City’s ‘Innovation District’ Wins Award for Best Practice in Zoning
Earlier this year, City of Poughkeepsie officials approved Innovation District zoning for downtown, creating a more streamlined process to get projects approved.
Last week, the city’s plan was recognized at the Westchester County Association/Hudson Valley Economic Development Corp’s 3rd Annual Real Estate Summit in Tarrytown.
The city won the award for “Best Practice in Zoning,” and it was accepted by Mayor Rob Rolison, Planning Director Natalie Quinn and Community Development Coordinator Paul Hesse. More than 300 real estate and planning professionals attended the May 14 event held at the Westchester Marriott Hotel.
“We are grateful for the honor,” said Mayor Rolison. “Getting the district approved took years of community planning, public outreach and studies to get it right, and we believe we did. The Common Council also should be recognized for approving the plan.”
The innovation district has created four designated zones — the “historic core,” the “civic corridor,” the “urban village” and the “creative edge.” They are contained within the arterials, spread over several blocks, from Market Street to Hamilton Street going west to east, and Mill Street to Church Street going north to south.
The district is designed to attract new development and enhance walking spaces. It is one of the biggest reworkings to the core area since the city reopened a pivotal portion of Main Street to traffic nearly 20 years ago. In partnership with Pace University’s Land Use Law Center, the Westchester County Association and Hudson Valley Economic Development Corp. have been working on a “Redevelopment Policy Playbook” since 2017. This is aimed at helping communities streamline and improve their planning, zoning and approval processes and to serve as an ongoing resource. This partnership views the city’s Poughkeepsie Innovation District as a “prime example” of best practices and will include information about in that Playbook.
For more about the innovation district, go to http://cityofpoughkeepsie.com/rezonedowntown/archives/59
A link to the current Playbook, which is being update to include the entire Hudson Valley, can be found here: https://www.westchester.org/policy-playbook/