Washington State Department of Ecology - May 14, 2013

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Woodway shoreline master program approved

BELLEVUE - The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) has approved the Town of Woodway’s updated shoreline master program.

The town’s shoreline program will result in significant improvements in the protection, use, development and restoration of 1.5 miles of stream and Puget Sound shoreline. It also includes a half-mile of marine shoreline at Point Wells, a potential annexation area. 

The updated master program combines local plans for future shoreline development and preservation with new shoreline development ordinances and related permitting requirements.

“Woodway has developed a shoreline master program that will help the statewide effort to protect the economic and environmental health of our waterways, including Puget Sound. We appreciate the town’s work to involve many interested parties in this update. Together, we are protecting our treasured shoreline resources now and for future generations,” said Erik Stockdale, Ecology’s acting regional shorelines program supervisor.

Cities, towns and counties statewide are in the process of, or soon will be updating or crafting, their master programs under the state’s 1972 voter-approved Shoreline Management Act.

Shoreline master programs are the cornerstone of the act. The law requires cities and counties with regulated shorelines to develop and periodically update their locally tailored programs 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.

Woodway’s  process brought diverse local interests to the table to work collaboratively. The town developed the shoreline program and supporting documentation in collaboration with local community groups, elected officials, businesses, residents, other local jurisdictions and state agencies, tribal governments and environmental groups. The process began with a thorough inventory of existing land-use patterns and environmental conditions and was completed with consultant support. The Woodway Planning Commission oversaw preparation of the program for approval by the Town Council. 

The Town of Woodway shoreline master program:

Under state law, the local shoreline plan must be approved by Ecology before taking effect. It then becomes part of the state shoreline master program. The department will help defend town’s shoreline program against legal challenges.

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 contact:

 Larry Altose, Ecology media relations, 425-649-7009, larry.altose@ecy.wa.gov

 Bobbak Talebi, Ecology shoreline planner, 425-649-7199, Bobbak.talebi@ecy.wa.gov

 Heidi K. S. Napolitino, Town of Woodway, 206-542-4443, Heidi@townofwoodway.com

For more information:

Woodway shoreline master program (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/sea/shorelines/smp/mycomments/woodway.html)

More about 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)