Washington State Department of Ecology - August 26, 2013

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Comment sought on Seattle's shoreline program update

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

The comment period ends on Oct. 4, 2013. Ecology will host a public meeting and hearing on Sept. 11.

The proposed updated shoreline program will guide construction and development along Seattle’s 86 miles of marine, lake and estuarine shorelines. It combines local plans for future development and preservation with new development ordinances and related permitting requirements.

The city’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 (SMA), Ecology must review and approve Seattle’s proposed shoreline program before it takes effect. Cities and counties statewide are in the process of, or soon will be, updating or developing their shoreline programs.

Comments and questions may be sent to Joe Burcar, Department of Ecology, Shorelands and Environmental Assistance program, 3190 160th Ave. SE, Bellevue, WA 98008-5452, or by email to Joe.Burcar@ecy.wa.gov.

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

The Sept. 11 open house and public hearing will take place in the Bertha Landes Room at Seattle City Hall, 601 Fifth Ave., Seattle. City and Ecology 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 will organize the comments received and forward them to the city for a response. After receiving the response, Ecology may approve the city’s proposed shoreline program as written, reject it or identify specific provisions that need modification to meet the SMA and applicable state regulations.

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

Seattle’s proposed master program contains:

The proposed master program also supports the broader initiative to protect and restore Puget Sound.

Washington’s cities and counties with regulated shorelines must update their programs by December 2014. These updates must follow Ecology regulations that implement the Legislature’s adoption of a 2003 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

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

Bryan Stevens, City of Seattle, 206-684-5045Bryan.Stevens@seattle.gov

For more information:

Seattle's proposed shoreline master program:

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)