Planning & Development

The Department of Planning and Development is a dynamic and interdisciplinary office of professionals that apply progressive urban planning practices to preserve and protect neighborhoods, manage and promote adaptive land use, and guide sustainable growth in our community.

In our Neighborhoods
Planning & Development manages millions of dollars each year in federal, state and/or private grants—dedicated to community development, historic conservation, and long-range neighborhood revitalization and stabilization. Funding is applied to all kinds of planning initiatives that transform our built environment, strengthen connectivity amongst our neighborhoods, improves our urban centers, creates economic and workforce opportunities, and promotes a safe and vibrant City that meets goals established in Albany 2030 (see Albany’s Comprehensive Plan).

Unified Sustainable Development
The City's Unified Sustainable Development Ordinance (USDO), effective June 1, 2017, consolidates development-related regulations into a single unified code document for a more consistent, logical, integrated and efficient means to review and encourage development.  The USDO is administered by the Planning Department in conjunction with the Board of Zoning Appeals, Planning Board, and Historic Resources Commission, which play an essential role in approving development projects, upholding historic preservation, and maintaining land use compliance in our City. Project review is coordinated with other City Departments to ensure site designs and practices are consistent with local, state and federal laws, includes sustainable measures, and creates a positive and compatible reflection of our community form.

USDO Six-Month Review:  Since its adoption, the City has taken a six-month evaluation period to correct inadvertent errors and unintended consequences that have arisen through the application of the USDO.  The Chief Planning Official has found sufficient grounds for pursuing limited amendments to the code, which are outlined here:  USDO Proposed 6-Month Revisions.

Albany 2030 Albany 2030, The City of Albany Comprehensive Plan
Planning & Development is charged with the authority and implementation of Albany 2030, the City’s first Comprehensive Plan.  Thanks to our dedicated residents, businesses, and area stakeholders, this Citywide guidance document is a Vision for the City's future, and a reflection of our community values and priorities.  The final plan was adopted on April 2, 2012. Visit Albany 2030 to read the full plan.

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Energy & Sustainability   The Mayor's Office of Energy & Sustainability
Planning & Development partners with the Mayor’s Office of Energy & Sustainability (Albany E&S) to design and implement programs that will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, protect our natural environment, improve our water quality, and reduce waste, energy use, and associated costs.  Albany E&S focuses on programs that advance Albany as a hub for "green" innovation and livability.  Read more about sustainability in Albany...

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Contact Information

Department of Planning & Development
Chris Spencer, Commissioner
Staff Directory

200 Henry Johnson Blvd
First Floor  |  Suite #3
Albany, NY 12210
Phone: (518) 465-6066
Fax: (518) 434-5294
General Email:

Office Hours: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday