2014 Shoreline Management Act Amendments

The 2014 legislative session included three adopted bills amending the Shoreline Management Act (SMA, RCW 90.58).

ESHB 1090 and ESSB 6450 are both effective on June 12, 2014. Local governments should review the changes carefully for implications to shoreline planning and permitting work.


ESHB 1090 - Dock Construction

This bill amended RCW 90.58.030 provisions regarding the definition of “substantial development.” The bill increased the dollar threshold for exempting replacement freshwater docks from obtaining a Shoreline Substantial Development Permit. The permit threshold for replacement of a freshwater dock is raised from $10,000 to $20,000 in cities and counties that have an updated Shoreline Master Program.

ESSB 6450 - On-Water Dwellings

This bill amended RCW 90.58.270 to create a new class of “floating on-water residences.” The bill requires a floating on-water residence, which meets the new definition and was legally established before July 1, 2014, to be considered a conforming use. It further requires that these uses be accommodated through reasonable shoreline master program regulations, permit conditions, or mitigation that will not effectively preclude maintenance, repair, replacement, and remodeling of existing floating on-water residences and their moorages.


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