Laberge Group was commissioned by the Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development (SCOPED) to develop the Village of Watkins Glen Lakefront Management & Development Strategy. Watkins Glen is situated at the southern tip of Seneca Lake, in the heart of the Finger Lakes region of New York State.
The great waterfronts of the world share a stubborn insistence on quality design with a vision for grand public spaces that are often attached to neighborhoods that act as intimate places to escape the crowds. Through this Strategy, Watkins Glen hopes to capture “the magic” of waterfronts and to pave the way for a new vision that builds on the Village’s history and unique character.
Implementation of the Strategy will allow the Village to not only imagine itself as a place where living, working and playing are linked to the unique natural resource of Seneca Lake, but to consider the possibility that this resource can be experienced as a continuous waterfront system. From vibrant public spaces, fresh-water beaches, tree-lined, and pedestrian scaled trails, the waterfront vision will achieve a future new image that is a priceless asset, capable of generating an immeasurable return for generations to come. As a result, five focused elements with specific goals and strategies were created for the Village. These five focused elements included:
- Physical improvements (Seneca Lakefront improvements, Clute Park/Tank Beach improvements, and Seneca Canal improvements).
- Access & connections (regional access, local access & improvements, and water transportation improvements).
- Signage & streetscape (signage, streetscape, and design guidelines, site planning & land use regulations).
- Economic development (tourism, recreational & cultural activities, economic development opportunities, and land use recommendations).
- Sustainability & environmental quality (reduce, reuse & recycle, natural resources, and education & policy).