Sidebar Harbor Management Plan- Chapter Three: Waterfront and Harbor Management Policies

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CHAPTER THREE: WATERFRONT AND HARBOR MANAGEMENT POLICIES

This chapter contains City policies to help guide decision and actions affecting the Middletown waterfront and Harbor Management Area (HMA) by the Harbor Improvement Agency and other City, State and Federal agencies. The policies are established to advance the harbor management goals and objectives contained in Chapter Two of the Harbor Management Plan and to address the issues and concerns summarized in Chapter One. The waterfront and harbor management policies are consistent with provisions included in other City plans affecting the HMA, including the Middletown Plan of Conservation and Development incorporating the “Downtown Visions 2000 and Beyond” plan; they are also consistent with applicable State and Federal policies.

The City of Middletown’s waterfront and harbor management policies are grouped into five main categories concerning:
1) public health, safety and welfare;
2) environmental quality;
3) institutional framework”;
4) water use and navigation; and
5) waterfront development, access and land use.

These policies are not tied to specific sections of the Harbor Management Area but apply in general throughout the HMA. Waterfront improvement and harbor management recommendations for particular sections of the HMA are presented in Chapter Four and shown on the “Downtown Waterfront and Water Use Plan: attached to the Harbor Management Plan.

  • 1.0. PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELFARE POLICIES
    • 1.1. Regulating Vessel Speed and Wake: The speed and wake of vessels operating in the Harbor Management Area should be regulated for the purpose of ensuring public safety and protecting public and personal property and sensitive natural resources.
      • 1.1.1. The operation of all vessels in the HMA shall be in accordance with all applicable boating laws and regulations. Applicable laws and regulations should be effectively enforced and appropriate penalties imposed on violators.
      • 1.1.2. In accordance with Section 15-16 of the Connecticut General Statutes, vessel speed in the HMA shall be limited to 6 (six) miles per hour when approaching or passing and while within 200 feet of any wharf, pier or dock in the City of Middletown.
      • 1.1.3. In accordance with Section 15-121-B15 of the Connecticut General Statutes, no person shall operate a motorboat at greater than steerage speed within the area bounded northerly by a point 500 feet downstream from the Arrigoni Bridge and Connecticut River aid to navigation light no. 87.
      • 1.1.4. Any person operating a vessel in the HMA at such a speed as to cause a wake shall be held responsible for any damage caused by this wake, in accordance with applicable sections of the Connecticut General Statutes.
      • 1.1.5. New or modified regulations to control vessel speed in the HMA should be considered as necessary to ensure public safety and protect public and private property and sensitive natural resources.
    • 1.2. Maintaining Emergency Response Capabilities: The necessary capabilities of City, State, and Federal agencies for effective response to emergencies on, in or contiguous to the Harbor Management Area should be maintained and to the extent feasible, enhanced.
      • 1.2.1. Development and maintenance of necessary waterfront facilities to maintain and enhance emergency response capabilities should be supported.
      • 1.2.2. Emergency response activities should be coordinated to the maximum extent possible with neighboring municipalities and among responsible City, State and Federal agencies.
      • 1.2.3. Future land use and water use decisions affecting the HMA should take into consideration requirements for emergency vehicle access and the potential effects of waterfront use and development proposals on emergency response capabilities.
      • 1.2.4. The City’s Emergency Operations Plan should address the broad range of emergency situations and responses possible in the HMA.
      • 1.2.5. Capital and operating budget requirements for necessary provision of effective emergency and other assistance to boaters and other users of the HMA by the Middletown Police Department and Fire Department should be supported.
    • 1.3. Recognizing the Carrying Capacity of the Harbor Management Area for Safe Boating and Other Water Uses: Design and review of waterfront development proposals with facilities for water access, should take into consideration the capacity of the Harbor Management Area (including the capacity of surface waters in the HMA) to accommodate increased vessel use and boating activities while maintaining ease and safety of navigation, avoiding vessel congestion and supporting existing beneficial recreational and commercial uses of the HMA.
    • 1.4 Avoiding Water Use Congestion and Conflicts: Opportunities for increasing beneficial use of the Harbor Management Area should be balanced against the need for avoiding: a) congestion in the HMA; b) conflicts among different recreational activities, including power boating and non-motorized water activities; and c) conflicts between recreational and commercial vessels.
      • 1.4.1. Water-related special events should be scheduled and coordinated in a manner to avoid or minimize congestion in the HMA and potential conflicts among events and participants. The Harbor Improvement Agency should be notified of all proposals for special in-water and waterfront events affecting the HMA.
      • 1.4.2. Anchoring of vessels should not occur in the Connecticut River Federal navigation channel except for emergency or inspection purposes that do not pose a hazard or undue obstruction to navigation; anchoring in the navigation channel is subject to approval by the Harbormaster.
    • 1.5 Mitigating Flood and Erosion Hazards: All construction in designated flood and erosion hazard zones in and adjoining the Harbor Management Area shall conform to applicable floodplain regulations and construction standards, including regulations and standards contained in Section 46 of the City Zoning Code.
      • 1.5.1. Bulkheads and other shore protection structures should be maintained in a timely manner and repaired as necessary.
      • 1.5.2. Structural shore protection measures including, but not limited to, bulkheads and riprap to stabilize the shoreline and/or protect existing development from flooding and erosion should be carefully planned and constructed so that the application of these measures will not result in significantly adverse impacts on natural resources, ecological functions and other properties.
      • 1.5.3. The use of nonstructural measures to avoid dangerous, uneconomic or otherwise unwise use of flood and erosion hazard areas should be encouraged and used wherever feasible except in those instances where structural measures are necessary to protect existing development, including buildings, roads, utilities and water-dependent facilities.
      • 1.5.4. To the extent possible, a coordinated, area-wide approach to the repair or development of structural shore protection measures is encouraged.
    • 1.6 Maintaining Preparedness for Fuel Spill Emergencies: All appropriate measures to avoid, prepare for, and respond to any fuel spill emergencies in the Harbor Management Area are encouraged and supported.
      • 1.6.1. Facilities dispensing or receiving petroleum products in the HMA should develop and maintain appropriate fuel spill contingency plans and, to the extent feasible, coordinate response actions and the use of available fuel spill containment equipment.
      • 1.6.2. Fuel spill preparedness and response activities should be coordinated to the maximum extent possible with neighboring municipalities and among responsible City, State and Federal agencies and the operators of private facilities dispensing or receiving petroleum products in the HMA.
      • 1.6.3. The development and maintenance of necessary facilities, equipment and trained personnel to ensure prompt and effective response to fuel spills is encouraged and supported.
