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Lockport waterfront plan advances

After six years of work, the city's plan for sprucing up its waterfront is almost ready for adoption.

The Common Council voted last week to submit its Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan to state agencies and Niagara County for a 60-day review period.

The plan then can be changed to reflect the state comments before returning to the Council for final passage.

The plan, which covers both the Erie Canal and Eighteenmile Creek, envisions rezoning several small areas to make the zoning map conform to what's actually on the land, according to Community Development Director William J. Evert.

The Council, however, would have to approve any rezonings after public hearings; adopting the plan will not change any zoning, Corporation Counsel John J. Ottaviano said.

The waterfront plan will make Lockport eligible for more state and federal economic development grants, Evert said.

"Most grants require you to have a plan," he said.

"It is supposed to give us a leg up for grants that become available for canal-related projects," Ottaviano said.

The city has two canal projects on the drawing board: the restoration of the original Flight of Five canal locks to working order, and the Upper Harbor Marina, a long-range proposal.

Wendel Duchscherer Architects & Engineers of Amherst did most of the work in preparing the plan, with guidance from a citizens committee.

The zoning changes would involve such situations as an area with several houses that is zoned for industrial use and a residential zone that actually contains small businesses.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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