Pierce County 2020 SMP amendment

We are seeking public comment on Pierce County's proposed amendment to it's Shoreline Master Program (SMP). The public comment period will run from May 27 to June 11, 2020, at 5 p.m.

Pierce County has proposed amendments, adopted as Ordinance No. 2020-49, to its SMP in response to an order by the Growth Management Hearings Board (GMHB). The county's SMP was appealed in December 2018 by Taylor Shellfish Co., North Bay Partners, and Seattle Shellfish. In 2019, the county submitted, and we approved, an amendment to the SMP in response to the final decision and order by the GMHB in Case No. 18-3-0013c. The 2019 amendment was reviewed by the GMHB who held a compliance hearing by phone on Jan. 16, 2020. The GMHB issued their Order on Compliance on Feb. 21, 2020, directing the county to work with us to make further changes to the SMP. This amendment is in response to the most recent GMHB order.


The following changes to Aquaculture provisions are proposed:

  • Correction to a typographical error in Table 18S.60.030-1 Shoreline Permit Table which inadvertently prohibited aquaculture in the High Intensity Environment Designation.
  • Revisions to Appendix C Aquaculture Application Requirements – specifically subsection E-Monitoring Plan.
  • Revision to 18E.40.040 E requiring activities be suspended during spawning periods.

We will review the county's proposed SMP 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 county with required changes to meet statutory and rule requirements. Recommended changes may also be included with the required changes.

Public comment period

Opens: May 27, 2020
Closes: June 11, 2020 at 5 p.m.

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

Submit written comments and questions to:

Online via the e-comments form

By Mail:

Kim Van Zwalenburg
Washington Department of Ecology
Southwest Regional Office
PO Box 47775
Olympia, WA 98504-7775
kim.vanzwalenburg@ecy.wa.gov
360-407-6520

Comments must be received no later than June 11, 2020 at 5 p.m.

Documents for public review and comment

Note: all documents are PDF

Next Steps: response to public comment and decision

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