Kingston Forward: Citywide Rezoning

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Consultation has concluded

Kingston Forward was a planning initiative to engage the community in describing the desired form and character for future improvements and preservation throughout the City. Input gathered shaped updates to the City’s zoning code.



**The 4.1 version of the form-based code was passed by the Common Council on August 1, 2023. The form-based code was signed by the Mayor on August 2, 2023. The form-based code is now in effect. This page is now archived and is no longer being updated! Please see engagekingston.com/kingston-forward for up-to-date resources and materials**

Kingston Forward 4.1 (ADOPTED VERSION)

The adopted version of the final draft of the proposed Form-Based code can be found here. The online/interactive version of the adopted code can be found here.

The adopted 4.1 draft incorporates comments received from the City of Kingston Planning Board, the Ulster County Planning Board, and the Historic Landmarks Preservation Commission as well as from the public comment period that closed on February 18. Changes from the 4.0 draft to the 4.1 draft are based on a review by the Laws & Rules Committee during a special meeting on May 31, 2023. All changes from the 3.0 draft are highlighted in orange, all changes from the 4.0 draft are highlighted in red.

To see responses to the referral comments from the City of Kingston Planning Board, the Ulster County Planning Board, and the Historic Landmarks Preservation Commission, see this spreadsheet.


Kingston Forward 3.0 Draft

Version 3.0 of the Kingston Forward draft has been released here (PDF) (Publish Date December 2, 2022). An electronic version of the 3.0 draft is available via Gridics here.

To watch the official Laws & Rules Committee Public hearing on the form-based code from February 13, 2023, click here. To read all public comments received during the Common Council's public comment period that closed on February 18, see here, here, and here.

To view public comment and staff responses on the 2.0 draft, click here.

To view public comments and staff responses on the 1.0 draft, click here.

To watch the Common Council's deep dive discussion on parking in the 3.0 Draft held on March 1, click here.

To watch the Common Council's deep dive discussion on housing in the 3.0 Draft held on March 16, click here.

The Common Council referred the final 3.0 draft of the zoning code to three different boards. To read the Ulster County Planning Board's comments, see here. To read the City of Kingston Planning Board's comments, see here. To read the City of Kingston's Historic Landmarks Preservation Commission's comments, see here.

Kingston Forward Draft/Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement

Via Resolution 50 of 2023, On March 7, 2023 the Common Council voted to accept a draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement ("DGEIS") as complete in scope and content. The Common Council also voted to schedule a public hearing on March 23 and a public comment period that runs from March 7 until April 10. This public comment period is now closed. A Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement ("FGEIS") and a Findings Statement have now been published. The FGEIS contains responses to all substantive public comments received on the DGEIS.

Link to Findings Statement

Link to Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement (adopted by Common Council on July 11 via Resolution 120 of 2023)

Link to Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement

Link to Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement Appendices

Link to March 23 Public Hearing Recording

The DGEIS considers all potential environmental impacts and reasonable project alternatives to the adoption of the Citywide Form-Based Code. If applicable, it also recommends mitigation measures where impacts might occur. The DGEIS includes a discussion on issues such as plants & animal resources, open space & recreation, historic resources, and community services & infrastructure.

Why Reform The Zoning Code?

  • Create a larger supply of affordable housing. The updated zoning code mandates that 10% of units in any development with 7 or more units be affordable, and incentivizes additional levels of affordability via site plan discounts, height bonuses, and expedited review. It also allows for more diversity in housing types, such as duplexes, triplexes, and other multi-family residences, to meet a wide range of needs and price points.

  • Legalize accessory dwelling units (ADUs). ADUs are small housing units built on the land of pre-existing homes. Allowing the construction of ADUs could increase housing supply, generate extra income for homeowners, and provide nearby yet separate residences for families with an aging parent or young adult.

  • Regulate short term- rentals. The updated zoning code places a strict cap on short-term rentals equal to 1% of the city's long term housing units (approximately 100 units). Any short-term rental currently registered for operation would count toward the citywide cap, and a single property would not be able to have more than one short-term rental. These changes will prevent short-term rental activity from affecting long-term housing supply.

