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Department of Ecology approves Kenmore shoreline master program

The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) has approved the city of Kenmore’s new shoreline master program.

Kenmore's shoreline program will result in significant improvements in the protection, use, development and restoration of eight miles of shorelines and the water quality of Lake Washington, the Sammamish River, Swamp Creek and other waterways.

The new master program combines local plans for future shoreline development and preservation with new shoreline development ordinances and related permitting requirements.

“Kenmore’s shoreline master program helps protect the economic and environmental health of our waters. By working together, we are protecting our treasured shoreline resources for ourselves, as well as our children and future generations. Our shorelines make Washington a great place to live," said Geoff Tallent, Regional Shorelands and Environmental Assistance supervisor.

About 260 cities and counties statewide are in the process or soon will be updating or crafting their master programs, under the state’s 1972 voter-approved Shoreline Management Act.

Shoreline master programs are the cornerstone of the act. The law requires cities and counties with regulated shorelines to develop and periodically update their locally-tailored programs to help minimize environmental damage to shoreline areas, reserve appropriate areas for water-oriented uses, and protect the public’s right to public lands and waters.

Kenmore brought diverse local interests to the table to work collaboratively. The shoreline master program process began with a thorough inventory of existing land-use patterns and environmental conditions. Participants included waterfront property owners, scientists, nonprofit organizations and state and local resource agency staff.

Mayor David Baker said, “We are pleased that the new Shoreline Master Program has received final approval. Kenmore is known as the city by the lake, and we see great value in protecting and preserving our shorelines, particularly along Lake Washington.”

Kenmore’s shoreline master program:

• Provides shoreline regulations in one stop by integrating the city’s growth management planning and zoning, floodplain management and critical areas ordinances.

• Addresses protection of habitat and water quality through regulations that apply to shorelines, wetlands, and other critical areas in Kenmore.

Includes a restoration plan showing where and how voluntary improvements in water and upland areas can enhance the local shoreline environment.

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