      • 1.6.4. All fueling of vessels berthed or docked in the HMA shall take place in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations to maintain public health, safety and welfare and to avoid adverse impacts on environmental quality.
    • 1.7. Removal or Identification of Hazards and Obstructions to Navigation: To the extent feasible, any hazard or undue obstruction to navigation in the Harbor Management Area should be removed or marked by suitable aids to navigation. Markers to identify hazards or obstructions to navigation shall be placed in accordance with necessary State and Federal approvals.
    • 1.8. Removal of Abandoned and Derelict Vessels and Structures: In accordance with applicable laws and regulations, all derelict, abandoned or deteriorated vessels and structures presenting a hazard or obstruction to persons, property or navigation should be removed from the Harbor Management Area or repaired, where feasible, as quickly as possible.
      • 1.8.1. In accordance with State of Connecticut boating statutes and regulations, including Section 15–140c of the Connecticut General Statutes, all vessels not moored, anchored or made fast to the shore and left unattended for a period of greater than 24 hours, or left upon private property without consent from the property owner for a period greater than 24 hours, should be removed from the HMA by the last owner of record or by the Harbormaster, at the expense of the last owner of record.
      • 1.8.2. All derelict, abandoned or deteriorated vessels and structures presenting a hazard or obstruction to persons, property, marine resources or navigation should be marked, as necessary, and removed from the HMA in the most timely manner in accordance with City, State and Federal laws and regulations, including: a) Section 15-1 of the Connecticut General Statutes that gives the Middletown Harbormaster responsibility for the safe and efficient operation of the navigable waterways within the jurisdiction of the City of Middletown; b) Sections 15-11a and 15-140c of the Connecticut General Statutes concerning removal of derelict and abandoned vessels; and c) Federal law requiring the owner of any vessel sunken in navigable waters to remove the vessel as soon as possible and to mark it in the meantime with a buoy or daymarker during day and a light at night.
      • 1.8.3. City, State and Federal agencies and officials, including the Harbor Improvement Agency, Police Department, Public Works Department, Harbormaster, Connecticut departments of transportation and environmental protection, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U. S. Coast Guard, should coordinate their efforts and resources and work cooperatively to: a) mark, as necessary, any hazard or obstruction to navigation for the benefit of navigators; b) minimize the risk to environmental resources caused by any derelict, abandoned or deteriorated vessel or structure; and c) ensure the removal of any derelict, abandoned or deteriorated vessel or structure from the HMA in the most timely manner.
    • 1.9. Fire Prevention and Preparedness: All waterfront facilities shall include appropriate provisions for fire prevention and preparedness as required by the Fire Marshall, including adequate access for emergency vehicles and adequate on-site water supply for fire fighting purposes. Fire prevention and preparedness standards and guidelines contained in the Connecticut Fire Safety Code shall be incorporated in the design and construction of all waterfront facilities.
      • 1.9.1. The Middletown Fire Department’s capital and operating budget requirements for maintaining and enhancing, as necessary, its capabilities for effective fire fighting on, in, or contiguous to the Harbor Management Area should be supported.
    • 1.10. Maintaining Public Safety at Waterfront Parks: Public waterfront areas should be managed and maintained in a manner to ensure that those areas are safe at all times for beneficial recreational use and public enjoyment.
      • 1.10.1. Capital and operating budget requirements of the Middletown Police Department for effectively maintaining public safety at waterfront parks should be supported.
      • 1.10.2. When considering any future expansion of existing waterfront park and water access facilities, consideration should be given to requirements for maintaining the safety of park and facility users.
    • 1.11. Establishment and Enforcement of Boating Laws and Public Safety Regulations: All appropriate actions, including implementation and enforcement of applicable City, State, and Federal regulations, should be undertaken to maintain and improve boating safety in the Harbor Management Area.
      • 1.11.1 As Authorized by Section 15-136 of the Connecticut General Statutes, adoption of City regulations respecting the operation of vessels in the HMA should be considered for incorporation in the City Code as necessary to maintain and improve boating safety in the Harbor Management Area.
      • 1.11.2. Capital and operating budget requirements for effective City enforcement of boating laws and regulations by the Middletown Police Department should be supported.
      • 1.11.3. The Harbor Improvement Agency, Police Department and Harbormaster should coordinate their actions and authorities to increase public awareness of City, State and Federal laws and regulations affecting use of the HMA and to achieve effective enforcement of those laws and regulations.
  • 2.0 ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY POLICIES
    • 2.1. Balancing Environmental Conservation Goals with Goals for Water and Waterfront Use and Development: Efforts to stimulate economic growth and development enhanced by the waterfront and Harbor Management Area should be carried out in coordination with efforts to protect and enhance the environmental quality, natural resources and ecological functions associated with the HMA and the larger watershed systems of which the HMA is part.
    • 2.2. Recognizing the Carrying Capacity of the Natural Environment: Design and review of development proposals on, in or contiguous to the Harbor Management Area should take into consideration the capacity of the natural environment to support the proposed development without the occurrence of significantly adverse impacts on natural resource functions and values.
      • 2.2.1. Design and review of development proposals affecting the HMA should be guided by recognition that there are limits to the amount of growth and development that the HMA’s natural environment can absorb without degradation of ecological functions and values.
      • 2.2.2. New or expanded uses and development judged to exceed the capacity of the natural and man-made environment to support such uses and development should be avoided.
      • 2.2.3. Determinations of the capacity of the HMA’s natural environment to accommodate new development should be carried out through the review of individual development proposals by the Harbor Improvement Agency, in coordination with other City commissions and departments and State and Federal permitting agencies. (See “Institutional Framework” Policies.)
    • 2.3 Consideration of Cumulative Impacts on Environmental Resources: Decisions affecting use and development of the Harbor Management Area should consider the cumulative impacts on environmental resources and quality that may result from the incremental impacts of a single action added to other past, present and reasonably foreseeable actions. It should be recognized that cumulative impacts on environmental quality could result from individually minor but collectively significant actions taking place over a period of time.
    • 2.4. Maintaining and Improving Surface Water Quality: The implementation of all feasible measures to maintain and improve surface water quality in the Connecticut, Mattabesset and Coginchaug rivers, including implementation and enforcement of applicable City, State and Federal laws and regulations, is encouraged and supported.
      • 2.4.1. Efforts to improve water quality in the Harbor Management Area should include reduction or elimination of non-point sources of pollution (including stormwater runoff), improvement and repair of wastewater treatment facilities, reduction or elimination of pollution caused by boating activities and reduction or elimination of all other human activities that unnecessarily introduce sediment, debris or pollutants into the HMA.
      • 2.4.2. Buffers and other suitable best management practices to control stormwater runoff should be utilized to reduce the potential for non-point pollution emanating from commercial and industrial areas adjoining and near the HMA.
