Shoreline Master Program
What is the Shoreline Master Program?
In 1972, Washington adopted its Shoreline Management Act (SMA) by public referendum to prevent the inherent harm in an uncoordinated and piecemeal development of the state's shorelines. The SMA has three broad policies:
- Encourage water-dependent uses
- Protect shoreline natural resources
- Promote public access
The City of Mercer Island is required by the Washington Shoreline Management Act (SMA) to develop and adopt a Shoreline Master Program (SMP), which includes goals, policies, and regulations consistent with state guidelines to protect shorelines. In Mercer Island, the SMP is applicable to upland areas "shorelands" that extend 200 feet landward from the edge Lake Washington. The City's SMP must meet the new State Guidelines and the Department of Ecology must approve the City's updated SMP.
How does this affect me?
The City is currently in the process of drafting the update to the Shoreline Master Program. The new regulations may affect those property owners adjacent to Lake Washington who wish to modify their shorelands area. These alterations could include docks, bulkheads, setbacks from the shoreline, and the placement of structures near the Lake.