A program to manage about 2.5 miles of Yakima River shoreline within Benton City is open for comment through the Washington Department of Ecology.
The locally tailored shoreline program will guide construction and development of shoreline areas in Benton City. It also combines local plans for future development and preservation with new development ordinances and related permitting requirements.
Shoreline programs are designed to meet state and local needs by minimizing environmental damage to shoreline areas, reserving appropriate areas for water-oriented uses and protecting people’s access to public land and waters.
Under Washington state law, Washington’s 39 counties and over 200 cities and towns that have shoreline areas covered under the Shoreline Management Act (the Washington Legislature passed the Act in 1971; public adopted the Act in a 1972 referendum vote) must develop these plans that are locally-tailored to guide construction and development in regulated shoreline areas.
Benton City’s initial SMP was adopted by the Benton City Council in the 1970s. It has not been updated since that time. An attempt was made in 2007 to do a minor amendment to the plan, but it did not meet the standards as set forth by the Department of Ecology.
September 10, 2014