      • 2.4.3. An effective, ongoing program of water quality monitoring in the Harbor Management Area and upstream in the Connecticut, Mattabesset and Coginchaug watersheds is encouraged and supported.
      • 2.4.4. Marine sanitation devices should not be discharged into the HMA. Existing State and Federal regulations controlling the disposal of wastes from vessels should be publicized for area boaters and strictly enforced.
      • 2.4.5. Provision of vessel waster-pump-out facilities with adequate capacity to serve the needs of recreational and commercial vessels using waterfront facilities at Middletown is encouraged and supported, in accordance with applicable section of the Connecticut General Statutes. Adequate restroom facilities for resident and transient boaters should be provided by the owner/operators of any recreational boating facility serving resident and/or transient boaters on the Middletown waterfront.
      • 2.4.6. Any future work to maintain, repair or construct bridges crossing navigable water in the HMA should be closely monitored to reduce or avoid any potentially adverse impacts on water quality resulting from maintenance, repair or construction work.
      • 2.4.7. The City should continue to upgrade its wastewater collection and treatment facilities, as necessary, in accordance with best available technology.
      • 2.4.8. Reduction or elimination of non-point sources of pollution (including stormwater runoff), improvement of wastewater treatment facilities as necessary and other appropriate actions to achieve upgrading of existing State-established surface water quality classifications in the HMA are encouraged and supported.
      • 2.4.9. Efforts to improve water quality in the HMA should be planned and implemented, to the extent practical, on a watershed-wide basis, in coordination with other communities in the Connecticut, Mattabesset and Coginchaug river watersheds. (See “Institutional Framework” Policies.)
    • 2.5. Aquifer Protection: The implementation of all feasible measures to maintain and improve ground water quality near the Harbor Management Area, including implementation and enforcement of applicable City, State and Federal laws and regulations, is encouraged and supported.
      • 2.5.1 Critical water supply aquifers and aquifer recharge areas should be identified and protected through implementation of land use policies designed to avoid pollution of groundwater resources and reduction of aquifer recharge.
      • 2.5.2. An effective, ongoing program of ground water monitoring in critical water supply aquifer areas is encouraged and supported.
    • 2.6 Conservation of Wetland Resources and Fish and Wildlife Habitat: The ecological values of wetlands in and adjoining the Harbor Management Area, including freshwater-tidal wetlands, should be recognized and protected, including values related to fish and wildlife habitat, nutrient productivity, water quality functions and floodwater storage.
      • 2.6.1. Development proposals affecting the HMA should be designed and reviewed to avoid any significantly adverse impacts on wetland resources and values, including fish and wildlife habitat values.
    • 2.7. Maintaining Waterfront Scenic Quality and Water Views: Scenic quality associated with the Harbor Management Area should be protected and, to the extent feasible, enhanced.
      • 2.7.1. Design and review of development proposals affecting the HMA should take into consideration cumulative impacts on scenic quality and the capacity of the natural and built environment to support the proposed development without the occurrence of significantly adverse impacts on scenic quality.
      • 2.7.2. Minimum standards for maintenance, occupancy and use of commercial and industrial properties adjoining the HMA should be enforced in coordination with public and private efforts to beautify the waterfront.
      • 2.7.3. All appropriate laws and regulations should be applied to discourage illegal dumping of trash and other debris in and near the HMA. Violators should be vigorously pursued and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
      • 2.7.4. To the extent feasible, commercial and industrial sites adjoining and nearby the HMA should be maintained with suitable buffers to screen any site uses and facilities that may detract from waterfront scenic quality.
      • 2.7.5. Proposals for waterfront and Downtown development should be designed and reviewed to avoid development that would interfere with existing public views of the Connecticut River.
      • 2.7.6. City-owned waterfront properties should be maintained in the most timely and effective manner needed to provide for continued public use and enjoyment of public spaces. Capital and operating budget requirements for timely and effective maintenance of City-owned waterfront properties should be supported.
      • 2.7.7. No bulkhead or other shore protection structure on, in, or contiguous to the HMA should be allowed to deteriorate to the extent that it causes a significantly adverse impact on environmental quality. Any deteriorated bulkhead or other shore protection structure should be repaired or replaced where such deterioration is causing significantly adverse impacts on natural resources or ecological functions.
    • 2.8. Environmental Restoration: Enhancement and/or restoration of degraded natural resources and values in and adjoining the Harbor Management Area is encouraged and supported, including restoration to improve water quality, scenic quality and fish and wildlife habitat.
    • 2.9. Preserving Cultural Resources and Maritime Heritage: Important cultural resources in and near the Harbor Management Area, including historic buildings and any archaeological resources, should be protected from any significantly adverse impacts that may be caused by in-water or waterfront development.
      • 2.9.1 Cultural resources in and near the HMA should be maintained, where appropriate, for public use and enjoyment in coordination with redevelopment plans and proposals.
      • 2.9.2. Beneficial projects and programs that serve to increase public awareness of the City of Middletown’s Connecticut River heritage are encouraged and supported.
  • 3.0 “INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK” POLICIES
    • 3.1. Harbor Management Area Boundaries: The City of Middletown’s harbor management jurisdiction is known as the Middletown Harbor Management Area and is defined as the tidally influenced waters of the Connecticut, Mattabesset and Coginchaug rivers waterward of the mean high water mark and within the corporate limits of the City.
    • 3.2. Harbor Improvement Agency Responsibilities: The Harbor Improvement Agency shall function as the City’s Harbor Management Commission in accordance with Section 22a-113k of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 26-12 of the Middletown Code of Ordinances. In addition to its other duties, the Harbor Improvement Agency should exercise all of the powers and duties granted to municipal harbor management commissions by Sections 22a-113k through 22a-113s of the Connecticut General Statutes.
    • 3.3 Funding for Harbor Management and Waterfront Improvements: Adequate funds should be obtained and allocated to properly manage and maintain the Harbor Management Area and public facilities on, in, or contiguous to the HMA in the public interest.
      • 3.3.1. An annual operating budget for harbor management purposes should be established to include activities of the Harbor Improvement Agency and any necessary costs for implementing the Harbor Management Plan.
      • 3.3.2. The City should actively pursue available governmental and private grants to help fund waterfront improvement and harbor management projects.
      • 3.3.3. A fee schedule may be established by the City for certain activities within the scope of the Harbor Management Plan. Such fees should be commensurate with services provided by the City and all fees collected shall be dedicated for the maintenance and improvement of the HMA for the public and for expense for personnel and equipment directly related to the function of the Harbor Improvement Agency (acting as the City’s Harbor Management Commission) and the Harbormaster of Deputy Harbormaster. Monies collected from any fees related to use of the HMA and from any fines for violation of City ordinances applied to the HMA should be allocated specifically for harbor management and improvement purposes.
