Whatcom County Shoreline Master Program Periodic Update

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June 03, 2019
Whatcom County is undertaking a periodic review of its Shoreline Master Program (SMP), as required by the Washington State Shoreline Management Act. The County adopted its current SMP in 2007. At a minimum, the focus of this periodic review will be on consistency with changes to state law made since its adoption. The review will also address consistency with the County’s comprehensive plan and development regulations. This periodic update is not required to: re-evaluate the ecological baseline that was established as part of the 2007 comprehensive update; extensively assess no net loss criteria other than to ensure that proposed amendments do not result in degradation of the baseline condition; or change shoreline jurisdiction or environment designations, unless deemed appropriate and necessary by the County.
As a first step, the County is reaching out to representatives like yourself from organizations who may be interested in the County’s periodic review process. We invite you to provide input, and to engage with County staff and other stakeholders throughout the review process. At this point, we are soliciting suggestions for amendments from the public and other agencies, tribes, stakeholder groups, and local jurisdictions. We will schedule meetings with local jurisdictions, agencies, and Lummi and Nooksack tribal representatives upon request. Other agencies and stakeholder groups are encouraged to send us your input and to participate in the public open houses.
The scope of the update will be defined by the County Council following our public open houses held in June 2019. The following is a general timeline including anticipated public participation opportunities.
May 2019 Email and newspaper notifications of process and upcoming open houses
Project website established
June 2019 Open houses to inform the community and gather input
  • Birch Bay (June 10th, 7-9pm) at Birch Bay Bible Church, 4460 Bay Road, Birch Bay
  • Deming (June 19th, 7-9pm) at Mount Baker High School, 4936 Deming Road, Deming
  • Bellingham/Lake Whatcom (June 25th, 7-9pm) at Civic Building, Garden Room, 322 N Commercial St, Bellingham
January 2020 Open houses (up to 3) to share proposed updates and gather input
February-June 2020 Environmental review (SEPA)
Public comment period
Joint Planning Commission/Ecology public hearing & review
County Council Public Hearing & review
Ecology review
County Council review and final action
Project documents, meeting announcements, and other resources will be posted to the County’s SMP update website at https://www.whatcomcounty.us/3097/Shoreline-Master-Program-Periodic-Update . Once there, please subscribe to the County’s “Notify Me” list to be kept abreast of upcoming meetings and the issuance of documents.