Shoreline Master Program

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

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:

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 judgment on November 5, 2018 upholding our SEPA decision.

SDCI and the Department of Ecology (Ecology) conducted a joint public comment period on the proposed changes from April 1, 2019 to May 1, 2019. We held a joint public hearing on May 1, 2019.

SDCI and City Council staff are now reviewing the comments and will determine if any changes are needed.

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.