Pierce County Shoreline Master Program: locally initiated amendment

On March 4, 2024, we approved Pierce County's locally initiated amendment to their Shoreline Master Program (SMP).

The locally initiated amendment was adopted by Pierce County Council in Dec. 2022. It addresses several separate topics, including:

  • Adding prohibition for new residential piers and docks along approximately 52 miles of marine shoreline.
  • Clarifying permitting requirements for non-commercial aquaculture intended to restore native fish and shellfish stocks.
  • Clarifying fencing allowances within shoreline buffers and setbacks.
  • Updating the SMP's incorporation of Pierce County Code Title 18E, the county's critical areas regulations, to capture the most recent amendments to those regulations and ensure that they apply to shoreline jurisdiction.

On Oct. 24, 2023, we provided Pierce County with required and recommended changes to the county's proposed locally initiated amendment to their SMP. The changes are based on our review of whether or not the proposed amendment complies with state laws, rules, and a public comment period held Feb. 28 to March 30, 2023.

Postcards were mailed to all shoreline property owners, and email notices were used to notify those who had expressed prior interest. Written comments from 32 different individuals and/or organizations were received. Comments addressed arguments both for and against the proposed dock restrictions; restrictions on aquaculture; and fencing regulations. On April 10, 2023, we sent a summary of comments to the County for their response. The public comments and County's responses have been incorporated into Attachment A: Findings and Conclusions as well as the Responsiveness Summary. (Below).

Documents for public review and comment


  • Per RCW 90.58.190(2) and RCW 36.70A.290, and interested party may file an appeal with the Growth Management Hearings Board within 60 days of the publication date of our written notice of final action.
  • We plan to publish the notice of final action in the News Tribune legal ads on March 18, 2024.