USA: Ecology Begins Review of Steilacoom Shoreline Program

Ecology Begins Review of Steilacoom Shoreline Program

The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) is seeking public comment on the town of Steilacoom’s proposed updates to its shoreline master program.

The draft shoreline program update will guide construction and development along the town’s 3.7 miles of marine shoreline, extending into Chambers Bay. It combines local plans for future development and preservation with new development regulations and related permitting requirements.

Steilacoom’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 access public lands and waters.

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

Ecology will accept public comment on Steilacoom’s proposed shoreline program through 5 p.m. Dec. 14, 2012.

Steilacoom’s updated master program:

– Provides shoreline regulations that work in concert with the town’s comprehensive plan and zoning, urban forestry and critical areas ordinances.

– Establishes shoreline setbacks of 10 to 170 feet, depending on the proposed use and shoreline environment designation.

– 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 aquatic and upland areas can enhance the local shoreline environment.

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


Press Release, November 12, 2012