Shoreline Master Program Appeal
In January 2014, the Jefferson County Shoreline Master Program (SMP) update was approved and adopted after several years of work. Throughout the process the Olympic Stewardship Foundation was actively engaged on behalf of the county's shoreline property owners.
The updated SMP significantly limits shoreline property owners' right to the full use and enjoyment of their properties, imposing a 150 foot "no touch" buffer and other severe restrictions on allowable activities on shoreline parcels. It is nearly impossible to build a home or outbuilding in the buffer, and the same goes for the construction of docks, bulkheads, and new beach access. Removing vegetation for a view and grading within the buffer are also restricted activities.
Existing structures within the buffer are now designated as nonconforming uses, resulting in significant lasses in property values for shoreline parcel owners. This also makes it much more difficult to sell an affected parcel. Not only are potential buyers wary of purchasing nonconforming properties, but lenders are reluctant to provide mortgage funding because of the resulting uncertainty arising from the regulatory restrictions.
Jefferson County's SMP update is seriously flawed and is in violation of several provisions of Chapter 90.58, Revised Code of Washington (RCW), the Shoreline Management Act of 1971.
We filed our initial appeal to the Growth Management Hearings Board in February 2014, which was finally heard by the Board in November 2015. Dissatisfied with their decision, we appealed to the Washington State Court of Appeals.
We need your financial support to continue the appeals process, and welcome your contributions. We also ask for your support of our effort to work on a legislative remedy that curtails the regulatory overreach that harms your right to the full use and enjoyment of your property.
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