Department of Planning

Professional "Planning" is done to ensure that neighborhoods of today grow and develop in a reasonable, viable and livable manner for the future. Planning is looking ahead - preventing suburban sprawl and preserving open space for future generations. Planning is also looking back - learning from mistakes of the past for the benefit of today and tomorrow. Efficient planning involves looking at communities from a broad perspective to determine the best overall benefit for its people.

Rockland Planners encourage sustainable development among municipalities; that is, development that looks at the big picture, incorporating land-use and transportation planning measures together with the needs of the community. By definition, sustainability is, "an economic state where the demands placed upon the environment by the people and commerce can be met without reducing the capacity of the environment to provide for future generations."

It is the Rockland County Planning Department's goal and responsibility to appropriately guide municipal planning decisions through the use of the guidelines set forth by the NYS General Municipal Law, the Official County Map, and the County's Comprehensive Plan.

The Department provides guidance through the combination of dedicated professionals and cutting-edge technology to assist the County in maintaining a livable, sustainable, suburban community.

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A primary function of this division is the review of site plans, subdivisions, variances, zone changes, zoning code amendments, special permits and other land use, zoning or environmental actions under the State mandated General Municipal Law (GML) application process. Planners also offer recommendations and guidance on local master plans and ordinance updates. The division performs a variety of tasks, focusing on topics related to housing, environmental and natural issues, historic and cultural resources, recreation and open space, and infrastructure.

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The departments of Rockland County Planning, Public Transportation, and Highway work together with the Office of the County Executive, the County Legislature, local municipalities, the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), the New York State Thruway Authority, and MTA Metro-North Railroad to formulate transportation policy to improve Rockland County's multi-modal transportation network.

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The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Division creates and maintains digital data for Rockland County, New York. The GIS Division compiles a wide array of information including tax maps, parcels, streets, addresses, districts, planimetrics, and much more. The staff provides technical support, training, and other services to all Rockland County departments as well as local government. The division offers useful and accessible GIS related resources to citizens and local businesses in the most efficient and effective manner possible.


The Planning Department is the County repository for a wide variety of data and information concerning demography. This information base, while essential to staff operations, is also a rich resource for other agencies and the general public. Substantial staff effort is devoted to gathering the data and maintaining the databases, performing research and analysis, and distributing the information.

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Rockland County created a comprehensive plan that will serve as the basis for all County government planning and development issues for the next 10 to 20 years and provide guidance for future planning and zoning actions by towns and villages. The plan also creates a framework for future capital expenditure decisions by the County government.