  • End parking requirements. Arbitrary citywide parking requirements often render new housing development unviable and hinder the launch of small businesses. Developers will be able to determine what amount of parking an area requires, making effective use of space and increasing the walkability of the City.

  • Legalize corner stores/neighborhood businesses. Corner stores and other mixed-use developments increase city walkability and ensure easy access to goods and services.

  • Ensuring the right new development. The updated code ensures that new developments will fit in with their surroundings, preserving Kingston's historic urban form.



Kingston Forward - Helpful Resources


New to the Kingston Forward process? Start here:

  • This is a recording of the citywide presentation that took place on June 8 on Draft 1.0 For the Spanish version of the presentation, click here. The presentation gives a basic overview of what’s happening and what a form-based code is.
  • This is a recording of the citywide presentation that took place on September 15 on Draft 2.0 The presentation provides an overview of what changed between Draft 1.0 and Draft 2.0 based on public input.
  • For frequently asked questions, see here.


Kingston Forward Project Timeline

The 4.1 version of the form-based code was passed by the Laws & Rules Committee on June 22, 2023. The Common Council is expected to vote on the form-based code on August 1, 2023. Once passed by the Common Council, the form-based code will be in effect.


Kingston Forward was a planning initiative to engage the community in describing the desired form and character for future improvements and preservation throughout the City. Input gathered shaped updates to the City’s zoning code.



**The 4.1 version of the form-based code was passed by the Common Council on August 1, 2023. The form-based code was signed by the Mayor on August 2, 2023. The form-based code is now in effect. This page is now archived and is no longer being updated! Please see engagekingston.com/kingston-forward for up-to-date resources and materials**

Kingston Forward 4.1 (ADOPTED VERSION)

The adopted version of the final draft of the proposed Form-Based code can be found here. The online/interactive version of the adopted code can be found here.

The adopted 4.1 draft incorporates comments received from the City of Kingston Planning Board, the Ulster County Planning Board, and the Historic Landmarks Preservation Commission as well as from the public comment period that closed on February 18. Changes from the 4.0 draft to the 4.1 draft are based on a review by the Laws & Rules Committee during a special meeting on May 31, 2023. All changes from the 3.0 draft are highlighted in orange, all changes from the 4.0 draft are highlighted in red.

To see responses to the referral comments from the City of Kingston Planning Board, the Ulster County Planning Board, and the Historic Landmarks Preservation Commission, see this spreadsheet.


Kingston Forward 3.0 Draft

Version 3.0 of the Kingston Forward draft has been released here (PDF) (Publish Date December 2, 2022). An electronic version of the 3.0 draft is available via Gridics here.

To watch the official Laws & Rules Committee Public hearing on the form-based code from February 13, 2023, click here. To read all public comments received during the Common Council's public comment period that closed on February 18, see here, here, and here.

To view public comment and staff responses on the 2.0 draft, click here.

To view public comments and staff responses on the 1.0 draft, click here.

To watch the Common Council's deep dive discussion on parking in the 3.0 Draft held on March 1, click here.

To watch the Common Council's deep dive discussion on housing in the 3.0 Draft held on March 16, click here.

The Common Council referred the final 3.0 draft of the zoning code to three different boards. To read the Ulster County Planning Board's comments, see here. To read the City of Kingston Planning Board's comments, see here. To read the City of Kingston's Historic Landmarks Preservation Commission's comments, see here.

Kingston Forward Draft/Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement

Via Resolution 50 of 2023, On March 7, 2023 the Common Council voted to accept a draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement ("DGEIS") as complete in scope and content. The Common Council also voted to schedule a public hearing on March 23 and a public comment period that runs from March 7 until April 10. This public comment period is now closed. A Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement ("FGEIS") and a Findings Statement have now been published. The FGEIS contains responses to all substantive public comments received on the DGEIS.

Link to Findings Statement

Link to Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement (adopted by Common Council on July 11 via Resolution 120 of 2023)

Link to Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement

Link to Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement Appendices

Link to March 23 Public Hearing Recording

The DGEIS considers all potential environmental impacts and reasonable project alternatives to the adoption of the Citywide Form-Based Code. If applicable, it also recommends mitigation measures where impacts might occur. The DGEIS includes a discussion on issues such as plants & animal resources, open space & recreation, historic resources, and community services & infrastructure.

