FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 17, 2022
City of Kingston Releases New Zoning Code Draft
Six Public Meetings for Input to be Held,
Comment Period Open Until July 1, 2022
KINGSTON, NY – Mayor Steven T. Noble is pleased to announce that the City of Kingston has released an initial draft of the revised zoning code. The draft code sets new standards that address community goals, such as increased walkability and historic preservation, improving housing choice and affordability, supporting resiliency, mobility choice and healthy lifestyles through public open space, waterfront, and street design standards, and by removing barriers for small, incremental development. Once adopted, the new code will impact all development in the City of Kingston.
“This is the first draft of the new zoning code and map, and incorporates much of the feedback that we have received from residents since the rezoning process began. This draft will go through several revisions before being considered by the Common Council this fall,” said Mayor Noble. “As we’ve seen in other communities, form-based code is a proven framework for guiding neighborhood change while preserving the unique assets and character of a community. We look forward to hearing robust feedback from the community, as this will ultimately affect every Kingston resident.”
The City of Kingston will host a series of public meetings to solicit public feedback. At the hybrid (in-person and virtual) public meeting on Wednesday, June 8, representatives from Dover Kohl and the City of Kingston will provide an overview of the draft code. At a series of open house events, staff from Dover Kohl, City staff, and Common Council members will be available to answer any questions.
Draft Code Public Meeting June 8 at 6:00pm at City Hall (hybrid, registration required)
City Hall Open House June 10 from 2:00-4:00pm
Wards 4, 5, 6 Neighborhood Open House June 10 from 5:30-7:00pm – location TBD
Wards 1, 2, 3 Neighborhood Open House June 11 from 10:30-12pm – Old Dutch Church (272 Wall St.)
Wards 7, 8, 9 Neighborhood Open House June 11 from 1:00-2:30pm – Rondout Neighborhood Center
Draft Code Public Hearing June 22 at 6:30pm (virtual, registration required)
Written public comments on the first draft will be accepted until July 1, 2022. Residents can provide feedback by attending a public meeting or submitting a comment at Engage Kingston.
“I want to thank Dover Kohl and all departments in City Hall that have been working since January to put this first draft together. To all members of the community that have provided input thus far – we’ve heard you! This draft incorporates feedback on the preservation and creation of new open space, guidelines for affordable housing and incentives to encourage infill construction of flexible housing types, provisions to enhance walkability and bikeability, and much more,” says Bartek Starodaj, Director of Housing Initiatives. “Now that the draft is released, I look forward to the community’s feedback.”
“This is an important moment in the long process of an ambitious change for the City of Kingston,” said Council President Andrea Shaut. “The city-wide initiative to rewrite our zoning code is monumental – it gives us an opportunity to correct the wrongs of our outdated zoning code and enter into a code that focuses on greater clarity and equity. This comes after months of planning, engaging community members, and listening to what the community wants for our city. If you have not been involved, please consider doing so. Zoning affects us all and to create a fair code, we want to hear from you all. I would like to extend my gratitude to the city’s Housing Director Bartek Starodaj, the consultants from Dover Kohl & Partners, and all community members who have shared their voices so far.”
As part of the Kingston Forward project, the City of Kingston hired Dover Kohl & Partners to create a form-based zoning code. The current zoning code, which has not been updated since the 1960s, has been associated with confusion, frustration, litigation, red-lining, and arbitrary regulation. The proposed code update aims to be easier to understand and use, balancing goals for preservation, equity, sustainable growth and change.
Mayor Noble began citywide rezoning efforts in late 2018, with a call for members of a Zoning Task Force to begin the process of updating the City of Kingston’s outdated zoning code. The task force worked to create an RFP for the hiring of a consultant to create a form-based code. In 2021, the Common Council authorized the City of Kingston to hire Dover Kohl. The Dover Kohl team has been engaging with the community and data collecting since September 2021, and this draft code is the result of their efforts.
The draft can be found here: https://kingston-ny.gov/filestorage/8399/8469/48370/Kingston_Form_Based_Code_Community_Review_Draft_1.pdf
More information, including an FAQ on the code draft that will be updated weekly, and background on the City’s rezoning efforts can be found at https://engagekingston.com/kingston-forward.