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Shoreline Master Programs

Seattle Shoreline Master Program: Comprehensive Update

On June 1, 2015, the Department of Ecology approved the City of Seattle’s Shoreline Master Program (SMP) comprehensive update. Per RCW 90.58.090, the effective date of Seattle’s shoreline program is June 15, 2015, 14 days after Ecology provided notice to the city that their shoreline program was approved.

Seattle’s current shoreline program has not been comprehensively updated since 1987. The updated SMP will guide future development along more than 100-miles of Seattle’s 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.

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 SMP.

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).

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.

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 (see Staff contact, below).


  • 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 Daily Journal of Commerce legal ads on June 10, 2015.

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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