      • 3.3.4. In accordance with Section 22a-113s of the Connecticut General Statute, special harbor management account within the City’s General Fund should be established to receive all monies collected or obtained through fees, grants and fines within the scope of the Harbor Management Plan. All funds deposited into this account shall be used exclusively for the purposes described in 3.3.3. above.
    • 3.4. Maintaining Public Support and Awareness: The presentation and discussion of all public concerns regarding the waterfront and Harbor Management Area and Harbor Management Plan, including concerns expressed by City residents, waterfront property and business owners, public officials, boaters and other users of the HMA, interested organizations and members of the general public are encouraged and supported.
      • 3.4.1. As necessary, the Harbor Management Plan may be updated or amended to address expressed public concerns regarding the waterfront and HMA and Harbor Management Plan.
      • 3.4.2. Special programs and events to stimulate public interest and community involvement in matters pertaining to the waterfront and HMA are encouraged and supported.
    • 3.5. Facilitating the Regulatory Process: Through approval, adoption and implementation of the Harbor Management Plan and supporting City ordinances, City, State and Federal agencies should work to facilitate – to the extent possible in accordance with State and Federal law – the existing regulatory processes concerning review and issuance of permits for work affecting the Harbor Management Area.
      • 3.5.1. In accordance with Section 22a-113q of the Connecticut General Statutes, the feasibility of the City obtaining a General Permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, applicable to approval of specified types of proposed structures and activities in the HMA, may be evaluated. Such a General Permit should be accepted by the City only if it would result in a reduction of the time required to process permit applications will not diminish necessary environmental protection safeguards and will not pose an unacceptable administrative, financial or liability burden on the City.
      • 3.5.2. In accordance with Section 22a-113q of the Connecticut General Statutes, the feasibility of the City obtaining a delegation of limited State enforcement authority, applicable to implementation of the Harbor Management Plan, from the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection may be evaluated. Acceptance of such a delegation of authority from the State of Connecticut by the City should be considered only if enforcement would be improved, City and State enforcement responsibilities could be carried out in a complementary manner and there would be no significantly negative impacts for the City, such as financial costs, liability and administrative burden.
    • 3.6. Harbor Management Consistency Review: Proposals affecting the Harbor Management Area will be reviewed for consistency with the Harbor Management Plan. A City “Waterfront and Harbor Management Review” process will be implemented by the Harbor Improvement Agency to ensure effective implementation of the Plan and coordinated, efficient and comprehensive local review of proposed projects affecting real property on, in or contiguous to the HMA.
      • 3.6.1 The Harbor Improvement Agency will review, for consistency with the Harbor Management Plan, development proposals submitted to, or proposed by, City of Middletown commissions and departments. Proposals to be referred by City commissions and departments to the Harbor Improvement Agency for review should include:
        • All proposals requiring approvals in accordance with the City’s Zoning Code, Subdivision Regulations and other land use and environmental protection requirements, and occurring on property on, in or contiguous to the HMA
        • All proposed revisions or amendments to City plans, rules or regulations affecting real property on, in or contiguous to the HMA
        • All activities involving placement of temporary or permanent structures (e.g., docks, floats, piers, bulkheads), dredging, filling or other activities waterward of the ordinary high water line.
      • 3.6.2. It should be the responsibility of project applicants to provide the information necessary for the Harbor Improvement Agency to adequately assess the potential impacts of proposed development projects on the HMA and the consistency of such proposals with the Harbor Management Plan. The information required will be reasonable in scope and in balance with the scale of the proposal and the potential positive and negative impacts of the proposal.
      • 3.6.3. The Waterfront and Harbor Management Review process will include the review of permit application submitted to the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and affecting property on, in or contiguous to the HMA.
      • 3.6.4. The Waterfront and Harbor Management Review process will include the review of permit applications submitted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and affecting property on, in or contiguous to the HMA.
      • 3.6.5. The Harbor Improvement Agency will determine the consistency of proposed projects with the Harbor Management Plan and make its determination known to the appropriate City, Sate or Federal authority within an established period of time. If no foment regarding the consistency of the proposed project is made by the Commission within the established time period, the proposal shall be assumed to be consistent with the Plan.
      • 3.6.6. In accordance with Section 22a-113p of the Connecticut General Statutes, a 2/3 vote of the City agency acting on a proposal referred to the Harbor Improvement Agency shall be required to approve a proposed project that has not received a favorable recommendation from the Agency. The Agency’s recommendation shall not alter the authority of the City agency having primary jurisdiction over the proposal to deny, modify or condition the proposal.
    • 3.7. Updating and Amending the Harbor Management Plan and City Code: The Harbor Management Plan and applicable sections of the Middletown Code should be updated and amended as necessary to respond to changing circumstances and conditions affecting the waterfront and Harbor Management Area.
      • 3.7.1. The same process required for State approval and City adoption of the Harbor Management Plan (review by the Cops of Engineers, approval by the Connecticut commissioners of environmental protection and transportation and adoption by the Common Council) should be carried out to amend or revise the adopted Plan and applicable sections of the Middletown Code.
      • 3.7.2. An annual review of conditions in the HMA and of the status and effectiveness of implementation of the Harbor Management Plan should be conducted to assure continued adherence to the provisions of the Plan and to identify any needed amendments or clarifications.
    • 3.8. Coordination among City Commissions and Departments for Waterfront and Harbor Management: All City commissions and departments with authorities and responsibilities affecting the Harbor Management Area, including the Harbor Improvement Agency, Planning and Zoning Commission, Department of Planning, Conservation and Development, Public Works Department, Parks and Recreation Department, Water and Sewer Department, Department of Health, Police Department, Fire Department, Conservation Commission and Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency, should carry out their waterfront and harbor management-related responsibilities in the most coordinated manner, consistent with the provisions of the Harbor Management Plan.
      • 3.8.1. Implementation of all City plans and programs affecting the HMA, including the Harbor Management Plan and Plan of Conservation and Development incorporating the “Downtown Visions 3000 and Beyond” plan, should be carried out in the most coordinated manner possible, emphasizing consistent objectives related to future recreational and commercial use of the HMA and protection of environmental quality in and adjoining the HMA.
      • 3.8.2. Harbor management and community development efforts on the part of the Harbor Improvement Agency, Planning and Zoning Commission and other City agencies should be coordinated to the extent necessary and feasible to help realize opportunities for community enhancement and Downtown revitalization provided by the waterfront and HMA.
