USA: Poulsbo’s Shoreline Master Program Approved

Poulsbo’s Shoreline Master Program Approved

The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) has approved the city of Poulsbo’s updated shoreline master program.

Poulsbo’s shoreline program will result in significant improvements in the protection, use, development and restoration of 3.9 miles of shorelines within the city, along Liberty Bay and Dogfish Creek.

I congratulate the citizens and staff of the city of Poulsbo that created such a great shoreline management program. By protecting our critical shorelines, we preserve Liberty Bay for our children. This document allows future generations to enjoy our natural marine environment in perpetuity,” said Mayor Rebecca Erickson.

The new master program combines local plans for future shoreline development and preservation with new shoreline development ordinances and related permitting requirements.

“We’re pleased to approve Poulsbo’s program as submitted, without needing to request any changes. Shorelines have so much to do with making Poulsbo and other parts of Washington a great place to live. We congratulate the city and all parties who helped develop this update in an exemplary manner to protect Poulsbo’s treasured shoreline resources for years to come,” said Geoff Tallent, Ecology’s regional shorelines program supervisor.

The city brought together people representing diverse local interests to develop the updated master program. The process began with a thorough inventory of existing land-use patterns and environmental conditions. The effort involved waterfront property owners, tribal government representatives, Port of Poulsbo commissioners and state and local resource agency staff.

Shoreline master programs are the cornerstone of the state’s 1972 voter-approved Shoreline Management Act. The law requires more than 200 cities and counties to develop and periodically update their locally-tailored programs 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.

Poulsbo’s shoreline master program:

– Integrates the city’s growth management, planning and zoning, and critical areas ordinances as part of a unified development code.

– Establishes protective buffers with the flexibility to reduce them to support water-dependent uses along the city’s shoreline.

– 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.

Under state law, the local shoreline program must receive approval from Ecology before taking effect. It then becomes part of the state shoreline master program. The department will help defend the city’s shoreline program against legal challenges.

Washington’s cities and counties with regulated shorelines must update their programs by December 2014.

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Press Release, February 28, 2013

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