Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Ag Districts

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

The Department also 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.

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.


Agricultural District Review

Orange County will be undertaking its 8-year review of agricultural districts in the County. See for more information.   The deadline for district modifications has been extended to June 30, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click here for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Community Preservation Act Webinar

Orange County Planning Department hosted a webinar on the Community Preservation Act on October 1, 2020.   The webinar discussed preserving open space and farmland, maintaining healthy drinking water sources, protecting historic and cultural sites throughout Orange County and how you and elected officials can save these life sustaining parcels from overdevelopment.   To watch the webinar, click here.

For more information about the Community Preservation Act, please contact Kate Schmidt at 845-615-3858 or  See additional details HERE.  

COVID-19 Information

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

The Department will continue to process NYS GML 239 reviews that are referred to the Orange County Planning Department.   We are in the process of identifying employees who have the capability to work remotely from home and are coordinating with the County’s IT to get this in place.  Municipalities can assist us in this effort by providing a digital copy of your referrals to our Department, including a digital copy of the Plan sets and supporting reports.  Most licensed design professionals (i.e., engineers, land surveyors or architects) have the capability to provide these documents to you in a PDF format.  Please continue to send hard copies of all Plan sets to our office for review.

Transit Orange

Given the current situation, we recommend contacting your local bus operator for the most up to date service information for your specific area.

While there is potential for a delay in the processing of ADA paratransit applications, in an effort to avoid this we will be accepting emailed applications at  


The Orange County Transportation Council (OCTC) staff continues to carry out planning and programming activities and will continue to work part time in office and part time at home in order to adhere to social distancing requirements. Staff will continue to work with our local, state, and federal partners remotely, as we progress through the summer. All required meetings and public outreach activities will continue virtually until further notice. 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. 

Please visit the OCTC website, for more information. 

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

Census 2020

Thank you to all who completed the 2020 Census!  Orange County's self-response rate was 67.0%, up from 61.9% in 2010.


The Grants Unit will continue to work with County Departments to develop competitive grant applications, identify new grant opportunities, provide post-award grant oversight, and supply technical assistance and guidance to departments.  County Departments can assist us by providing a Concept Approval Form and communicating early their intent to apply for new funding.  The Unit does not distribute grant funding.  We will also be monitoring funding opportunities that may arise in response to Covid-19.

For more information and frequently asked questions and answers, please visit FAQ 

HeatSmart Orange County

Improved energy efficiency is within reach, Orange County! Using oil, propane, or electric resistance to heat and cool your home or business? There are better, more efficient options - clean heating and cooling technologies, like heat pumps, are making it possible for homes and businesses to stay comfortable year-round, save energy, and reduce their carbon footprint.


Climate-Smart Montgomery Expo (Sunday September 20, 2020) Climate-Smart Montgomery Expo Information

Click on the link for additional HeatSmart Orange Information

HeatSmart Orange is a state-supported community campaign that makes it easier for you to increase your home or business’ energy efficiency and lower your energy bills by weatherizing and installing clean heating and cooling technologies. These technologies include air-source heat pumps and geothermal, which transfer heat in and out of buildings to provide heating and cooling in one system. They’re not unlike air conditioners that can run in reverse and provide you heat from the air or ground—even when it’s below zero outside!

HeatSmart Orange is made possible by a partnership of Orange County, Energize NY and the New York State Research and Development Authority.

Sign up: Here to get on the mailing list


Call:  (914) 302-7300, Ext 1