Sidebar Harbor Management Plan- Chapter Two

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CHAPTER TWO: MIDDLETOWN'S GOALS AND OBJECTIVES FOR WATERFRONT AND HARBOR MANAGEMENT

This chapter contains the City of Middletown’s basic goals and objectives for managing the Middletown Harbor Management Area (HMA). These goals and objectives are directed toward achieving balance between a number of equally important public purposes, including protection and enhancement of environmental quality, provision of opportunities for water-dependent recreational activities and public access to the HMA, encouragement of economic growth and development enhanced by the City’s Connecticut River location and maintenance of public health, safety and welfare.

The ten broad goals (summarized below) and accompanying objectives should be thought of as basic and general guidelines for waterfront use and harbor management at Middletown; their achievement should be supported by all citizens and public officials. The goals and objectives establish a guiding framework for future management decisions by the Harbor Improvement Agency and other City commissions and departments with programs or authorities that directly or indirectly affect the waterfront and Harbor Management Area.

The goals and objectives establish a foundation for the more detailed waterfront and harbor management policies in Chapter Three of the Harbor Management Plan, for the area-specific plans and proposals in Chapter Four and for the implementation recommendations in Chapter Five.

GOAL 1: RECOGNITION OF WATERFRONT AND HARBOR MANAGEMENT AREA RESOURCES AND VALUES

Achieve widespread public recognition of the important recreational, economic, environmental, cultural and other resources and values provided by the Middletown waterfront and Harbor Management Area, and of the importance of those resources and values to the overall quality of life in the City.

GOAL 2: ACTIVE AND COORDINATED MANAGEMENT OF WATERFRONT AND HARBOR RESOURCES BY THE CITY OF MIDDLETOWN.

Actively manage use of the waterfront and Harbor Management Area in the public interest, for the benefit of all City residents and the general public. Establish and maintain, in accordance with the intent of the Connecticut Harbor Management Act, a principal role for the City of Middletown in the planning, management and regulations of water and waterfront activities in, on and adjoining the Harbor Management Area.

OBJECTIVES:
2.1 Implement a municipal Harbor Management Plan in accordance with authority provided by the Connecticut Harbor Management Act (Sections 22a – 113k through 22a – 113t of the Connecticut General Statutes) and Section 26-12 of the Middletown Code.

2.2 Support the efforts of the Middletown Harbor Improvement Agency (acting as the City’s Harbor Management Commission) to implement the Harbor Management Plan and carry out other purposes, powers, duties and responsibilities in the public interest as authorized by the Connecticut Harbor Management Act and Section 26-12 of the Middletown Code.

2.3 Adopt or amend City ordinances, as needed, for implementing the Harbor Management Plan and regulating use and development of the waterfront and HMA in the public interest; effectively enforce all existing and future City ordinances affecting the waterfront and HMA.

2.4 Obtain and allocate funds specifically for improvement and management of the waterfront and HMA, consistent with the Harbor Management Plan.

2.5 Support an active role by the Middletown Harbormaster for the management and regulation on in-water activities in the HMA, consistent with the Harbor Management Plan and subject to direction from the Harbor Improvement Agency.

2.6 Achieve and maintain consistency and coordination between the plans and programs of all City commissions and departments affecting the waterfront and HMA.

2.7 Achieve and maintain coordination with other Connecticut River municipalities to address issues of common concern affecting the HMA and Connecticut River.

2.8 Achieve and maintain coordination for waterfront and harbor management purposes with regional, State and Federal authorities with programs and responsibilities affecting the waterfront and HMA.

GOAL 3: ECONOMIC GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT

Recognize and pursue opportunities for economic growth and development associated with the waterfront and Harbor Management Area.

OBJECTIVES:
3.1 Promote beneficial use and development of the waterfront and HMA, balanced with necessary protection and enhancement of environmental quality.

3.2 Achieve and maintain consistency and coordination between waterfront and harbor management efforts and redevelopment plans and programs affecting the Downtown and waterfront.

3.3 Support beneficial use and redevelopment of underutilized waterfront sites and facilities.

3.4 Provide safe and enjoyable access to public waterfront parks and open space, including access from the Downtown to Harborpark across Route 9.

GOAL 4: RECREATIONAL USE

Maintain and enhance opportunities for recreational use of the waterfront and Harbor Management Area, consistent with the capacity of the waterfront and HMA to support that use without the occurrence of significantly adverse impacts on environmental quality and the public’s health, safety, welfare and enjoyment.

OBJECTIVES:
4.1 Establish and maintain opportunities for boating and boating-related uses of the HMA.

4.2 Establish and maintain opportunities for non-boating recreational use of the waterfront and HMA, including opportunities for walking, bicycling, picnicking, nature observation, land-based fishing and special public events on waterfront sites.

4.3 Provide an attractive, well-maintained and interconnected system of public waterfront areas and facilities for walking, picnicking, fishing, bicycling, boating and quiet enjoyment of water views and the natural environment.

4.4 Establish and maintain a vital, Connecticut River waterfront that will serve as a focal point of community activities for people of all ages and interests throughout the year.

GOAL 5: WATER-DEPENDENT FACILITES AND USES.

Support and maintain a diversity of water-dependent facilities and uses that individually and collectively enhance the quality of the Harbor Management Area environment, the local and regional economy and the overall quality of life in the City of Middletown.

