On September 1, 2009 the Village of Ossining adopted a new Comprehensive Plan, the first such effort in 50 years. The Comprehensive Plan creates a “blueprint” for future physical and economic development as well as the social, environmental, and regional concerns of the Village.
The Comprehensive Plan Committee first met on October 26, 2005. The Committee consists of residents throughout the community that have graciously volunteered their time to help with the development of the Comprehensive Plan.
This is a culmination of four years of hard work, which includes responses from a Village-wide survey, seven public meetings, five focus group sessions, public comment periods, and input from the Comprehensive Plan Committee, Zoning Sub-Committee, and the Village’s consultants. The Comprehensive Plan can be accessed below.
2009 ADOPTED COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
Copies are also available for public review at the Village Clerk's Office located at 16 Croton Avenue, the Ossining Public Library and at the Department of Planning at the John-Paul Rodrigues Ossining Operations Center.
Please see below for more information and past documents including the public outreach efforts and information on the State Enviromental Quality Review process.
In 2005, the Village of Ossining created a Comprehensive Plan Committee (the “Committee”) whose charge was to help provide community insight into the development of the Comprehensive Plan (the “Plan”). In May 2006, the Village of Ossining Planning Department mailed Community Surveys to 11,500 residents of the Village seeking input on housing, shopping, recreation, the local economy, Village services, redevelopment, quality of life, and other community topics. Many questions afforded opportunities to respond and comment, with an additional unrestricted comment page. Typically, the response rate for mail surveys is fairly low (around 2 percent), though Ossining gave cause for optimism given the 4 percent response rate for the Village-wide recreation survey conducted in 2001. Of the 11,500 surveys mailed, 1,436 were returned, accounting for an excellent response rate of nearly 13 percent. Of those 1,436 surveys, more than half of the people took time to fill out the “Additional Comments.”
Survey Response throughout the Village
Please find below the Local Laws, which include a new Zoning law , Subdivision of Land amendments, and a new Affordable Housing law, that were prepared in connection with the Village of Ossining’s proposed new Comprehensive Plan, Proposed Village Code Amendments and Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan Amendments and adopted on October 6, 2009. Please see the Affordable Housing webpage for more information on the Village of Ossining's Affordable Housing Program.
In summer 2006, the Village Board of Trustees selected Phillips Preiss Shapiro Associates, Inc. (“PPSA”) to serve as the comprehensive plan consultants. PPSA began with gathering background data and information, aided by the Village Planning Department, which provided Geographic Information System (GIS) data on existing land uses, environmental constraints, and residential density; and prior planning reports. Demographic and economic information was shared. The Planning Department gave PPSA walking and driving tours, during which critical issues were highlighted. PPSA then met with a number of Village entities, including the Building Department, Parks and Recreation Department, Village Manager, the Village Treasurer, other Village officials, and activists.
PPSA and the Committee subsequently led the community-wide S.W.O.T. analysis and the Planning Department also led focus groups. The results of the analyses revealed that four major topic areas were of utmost importance to the Village:
• Waterfront, Downtown and economic development
• Traffic and infrastructure
• Affordable housing
• Neighborhood quality of life.
The Committee subdivided into four Sub-Committees devoted to each of these four topics. PPSA, the Sub-Committees and Village staff conducted additional research.
A brainstorming workshop was then conducted on each of the four topics. The workshops were publicized in local newspapers, distributed in the backpack flyer program through the Ossining Union Free School District, posted on the Village website, and placed on the Village message board on Route 9 in the northern section of the Village. Attendance at the workshops included the Committee and representatives of the relevant Sub-Committees. The public was invited to review major issues associated with each topic and to discuss proposed strategies to address these issues. The single-purpose agenda for each workshop, preceded by research and tours, provided the opportunity to delve deep into the potential recommendations. Copies of the PowerPoint presentations for each workshop were posted on the Village website.
The topical workshops were as follows:
• On January 4, 2007 in the Joseph G. Caputo Community Center: Over 100 people attended the first workshop devoted to affordable housing in the Village, particularly the preservation and creation of affordable housing.
• On March 1st in the Park School Cafeteria: Over 60 members of the public attended the second workshop held focusing on infrastructure and transportation.
