King County plan for Issaquah Creek, Lake Sammamish is under review

February 20, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 6 a.m. Feb. 20, 2012

The state Department of Ecology requested input from residents as officials evaluate the King County-developed plan for shorelines, including Issaquah Creek and Lake Sammamish.

The updated plan is designed to guide construction and development on almost 2,000 miles of marine, stream and lake shorelines countywide. The proposal combines local plans for future development and preservation, plus recent development ordinances and related permitting requirements.

The county Shoreline Master Program includes stretches of Issaquah Creek — from the headwaters on Tiger Mountain to the Issaquah city limits — and the mouth of the creek in Lake Sammamish State Park.

The plan also includes some Lake Sammamish shoreline. Though Issaquah surrounds Lake Sammamish State Park on all sides, the park is in unincorporated King County, and county rules apply to the lakeshore inside the park.

“This is the first major update of King County’s Shoreline Master Program in three decades,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement. “It will make environmental protections more predictable and transparent for our residents, and safeguard our lakes, rivers, and Puget Sound for generations to come.”

Citizens can submit public comment to the Department of Ecology until March 16. Direct comments and questions to David Radabaugh at david.radabaugh@ecy.wa.gov or 649-4260.

The public can also review the proposed shoreline program and related documents at www.kingcounty.gov/shorelines and www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/sea/shorelines/smp/mycomments/king_county.html.

Review the documents in person at the King County Department of Development and Environmental Services office, 900 Oakesdale Ave. S.W., Renton, or the Department of Ecology office at 3190 160th Ave. S.E., Bellevue. Call 649-7190.

Statewide, about 230 counties and cities intend to update shoreline plans in the years ahead.

Under the Shoreline Management Act, Department of Ecology officials must review and approve proposed shoreline programs for counties and cities before the plans can take effect. King County Council members adopted the Shoreline Master Program in 2010.

State legislators passed the state Shoreline Management Act in 1971, and the public later adopted the measure in a referendum. The legislation resulted after residents raised concerns about permanent damage to shorelines caused by uncoordinated and unplanned development. The state Supreme Court upheld the Department of Ecology’s authority to conduct such reviews last year.

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