Planning

About Us

The Orange County Department of Planning is engaged in issues of land use planning, transportation, public transit, education, trends research, resource management, agriculture, open space, grants and economic issues that affect the County.  The Department consists of five (5) functional units as follows:  Environment, Grants, Land Use, Transit and Transportation.

The Department staffs the Orange County Transportation Council (OCTC) - serving as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for this region.

Additionally, the Department  provides staff support to the Orange County Water Authority (OCWA), the County Planning Board, the County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board, and the County Municipal Planning Federation.

The Commissioner of Planning also serves as the County’s Fair Housing Compliance Officer.  Concerns relating to fair housing issues may be directed to the Planning Commissioner.

As an Affiliate of the New York State Data Center, the Department also researches and distributes demographic and economic data, including the dissemination of U.S. Census information.

Announcements

Orange County Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) Roundtable

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Hudson River Estuary, New York State Association of Conservation Commissions and the Orange County Department of Planning invite you to the Orange County Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) Roundtable (Zoom meeting) on Wednesday, November 30, 6:30 – 8:30 pm. Conservation Advisory Councils (CACs) educate the public, create inventories of important natural resources, assist planning boards with reviews of proposed development projects, contribute to the development of local conservation plans and policies, and can research topics of local interest such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, water protection, open space, and or tree preservation/management to name just a few. 

 This roundtable offers a forum for CAC members in Orange County to share successes and learn about the conservation efforts of neighboring communities. For meeting information or to register for this Zoom Webinar, click here.  For additional information, contact Kate Schmidt at KSchmidt@OrangeCountyGov.com 

Orange County Planning Department Presents: 

Climate Solution Week in the Hudson Valley - Featured Events: 

Municipal Food Scrap Collection Programs - Tuesday September 27th at 6:00 pm

Learn about Westchester County’s efforts to divert food scraps from the solid waste stream and promote local composting efforts. Hear about the County’s structure, its Residential Food Scrap Transportation and Disposal Program, the Village of Scarsdale’s successful food scrap drop off and curbside collection program, and the County’s Compost and Education Facility (CompostED). Lastly, a recent volunteer-led program in Orange County will be explained.

Link to recorded meeting here

CompostED with Bethel Community Garden Youth

Food Scrap Recycling in the Private Sector

Warwick Food Scraps to Compost Program

Westchester County Food Waste

The Future of Waste:  Recycling and Extended Producer Responsibility -  Wednesday September 28th at 6:00 pm

Numerous states are addressing how consumer product producers can take responsibility for the environmental, health, economic, and social impacts of their products. When producers design and manage their products with the environment in mind, the products we enjoy will become less toxic and more reusable and recyclable.

Link to recorded meeting here

PSI Niagara County Slides

Agrivoltaics:  Maximizing Land Use with Solar & Agriculture - Thursday September 29th at 6:00 pm 

Please join us for an informative webinar with speakers from Scenic Hudson, American Farm Trust, and Lightstar Renewables as we discuss the emerging field of agrivoltaics, whereby solar energy and agriculture coexist. In this webinar we will introduce the concept of agrivoltaics, explain the benefits it brings to the community, review how a local town is pioneering local legislation that would allow for sustainable solar development and agriculture, provide model language for municipal use, and offer a diverse well-rounded panel to answer any questions.

Link to recorded meeting here

AFT

LSR

Scenic Hudson Presentation

Additional regional events can be found at:  http://www.hvclimatesolutionsweek.org

For additional Information, contact Sustainability Coordinator Kate Schmidt at KSchmidt@OrangeCountyGov.com 

Celebrate Car Free Day Thursday September 22, 2022

Car Free Day 2022 will be celebrated on Thursday, September 22, 2022.  Every year, the 511NY Rideshare Team celebrates Car Free Day – an international event celebrated in more than 50 countries by encouraging participants to reduce their driving and instead telework, ride a train, bus, or subway, bike, walk, carpool, vanpool, or drive an electric vehicle.

Share your experience on social media. Follow us and share your Car Free Day experience by tagging us and using #CarFreeDay #MyGreenTrip:

  1. 511NY Rideshare Facebook
  2. 511NY Rideshare Twitter
  3. 511NY Rideshare Instagram
  4. 511NY Rideshare TikTok

 Clean Energy and Sustainability

Orange County’s 2nd annual virtual March Madness: Sustainability Edition marches on with great workshops on Monday May 9th from 10 am - noon addressing Battery Energy Storage for First Responders and May 10th from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon Understanding Solar PV Permitting and Inspecting in New York State.

Battery Energy Storage for First Responders - 5/9/22  10:00 am to 12:00 noon

Intended Audience(s): Code Enforcement Officials, Building Safety Inspectors, Fire Safety Inspectors
Credit Eligibility: 2-hours in-service training credit through NYSDOS BSC
Course Description: The Battery Energy Storage for First Responders course provides an in-depth overview of NYS Uniform Code requirements relevant to batter energy storage systems (BESS). The course is primarily intended for Code Enforcement Officials, Building and/or Fire Safety Inspectors, first responders and incident response personnel, and related positions. This content may also be relevant to local policy makers, planning and zoning board members, and other staff. Information presented in the course ranges from introductory BESS basics to advanced code compliance and fire safety requirements.

