Friday, March 9, 2018

Review changes to how Olympia manages its shorelines

Public has 14 days to weigh in on city’s revised protection plan 

Docks glow under lamp-light at a marina in Olympia Washington. The Olympic Mountains are barely visible under in the disappearing sunlight.
Olympia's shorelines are cherished by a variety of users. Local marinas dotting Budd Inlet provide fishermen and adventure-seekers, alike, access to the bay and the rest of Puget Sound. Parks and other marine access points service beach combers, sun seekers, and other land-bound creatures.
The plan for how to protect 30 miles of Olympia’s lake, river, and marine shorelines – an invaluable community asset and a cornerstone of city’s high quality of life – is getting a minor update. The public can review and comment on the plan until March 22.

The city modified its shoreline plan and has submitted it to the Washington Department of Ecology for approval. Before approving or requesting changes to the amendment, Ecology is making it available for public review and comment. Comments will help Ecology decide next steps.
During King Tide, visitors to Olympia's Port Plaza gaze at the abundance of water flowing in from Puget Sound.
Port Plaza is a popular year-round park for Olympians and
visitors to the south-sound community.

The updated shoreline plan incorporates critical area regulation changes passed by the city council last year, makes minor corrections that delete provisions no longer necessary, and corrects the shoreline map to include an unused railway berm.
An abandoned railroad berm on the west side of Budd Inlet.
One of the changes the amendment incorporates is including
an unused railway berm in the shoreline management plan.

Local shoreline programs protect natural resources for future generations, provide for public access to public waters and shores, and plan for shoreline uses and development. Amendments to them become part of the state’s overall Shoreline Master Program after they are approved by Ecology.

Olympia’s amended plan can be found online. Paper copies are available to view at Ecology’s Southwest Regional Office in Lacey, or at the City of Olympia’s Planning and Development office.

Comments can be submitted online, through email, or by mail, and will be accepted until 5 p.m. March 22.

   Mail:  Kim Van Zwalenburg
             Southwest Regional Office
             PO Box 47775
             Olympia, WA  98504-7775
   Online: Comment form

After the comment period closes, Ecology will compare Olympia’s amendment to the requirements of the Shoreline Management Act and Shoreline Master Program guidelines and decide whether or not to approve the amendment as is, approve it with changes, or send it back for required changes.

By Dave Bennett, Ecology communications

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