    • 3.9. Coordination Between the Harbor Management Plan and the Plan of Conservation and Development: The Harbor Management Plan should complement and be consistent with the Middletown Plan of Conservation and Development. Together, the Harbor Management Plan and Plan of Conservation and Development will serve as the City’s principal guides for land and water use on, in and contiguous to the Harbor Management Area.
    • 3.10. Coordination with State and Federal Authorities: State and Federal agencies with authorities and responsibilities affecting the Harbor Management Area, including the Department of Transportation, the Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Long Island Sound Programs, other DEP divisions and bureaus, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Coast Guard, should carry out their responsibilities affecting the HMA in the most coordinated manner, consistent with the provisions of the Harbor Management Plan.
      • 3.10.1 State and Federal agencies with responsibilities affecting the HMA should work cooperatively with the Harbor Improvement Agency to ensure implementation of the Harbor Management Plan.
      • 3.10.2. Actions by State and Federal agencies should, to the extent possible in accordance with State and Federal law, be consistent with the provisions of the Harbor Management Plan and applicable sections of the Middletown Code.
    • 3.11 Coordination with Other Connecticut River Municipalities: To the extent necessary and practical, the City should coordinate waterfront and harbor management initiatives with neighboring municipalities with jurisdictions adjoining or otherwise affecting the Harbor Management Area (including other Connecticut River watershed municipalities) to address issues of common interest.
      • 3.11.1. Waterfront and harbor management initiatives should be coordinated with the municipalities of Cromwell, Portland, East Hampton and Haddam and with other Connecticut River municipalities for the purpose of enforcing boating laws and regulations, responding to fuel spills and other emergency situations, effectively monitoring water quality conditions, developing pollution abatement measures for application on a watershed-wide basis, achieving linkages for recreational and community development purposes implementing the Connecticut River Action Plan of the American Heritage Rivers Initiative, and achieving other public purposes related to the beneficial use and condition of the HMA and areas adjoining the HMA.
    • 3.12. Coordination with Regional Organizations: To the extent necessary and practical, the City should coordinate waterfront and harbor management initiatives with governmental and nongovernmental organizations with regional authorities and responsibilities affecting the Harbor Management Area and/or Connecticut River watershed, including the Midstate Regional Planning Agency.
    • 3.13 Coordination with the Harbormaster: In accordance with Section 15-1 of the Connecticut General Statutes, the Middletown Harbormaster shall exercise his or her duties in a manner consistent with the Harbor Management Plan and work cooperatively with the Harbor Improvement Agency to achieve effective enforcement of State and City boating laws and regulations in the Harbor Management Area and implementation of the Harbor Management Plan.
      • 3.13.1. In accordance with Section 22a-113k of the Connecticut General Statutes, the Middletown Harbormaster shall be a nonvoting, ex-officio member of the Harbor Improvement Agency when that agency is functioning in its role as the City of Middletown’s Harbor Management Commission.
      • 3.13.2. Au authorized by Section 15-1 of the Connecticut General Statutes, the Harbormaster shall be responsible for the general care and supervision of the navigable waterways within the boundaries of the City of Middletown and shall exercise his or her duties in a manner consistent with the Harbor Management Plan. The Harbormaster shall be responsible for the safe and efficient operation of the HMA in accordance with the provisions of the Connecticut General Statutes.
      • 3.13.3. The Harbormaster should work cooperatively with and assist the Harbor Improvement Agency with implementation of certain provisions of the Harbor Management Plan and applicable sections of the Middletown Code.
      • 3.13.4. The Harbor Improvement Agency may appoint a “Harbor Manager” or other person to assist the Agency and Harbormaster with implementation of the Harbor Management Plan and applicable sections of the Middletown Code.
      • 3.13.5. In accordance with State law, the Middletown Harbormaster shall be appointed by the Governor of Connecticut from a list of three candidates provided by the Harbor Improvement Agency.
      • 3.13.6. The Harbormaster should enforce State boating laws and regulations to the extent legally authorized and qualified to do so. Unless certified by the State of Connecticut as a law enforcement officer, the Harbormaster should not engage in arrests or other enforcement activities that may represent a potential for personal injury. The Harbormaster should call upon the Middletown Police Department, Department of Environmental Protection or other law enforcement authority for assistance in all situations involving potential arrest or confrontation.
    • 3.14. Encouraging Participation of Private Groups and Nongovernmental Organizations: Private groups and nongovernmental organizations including Wesleyan University, environmental groups and other organizations concerned with the waterfront and Harbor Management Area are encouraged to contribute to achievement of the City’s waterfront improvement and harbor management goals through volunteer assistance and other means.
    • 3.15. Coordination for Special Events: Special in-water and waterfront events that enhance the vitality of the City’s waterfront, attract visitors to the City, and provide important social and economic benefits are encouraged and supported.
      • 3.15.1. In-water and waterfront events should be planned and managed through the coordinated efforts of governmental agencies and private organizations to ensure a safe and beneficial experience by participants and spectators.
  • 4.0. WATER USE AND NAVIGATION POLICIES
    • 4.1. Maintenance of Connecticut River Federal Navigation Project: A Federal navigation channel should be maintained in the Connecticut River at Middletown to serve recreational and commercial vessels provide safe navigation and ensure continuation of the economic advantages of waterborne transportation.
      • 4.1.1 The channel should be maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at a depth and width sufficient for maintaining navigation safety and the viability of water-dependent facilities at Middletown and other Connecticut River locations.
      • 4.1.2. Any future maintenance dredging of the Connecticut River Federal navigation channel and disposal of dredged material from the channel should be carried out in the most timely manner necessary to ensure the continued viability of water-dependent facilities, safe and efficient navigation and minimal disruption of natural systems and values.
      • 4.1.3. To the extent feasible, maintenance dredging of the Federal navigation channel should be coordinated with any necessary nonfederal maintenance dredging to reduce the economic costs and potential environmental impacts of dredging.
    • 4.2. Nonfederal Dredging and Dredged Material Disposal: Any nonfederal dredging that may be required in the Harbor Management Area should be carefully planned and carried out in a manner that provides for the continued viability of recreational boating facilities and water-dependent commercial facilities, safe and efficient navigation and minimal disruption of natural systems and values.
      • 4.2.1. Priority areas for nonfederal dredging should include recreational boating access facilities and water-dependent commercial facilities.
      • 4.2.2. Any future maintenance dredging of areas outside of the Federal navigation should be carried out by private interests in the most timely manner necessary to ensure the continued viability of water-dependent facilities and safe and efficient navigation.
      • 4.2.3. Maintenance dredging of all channels, docking facilities and boating access facilities shall be undertaken in compliance with all applicable State and Federal regulations and in a manner to minimize adverse impacts on environmental quality.
