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Two individuals review architectual plansIn 2006, the Westchester County Planning Board embarked on a review of the county’s planning policies in the context of the challenges confronting the region at the present time.

Centers, corridors and open space are still building blocks for development
The board found its current land use policy document, "Patterns for Westchester: The Land and the People," continues to provide a solid foundation. Centers, corridors and open space continue to be the building blocks of Westchester’s pattern of development. Yet, new pressing issues need to be acknowledged and action taken.

Need to align municipal planning into county-wide vision
The board also found that although all Westchester municipalities conduct comprehensive planning, the 43 individual plans are difficult to align into a county-wide vision (download a municipal comprehensive plan map composite). Each plan uses its own vocabulary to define the future. You can see the problem on the composite map of municipal plans. You can also find out the age of your municipality's comprehensive plan.

As we undertake the future development of Westchester, we have to keep our sights on the following: 

  • Why we plan -- planning decisions shape the quality of our lives.
  • Defining character -- the vital need to identify, preserve and enhance the distinct character and visual quality of Westchester’s cities, towns, villages and neighborhoods so as to reinforce their residents’ sense of place.
  • The right density -- development density directly influences achieving "smart growth." Westchester 2025 revisits the density recommendations of "Patterns" and finds a need for changes.

Westchester's Challenges
Some challenges facing our county as we plan its future development are:

Sewage treatment capacity Waterfront Access
Recreation needs Inter-municipal cooperation
Water supply and quality Global warming
Biodiversity Brownfield
Transit and Mobility options Technology, work at home
Open space systems Sustainable development
Density in centers and corridors Natural resource protection
Stormwater management Travel patterns and trends
Aging and immigration Energy sources and supply
Internet retail shopping Regional planning policies
County-owned facilities and campuses Maintenance of tax base
Housing market dynamics Visual quality and design