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Shoreline Master Program

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introduction/background: In 1971, the Washington State Legislature enacted the Shoreline Management Act (SMA).  The Act recognized the value our State’s shorelines offer for the recreation, commercial, ecological, and residential needs of our residents and future generations.  To meet the requirements of the SMA, the City of Shelton adopted its first Shoreline Master Program (SMP) in 1975.  The City waited nearly 20 years to comprehensively update it in 1995 with a substantial grant from the Department of Ecology.  

In 2003 The Washington State Legislature passed Substitute Senate Bill 6012 which required Cities and Counties to comprehensively update their SMP’s, a task which the City completed in May 2013, also with a substantial grant from the Department of Ecology.  SSB 6012 also stipulates that Cities and Counties regularly review and update their SMP’s, generally on 8-year intervals, to ensure they remain consistent with current State Law and, hopefully, negate the need for very belabored comprehensive updates such as the City undertook in 1995 and 2013. 

The City of Shelton is currently slated to have this most recent required update completed by July 2021 and anticipates that the update can be nearly entirely completed with existing staff, though some mapping may need to be updated and staff anticipates utilizing the City’s State contracted consortium for that purpose.  To aid in offsetting the cost of this mandated update, the Washington State Department of Ecology offered the City a $16,800, no match, grant to aid in offsetting staff time, consulting services, and materials required to update the SMP.

The City of Shelton City Council authorized staff to accept the grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology on August 18, 2020.

The City has been working diligently with Department of Ecology Staff to update the existing City of Shelton Shoreline Master Program (SMP) to meet updated laws and requirements mandated by the Washington State Legislature.  Draft Copies of proposed changes to several Chapters in the City of Shelton Shoreline Master Program are proposed to be updated as well as the wetland provisions in Chapter 21.64 (Critical Areas) of the Shelton Municipal Code as follows:

Proposed Changes to Occur as Part of This Periodic Update of the Shoreline Master Program:
1) Chapter 21.64 of the City of Shelton Municipal Code (Critical Areas Protection).  The Department of Ecology updated its guidance relative to Wetland typing, review, and protection in 2014.  The changes noted in the chapter relate to the definition of “Wetland Delineation” to reflect DOE recommendations and a large amount of the “Wetlands” section of the code (21.64.100 through 21.64.147) has been updated to reflect the new science and methodology for typing and protecting wetlands in Western Washington.  See strikeout and underline version of proposed changes here.

2) Chapter 2 of the City of Shelton Shoreline Master Program (SMP). The Washington State Legislature updated a number of items relating to threshold costs for Substantial Development Permits and listed exemptions for various projects. See strikeout and underline version of the proposed changes here.

3) Chapter 5 of the City of Shelton SMP.  The changes to Chapter 5 are limited to Section 5.5 (Critical Areas Protection) and simply remove citations to handling of wetlands in Shoreline Jurisdiction that are superseded by the changes to Chapter 21.64.  See strikeout and underline version of the proposed changes here.

4) Chapter 6 of the City of Shelton SMP.  In 2014 the Washington State Legislature created a new definition and policy for legally established “Floating on-water residences” established before July 1, 2014 (no new “Floating on-water residences” are allowed in Washington State).  Staff amended the use table contained in Chapter 6 to clarify that “Floating on-water residences” are not allowed.  See strikeout and underline version of the proposed changehere.

5) Chapter 7 of the City of Shelton SMP.  The Changes proposed in Chapter 7 simply update legal (WAC and RCW) citations, add updated requirements/allowances relating to State (WSDOT) projects passed by the State Legislature, and update Ecology’s procedure for review of City-issued Shoreline Permits to reflect current practices.  See strikeout and underline version of the proposed changes here.

6) Chapter 8 of the City of Shelton SMP.  The only change proposed in Chapter 7 is to update the legal definition of “development” as it relates to shoreline projects to clarify that dismantling or removing structures (without associated development or redevelopment) is not considered development relative to shoreline jurisdiction.  See strikeout and underline version of the proposed changes here.

The Department of Ecology Shoreline Master Program Periodic Review Checklist can be viewed here.

related documents
Shelton Municipal Code Critical Areas Ordinance
Applicability, Shoreline Permits, and Exemptions
General Shoreline Use and Development Regulations
Specific Shoreline Use and Modification Regulations
Administration
Definitions
Shoreline Master Program Periodic Review Checklist

contact information
Jason Dose
Senior Planner
Phone: (360) 432-5102
Email Address: jason.dose@sheltonwa.gov