      • 4.2.4. Disposal of dredged material from all channels, water access areas, docking facilities and berthing areas should take place in a manner to minimize potential environmental impacts.
    • 4.3. Reduction of Siltation: All appropriate efforts to reduce siltation and the resulting need for dredging in the HMA are encouraged and supported. These efforts should include regular cleaning of storm drainage catch basins, construction of additional catch basins as necessary, control of runoff from construction sites, prohibitions on the disposal of leaves, branches or other debris in the HMA and reducing or eliminating all other human activities that introduce sediment into the HMA.
    • 4.4 Placement and Maintenance of Aids to Navigation: Aids to navigation in the Harbor Management Area, including buoys, beacons and signs, should be adequate for marking navigation areas, navigation hazards and obstructions, restricted speed areas and other conditions affecting east and safety of navigation.
      • 4.4.1. Approved “private” aids to navigation, supplemental to those placed by the Coast Guard, may be placed to mark fairways and other navigation areas, as well as any navigation hazards and obstructions and restricted speed areas.
      • 4.4.2. No “private” (nonfederal) aids to navigation should be placed without approval from the Harbor Improvement Agency and necessary permits from the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.
    • 4.5. Designation of Navigation Fairways: Where necessary, specific water areas to be kept free of obstructions should be designated as navigation fairways to ensure safe passage of recreational and commercial vessels to, from, through and alongside the Federal navigation channel, berthing areas, launching areas and other areas of boating activity in the Harbor Management Area.
      • 4.5.1. Designated fairways should be of an appropriate width, consistent with the type of vessel use anticipated, to ensure east and safety of navigation.
    • 4.6. Designation of “Set-back” Distances from the Federal Channel: All piers, docks, bulkheads, pilings, moorings and other structures located waterward of the ordinary high water line in the Harbor Management Area should be set back a sufficient distance from the boundaries of the Connecticut River Federal navigation channel (including designated bar channels and the natural channel normally used for navigation) to ensure that these structures, and any vessels attached to these structures, do not interfere with the safe and free passage of any vessel using the channel.
      • 4.6.1. Setback distances should be measured from the nearest boundary of the Federal navigation channel to: 1) the nearest point of the particular structure; or 2) the nearest point to which a typical vessel attached to the structure would approach the channel boundary. The setback distance should be measured as the shorter of these two distances.
      • 4.6.2. When determining appropriate setback distances, consideration should be given to the navigation rights and reasonable use expectations of the general public and to the riparian rights of waterfront property owners.
      • 4.6.3. The appropriate distance that in-water structures should be set back from the nearest boundary of the Federal navigation channel may be established on a case-by-case basis, and may vary in different reaches of the Connecticut River. In all instances, established setback distances with be determined relative to a navigation channel with an unobstructed width of 150 feet.
        • a. Among the potential impacts of in-water structures that should be evaluated when determining the appropriate distances that those structures should be set back from the nearest boundary of the Federal navigation channel are potential impacts on environmental quality, ease and safety of navigation and opportunities for public use of navigable water outside of the channel.
        • b. When determining the appropriate distance that in-water structures should be set back from the Federal navigation channel, consideration should be given to existing conditions including, but not limited to: 1) shoreline conditions; 2) the width of the River in the particular location; 3) the position of the designated or normally used channel relative to the shoreline; 4) channel dredging requirements; 5) traditional navigation patterns; 6) the configuration and capacity of the proposed structures; and 7) the presence of any adjacent, authorized structures.
        • c. Setback distances should be established to maintain a reasonable area of public water to sustain, in the public interest, activities not specifically related to simply transiting the HMA in safety.
        • d. When determining the distance that in-water structures should be set back from the nearest boundary of the Federal navigation channel, consideration should be given to design guidelines established by the U.S. Army Cops of Engineers.
    • 4.7 Coordination to Address River Ice Conditions: Ongoing communication among City, State and Federal agencies and officials, water-dependent facility operators, affected waterfront property owners and other concerned parties is encouraged and supported for the purpose of increasing awareness of ice conditions as well as opportunities for avoiding or reducing potential damage to shoreline structures.
    • 4.8. Support and encouragement of Excursion Boat Operations: The beneficial operation of excursion vessels providing opportunities for public access to the Connecticut River from facilities at Middletown is encouraged and supported in coordination with City initiatives to increase the vitality of the waterfront and Harbor Management Area.
    • 4.9. Support and Encouragement of Boating Education: Local training and educational programs conducted in coordination with the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection’s Boating Division to increase boating skills and awareness of navigation conditions, laws and responsibilities in the Harbor Management Area are encouraged and supported.
    • 4.10. Connecticut River Mooring and Anchoring: Mooring and anchoring of vessels in the Harbor Management Area should not cause an obstruction or hazard to navigation nor any significantly adverse impacts on environmental quality or other public uses or purposes within the HMA.
      • 4.10.1. Anchoring should not occur in the Federal navigation channel except for emergency or inspection purposes that do not pose a hazard or undue obstruction to navigation; anchoring in the navigation channel is subject to approval by the Harbormaster.
      • 4.10.2. For the purposes of maintaining adequate navigation access for recreational and commercial vessels, the mooring of vessels in the HMA should occur only if it is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Harbor Improvement Agency and Harbormaster that such mooring with not interfere with safe navigation within or outside of the Federal navigation channel and will not have a significantly adverse impact on environmental quality or other public uses and purposes within the HMA.
    • 4.11. Provision of Public Boating Facilities: The City should provide and maintain public boating facilities for the beneficial use of City residents and others, including docking and launching facilities and upland support facilities for recreational and commercial vessels. Facilities provided should be consistent with demonstrated need and with the capacities of the waterfront and Harbor Management Area to accommodate the facilities and their use.
      • 4.11.1. Public boating facilities in and adjoining the HMA should be actively managed on an ongoing basis to ensure safe, equitable and beneficial use by City residents and others.
    • 4.12. Transient Boating Facilities: Suitable facilities for beneficial use by transient boaters, including dockage and related facilities and shore access facilities, should be provided in the Harbor Management Area.
      • 4.12.1. The development of transient boating facilities is encouraged to support and complement economic development initiatives in the Downtown and other areas adjoining and near the HMA.
      • 4.12.2. Suitable dock space should be provided, free of charge, for transient boaters requiring emergency docking for medical or mechanical reasons.
    • 4.13 Provision of Vessel Waster Pump-out Facilities: Provision and maintenance of vessel waster pump-out facilities with adequate capacity to serve the needs of recreational and commercial vessels using waterfront facilities at Middletown is encouraged and supported in accordance with applicable sections of the Connecticut General Statutes.
