Local Waterfront Revitalization Planning Process
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Overview

A Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) is a land and water use program that expresses a vision for the waterfront area and provides the means to achieve that vision. It is the only planning and regulatory tool that allows a local community to refine Statewide coastal policies to apply to the local situation. It may be comprehensive and address all issues that affect a community's entire waterfront, or it may address the most critical issues facing a significant portion of its waterfront. A new or amended LWRP is reviewed by local, state, and federal agencies and once approved, the coastal LWRP becomes the basis for aligning local, state, and federal actions needed to achieve community goals for the waterfront. 

Eligibility

LWRPs may be prepared by cities, towns, or villages in the State Coastal Area or on a designated inland waterway. 

Content

The LWRP document describes the municipality’s program for the management of its waterfront resources. See the MORE INFORMATION tab for details on the types of content listed below. 

  • Statement of Goals and Objectives  
  • Boundaries of the Waterfront Revitalization Area and Harbor Management Area 
  • Inventory and Analysis of Existing Conditions 
  • Local Waterfront Revitalization Policies to Guide Future Actions of All Levels of Government 
  • Proposed Land and Water Uses (including Harbor Management Plan) and Proposed Projects  
  • Techniques for Local Implementation of the Program 
  • State and Federal Actions and Programs Likely to Affect Implementation 
  • Local Commitment and Consultation with other Affected Federal, State, Regional and Local Agencies 
  • Supporting Information

Benefits

Some of the benefits of completing an LWRP and receiving state and federal approvals include: 

  • Identification of a clear and consensus-driven direction for appropriate future development of the waterfront.  

  • Establishment long-term state-local partnerships for planning, technical assistance, and advice.  

  • Review of government agency actions that affect the local waterfront area.  

  • Technical assistance from the Department of State.  

  • Increased opportunities to apply for financial assistance from State funding sources to implement its LWRP.  

Consistency

The LWRP must be consistent with the State coastal policies, be supported by adequate local legal authority, identify specific State actions necessary for implementation of the program, and achieve the waterfront revitalization objectives of the Waterfront Act. 

Purpose

The LWRP must plan for long term land and water uses for the local waterfront area and specify the legal techniques for implementation. Local regulations should be designed to implement a clear overall concept of how the community's waterfront should be used. Generally, the regulations must:  

  • Assure that new waterfront development is well designed and sited. 
  • Provide for public access to the water.  
  • Prevent the displacement of essential water dependent uses (recreational, commercial and industrial) by uses which do not require a waterfront location, particularly residential and retail uses. 
  • Bring land use regulations into better conformity with the objectives of State regulations for the protection of natural areas.  
  • Assure that new development is not sited or designed so it will face inevitable damage from the natural forces of flooding, erosion and rising water levels. 

Getting Started

Development of an LWRP is an in-depth multi-year planning process. Start the process by following these three planning steps:   

  • Form a waterfront advisory committee that includes key stakeholders 
  • Procure consultants and define their role  
  • Develop an outreach plan to involve the public 

More Information

For additional information about the content of an LWRP, the review and approval process. and examples related to preparing a Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, download the NYS DOS publication, Local Waterfront Revitalization Programs in the Coastal Area: Guidance Manual for Preparing Local Programs.