Design Guide
The Watershed Design Guide is a resource for the many municipal officials, members of local planning boards and commissions, citizen planners and advocates throughout the Hudson Valley as well as responsible developers who realize that the environmental health and economic prosperity of their communities depends on implementing the best practices for watershed management. It is meant to be accessible to people who are not necessarily design or engineering professionals and so it is not excessively technical. Rather, it presents the strategies and details and the contexts where they can be used at a level where constituents can decide for themselves what is most appropriate in their community. The Guide has several charts that can help communities make this evaluation. At the local level, this Guide can be used as a reference during municipal planning processes such as site plan and subdivision to help applicants and local officials communicate about and enhance proposed design elements. The Guide can also be used as guidance during the comprehensive planning process and while developing municipal land use regulations. The content in this Guide is supported by substantial technical research, some of which is referenced in the Appendix at the back Guide that includes links to web sites and other technical documents. The Guide can also be used as guidance during the comprehensive planning process and while developing municipal land use regulations.

This Guide builds on the Orange County Design Manual that received the American Planning Association's 2011 Meritorious Achievent Award. It describes the underlying framework and design aspects of smart growth, as well as the implementation tools and strategies to bring it about. Green Infrastructure, Connectivity and Complete Communities are the three themes around which the smart growth goals and objectives within the OC Design Manual are organized. It is based upon the work of two planning initiatives commissioned by the Orange County Planning Department summarized in the reports: Illustrating Smart Growth for builtout areas in Orange County and Managing Growth in more rural areas of the county.

In 2013, the OCWA was awarded a grant from the NEIPWCC and NYS DEC, Hudson River Estuary Program, to this complimentary report on water resource resiliency. The newly created Watershed Design Guide is easy to use, has beautiful illustrations and provides a nice introduction to best practices that can be implemented at multiple scales and in a wide variety of places. This Guide will be a valuable tool to help protect the water resources in which our economy, environment and quality of life depend on.

Watershed Design Guide Final Report (2014)
Audit of Municipal Codes in Orange County
Sample Municipal Model Code for Watershed Protection
Orange County Design Guide (2011)

The Orange County Department of Planning is also working on creating a free interactive online version of these Guides for municpal and public use. Further information will be posted here when substantial progess has been made.