Leavenworth shoreline master program: periodic review

Public comment requested Nov. 1 through Dec. 1, 2021.

We are seeking public comment on Leavenworth's shoreline master program (SMP) periodic review. The public comment period will run from Nov. 1 through Dec. 1, 2021.

Leavenworth’s comprehensive update to their SMP went into effect in 2014. The proposed amendment is needed to comply with the statutory deadline for a periodic review of the Leavenworth SMP pursuant to RCW 90.58.080(4). Leavenworth has reviewed their SMP and has proposed amendments that will bring the SMP in compliance with requirements of the Shoreline Management Act and state rules, and reflects changes in circumstances, new information, and improved data.

The key changes the city is proposing:

  • Removal of references to WAC, RCW and the old SMP (county document) were removed.
  • Housekeeping changes included: replacing the “City of Leavenworth” references to “Shoreline Administrator” as appropriate; grammar corrections, updating of text for readability and simplification of text; moved application requirements to Section 7; and, removal of references that did not apply to the city.
  • Added reference to best available science.
  • Updated Appendix B, Critical Areas, to match amendments made to the city regulations by Ordinance 1597, approved by the Leavenworth City Council in 2019.
  • Removed or combined redundant regulations.
  • Updated Shoreline Use and Modification Matrix (Use/Permit Chart) to reflect definitions, designations and community needs for permitting; including removal of mining and forest practices as a permitted use.
  • Removed the requirement for written exemption letters for exempt activities.
  • Removed several buffer reductions to better fit the city shoreline conditions; also moved buffer and reduction tables to new location (SMP Section 3.4) to improve flow/use of the SMP.
  • Prohibited new subdivisions within the channel migration zone.
  • Required all new development to connect to city sewer – except recreational facilities.
  • Simplified recreational development requirements.
  • Simplified shoreline stabilization – new and repair, which includes maintenance; removed requirements for enlargement and replacement which will be reviewed as new.
  • Removal of Section 5.21, Redevelopment, Repair and Maintenance which is covered within the SMP, including the non-conforming section.
  • Added “pre-existing residential structures” to the non-conforming section to clarify how these may be maintained/repaired, replaced and/or enlarged.
  • Streamlined other non-conforming regulations.
  • Updated the duration/expiration of permit timelines for clarity.
  • Updated definitions, removing terms that were unnecessary and modifying others to improve clarity or consistency with the SMP.

Next Steps

Leavenworth has opted to use the standard review process for SMP amendments, pursuant to WAC 173-26-100. The city locally adopted this amendment on Aug. 10, 2021, and submitted it to us on Aug. 30, 2021. We determined their submittal to be complete on Sept. 13, 2021. Following the comment period, we will compare Leavenworth’s proposed amendment to the requirements of the Shoreline Management Act and the Shoreline Master Program Guidelines. Based on the comparison, we will decide whether to:

  • Approve the program as is.
  • Approve with recommended changes.
  • Send the proposed program back to the city with required changes to meet statutory and rule requirements. Recommended changes may also be included with the required changes.

Public comment period

Opens: Nov. 1, 2021
Closes: Dec. 1, 2021

All interested parties are invited to provide comment during this public comment period. There are several ways to provide comments. You only need to submit your comments once.

Submit written comments and questions to:

Lennard Jordan
Washington Department of Ecology
Central Regional Office
1250 West Alder Street
Union Gap, WA 98903

Comments must be received no later than Dec. 1, 2021

Documents for public review and comment

Next steps: response to public comment and decision

A summary of comments will be posted here a few weeks after the comment period closes. We will also post the Leavenworth response to comments and a notice of our decision when they become available. Please check back.