Shoreline Master Program: Background
The State of Washington requires local governments to adopt goals, policies and regulations for shoreline use, activity and development. The legislature noted that the shorelines of the state are among the most valuable and fragile of the state’s resources.
The Shoreline Management Act (SMA) was adopted in 1972 which requires cities and counties to adopt a Shoreline Master Program (SMP). In 2003 new State Guidelines were enacted that established the basic requirements for updating local shoreline master programs.
The City developed its first Shoreline Master Program in 1974. The SMP update, which is an entirely new SMP, includes goals, policies and regulations for shoreline uses and modifications along with a Shoreline Restoration Plan. Key considerations of the SMP update include conservation of natural areas, standards for piers, docks and shoreline stabilization, public access to the shoreline where appropriate, and regulations for water-dependent and water-oriented uses along Lake Washington. The Guidelines establish a new standard calling for “No Net Loss” of ecological function to prevent further degrading of the shoreline.
On July 26, 2010, the State Department of Ecology (DOE) approved the Kirkland Shoreline Master Program update with a few minor changes. On August 3, 2010, the Kirkland City Council accepted the changes and adopted Ordinance 4251 to codify the new shoreline goals and policies, regulations and restoration plan. Visit the City's Shoreline Master Program webpage for more information.
City Shoreline Regulations for the Annexation Area
On November 16, 2010, the Kirkland City Council passed Resolution 4847, an intent to adopt amendments to the City’s Shoreline Master Program (SMP) to reflect the annexation area. Amendments to the shoreline regulations include shoreline setbacks tailored to the annexation area and changes to non-conformances and pier standards to address boat houses, additional piers and accessory structures in the shoreline setback.
The State Department of Ecology (DOE) is now reviewing the amendments to the City’s SMP. They are taking public comments from January 12, 2011 through February 11, 2011. Contact Joe Burcar at DOE at 425-649-7145, email@example.com. The City anticipates that DOE will approve the amendments prior to annexation.
In addition, the City Council passed Resolution 4848, an intent to adopt amendments to the annexation’s RSA and RMA use zone charts to reflect the new shoreline regulations. These amendments are not subject to DOE approval.
Once DOE approves the amendments, the City Council will consider ordinances for final codification of the amendments found in R-4847 and R-4848.
King County SMP Update
On November 30, 2010, the County Council adopted its Shoreline Master Program update. The amendments are now being reviewed by the State Department of Ecology. The City does not know the anticipated date of approval by DOE.
For questions on the SMP amendment process, contact Teresa Swan, Senior Planner, (425) 587-3258, firstname.lastname@example.org.