Updated December 10, 2021
What is a Shoreline Master Program?
The City of Long Beach Shoreline Master Program (SMP) is a set of policies and regulations required by state law that has three basic principles:
- Encourages reasonable and appropriate development of shorelines with an emphasis on water dependent uses;
- Protects the natural resources and character of the shorelines, the land, vegetation, wildlife, water, and aquatic life within shoreline environment; and,
- Promotes public access and provides opportunities to enjoy the aesthetic qualities of the natural shorelines and recreational activities in shoreline areas.
Where does the Shoreline Master Program apply?
The jurisdiction of the SMP applies to the following areas located between the northern and southern city limit boundaries:
- The narrow band of land beach feet from the ocean’s ordinary high water mark
- The Pacific Ocean three nautical miles west of the ordinary high water mark
- The aquatic areas within tidally-influenced wetlands in the dunes
These three areas are very limited in size. In fact, there have been no development permits issued within shoreline jurisdiction since the city’s 2017 adoption of its SMP.
Required Periodic Review
The Shoreline Management Act (SMA) requires the city to review, and revise if necessary, its SMP on an eight-year schedule under state law (RCW 90.58.080). This review ensures the SMP stays current with changes with state laws and rules, remains consistent with other city plans and development regulations, and reflects changed circumstances, new information, or improved data.
While most of the updates required by the state during this periodic review are relatively minor, the new Ocean Resource Management Act (ORMA) requirements represent the biggest change to the city’s SMP. You can learn more about Washington State’s Ocean Management program by visiting the Department of Ecology’s web page.
Link to the Department of Ecology’s Ocean Management Program
New Draft SMP Ready for Public Review
The Long Beach Planning Commission recently released a draft document for public review that includes all required Washington State laws and rules. Included with the draft SMP are two checklists – one for the Ocean Management rule changes and another that covers all other laws and rules that now need to be in the SMP. These checklists are handy for pinpointing where you can find these changes in the new draft. The Draft SMP below is in Track Changes format so you can see all changes in the document.
Link to revised City of Long Beach Master Program Draft 12-01-21
Link to Ocean Management Checklist
Link to Periodic Review Checklist
NOTE: Please remember that the SMP adopts by reference the city’s Critical Areas Regulations, Title 13 of the Long Beach Municipal Code. These regulations apply to critical areas both within and outside shoreline jurisdiction to help protect and restore shoreline ecological functions. You will find the Critical Areas Regulations adoption by reference under the Section 2.5.4.
For example, if you want to know how the SMP protects and manages the city’s dune areas within the shoreline environment, you will consult LBMC 13-6-3, Performance Standards in frequently flooded areas and LBMC 13-8-5, Performance Standards in Erosion Hazard Areas.
Submitting Comments and Public Hearing on SMP Draft
The City of Long Beach Planning Commission is now seeking public comment on the Draft SMP. You may submit comments on the Draft SMP from now until 5:00 PM, January 21, 2022. Please send your comments to the City Planner at City of Long Beach, PO Box 310, 115 Bolstad Avenue W, Long Beach, WA 98631 or email@example.com.
In addition, the Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the Draft SMP via Zoom beginning at 6:00 PM, January 11, 2022. Zoom Meeting ID: 899 7194 8601 and Password: 12345678
There will be a presentation by the city followed by an opportunity for those in attendance to share their comments on the draft. Interested parties may continue to provide comments to the Planning Commission until the close of the comment period on January 21, 2022.
- After conclusion of public comment period on January 21, 2022, the Planning Commission will meet on March 8, 2022 to consider all comment received, including those from the Department of Ecology and other state agencies. The Planning Commission will consider any proposed changes to the Draft SMP and then make a recommendation to the City Council regarding any action.
- Before the draft SMP goes before the City Council, the city will submit the document to the Department of Ecology for the Initial Determination of Consistency. This allows the department to conduct a formal review of the document for consistency with all state laws and rules. The department may make recommendations for changes or simply state approve its consistency. Any substantive changes may require the draft SMP go back before the Planning Commission for consideration and recommendation.
- Once the Department of Ecology and the city are satisfied with the Draft SMP, it will then go before the City Council for adoption. This may occur sometime in April or early May. Upon adoption, the city then forwards the SMP and all related materials to the department for their final approval.
Please visit this site often as there maybe updates to schedules and draft documents.
For more information:
Please contact Ariel Smith, City Planner, firstname.lastname@example.org or (360) 642-4421