Updated shoreline proposal available for public review

February 16, 2009

By Julian Martin

Since it was introduced in 2007, the city’s Shoreline Master Program has undergone significant progress. In a recent meeting of city planning staff members, organizers discussed jurisdictional concerns that have arisen surrounding the program.

Environmental Planner Peter Rosen described the Jan. 28 discussion as a coordination meeting in which staff members compared information on issues such as buffer requirements and dock and pier standards.

Updates to the program are being put in place due to state guidelines requiring the city to revise its existing program by December 2009. 

City officials initially created a program in 1990 dealing with the shorelines along Issaquah Creek, Lake Sammamish and the east fork of Issaquah Creek. Since, however, a number of areas, including Greenwood Point, have been annexed into the city that had previously fallen under King County’s program. 

“Since there hasn’t been planning requirements for very long, the areas don’t have conditions very supportive for a habitat,” Rosen said.

The end result has created a number of issues affecting the shorelines, including a lack of vegetation buffers along the lake, and bank stability. 

The updates were first brought to the public’s attention in a December 2007 River and Streams Board meeting. 

Two public workshops also were held last year to discuss the early aspects of the program with local citizens, Rosen said. 

For the workshops, planners had only developed an outline analysis of shoreline conditions, called the Draft Shoreline Inventory and Characterization Report.

Finalized over the summer, the statement can now be viewed online and will act as a basis for the policies and regulations of the final program package, scheduled to be developed by April. 

Although there are not currently any public workshops scheduled for this year, the River and Streams Board meets publicly on the first and third Tuesdays of each month, with its next meeting scheduled for March 3. 

While Rosen said that the Shoreline Master Program is only one of many issues discussed by the River and Streams Board, he also stated that in March there should be at least one meeting focused directly on the program.

In addition to the board meetings, more information about the project can be found by reading the final version of the inventory report available on the city’s Web site or by e-mailing Rosen at peterr@ci.issaquah.wa.us. Go to the city’s Web site, www.ci.issaquah.wa.us, and follow the link for “Departments” and then “Planning.” From there, click on “Shoreline Master Program Update.”

Julian Martin is a student in the University of Washington Department of Communication News Laboratory.

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