State approves plan for Issaquah Creek, Lake Sammamish

January 17, 2013

By Staff

NEW — 10 a.m. Jan. 17, 2013

The state Department of Ecology approved King County rules for development near shorelines, including Issaquah Creek and Lake Sammamish, county and state officials announced Thursday.

The plan, or shoreline master program, is designed to guide construction and development on almost 2,000 miles of marine, stream and lake shorelines countywide. The rules combine 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.

“King County’s updated shoreline master program helps protect the economic and environmental health of a varied and complex mix of water bodies, including Puget Sound,” Geoff Tallent, Department of Ecology regional shorelines program supervisor, said in a statement. “Many organizations and individuals in communities countywide worked to make this a success that will protect our treasured shoreline resources now and for future generations.”

The agency continues to review the proposed Issaquah shoreline master program. The city last updated shoreline development rules in 1990.

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 in 2011.

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