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Shoreline Master Program Update:
Grant County Shoreline Master Program (SMP) Update
Grant County and the communities of Electric City,
Coulee City, Grant Coulee, Krupp, Soap Lake and Wilson
Creek have partnered together to develop or update their
respective Shoreline Master Programs.
What is a Shoreline Master Program?
A Shoreline Master Program is a
combination of planning and regulatory documents. SMP
documents carry out the policies of the Shoreline
Management Act (RCW 90.58) on local shorelines. Local
governments are required to prepare SMPs based on the
state laws and rules. It is prepared to implement the
SMA to prevent "harm caused by uncoordinated and
piecemeal development of the State's shoreline." Local
SMPs are tailored to local geographic and environmental
conditions, and existing and future planned development
patterns within the shoreline.
The SMP update process balances and
integrates objectives and interests of local citizens.
Key principles of the SMP include striking a balance
among environmental protection, public access and
water-oriented uses, and achieving "No Net Loss" of
What is the SMP update process?
The SMP update process includes
preparation of planning, policy and regulatory documents
to comply with the State law. It includes the following
• Shoreline Inventory, Analysis and Characterization
• Shoreline Environment Designations
• Goals, Policies, and Regulations
• Cumulative Impact Analysis
• Restoration Planning
• Ecology Approval and Local Adoption
What is my role in the process?
The entire SMP update process needs to be
coordinated with local citizens and interest groups in
order to receive input. An SMP and its regulations may
impact shoreline uses and properties. Therefore, it is
encouraged that property owners and citizens participate
in this process to voice their opinion about the future
of their shoreline.
Will it impact my existing home?
Under the provisions of new shoreline
master program, existing single-family homes are
“grandfathered". New developments seeking to receive
permit after the adoption of the SMP will have to comply
with the new program and regulations.
What is “no net loss” of ecological or
The new environmental protection standard
for updated shoreline master programs is “no-net-loss of
shoreline ecological functions.” While restoration of
degraded areas is encouraged, this does not mean all
shoreline areas are required to be made “pristine” or
returned to pre-settlement conditions. Local governments
are required to inventory current shoreline conditions –
including identifying existing ecological processes and
functions that influence physical and biological
conditions. When a shoreline program is adopted,
existing ecological conditions on the ground must be
protected while development of shoreline areas is
continued in accordance with adopted regulations. This
is accomplished by avoiding or minimizing the
introduction of impacts to ecological functions that
result from new shoreline development (source:
More Information is available at: