Monday, January 14, 2019

Ecology seeking comment on Clallam County's proposed shoreline master program revisions

Shoreline along Lake Sutherland, located 17 miles west of Port Angeles in Clallam County, Washington.
Shoreline along Lake Sutherland, about 17 miles west of Port Angeles in Clallam County
Starting today, we are accepting public comment until Thursday, Feb. 28, about significant revisions Clallam County is seeking to make to its shoreline master program (SMP).

The locally-tailored set of land-use policies and regulations is designed to protect and guide how Clallam County will develop, restore, and preserve more than 600 miles of marine and freshwater shorelines in the county, including:

  • Approximately 130 miles of marine shoreline including a portion of the Pacific Ocean coastline, Strait of Juan de Fuca, and numerous saltwater inlets such as Clallam, Crescent, Dungeness, Freshwater, and Sequim bays.
  • More than 480 miles of freshwater shoreline along the Bogachiel, Calawah, Elwha, Quillayute, and Sol Duc rivers.
  • About 1,500 shoreline acres around six lakes in the county including Beaver, Crescent, Dickey, Elk, Pleasant, and Sutherland.

Clallam County last amended its SMP in 1992. The revised SMP will replace the county’s current master program and is designed to:

  • Prioritize water-oriented uses and development in Clallam County.
  • Provide for public access to public waters and shorelines.
  • Support restoration actions consistent with the county’s shoreline restoration plan.
  • Incorporate critical area regulations to ensure environmentally-sensitive areas within the county’s shoreline jurisdiction are protected.

Shoreline along Elwha River in Clallam County
Shoreline along the Elwha River in Clallam County.
Draft SMP documents available for review online or by appointment

Electronic copies of the county's draft SMP documents are available for review and comment through our website while printed copies are available for review, by appointment, at Ecology and Clallam County. To arrange a time to view printed documents at Ecology, please contact Michelle McConnell. Her phone number is 360-407-6329 and Ecology's physical address is:

Washington Department of Ecology
Southwest Regional Office
300 Desmond Dr.
Lacey, WA 98504

To review the draft SMP documents at Clallam County, please contact Steve Gray. His phone number is 360-417-2520 and the county office is located at:

Clallam County
Department of Community Development
223 E. 4th Ave., Suite 5
Port Angeles, WA 98362

How to submit public comments

Comments only need to be provided once before the Feb. 28 deadline at 5 p.m.. While we prefer public comments be submitted through our online comment form, we also will accept comments by mail sent to:

Michelle McConnell
Washington Department of Ecology
Southwest Regional Office
PO Box 47775
Olympia, WA 98504-7775

Next steps

Once the public comment period closes Feb. 28, Ecology will compare Clallam County's proposed SMP to requirements under the state Shoreline Management Act and Shoreline Master Program Guidelines. Based on the comparison, we will decide whether to:
  • Approve Clallam County’s proposed SMP as is.
  • Approve the updated SMP with recommended changes.
  • Send the proposed SMP back to Clallam County with required changes to meet statutory and rule requirements. Recommended changes may also be included with the required changes.

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