City Begins Process of Updating Comprehensive Plan

The City of Poughkeepsie is beginning the process of updating its Comprehensive Plan, something that hasn’t been undertaken in more than two decades.

The Comprehensive Plan will provide a vision for future growth and development in the city, and the public’s input will be sought as the blueprint is developed. Amendments to the City’s Zoning Code will be included in the project. The city hopes to simplify and reduce the number of Zoning Districts and modernize the regulations to address current and new development trends.

View from Walkway over the Hudson
The City of Poughkeepsie as seen from the Walkway Over the Hudson

“There is so much activity going on in the City of Poughkeepsie,” Mayor Rob Rolison said. “The city is growing – and is poised to grow more – but we have to ensure that these changes occur in a responsible way. Updating the Comprehensive Plan is long overdue and will provide the city with clear guidance as we move forward.”

The City is seeking proposals from qualified and experienced planning consultants to prepare an update to the plan. Submissions are due March 27. Once a consultant is selected, an 18-month timeline will be created to bring the project to fruition. The project is partially funded through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Climate Smart Communities grant program. Consequently, particular attention will be paid to the integration of sustainability elements within the Comprehensive Plan and development of metrics to track the success of its implementation.

During the past 20 years, the City of Poughkeepsie 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, and most recently, the City’s downtown central business district and the Waterfront Revitalization Area.

City officials believe the time is ripe for Poughkeepsie to create one policy document to be a guide for the next 20 years.

City Planning Director Natalie Quinn, who will serve as the city’s Project Manager, said, “We are excited to take on this seminal planning exercise now that City Hall has reconstituted its internal planning team to lead the update. Working within DEC’s Climate Smart Communities framework is a great opportunity to ensure that the land use policies put into place guide Poughkeepsie towards a future that is environmentally, socially and fiscally sustainable.”

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.

City of Poughkeepsie Nets More Than $3 Million in State Funds For Economic and Community Development Plans

City of Poughkeepsie officials are pleased to announce that more than $3 million in state funding has been awarded for various economic and community development projects in the City.

The largest award, $2 million, is going to the Bow Tie Cinemas project. Bow Tie is planning to build a $11 million, nine-screen movie theater in a section of the Crannell Street parking lot. The city also is receiving $100,000 to update its comprehensive plan and zoning laws, as well as $100,000 for a sewer inflow and infiltration study.

“These funds will make a huge difference as we work with developers on a signature downtown redevelopment project,” said Mayor Rob Rolison of the Bow Tie award. “In addition, other monies will move us further along to making much-needed infrastructure repairs and to get to work on improving the comprehensive plan.”

Bow Tie’s 40,000-square-foot theater would be adjacent to an innovative mixed-use development proposed by the Kearney Realty and Development Group. The Kearny project was recently awarded Upstate Project of the Year by New York State Association for Affordable Housing.

These projects promise to transform that part of the City, and City officials say the plans mesh nicely with what the City had in mind when, earlier this year, it approved an Innovation District for the core commercial section of the City’s downtown area.

Bow Tie Theater is expected to create between 40-45 permanent positions and draw 300,000 visitors into the City each year.

“We are excited the project is moving forward and appreciative of the City’s forward thinking approach to reinvigorating downtown,” said Ben Moss, CEO of Bow Tie Cinemas.

The state funding, announced Thursday, is coming from the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative, created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2011. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The REDC deemed the Bow priority project in this round of funding.

Poughkeepsie organizations and other area initiatives also are receiving funding. They include Family Services receiving $490,000 to make renovations at the Family Partnership Center, and the Walkway Over the Hudson being awarded $588,562 to continue a comprehensive lighting project.

For a complete list of project awards and for more information on the Regional Councils, go to www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.

Video: City Provides Updates of Key Development Projects

City of Poughkeepsie economic and community development officials were the featured presenters at the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce’s monthly breakfast on Nov. 20. Paul Hesse, community development coordinator for the city, and Paul Calogerakis, economic development director for the city, provided updates on more than a dozen projects and fielded questions from the audience. The event was held at The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel & Conference Center.

Economic Development Projects Update – November 20, 2019

The City has seen a considerable uptick in economic activity in the last few years, including new residential units and businesses. More than 1,200 housing units have been either recently completed or are under construction, one third of them below market rate. And one million square feet of commercial space has been recently completed, is under construction or in the approval process.

To find out more about economic development opportunities in the City of Poughkeepsie, contact Economic Development Director Paul Calogerakis at [email protected], 845-451-4215 or Community Development Coordinator Paul Hesse [email protected] at 845-451-4106

City of Poughkeepsie Adopts Natural Resources Inventory

City of Poughkeepsie officials have approved the use of a Natural Resources Inventory that will provide planners, developers, and residents with easy access to a wealth of information about the city’s environment.

The inventory consists of 27 maps and offers details about the natural and historic resources in Poughkeepsie. The inventory also includes information about the city’s geology and soils, water resources, and biological communities.

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