A Message from the Dean
|Cities at the Horizon|
|Communities at the Horizon|
|Eastward from Our Horizon: U.S., China & Russia|
Beyond the Horizon: Innovation and Technology
|ILE Lecture: Charles A. Heimbold, Jr. L'60|
|Profile: Richard E. Rosin L'68|
|Profile: Pamela Daley L'79|
|Profile: Professor Jason Johnston|
|Profile: Howard Chang|
|Profile: Robert A. Gorman|
Oral Legal History Project
|Snippets of History|
The type of civic engagement that Professor Rubin notes was unimaginable
forty years ago is at the core of the increasingly more successful merger
between environmentalists, communities, regulators, and developers.&
The environmental movement emerged on the public stage informally in 1970
with the first celebration of Earth Day. Since that time the field
of environmental law and community activism has come into full bloom.
Steven Fischman is part of teaoverseeing the development of a three thousand-acre tract in historic Plymouth, Massachusetts that will include housing, two golf courses a hotel/conference center and a village center. The project is unique because it has evolved through agreements with the state and town to maintain open spaces and to make sure the water serving the golf courses is environmentally acceptable. New England Development has gone so far as to drill a well and install a water treatment plant on the grounds of the golf course to minimize the use of fertilizers to keep the grass healthy.
“This is the first all encompassing performance-based environmental permit in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The State has developed a way to measure the success of the permit against environmentally-based standards,” Fischman says. In return, New England Development was rewarded with a streamlined permit process that expedited their development plans. “This is an opportunity we sought.”
“Massachusetts is a difficult jurisdiction to secure the right to build because it is one of the most environmentally concerned jurisdictions. The only way we were ever going to get permits was to sincerely behave in a way that shows concern for the environment,” explains Fischman. “Seventy percent of the Plymouth development will remain open space. We will also set aside areas for hiking trails and nature preserves.”
The majority of the company’s developments are focused on retail districts
and mixed-use developments. New England Development has been the
largest owner and developer of retail real estate in New England.
In addition to Plymouth, New England Development is currently working on
mixed-use projects in Boston, New Haven, and Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Fischman differentiates between tactics communities might use to employ
environmental laws to their favor, and those who use the law as subterfuge.
“In Plymouth, those who might oppose you are truly concerned about the
environment. With mall development, those who oppose you usually
are those who will be your economic competitors. They tend to use
environmental statutes to attack competitive development.”