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Shoreline Master Programs

Seattle Shoreline Master Program: Comprehensive Update

On June 5, 2014, the Department of Ecology provided the City of Seattle with required and recommended changes to the city’s proposed comprehensive update of their Shoreline Master Program (SMP). The updated SMP will revise the existing shoreline program, including the goals, policies, regulations, shoreline environment designations, administrative procedures and definitions. The required and recommended changes have been sent to the city for their review and response. The city may agree to these changes or offer alternative language. Final Ecology approval will occur when the city and Ecology agree on language that meets state requirements.

Informational Meeting

Ecology and the City are planning to jointly host an “informational meeting” on the evening of June 30, 2014 in Seattle. The meeting is intended to provide interested parties with a description of Ecology’s required and recommended changes and clearly identify the next steps in the SMP approval process.

Date: Monday June 30, 2014
Time: Open House starts at 6:00 p.m.
Presentation by Ecology & the City starts at 6:30 p.m.
The presentation will be followed by a question and answers period.
Location: Seattle City Hall
Bertha Landes Room
601 Fifth Ave
Seattle, WA 98104

The changes are based on Ecology’s review of whether or not the proposed update complies with state laws and rules, and a public comment period held September 3 – November 4, 2013. Ecology also held a public hearing at Seattle City Hall on September 11, 2013. Approximately 40 people attended the hearing at which 16 individuals provided testimony regarding the city’s proposed changes to the shoreline program.

Ecology used mail and email to notify interested parties of the public comment opportunity. Ecology also issued a news release and legal ad to encourage public participation and comment. Ecology received a total of 76 verbal and written comments covering a variety of shoreline topics, ranging from public access standards to floating home moorage requirements: Comment Part 1 (No. 1-25), Part 2 (No. 26-50), and Part 3 (No. 51-76).

Response to public comment

Ecology prepared a summary of public comments and sent this to Seattle for their response. Both the public’s comments and the city’s response are provided in Attachment D: Responsiveness Summary.

Seattle’s current shoreline program has not been comprehensively updated since 1987. The updated SMP will guide future development along Seattle’s 86 miles of marine, lake and estuarine shorelines. 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.

Documents related to approval

Note: All documents are PDF

Paper copies of the above documents are available by contacting Joe Burcar (see below), Washington Department of Ecology.

Staff contact

Joe Burcar
Washington State Department of Ecology
Northwest Regional Office
3190 160th Avenue SE
Bellevue, Washington 98008-5452
(425) 649-7145

For more information


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