Department of Ecology News Release - March 27, 2023

Ecology invites comment on Skagit County comprehensive update and review of Shoreline Master Program

Public comments will aid in decision to approve program or ask for changes


The Washington Department of Ecology is seeking public input on a combined Shoreline Master Program update for Skagit County and the towns of Hamilton and Lyman. 

The county and the towns formed a coalition in 2010 to combine their efforts to maximize efficiency and take advantage of their proximity and similar development issues.  

These jurisdictions have worked together, with Skagit County taking the lead, to develop a shared shoreline plan that will be implemented consistently across all three jurisdictions, and all three have recently adopted drafts for Ecology to review, as required by state law.  

The towns of Hamilton and Lyman are located along the Skagit River. The proposed amendments to the Skagit County shoreline plan would represent a significant overhaul of the existing plan, which hasn’t been comprehensively updated since the late 1970s. The new shoreline plan would regulate use and development along 598 miles of streams and rivers, 53 lakes and reservoirs, 228 miles of marine shoreline, and all wetland areas associated with these waterbodies.  

“The proposed shoreline plan entirely replaces the existing Skagit County shoreline master program that was adopted in 1976,” said Chad Yunge, a senior shoreline planner with Ecology. “This includes new goals, policies, and regulations to encourage and manage appropriate shoreline uses, public access, and protection and restoration of both marine and freshwater shoreline resources.”

Provide input

Ecology is accepting public comments on this update from April 3 through 5 p.m. May 18, 2023.

Submit comments online, by mail, or at a public hearing.

  • Comment online 
  • Mail to: Chad Yunge
    Washington Department of Ecology 
    Northwest Region – Bellingham Field Office 
    913 Squalicum Way #101 
    Bellingham, WA 98225

April 24 open house & public hearing

Ecology will hold a hybrid in-person and virtual open house and public hearing starting at 5:30 p.m. April 24, 2023. The public hearing will follow the open house at 7:30 p.m. 

Ecology will provide an overview of the proposed amendments and an in-person question-and-answer session, followed by public comment. For virtual attendees, please send your questions to Chad Yunge.

Attend the hearing in person

Skagit County Board of Commissioners Hearing Room 
1800 Continental Place 
Mount Vernon, WA 98273 

Attend the hearing virtually

Learn more

Contact information

Chad Yunge
Shoreline Planner
Laura Foster