USA: Ecology Seeks Comments on Kitsap County’s Shoreline Program
The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) is seeking public comment on Kitsap County’s recently updated shoreline master program.
The proposed updated shoreline program will guide construction and development within shoreline areas throughout the county. Kitsap County has extensive marine shorelines, along with a notable amount of freshwater, lake and stream segments that also qualify as shorelines of the state.
The updated program combines local plans for future development and preservation with new development ordinances and related permitting requirements.
The county’s locally tailored shoreline program is designed to help minimize environmental damage to shoreline areas, reserve appropriate areas for water-oriented uses, and protect the public’s right to public land and waters.
Under Washington’s 1972 voter-approved Shoreline Management Act, Ecology must review and approve Kitsap County’s proposed shoreline program before it takes effect. More than 190 cities and counties statewide are in the process of, or soon will be, updating or crafting their shoreline programs.
Ecology will accept public comment on Kitsap County’s proposed shoreline program through July 12, 2013.
Kitsap County’s proposed update master program:
– Integrates the county’s shoreline regulations with existing growth management, planning and zoning, and critical areas ordinances.
– Establishes buffers and setbacks – including a flexible system to recognize site-specific circumstances and consider additional options – to ensure no net loss to the environmental benefits of healthy shorelines over time.
– Encourages soft-bank erosion control methods and limits construction of new shoreline armoring such as bulkheads.
– Includes a restoration plan showing where and how improvements in water and upland areas can enhance the local shoreline environment.
– Helps support the broader initiative to protect and restore Puget Sound.
Press Release, June 7, 2013