Steve Meltzer, Founder and Executive Director
I am a lawyer by training and experience. I have over 15 years experience working in the various legal positions providing legal services for individuals and for government, public interest and private sector organizations. As a lawyer, I concentrated my practice in two general areas, business law and real estate development law.
For my business clients, I’ve assisted in the full life-cycle of non-profit, traditional and high-technology ventures including privacy regulation and compliance, choice of entity and formation decisions, tax-exempt status, partnership, capitalization and financing, contracting, licensing and intellectual property matters, and the resolution of business disputes and other challenges.
For my real estate development clients I’ve focussed on real estate development, affordable housing, permitting, land use and zoning matters, as well as the corporate, partnership and other business and litigation issues inherent in the business of development.
In addition, I have been on the faculty at the New England School of Law for over 10 years as an Adjunct Professor of Law .
I am active in my community, serving as a coach for a U10 girls soccer team. When not injured, I play soccer and am a bicyclist and jogger (when not recovering from soccer injuries). I serve on the Zoning Board of Appeals in Framingham and am proud to be a Member of the Board of the Michael Lisnow Respite Center in Hopkinton. In the past, I have served as President of the Board of the Dismas House of Massachusetts, as a Mock Trial Coach in the Worcester Middle Schools and as a Human Rights Committee Member for Charles River Health Management.
WHY THIS? WHY NOW?
During my years as an attorney for real estate develoers and landowners, I learned some important lessons:
- Valuable open spaces are falling victim to sprawl and over-development at an alarming rate.
- Real estate development decisions are motivated by profit.
- Profit and land preservation ideals can rarely coexist.
- Money is the great equalizer.
I have continually been frustrated watching local land interests struggle to raise funds on short notice to protect important natural areas from development and decided I was uniquely qualified, and needed to do something about it. After considerable research, including a national survey of over 1,000 land trust organizations, I realized that there was an acute need for access to immediate funds for preservation on short notice.
On September 5, 2008, I formed the Land Conservation and Advocacy Trust to take up this challenge and to level the financial playing field when competing with developers for land parcels, and battling in court for entitlements.