Shoreline Master Programs photo

Shoreline Master Programs

Whatcom County Shoreline Master Program: Limited Amendment

On October 17, 2014, the Department of Ecology approved a limited amendment to Whatcom County’s Shoreline Master Program (SMP). Per RCW 90.58.090, the effective date of Whatcom County’s shoreline program is October 31, 2014, 14 days after Ecology provided notice to the Whatcom County that their shoreline program was approved.

The limited amendment clarifies how the existing shoreline program affects developments grandfathered in by previous regulations as well as other minor changes for consistency with the Shoreline Management Act.

On May 6, 2014, the Department of Ecology provided Whatcom County with required and recommended changes to the county’s proposed limited amendment to their Shoreline Master Program (SMP).

The changes are based on Ecology’s review of whether or not the proposed amendment complies with state laws and rules, and a public comment period held August 3 to September 4, 2009. Ecology also held a public hearing where 4 interested parties testified.

Ecology used mail and/or email to notify interested parties of the public comment period. Ecology also issued a news release to encourage additional public participation and comment. We received a total of 5 individual comments from 2 organizations and 3 individual citizens. Comments focused primarily on non-conforming residential development and when such developments can be repaired, replaced and/or expanded. On September 18, 2009, Ecology sent a summary of comments to the county for their response. The public comments and the county’s responses have been incorporated into Attachment D: Responsiveness Summary (see below).

Documents related to approval

Note: All documents are PDF.

Paper copies of the above documents are available by contacting Chad Yunge (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 Bellingham Herald legal ads on November 4, 2014.

Staff contact

Chad Yunge
Washington Department of Ecology
Bellingham Field Office
1440 10th Street, Suite 102
Bellingham, Washington 98229-7028
(360) 715-5206

For more information

Back to Top