Westchester County is unique in that it contains 16 towns and 23 villages that are in control of their own zoning and planning ordinances. Since each area has its own zoning requirements, regional planning is complex.
There are many different zoning districts throughout Westchester County. Some of these include:
- The Age-Oriented Development zone in the Town of Yorktown
- The Nursing Home District in the Village of Dobbs Ferry
- Large Lot Clustering in the Town of Yorktown
- The Diversified Housing District in the Village of Dobbs Ferry
Since there are unique zoning requirements in each town or village, it’s necessary to go to the Westchester County Department of Planning to look up the specific requirements for the area.
How does a zoning ordinance impact development?
The zoning ordinances in the area where you’d like to develop will influence if you can develop and the kind of development you can have if so. Residential developments may require single-family homes or establish that no businesses may be run in a residential area.
With technical and environmental requirements on top of these zoning regulations, you may find it difficult to be sure of what you can or cannot do in a specific area of Westchester County. Working with the Department of Planning will help, but you may also want to look into options such as seeking land variances to help you plan and build what you want in an area that is otherwise not zoned for it.
You may need to apply to begin development, and you will also need to appear before the regulatory bodies to be sure that your project suits the local environment. There may be hearings to attend and conditions placed on building where you’d like.
Get support to understand your rights before building
It’s a good idea to get to know your legal rights and to have someone on your team who can help as you go through this process. Since the zoning rules are so complex in Westchester County, having someone verify what you need to do and support you as you seek variances or other exceptions may be helpful.