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Washington's SMA and GMA a Framework for local coastal planning and environmental management


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Title: Washington's SMA and GMA a Framework for local coastal planning and environmental management

Washington's SMA and GMA -a Framework for local
coastal planning and environmental management
  • SMA 509
  • May 9, 2006
  • Prof. Bob Goodwin

Washington State Shorelines in the late1960s
  • Uncontrolled filling of waterways
  • Wilbur v. Gallagher (Lake Chelan)
  • Polluting industries - pulp mills, smelters
  • Inappropriate shoreline development
  • Controversial industrial projects proposed
  • Port development (Nisqually Delta)
  • Oil refinery (Kayak Point, Snohomish County)
  • Aluminum reduction plant (Guemes Island)
  • 2/3 of state tidelands sold off
  • Limited public access to public shorelines

Citizenrys response
  • Washington Environmental Council formed
  • Dept. of Ecology created
  • WEC submitted Initiative 43 to the Washington
    legislature in 1970
  • Alternative measure, 43B, passed by the
    legislature in 1971
  • Per state constitution, both measures submitted
    to the voters in 1972
  • 43B prevailed, became the Shoreline Management
    Act, RCW 90-58

Initiative 43 and 43B Compared
  • 43 Limited role of local government
  • Established regional planning entities
  • Gave veto power to State
  • 600 shoreline permit jurisdiction
  • 43B Gave planning power to local government
  • State retained oversight
  • 200 permit jurisdiction

Shoreline Management Act
  • Covers both marine and freshwater (lakes, rivers
    and streams) shorelines
  • Exerts some state authority over local (cities
    and counties) decision-making
  • Shoreline Master Programs have weight of state
    law, not just local ordinances
  • Permits can be appealed by DOE, Attny. General,
    any aggrieved third party
  • Shoreline Hearings Board hears appeals
  • State can write an SMP if l.g. wont (Okanogan
  • Formed the core of Washingtons Coastal Zone
    Management Program approved in 1976

Washington CZMP 2-tier boundary
  • Planning area
  • 15 Coastal Counties (adjacent lands)
  • (SMA applies to all counties and cities)

Washington CMP 2-tier boundary
  • Permit area defined in the SMA
  • 200 inland from Ordinary High Water on rivers,
    lakes, streams and marine shorelines, plus
    associated wetlands
  • OHW is not a standard datum like MLLW, MSL, or
    100-yr flood
  • Defined (divined?) by soil conditions, vegetation
  • Control of uses therefore extends upland into
    parts of watersheds

Permissible uses
  • uses shall be preferred which are consistent
    with control of pollution and prevention of
    damage to the natural environment, or are unique
    to or dependent upon use of the state's
  • RCW 90.58.020

Priority of uses
  • SMA prioritizes uses on Shorelines and on
    Shorelines of Statewide Significance - (Outer
    Coast, Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound
    shorelines below extreme low water)

On Shorelines of the State
  • 1) Single family residences
  • 2) Ports
  • 3) Shoreline recreational uses
  • 4) Industrial and commercial developments that
    are particularly dependent upon their location
    on, or use of, the shorelines (water-dependent,
    water-related, water enjoyment uses)
  • 5) Other developments which will provide an
    opportunity for substantial numbers of people to
    enjoy the shorelines.

On Shorelines of Statewide Significance
  • Recognize and protect the statewide interest over
    local interest
  • Preserve the natural character of the shoreline
  • Result in long term over short term benefit
  • Protect the resources and ecology of the
  • Increase public access to publicly owned areas of
    the shorelines
  • Increase recreational opportunities for the
    public in the shoreline
  • Provide for any other element as defined in (the
    SMA) deemed appropriate or necessary.

