Bothell, Kenmore look to protect shorelines

Shoreline master programs protect and restore valuable aquatic resources for future generations.

This week, the cities of Bothell and Kenmore are taking steps to update their shoreline master programs (SMPs) leading up to the state-mandated deadline for adoption in June 2019.

Shorelines are larger water bodies and shorelands that are valuable and fragile. They require a plan and regulations governing preferred uses, public access and ecological protection. Cities jointly adopt and periodically review their SMPs with the Washington State Department of Ecology.

“Local SMPs protect and restore valuable aquatic resources for future generations,” according to Ecology’s website.

Kenmore’s SMP was last updated in 2012, and “it’s time to incorporate new science and changes to state laws,” according to the city. In Kenmore, the SMP applies to Lake Washington, Sammamish River, and Swamp Creek and associated wetlands. Bothell’s SMP, which was last updated in 2013, also governs development next to the Sammamish River and Swamp Creek, along with North Creek.

The primary changed local circumstance in Bothell is the acquisition of the Wayne Golf Course, which would involve a shoreline environment use designation change to the “back nine” area of the former course, according to the city.

Both cities will be looking at best available science and Ecology’s technical checklist identifying law and rule changes that should be considered, such as wetland classification updates.

Bothell’s recently reinstated Shorelines Board had a special meeting on Nov. 5, and Kenmore’s Planning Commission met on Nov. 6 to discuss next steps. The commission is also reviewing Kenmore’s critical areas regulations, which were last updated in 2006. Critical areas include wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas and other areas that are frequently flooded or geologically hazardous.

Kenmore’s schedule is to complete a draft code in 2018 and to have it reviewed and authorized by the Planning Commission and City Council by June 2019. Meetings and hearing dates and additional information can be found at the project website at

Bothell is also planning a lengthy process, with opportunities for public engagement. Bothell’s Planning Commission will also review the SMP, and provide recommendations to the City Council. The city’s SMP project website is

An open house may be held prior to a legislative meeting (Bothell Shorelines Board, Planning Commission or City Council meetings) when the SMP amendments are ready early review, which will be in January 2019, according to the draft project timeline.