The Shoreline Management Act (SMA) requires each city and county to review, and, if necessary, revise their SMP. The Legislature set a staggered schedule that alternates with similar reviews under the Growth Management Act.
The SMA establishes a schedule for periodic reviews in RCW 90.58.080. Reviews are due on June 30 of the years listed below, and every eight years thereafter, for counties and the cities and towns within each county.
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.
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:
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:
Senior shoreline planner