Ecology Seeks Public Comment on La Center’s Shoreline Program (USA)
The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) is seeking public comment on La Center’s recently updated shoreline master program.
The proposed updated shoreline master program will guide construction and development along the city’s half-mile of shoreline on the East Fork Lewis River. It combines local plans for future development and preservation with new development ordinances and related permitting requirements.
La Center’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 La Center’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 La Center’s proposed shoreline program through Feb. 15. La Center’s shoreline program was developed over a three-year process and brought diverse local interests to the table to work collaboratively. These groups included property owners, scientists, non-profit organizations, ports, businesses and state and local resource agency staff and other Clark County local governments. The update began with a thorough inventory and analysis of existing land-use patterns and environmental conditions and was completed with consultant support and a grant from Ecology.
La Center’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.
– Preplans for those shorelines within the City’s urban growth area.
– Was developed as part of a coordinated effort with Clark County and six other cities.
– Retains native vegetation along shorelines.
– Encourages restoration consistent with a county-wide restoration plan showing where voluntary improvements in water and upland areas can enhance the local shoreline environment.
– Encourages erosion control methods that protect both property and habitat and also limits construction of new structures that harden shorelines such as bulkheads.
All of Washington’s cities and counties with regulated shorelines must update their programs by December 2014.
Dredging Today Staff, January 16, 2013