About the Project

About the Poughkeepsie Innovation District

An innovation district is a densely populated urban neighborhood that stimulates jobs and local business development by bringing together residents, community organizations, and anchor institutions into new creative partnerships. The City of Poughkeepsie is blessed with a historic Main Street, excellent academic institutions, strong local leadership, and vibrant diverse community. The Poughkeepsie Innovation District will build upon all these assets, converting underutilized downtown land into a new hub for applied design, light industry, maker spaces, and community arts programming.

Changing the Zoning Code

Innovation districts thrive in mixed use environments where people spontaneously meet each other in collaborative workspaces, educational centers, restaurant and cafes, living rooms, and on the sidewalk. The city's current zoning code allows for mixed use but the regulations fall short of inspiring the type of transit and pedestrian development that promotes networking and ensures a high concentration of commercial and cultural activity. Moreover, much of Poughkeepsie's downtown is underutilized, vacant, or neglected. In order to support the housing needs of existing and future residents while also creating a bustling well-connected business environment, the City undertook a detailed reexamination of the area's land use regulations and implemented new zoning regulations to support an innovation district.

Regulatory Changes Under Consideration

Land Uses
  • Allows a variety of retail businesses, professional offices, personal services, entertainment and cultural establishments and related activities, such as parking and pedestrian spaces
  • Permits auto-oriented uses and drive-through uses
  • Permits a mix of retail, professional offices, and cultural establishments
  • Allows multi-family residential units and live/work spaces as-of-right
  • Prohibits car-oriented businesses such as automobile garages and drive-through uses
  • Prohibits the development of surface parking as the predominant use on any parcel
Lot Coverage
  • None
  • Establishes minimum lot coverage requirements to minimize vacant space and increase density
Minimum Height
  • None
  • Establishes minimum height to encourage greater utilization of land in the City's economic center
Maximum Height
  • Permits a maximum height of 10 stories throughout the CBD with a potential to increase to 12 stories
  • Varies maximum height allowances from 5 to 9 stories depending on sub district
  • Includes a bonus of two additional stories for developments that provide a community benefit component such as affordable housing
  • Single Family Residence - 2 spaces
  • Multi-family Residential
    • 1 space per studio unit
    • 5 space per one-bedroom unit
    • 2 spaces per two-bedroom unit
  • Retail - 1 space per 300 square feet
  • Restaurant - 1 space per 3 seats
  • Office - 1 space per 300 square feet
  • Removes minimum parking requirements from Historic Core sub district to facilitate adaptive reuse of existing buildings.
  • Reduces minimum parking requirements for all other districts to allow for better utilization of land and encourage a walkable, pedestrian-oriented downtown.
  • Allows developers to build as much parking as they deem necessary to a project's viability by not including maximum parking requirements