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Rezone Downtown Poughkeepsie Project » Press Release » Poughkeepsie Innovation District Zoning Approved

Poughkeepsie Innovation District Zoning Approved

Poughkeepsie Innovation District Zoning Approved

At a special meeting called by Mayor Rob Rolison on Monday, the Common Council approved an update to the city’s zoning code to establish the Poughkeepsie Innovation District. The Poughkeepsie Innovation District (PID) aims to transform the core commercial section of the city’s downtown into a vibrant economic center anchored by increased residential population and a creative economy.   Monday’s adoption marks the culmination of a multiyear endeavor by the City, which was ably assisted by the Pace Land Use Law Center and Kevin Dwarka Land Use and Economic Consulting, as well as Dutchess County and numerous other stakeholders.

Focused on “place making,” the elimination of vacant property, as well as inclusion and diversity, the PID policy framework and zoning code update represent a major step forward towards restoring Poughkeepsie’s downtown as the region’s preeminent commercial district. The proposed zoning adds flexibility in terms of uses that are allowed on a property and focuses on how building form can positively impact the pedestrian environment. This flexibility, along with a streamlined land use approval process, will make it easier for property owners to activate their buildings and fill vacant storefronts, ensuring a high concentration of commercial and cultural activity in a quality urban setting.

Mayor Rolison said, “We’re grateful to the Council members that supported the PID. We continue to see interest and investment in Poughkeepsie’s downtown, and this new policy and zoning is going to further encourage thoughtful development and vibrancy in the heart of our city.”  

Councilman Matt McNamara (D-8th Ward) said, “Carefully designed, smart updates to the City’s zoning code are a breath of fresh air in the musty library of city ordinances. This will prove to be an important legislative achievement that has a very positive impact, both in terms of the revitalization of our downtown core, and in terms of local job creation. I congratulate our Planning and Economic Development team for the fine work on this initiative, including all the public outreach and community interaction that went into making our new Innovation District a reality.” 

Planning Director Natalie Quinn said, “The adoption of the Poughkeepsie Innovation District zoning ordinance is only one step, albeit a critical one, towards the realization of a successful, vibrant and inclusive downtown. Now that the zoning foundation is in place we can begin to build upon it.”

All documents related to the project are available for download on the project website: