Ecology OKs Shoreline Program for Kitsap County
The Washington Department of Ecology has approved Kitsap County’s updated shoreline master program.
The county’s shoreline program will result in significant improvements in the protection, use, development and restoration of over 290 miles of lake, stream and marine shorelines throughout the county.
“The county’s staff and commissioners are to be commended for an outstanding public process and final product,” said Erik Stockdale, Ecology’s regional shorelines program supervisor. “Kitsap County engaged a variety of stakeholders in developing a program that helps protect the economic and environmental health of local shorelines. By working together, the community is protecting treasured shoreline resources for themselves and future generations.”
“Because our jurisdiction is located on a peninsula, Kitsap County’s shorelines play a vital role in enhancing the quality of life for our citizens,” said Charlotte Garrido, Chair of the Board of County Commissioners. “The updated shoreline master program is the result of a productive partnership between our citizens, shoreline property owners, local tribes and state agencies, and we are confident the results show that. We are especially proud of the work our Citizen Task Force did in developing a program that accounts for variability across the county’s shorelines while also striving to protect our natural resources.”
The county’s updated shoreline program:
– Integrates shoreline regulations with current growth management planning, zoning, floodplain management and critical areas ordinances;
– Establishes buffers that protect existing shoreline functions and provide some flexibility to accommodate individual property circumstances;
– Sets standards for new and replacement residential docks and piers to minimize impacts to nearshore areas;
– 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.