as a Junior Associate on Pace Environmental Law Review and will participate in the Federal Judicial Honors Program.

Luke HoldenLuke Holden

Luke Holden graduated from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in History. Prior to attending law school Luke worked at Stirling Benefits, Inc. as an administrative assistant. In his role, Luke built and populated a new database for managing the information of hundreds of clients. He also worked closely with several of the chief staff members on increasing the overall efficiency of the firm. Luke is a rising 2L expected to graduate in 2019 with a J.D. and is looking forward to developing his interest in land use law through his internship at the Land Use Law Center.​

Emma LagleEmma Lagle

Emma Lagle graduated from SUNY New Paltz in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Sociology. She became interested in environmental activism as a NYPIRG intern. Emma’s experience as a legal assistant in a real estate law firm, coupled with her work on the Westchester Green Business Certification Program for the Greenburgh Nature Center, advanced her interest in land use and sustainable practices. As a second-year law student at Pace’s Elizabeth Haub School of Law, Emma is a member of the Pace Environmental Law Review, a participant in the Federal Judicial Honors Program, and President of the Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Society. She expects to graduate in 2020 with a J.D., Certificate in Environmental Law, and a M.E.M. from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

Maximillian MahalekMaximillian Mahalek

Maximillian Mahalek is entering his second year as a student at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law and expects to graduate in 2019 with a J.D., a certificate in environmental law, and a concentration in land use law. He has both a Master and Bachelor of the Arts in Urban Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where his research focused on crime prevention through environmental design. Maximillian's professional background includes work as a Community Development Associate at the City of Urbana, IL, and as a Title Litigation Legal Assistant at McCalla Raymer Liebert Pierce, LLC. Maximillian spent time during his 1L year serving as the Land Use Law Center’s Land Use Scholar, a role in which he researched best practices in the field of form-based codes and drafted related language to be incorporated into a municipality's zoning code. During his 2L year, he will be serving as a Research Assistant at the Land Use Law Center, a Junior Associate with the Pace Environmental Law Review, and a participant in the Federal Judicial Honors Program.