Shoreline Master Program

See also: Environmentally Critical Areas (ECA) Code, Floating ResidencesLand Use CodeState Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Code

Visit the Proposed Changes section of this webpage to find out more about our public comment period and public hearing for our draft amendments to the Shoreline Master Program.

What Is It?

The Shoreline Master Program (23.60A) regulates development in the city’s shoreline environments to:

  • Protect shoreline ecosystems
  • Respond to pollution discharges into bodies of water
  • Encourage water-dependent uses
  • Provide for maximum public use and enjoyment of the shorelines
  • Preserve, enhance, and increase views of and access to the water

Our ordinance requires that you:This decision was appealed on August 6, 2018 and the City won the motion for summary judgement on November 5, 2018 upholding our SEPA decision.

Other Resources

For emergency spill response, contact Department of Ecology’s 24-hour hotline at 1-800-OILS-911. 

For pollution discharges into lakes, creeks, and public storm drains, contact Seattle Public Utilities or call the Surface Water Pollution Report Line at (206) 684-7587.

To find out if the spill is also a shoreline violation, call (206) 615-0808.

What It Isn’t

This ordinance does not cover:

Read the Code

Proposed Changes

We are proposing to amend the definition of "vessel" in the Shoreline Master Program (SMP) to address a Seattle Hearing Examiner's decision that ruled that an existing vessel with a broken engine is not a vessel. The environmental review (SEPA) decision for this proposed amendment was published on July 16, 2018. This decision was appealed on August 6, 2018 and the City won the motion for summary judgement on November 5, 2018 upholding our SEPA decision.

SDCI and the Department of Ecology (Ecology) are jointly seeking public input on the draft amendments through the joint review process (Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 173-26-104). The public comment period is from April 1, 2019 to May 1, 2019. Additionally, there will be a joint public hearing on May 1, 2019. See the public notice, in the Seattle Services Portal, for information on how to comment on the proposal and how to participate in the public hearing. The notice of the public comment period and public hearing were also published in The Daily Journal of Commerce on April 1, 2019 and on Ecology's website

After SDCI and Ecology have concluded the public comment period and the public hearing, SDCI will review and respond to the comments and make any changes to the proposal before formally submitting the proposed amendment to Ecology. Ecology will provide their initial determination on whether the amendment is consistent with applicable laws within 30 to 45 days of SDCI's submittal. SDCI will continue to work with Ecology on any needed changes until Ecology determines, in a written statement, that the proposed amendment is consistent with applicable laws and rules. After receiving this determination from Ecology, SDCI will work with the Seattle City Council to adopt the amendment through an ordinance and will submit the amendment to Ecology for their final approval. This process is outlined in WAC 173-26-110.

Please see the SMP Vessel Definition Ordinance and the Vessel Definition Director's Report for additional information regarding this proposal. Contact Maggie Glowacki at (206) 386-4036 or with questions regarding the proposal.