FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 20, 2023
Final Public Hearing Set for Citywide Zoning Change
KINGSTON, NY – The Laws and Rules Committee of the City of Kingston Common Council has set a date for the final public hearing regarding the adoption of the citywide form-based code. The public hearing will be held on Monday, February 13, 2023, at 6:30pm at City Hall and via Zoom.
In addition to the public hearing, a public comment period is open until February 18, 2023. Written comments can be sent to City Clerk Elisa Tinti at [email protected] or dropped off at City Hall at 420 Broadway.
The new form-based code will:
- Introduce a new system of “transects” to regulate the ways in which land is developed. This categorizes zones from the most rural zone to the most urban zone: T1, T2, T3, T4 and T5. These zones are designed to encourage mixed-use, walkable environments. A form-based code allows the City to steer new development to ensure that it reinforces the historic urban fabric within each of these transects.
- Remove minimum parking mandates.
- Legalize accessory dwelling units, an affordable and flexible housing type, citywide.
- Reduce the administrative burden of building new housing in Kingston, especially for smaller projects that meet the review criteria of a new minor site plan review board.
- Mandate at least 10% of all units in residential projects with 7+ units be affordable and includes new incentives for affordable housing, including expedited review and discounts on site application fees.
- Introduce a fair and balanced approach to regulating short-term rentals to ensure short-term rentals will have a negligible impact on the supply of long-term housing in Kingston.
- Legalize neighborhood-serving corner stores in many of Kingston’s neighborhoods, as had been the case prior to the adoption of the 1960s zoning code.
- Allow for “missing middle” housing, including duplexes and triplexes, as had been allowed prior to the adoption of the ‘60s zoning code, to encourage economic diversity and incremental development types.
- Ensure that Kingston’s zoning reflects the goals and vision of the 2025 Kingston Comprehensive Plan and the priorities outlined in the City’s 2020 Open Space plan and Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, as dictated by the State's Coastal Management Program.
Common Council Laws & Rules Public Hearing:
Citywide Form-based Zoning Code Adoption
Monday, February 13, 2023
City Hall Council Chambers
and virtually via Zoom (Passcode: Hk678UNu)
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 hiring a consultant to create a form-based code. In 2021, the Common Council authorized the City to hire Dover Kohl, whose team has been engaging with the community and data collecting since September 2021. The existing 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 will be easier to understand and use, and will balance goals for preservation, equity, sustainable growth, and change.
During the creation of the new rezoning code, dubbed Kingston Forward, the team held more than 30 public meetings and offered online surveys that garnered hundreds of responses. As part of the public input process, three full drafts have been released with comment periods. The zoning team met with various stakeholder groups to ensure that their voices were heard and that the zoning team was able to fully understand their comments. All of the hundreds of comments received on the two first drafts were carefully considered and responded to and have been published for transparency on https://engagekingston.com/kingston-forward.
The final draft of the zoning code will undergo review under the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act. This includes the adoption of a final environmental impact statement.
Following an environmental review, administrative referrals, and the public comment period, the Common Council is expected to consider the final draft for adoption in spring 2023.
For more information, visit https://engagekingston.com/kingston-forward.