Frank Schnidman is the John M. DeGrove Eminent Scholar Chair at the School of Urban and Regional Planning (SURP), Florida Atlantic University (FAU). He also serves as the Executive Director of the School’s Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions (CUES). He teaches both redevelopment and economic development courses, and organizes and chairs numerous seminars and conferences. At CUES, he is implementing the reactivation of this applied research center, begun in 1972 by Dr. John M. DeGrove, the “Father” of Growth Management in Florida.
Schnidman has a Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) degree and a Masters of Laws (LL.M.) degree in Environmental Law (1975) and has spent more than thirty years dealing with sophisticated land policy and land use regulatory issues as both a practicing attorney and as an academic. He is a national leader in continuing professional education, having chaired ALI-ABA land use related programs annually since 1977, as well as organized and participated in hundreds of other seminars and conferences in the United States, Europe, Africa and Asia.
He has served as the Staff Director of the New York State Joint Legislative Committee on Metropolitan and Regional Areas Study, and as a consultant to the Council of State Governments, the National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Governor’s Association. He has also served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Schnidman has served as Executive Director of the Fort Lauderdale Downtown Development Authority and was the founding Executive Director of the Downtown Fort Lauderdale Transportation Management Association. He served as the founding Executive Director of the North Miami Community Redevelopment Agency.
He has taught both planning law and land development law at a number of universities, including serving two years as a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School. Prior to returning to Florida Atlantic University, Schnidman practiced law with the international law firm of Greenberg Traurig after serving as Director of the University of Miami School of Law Graduate Program in Real Property Development.
Frank’s redevelopment experience runs from college internships in the late 1960s with Neighborhood Legal Services and President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” Model Cities Program, to the recent debate on the appropriate use of eminent domain for economic development played out in June 2005 in the United States Supreme Court in Kelo v. City of New London. He wrote the amicus curiae brief in the case for John Norquist, President of the Congress for New Urbanism, a brief that was cited by Justice Stevens in the Court’s majority opinion. He also wrote an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court for the National Association of Manufacturers in Agins v. Tiburon (1980).
In addition, since 1991, he has chaired FAU Institute of Government redevelopment seminars, including the courses, “The ABCs of CRAs,” “Revisiting the Redevelopment Plan,” “The ABCs of Public Private Partnerships,” and “CRA Projects: Financing in a Time of Decreasing Revenues.” Recently, he has served as the Chair of the International Jury in the “Tohoku Recovery International Academic Competition,” focused on graduate school proposals for the redevelopment of the area of Japan hit by a major tsunami in March 2011. In Florida, he is recognized as one of the leading experts concerning redevelopment and community redevelopment agencies (CRAs). Also, Schnidman is currently coordinating a CUES multi-year research project, “Civic Engagement & Neighborhood Revitalization—Issues and Options for Miami’s Little Havana,” which will result in a series of CUES Research Reports, and ultimately a book.
Frank Schnidman is admitted to practice law in Florida, California, New York and the District of Columbia, and has been a member of ULI-the Urban Land Institute for 36 years. He is a charter member of the ULI Japan Council. In 1984 he was named a ULI Fellow “By virtue of recognized service and contribution of knowledge and experience in the fields of sound land use and urban development.”