Shoreline Master Program Update

Project Summary

The State Shoreline Management Act requires counties and cities to update their Shoreline Master Programs (SMPs). SMPs govern activities on and near lakes, streams, and rivers. The update is required to modernize the existing program to reflect today's conditions and address new state requirements.

The Shoreline Management Act (SMA) was enacted by the Legislature in 1971. The City of Washougal adopted its current SMP in 1974, and it has not been amended since. The Department of Ecology adopted new rules for SMPs in 2003. The Growth Management Act states that the goals and policies of the SMA are considered a fourteenth goal for purposes of the Act and the comprehensive plan. The city is partnering with the county and other cities within Clark County to complete the update.

Current project information and upcoming meeting dates can be found online at our partner, the City of Vancouver's website.

SMP updates are done in six phases as recommended by the Washington Department of Ecology (DOE):

  1. Inventory shoreline and adjacent land uses including transportation and utility facilities, critical areas, degraded areas, areas of special interest, public access sites, channel migration zones and floodplains, archaeological and historic resources. This includes a public participation plan that identifies stakeholders, specific objectives, and timelines.
  2. Identify shoreline function, ecosystem process, public access and shoreline use, and potential protection and restoration areas.
  3. Develop policies and regulations for all shoreline designations including natural, rural conservancy, aquatic, high intensity, urban conservancy, and shoreline residential. Policies and regulations will be developed for each designation.
  4. Analyze cumulative impacts, demonstrate no net loss of ecological function, and identify ways to restore shoreline ecological functions.
  5. Adopt individual Shoreline Master Programs for the county and each city. Jurisdictions will work together to develop policies and regulations that are as consistent as possible across boundaries.
  6. Submit updates to the Department of Ecology for approval.

SMP updates are funded by a Department of Ecology grant administered through the city of Vancouver on behalf of the county and its cities. The county and its cities will share analysis data and develop consistent as possible policies and regulations across the landscape.

Supporting Documents