USA: Ecology Begins Review of Fife Shoreline Program

Ecology Begins Review of Fife Shoreline Program

The Washington Department of Ecology is seeking public comment on Fife’s recently updated shoreline master program.

The proposed updated shoreline master program will guide construction and development along the city’s six miles of stream shorelines. It combines local plans for future development and preservation with new development ordinances and related permitting requirements.

Fife’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 lands and waters.

Under Washington’s 1972 voter-approved Shoreline Management Act, Ecology must review and approve Fife’s proposed shoreline program before it takes effect. More than 200 cities and counties statewide are in the process or soon will be updating or crafting their master programs.

Ecology will accept public comment on Fife’s proposed shoreline program through Nov. 15.

After the public comment period is done, Ecology may approve the proposed shoreline master program as written, reject it or direct Fife to modify specific parts. Once approved by Ecology, Fife’s shoreline program will become part of the overall state shoreline master program.

Fife’s proposed updated master program:

– Provides shoreline regulations that are integrated with the city’s growth management planning and zoning, floodplain management and critical areas ordinances as part of a unified development code.

– Establishes protective setbacks of 50 to 100 feet with the flexibility to reduce these setbacks based on individual property circumstances.

– Recognizes the importance of the Puyallup River levee.

– Encourages soft-bank erosion control methods that protect both property and habitat and also limits construction of new structures that harden shorelines, such as bulkheads.

– Includes a restoration plan showing where and how voluntary improvements in water and upland areas can enhance the local shoreline environment.

– Helps support the broader initiative to protect and restore Puget Sound.

[mappress]

Press Release, October 16, 2012

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