Washington State Department of Ecology - June 6, 2013

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Ecology seeks comment on Kitsap County’s shoreline program update

BELLEVUE - The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) is seeking public comment on Kitsap County’s recently updated shoreline master program.

The proposed updated shoreline program will guide construction and development within shoreline areas throughout the county. Kitsap County has extensive marine shorelines, along with a notable amount of freshwater, lake and stream segments that also qualify as shorelines of the state.

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

The county’s 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 land and waters.

Under Washington’s 1972 voter-approved Shoreline Management Act, Ecology must review and approve Kitsap County’s proposed shoreline program before it takes effect. More than 190 cities and counties statewide are in the process of, or soon will be, updating or crafting their shoreline programs.

Ecology will accept public comment on Kitsap County’s proposed shoreline program through July 12, 2013. Comments should be addressed to Joe Burcar, Department of Ecology, Shorelands and Environmental Assistance program, 3190 160th Ave S.E., Bellevue, WA 98008-5452; or by email to Joe.Burcar@ecy.wa.gov.

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

Ecology will host an open house and public hearing on the Kitsap County shoreline program proposal on Thursday June 20, 2013 in the Commissioners’ Chambers at the Kitsap County Administration Building, 619 Division St., Port Orchard. Officials from Ecology and county staff will be available to answer questions. The open house will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by the public hearing at 6:30 p.m.

After the public comment period, Ecology may approve the county’s proposed shoreline program as written, reject it or identify specific provisions that need modification to meet the Shoreline Management Act and applicable state regulations.

Once approved by Ecology, Kitsap County’s shoreline program will become part of the overall state shoreline master program.

Kitsap County’s proposed update 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, Communications Manager, 425-649-7009, Larry.Altose@ecy.wa.gov

Joe Burcar, Ecology Shoreline Planner, 425-649-7145, Joe.Burcar@ecy.wa.gov

Dave Greetham, Kitsap County Planner, 360-337-5777, Dgreetha@co.kitsap.wa.us

For more information:

Kitsap 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)