USA: Ecology Begins Review of Ruston Shoreline Program

Ecology Begins Review of Ruston Shoreline Program

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

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

Ruston’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 Ruston’s proposed shoreline program before it takes effect. About 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 Ruston’s proposed shoreline program through Feb. 6.

Ruston’s proposed updated master program:

– Provides shoreline regulations that are integrated with the city’s growth management planning and zoning 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 need to protect the integrity of the cap on the ASARCO superfund cleanup site and to avoid recontamination.

– Includes a restoration plan showing where and how voluntary improvements in the water and on land 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.

[mappress]

Press Release, January 14, 2013

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