All 43 Westchester municipalities with land use control authority have comprehensive zoning codes in place. These codes are of varying length, complexity and content covering a wide variety of zoning issues. Many of these zoning ordinances include specific and unique regulations that address affordable housing. Among the variety of local affordable housing ordinances in Westchester are provisions whereby some municipalities have created affordable housing units meeting a local definition of eligibility.
Recognizing this, the county Planning Department has developed Model Ordinance Provisions to assist municipalities in standardizing the definitions of affordable housing and setting minimum standards for sizes, occupancy, and periods of affordability, while offering options on inclusionary zoning, density bonuses, agenda prioritization and other techniques to encourage the development of fair and affordable housing. The Model Ordinance Provisions are not intended to operate as a fully-integrated zoning code or to otherwise act as a substitute for those long-standing codes. Rather, it is a series of zoning provisions which are intended, collectively, to serve as a supplement to existing municipal zoning codes for the purpose of ensuring the provision and promotion of fair and affordable housing development throughout the county.
By proceeding in this manner, municipalities will be better able to assess the appropriate manner for inclusion of these provisions and/or principles of inclusionary zoning into their individual codes, while maintaining the underlying integrity of those existing codes.
The County has prepared a frequently asked questions document that records questions raised by municipal officials about application of the Provisions and provides responses by the County.
Part of the cost of development of housing is payment of Recreation Fees, unless recreational activities are provided on site to the satisfaction of the local municipality. A number of Westchester municipalities have recognized that Recreation Fees can be cost prohibitive to the development of affordable housing and have provided for reduced fees within their zoning codes. The Reduced Recreation Fees in Municipal Ordinances table summarizes a review of Recreation fees as identified within the zoning ordinances of various municipalities. The County also recognizes that some municipalities provide their fee schedules as part of a separate publication, so users should be aware that the list is not a complete summary, and also note that the summary was based on zoning ordinances in place in November 2012.