Notice of County Council Hearings for Proposal No. 2013-45s3 Shorelines

Public Meeting Notice 2015 Shoreline Management Hearing Schedule

Pierce County Community Development Committee

Councilmember Rick Talbert, Chair


Thursday, January 29, 2015 – 5:30 p.m. North Lake Tapps Middle School, 20029 12th Street East, Lake Tapps, WA 98391

Monday, February 2, 2015 – 5:30 p.m. Peninsula High School – Auditorium, 14105 Purdy Drive NW, Gig Harbor, WA 98332

Monday, February 9, 2015 – 5:30 p.m. Pacific Lutheran University, Scandinavian Cultural Center, 12180 Park Avenue South, Tacoma, WA 98447

Monday, March 2, 2015 – 1:30 p.m. County-City Building, Room 1045, 930 Tacoma Ave. S, Tacoma, WA 98402

FINAL COUNCIL ACTION Tuesday, March 10, 2015 – 3:00 p.m. Pierce County Council – Final Hearing County-City Building, Room 1045, 930 Tacoma Ave. S, Tacoma, WA 98402

For Schedule information and updates, visit For questions, call Mike Kruger, Council Senior Legislative Analyst (253) 798-6067 or Jenifer Schultz, Committee Clerk at (253) 798-6696 or (800) 992-2456

Amendments to the Pierce County Shoreline Master Program are mandated by the Washington State Legislature through the Department of Ecology. A Pierce County Shoreline Citizen’s Advisory Committee began working to establish a draft proposal in 2008. The proposal was considered by the Pierce County Planning Commission in October 2012. In 2013, a subcommittee of the Council’s Community Development Committee recommended the Planning Commission consider additional changes suggested by the State Department of Ecology. In October 2013, the Planning Commission forwarded their final recommendations to the County Council.

Beginning in March 2014, the Pierce County Council and its Community Development Committee held a series of public meetings to take public testimony on the Planning Commission’s final recommendation. In response to public comments received, the Community Development Committee passed a series of 18 amendments. The hearing schedule described above will provide the public with an opportunity to comment on the adopted amendments. The Community Development Committee is scheduled to make a final recommendation on March 2. Final legislative action on the Pierce County Shoreline Master Program and Shoreline Development Regulations has been scheduled for March 10, 2015.

Ordinance No. 2013-45s3 An Ordinance of the Pierce County Council Relating to the Pierce County Shoreline Master Program; Amending Chapter 1.22 of the Pierce County Code (PCC), “Pierce County Hearing Examiner Code”; Title 18 PCC, “Development Regulations – General Provisions”; Title 18A PCC, “Development Regulations – Zoning”; Title 18E PCC, “Development Regulations – Critical Areas”; Title 18H PCC, “Development Regulations – Forest Practices”; Title 18J PCC, “Development Regulations – Design Standards and Guidelines”; Adopting a New Title 18S PCC, “Development Policies and Regulations – Shorelines”; Repealing Title 20 PCC, “Shoreline Management Use Regulations” and the Shoreline Master Program for Pierce County as Originally Adopted on March 4, 1974; Adopting Findings of Fact; and Setting an Effective Date.

Shoreline Master Program Background:

Pierce County has been regulating development along rivers, lakes and marine waters for over 40 years. The existing Pierce County Shoreline Master Program and Shoreline Development Regulations were adopted in the early 1970’s following a referendum by the people of Washington State. The State law is referred to as the “Shoreline Management Act of 1971” and is codified in Chapter 90.58, Revised Code of Washington. Implementing Rules are located in Chapter 173-26 and Chapter 173-27, Washington Administrative Code. In 2003, the Washington State Legislature amended State Law and established a schedule for all Counties and Cities to update their Master Programs. The Washington State Department of Ecology is responsible for administering shoreline management at the State level in partnership with local government. Ecology’s web site for shoreline management is located at: www.ecy.wa.govlprograms/sea/shorelines.

The existing County Shoreline Master Program and Shoreline Development Regulations are codified in Pierce County Code – Title 20 and can be viewed online at:

Shoreline Master Program Components: Pierce County is obligated to manage shoreline development within 200 feet of all marine waters, rivers and streams with a mean annual flow of 20 cubic feet per second, lakes larger than 20 acres, wetlands associated with these waters as well as floodways and contiguous floodplain areas within 200 feet of the floodway. State law includes a requirement that development result in “no net loss of shoreline ecological function.” The law also includes criteria for shoreline vegetation conservation. Pierce County has proposed to comply with the law by establishing a shoreline buffer.

These new buffer standards will not apply retroactively. For example, legally existing residential development is defined as a “conforming use” and will not be subject to new shoreline buffer requirements. Existing lawns, gardens and established landscaping may also be maintained within shoreline buffer areas. All future development and redevelopment within shoreline jurisdiction will need to comply with the County’s updated Shoreline Master Program.

Typical examples of development that will be reviewed for compliance with the updated shoreline regulations include: residential development and associated accessory uses, docks, piers and floats, bulkheads and retaining walls, boat launching ramps, recreational development, marinas and aquaculture uses. Property owners that have questions about the proposed changes to the shoreline regulations may contact Debby Hyde, with Planning and Land Services Department at for a site specific analysis.

How to testify: You are encouraged to attend the public hearings and present comments regarding these proposed amendments. If you have written materials to submit please provide 10 copies to the Committee Clerk. All submitted materials become part of the official record and cannot be returned.

Written comments can be provided at any time up to final adoption. Suggestions regarding specific changes to the proposal can be submitted directly to the Council through the Shoreline Plan web page. Web Page:

The web page will provide access to the proposed ordinance, regulations and shoreline maps. You will see the Council’s schedule for meetings and you can provide comments and specific suggestions for amendments. While the Council intends to adhere to the schedule provided in this notice, changes may occur. Please use the web page or call the contact numbers above to obtain the latest information about meeting schedules

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