POUGHKEEPSIE – The Common Council last Tuesday approved a new Comprehensive Plan, charting a vision for future growth and development in the city that will help guide priorities, strategies, and policies in the years ahead.
City officials are now working on amendments to the city’s Zoning Code, which will be a key part of implementing the Comprehensive Plan under the “PK4Keeps’ initiative.
The city intends to simplify and reduce the number of Zoning Districts and modernize the regulations to address development trends.
“Updating the Comprehensive Plan was long overdue and will provide the city with clear guidance as we move forward,” said Mayor Rob Rolison. “I am grateful the Common Council has approved this essential document, and I greatly appreciate the work of the city’s Development Department and others to bring this to fruition.”
City officials created a Steering Committee including residents, business owners and civic leaders and held a series of open houses while crafting the comprehensive plan. As part of its work, the Steering Committee reached out to the community through a series of “kitchen table conservations” to ensure a variety of voices were heard throughout the process.
The Common Council also held a public hearing on June 21 to receive public comment during their review.
Common Council Chair Sarah Salem said, “The city’s comprehensive plan hasn’t been updated in more than 20 years. I am excited the city has been able to undertake this endeavor now and create a new, realistic blueprint. This is a strong starting point that includes milestones and will help us set priorities in the years ahead.”
The city’s “PK4Keeps” undertaking is partially funded through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Climate Smart Communities grant program. As result, particular attention has been paid to the integration of sustainability elements within the Comprehensive Plan and development of metrics to track the success of its implementation.
City Development Director Natalie Quinn, who is serving as the city’s Project Manager, said, “PK4Keeps is a plan to focus Poughkeepsie on a vision for a more sustainable, equitable, and dynamic future. The plan encourages farsighted and bold decisions, with a priority placed on quality of life, access to good and affordable housing, and commercial vitality. As a framework, PK4keeps doesn’t give us all the answers, but it provides a collective understanding that will help Poughkeepsie’s public officials, residents, business stakeholders, and institutional leaders make sound decisions for the next 20 years.”