New York Consolidated Laws, Executive Law - EXC § 915. Optional local government waterfront revitalization programs for coastal areas and inland waterways




1. It is the intention of this article to offer the fullest possible support by the state and its agencies to those local governments that desire to revitalize their waterfronts.  Accordingly, any local government or two or more local governments acting jointly which has any portion of its jurisdiction contiguous to the state's coastal waters or inland waterways and which desires to participate may submit a waterfront revitalization program to the secretary as herein provided.

2. The secretary may provide technical and financial assistance as provided in sections nine hundred seventeen and nine hundred eighteen to any local government for the preparation of a waterfront revitalization program for the purposes of this article.

3. A local government or two or more local governments acting jointly which intends to submit a waterfront revitalization program for the purposes of this article is strongly encouraged to consult, during its preparation, with other entities that may be affected by its program, including local governments, county and regional agencies, appropriate port authorities, community based groups and state and federal agencies.  On request by the local government, the secretary shall take appropriate action to facilitate such consultation.

4. The secretary shall prepare and distribute guidelines and regulations for local governments desiring to prepare, or cause to be prepared, a waterfront revitalization program (hereinafter referred to as the “program”).  Such guidelines shall provide that the program will be consistent with the policies and purposes of this article generally and shall include, but not be limited to:

a. Boundaries of the waterfront area;

b. An inventory of natural and historic resources of the waterfront area to be protected;

c. A statement of the goals and objectives of the program;

d. Identification of the uses and projects, public and private, to be accommodated in the waterfront area;

e. Description of proposed means for long-term management and maintenance of waterfront development and activities including organizational structures and responsibilities and appropriate land use controls;

f. Description of necessary and appropriate state actions for successful implementation of the program;  and

g. Specification of the adequate authority and capability of the local government to implement the program.

5. The secretary shall approve any local government waterfront revitalization program as eligible for the benefits set forth in section nine hundred sixteen of this article if he finds that such program will be consistent with coastal policies and will achieve the waterfront revitalization purposes of this article.  In making such determination, the secretary shall find that the program incorporates each of the following to an extent commensurate with the particular circumstances of that local government:

a. The facilitation of appropriate industrial and commercial uses which require or can benefit substantially from a waterfront location, such as but not limited to waterborne transportation facilities and services, and support facilities for commercial fishing and aquaculture.

b. The increased use of and access to coastal waters and the waterfront for water-related activities such as boating, swimming, fishing, walking and picnicking.

c. The promotion and preservation of scenic, historic, cultural and natural resources as community amenities and tourist designations.

d. The strengthening of the economic position of the state's major ports and small harbors.

e. The redevelopment of deteriorated or formerly developed waterfronts through the re-use of existing infrastructure and building stock and the removal of deteriorated structures and unsightly conditions that have negative effects upon the waterfront area and adjacent neighborhoods, and appropriate new development.

f. The application of local aesthetic considerations in the design of new structures and the redevelopment of waterfront sites.

g. The protection of sensitive ecological areas, including but not limited to dunes, tidal and freshwater wetlands, fish and wildlife habitats, and the protective capability of coastal land features.  Such protection will assure that land use or development will not affect such areas.

h. A statement identifying those elements of the program which can be implemented by the local government, unaided, and those that can only be implemented with the aid of other levels of government or other agencies.  Such statement shall include those permit, license, certification or approval programs, grant, loan, subsidy or other funding assistance programs, facilities construction and planning programs which may affect the achievement of the waterfront revitalization program.

i. The establishment of a comprehensive harbor management plan and the means for its implementation.

5-a. [Eff. upon approval by U.S. secretary of commerce of revision to state coastal management program.  See, L.2001, c. 454 legislation note below] Nothing herein shall preclude the secretary from approving a portion or component of a local waterfront revitalization program provided such portion or component constitutes a discrete and cohesive, yet comprehensive, treatment of the subject or subjects addressed, which may be related to environmental, social, regional growth management or economic considerations.

6. Before approving any such waterfront revitalization program, or any amendments thereto, as eligible for the benefits of this article, the secretary shall consult with potentially affected state and federal agencies;  the secretary shall not approve any such program if he finds after such consultation that there is a conflict with any state or federal policies.

7. Where there is a conflict between a submitted waterfront revitalization program and any state or federal policy, at the request of the local government or the state or federal agency affected, the secretary shall attempt to reconcile and resolve the differences between the submitted program and such policies and shall meet with the local government and involved state and federal agencies to this end.

8. Subsequent to approval of the local program by the secretary, state agency actions shall be consistent to the maximum extent practicable with the local program.  Provided, however, that nothing in this article shall be construed to authorize or require the issuance of any permit, license, certification, or other approval or the approval of any grant, loan or other funding assistance which is denied by the state agency having jurisdiction, pursuant to other provisions of law or which is conditioned by such agency pursuant to other provisions of law until such conditions are met.

Where implementation of an approved local program depends upon the availability of other than local funds and program actions, the secretary shall meet with the involved state and federal agencies to explore the possibility of programming of such assistance, including pre-permitting of sites for waterfront redevelopment, in a manner that would provide the maximum practicable assistance toward the implementation of the local program.

9. Before undertaking any action pursuant to any programs identified pursuant to paragraph (h) of subdivision five of section nine hundred fifteen of this article the affected state agency shall submit, through appropriate existing clearing house procedures including but not limited to the state environmental quality review law, [FN1] information on the proposed action to local government.  The local government shall identify potential conflicts and so notify the secretary.  Upon notification of the conflict, the secretary will confer with the affected state agency and the local government to modify the proposed action to be consistent with the local plan.

10. Any local government which has had a waterfront revitalization program approved pursuant to this section may withdraw its program at any time by filing with the secretary a copy of a resolution of its legislative body providing for such withdrawal.  Upon receipt of such resolution, the secretary shall immediately notify all affected state agencies.

[FN1]

 Environmental Conservation Law § 8-0101 et seq.





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