Department personnel manage a number of planning programs that improve the quality of life in Erie County. These programs plan for or implement development projects that are consistent with the Framework for Regional Growth, the County’s adopted comprehensive plan.
- Agricultural Planning
- Arts & Culture
- Capital Improvements Program
- Environmental Reviews
- Erie County Parks Master Plan
- Erie-Niagara Regional Framework
- Fisheries Advisory Board
- Local Government Training
- Local Planning Assistance
- Municipal Referrals
- Other Reports
- Waterfront Planning
The Department supports the County’s vibrant agricultural economy through agricultural programs including The County’s Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan and Agricultural District Program. Department personnel also provide administrative and policy support to the Erie County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board.
The Department plays a lead role in coordination and review of proposed capital projects. Department personnel review capital projects for consistency with the Framework for Regional Growth and manage the environmental review process for all capital projects.
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 and 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.
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 2003 Park Master Plan has been a valuable tool for County decision makers since its adoption by the Erie County Legislature in 2003. New demands have been placed on the park system not present in 2003 indicating a need for an updated master plan.
Erie & Niagara Counties have partnered to develop the Framework for Regional Growth, which establishes basic policies and principles to guide the future growth and development of the Region.
- Other regional plans:
- One Region Forward's Plan Library contains many municipal and regional plans for the region.
Local Planning Assistance
Department personnel provide technical assistance to municipal boards, such as planning and zoning boards, as well as to municipalities updating their master plans or zoning. If you need technical assistance, please contact Julie Barry, Deputy Commissioner, at 716-858-6716 or Julie.Barry@erie.gov in the Planning Division.
- DEP has prepared the Fair Housing and Local Land Use Law Handbook to assist municipalities with implementing innovative zoning techniques for affordable housing.
- In accordance with Initiatives for a Smart Economy 2.0, Erie County’s Department of Environment and Planning is assisting municipalities with comprehensive plan updates. Please see the Comprehensive Plan Updates page for more information.
- Prepare your municipality for the 2020 Census by signing up for the Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA).
- Other Resources:
New York State General Municipal Law Section 239 requires municipalities to refer certain projects and/or actions to Erie County for review. DEP reviews and makes a recommendation or provides comments on the project to the local board within 30 days. Please review sections 239-m and 239-n for more information on what should be forward for review.
- Click here to download the ZR1 Referral Form
- Click here to view the Erie County 239 Referral Process (Please review sections 239-m(1)(c) for what constitutes a "full statement of such proposed action")
- Agricultural Districts: According to New York State Agriculture and Markets Law, when an applicant applies for a rezoning, special use permit, site plan approval, use variance, or subdivision of parcels within 500 feet of a farm operation in an agricultural district, the applicant is required to fill out an Agricultural Data Statement
- Initiatives For A Stronger Community (March 2015)
- Initiatives For A Smart Economy 2.0 (June 2017)
- Initiatives For A Smart Economy - Bi-Annual Report (January 2017)
- Initiatives For A Smart Economy (June 2013)
The Department leads the planning and construction of waterfront land use and access projects. Currently, DEP is working on the County’s Black Rock Canal Park, Evans Shoreline Trail - Phases 2 and 3, and the Sunset View section of the Shoreline Trail in the City of Lackawanna. The department is also assisting the City of Tonawanda with their Intermodal Hub project in the downtown area.
Last updated: December 17, 2019 4:17pm