Washington State Department of Ecology - April 23, 2013

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Ecology starts review and seeks comment on Island County’s proposed shoreline program update

BELLEVUE – The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) seeks public comment on Island County’s recently updated shoreline master program.

The proposed updated shoreline program will guide construction and development on the county’s 210 miles of marine and freshwater lake shorelines. The county’s proposed Shoreline Master Program consists of unique shoreline environment designations, buffers and setbacks. It combines local plans for future development and preservation with new development ordinances and related permitting requirements.

Island County’s locally tailored shoreline program is designed to help minimize environmental damage to shoreline areas, reserve appropriate areas for water-dependent and oriented uses, recognizes established residential uses and protects access to public land and waters.

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

Ecology will accept public comment on Island County’s proposed shoreline program until 5 p.m. on May 24, 2013. Ecology also invites the community to a public hearing and open house on May 1, 2013, in the Island County Commissioners Hearing Room at 1 Northeast Sixth Street in Coupeville. The open house begins at 6 p.m., followed by the hearing at 7 p.m.

Comments and questions should be addressed to David Pater, Department of Ecology, Shorelands and Environmental Assistance Program, 3190 160th Avenue SE Bellevue, Washington 98008, by email to david.pater@ecy.wa.gov, or call 425-649-4253.

Island County’s proposed shoreline program and related documents can be reviewed at:

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

Island County’s proposed updated master program:

Washington’s 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 Contacts:

Larry Altose, Regional Communications Manager, 425-649-7009, larry.altose@ecy.wa.gov

David Pater, Ecology Shoreline Planner, 425-649-4253, david.pater@ecy.wa.gov

Karen Stewart, SMP Coordinator Island County, 360-697-2348, k.stewart@co.island.wa.us

For more information:

Island County’s proposed shoreline master program:

Shoreline master programs (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/sea/shorelines/smp/index.html)

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

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