The Heissenbuttel Award for Planning Excellence is given each year to an individual, municipality or agency for outstanding accomplishment in the planning field. It is named in honor of Henry Heissenbuttel, the innovative director of the Dutchess County Planning Department. This year’s award recognizes the Village of Mount Kisco in Westchester County for its Downtown Overlay District.
The Village updated and adopted its new Comprehensive Plan in 2019. A major recommendation of the new Comprehensive Plan was to create a new Downtown Overlay District, which was designed to provide opportunities for transit-oriented development near the Metro North train station, encouraging a mix of residential, commercial and civic space in a walkable setting near public transit, in keeping with the character, scale and design of existing downtown buildings. The Overlay District includes development incentives for things like replacement of existing public parking spaces on the Moger Lots, creation of mixed-uses, and affordable housing. Design standards regulate the design of new civic spaces, streetscapes and walkways, landscaping, architectural design of buildings and parking structures. BFJ Planning assisted the village in the preparation and implementation of the plan.
Congratulations to the Village of Mount Kisco on their outstanding accomplishments and contribution to the fields of planning and zoning. The recent and pending development applications described above help to demonstrate the early successes of Mount Kisco’s Downtown Overlay District. While it is adopted into the Zoning Code, it is a much broader planning tool based in the Comprehensive Plan with a strong planning and smart-growth orientation. The award was presented virtually on June 16, 2021.
NEW YORK PLANNING FEDERATION is a non-profit membership organization established in 1937. Our mission is to promote sound planning and zoning practice throughout New York State. Membership, which currently includes nearly 10,000 individuals, is open to anyone supporting this mission. Membership categories include municipalities, counties, public organizations, private businesses, individuals, and libraries.