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Shoreline Master Programs

Burien Shoreline Master Program Comprehensive Update

On October 3, 2013, the Department of Ecology approved the City of Burien’s comprehensive update of their Shoreline Master Program (SMP). Per RCW 90.58.090, the effective date of Burien’s shoreline program is October 17, 2013, 14 days after Ecology provided notice to the Burien that their updated shoreline program was approved.

Shorelines in Burien include approximately 5.5 miles of marine shoreline and Lake Burien. Burien’s shoreline program had not been updated since Burien began implementing King County’s shoreline program at the time of Burien’s incorporation.

The updated program includes revised goals, policies, regulations, shoreline environment designations, and administrative procedures and definitions. It also provides for continued residential development while protecting existing ecological functions and providing mitigation and restoration opportunities. Ecology’s approval puts the final stamp on a significant effort by Burien and Ecology to update the program consistent with state law.


After locally approving a proposed update to their shoreline master program, Burien submitted their proposed program for Ecology’s review and potential approval in October 2010. Ecology held a public comment period on the proposed program November 5 - December 17, 2010. Ecology used mail and email to notify those who had expressed prior interest, and issued a news release and legal ad to encourage public participation and comment. Ecology received a large number of comments from individuals and organizations. Comments focused on public access and protection of Lake Burien, and buffers on marine shorelines. Ecology sent a summary of comments to Burien for their response. The public comments and city’s responses are incorporated into Attachment D, Responsiveness Summary (below).

On April 22, 2011, Ecology conditionally approved Burien’s proposed program pending the city’s acceptance of required and recommended changes that would ensure the proposed program complied with state law. In May 2011, Burien responded to Ecology’s conditional approval, rejecting certain changes and proposing alternatives.

Subsequently, Burien formed a citizen group that worked with Ecology to ultimately resolve the remaining issues, and Ecology set aside the proposal to create a Burien Shoreline Master Program through rulemaking. The working group’s recommendations are summarized in the revised Attachment A, Findings and Conclusions. On May 6, 2013, Burien held a public hearing on the working group’s recommendations.

In June, 2013, the city sent a locally approved revised shoreline program to Ecology for review and potential approval. After a thoughtful and careful review, Ecology approved the revised version on October 3, 2013. In order to summarize the changes between the original version submitted for approval and final version, Ecology has created three matrices: Matrix A: Required Changes, Matrix B: Recommended Changes Not Accepted or Alternative Language Offered, and Matrix C: Additional Changes Approved by the City of Burien.

Documents related to approval

Note: All documents are PDF

Locally and state approved shoreline master program


Paper copies of the above documents are available by contacting Bob Fritzen (see below), Washington State Department of Ecology.


  • Per RCW 90.58.190(2) and RCW 36.70A.290, an interested party may file an appeal with the Growth Management Hearings Board within 60 days of the publication date of Ecology’s written notice of final action.
  • Ecology plans to publish the notice of final action in The Seattle Time legal ads on Thursday, October 17, 2013.

Staff contact

Bob Fritzen
Washington State Department of Ecology, Bellingham Field Office
1440 10th Street, Suite 102, Bellingham, Washington 98225
(360) 715-5207

For more information

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