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Shoreline Master Program Update

Summary of the project

The City of Montesano is undertaking a periodic review of its Shoreline Master Program (SMP), as required by the Washington State Shoreline Management Act (SMA), RCW 90.58.080(4). The SMA requires each SMP be reviewed and revised, if needed, on an eight-year schedule established by the Legislature. The Washington Department of Ecology has directed Montesano to complete the periodic review by June 30, 2023. The review ensures the SMP stays current with changes in laws and rules; remains consistent with other Montesano plans and regulations; and is responsive to changed circumstances, new information, and improved data.

The scope of the periodic review will be generally limited to those items which are required to be updated according to new laws or rules, as identified on Ecology’s checklist.

The SMP is the local instrument by which the city of Montesano and the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) jointly administer the requirements of the 1971 Shoreline Management Act (SMA), Chapter 90.58 of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW). The overarching goal of the SMA is "…to prevent the inherent harm in an uncoordinated and piecemeal development of the state’s shorelines.”

The SMA and SMP guidelines require local governments to encourage active and early participation in the SMP review and update by all persons, private groups, public agencies, and tribes that have an interest or responsibility related to shorelines of the state. The City has developed a Public Participation Plan to meet State requirements for public involvement in the update process, and to address the priorities and issues specific to Montesano. This plan is a working document and will be adjusted as needed to provide for the greatest and broadest public participation.

Ecology is providing grant funds for the update pursuant to Grant Agreement #SEASMP-2123-MonteC-00153

The SMP review will include numerous opportunities for public involvement.

City of Montesano SMP Update Website

The tabs on this website contain the following information:

Updates – When new materials are posted for review, meetings, hearings, or events are scheduled, website update notices will be posted here.

Overview – General information regarding the SMP update.

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

Events – As meetings, hearings, and events are scheduled; information regarding their time and location will be posted here.

Library – All documents including plans and maps related to the SMP update is posted here. The library includes background information from Ecology, the City’s current SMP, materials supporting the SMP update, such as the Public Participation Plan and other reports, and materials being updated, such as the map folio and the SMP.

Links – Links to websites related to the SMP update are posted here, including Ecology’s SMP website and the websites of the city of Montesano.

What is a Shoreline Master Program (SMP)?

The 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 is the geographic area covered by the SMP?

The SMA defines the extent of the geographic area in the city subject to the SMP, referred to in the SMP as shoreline jurisdiction.  According to RCW 90.58.030, the SMP applies to the following shorelines of the state within Montesano:

  • Segments of streams where the mean annual flow is more than 20 cubic feet per second, such as the Chehalis River, the Wynoochee River, and Sylvia Creek.
  • Lakes and reservoirs 20 acres and greater in area, such as Sylvia Lake and the large unnamed wetland complex in the southern part of the city.
  • Shorelands adjacent to these water bodies. The minimum shoreline jurisdiction for shorelands is the greater of the following:
    • Lands extending landward 200 feet in all directions as measured on a horizonal plane from the Ordinary High Water Mark.
    • Adopted Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) floodways, and contiguous floodplain areas landward two hundred feet from such adopted FEMA floodways; and
    • All wetlands and river deltas associated with the streams, lakes, and tidal waters subject to the SMA.

Within the shoreline jurisdiction, regulations in the updated SMP will govern future development, such as bulk and dimensional regulations (various levels of buffers from waterways, height limits), allowed uses, and shoreline modification regulations.

What is the purpose and scope of the SMP update?

The State requires the updated SMP 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 scope of the periodic update will be generally limited to those items which are required to be updated according to new laws or rules, as identified on Ecology’s checklist.

Lake Sylvia
Lake Sylvia
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