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.


March Madness 2023 invitation Opens in new window

March Madness Sustainability  Edition Meetings 2023

Orange County's 3rd Annual virtual March Madness Sustainability Edition will have six virtual workshops throughout the rest of March and the beginning of April. The third workshop is Water: Wetlands, Streams, Zoning and Rights and will be held on March 29th. This workshop is free. Learn about iniatives and strategies to protect wetlands, streams, drinking water and the Hudson River. Advance registration is required, please click here to register.  

March 31st from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Hudson Valley Climate Action Conference at Kaplan Hall at SUNY Orange Newburgh Campus. Learn about the Regional Climate Action Road Map and Tool Kit.  What do we need to get done to meet New York State's ambitious climate goals? Hear how local leaders are tackling this challenge. RSVP for this event here .  Event schedule details here.

March 31st at 5:30 p.m. - Food Waste Recycling Showcase (in person) at Downing Park Urban Farm, located at 207 Carpenter Avenue in Newburgh. Orange County’s Division of Environmental Facilities and Services (DEFS) and Orange County Department of Planning will join local community organizations, schools, and businesses to promote food waste recycling at the Orange County Food Security and Sustainability Initiative (OCFSS).  For more information about this event, click here.  

For more information on the other available March Madness workshops, click here.

Go to our Recorded Meetings page to watch previous recorded meetings such as Tree Talk and Invasive Species from the 2023 March Madness Series and all recorded meetings from the 2022 March Madness Series.

Orange County Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) Roundtable 2023

Calling all Conservation Advisory Commission (CAC) and Climate Smart Community (CSC) members.  Please join us May 10, 2023 at 6pm in Goshen’s Craigville Park to learn about resources, grants, and technical support.  Hear what other conservation, natural resources, open space, and sustainability groups are doing in your area. Preregister here.  For additional information, contact Kate Schmidt at 

See Recorded Meetings page for the CAC 2022 Roundtable meeting. 

Orange County Planning Department Presents: 

Climate Solutions Week 2023 in the Hudson Valley - Featured Events: (stay tuned)

Stay tuned for the announcement of 2023 Climate Solutions Week in the Hudson Valley Featured Events.  

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.  

Additional regional events can be found at:

For additional Information or questions, contact Sustainability Coordinator Kate Schmidt at 

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

Climate Solutions Week 2022

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

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, 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 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

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 or call 845-615-3840 and someone will respond as soon as possible. For more information regarding COVID-19 and transportation, visit 

Please visit the OCTC website, for more information. 

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