USA: Ecology Begins Review of Woodway’s Shoreline Program

Ecology Begins Review of Woodway’s Shoreline Program

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

The proposed update will guide construction and development in the town’s 1.5 miles of stream and Puget Sound shoreline. It also includes a half-mile of marine shoreline at Point Wells, a potential annexation area. The program combines local plans for future development and preservation with new development ordinances and related permitting requirements.

Woodway’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 Woodway’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 Woodway’s proposed shoreline program through Dec.7, 2012.

Woodway’s proposed updated master program:

– Integrates the town’s shoreline regulations with its growth management, planning and zoning, floodplain management and critical areas ordinances as part of a unified development code.

– Establishes protective buffers with the flexibility to reduce buffers based on individual property circumstances.

– Encourages soft-bank erosion control methods and limits construction of new shoreline armoring.

– 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.

All of Washington’s cities and counties with regulated shorelines must update their programs by December 2014. They are following regulations adopted by Ecology in 2003. The regulations resulted from a negotiated settlement between 58 different parties including business interests, ports, environmental groups, shoreline user groups, cities and counties, Ecology and the courts.

[mappress]

Press Release, November 7, 2012

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