Waterways

The Waterways regulations (310 CMR 9.00) protect public trust lands, including waterways and filled former tidelands. Recent amendments effective on March 10, 2017 explain the requirements for Facilities of Public Accommodations (“FPA”) to protect public rights and benefits of the transient public along the waterfront and water-dependent marine uses (fishing, boat repair, commercial passenger and shipping) in Designated Port Areas (“DPA”) from displacement by non-water dependent commercial, residential and recreation uses. Difficulties in securing long-term FPA uses (restaurants, retail stores, hotels, museums) on the ground floor of buildings on filled public and private tidelines, prompted amendments that now allow the substitution of Facilities of Limited Accommodation (“FLA”) (310 CMR 9.56). There are strict qualifying and design criteria, and payment of 20% of net operating income to fund waterfront activities. Future review is required to determine if a FPA can be supported.
EOEEA has promulgated amendments to two sets of waterfront-related regulations implemented by the Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management Program (“Mass CZM”). First is a voluntary procedure for municipalities to secure approval of Municipal Harbor Plans by Mass CZM to guide MassDEP in making decisions under Chapter 91 (301 CMR 23.00). Second are revisions to the procedures for setting and modifying the boundaries of Designated Port Areas by Mass CZM in order to increase flexibility for allowing new and expanded economic development opportunities while still protecting current and future marine and industrial uses. (301 CMR 25.00)