Recent Amendments to the SMA and GMA

2009 Amendments

Several bills amending the Shoreline Management Act (SMA) and the Growth Management Act (GMA) were signed into law by the Governor at the end of the 2009 legislative session. Each of these amendments went into effect July 26, 2009. Below is a description of each bill with a link to the bill summary.

SMA Amendments

HB 1379: Moratoria

Adds moratoria authority and procedures to the SMA. Includes provisions for a maximum duration of 18 months at the local level, plus a six-month review period at Ecology for a local Shoreline Master Program amendment that is subject to a moratorium.

HB 2199: Restoration Projects

“Relief” procedures established for instances in which a shoreline restoration project within an Urban Growth Area creates a shift in Ordinary High Water Mark, and this shift creates a use hardship for properties subject to new or extra regulation. MORE

SB 6165: Shorelines Hearings Board

This is an efficiency measure allowing a three-member “short board” to be used at the discretion of the Chair. (Previous law limited short-boards to small projects, such as single-family and docks.)

GMA Amendment

EHB 1967: Floodplains

Prohibits Urban Growth Area expansion within 100-year floodplains. This change will link to some SMP updates (especially for cities) in terms of anticipated future land use within floodplains.

2010 Amendments

EHB 1653: GMA/SMA bill

This bill went into effect on March 18, 2010 and is retroactive to July 23, 2003. The bill clarifies provisions from a 2003 law (ESHB 1933) regarding application of the Growth Management Act (GMA) within Shoreline areas. Changes include:

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