Stevens County Partnership

On Sept. 9, 2020, we approved the Stevens County Partnership's Shoreline Master Program (SMP) comprehensive update. The effective date of each partnership jurisdiction's SMP is Sept. 23, 2020, 14 days after we provided notice that their SMP was approved. Interested parties may file an appeal within 60 days of the publication date of our written notice of final action.

Background information

The City of Kettle Falls, the towns of Marcus and Northport, and Stevens County formed the Stevens County Partnership in 2014 to comprehensively update their SMPs to meet the requirements of Chapter 173-26 WAC.

This regional SMP was tailored to the unique and varying geographic, economic, and particular land uses in each of the four jurisdictions in the partnership. Stevens County adopted its current SMP in 1999. The City of Kettle Falls and towns of Marcus and Northport did not have prior SMPs.

The partnership’s updated shoreline jurisdiction includes 15 streams and 40 lakes that are shorelines of the state, seven of which are Shorelines of Statewide Significance. Stevens County boasts roughly 330 miles of shoreline, including remote Sheep Creek, Lake Roosevelt (Columbia River), residential Loon and Deer Lakes, and the Colville River, which is bounded by agricultural lands.

Public participation

The Stevens County Partnership maintained an extraordinary commitment to transparency throughout the roughly six-year update process. They maintained an open comment period throughout the entire update cycle, operated a dedicated website with up-to-date drafts and online commenting features, and held numerous open houses and hearings at critical times. They provided written notice to every landowner in the county at the beginning of the update process to ensure all residents had a meaningful chance to participate. More than 250 comments were documented and answered as appropriate in comment matrices or responsive text edits. The partnership invited us to act as a partner and advisor for this locally tailored and highly responsive advancement of the SMPs.

We used mail and email to notify interested parties of the public comment period. We also issued a news release and legal ad to encourage additional public participation and comment. We received a total of 50 individual comments from two organizations and eight individual citizens. Comments focused on a wide variety of topics including shoreline buffers, shoreline environment designations, and stormwater management issues. On December 9, 2019, we sent a summary of comments to the partnership for their response, which was received on May 18, 2020. Public comments and the partnership’s responses have been incorporated into a Comment Response Matrix found in Attachment B.

Documents related to approval

Note: All documents are PDF

Paper copies are available by contacting Jeremy Sikes.