Washington State Department of Ecology - July 3, 2013

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Lake Forest Park shoreline program approved

Bellevue - The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) has approved Lake Forest Park’s updated shoreline master program.

The city’s shoreline program will result in significant improvements in the protection, use, development and restoration of 2.2 miles of shorelines and the water quality of Lake Washington.

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

“We greatly appreciate Lake Forest Park’s commitment in update its shoreline master program,” said Erik Stockdale, Ecology’s regional shorelines program supervisor. “City staff, elected officials and numerous other people devoted significant time and energy toward this effort. With its updates, Lake Forest Park’s shoreline program will ensure long-term protection of shoreline areas adjacent to Lake Washington.”

Cities, towns and counties statewide are in the process of, or soon will be, updating or developing 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.

Lake Forest Park’s process brought diverse local interests to the table to work collaboratively. The  process began with a thorough inventory of existing land-use patterns and environmental conditions that were  completed with consultant support.

The city established a shoreline advisory group at the start of  the process to represent waterfront property owners, parks and recreational interests, and community clubs. The city also reached out to tribal government representatives and state and local resource agency staff throughout the update process.

The Lake Forest Park shoreline master program:

Under state law, the local shoreline program must be approved by Ecology before taking effect. It then becomes part of the state shoreline master program and the department will help defend the city’s 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

Joe Burcar, Ecology shorelines planner, 425-649-7145,  joe.burcar@ecy.wa.gov

Steve Bennett, Lake Forest Park Planning Director, 206-368-5440, SBennett@ci.lake-forest-park.wa.us

For more information:

Lake Forest Park shoreline master program (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/sea/shorelines/smp/mycomments/lakeforestpark.html)

City of Lake Forest Park (www.cityoflfp.com/) 

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

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