The Westchester 2025 Plan offers a broad framework for governmental action to guide the county's future physical development. That framework is defined by the historical pattern of development, the context for planning today and by specific policies.
Together, they provide a coherent set of standards for the Westchester County Planning Board as it carries out its three principal County Charter responsibilities:
- long range planning
- advising the County Executive and Legislature on capital spending for infrastructure, land acquisition and other public facilities
- bringing the county's perspective to bear on planning and zoning referrals from municipal governments
The Westchester Pattern of Development
By the mid-nineteenth century, a pattern of concentrated downtowns, or centers, of various sizes, linked by corridors and separated by open spaces was firmly established in Westchester. That pattern is still apparent. A continued healthy balance between economic growth and a sound environment depends on directing growth to centers, reinventing developed corridors as multi-use places and factoring open-space elements into the development process.
Context for planning in Westchester County
The parameters for planning today are set by:
- economic and environmental considerations
- local, state and federal law and regulation
- external influences
After considering such factors and reviewing land use and demographic trends, the county Planning Board drew 16 conclusions to create the context for planning in Westchester County in 2008.
Policies to Guide County Planning
Westchester 2025 is dedicated to sustainable development which balances economic and environmental concerns and serves the needs of a changing population. Major events of the early 21st century including flooding, terrorism and infrastructure failure require a shift in the premise of Patterns that cooperation should be voluntary to a paradigm that requires municipalities to participate in a more formal structure to work together going forward.
The county Planning Board proposes to adopt 15 revised and new policies to guide the board and recommends them to municipalities as guidance for their own decision-making.