• On March 29th in the High School Library: Over 50 people attended the third workshop spotlighting the economic development of the Downtown and waterfront redevelopment.
• On April 26th in the Community Center: Over 60 people attended the fourth workshop centered on neighborhood concerns, architecture, and historic preservation.
From the outset, priority was placed on outreach to Ossining’s substantial, but too often under-represented minority and immigrant communities, in addition to merchants – all of whom do not normally attend evening workshops. The surveys and invitations to workshops were distributed in Spanish and English. Some of the Downtown merchants were interviewed as part of the Downtown land use survey. In the winter of 2006, the Planning Department led five “focus group” sessions with participants from:
• The Ossining Chamber of Commerce
• The Ossining High School Participation in Government classes
• The Ossining Golden Agers (a Seniors club)
• The Star of Bethlehem Baptist Church (which has large African-American participation)
• The St. Ann’s Catholic Church (which has large Hispanic participation).
After each workshop, PPSA drafted recommendations based on all of the research and public feedback to date. The recommendations were reviewed, distilled and revised by each Sub-Committee. On June 4th and 11th of 2007, PPSA presented the resulting joint recommendations at two community workshops attended by over 50 people each. The first workshop reviewed recommendations for Affordable Housing and Infrastructure (including Water Resources, Traffic, and Transportation); the second workshop presented recommendations for Waterfront and Downtown Development and Redevelopment, Historic Preservation; and Neighborhood Concerns (including Overcrowding and Residential Zoning Requirements). The Planning Department provided paper copies of the recommendations at each workshop and posted the workshop presentations and recommendations on the Village website. A public comment period of approximately one month followed these workshops. Residents sent 27 separate pieces of correspondence (with 140 signatures) to the Planning Department.
A draft of the Comprehensive Plan was made available to the public in November 2007 and was the subject of two additional public presentations held at the Ossining Public Library on November 29, 2007 and December 3, 2007.
When the Village of Ossining undertook the task of adopting a Comprehensive Plan, and amending the Village Code and Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (LWRP) the Village was required to conduct an environmental analysis on the proposed Plan and Village Code amendments. As required by the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), the Village Board of Trustees declared itself Lead Agency for the purpose of determining the environmental impact of the proposed Comprehensive Plan and Amendments to the Village Code and LWRP. The following steps were taken by the Lead Agency in compliance with SEQRA:
1. On February 6, 2008 the Village Board declared its intent to be Lead Agency under SEQRA.
2. On April 1, 2008 the Village Board voted to declare themselves as Lead Agency and adopted a Positive Declaration, and authorized the preparation of a Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DGEIS).
3. On May 5, 2008 a public hearing was held on the scoping document and the public comment period was kept open until May 19, 2008 for the Draft Scoping Document. On May 20, 2008, the Village Board issued a Final Scoping Document.
4. On August 19, 2008, the Village Board, as Lead Agency, accepted as complete the DGEIS for the Draft Comprehensive Plan, Amendments to the Village Code and LWRP.
5. The DGEIS was filed in accordance with SEQRA procedures identified in §617.12. The Board published a Notice of Completion and notice for a public hearing to be held on the DGEIS, and copies of the DGEIS, Draft Comprehensive Plan, Amendments to the Village Code and LWRP were made available for public review.
6. Following the Notice of Completion, public comments were received during the public review period (August 19, 2008 to October 14, 2008), and at public hearings held on September 22, 2008 and October 1, 2008 in the Village of Ossining.
7. At the conclusion of the public comment period, the written comments and public hearing transcripts were analyzed, and a draft Final GEIS (FGEIS) was prepared and was submitted to the Village. The Village Board reviewed, discussed and considered the public comments on November 12, 2008 and December 9, 2008.
8. The Village Board reviewed, discussed and considered the FGEIS on February 24, 2009 and on March 17, 2009, a Notice of Completion of the FGEIS was issued by the Village Board, and subsequently filed in accordance with the SEQRA procedures identified in §617.12.
9. The public review period on the FGEIS was from March 17, 2009 to April 7, 2009.
10. The Findings Statement was adopted on July 21, 2009.