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

Climate Solutions Week 2023 in the Hudson Valley - Featured Events: 

Orange County Planning Department is hosting webinars for climate solutions week.  All webinars require advance registration. 

Tree Preservation Law - September 27th at 5:30 PM

Municipalities create tree preservation laws to protect this important natural resource, improve air quality and contribute to the visual appeal of their communities. This webinar will explore the benefits of such laws, why legislation is necessary to preserve older trees, protect mid-life trees, and promote the planting and maintenance of new trees. Hear what else can be done and future next steps.

Lower Hudson River Sampling and Investigation Work - September 27th at 6:00 PM

Learn about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency agreement with General Electric Company to  conduct extensive fish, water and sediment sampling in the Lower Hudson River, between Troy and the  Battery in New York City. The sampling work is underway and will continue through 2025. Additional information about the sampling work and the Superfund site is available at www.epa.gov/hudsonriverpcbs.

Watch recorded meeting: Tree Preservation Law & Lower Hudson River Sampling 

Reduce Energy Demand in Your Municipality - September 28th at 5:30 PM

NYPA’s energy experts can help municipalities prioritize and bundle energy efficiency and renewable energy projects to create the most cost-effective plan that will maximize savings. NYPA offers advisory services for an entire portfolio of clean energy solutions including implementation of EV infrastructure, on-site and community solar, energy audits and master planning, as well as energy efficiency for equipment retrofits, building envelope improvements and wastewater pump systems. As a NY State Authority, NYPA has brought objective advice and full transparency for confident decision-making, simplified procurement and financing options for over 60 years while managing clean energy projects for government entities.

Watch recorded meeting:  Clean Energy Pathways Products and Solutions for Municipalities

Protecting Wetlands and Streams in Your Community - October 18th at 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Protecting wetlands and streams is vital to safeguarding water resources, but gaps in federal and state regulations leave these resources vulnerable to degradation and loss.   The Supreme Court’s June 2023 Sackett v. EPA ruling significantly rolled back federal protection for wetlands and streams.  New York State is meanwhile set to expand some protections for wetlands, but major gaps remain, especially for smaller wetlands, seasonal streams, and adjacent buffers around these sensitive water resources. This course is free and will provide 1.5 hours towards the State-mandated four-hour annual training requirements for planning and zoning board members. Pre-registration is required.

Register at:  https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_K0VakJIjQMSwMn7qvH-Hrw 

Additional regional events can be found at: www.HVClimateSolutionsWeek.org

See Recorded Meetings page for recordings of 2022 Climate Solutions Week meetings including Municipal Food Scrap Collection Programs, The Future of Waste: Recycling and Extended Producer Responsibility and Agrivoltaics: Maximizing Land Use with Solar and Agriculture.  

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