POUGHKEEPSIE – City of Poughkeepsie officials announced they will be updating the city’s Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Codes to provide a vision and guidance for future growth and development in the city.
The ambitious, multi-faceted process will include the formation of a Project Steering Committee, meetings with the Common Council and city staff and preparation of a public engagement strategy.
Consultants czb LLC, in partnership with Ingalls Planning & Design (IPD), has been selected to assist the city in completing the project. The city received nine proposals from a wide range of firms during a competitive selection process. A committee composed of city staff, residents, Planning Board members and Common Council representatives reviewed the proposals, ultimately landing on the czb/IPD team. The team brings a unique mix of national perspective and New York State experience to the project.
“We are very excited to finally be starting this process and to be working with the czb team,” said Planning Director Natalie Quinn. “The team has an impressive resume and fresh approach to using the comprehensive planning process as a way to develop decision-making tools based on local values. We think the community will be very excited by their dedication to broad and diverse engagement throughout the process.”
The city’s Comprehensive Plan was last updated in 1998, and it’s been over 40 years since the City’s zoning ordinance was comprehensively reviewed and updated.
“We are excited to get this critically important work under way,” said Mayor Rob Rolison. “As we work our way through the COVID-19 pandemic and start to return to more activity and public gatherings, the time is right to take on this task of charting a future vision for the city. The city is seeing more development projects, and staying ahead of this curve through thoughtful planning concepts and ordinances is essential to the city.”
During the past 20 years, the city has engaged in a number of strategic planning efforts to target key areas across the city for revitalization. These areas include the waterfront transit-oriented development area surrounding the Poughkeepsie Train Station, the Walkway-Gateway District near the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Site, and most recently, the City’s creation of an Innovation District aimed at transforming the core commercial section of the city’s downtown into a vibrant economic center anchored by increased residential population and a creative economy.
Updating the city’s comprehensive plan is funded in part by the Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Grant Program, Title 15 of the Environmental Protection Fund through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. A key goal of the City of Poughkeepsie is to integrate principles of sustainability and climate change adaptation within the city’s blueprint for growth. The city also aims to simplify and reduce the number of zoning districts and modernize regulations in order to address current and future development trends.
The process is expected to take 16 months to complete. The initial phase will include the launch of a project website where residents can follow the progress and find out how to get involved.