Government & Public Entities

Municipalities and governments have unique tools available for creating and maintaining access, such as land use planning and regulations that protect natural resources and water quality. Governments have authority from several fundamental legal doctrines to use their regulatory power on behalf of the public, with restrictions.

How can state and local governments plan for coastal access?

Comprehensive planning and public access master planning can reduce and direct the types of development that are incompatible with access, and provide incentives for developers to provide access to the public. See Plan and Regulate for Access.

How can we enhance existing or create new coastal access in our jurisdiction?

  • Purchase land with water access, or acquire access rights from a willing seller. Go to the 'Acquiring Access' page
  • Establish land use regulations to create or enhance access.

How can we secure or manage existing public access?

  • Re-establish rights of way for managed public access at VDOT road endings.
  • Acquire or secure an easement.
  • Plan for access.

What is the role of land trusts as public interest entities in planning, enhancing, creating, securing and managing access?

Land Trusts and conservation organizations can serve as third party interests in addressing access issues with easements. For more information, contact Virginia Outdoors Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, and the Middle Peninsula Land Trust.