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Shoreline Master Programs

Remanding of permits

The Shorelines Hearings Board (SHB) may remand a permit that it has reviewed. This occurs generally under one of two possible circumstances, a remand for reconsideration or a remand for reissuance.

Remand for reconsideration (requiring a new permit)

A remand for reconsideration is unusual for the SHB because of its "De Novo" process of permit review. However, in some circumstances the Board will determine that the local process was flawed in such a way that the best solution is for the local process to be repeated and a new decision made by local government.

Remand for reissuance (revising conditions of a permit)

More commonly, the Board will determine that changes in the project or the terms and conditions of the original permit are necessary in order to conform to the SMA and local SMP. In such circumstances the Board will usually remand the permit to local government with instructions to issue a new shoreline permit consistent with the order.

The SMA and its implementing regulations do not provide a great deal of specific guidance to local governments on procedures to follow in the event a permit is remanded for reissuance. However, the 2009 Board decision in Friends of the San Juans vs San Juan County and Woodman, addressed how the “law of the case doctrine” applied to appeals of remanded permits. See Order Granting Motions to Dismiss in SHB 09-010. The Board reviewed previous SHB and court decisions and determined:

  • All permits remanded by the SHB to local government for further action must be re-issued.
  • Public notice and comment periods are not required where the re-issued permit complies with the Board's final order.
  • The re-issued permit must be mailed to Ecology and parties of record. The permit material should include the re-issued permit (noted as such) and any documents or plans required as a result of the board's final order or referenced in the re-issued permit.
  • The time limit for appealing a re-issued permit is twenty-one days from the date the permit is filed with the department.
  • Subsequent appeals of reissued permits are limited to whether it complies with the SHB decision. Original issues of the case cannot be re-opened.

For more information

Law: See RCW 90.58.180

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


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