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Shoreline Master Program

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Permit Process

Shoreline Permits (SDP, CUP, and Variance)                       

Shoreline Exemptions


Common Project Types


Background Info

The City's Shoreline Master Program (SMP) implements the 1971 Shoreline Management Act (RCW Chapter 90.58 and WAC Chapter 173-26).  The SMP applies to land within 200 feet of Lake Washington's ordinary high water mark and within wetlands connected to Juanita Bay and Yarrow Bay.

SMP Documents

Other Documents Relating to the SMP

Shoreline Regulations - Highlights

  • Shoreline setback standards tailored to various areas of the City based on existing construction and differences in parcel depth (KZC Section 83.180)
  • Options and alternatives provided in several of the regulations.  Examples are:
    • Alternative single-family pier design options if approved by permitting Federal and State agencies (KZC Section 83.180)
    • Demonstration of need not required for a bulkhead to protect against erosion for an existing home located 10 feet or closer to the lake (KZC Section 83.300)
    • Setback reduction option if certain shoreline improvements are made (KZC Section 83.380)
    • Alternative native planting option (KZC Section 83.400)
  • Thresholds for major vs. minor repair of piers (KZC Section 83.270 - 83.290) and bulkheads (KZC Section 83.300)
  • A decision tree of options for shoreline stabilization measures based on building setback, bulkhead height, lake depth at bulkhead, nearshore slope, and upland slope (KZC Plate 43)
  • Project exempt from the State Substantial Development Permit (SDP) must be submitted to the City for review of compliance with the SMP and issuance of an exemption form (KZC Section 141.40)
  • Replacement of hard shoreline stabilization with soft shoreline stabilization or natural shoreline exempt from an SDP (KZC Section 141.40)

Benefits of and Ideas on Creating a Green Shoreline


Selecting Northwest Native Plants for Shorelines

View resourcesexternal link icon to aid learning about northwest native plants.

Planning & Building Department
123 5th Avenue, Kirkland WA 98033

General Inquiries:
Building Questions
Planning Questions
T. 425.587.3600 | F. 425.587.3232