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
  • Encourage water-dependent uses
  • Provide for public access and enjoyment of the shorelines
  • Preserve, and enhance, views of 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

Recent Changes

We published a new Director's Rule (DR 9-2020), Verification of floating on-water residences, on July 30, 2020. The purpose of the Director's Rule is to clarify the application material required for verification of floating on-water residences and to establish an end date of September 30, 2020 for verification of any new floating on-water residences.

If you own a floating on-water residence that has not been verified, please fill out this Floating On-Water Residence Verification Form and follow the instructions in DR 9-2020 and Tip 229, Residential Use of a Floating Home, House Barge or Vessel.

We took public comments on the proposed new Director's Rule from June 22 through July 14, 2020. Notice of the proposed new Director's Rule was published in Seattle Services Portal on June 22, 2020. We responded by e-mail to those who provided comments. 

For questions regarding the verification of floating on-water residences please contact Megan Mueller at