Process and Plan
Image Credit: CMVNY Website
The Comprehensive Planning process has two distinct phases: the first phase focuses on the Downtown and the second phase takes into consideration the entire City of Mount Vernon NY. At the current time, it is anticipated that both the phases will be completed within an 18-month period beginning 01 December 2022. Ongoing engagement throughout the planning process, and especially at key milestones will guide the development of the plan.
Envision Mount Vernon will create a shared identity and vision around what we feel about growth, design, development, and equitable opportunities over the next ten years. Everything from housing to transportation to open space to retail and jobs will be covered.
Often external interests have an outsized influence over the decisions made in Mount Vernon. This process and subsequent document will lay the foundation and be a guide for all those participating in the future of Mount Vernon. It will be by Mount Vernon, for Mount Vernon.
The comprehensive plan will be completed in two phases. The first phase is focused on the city’s downtown, which impacts and unites all Mount Vernon stakeholders. Downtown has been facing a lot of development pressure, so we want to ensure that residents and local businesses are the ones making decisions on critical issues like density, design, and land use.
The second phase will focus on the rest of the city and will allow us to do a deep dive into neighborhoods to discuss design and development issues that influence us day-to-day, and opportunities to improve them. We will continue to engage residents across the city to hear about your specific priorities in your communities.
Throughout the next 18-24 months, we will be hosting smaller Community Conversations and larger Public Workshops. These events are time for neighbors and other stakeholders to engage one another to collaboratively develop the city’s identity and vision. There will be additional chances to share your ideas and thoughts, both virtually and in-person.
Each phase of Envision Mount Vernon will take approximately 9-12 months, and will overlap. The planning process is iterative, so all learnings about our approach in the first phase will help inform the second. We will also incorporate any initial concerns, challenges, and ideas that are broader than our discussions around.
Phase 1 Study Area Map
What is a Comprehensive Plan?
A Comprehensive Plan is a framework that guides the City’s future by providing policy and actions related to future growth, and development. The Mount Vernon NY Comprehensive Plan will be a living document that will outline a shared vision developed through a community-driven process, for the City’s future. It will guide the City and community in decision making about land use, zoning, transportation, housing, parks and open spaces, City services, and other important aspects of the community in the years to come. Typically, a comprehensive plan addresses the following topics. The Mount Vernon NY comprehensive plan will also address Downtown Revitalization, and Economy and Businesses.
Vision and Goals
Given that the Mount Vernon NY Comprehensive Plan will be developed through a community-driven process, this chapter will outline the community’s shared vision, accompanying goals, and objectives. These goals and objectives will guide the development and the recommendations for each of comprehensive planning topic.
The land use chapter is the cornerstone of a comprehensive plan and will establish policies to guide the physical form of the city. It will also provide direction on the type and range of development, density distribution, conservation, preservation, and land use compatibility issues.
The housing section will provide an overview of the housing stock, types of housing offerings and their condition, home prices, building permit data, vacancy rates and owner-occupied housing versus renter-occupied. Based on the demographic projections, this section will assess future housing needs.
Parks and Open Space
Mobility and Transportation
This section will provide information about the Mount Vernon NY community’s population by age, gender, racial characteristics, household size, number of households, income levels etc. It will also provide population projections for the next 10 to 20 years based on the current demographics trends.
The Parks and Open Spaces chapter will include an overview of the City’s parks and open spaces including both soft- (parks) and hard-scape (plazas). The section will guide the future planning and design of active and passive recreation, as well as discuss where there are opportunities to reclaim/repurpose land as new open space.
Mobility and transportation will map and provide an overview of existing roadways, streets, transit services, and popular modes of transportation. A primary consideration will be the interconnectedness of key places, last-mile options to better integrate Mount Vernon NY’s community with Metro North stations, and streetscapes for a more equitable distribution of the roadway for all modes of travel including bikes and pedestrians.
A number of long range planning, and localized plans have been developed by the City over the last decade, some of which may still be relevant. As part of the comprehensive planning process, the consultant team will evaluate relevant recommendations that further the community’s vision and goals, and build on them in the current plan.
The interdisciplinary consultant team, led my Metropolitan Urban Design (MUD) Workshop, and including Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress and AKRF Inc. brings together a complimentary set of skills and experience to advance Mount Vernon NY’s mission of comprehensive and equitable urban growth. The team is committed to developing an actionable plan, which will combine on-the-ground research with community desires, and test social, economic and environmental feasibility.
Metropolitan Urban Design (MUD) Workshop
MUD Workshop is an urban design and planning practice dedicated to the regeneration of neighborhoods, and public places. The practice emphasizes climate responsiveness and advances community-led ideas in their projects, and recognizes these to be the greatest factors in ensuring the long-term viability of all design and development projects. MUD Workshop has led and collaborated on several award-winning and interdisciplinary projects including comprehensive plans that have been adopted in the States of NY, PA and NJ. MUD Workshop will lead the team and their efforts, and bring their expertise in Downtown Revitalization and Urban Design.
Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress (Pattern)
Pattern is a research, planning and policy organization whose mission is to promote regional, balanced and sustainable solutions that enhance the growth and vitality of the Hudson Valley. Pattern was founded in 1965 by the region’s foremost academic, business, utility, and nonprofit leaders. Pattern provides objective research and planning for a broad range of regional issues, including housing, urban planning, main street revitalization, demographic research, infrastructure, transportation, land use, local government efficiency and more. Pattern will bring their experience and expertise in socio-economic research, housing, economic development, and infrastructure.
AKRF, Inc. is a multidisciplinary consulting firm, integrating planning, environmental, and engineering services. Incorporated in 1981, AKRF has office locations throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. The firm offers the full complement of services required for municipal planning and has worked in a variety of settings for both public and private clients. AKRF has expertise in planning for communities, where our professional skills are used to address long-range goals and objectives, conservation, preservation, and community design. The firm will bring their experience and expertise in zoning and environmental review to the Mount Vernon NY Comprehensive Planning process.