Burlington Shoreline Master Program Approved (USA)

Burlington Shoreline Master Program Approved

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

The city’s shoreline program will result in significant improvements in the protection, use, development and restoration of roughly three miles of shoreline and the water quality of the Skagit River and Gages Slough.

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

Burlington has developed a shoreline master program that will help the statewide effort to protect the economic and environmental health of our waterways. We appreciate the city’s work to involve many interested parties in this update. Together, we are protecting our treasured shoreline resources now and for future generations,” said Erik Stockdale, Ecology’s acting regional shorelines program supervisor.

Cities and counties statewide are in the process of, or soon will be, updating or developing their master programs under the state’s 1972 voter-approved Shoreline Management Act.

Shoreline master programs are the cornerstone of the act. The law requires cities and counties with regulated shorelines 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.

The city brought diverse local interests to the table to work collaboratively. Burlington collaborated over three years with waterfront property owners, environmental interests, local governments, tribes and state agencies. The shoreline master program process began with a thorough inventory of existing land-use patterns and environmental conditions and was completed by city staff.

Burlington’s shoreline master program:

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

– Establishes protective buffers with the flexibility to reduce them based on individual property circumstances;

– 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, June 20, 2013

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