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Shoreline Master Programs

Olympia Shoreline Master Program: Comprehensive Update

On September 24, 2015, the Department of Ecology approved the City of Olympia’s Shoreline Master Program (SMP) comprehensive update.  Per RCW 90.58.090, the effective date of Olympia’s shoreline master program is October 8, 2015, 14 days after Ecology provided notice to the city that its shoreline program was approved.

The comprehensive update revises the existing shoreline program, including the goals, policies, regulations, shoreline environment designations, and administrative procedures and definitions. This approval is the capstone on a significant effort intended to advance shoreline habitat protection while planning for public access, recreation, new development and continuation of established development. The updated program adopts the city’s Critical Areas Ordinance by reference, with revisions and clarifications, to protect and manage critical areas within shoreline jurisdiction.

On April 22, 2015, the Department of Ecology provided the City of Olympia with required and recommended changes to the city’s proposed comprehensive update of its Shoreline Master Program (SMP).

The changes were based on Ecology’s review of whether or not the proposed update complies with state laws and rules, and a public comment period held July 23 to September 8, 2014.  Ecology also held an open house and public hearing at The Olympia Center on July 31, 2014. Approximately 30 interested parties attended the open house and hearing and 10 people testified.

Ecology used mail and email to notify interested parties of the public comment period and public hearing. Ecology also issued a news release and legal ad to encourage public participation and comment. Ecology received over 60 individual written and verbal comments. Comments focus on sea level rise and flooding, setbacks, building heights, and nonconforming use and structure provisions. On September 23, 2014, Ecology sent a summary of comments to the city for its response. The public comments and city and state’s responses were incorporated into a Responsiveness Summary.

Documents related to approval

Note: All documents are PDF

Paper copies of the above documents are available by contacting Chrissy Bailey (see below), Washington 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 Olympian legal ads on October 2, 2015.

Staff contact

Chrissy Bailey
Washington Department of Ecoloogy
Southwest Regional Office
PO Box 47775
Olympia, Washington 98504-7775
Phone: 360-407-0290 

For more information

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