Why Reform The Zoning Code?

  • Create a larger supply of affordable housing. The updated zoning code mandates that 10% of units in any development with 7 or more units be affordable, and incentivizes additional levels of affordability via site plan discounts, height bonuses, and expedited review. It also allows for more diversity in housing types, such as duplexes, triplexes, and other multi-family residences, to meet a wide range of needs and price points.

  • Legalize accessory dwelling units (ADUs). ADUs are small housing units built on the land of pre-existing homes. Allowing the construction of ADUs could increase housing supply, generate extra income for homeowners, and provide nearby yet separate residences for families with an aging parent or young adult.

  • Regulate short term- rentals. The updated zoning code places a strict cap on short-term rentals equal to 1% of the city's long term housing units (approximately 100 units). Any short-term rental currently registered for operation would count toward the citywide cap, and a single property would not be able to have more than one short-term rental. These changes will prevent short-term rental activity from affecting long-term housing supply.

  • End parking requirements. Arbitrary citywide parking requirements often render new housing development unviable and hinder the launch of small businesses. Developers will be able to determine what amount of parking an area requires, making effective use of space and increasing the walkability of the City.

  • Legalize corner stores/neighborhood businesses. Corner stores and other mixed-use developments increase city walkability and ensure easy access to goods and services.

  • Ensuring the right new development. The updated code ensures that new developments will fit in with their surroundings, preserving Kingston's historic urban form.



Kingston Forward - Helpful Resources


New to the Kingston Forward process? Start here:

  • This is a recording of the citywide presentation that took place on June 8 on Draft 1.0 For the Spanish version of the presentation, click here. The presentation gives a basic overview of what’s happening and what a form-based code is.
  • This is a recording of the citywide presentation that took place on September 15 on Draft 2.0 The presentation provides an overview of what changed between Draft 1.0 and Draft 2.0 based on public input.
  • For frequently asked questions, see here.


Kingston Forward Project Timeline

The 4.1 version of the form-based code was passed by the Laws & Rules Committee on June 22, 2023. The Common Council is expected to vote on the form-based code on August 1, 2023. Once passed by the Common Council, the form-based code will be in effect.


Consultation has concluded
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    Can you clarify the sqft limits for adu's for multi-family houses, for example for a 2 family residence that has a total square footage of 2, 000sqft where each unit is 1000sqft what is the maximum square footage for an ADU? Is it 1000 or 500sqft?

    Nina asked 8 months ago

    Hi Nina,

    Here is the relevant language in the 4.1 draft on page 4.48:" The maximum size of an attached ADU is 1000 square feet; and the ADU shall be less than 50% of the square footage of the primary unit. The maximum size of a detached ADU is 1000 square feet."

    Thus, for your scenario the maximum size of an attached ADU would be 500 square feet. The maximum size for a detached ADU would be 1,000 square feet. Also, please note the only multifamily building types that allow ADUs are duplexes and rowhouses.

    Thanks,

    Bartek

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    Are there new zoning and design guidelines for ADUs?

    lyn asked about 1 year ago

    Yes, Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are addressed in Section 405.18. As ADU is defined as a dwelling unit of limited size that is on the same lot as a primary dwelling unit and can be attached or detached. Under the form-based code, ADUs would be legal citywide. 

    Depending on where you are located in the City and what transect area you are in, different setback or height restrictions may apply. 

    -Bartek

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    Some properties in proposed T3 and T4 zones don't meet zoning criteria either for setback or building height (particularly "Ground Finished Floor" requirement of 18" for residential properties). How do these properties fit into the new code?

