USA: Ecology Seeks Comments on Mountlake Terrace’s Shoreline Master Program

Ecology Seeks Comments on Mountlake Terrace’s Shoreline Master Program

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

The proposed updated program will guide construction and development in the city’s 1.2 miles of Lake Ballinger shoreline. The city’s update proposes shoreline environment designations, buffers and setbacks tailored to reflect existing land uses and ecological conditions. It combines local plans for future development and preservation with new development ordinances and related permitting requirements.

Mountlake Terrace’s locally tailored shoreline program is designed to help minimize environmental damage to shoreline areas by preserving existing shoreline and wetland habitat, reserve appropriate areas for water-oriented uses, and protect the public’s right to access public land and waters.

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

Ecology will accept public comment on Mountlake Terrace’s proposed shoreline program through April 25, 2013.

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

Mountlake Terrace’s proposed update master program:

– Incorporates the city’s critical areas regulations.

– Establishes appropriate shoreline environment designations that recognize established shoreline uses and existing intact shoreline habitat.

– Recognizes the preservation of existing wetland vegetation within shoreline designated as “urban conservancy shoreline environment.”

– 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 29, 2013

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