|Department personnel manage a number of planning programs that make Erie County a better place to live, work and play. Each program either plans for or implements development projects that are consistent with the Framework for Regional Growth, the County’s adopted comprehensive plan, and that create a sense of place in communities that enrich people’s lives.|
|Framework for Regional Growth||Erie and Niagara Counties published the Framework for Regional Growth in 2006. The Framework assists the public and private sectors in Erie and Niagara Counties to make coordinated decisions about growth and development. It establishes a regional development vision and outlines policies, programs and projects that are consistent with that vision. It is the policy of Erie County to follow the Framework in connection with all actions and decisions concerning growth and development in the County. Click here to visit the Framework for Regional Growth website.|
The Department leads the planning and construction of waterfront land use and access projects. Current projects include the County’s Black Rock Canal Park, a number of waterfront bicycle and pedestrian trails and coordinated signage for the Niagara River Greenway trail along Erie County’s waterfront.
Click here to visit the Niagara River Greenway Wayfinding Standards & Signage Manual
|Municipal Referrals||The Department is responsible for conducting reviews and making recommendations within 30 days concerning certain development projects submitted by municipalities to Erie County pursuant to Section 239 of New York State General Municipal Law.|
|Local Planning Assistance||
Department personnel provide training and technical assistance to municipal boards, including planning and zoning boards. If you are interested in scheduling a training session or need technical assistance please contact the Planning Division.
Additional planning assistance is available to municipalities updating their municipal master plans or zoning.
For information on innovative zoning techniques and affordable housing, click here to download our Fair Housing and Local Land Use Law Handbook.
|Environmental Reviews||The Department of Environment and Planning, Division of Planning is designated by the County Executive as the environmental review “coordinator” for Erie County actions (capital projects, physical construction, plan & policy making, laws ordinances, executive orders & regulations) undertaken, funded or approved by the county, that may affect the environment by changing the use, appearance or condition of any natural resource or structure. The reviews are carried out in conformance with State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations. Assistance is provided in the preparation of environmental assessments, the lead agency solicitation process and subsequent determinations and findings (positive/negative declarations, EIS, FONSI) regarding the possible environmental impacts of proposed county actions. The division also responds to environmental reviews of municipal government actions which involve county funding or approvals.|
|County Lands Advisory Review Committee||The Department reviews proposed County land acquisitions, transfers or sales in accordance with state and local laws and for consistency with the Framework for Regional Growth. The Department coordinates those reviews through a committee that consists of the Commissioner of Parks and Recreation, the Commissioner of Public Works, the County Attorney and the Director of Real Property Tax Services.|
|Capital Improvements Program||The Department plays a lead role in coordination and review of proposed capital projects. Department personnel manage the environmental review process for capital projects and also review capital projects for consistency with the Framework for Region Growth.|
The Department supports the County’s vibrant agricultural economy through farmland protection programs including countywide agricultural and farmland protection planning and agricultural district establishment, renewals and annual additions. Department personnel also provide administrative and policy support to the Erie County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board.Learn more about our agricultural programs here.
|Arts & Culture||
Department personnel coordinate financial support for and data collection on arts and cultural institutions in the County. Click here to visit the Arts & Culture page.