In June 2005, the Hudson River Valley Greenway approved the Westchester County Greenway Compact Plan, The Greenprint for a Sustainable Future. The plan was prepared by the Westchester County Department of Planning as part of the Hudson River Valley Greenway initiatives and was adopted by the Westchester County Planning Board on June 2, 2004. In addition, the plan may be viewed at the Westchester County Department of Planning, 432 Michaelian Office Building, White Plains.
Westchester County is one of four counties in the 13-county Greenway region that has an approved Compact Plan. As of July 23, 2013, forty Westchester municipalities had become a Greenway Community, twenty-seven municipalities have also taken action to strengthen their commitment and become a Greenway Compact Community.
Participation is important. The County Planning Department encourages all Westchester communities to participate in this voluntary program. Participation will qualify them and assist other communities for a number of important compact benefits including technical and funding assistance from Greenway and possible scoring preference over non-compact communities in the evaluation of applications for other State Grants. The Greenway grant application process is simple and can result in the awarding of significant funds to assist a community with projects such as updating a comprehensive plan and zoning ordinance or the undertaking of special land use studies.
Becoming a Compact Community requires that a municipality adopt a local law amending the local zoning ordinance to state that consideration will be given to Greenprint policies when certain land use decisions are made. The adoption of such a local law does not limit home rule nor does it enable Westchester County or the state to impose any regulations upon the municipality.
Download a copy of the Local Planning Law Resource Guide.
Planning department staff are available to come to local meetings to present Greenprint and discuss the potential benefits of becoming a Greenway Compact Community.
The benefits of becoming a Greenway Compact Community are:
- State agencies must, "to the fullest extent practicable", coordinate their activities with Compact communities and conduct their activities in a manner consistent with the Greenway Compact.
- The provisions of the Greenway Compact must be made part of State Environmental Quality Review Act and Historic Preservation Act reviews.
- Compact communities may regulate the location and construction of boathouses, moorings and docks within fifteen hundred feet of their shorelines.
- Compact communities receive technical and financial assistance for community planning efforts. This includes up to 50 percent matching grants for basic community planning and for any changes to local planning and zoning needed to enter the compact.
- Compact communities have a potential 5 percent rating advantage over non-compact communities for receiving competitive state funding for Greenway projects.
- Compact communities have the opportunity to offer a streamlined environmental review process for activities which are consistent with regional Greenway plans.
- Compact communities are provided protection from lawsuits brought against communities because of the acquisition of land or the adoption of local land use regulations consistent with a regional Greenway Plan.