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PRINTER'S NO. 209
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
238
Session of
2021
INTRODUCED BY DRISCOLL, SCHLOSSBERG, ISAACSON, NEILSON,
KIRKLAND, SANCHEZ, HILL-EVANS, A. DAVIS, LONGIETTI, DAVIDSON,
HOHENSTEIN, ROZZI, KINKEAD, FREEMAN, BURGOS AND T. DAVIS,
JANUARY 25, 2021
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, JANUARY 25, 2021
AN ACT
Providing for the Waterfront Redevelopment Grant Program;
establishing the Waterfront Redevelopment Fund; and imposing
powers and duties on the Department of Community and Economic
Development.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Short title.
This act shall be known and may be cited as the Waterfront
Redevelopment Grant Program Act.
Section 2. Legislative intent.
The General Assembly finds and declares as follows:
(1) The primary objective of this act is to revitalize
coastal waters and waterfronts across this Commonwealth,
create new jobs and stimulate private investment, increase
property values and provide waterfront access for the public.
(2) The establishment of a grant program to provide
money for waterfront redevelopment across this Commonwealth
would protect and enhance the health and well-being of our
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Commonwealth's environment.
(3) A vibrant and healthy environment, especially along
the coastal waters and waterfronts of this Commonwealth,
would improve the overall health and well-being of citizens
throughout this Commonwealth.
Section 3. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Applicant." A municipal or county government, other
political subdivision, an industrial or economic development or
redevelopment authority or entity.
"Department." The Department of Community and Economic
Development of the Commonwealth.
"Fund." The Waterfront Redevelopment Fund established under
section 5.
"Program." The Waterfront Redevelopment Grant Program
established under section 4.
"Secretary." The Secretary of Community and Economic
Development of the Commonwealth.
"Waterfront redevelopment plan." A plan that provides for
the improvement of a waterfront and meets the requirements under
section 4(c).
Section 4. Waterfront Redevelopment Grant Program.
(a) Establishment.--The Waterfront Redevelopment Grant
Program is established and shall be administered by the
department. The purpose of the program shall be to issue grants
to protect and revitalize coastal waters and waterfronts across
this Commonwealth.
(b) Application.--An applicant must submit a written grant
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application to the department in a manner prescribed by the
department. The application must include the following
information:
(1) A detailed description of the project and how the
grant would be used, including any private sector
participation.
(2) A copy of the waterfront redevelopment plan required
under subsection (c) for the area in which the project is to
be located.
(3) An explanation of how the project will contribute
significantly to economic and community redevelopment or the
revitalization of adjacent communities.
(4) An explanation of how the project will provide for
public access to the waterfront or will provide recreational
opportunities for the public, if applicable.
(5) If the project includes the purchase of property, an
identification of the intended use of the property and a
timeline for redevelopment of the property.
(6) The total cost of the project and the source of the
matching funds required under subsection (f)(2).
(7) A detailed description of the practices the
applicant will implement and maintain to control nonpoint
source pollution from the project site.
(8) Other information that the department may require.
(c) Waterfront redevelopment plan.--An applicant that
applies for a grant shall prepare a waterfront redevelopment
plan. The waterfront redevelopment plan, at a minimum, shall:
(1) Clearly designate the geographic area included
within the waterfront planning area.
(2) Identify the economic impact on the improved area,
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the surrounding neighborhood and the region in which the
waterfront planning area is located.
(3) Provide any additional information as required by
the department for waterfront redevelopment plans.
(d) Publication and notice.--The department shall transmit
notice of the program's availability to the Legislative
Reference Bureau for publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
(e) Department action.--
(1) The department shall review the application and,
within 60 days of receipt of an application, approve or
disapprove the application. An application that has not been
approved or disapproved by the department within the 60-day
period shall be deemed approved.
(2) In reviewing grant applications, the department
shall consider all of the following:
(i) Whether the project proposed to be funded is
authorized under this act.
(ii) Whether the grant application submitted
complies with this act.
(iii) Consistency of the project with the waterfront
redevelopment plan required under subsection (c) for the
area in which the project is located.
(iv) Additional public access to the waterfront or
recreational opportunities for the public provided by the
project.
(v) Significant contribution by the project to the
region's economic and community redevelopment or the
revitalization of adjacent communities.
(vi) Evidence of adverse economic and socioeconomic
conditions within the waterfront planning area.
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(vii) The viability of the waterfront redevelopment
plan required under subsection (c).
(viii) The level of public and private commitment
and other resources available for the project.
(ix) The level of demonstrated commitment from local
governments and other local political subdivisions.
(x) The level of public and private commitment to
improving abandoned real property within the waterfront
planning area in which the project is located.
(xi) The level of public input and public
notification regarding the proposed project.
(xii) Documentation of the approval of or access to
the matching funds required under subsection (f)(2) and
the source of the matching funds.
(xiii) Other criteria that the department and the
commission consider relevant.
(f) Award of grants.--
(1) The department may issue a grant award to approved
applicants for projects that contribute to the revitalization
of waterfronts throughout this Commonwealth that meet any of
the following purposes:
(i) Provide for response activities on waterfront
property consistent with a waterfront redevelopment plan.
(ii) Provide for the demolition of buildings and
other facilities along a waterfront that are inconsistent
with a waterfront redevelopment plan.
(iii) Provide for the acquisition of waterfront
property or the assembly of waterfront property
consistent with a waterfront redevelopment plan.
(iv) Provide public infrastructure and public
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facility improvements to waterfront property consistent
with a waterfront redevelopment plan.
(2) For each grant issued under this subsection, the
department shall require that an approved applicant provide
matching funds of at least 25% of the project's total cost
from other public or private funding sources.
(3) Grants may be awarded on a pro rata basis if the
total dollar amount of the approved application exceeds the
amount of funds appropriated by the General Assembly for the
program.
Section 5. Waterfront Redevelopment Fund.
(a) Establishment.--The Waterfront Redevelopment Fund is
established in the State Treasury. All appropriations,
contributions and alternative funds received by the department
as authorized by State law to protect and revitalize coastal
waters and waterfronts across this Commonwealth shall be
deposited into the fund.
(b) Allocation of funds.--All money in the fund is hereby
appropriated on a continuing basis to the department and shall
be used as follows:
(1) At least 85% of the fund shall be used by the
department for grants authorized under this act.
(2) Not more than 15% of the fund may be used by the
department for State and local administration and program
services.
(c) Alternative funding.--The department may solicit and
accept alternative funding, including Federal funds, grants and
donations from any source to assist with the goals of this act.
All money received by the department under this act to protect
and revitalize coastal waters and waterfronts across this
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Commonwealth shall be deposited into the fund.
Section 6. Reports.
The department shall submit an annual report to the General
Assembly on expenditures from the fund and the progress of the
public outreach required under section 7.
Section 7. Public outreach.
(a) General rule.--From the money available for
administration as authorized under section 5(b)(2), the
department shall conduct Statewide outreach to inform the public
of the grant program and the grant's purpose to protect and
revitalize coastal waters and waterfronts across this
Commonwealth.
(b) Evaluation.--The department shall evaluate the
effectiveness of the funds provided under this act in protecting
and revitalizing coastal waters and waterfronts across this
Commonwealth and make changes as necessary to the outreach
described under subsection (a).
Section 8. Rules and regulations.
The department shall promulgate rules and regulations in
accordance with the act of June 25, 1982 (P.L.633, No.181),
known as the Regulatory Review Act, necessary to administer the
program and carry out its duties under this act.
Section 9. Effective date.
This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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