Ferndale Shoreline Master Program: periodic review

Public comment requested - Aug. 15 - Sept. 14, 2022

We are seeking public comment on the City of Ferndale’s proposed amendment to its Shoreline Master Program (SMP). 

The city’s comprehensive update to their SMP went into effect in 2009. The proposed amendment is necessary to comply with the statutory deadline for a periodic review of the Ferndale SMP pursuant to RCW 90.58.080(4). The city 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 Ferndale’s Comprehensive Plan and development regulations, and reflects changes in local circumstances, new information, and improved data.

The key changes proposed include:

  • Incorporation of updated critical areas and floodplain regulations to replace outdated and/or conflicting critical area language within the SMP
  • Incorporation of the city’s Parks, Recreation and Trails Master Plan into the SMP
  • Incorporation of the city’s permitting and enforcement procedures into the SMP
  • Modification of maximum height limits to be consistent with underlying zoning requirements. Added requirement for view analysis for structures over 35-feet
  • Reduction of lot coverage restrictions in select Shoreline Environment Designations (SEDs); increased lot coverage restrictions within the Conservancy SED consistent with SMA rules
  • Modification of the Official Shoreline Map to reflect updated FEMA floodway and floodplain mapping
  • Re-designation of the “Braithwaite Property” west of Vanderyacht Park from Conservancy to Residential
  • Removal of the General Commercial Conservancy and Manufacturing Conservancy SEDs. These SEDS will be combined as Conservancy
  • Removal of references to the Riverside Golf Course property related to public use and restoration as the site is still in private ownership and being redeveloped for commercial purposes

The City has opted to use the standard review process for SMP amendments, pursuant to WAC 173-26-100. The city locally adopted this amendment on June 21, 2021, and submitted it to us on Oct. 21, 2021. We determined their submittal to be complete on July 12, 2022.

Following the comment period, we will compare The city’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 city with required changes to meet statutory and rule requirements. Recommended changes may also be included with the required changes.

Public comment period

Opens: Aug. 15, 2022
Closes: Sept. 14, 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 you rcomments once.

Submit written comments and questions to:

Chad Yunge
Washington Department of Ecology
Bellingham Field Office
913 Squalicum Way #101
Bellingham, WA 98225

We must receive comments not later than Sept. 14, 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.