Review Process

Planning and Development Services' staff which consists of a planner, a biologist, and a drainage reviewer, as well as a transportation development reviewer and a representative from the Snohomish County Health Department, will review your application to insure that all necessary documentation and information have been submitted and your application is complete. The initial review takes approximately six to eight weeks.

If your application is incomplete, you will be notified of specific information required and the procedure you must follow. When your application is deemed complete, you will be required to post your property. Staff will solicit comments on the request from applicable local, state, and federal agencies, and from interested citizens. The public comment period for shoreline permits is 30 days.

State Environmental Policy Act

PDS staff will visit the site. Most shoreline permits are administratively issued by the department. The State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) review process follows the comment period. A SEPA threshold determination is issued by the lead agency. There is a 14-day comment period for shoreline permits under SEPA. Thereafter, the applicant will be notified of the department's decision and the appropriate appeal process within prescribed time frames.

When the county issues its approval for a shoreline substantial development permit, the permit is transmitted to the Department of Ecology. There is a 21-day review and/or appeal period which begins upon receipt of the permit by the Department of Ecology, before any work can proceed with the project. Any party, including the Department of Ecology, can appeal the county's decision of approval for a shoreline substantial development permit. If this happens, the Shorelines Hearings Board will hear the appeal and issue the final decision.

Authority of the County

The county does not have the authority to approve shoreline conditional use or shoreline variance permits. While these permits follow a similar review process, the county sends a recommendation to the Department of Ecology and the final decision is issued by them. Again, any appeal would be taken to the Shorelines Hearings Board.

If PDS is leaning towards recommending denial of a shoreline permit or has assessed that there is substantial public opposition or other concerns, PDS will recommend that a public hearing be set before the county hearing examiner. Staff will present a written recommendation to the hearing examiner based on agency comments and the project's compliance with applicable county codes and policies.

Hearing Examiner

The applicant will receive a hearing notice and a copy of the recommendation prior to the public hearing. All adjacent property owners will be notified of the hearing date by PDS. The applicant or a representative must attend the public hearing. The hearing examiner normally visits the site prior to conducting the hearing. The decision of the examiner is filed with the Department of Ecology. Hearing examiner decisions are subject to the reconsideration process.