OBJECTIVES:
5.1 Support the continued operation and, where feasible, enhancement of recreational boating-related facilities and uses.

5.2 Support the continued operation and enhancement of waterfront parks and other facilities that provide opportunities for public access to the HMA.

5.3 Support the expansion of boating and other water access facilities and areas where consistent with public needs and the Harbor Management Plan.

5.4 Support the continued operation of waterfront commercial uses dependent on the waterborne shipment of materials or services.

5.5 Support the continued and timely maintenance of the Connecticut River Federal navigation channel with adequate width and depth to help ensure safe navigation and serve the needs of vessels using the HMA.

GOAL 6: RESOURCE CONSERVATION AND ENHANCEMENT

Conserve and enhance the environmental quality, natural resources and ecological functions associated with the waterfront and Harbor Management Area and the larger Connecticut River watershed of which the waterfront and HMA are part; protect waterfront and Harbor Management Area resources with cultural significance, including historic, scientific and archaeological significance.

OBJECTIVES:
6.1 Recognize that the water and other natural resources found in the HMA are part of a larger watershed system and that negative impacts on the resources within any one part of this system can have important effects on the larger system.

6.2 Properly manage and protect natural resources such as wetlands, fisheries resources, aquifers, floodplains and other resources.

6.3 Protect and enhance ecological functions in and adjoining the HMA, including functions related to fish and wildlife habitat, water quality, floodwater storage and buffer and groundwater storage.

6.4 Maintain the highest quality of surface water and groundwater in the HMA.

6.5 Plan and manage use and development of the waterfront and HMA in a manner consistent with the capacity of the waterfront and HMA to support this use and development in an environmentally sound manner; avoid or minimize adverse impacts on environmental resources that may be caused by use and development of the waterfront and HMA.

6.6 Support the maintenance and enhancement of the scenic quality associated with the waterfront and HMA.

6.7 Balance efforts to protect and enhance environmental quality with efforts to provide recreational opportunities, economic development and other public benefits. 6.8 Preserve the City’s maritime heritage.

6.9 Protect significant cultural resources in and adjoining the HMA, including sites and structures representative of the settlement and history of Middletown.

GOAL 7: PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELFARE

Manage and regulate use of the waterfront and Harbor Management Area to provide for the continues health, safety and welfare of those who use the waterfront and HMA.

OBJECTIVES:
7.1 Enforce applicable City, State and Federal laws and regulations to maintain and improve boating safety in and near the HMA.

7.2 Maintain navigation safety in the HMA for rowers, fishermen, tour boats, visiting and resident recreational boaters and commercial vessels, including tugs and barges.

7.3 Avoid or reduce potential conflicts between vessels operating in the HMA.

7.4 Provide boat docking and/or launching facilities to accommodate emergency services vessels and help ensure effective emergency response in the HMA.

7.5 Maintain public safety at waterfront parks.

7.6 Mitigate the potential impacts of flooding and erosion in and adjoining the HMA.

7.7 Plan and manage use of the waterfront and HMA in a manner consistent with the capacity of the waterfront and HMA to support this use and development without the occurrence of unacceptable impacts on public health, safety and welfare.

7.8 Remove any derelict, abandoned or deteriorated vessels and structures from the HMA in the most timely manner.

GOAL 8: PUBLIC ACCESS

Provide long-term opportunities for public access to the waterfront and Haerbor Management Area for active and passive recreational uses.

OBJECTIVES:
8.1 Maintain and improve existing water access areas, including City-owned parks and water access right-of-ways.

8.2 Provide new water access areas to increase opportunities for public use and enjoyment.

8.3 Provide safe and enjoyable access to public waterfront areas, including access from the Downtown to Harborpark across Route 9.

8.4 Encourage and support the organization and staging of special events on waterfront sites to provide recreational opportunities for the general public and attract visitors to the City and HMA.

8.5 Balance public rights to use navigable waters and the Public Trust area with the riparian rights of waterfront property owners for access to navigable water.

8.6 Protect the public’s right of free navigation and use of the land and water resources below the mean high water line, consistent with the Public Trust Doctrine and subject to the riparian rights of waterfront property owners.

GOAL 9: PUBLIC SUPPORT AND PARTICIPATION

Develop and maintain public awareness of waterfront and Harbor Management Area resources and management concerns and establish a base of support for waterfront and harbor management efforts.

OBJECTIVES:
9.1 Provide a continuing forum for the expression of all public concerns related to the use and conservation of waterfront and HMA resources.

9.2 Encourage special programs and events to increase awareness of waterfront and HMA resources and support for management efforts; encourage public participation in such programs and events.

9.3 Encourage educational use of the waterfront and HMA.

9.4 Provide public information materials and services to those who use the waterfront and HMA and to others concerned with use and protection of waterfront and HMA resources.

9.5 Encourage public participation in waterfront and harbor management-related programs and activities.

GOAL 10: RESPOND TO CHANGING CONDITIONS

Monitor waterfront and Harbor Management Area conditions and consider any amendments/revisions to the Harbor Management Plan and supporting City ordinances that may be needed to respond to changing conditions and circumstances.

OBJECTIVES:
10.1 Conduct an annual review of waterfront and HMA conditions and the status of implementing the provisions of the Harbor Management Plan.

10.2 Amend/revise the Harbor Management Plan as necessary in accordance with a specific procedure including requirements for the hearing of public comments and concerns.

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