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Shoreline Master Programs

Exemptions for navigational aids and marking property lines

Construction or modification, by or under the authority of the Coast Guard or a designated port management authority, of navigational aids such as channel markers and anchor buoys, are exempt from permit requirements. WAC 173-27-040(2)(f)

Moorage structures such as buoys or dolphins are not considered "navigational aids” and would require a substantial development permit. This exemption covers those lights, markers, buoys etc. usually placed in accordance with Coast Guard standards if not actually placed by the Coast Guard that provide directions and other information necessary for safe navigation.

Marking of Property Lines or Corners on State Owned Lands

The marking of property lines or corners on state-owned lands, when such marking does not significantly interfere with normal public use of the surface of the water, is exempt from permit requirements. WAC 173-27-040(2)(j)

This is a limited exemption applicable only on state owned lands and then only when it does not materially interfere with normal public use of the water. Subdivisions and short plats are not exempt under the exemption for marking of property lines, as they are not usually on state owned lands. Further, narrow interpretation of this provision would mean that even on state owned land, it could apply only to the marking of existing property lines not to the establishment of new property lines which is what subdivisions and short plats do.

For more information

Contact Ecology's shoreline permit reviewer serving your town, city, or county.