Greenway Trail Gap Analysis Meeting, 2016

Community Planning


The Greenway works with communities on a voluntary basis to assist in the development of local land use plans and programs related to the Greenway criteria. Planning projects can be undertaken by a single community to address local issues or a group of communities working together to address both local and regional issues. Greenway criteria are natural and cultural resource protection, regional planning, economic development, public access, and heritage and environmental education.

Interested communities pass a resolution supporting the Greenway criteria, thereby qualifying them for Greenway technical and financial assistance. Grants under the "Greenway Communities Grant Program" typically range from $5,000 - $10,000, with greater financial assistance available for projects involving two or more municipalities.

Click on Grants & Funding for more info.

Eligible Projects

Communities can undertake a variety of projects that are eligible to receive technical and financial assistance from the Greenway. In general, eligible projects may include, but aren’t limited to:

Community Planning

  • Comprehensive plans
  • Zoning ordinances, including techniques such as performance & overlay zoning
  • Community design guidelines or standards
  • Subdivision or site plan review ordinances

Public Participation

  • Techniques designed to increase public participation in the planning process including citizen surveys & community visioning techniques

Open Space Protection

  • Open space inventories
  • Comprehensive open space plans
  • Creation of local land trusts
  • Development of transfer/purchase/lease of development rights programs

Cultural Resource Protection

  • Cultural resources inventories
  • Historic preservation plans & ordinances

Natural Resource Protection

  • Natural resource inventories
  • Natural resource management plans
  • Natural resource protection ordinances

Economic Development

  • Tourism development plans
  • Agricultural protection plans and implementation techniques
  • Agricultural marketing & agritourism development plans
  • Main street revitalization plans & implementing techniques
  • Waterfront revitalization plans & implementing techniques

Scenic Resource Protection

  • Viewshed analysis
  • Scenic impact review guidelines
  • Scenic road protection
  • Scenic easement programs

Greenway Compact

The Greenway planning approach is one of thinking regionally as communities plan locally. It includes physical connections and linkages between communities for local and regional benefit. Additionally, it extends beyond physical linkages to encourage voluntary regional cooperation among the communities and counties of the Hudson River Valley to address issues of collective concern and promote mutually beneficial regional approaches.

The Greenway Compact program takes community planning one step further by providing a process for voluntary regional cooperation to further the Greenway criteria of natural and cultural resource protection, regional planning, economic development, public access, and heritage and environmental education.

The Greenway has designated the counties as the basic planning areas for the development of the Greenway Compact, although sub-county associations of local governments may also be able to prepare a regional planning compact. Each Compact area will develop a regional planning compact that addresses the Greenway's five criteria as well as the incorporation of provisions to identify development of regional impact and areas of regional concern, identification of necessary public facilities, and infrastructure consistent with the Greenway criteria.

The voluntary participation of municipalities in county Compacts preserves local decision-making authority while providing expanded opportunities for regional cooperation. Public and community participation in the development of county Greenway plans is critical to their success. Greenway compacts reflect the concerns of local communities and provide a regional context for local planning efforts.

Five counties have completed the regional compact process and are actively engaged in developing compacts for communities in their counties. These documents can be found below.

County Compacts