An environmental (SEPA) determination and decision on DPD’s final recommendations for updating Seattle’s Shoreline Master Program was published on June 28. The final Shoreline Master Program recommendations include the goals, policies and regulations that govern Seattle’s Shoreline District and the Restoration and Enhancement Plan. The Shoreline District includes the Duwamish River, the Ship Canal, Lake Union, Lake Washington, Green Lake, Puget Sound, associated wetlands and floodplains, and land within 200 feet of these water-bodies.
Updating the Shoreline Master Program is state mandated by the Shoreline Management Act, which was created by citizen referendum in 1972. The Shoreline Management Act establishes three major policy goals that all Shoreline Master Programs are required to achieve through the regulations:
Preferred Shoreline Uses: The Shoreline Management Act 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 act when developed in a manner consistent with protection of the natural environment.
Environmental Protection: The act 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 act promotes public access to shorelines by mandating inclusion of a public access element in local SMPs and requiring provisions to ensure that new development maintains public access features.
The last comprehensive update of Seattle’s Shoreline Master Program occurred in 1987. The Shoreline Master Program update process has included a Shoreline Characterization Report, a Vision Reportand a Citizen Advisory Committee that met and provided input to DPD on identified policy issues from May 2008 through June 2009. The committee completed a report summarizing their work. Additionally, DPD conducted a cumulative impact analyses on the regulations and developed a Shoreline Restoration Plan and Enhancement Plan.
The comment and appeal period for the SEPA determination runs through July 20, 2012. The complete SEPA notice is posted in DPD’s Land Use Information Bulletin at http://web1.seattle.gov/dpd/luib/Bulletin.aspx.
Visit DPD’s Shoreline Master Program website, www.seattle.gov/dpd/Planning/ShorelineMasterProgramUpdate/, to learn more about the program and to download these documents:
DPD’s final recommendations
The shoreline goals and policies in Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan
The updated shoreline maps
Shoreline Master Program reports
To request a CD copy of the Shoreline Master Program or ask for additional information, please contact: