Shoreline Master Program Update
An update of goals, policies and regulations that govern land use and activities within the Seattle Shoreline District.
What's Happening Now?
The Washington Department of Ecology's public comment period on the recent updates to the City of Seattle's Shoreline Master Program closed on November 4, 2013.
The next steps include the following:
- The Department of Ecology (Ecology) will compile all the comments received and send them to DPD for a response.
- We will have 45 days to respond to the comments.
- After Ecology receives our responses, Ecology will have 30 days to respond with a conditional approval. The conditional approval will explain any changes required to make Seattle’s regulations meet Ecology’s Shoreline Master Program Guidelines, and changes that Ecology recommends.
- We will need to make the required changes or offer an alternative to Ecology, explaining how the proposed alternative addresses the issues raised by Ecology.
- Once all changes are agreed upon and are approved by City Council, DPD will have 14 days to enact and begin implementing the new regulations.
If you have questions for the Department of Ecology regarding this process please contact:
Washington Department of Ecology
Northwest Regional Office
Attn: Joe Burcar SEA-Program
3190 - 160th Ave. SE
Bellevue, WA 98008
City Council adopted Council Bill 117585
, the Shoreline Master Program Ordinance, on January 22, 2013.
The Shoreline Master Program (SMP) is mandated by the state Shoreline Management Act (SMA), created by citizen referendum in 1972, and includes the goals, policies, and regulations that govern land use and activities within the Seattle Shoreline District. Seattle’s Shoreline District includes the Duwamish River, the Ship Canal, Lake Union, Lake Washington, Green Lake, Puget Sound, associated wetlands and floodplains, and all land within 200 feet of these water-bodies.
Seattle’s SMP is based on three required policy goals:
- Preferred Shoreline Uses: The SMA establishes a preference for uses that are water-oriented and that are appropriate for the environmental context (such as port facilities, shoreline recreational uses, and water-dependent businesses). Single-family residences are also identified as a priority use under the SMA when developed in a manner consistent with protection of the natural environment
- Environmental Protection: The SMA requires protections for shoreline natural resources, including “… the land and its vegetation and wildlife, and the water of the state and their aquatic life …” to ensure no net loss of ecological function.
- Public Access: The SMA promotes public access to shorelines by mandating inclusion of a public access element in local Shoreline Master Programs and requiring provisions to ensure that new development maintains public access features.
Dept. of Ecology Shoreline Master Programs Frequently Asked Questions