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Amherst Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP)

Although not primarily known as a water-oriented community, the Town of Amherst possesses a vast amount of waterfront land.  The Town’s northern border is defined by Tonawanda Creek, a navigable waterway that provides both public and private access.  In 2015 Ellicott Creek, which traverses the center of the Town, was classified as a designated inland waterway.  The presence of these two significant creeks enables Amherst to take advantage of the New York State Department of State’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) initiative to create a comprehensive plan for enhancing waterfront properties, maximizing public access and preserving the quality and beauty of these resources.

The Town of Amherst will utilize the LWRP process laid out by the State to plan for recreation, land use, and environmental needs along Tonawanda Creek and Ellicott Creek.  Amherst has already created waterfront amenities enjoyed by the public such as trails, parks and passive recreation areas, but many opportunities still exist.

As the Town progresses through the LWRP process, the residents of Amherst will be invited to attend public meetings, workshops, charrettes and other forms of public engagement. Please refer to the website for these events.


Benefits of an LWRP

An approved LWRP reflects community consensus and provides a clear direction for appropriate future development. It establishes a long-term partnership among local government, community-based organizations, and the State. Also, funding to advance preparation, refinement, or implementation of Local Waterfront Revitalization programs is available under the State’s Environmental Protection Fund, among other sources.

In addition, State permitting, funding, and direct actions must be consistent, to the maximum extent practicable, with an approved LWRP. Within the federally defined coastal area, federal agency activities are also required to be consistent with an approved LWRP. This “consistency” provision is a strong tool that helps ensure all government levels work in unison to build a stronger economy and a healthier environment.


Public Meetings:

1st Public Meeting – December 3, 2018; 6:30-8:30 pm
     Getzville Fire Hall
     630 Dodge Rd
     Getzville, NY 14068

2nd Public Meeting – Wednesday, July 10, 2019, 6:30 - 8:30 pm
     Amherst Center for Senior Services
     370 John James Audubon Parkway
     Amherst, NY

The LWRP’s Waterfront Advisory Committee met remotely on Nov. 17, 2020 at 10:00 am to discuss the draft LWRP document.

Meeting PowerPoint Presentation

Recorded Zoom Meeting:



LWRP Acronyms

  • DPW - Department of Public Works
  • EPF - Environmental Protection Fund
  • ESD - Empire State Development
  • LWRP - Local Waterfront Revitalization Program
  • MNY - Market New York
  • NYS - New York State
  • NYS DEC - New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
  • NYS DOS - New York State Department of State
  • NYS DOT - New York State Department of Transportation
  • NYSERDA - New York State Energy Research & Development Authority
  • NYS OPRHP - New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation
  • TAP - Transportation Alternatives Program

LWRP Report Sections

The State has laid out specific chapters that must be included in an LWRP.  They are:

  • Section 1 – Draft Waterfront Revitalization Area Boundary
  • Section 2 – Inventory & Analysis
  • Section 3 – Local Revitalization Policies
  • Section 4 – Proposed Land and Water Uses and Proposed Projects
  • Section 5 – Techniques for Local Implementation of the Program
  • Section 6 – Federal and State Actions and Programs Likely to Affect Implementation of the LWRP
  • Section 7 – Local Commitment and Consultation

Amherst LWRP Project Update – October 2020

The Town of Amherst Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) Project has reached a milestone with completion of a working draft of the report. The draft report is comprised of seven sections consistent with the requirements of the 2019 Guidance Manual for Preparing Local Programs developed by the New York State Department of State (NYSDOS) . Project Goals and the seven sections are summarized below.
The draft LWRP sections are currently under review by the project’s Waterfront Advisory Committee (WAC), and they will soon be sent to NYSDOS staff for preliminary review and comment. Report appendices that will include other technical data and regulations, such as a Local Waterfront Consistency Review Law and Waterfront Assessment Form, are being prepared and are not included in the draft at this time.

General LWRP Project Goals

  • Highlight the scenic and aesthetic beauty of the Town’s waterways
  • Increase public access to Town waterways
  • Enhance amenities at existing public parks and create new public parks
  • Add and enhance multi-use trails to the Town’s trail system and the Empire State Trail
  • Enhance historic and cultural components within the LWRP boundary
  • Encourage appropriate economic development opportunities
  • Improve the quality of the Town’s water resources
  • Promote public safety
  • Foster environmental education

The following draft sections of the LWRP report describe in detail the Town’s two waterfront planning areas along Tonawanda Creek/Erie Canal and Ellicott Creek. Information is presented in text and graphic formats including photos, mapping showing each waterfront area in its context to surrounding areas, and conceptual waterfront project designs. The seven draft sections include:

  • Waterfront Boundary - a description and mapping of the Waterfront Revitalization Area (WRA);
  • Inventory & Analysis - a detailed inventory and analysis, including mapping of existing conditions such as land  use,  and natural and cultural resources within the WRA;
  • Policies - a detailed listing of State waterfront policies and how policies are applied locally by the Town;
  • Waterfront Projects - a detailed description of proposed waterfront uses and projects intended to enhance waterfront conditions and expand opportunities for waterfront recreation, local business enterprises, and other community facilities and waterfront assets;
  • Techniques for Local Implementation of the Program - techniques to be used to implement the LWRP including the proposed projects;
  • Federal and State Actions - a listing of State and Federal actions and programs necessary to implement the LWRP; and,
  • Local Commitment - local commitment and consultation with Federal, State, Regional and Local Agencies.

The Town’s Planning Department and the Town’s waterfront planning consultant Environmental Design and Research (EDR), will make necessary changes to the draft sections once the NYSDOS and WAC members have completed their review. The Draft LWRP report will then be compiled to include the revised sections as well as the LWRP appendices.

The complete Draft LWRP is available for public review and can be accessed by clicking the link below.

Draft LWRP - October 8, 2020


Contacts

Please submit any questions or comments with your contact information using any of the following:

Comment Sheet

Mailing Address:
Amherst Planning Department
5583 Main Street
Williamsville, NY

Email Address: lwrp@amherst.ny.us

Planning Department Phone: (716) 631-7051

About Amherst

The Town of Amherst was established in 1818 and celebrated its 200th Anniversary in 2018. The town has a geographical area of 53.6 square miles and a population of greater than 122,000.

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Get in Touch

  • General Information:
    (716) 631-7000
  • Email:
    toainfo@amherst.ny.us
  • Address:
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  • 5583 Main Street
  • Williamsville, NY 14221