The Pierce County Council has unanimously passed Ordinance 2018-57s which amends the adopted 2015 Shoreline Master Program regulations and guidelines to be consistent with state regulations.
The state legislature required in 2003 that all counties update their plans, so the county had been working with the state Department of Ecology and stakeholders to update the original 1975 program plan ever since.
Pierce County initially adopted a revised Shoreline Master Program in 2015, however, the DOE mandated some changes before the plan could go into effect. Ordinance 2018-57s incorporates those changes which include:
- Greater flexibility for shoreline restoration projects
- Requiring Pierce County to issue permits for the dumping of dredge material within the Nisqually Reach Aquatic Reserve
- Notification to the County for any proposal to expand or modify a shellfish farm
- New wetland rating system
“The county, DOE and stakeholders have been working for over a decade to update the 2015 plan that addresses growth along our shoreline, the aquaculture industry and more vigorous environmental regulations. The larger SMP is a great accomplishment for our County and the State,” said Councilman Rick Talbert.
The ordinance will go into effect after final approval by the Washington State Department of Ecology.