The LUSD Institute’s projects recognize that land use law provides a key means for addressing some of Long Island’s most pressing social and environmental concerns—including the creation of thriving urban centers and mainstreets; climate change and natural disaster resiliency; affordable housing for workers, seniors, youth, and others; and the preservation of our precious natural areas. LUSD’s recent projects have included:
Wind Energy Model Codes and Training—The Institute created the Zoning for Small- and Medium-Scale Wind Energy: Model Ordinance and Resource Guide pursuant to a contract with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. Small- and medium-scale wind energy systems can be used to produce the power needs of a home, business, or farm, as well as for a variety of other applications. Small- and medium wind systems can be connected to the electric grid through the property owner’s power provider or they can be off-grid, making wind a good choice for rural areas that are not connected to the electric grid. As wind energy technology progresses and the need for cleaner, renewable forms of energy increases, it is incumbent on local governments to advance their economic development and sustainability plans by reviewing and amending local zoning laws to permit wind energy systems that are safe and consistent with the character of a community.
Disaster Recovery Tools—In partnership with the Long Island Community Foundation and Touro Law’s Disaster Relief Clinic (/academics/clinics-descriptions) , Institute fellows collaborated with dozens of community-based organizations as well as local, state and federal government agencies to survey and assess disaster preparedness tools available to community-based organizations that serve Long Island’s most vulnerable populations.
Resilient Zoning Codes—Recognizing the confluence of local land use laws and disaster resiliency, the Institute worked with local, state and federal government agencies, and the Land Use Law Center at the Elisabeth Haub Pace University School of Law to provide assistance to and foster dialogue among planners, village and town officials, and others regarding concrete steps local governments can take to create a more resilient Long Island. This project was part of a grant from the New York Sea Grant.

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