USA: Ecology Seeks Public Comments on Port Angeles’ Shoreline Program

The state Department of Ecology (Ecology) is seeking public comment on the city of Port Angeles’ recently updated shoreline master program.

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

Ecology will accept public comment on Port Angeles’s proposed shoreline program through April 11.

Ecology Regional Shorelands Program Manager Paula Ehlers said: “Port Angeles’ shoreline master program is designed to help protect the economic and environmental vitality of our communities and our waters, including Puget Sound. Shorelines such as those in Port Angeles make Washington a remarkable place to live and are a vital part of our quality of life. By working together, we are protecting these treasured shoreline resources for ourselves as well as our children and future generations.”

After the public comment period is done, Ecology may approve the proposed shoreline master program as written, reject it or direct Port Angeles to modify specific parts. Once approved by Ecology, Port Angeles’ shoreline program will become part of the overall state shoreline master program.

The city’s proposed 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 vegetation conservation areas with the flexibility to reduce these setbacks based on individual property circumstances.

– Recognizes the city’s unique role in the maritime transportation industry as well as the extensive array of water-dependent uses along the city’s shorelines.

– 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.

Press Release, March 19, 2013

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