RELATED ECOLOGY PROGRAMS
Task 1.2: Develop public participation plan
Public participation has been a cornerstone of local shoreline regulations since the Shoreline Management Act was passed by the legislature in 1971 and affirmed by public referendum in 1972. Public participation is essential to ensuring Shoreline Master Programs (SMPs) reflect a widely-held vision for the future use and enjoyment of shorelines. Local SMPs also provide an ideal venue for educating the public about shorelines and engaging the public as an important co-partner in shoreline stewardship. (Rule citation)
Local governments should involve the public throughout the SMP update process, and are encouraged to use websites, social media (blogs, twitter, etc.), surveys, open houses, neighborhood meetings and other methods to engage the public in meaningful ways.
Local governments that receive state funding must submit a public participation plan to Ecology to ensure planning efforts meet requirements. A plan should describe the participation process including specific contacts, opportunities, and a schedule. At a minimum, local governments must ensure that all interested parties have a meaningful opportunity to participate, and describe and document the steps and methods used.
Ecology also provides the public an opportunity to comment on SMPs submitted for state approval.
For more guidance on public participation and developing a plan, please see the SMP Handbook: Chapter 6, Public Participation.
For printable materials written for citizens, elected officials, and other stakeholders that you may want to use as part of your outreach, see Public Participation Resources or contact Cedar Bouta, Ecology's SMP Communication Planner, firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-407-6406.
Local governments should coordinate with applicable state agencies to identify state interests, relevant regional and statewide efforts, available information, and methods for coordination and input. (Rule citation)
If local SMPs affect Indian tribes, local governments must contact the tribal governments for coordination and input, to identify tribal interests, relevant tribal efforts, and available data and information. (Rule citation)
Many local governments are using web sites as a key way to distribute information and keep the community informed of progress and to distribute draft documents, etc. Local governments are invited to use Ecology’s Citizen Guide as an alternative or in addition to developing their own basic Web information about SMPs and shorelines.
Many local governments use their existing Planning Commission or Shoreline Advisory Committee as sounding boards or for detailed feedback on proposals. Some local governments establish separate technical committees for inventory and assessment work. Shoreline Citizens Advisory Committee Tips
Some suggestions for organizations to involve on committees or in a review capacity:
Local planners should work closely with the following state and federal agencies to ensure the local SMP reflects the best available science and is coordinated with other planning processes.
State rules require that local governments hold at least one public hearing before approving an SMP (WAC 173-36-100). However, many jurisdictions hold several public meetings, workshops and hearings.
Local governments must publish notice of the hearing in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the area in which the hearing is to be held. The notice shall include:
Outreach Materials: For printable materials written for citizens, elected officials, and other stakeholders that you may want to use as part of your outreach, see Public Participation Resources or contact Cedar Bouta, Ecology's SMP Communication Planner, email@example.com or 360-407-6406.
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