This toolbox is designed for local and state shoreline planners responsible for developing and administering Shoreline Master Programs. Users will find links to our webpages, publications, and guidance to help with:
- Resolving shoreline management issues
- Developing and updating Shoreline Master Programs
- Researching laws and rules
- Shoreline Planning Grant opportunities
If you don't find what you need, please contact the regional planner serving your city or county government.
Administration of Shoreline Master Programs
Shoreline permit filing
You can email your shoreline permit to email@example.com for any shoreline substantial development, conditional use, and variances. While we still accept mailed submittals, we prefer email.
Make sure your email contains a complete submittal following the requirements of WAC 173-27-130 and WAC 173-27-180.
Note: We will email you confirmation within five days. If you do not receive an emailed confirmation letter for a shoreline substantial development permit submittal within five days, contact your shoreline permit reviewer. For conditional use permits and variances, we try to finish our review and decision making process within 30 days of your submittal.
The Shoreline Planning Competitive Grant Program builds off our 2021-2023 pilot program to provide additional funds for shoreline planning and planning-related efforts that advance climate resilience, improve the implementation of SMPs, or support local shoreline planning priorities.
How to apply
We previously offered two separate shoreline planning grant programs. One was a non-competitive formula grant, offered to local governments to supplement the fund requirements for completing their statutorily required SMP periodic reviews. This funding program will be offered in the future when SMP periodic reviews are required again. The other was a pilot grant program intended to provide more flexible funding to local governments for locally driven, priority shoreline planning efforts. Both grants are administered through Ecology's Administration of Grants and Loans (EAGL) system. More information about both of these 2021-2023 grant programs and EAGL resources are available below:
The state Shoreline Management Act requires that counties, cities, and towns periodically review their comprehensively-updated Shoreline Master Program (SMP) every eight years. The review timetable for local governments is established in RCW 90.58.080(4), and the completion deadline and process requirements are outlined in WAC 173-26-090. In addition, WAC 173-26-104 allows an optional joint review process that combines required local and state public comment periods.
Periodic reviews due in 2021-2023
- Adams, Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Grays Harbor, Klickitat, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pacific, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Wahkiakum, Walla Walla, and Whitman
- The cities and towns within the counties listed above
2021-2023 grant funding
For the 2021-23 biennium, we are offering grant funds to eligible jurisdictions with periodic reviews due on June 30, 2022. Grants issued will start on July 1, 2021 and end on June 30, 2023.
WAC 173-26-090 clarifies that local legislative action is required to complete the review, even when a local government determines that no changes are needed. Our periodic review guidance provides information you can use during your SMP review, as well as example documents.
For both SMP Amendments and Findings of Adequacy
For SMP Amendments
For Findings of Adequacy
Comprehensive updates of Shoreline Master Programs, mandated by the Legislature, are currently underway. Many cities and counties have completed their updates. These shoreline programs carry out the policies of the state Shoreline Management Act for local shorelines. Ecology's guidelines for these updates translate the broad policies of the SMA into standards for shoreline programs.
A comprehensive update includes a public participation process, shoreline inventory, cumulative impacts analysis and restoration plan. This work results in a determination of shoreline jurisdiction, environment designations, goals, policies and regulations. Our guidance for conducting the work is provided in the Shoreline Master Programs Handbook.
Local governments at times decide to amend their Shoreline Master Programs to address a change in local shoreline conditions, their comprehensive plan or zoning regulations, or improved data. These SMP amendments must be developed consistent with the requirements of WAC 173-26-110. Some of the requirements are:
- Public participation, including at least one public hearing
- Consultation with any agency, tribe or person with interest or responsibility relating to the shoreline
- Consultation with Ecology
- Compliance with SEPA
For locally-initiated amendments and periodic reviews, local jurisdictions have the option to conduct a joint review process with Ecology. This process consolidates local and state public comment periods. See step-by-step instructions in our Joint Review Process guidance.
Shoreline amendments must be approved by the local elected officials and submitted to Ecology for approval. You can find these requirements in the following state rules: