Public comment requested - June 21, 2022 – July 21, 2022
We are seeking public comment on Nooksack’s proposed amendment to its Shoreline Master Program (SMP).
Nooksack’s comprehensive update to their SMP went into effect in 2015. The proposed amendment is necessary to comply with the statutory deadline for a periodic review of the Nooksack SMP pursuant to RCW 90.58.080(4). Nooksack has reviewed their SMP and has proposed amendments that will bring the SMP in compliance with requirements of the Shoreline Management Act (SMA) and state rules, ensures consistency with Nooksack’s Comprehensive Plan and development regulations, and reflects changes in circumstances, new information, and improved data.
The key changes proposed include:
- Modifying the extent of shoreline jurisdiction within the city to reflect the minimum jurisdictional area required by the SMA. This includes removing the existing 50-foot jurisdictional area currently applied to shoreline associated wetlands and clarifying that the SMP uses the mapped FEMA floodway to determine the extent of shoreline jurisdiction within the city.
- Adding a new section to address select activities allowed within wetlands, streams, and buffers.
- Incorporating select changes made to the city’s critical area regulations adopted in 2016 and changes to their flood ordinance adopted in 2019.
- Revised provisions, clarifying that public access is required for developments creating more than four lots or units.
Nooksack opted to use the standard review process for SMP amendments, pursuant to WAC 173-26-100. Nooksack locally adopted this amendment on June 21, 2021 and submitted it to us on March 31, 2022. We determined their submittal to be complete on April 20, 2022.
After the public comment period, we will compare Nooksack’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 Nooksack with required changes to meet statutory and rule requirements. Recommended changes may also be included with the required changes.
Public comment period
Opens: June 21, 2022
Closes: July 21, 2022
We invite all interested parties to provide comment during this public comment period. You may provide comments in several ways. You only need to submit your comments once.
Submit written comments and questions to:
Washington Department of Ecology
Bellingham Field Office
913 Squalicum Way, #101
Bellingham, WA 98225
We must receive comments by July 21, 2022.
Documents for public review and comment
Note: all documents are PDF
Next steps: response to public comment and decision
We will post a summary of comments here a few weeks after the comment period closes. We will also post the city's response to comments and a notice of our decision when they become available. Please check back.