Status Update on the Shoreline Master Program

My understanding of this is that many of lot of our homes, docks and other structures built under older construction criteria and setback requirements etc are either now considered non-conforming or will be under the new SMP, but some existing development is conforming to the rules that permitted modification to buffer setbacks. These modifications may still be in effect with the SMP. Moreover, the new SMP and State Law (WAC 173-27-080 and RCW 90.58.620) will view these residential structures as conforming, thus allowing maintenance, rebuild and some forms of expansion as set out in Section 6.2 of the draft SMP. As I understand it, homes that are non-conforming are so only in the sense that we don’t meet current construction standards or setback requirements from the shoreline or property lines etc. Those non-conforming structures are not in jeopardy in any way and in the event of fire or other disaster we would be allowed to rebuild in the same location and footprint though having to meet current construction standards in things like snow load, etc. I’m told that permitting of maintenance, repair and replacement of some structures and docks etc would be less cumbersome under the revised SMP designations. The change in Shoreline Designation status would affect primarily setback and buffer requirements of new development including new homes.
The ramifications of being changed from Conservancy to Urban has understandably alarmed some folks- thinking that the new designation would portend un-controlled massive new development. I don’t see it that way. For example, on the South Shore, most of the buildable lots are already built on and for those still available or practical for building, zoning requirements, construction standards and conditional use permits stipulations would still have to be met. In the meeting it was acknowledged that under an Urban designation, things like wine tastings facilities, wedding venues, bed & breakfast etc would be allowed but my take on that was that though technically legal it would be very unlikely that would happen because of the fore-mentioned fact that any one of those would have to meet many other requirements including adequate off-street parking, sanitary facilities etc. I would prefer to see us placed in the Rural designation but am not overly alarmed with the Urban classification.
Access to the water for the public is a priority of the SMP but again I see this as impacting new development more than anything. The County owns eighteen 20-foot parcels which run from Cedar Brae Road to the lake that that were set aside as I understand it when the area was originally sub-divided to provide public access to the lake but the County has never maintained them or promoted their use inasmuch as there is no off-road parking for them, sanitary facilities, etc. I’m not aware of any similar public access County-owned parcels on the North Shore. New public access would be promoted through provision for that in areas being newly developed.
The County Commissioners will hold another public meeting on the draft SBP at 1PM on August 15th at their meeting room at 400 Washington Street, Wenatchee. The draft SMP may be viewed in it’s entirety at:
This information is based on my recollection alone of the meeting I attended and my reading of the draft SMP. I’m not a lawyer and if my recollections or opinions are mistaken, in error or not in concert with others please research this revision project to make your own determination of what it means to you.

• Relatively free of human influence
• Minimally degraded shoreline functions
• Very low intensity uses:
Forest Management
Single family residential
Residential accessory structures
Home occupation
Accessory dwelling unit
Water-oriented recreational uses: Parks, camps, launch ramps, golf courses, trails, athletic fields
• Uses NOT permitted:
Commercial, industrial, non-water-oriented recreation
• Shoreline buffers: Planning Commission recommendation
High intensity= 250 feet 200 feet
Low intensity= 200 feet 150 feet


• Retain ecological function
• Supporting human uses that are subject to environmental limitations (steep banks, floodplain)
• Development designed to preclude the need for shoreline vegetation removal
• Low-intensity uses:
Single family residential/accessory structures
Low-intensity recreational uses
• Low-intensity water-oriented commercial/industrial
Limited to a SCUP/Limited instances
• Shoreline buffers: Planning Commission recommendation
High intensity- 250 feet 200 feet
Low intensity- 200 feet 150 feet



• Rural character characterized by open space and low-density development (residential, agriculture,
active outdoor recreation

• Permitted uses:
Single-family residential/accessory structures/accessory dwelling unit
Water-oriented commercial/industrial
Recreational uses
Marinas, community piers, boat launch facilities
Agriculture, aquaculture and forestry

• Shoreline buffers: Planning Commission recommendation
High intensity- 150 feet 100 feet
Low intensity- 100 feet 75 feet



• Accommodate a range and mixture of residential and water-oriented commercial and water-oriented commercial and institutional uses at moderate intensity/density levels.
• Protect existing ecological functions and restore those areas that have been degraded.
• Physical/Visual public access and recreation
• Limited Areas of More Intense Rural Development zones and Urban Growth Area
• Permitted uses:
Residential (single and multi-family)
Boating facilities ; marinas, piers, boat launches
Recreational uses

• Shoreline buffers: Planning Commission recommendation
High intensity- 100 feet 75 feet
Low intensity- 75 feet 50 feet

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