Form-Based Code, Build-Out Analysis & SEQRA Services
The Village of Port Chester ("Village") is located in the southeastern corner of Westchester County along the Byram River and within one mile of the Long Island Sound. The Village has a total land area of 2.4 square miles and is home to approximately 29,000 residents, 60% of which are Latino or Spanish-speaking.
The Village hereby requests proposals from highly creative and qualified professional architectural/planning/environmental/urban design consultants to:
- Evaluate the current Village zoning regulations;
- Prepare of a specific community driven and market responsive Regulating Plan and Form-Based Code;
- Prepare other changes to the Village's zoning regulations;
- Conduct a build-out analysis of the Village, based upon the Regulating Plan, Form-Based Code, and other changes to the Village's zoning regulations; and
- Guide the Village through the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act ("SEQRA") processes for the Regulating Plan, Form-Based Code, and other changes to the Village's zoning regulations via the preparation of a Generic Environmental Impact Statement ("GEIS").
This Request for Proposals ("RFP") describes the project, the required scope of services, the consultant selection process, and the minimum information that must be included in the proposal.
Port Chester is well situated, accessible to the rest of Westchester County, New York city and the region. Adjacent municipalities include the Town of Greenwich, Connecticut, located to the northeast across the Byram River, the village of Rye Brook to the north and west, and the City of Rye to the south.
Port Chester is one of the densest municipalities (11,809 people per square mile) in the country, served by commuter rail service by the MTA's Metro North Railroad New Haven line, multiple local and regional bus routes, and an urban fabric that is naturally scaled and catered to walking and biking. Principal arterials serving Port Chester include the New England Thruway (Interstate 95), the Cross Westchester Expressway (Interstate 287) and U.S. Route 1 (Boston Post Road).
As the Village continues to establish itself into the 21st century, its greatest assets are its downtown retail and restaurant district; its waterfront and location along the Byram River; its close proximity to New York City, its diverse population, and its booming service economy which holds the title of "The Restaurant and Entertainment Capital of Westchester County".
The Village currently has a traditional Euclidean zoning system, with eight (8) residential zoning districts, eleven (11) nonresidential districts, and five (5) mixed use/other districts. Much of the northern section of Port Chester is zoned for residential use, largely one- and two-family residences. Light industrial, commercial, and business uses are largely confined to the southern and eastern sections of the Village, particularly in the railroad corridor and along the shoreline. Downtown Port Chester and the waterfront area contain a traditional Main Street feel and built environment, including a large number of former warehouse and industrial uses which are being creatively and adaptively reused for things like loft apartments, event spaces, and microbreweries.
The Village intends to utilize a form-based code as a tool to help it grow sustainably as a vibrant, walkable, and active municipality that links its lower-density neighborhoods with the downtown and waterfront. As Peter Katz explains in Form First, a form-based code will "allow for planners, citizens, developers and stakeholders to move easily from a shared physical vision of a place to its built reality." Further, the Village intends to re-write Chapter 345, Zoning, of the Village Code in order to better streamline the development process. In order to do so, a diagnostic of the current Zoning Code will occur. In addition, a major concern of the community is how much it should grow. The Village intends to perform a build-out analysis to determine, quantitatively, how much additional growth could occur through any new or rezoning efforts. As required by SEQRA, adoption or amendment of zoning laws and ordinances and amendments to zoning laws and ordinances are subject to environmental review. It is anticipated at this time that a Positive Declaration will be issued and that a GEIS will be produced. For the purposes of this RFP and as shown in Figure 1, the focus of the Village's efforts will be downtown, which is generally defined as the area south of Mill Street, north of William Street/Purdy Avenue, west of the Byram River, and east of Pearl Street; however, it should be noted that other areas of the Village could be evaluated as well.
It is understood that much of the scope of work requested in this RFP builds upon, develops, complements, and further refines previous and on-going plans and efforts within the Village. It is hoped that the creation of a form-based code will facilitate the growth of a transit-centered downtown and waterfront that spurs further development and redevelopment in the vicinity, helps to attract and retain young professionals to the Village, anchors and improves pedestrian and transit access to employment centers within the Village, and increases the utilization of parks and public spaces in the area.
For more information on this request for proposals, or if you are interested in submitting a response, please visit: http://www.portchesterny.com/home/bids/form-based-code-build-out-analysis-and-seqra-services
Eric Zamft, AICP
Director of Planning & Economic Development