    MK asked about 1 year ago

    Hi MK,

    The transect zones identify the existing and desired future character of an area, and generally include both sides of the street in the same zone, so that similar scale/form of development will face each other across the street. In some cases, this does result in existing buildings that do not conform to the standards. In those scenarios, the provisions for Nonconforming Buildings and Uses will apply (sec 405.26.I), which reads "Any building, the use of which is in conformity with the regulations set forth in this chapter but which building does not conform to one or more of the requirements hereof, other than the requirements which apply to buildings located in designated Historic Districts, may be altered, enlarged or rebuilt but not in a manner that increases the degree of nonconformity. This provision shall be liberally interpreted to allow adaptive reuse of existing buildings." Thus, an existing property that doesn't meet certain standards would be able to be rebuilt or improved in the future.

    Thanks,

    Bartek

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    1. When will the application process open for STR-F permits? 2. What is the number of housing units currently in Kingston? The census website does not have data as of 2022. 3. Does the allotted 1% of STRs include the number of grandfathered units which are currently operating?

    Nina asked about 1 year ago

    Hi Nina,

    1. The opening of an application process would coincide with the passage of the zoning code.

    2. The latest census data indicates a total of approximately 10,600 housing units. See: https://data.census.gov/table?q=Kingston+city,+New+York+housing+units

    3. Yes, the allotted 1% for STR-F includes the number of grandfathered units that are currently operating under the current STR standards. 

    -Bartek

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    Per the Open Storage guidelines, are the City-issued refuse and recycling containers included in this? They have become any eyesore throughout the City, with many residents storing them full-time in front of residences, and it never seems to be addressed. In most cases, there are other our-of-sight storage areas available on the properties.

    KingstonNatureLover asked about 1 year ago

    The draft includes standards for screening of service areas in 405.14.I.5, but those were intended for dumpster areas, and not for individual trash or recycle containers for homes. Standards for City-issued refuse and recycling containers would have to happen as part of a separate ordinance - there are already some related requirements in Sec 350 Solid Waste. Please see: https://ecode360.com/6725358

    -Bartek

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    Considering that the new Waterfront Special District recognizes that any development must be designed and built to withstand environmental conditions such as flooding, has there been consideration of incorporating a requirement to meet WEDG guidelines into the draft? (https://www.adaptationclearinghouse.org/resources/wedg-waterfront-edge-design-guidelines.html)

    Jennifer Costley asked about 1 year ago

    Hi Jennifer,

    Thank you for sharing this resource. Given the existing development requirements, we have not considered the WEDG guidelines specifically for inclusion into the zoning code. However, these could be adopted as part of a separate legislative process. 

    -Bartek

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    With regard to urban agriculture, are there any provisions for gardens, green spaces or even bee keeping, chicken keeping etc for rooftops specifically? Or will the new zoning only address backyards? Thanks!

    Nina asked over 1 year ago

    Hi Nina,  the code does address agriculture for only for backyards. Under the 1.0 draft, a distinction is made between urban agriculture for local markets (less than 2 acres) and agriculture (more than 2 acres). Urban agriculture is allowed most transects while agriculture is more restricted.  Neither definition currently addresses rooftops - if you'd like to discuss this further please send me a note: bstarodaj@kingston-ny.gov. Thanks!

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    Hi, Will there be a public review of the community submitted feedback for Draft 1? Is the next draft the final draft and if so when is the release of it expected?

    Nina asked over 1 year ago

    Hi Nina,

    Yes, the public feedback received for Draft 1.0 will be released alongside responses from the planning team when the second draft of the zoning code is published in August. There will be two more drafts.

    Thanks,

    Bartek

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    How do I submit written comments on the draft ordinance?

    Bob D asked almost 2 years ago

    Hello Bob, you can submit comments by July 1 via this survey. 

    If you'd prefer, you can also email your comment to Bartek Starodaj, bstarodaj@kingston-ny.gov.  As long as you label it as a comment on the 1.0 draft, it will be received. 

    Thanks,

    Bartek

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    Will this zoning project address storing boat and utility trailers, unlicensed vehicles, RVs, etc. on residential property in the City of Kingston?

    Hello asked almost 2 years ago

    Hello, yes - that will be addressed as part of the existing § 405-29 (see https://ecode360.com/6728172). This section will be pulled into the next draft of this zoning code with some potential minor edits. Please feel free to to submit a public comment on this section specifically. Thanks, Bartek