    • 4.14. Regulating Live-Aboard Vessels: Any use of berthed, anchored, or moored vessels as short-term seasonal, or permanent residences in the Harbor Management Area should be monitored and, where necessary, regulated in the public interest.
      • 4.14.1. Any use of berthed, anchored or moored vessels as permanent residences (as distinguished from short-term use of a vessel for sleeping quarters) in the HMA should be prohibited where waterfront services, including services for sewage disposal, potable water and vehicle parking, are not available.
    • 4.15. Personal Watercraft Use: The operation of all personal watercraft (including “jet skis” and similar craft) in the Harbor Management Area shall be in accordance with all applicable boating laws and regulations, including noise levels established in Section 15-129 of the Connecticut General Statutes.
    • 4.16. Rowing and Other Non-motorized Boating Uses: Small craft, non-motorized boating activities such as rowing, canoeing and kayaking are encouraged and supported in the Harbor Management Area.
      • 4.16.1. Launching and landing areas to support access to the HMA be small vessels such as canoes, kayaks and rowing sculls, including access by vessels that can be transported without trailers, should be established and maintained.
      • 4.16.2. Organized rowing events planned and conducted in a manner that provides for the protection of public health, safety and welfare and avoids or minimizes the risk of conflict with other vessels using the HMA are encouraged and supported.
    • 4.17. Operation and Maintenance of Bridges over Navigable Water: All bridges crossing navigable water in the Harbor Management Area should be designed and maintained to avoid or reduce the potential for bridge use, operation and maintenance to cause significantly adverse impacts on navigation, public safety, environmental quality or any other beneficial uses and conditions in the HMA.
      • 4.17.1. Any plans for bridge construction, replacement or maintenance shall be designed, reviewed and implemented in compliance with all applicable State and Federal regulations and in a manner to avoid or minimize adverse impacts on beneficial uses and conditions in the HMA.
    • 4.18. Balancing Riparian and Public Rights for Use of Navigable Water: The riparian rights of the owners of land contiguous to the Harbor Management Area, including principally the right of access to the water, the right of accretions and relictions, and the right to other improvements and useful purposes, should be protected where the exercise of these rights is carried out in a reasonable manner without substantial impairment of the public’s interest in or use of the Public Trust area.
      • 4.18.1. Waterfront property owners should exercise their riparian rights in a manner that does not have a significantly adverse impact on coastal resources, scenic quality, navigation and other public values associated with the land and water resources waterward of the ordinary high water line.
      • 4.18.2. Permits for the placement of permanent structures waterward of the ordinary high water line should only be granted to: a) those who possess the riparian rights to place such structures; or b) those who have received the permission of the affected riparian owner to do so.
      • 4.18.3. Construction of docks, piers and other in-water structures should not infringe on the riparian rights of the owners of the adjoining properties.
      4.19. Avoiding and Eliminating Unauthorized Encroachments into Navigable Water: No structures (including docks, piers, floats, pilings, bulkheads and moorings) shall be placed, nor any other work (such as dredging or filling) undertaken waterward of the ordinary high water line without necessary City, State or Federal authorization. All unauthorized structures and other work extending into the Federal navigation channel or into any other areas waterward of the ordinary high water line should be considered unauthorized encroachments and eliminated or otherwise corrected.
      • 4.19.1. All existing unauthorized encroachments (those predating the effective date of the Harbor Management Plan, and identified either prior to or after the effective date of the Plan) should be evaluated individually and specific measures developed to remove or otherwise correct these existing violations.
      • 4.19.2. Any future unauthorized encroachments (those that may be constructed or occur after the effective date of the Harbor Management Plan) should be eliminated by the offending party without delay. Accountable City, State and Federal regulatory agencies should take appropriate legal actions necessary to correct such violations. Issuance of “after-the-fact” permits that would bring future unauthorized encroachments into compliance should generally not be considered unless there are compelling, clearly demonstrated reasons to do so.
    • 4.20. Use and Conservation of Fisheries Resources: Recreational and commercial fishing activities are encouraged and supported, in balance with other water-dependent recreational and commercial uses of the Harbor Management Area and with consideration of the sustainable capacity of fisheries resources in the HMA.
      • 4.20.1. Opportunities for vessel-and shore-based recreational fishing in the HMA should be maintained and to the extent feasible, enhanced.
  • 5.0. WATERFRONT DEVELOPMENT, ACCESS, AND LAND USE POLICIES
    • 5.1. Encouragement of Water-Dependent and Water-Enhanced Economic Development: Opportunities for stimulating economic growth through beneficial water-dependent and water-enhance development of the City’s waterfront adjoining the Harbor Management Area are encouraged and supported.
      • 5.1.1 Implementation of the provisions of the Middletown Plan of Conservation and Development (incorporating the “Downtown Visions 2000 and Beyond Plan”) affecting use and development of the waterfront is encouraged and supported.
      • 5.1.2. Beneficial waterfront uses and facilities that require direct access to or location in the HMA, including uses and facilities that provide public access to the HMA, should be encouraged and supported through implementation of the Middletown Plan of Conservation and Development and the City’s waterfront zoning requirements.
      • 5.1.3. Beneficial waterfront uses and facilities that do not require direct access to or location in the HMA but contribute to the efficient functioning of a water-dependent use and/or increase the public’s enjoyment of the waterfront and HMA should be encouraged and supported through implementation of the Middletown Plan of Conservation and Development and the City’s waterfront zoning requirements.
    • 5.2. Provision of Public Access to the Waterfront and Harbor Management Area: Provision of facilities and opportunities for beneficial public access to the Harbor Management Area, consistent with the capacities of the Waterfront and Harbor Management Area to accommodate those facilities and opportunities, is encouraged and supported. Public access is considered to be physical and/or visual access to the HMA that will be available to all members of the general public and not be limited to any particular groups or individuals.
      • 5.2.1. Facilities and areas for public access to the HMA should be provided in coordination with implementation of the Middletown Plan of Conservation and Development (incorporating the Downtown Visions 2000 and Beyond Plan”).
      • 5.2.2. Pedestrian access facilities should be provided to link Connecticut River water access facilities with Downtown Middletown. Pedestrian access facilities should be designed to enhance City redevelopment initiatives and promote beneficial transient boating activities by visitors to the City.
      • 5.2.3. Provision of public access to the HMA through existing City-owned lands, water access right-of-ways, and other publicly owned areas is encouraged and supported. The City should pursue any suitable opportunities that may arise in the future to provide for increased water access, including opportunities for public acquisition of waterfront land.
      • 5.2.4. To the extent feasible and practical, the City should require the provision of well-designed facilities and opportunities for public access to the HMA through all new waterfront development projects.
      • 5.2.5. When considering opportunities for public access to the HMA, concerns pertaining to security, maintenance, public safety, visual quality and the rights of shorefront property owners should be adequately addressed.
