Washington State Department of Ecology - March 15, 2013

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Public comments sought on Port Angeles proposed updated shoreline program

OLYMPIA – The state Department of Ecology (Ecology) is seeking public comment on the city of Port Angeles’ recently updated shoreline master program and also inviting people to attend an open house and public hearing on Monday March 18.

The proposed updated shoreline master program combines local plans for future development and preservation with new development ordinances and related permitting requirements. The open house and public hearing will be held Monday March 18 at the Vernon Burton Community Center, 308 East 4th St., Port Angeles. The open house begins at 6 p.m. and the hearing starts at 7 p.m. People are invited to provide verbal testimony or, alternately, submit written comments at the hearing.

Ecology will accept public comment on Port Angeles’s proposed shoreline program through April 11. People do not need to attend the March 18 hearing to submit comments. Written comments and questions should be addressed to Jeffree Stewart, Department of Ecology, Shorelands and Environmental Assistance Program, P.O. Box 47775, Olympia, Wash. 98504-7775. Stewart can be reached by email at jeff.stewart@ecy.wa.gov or by phone at 360-407-6521.

The proposed shoreline master program update will guide and regulate new construction, development, and uses along marine shorelines from Dry Creek to the Clallam County line near Morse Creek. Port Angeles’ locally-tailored shoreline program is designed to help minimize environmental damage to shoreline areas, reserve appropriate areas for water-oriented uses, and protect the public’s right to public lands and waters.

Ecology Regional Shorelands Program Manager Paula Ehlers said: “Port Angeles’ shoreline master program is designed to help protect the economic and environmental vitality of our communities and our waters, including Puget Sound. Shorelines such as those in Port Angeles make Washington a remarkable place to live and are a vital part of our quality of life. By working together, we are protecting these treasured shoreline resources for ourselves as well as our children and future generations.”

Under Washington’s 1972 voter-approved Shoreline Management Act, Ecology must review and approve Port Angeles’ proposed shoreline program before it takes effect. About 195 cities and counties statewide are in the process or soon will be updating or crafting their master programs.

Port Angeles’ proposed shoreline program and related documents can be reviewed at:

After the public comment period is done, Ecology may approve the proposed shoreline master program as written, reject it or direct Port Angeles to modify specific parts. Once approved by Ecology, Port Angeles’ shoreline program will become part of the overall state shoreline master program. The city’s proposed master program:

All Washington cities and counties with regulated shorelines must update their programs by December 2014. They are following regulations adopted by Ecology in 2003. The regulations resulted from a negotiated settlement among 58 different parties including business interests, ports, environmental groups, shoreline user groups, cities and counties, Ecology and the courts.

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Media Contact:

Linda Kent, Ecology media relations, 360-407-6239, 360-791-9830 (cell); linda.kent@ecy.wa.gov

For more information:

Ecology’s website for Port Angeles’s proposed shoreline master program (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/sea/shorelines/smp/mycomments/PortAngeles.html)

More about shoreline master programs (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/sea/shorelines/smp)

Our Living Shorelines web portal (www.ecy.wa.gov/livingshorelines)

Ecology’s social media (www.ecy.wa.gov/about/newmedia.html)