The New York Planning Federation recently awarded the Village of Mount Kisco with a special honor for its new Downtown Overlay District that was part of the municipality’s Comprehensive Plan.
The federation recognized the village with the Heissenbuttel Award for Planning Excellence on June 16, which is given each year to an individual, municipality or agency for outstanding accomplishment in planning. It is named in honor of Henry Heissenbuttel, an innovative director of the Dutchess County Planning Department.
The village updated and adopted its new Comprehensive Plan in 2019. A major recommendation of the new plan was to create the Downtown Overlay District, which was designed to provide opportunities for transit-oriented development near the Metro-North train station, encouraging a mix of residential, commercial and civic space in a walkable setting near public transit in keeping with the character, scale and design of existing downtown buildings.
Development incentives for replacement of existing public parking spaces on the South and North Moger lots and creation of mixed uses are a key feature of the overlay district. Design standards regulate the design of new civic spaces, streetscapes and walkways, landscaping, architectural design of buildings and parking structures.
BFJ Planning assisted the village in the preparation and implementation of the plan.
“We are honored to accept the Heissenbuttel Award on behalf of a community who was so actively engaged in the process of developing our Comprehensive Plan,” said Mayor Gina Picinich. “As we continue to move forward with plan implementation, this award reaffirms that development in Mount Kisco is a smart investment in a municipality with a well-planned and sustainable future.”
The adopted Downtown Overlay District has stimulated interest from the development community as demonstrated by a proposal to add mixed-use, transit-oriented development on the underutilized commuter parking lots. Consultations with the Building Department and applications for re-development of existing buildings are also in progress.
The New York Planning Federation, a non-profit membership organization established in 1937. Our mission is to promote sound planning and zoning practice throughout New York State, congratulated the village on its accomplishment and contribution to planning and zoning.
While it is adopted into the zoning code, it’s a much broader planning tool based in the Comprehensive Plan with a strong planning and smart-growth orientation.