Effects of SMA Use Priorities in Cities
  • Shorelines of Statewide Significance
  • Water areas below extreme low tide includes
    Harbor Areas and bedlands
  • Shorelines of the State
  • Uplands, tidelands and shorelands

SMA Planning Elements (For Preparation of
Shoreline Master Programs)
  • (a) An economic development element for the
    location and design of industries, industrial
    projects of statewide significance,
    transportation facilities, port facilities,
    tourist facilities, commerce and other
    developments that are particularly dependent on
    their location on or use of the shorelines of the

SMA Planning Elements
  • (b) A public access element making provision for
    public access to publicly owned areas

SMA Planning Elements
  • (c) A recreational element for the preservation
    and enlargement of recreational opportunities,
    including but not limited to parks, tidelands,
    beaches, and recreational areas

SMA Planning Elements
  • (d) A circulation element consisting of the
    general location and extent of existing and
    proposed major thoroughfares, transportation
    routes, terminals, and other public utilities and
    facilities, all correlated with the shoreline use

SMA Planning Elements
  • (e) A use element which considers the proposed
    general distribution and general location and
    extent of the use on shorelines and adjacent land
    areas for housing, business, industry,
    transportation, agriculture, natural resources,
    recreation, education, public buildings and
    grounds, and other categories of public and
    private uses of the land

SMA Planning Elements
  • (f) A conservation element for the preservation
    of natural resources, including but not limited
    to scenic vistas, aesthetics, and vital estuarine
    areas for fisheries and wildlife protection

SMA Planning Elements
  • (g) An historic, cultural, scientific, and
    educational element for the protection and
    restoration of buildings, sites, and areas having
    historic, cultural, scientific, or educational

SMA Planning Elements
  • (h) An element that gives consideration to the
    statewide interest in the prevention and
    minimization of flood damages and

SMA Planning Elements
  • (i) Any other element deemed appropriate or
    necessary to effectuate the policy of this

SMA Environmental Designations
  • Natural
  • Undisturbed shorelines (parks, reserves, etc.)
  • Conservancy
  • Altered shorelines with low intensity uses (e.g.
    urban parks, beaches)
  • Rural
  • Agricultural and forestry lands
  • Low intensity residential
  • Urban
  • Highly modified shorelines in cities
  • Ports, heavy marine industries

2003 SMA Guidelines Update
  • New interpretation of the 1971 SMA
  • Requires SMA/GMA integration
  • Revised Environmental Designations
  • Added principles
  • No net loss of shorelines ecological functions
  • Clear mitigation policy
  • Restoration plan required

Shoreline Management Act
  • What it is not
  • Comprehensive land use planning statute
  • Watershed management regime
  • Smart growth tool
  • What it is
  • Management regime for shores of waters and the
    immediately adjacent lands
  • Program to achieve shoreline/coastal goals
  • Balancing mechanism for local and statewide

Growth Management Act (1991)
  • Requirements
  • Establish Urban Growth Areas
  • Distinguish rural from urban
  • Inventory and protect critical areas through
    Critical Areas Ordinance
  • Wetlands
  • Areas of critical recharging effect on aquifers
    used for potable water
  • Fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas
  • Frequently flooded areas
  • Geologically hazardous areas

GMA Requirements, cont
  • Develop a comprehensive plan
  • 20-year planning horizon
  • Land use element
  • Housing element
  • Capital facilities plan element.
  • Utilities element
  • Transportation element
  • Rural element
  • Optional elements

GMA Requirements, cont
  • Concurrency
  • Transportation and public service improvements to
    precede development
  • Levels of service to be achieved
  • Coordination Consistency
  • Between county and city plans
  • Between adjacent counties
  • With other federal, state and regional plans
  • Cumulative effects
  • Development regulations

GMA Summary
  • GMA Addresses -
  • where and when growth occurs not if
  • fast growing counties
  • impacts and mitigation of growths effects
  • conservation of critical areas
  • protection of rural resource lands
  • GMA defers to Shoreline Management Act and local
    Shoreline Master Programs
  • Critical areas ordinance cant trump shoreline

GMA/SMA Summary
  • GMA is a comprehensive planning and growth
    management statute that addresses where urban
    development can and cannot occur in the fastest
    growing counties
  • SMA is a management program designed uniquely for
    shorelines of marine and freshwater bodies
    throughout the State and has the weight of state

Next class
  • The new SMA Guideline put to use
  • Port Townsends SMP Update
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