USA: Ecology Seeks Comments on Hunts Point’s Shoreline Program

Ecology Seeks Comments on Hunts Point’s Shoreline Program

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

The proposed updated shoreline program will guide construction and development in the town’s three miles of lake shoreline. It combines local plans for future development and preservation with new development ordinances and related permitting requirements.

Hunts Point’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 land and waters.

Under Washington’s 1972 voter-approved Shoreline Management Act, Ecology must review and approve Hunts Point’s proposed shoreline program before it takes effect. Cities, towns and counties statewide are in the process of, or soon will be updating or developing, their master programs.

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

Hunts Point’s proposed update master program:

– Integrates shoreline regulations with the town’s growth management, planning and zoning, floodplain management and critical areas ordinances as part of a unified development code.

– Establishes protective natural areas (also known as buffers) of 30 to 150 feet with the flexibility to reduce buffers based on individual property circumstances.

– Limits the length of new residential docks and piers to the minimum necessary, up to 100 feet.

– 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.

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

[mappress]

Press Release, March 25, 2013

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