Battery Energy Storage for First Responders begins with an overview of BESS components, including critical fire detection and suppression equipment, as well as an accompanying overview of BESS applications and use cases. The course then provides an in-depth walkthrough of NYS Uniform Code sections regulating BESS development, with a primary focus on NYS Fire Code and NYS Residential Code requirements. This course highlights a variety of code requirements based on BESS type and location, including fire detection and suppression considerations. Upon completion of this course, attendees should have an introductory understanding of BESS components and applications, as well as familiarity with relevant NYS Uniform Code requirements pertaining to BESS.
 • In order to get your 2-hours of training credit, we’ll need attendees to provide their Code Enforcement Credentials, which consists of two pieces of information:
    o The name associated with your online training account for the State Learning Management System
    o The state-issued Code Enforcement ID number: this consists of 2 letters, either NY or CE, followed by 7 numbers.
• Please email this information to KSchmidt@orangecountygov.com

 Advance Registration is required:  Please click HERE to register.  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. 

Understanding Solar PV Permitting and Inspecting in New York State - 5/10/22  10:00 am to 12:00 noon

Length: 2 hours
Intended Audience(s): Code Enforcement Officials, Building Safety Inspectors, Fire Safety Inspectors
Credit Eligibility: 2-hours in-service training credit through NYS Dept. of State, Division of Building Standards & Codes (NYSDOS BSC)
Course Description:  The Understanding Solar PV Permitting and Inspecting in New York State course provides a substantive overview of several topics relevant to solar photovoltaics (PV) permitting. The course contains information primarily aimed at municipal administrative staff including Code Enforcement Officials, Building and/or Fire Safety Inspectors, and related positions. This content may also be relevant to local policy makers, planning and zoning board members, and other staff. Information presented in the course ranges from rudimentary solar basics to advanced technical and code compliance material.
 
The course begins with an introduction to the basics of solar PV permitting applications, highlighting the New York Unified Solar Permit and a list of construction documents required for a complete PV project application. After the initial section, the course provides in-depth information about components of a PV array, applicable codes like the Uniform Code and the National Electric Code, and resources available for PV permitting and inspection as contained in NYSERDA’s Solar Guidebook for Local Governments. The course concludes with a review of common installation errors and their corresponding code violations. Upon completion of the course, attendees should have a strong foundation of knowledge about the requirements, documents, and processes involved in permitting and inspecting PV systems.

• In order to get your 2-hours of training credit, we’ll need attendees to provide their Code Enforcement Credentials, which consists of two pieces of information:
    o The name associated with your online training account for the State Learning Management System
    o The state-issued Code Enforcement ID number: this consists of 2 letters, either NY or CE, followed by 7 numbers.
• Please email this information to KSchmidt@orangecountygov.com

Advance Registration is required: Please click HERE to register.  After registering you will receive a conformation email containing information about joining the meeting.


NYSERDA Clean Energy Program

 NYSERDA Clean Energy Communities Program 

Learn how to become a NYS designated Clean Energy Community (CEC) and the potential to receive funding for simply taking important, environmentally sustainable actions through NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Communities Program.  Learn details here.

COVID-19 Information

As New York State and our community in Orange County responds to the COVID-19 Pandemic, it is important to maintain the most up-to-date health regulations. To stay informed, check resources like the www.Coronavirus.gov, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), and Orange County Department of Health regularly. 

As a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Orange County Planning Department is carefully complying with state and county guidance on the NY Forward reopening plans so that we can continue to provide critical and essential services while ensuring the health, safety and welfare of our employees and restoring service and interaction with the public.  The following is an update with respect to certain functions and projects of the Department.

New York State General Municipal Law 239 Reviews

In keeping with New York State General Municipal Law Section 239, paragraphs l, m, and n, the Orange County Planning Department reviews land use applications referred to us by local boards where the actions proposed are within 500 feet of the following locations: a County or State road; a municipal boundary; a County or State park; County or State owned land containing a public building; a County-owned stream; or an active farm operation in the Orange County Agricultural District. Additionally, new local laws affecting zoning or land use must be referred regardless of location.  Municipalities may submit applications electronically to landuseprojects@orangecountygov.com or may transmit paper copies of applications to the Planning Department at 124 Main Street, 1st floor, Goshen NY 10924 by mail or personal delivery.  Please note that applications should include all relevant information, and that planners may request additional information prior to making a recommendation for action. If you have any questions regarding the GML 239 process, please contact Megan Tennermann, AICP, Land Use Planner, at mtennermann@orangecountygov.com.

Transportation Council

The Department staffs the Orange County Transportation Council (OCTC), which continues to carry out planning and programming activities.  Due to the announcement from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo ending the state disaster emergency on June 25th, the ability to hold solely remote open meetings has also ended. As a result, OCTC will return to holding in person meetings, as well as provide a call in/video conference option when feasible.  Should our situation change we will update this announcement and email members.

To contact us, or to request to be added to our contact list, please email us at OCTC@orangecountygov.com or call 845-615-3840 and someone will respond as soon as possible. For more information regarding COVID-19 and transportation, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/using-transportation.html. 

Please visit the OCTC website, www.orangecountygov.com/octc for more information. 

For updates on our ongoing studies, click on the project website links below:


Documents