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[Portal ID #1764]

Lewis County
Shoreline Master Program Update

Summary of the project

Lewis County and the cities of Centralia, Chehalis, Morton, and Winlock are working together to update their Shoreline Master Programs (SMP) together as the Lewis County Coalition.

The SMP is the local instrument by which Lewis County Coalition and the State Department of Ecology (DOE) jointly administer the 1971 Shoreline Management Act (SMA), Chapter 90.58 of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW).  The Coalition is required by state law to update their SMP and received a grant from Ecology to support work.

The SMP requirements do not apply retroactively and it does not affect existing development.  The updated SMP only applies to development occurring after adoption.

The overarching goal of the SMA is "to prevent the inherent harm in an uncoordinated and piecemeal development of the state’s shorelines.”  To achieve this end, the legislation directs the Coalition to focus on three main areas:

·         Encourage reasonable and orderly development of shorelines, with an emphasis on water-dependent and related uses that control pollution and prevent damage to the natural environment.

·         Protect the natural character of Washington shorelines, including the land, vegetation, wildlife, and shoreline environment.

·         Promote public access and provide opportunities to enjoy views and recreational activities in shoreline areas.

The SMP update will include numerous opportunities for public involvement.

Lewis County SMP Update Website

The pages on the website contain the following information:

Updates – When new materials are posted for review, meetings, hearings, or events are scheduled, we will post notices here.

Overview – General information regarding the SMP update

Contacts – Coalition and consultant staff to contact if you have any questions or need additional information.

Events – As meetings, hearings, and events are scheduled, we will post information regarding their time and location here.

Library – All documents including plans and maps related to the SMP update are posted here.  The information is broken up into different categories.  The library includes background information from the Department of Ecology, the 1998 Amended Lewis County SMP, SMP materials being updated, such as the map folio and plans, and Coalition SMP update materials, such as the Public Participation Plan.

Links – Websites related to the SMP update, including the Department of Ecology’s SMP Website, the Lewis County website, and the websites of the cities of Centralia, Chehalis, Morton, and Winlock.

What is a Shoreline Master Program (SMP)?

An SMP is a comprehensive shoreline land-use plan that:

       Protects shoreline processes;

       Promotes public access;

       Accommodates all appropriate shoreline uses; and

       Balances public and private interests.

What geographic  area is covered by the SMP?

The minimum SMP jurisdiction applies to the following shorelines of the state [RCW 90.58.030]:

       All marine waters.

       Segments of streams where the mean annual flow is more than 20 cubic feet per second.

       Lakes and reservoirs 20 acres and greater in area.

       Shorelands adjacent to these water bodies.  The minimum shoreline jurisdiction for shorelands is the greater of the following:

o    Lands extending landward 200 feet in all directions from the OHWM, including 200 feet in all directions from the OHWM at the 20 cubic feet per second point.  (Shoreline jurisdiction would extend above the 20 cubic feet per second point.)

o    The floodway plus the contiguous floodplain 200 feet landward of the floodway.

o    Associated wetlands and river deltas.

What’s the purpose of the SMP update?

The State requires Shoreline Master Programs to meet these goals:

       Encourage reasonable and orderly development of shorelines,

       Protect the natural character of Washington shorelines,

       Provide shoreline recreational opportunities, and

       Promote public access to shorelines.

The Lewis County Coalition must update its SMP by June 30, 2014.  The Washington State Department of Ecology has provided a grant to help fund the update.

Chehalis River, west of Centralia
Olequa Creek in Winlock
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