Municipal Planning Primers
The Municipal Planning Primer Series includes three documents prepared by WMPF in cooperation with the Westchester County Department of Planning. The series provides information regarding the roles and responsibilities of planning and zoning board members and support staff and the legal framework that guides the land use planning process in Westchester County. Click below to download a copy.more
Westchester County Department of Planning
The mission of the Westchester County Department of Planning is to develop and implement policies, programs and projects that protect and improve the quality of life in Westchester County and result in more livable and sustainable communities. The mission is carried out in three main areas — land use and development, the environment and housing. The department provides a variety of resources and services to assist and educate members of municipal boards, municipal staff and professional planners.
In New York State, most projects or activities proposed by a state agency or unit of local government, and all discretionary approvals and permits from a NYS agency or unit of local government, require an environmental assessment as prescribed by 6 NYCRR Part 617 State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR). [Statutory authority: Environmental Conservation Law Sections 3-0301(1)(b), 3-0301 (2)(m) and 8-0113]. SEQR requires the sponsoring or approving governmental body to identify and mitigate the significant environmental impacts of the activity it is proposing, approving or permitting.
New York State General Municipal Law of 1913 first provided for municipal planning bodies in New York State with the enactment of Section 12A, Chapter 699 by the state legislature. This legislation authorized the creation of planning agencies in cities and villages. (It was not until 1927 that enabling legislation for towns was adopted.)
General City Law, Town Law, Village Law and General Municipal Law are all New York State statutes that include provisions that set forth regulations on planning and zoning. The State Environmental Quality Review Act, the Freedom of Information Law and the Open Meetings Law are other examples of states laws that establish provisions that must be complied with by local boards. Because New York has many distinct regions with different needs, the state has enabled local governments to pass laws and regulations controlling land use within their jurisdiction through Municipal Home Rule Law. In many cases, local governments have added local regulations to state laws concerning site plan review, subdivisions, variances and special use permits that are stricter or more specific than state standards.
Enabling Legislation for Cities and Villages
Enabling Legislation for Towns
General Municipal Law
General City Law
Municipal Home Rule Law
Open Meetings Law
Freedom of Information Law
Links toLindddddLinks to General Planning Information:
American Planning Association (APA)
APA’s Planning Magazine
APA New York Metro Chapter
Planning Commissioners Journal
Regional Plan Association
New York Planning Federation