Washington State Department of Ecology - November 1, 2013

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Public comment sought on updated La Conner shoreline program

BELLINGHAM - The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) is seeking public comment on La Conner’s recently submitted shoreline master program.

The proposed updated shoreline program will guide construction and development in the town’s two miles of marine shorelines on the Swinomish Channel. It combines local plans for future development and preservation with new development ordinances and related permitting requirements.

La Conner’s locally tailored shoreline program is designed to help minimize environmental damage to shoreline areas, reserve appropriate areas for water-oriented uses, and protect access to public land and waters.

Under Washington’s 1972 voter-approved Shoreline Management Act, Ecology must review and approve La Conner’s proposed shoreline program before it takes effect. More than 200 local governments statewide are in the process of, or soon will be updating or developing, their shoreline programs.

Ecology will accept public comment on La Conner’s proposed shoreline program through Dec. 16, 2013. Comments and questions should be addressed to Bob Fritzen, Department of Ecology, 1440 10th St., Suite 102, Bellingham WA 98225, by email to bob.fritzen@ecy.wa.gov, or call 360-715-5207.

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

After the public comment period, Ecology may approve La Conner’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, La Conner’s shoreline program will become part of the overall state shoreline master program.

La Conner’s proposed updated master program:

Washington’s cities and counties with regulated shorelines must update their programs by December 2014, 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, Ecology media relations, 425-649-7009, larry.altose@ecy.wa.gov
 Bob Fritzen, Ecology shorelines planner, 360-715-5207, bob.frtizen@ecy.wa.gov
 John Doyle, La Conner Planning Director, 360-466-3125, planner@townoflaconner.org


For more information:

La Conner’s proposed shoreline master program:
 La Conner (www.townoflaconner.org/planning-permits-codes.cfm)
 Ecology (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/sea/shorelines/smp/mycomments/laconner.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)