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Kirkland News Room

The City Presents Proposed Amendments to the Shoreline Master Program (SMP) and Invites Public Comment to Inform Update Process

Media Contact:
Kellie Stickney
Communications Program Manager
(425) 979-6562

KIRKLAND, Wash. – The City of Kirkland invites community members to attend a public meeting to learn more about the proposed amendments to the Kirkland Shoreline Master Program (SMP), a set of land-use policies and regulations that guide how shoreline properties are used and developed. 

The meeting takes place 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21, at Kirkland’s Heritage Hall, located at 203 Market Street. Community members can view the proposed amendments on the Shoreline Master Program Periodic Update Project page on the City’s website. Please email project planner Joan Lieberman Brill at before the meeting with questions about the proposed amendments. Public comments will be accepted on proposed amendments to the SMP until it is adopted by the City Council, tentatively scheduled for September 2019. 

The City of Kirkland is required to update the SMP every eight years. The purpose of the periodic review is to ensure consistency with changes to state law, to address consistency with the City’s Comprehensive Plan and development regulations and to otherwise improve the City’s shoreline regulations. Minor amendments to the City’s wetland and stream regulations are also proposed to ensure consistency with the SMP, reflect best available science, and provide clarity.  

To provide technical assistance in the fields of water quality and shoreline ecology, the City has hired The Watershed Company, a Kirkland-based environmental consulting firm with extensive experience working with other jurisdictions in the region. All technical work by The Watershed Company has been reviewed by the City prior to integration into the proposed SMP amendments. 

Proposed amendments affecting single family waterfront properties are primarily minor policy changes or clarifications of existing practices. Many of the amendments will make it easier for single-family property owners to manage their shoreline, including amendments that reduce development buffers for certain types of wetlands, and provide incentives to replace hard shoreline structures – such as bulkheads – with more natural shoreline features. Another amendment would clarify hours of access for publicly accessible shoreline that exists on private property. 

More information on the SMP, including a list of all proposed amendments for the 2019 periodic update, can be found on the City website at: