The riverfront plan for Belhaven imagined the underutilized waterfront properties with new uses, including a marina, residential development, and a mixed use building in the center of town.
After the waterfront master plan for Belhaven was completed, Allison Platt & Associates was hired to prepare a master plan for the downtown. This area is prone to flooding, and to deal with this problem, a two-part solution was recommended. First, the inlet in the center of town was expanded to the north into a park with wetlands, to help absorb stormwater and create an open space amenity in the center of town. Second, it was proposed that all new buildings in the downtown be set back from the right of way and raised above flood level. To make the transitions more graceful on the street, the setback was to be used as an elevated and expanded sidewalk with outdoor dining. In this way the small number of historic buildings could remain, while allowing new buildings to avoid the severe flooding problems that have hampered revitalization of the downtown.