2019 Shoreline Management Program

Snohomish County recently conducted a periodic review of its 2012 Shoreline Management Program (SMP). “Periodic Review” is required by the Shoreline Management Act (RCW 90.58) and is intended to ensure that shoreline programs do not fall out of compliance with state shoreline laws and guidelines over time. Snohomish County completed this review by July 3, 2019, with adoption of Ordinance 19-020.

The Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) approved the Snohomish County Shoreline Management Program on September 30, 2019, making it effective on October 14, 2019.

Ordinance 19-020 adopted amendments to the SMP necessary to comply with applicable state laws and shoreline guidelines currently in effect. It included amendments to the SMP that will result in more effective shoreline management, reflect changed circumstances, new information and improved data in shoreline maps and regulations. The ordinance also included housekeeping, typographical, grammar and style changes to provide clarity and achieve consistency throughout the SMP.

Snohomish County Shoreline Management Program: Shoreline Environment Designations, Policies and Regulations

Scope of the Periodic Review

Periodic Review requires the County to demonstrate consistency with all of the changes to shoreline laws (Chapter 90.58 RCW) and guidelines (Chapter 173-26 WAC) that have been adopted by the state since the County’s last SMP Update, in this instance, since 2012. Periodic Review also requires the County to demonstrate consistency with the County’s Comprehensive Plan and development regulations adopted under the Growth Management Act (Chapter 36.70A RCW), and other local requirements. Periodic Review also encourages local governments to review their SMPs to reflect changing local circumstances, new information or improved data. For those interested in the process that was undertaken from 2018 to adoption of the 2019 SMP, highlights are provided below.

Community Outreach

The county held open houses on February 13, 2018, to provide general information about the project, increase understanding about requirements for periodic review, answer questions, obtain input, and highlight the tentative schedule for consideration of the proposed changes.

PDS also held special outreach meetings intended to provide information to landowners with properties adjacent to or within 200 feet of a waterbody affected by proposed map amendments.

Planning Commission

Important dates and links to project materials, for the Snohomish County Planning Commission process for this project is outlined below.

State Environmental Policy Act Compliance (SEPA)

On April 24, 2019, the County issued Addendum No. 2 to the Shoreline Management Program (SMP) Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) for 2019 SMP Periodic Review. See below for links to SEPA documentation. 

Addendum No. 2 to the Shoreline Management Program Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.

County Council and Ecology Adoption Process

On May 7, 2019, County Planning & Development Services staff provided the Snohomish County Council (County Council) a briefing on this project at the Planning and Community Development Committee. For more information about the briefing, or to watch the video, follow the County Council briefing links below.

Proposed changes to the County’s SMP required a public hearing before the County Council and the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology). 

Prior to the joint public hearing, the County Council and Ecology held a 30-day public comment period seeking public comment on the proposed amendments to Ordinance 19-020 from May 15 - June 14, 2019 at 5:00 pm.

Listed below is the history of County Council and Ecology briefings and hearings related to this project:

  • County Council briefing                                             May 7, 2019, 10:30 a.m.
  • County Council/Ecology public hearing                   Wednesday, June, 5, 2019, 10:30 a.m. - continued
  • County Council public hearing                                 Wednesday, June, 12, 2019, 6:30 p.m. - continued
  • County Council public hearing                                 Wednesday, June, 26, 2019, 10:30 a.m. - continued
  • County Council public hearing                                 Wednesday, July 3, 2019, 10:30 a.m. 

Contact Information:

Ikuno Masterson, Long Range Planning Manager | Snohomish County Planning and Development Services | Email Ikuno | 425-388-3153