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Public Access Planning and Design
Model Municipalities

NJ Department of Environmental Protection, Coastal Management Office, Public Access in New Jersey: the Public Trust Doctrine and Practical Steps to Enhance Public Access, by Robert Freudenberg, Trenton, NJ, 2006 (pdf)

IV. Opportunities for Providing Public Access

H. Model Municipalities
While an inventory of public access sites can capture the current state of public access within a municipality, the idea of model municipalities considers what the future of public access can look like. By determining a number of public access characteristics according to community type, municipalities can use the above tools to achieve the goals listed below:

  1. Beachfront
    • Presence of a municipally-owned beach with dry sand and area below mean high water line open to public
    • Accessways to beaches clearly identified and marked with signs, every ¼ mile, preserved in a conservation restriction
    • Frequently updated shorefront management plan with public access inventory (as part of or in addition to Master Plan)
    • Presence of parking lots or available street parking in close proximity to access sites or alternative parking such as an offsite shuttle
    • Restroom/shower facilities at reasonable distances along beach
    • Street ends preserved for access
    • Protected sensitive areas (e.g. dunes, piping plover habitat)
    • Published inventory of access points freely available to public
  2. Bayshore
    • Presence of municipal waterfront park(s) marked with access signs and with facilities
    • Street ends preserved for visual/actual access
    • Adequate parking for public near access points
    • Boat ramps for both power and manual boats
    • Availability of public dockage/slips in marinas
    • Protected sensitive areas (e.g. wetlands)
    • Presence of municipal waterfront park(s) marked with access signs and with facilities
    • Street ends preserved for visual/actual access
    • Adequate parking for public near access points
    • Boat ramps for both power and manual boats
    • Availability of public dockage/slips in marinas
    • Protected sensitive areas (e.g. wetlands)
  3. Riverfront
    • Lateral trails/walkways along length of river, development setback to include lighting, benches, amenities, 24-hour access and perpendicular access
    • Street ends preserved for visual/actual access
    • Presence of municipal waterfront park(s) marked with access signs and with facilities
    • Boat ramps for both power and manual boats
    • Protected sensitive areas (e.g. wetlands, threatened and endangered species habitat)
  4. Urban Waterfront
    • Walkways along shoreline integrating urban environment with natural coastal environment
    • Accessways integrated into industrial zones
    • Street ends preserved for visual/actual access
    • Development restrictions that preserve and encourage physical and visual access
    • Boat ramps for both power and manual boats

I. Design Guideline Matrix
A design guideline matrix can help to evaluate a municipality and identify opportunities for public access. Provided below is one example of a design guideline matrix with some suggestions.

 

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