Land-use plan emphasizes access to waterways

Published 11:46 pm Tuesday, September 11, 2007

By Staff
Improving, expanding waterfront, greenways among guidelines
Contributing Editor
Washington’s revised land-use plan — to be reviewed by the state later this month — calls for improving and expanding the city’s waterfront and dock facilities and the greenway along Jack’s Creek.
That’s why the land-use plan calls for expanding and improving the city’s waterfront, docks and greenway along Jack’s Creek, Roberson said. The more access the public has to waterways in the city, the better off residents, visitors and the city will be, he said.
With the city promoting itself as a waterfront community and the Pamilco-Tar River here, it makes sense for the city to provide plenty of access to its waterways, Roberson said.
Washington Mayor Judy Meier Jennette said the city is trying to “create a better interface between the public and the river.”
Extending the boardwalk ties in with the city’s pedestrian plan, which calls for linking areas of the city with trails, she said.
The land-use plan reports the city wants to expand waterfront access, especially the number of boat slips available, to make the waterfront more accessible and attractive. To accomplish that goal, the city plans to install movable and expandable T docks.
Earlier this year, the city received a $300,000 grant to help pay for building two additional T docks for its waterfront.
The land-use plan also calls for incorporating some lots in the Jack’s Creek basin into the proposed greenway along the creek.
Several flood-prone properties along Jack’s Creek, from about Sixth Street to River Road, were purchased by the city with Federal Emergency Management Agency funds in the wake of hurricane-related flooding in the late 1990s. Under FEMA regulations, those lots cannot be developed or sold.
In February 2005, the City Council approved a greenway plan that encourages development of a recreational greenway that runs the entire length of Jack’s Creek from Sixth Street to Pamlico River and that connects to the waterfront boardwalk near the North Carolina Estuarium.
The project would increase ecotourism and conservation of natural resources, according to city officials.