      • 5.2.6. Use of public access areas and facilities should be carefully monitored and all regulations pertaining to the use of those areas and facilities strictly enforced.
    • 5.3 Provision of Boat Launching Access: The establishment and maintenance of a public boat launching facility or facilities providing access to the Harbor Management Area for trailered boats is encouraged and supported, consistent with demonstrated need and the capacities of waterfront and HMA resources to accommodate that facility or facilities.
      • 5.3.1. Provision of a public boat launching facility at a suitable waterfront location to enable swift, safe and effective access to the HMA for emergency response and law enforcement purposes by the Middletown Police and Fire departments and other duly authorized agencies and personnel is encouraged and supported.
      • 5.3.2. Provision of a public boat launching facility at a suitable waterfront location to enable safe and enjoyable access to the HMA for recreational boating purposes is encouraged and supported.
      • 5.3.3. The establishment and maintenance of small craft launching and landing areas at suitable waterfront locations is encouraged and supported to serve small vessels, including canoes and kayaks, that can be transported without trailers.
    • 5.4. Maintaining Waterfront Areas and Facilities: Public and private waterfront areas and facilities should be maintained in a timely, effective manner to provide a clean, attractive waterfront and safe and enjoyable public spaces.
      • 5.4.1. Necessary capabilities needed to maintain City-owned waterfront properties and facilities, including budget, staff and equipment capabilities, should be maintained and, to the extent feasible, enhanced.
      • 5.4.2. Municipal infrastructure affecting the Harbor Management Area, including storm drainage facilities and shore protection structures, should be inspected and monitored on a regular basis and maintained and improved, where necessary.
      • 5.4.3. No building, pier, dock, bulkhead, seawall or other waterfront structure in or adjoining the HMA should be allowed to deteriorate to the extent that it poses a hazard or obstruction to navigation or causes a significantly adverse impact on environmental quality.
      • 5.4.4. Any deteriorated building, pier, dock, bulkhead, seawall or other waterfront structure should be repaired or replaced where such deterioration is contributing to under-utilization of the waterfront, causing significantly adverse impacts on environmental quality or creating a public health or safety hazard.
    • 5.5. Providing Parking Space for Waterfront Access: Suitable parking facilities should be provided and maintained to facilitate public access to the Harbor Management Area, consistent with the capacities of waterfront properties and resources to accommodate those facilities and consistent with the beneficial character of surrounding land uses.
      • 5.5.1. All parking facilities should be designed and constructed to incorporate public safety requirements, including unobstructed visibility of parking areas and access for emergency vehicles.
    • 5.6. Encouraging Special Waterfront Events and Activities: Special waterfront events, festivals and other activities such as regattas and fishing tournaments that attract City residents and visitors to the Harbor Management Area, provide public enjoyment and stimulate public interest and community involvement in matters pertaining to the HMA are encouraged and supported.
    • 5.7. Redevelopment of Underutilized Properties: Redevelopment of vacant or underutilized properties on or near the waterfront is encouraged and supported where that development is consistent with applicable City, State and Federal policies, plans and regulations and where that redevelopment is expected to result in significant and long-term beneficial impacts on the future character of the waterfront and Harbor Management Area.
    • 5.8. Mitigating Potential Adverse Impacts of Waterfront Development: All public and private waterfront development proposals affecting the Harbor Management Area should be carefully planned and reviewed to mitigate any potentially significant impacts on beneficialmuses and conditions in the HMA.
      • 5.8.1. Public and private waterfront development proposals affecting the HMA will be reviewed for consistency with the Harbor Management Plan. (See “Institutional Framework” Policies.)
      • 5.8.2. All City-supported planning and development initiatives affecting the HMA should be undertaken in the most coordinated manner possible and should have consistent project objectives related to future use of the HMA and protection of environmental quality and resources.
      • 5.8.3. The potential impacts of waterfront development proposals on future water uses and activities should be an important consideration in the design of waterfront development proposals and in the review of those proposals for consistency with the Harbor Management Plan.
    • 5.9. Planning and Construction of Shore Protection Measures: Shore protection measures should be carefully planned and constructed to protect waterfront areas and facilities from shoreline erosion and to support beneficial waterfront use and development (See Public Health, Safety and Welfare Policies).
      • 5.9.1. Structural measures including, but not limited to, bulkheads and riprap to stabilize the shoreline and/or protect existing development from flooding and erosion should be carefully planned and constructed so that the application of these measures will not result in significantly adverse impacts on natural resources, ecological functions and adjacent properties. Consideration should be given to the application of bio-engineered measures as an alternative to traditional structural measures to mitigate erosion impacts.
      • 5.9.2. A coordinated, area-wide approach to the repair or development of structural shore protection measures is encouraged and supported.
    • 5.10 Utilization of Waterfront Rail Line: Beneficial use of the State-owned rail line that generally follows the Connecticut River shoreline at Middletown is encouraged and supported, including commercial use for hauling freight and other materials and development of waterfront tourism linkages between Middletown and Hartford and between Middletown and the lower Connecticut valley towns.
      • 5.10.1. City plans affecting waterfront use and development, including plans for improved access to the HMA, should be formulated with consideration of requirements for railroad use and access.
    • 5.11. Acquisition and Management of Waterfront Open Space: City acquisition (through purchase or donation) of land and easements adjoining the Harbor Management Area for open space purposes, including flood protection, conservation, wetland protection, recreation, education, public access to the HMA and other open space purposes, is encouraged and supported.
      • 5.11.1 Use of City-owned open space properties should be in accordance with management plans prepared by the City to guide beneficial public use of those properties in concert with protection of environmental resources.
    • 5.12. Establishment of a Water and Waterfront Trail System: Establishment of an interconnected system of water and waterfront trails for canoeists, kayakers, walkers and cyclists on and near the Middletown waterfront is encouraged and supported to increase waterfront vitality, link waterfront public spaces, provide educational benefits and increase public use and enjoyment of the waterfront and Harbor Management Area.
      • 5.12.1. A water trail system within the HMA should be developed in coordination with the towns of Portland and Cromwell and include canoe and kayak access areas at suitable locations.
    • 5.13. Encouragement of Water-Based Tourism: Expansion of water-based tourism activities and the associated economic, recreational and other benefits of those activities at Middletown is encouraged and supported.
      • 5.13.1. Establishment of tour boat linkages between Middletown, Hartford and the lower Connecticut Valley towns is encouraged and supported
      • 5.13.2. Use of the State-owned rail line that generally follows the Connecticut River shoreline from Old Saybrook to Middletown to develop future tourism linkage between Middletown and other Connecticut River towns is encouraged and supported.

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