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Shoreline Master Program Periodic Review

Vancouver City Council recently approved the periodic review and update of the City’s Shoreline Master Program, which regulates development activities along the shores of the Columbia River, Vancouver Lake, Burnt Bridge Creek, Fifth Plain Creek and other waterbodies. The Washington State Department of Ecology approved the City’s amended Shoreline Master Program, which goes into effect June 16, 2021.

The Washington State Shoreline Management Act requires the City complete a periodic review and update of its Shoreline Master Program every eight years, if needed. The approved amendments to the program will:

Shoreline Master Programs regulate development along “shorelines of the state,” which include rivers and streams with a mean annual flow of more than 20 cubic feet per second and lakes that are 20 acres in size or larger. The development regulations apply to permitted land use and development activity in shoreline jurisdiction, which can include areas extending 200 feet out from the ordinary high water mark or floodway, whichever is greater, associated wetlands and the full extent of the floodplain.

Development regulated by Vancouver’s Shoreline Master Program includes:

The City invited public review and feedback on the program and the proposed amendments from summer 2020 through April 2021 through the project webpage, ongoing engagement with key stakeholders and interested parties, a virtual open house in September 2020, a joint state and local public comment period, a Planning Commission public hearing in February 2021, and a Vancouver City Council public hearing on April 19, 2021. View the Public Participation Plan.