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Amherst Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP)

Adopted Amherst Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP)

On November 8, 2023 the NYS Secretary of State adopted the Town of Amherst Local Waterfront Revitalization Program plan. The Town of Amherst has joined the growing list of WNY and Central New York communities located along inland waterways participating in the New York State Department of State Program pursuant to the Waterfront Revitalization of Coastal Areas and Inland Waterways Act.

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 started the LWRP process in the winter of 2018.

As of spring 2023 the Town has a final LWRP Plan ready to submit for adoption by the NYS Secretary of State. The links provided on this webpage include an executive summary, the entire LWRP Plan and a geospatial webpage presenting the LWRP boundary over tax parcel data.

Please contact the Amherst Planning Department ( for more information.

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.

Amherst LWRP Project Update – End of 60-Day Review

The LWRP 60-Day Review period has ended and the NYSDOS collected comments from State agencies and stakeholders. The following documents are available to review the comments, the NYSDOS response to comments and LWRP draft plan showing revisions.

Third Public Meeting: Amherst Waterfront Planning

The Town is currently under a 60-day State review period as required by the NYS Department of State. Upon completion of the 60-day review period, the Town will adopt the Plan and join 15 other communities in Western New York who have an adopted LWRP. Last year, the Village of Williamsville adopted their LWRP Plan along Ellicott Creek.

The Amherst Planning Department will hold a public meeting to present the complete LWRP Plan, project goals and initiatives, discuss implementation and answer questions from the public:

When: Tuesday, February 28, 2023 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Where: Town of Amherst Senior Center 370 John James Audubon Parkway, Getzville, NY 14228

For more information, contact the Amherst Planning Department at (716) 631-7051.

Meeting Presentation

lwrp public meeting - february 28, 2023 - senior center 370 john james audubon parkway

Amherst LWRP Project Update – January 2023

The Town of Amherst Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) complete draft plan is completed and under the NYS Department of State “60 Day” Review Process.

LWRP 60 Day Public Notice


A 3rd Public Meeting will be held in the next two months to review the completion of the plan and implementation of the new waterfront revitalization area boundary.

The complete Draft LWRP is available for public review and can be accessed by clicking the link below. Please see the comment sheet at the bottom of the page to provide comments.

Amherst LWRP Project Update – September 2022

The Town of Amherst Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) Project received comments from the NYS Department of State. The draft report is completed and the Town will initiate the lead agency solicitation for SEQR under Law 617 this month. Then, the Town Board will pass a resolution to “accept” this draft plan as complete and ready for the NYS Department of State “60 Day” Review Process.

A 3rd Public Meeting will be held following the State's review.

The complete Draft LWRP is available for public review and can be accessed by clicking the link below. Please see the comment sheet at the bottom of the page to provide comments.

Draft LWRP - September 2022

LWRP - Proposed Waterfront Revitalization Area

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.

LWRP Goals & Content

The goals identified in the Amherst LWRP are:

  • 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:

  1. Waterfront Boundary - a description and mapping of the Waterfront Revitalization Area (WRA);
  2. Inventory & Analysis - a detailed inventory and analysis, including mapping of existing conditions such as land  use,  and natural and cultural resources within the WRA;
  3. Policies - a detailed listing of State waterfront policies and how policies are applied locally by the Town;
  4. 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;
  5. Techniques for Local Implementation of the Program - techniques to be used to implement the LWRP including the proposed projects;
  6. Federal and State Actions - a listing of State and Federal actions and programs necessary to implement the LWRP; and,
  7. Local Commitment - local commitment and consultation with Federal, State, Regional and Local Agencies.

Amherst LWRP Project Update – April 2021

The Town of Amherst Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) Project has reached a milestone with completion of a draft of the complete report. The draft report is comprised of the seven sections described above that are consistent with the requirements of the 2019 Guidance Manual for Preparing Local Programs developed by the New York State Department of State (NYSDOS). Report appendices that will include other technical data and regulations, such as a Local Waterfront Consistency Review Law and Waterfront Assessment Form, are also included in the draft. The draft LWRP is now being reviewed by the Department of State.

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 has completed its review.

A 3rd Public Meeting will be held following the State's review.

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

Draft LWRP - April 2021

Other Project Components

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

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:


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:

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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  • 5583 Main Street
  • Williamsville, NY 14221