Play by the Rules

State capitol building, Olympia, Washington Before you get involved with any project that may affect the Sound's bluffs or beaches, learn the permitting process.
  • There are federal, state and local guidelines.

    Everyone wants to do the right thing for their waterfront property. However, not everyone has the same idea of what the right actions should be. For this reason, federal, state and local guidelines and laws have been drafted, establishing rules for work performed in or near the Sound.

  • Every city and county has a shoreline master program.

    You'll need to check with your local city or county government before proceeding with any clearing, grading or construction along shorelines. Depending on the type of project, a site visit or special permit may be required.

  • The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife may require a permit.

    The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is responsible for protecting the Sound's marine resources. They may also require a site visit and a permit, depending on the type of project.

  • Know your address and parcel number.

    When contacting any government agency with questions about a planned project on your shoreline property, have the correct address or approximate location of the land. Knowing the parcel number and legal description of the land will also help the process go smoothly and swiftly.

  • Related Topics

    Permits: Getting Help, Permit assistance information.
    Preserving Property, Preserve property and save on taxes.

    Related Links

    Permit Assistance Center, Governor's Office
    Permit information and guidance.

    Hydraulic Project Approval (HPA), Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Why does the Department of Fish and Wildlife care if you work near the water? Answers to frequently asked questions about shoreline construction and HPA approval.

    Revised Code of Washington (RCW), Office of the Code Reviser. State of Washington.

    Washington Administrative Code (WAC), Office of the Code Reviser. State of Washington.

    State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), Department of Ecology. SEPA process, references, and rules. Applicant's rights and responsibilities, public rights and responsibilities, normal times for review actions, and commonly asked questions about SEPA. 

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    Comments? E-mail: Shellyne Grisham