Summary of the Whitman County Shorelines Master Plan
Whitman County and the cities of Albion, Colfax, Malden, Palouse, Pullman, Rosalia, Tekoa, are working together to update their Shoreline Master Programs (SMP) together as a partnership coalition.
As per the 1971 Shoreline Management Act (SMA), Chapter 90.58 of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW). Whitman County and certain cities within Whitman County are required by state law to update their SMP and received a grant from Ecology to support work.
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 Whitman County and its Cities 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.
Whitman 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.
Links – Websites related to the SMP update, including the Department of Ecology’s SMP Website,
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.
Whitman County must update its SMP by June 30, 2016. The Washington State Department of Ecology has provided a grant to help fund the update.