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Transportation planning

Shoreline Master Program

Upcoming events

Hearings will be held at the Public Service Center Building at at 1300 Franklin St, Vancouver, WA on the 6th floor.

Shoreline Master Program Limited Amendment

Clark County adopted an updated shoreline master program (SMP) in July 2012. It was approved by the Department of Ecology (Ecology) in August 2012 and took effect in September 2012. SMP policies are included in Chapter 13 of the comprehensive plan. SMP regulations are included in Clark County Code Chapter 40.460. In addition to requirements for shoreline development to maintain shoreline ecological function, the regulations also include a list of shorelines along streams and lakes that are subject to the SMP.

In the course of implementing the SMP, a conflict in the regulations was discovered through a development proposal on Carty Lake relating to dredging and dredge material disposal. Ecology also noted that Carty Lake is not on the list of lakes subject to shoreline jurisdiction, but should be. And a conflict was noted with non-water oriented commercial uses that are physically separated from the shoreline by another property or public right of way. To address these issues, a limited amendment to the Clark County SMP is proposed. The amendment will correct errors and omissions in accordance with WAC 173-26-201, process to prepare or amend shoreline master programs.

Project summary

This amendment will correct errors and omissions in accordance with WAC 173-26-201, process to prepare or amend shoreline master programs.

  1. Limited Amendment changes.
  2. Inventory and Characterization Report Carty Lake Addition.
  3. Proposed Shoreline Designations on Carty Lake Map.

Staff will submit a Department of Ecology checklist identifying exact SMP changes, and we will follow legal public notice requirements in the WAC (173-26-100) and comply with expectations in the statute RCW 90.58.130. In addition, we will demonstrate this amendment will not result in a net loss of shoreline ecological functions.

Project Contact
Gary Albrecht
(360) 397-2280 ext. 4318

Shoreline Master Program 2012 Update

Clark County's Shoreline Master Program (SMP) was approved by the Department of Ecology (DOE) on August 29, 2012. Approval by Ecology culminated in an update process that lasted more than 3-1/2 years. The SMP took effect on September 12, 2012.

The shoreline goals and policies are included in the Clark County Comprehensive Plan as a new Chapter 13.

Shoreline use regulations are included in a new chapter of the Clark County Code, Chapter 40.460.

Restoration Plan

Monitoring Plan

Clark County received the formal Department of Ecology approved-with-conditions letter on June 27, 2012. Through coordination with Ecology staff, the county included them in the revised SMP that went to the Clark County Planning Commission.

The Planning Commission held a hearing on June 21, 2012. The Planning Commission voted to recommend that the Board re-adopt the Clark County SMP with the additional staff and Ecology changes. The Clark County Board of Commissioners re-adopted the SMP on July 24, 2012.

Project summary

The State Shoreline Management Act requires counties and cities to update their Shoreline Master Programs (SMPs).  SMPs govern activities on and near lakes, streams, and rivers.  Most local SMPs date from the 1970s, and must be modernized to reflect today's conditions and address new state requirements.

Battle Ground, Camas, Clark County, La Center, Ridgefield, Vancouver, Washougal, and Yacolt partnered in the effort to update their respective SMPs.

SMP updates are done in six phases as recommended by the Washington Department of Ecology (DOE):

  1. Inventory shoreline and adjacent land uses including transportation and utility facilities, critical areas, degraded areas, areas of special interest, public access sites, channel migration zones and floodplains, archaeological and historic resources. This includes a public participation plan that identifies stakeholders, specific objectives, and timelines.

  2. Identify shoreline function, ecosystem process, public access and shoreline use, and potential protection and restoration areas.

  3. Develop policies and regulations for all shoreline designations including natural, rural conservancy, aquatic, high intensity, urban conservancy, and shoreline residential. Policies and regulations will be developed for each designation.

  4. Analyze cumulative impacts, demonstrate no-net-loss of ecological function, and identify ways to restore shoreline ecological functions.

  5. Adopt individual Shoreline Master Programs for the county and each city. Jurisdictions will work together to develop policies and regulations that are as consistent as possible across boundaries.

  6. Submit updates to the Department of Ecology for approval.

SMP updates were funded by a Department of Ecology grant that was administered through the city of Vancouver on behalf of the county and its cities.  The county and its cities shared analysis data and developed consistent as possible policies and regulations across the landscape.

Clark County SMP

The Shoreline Management Act (SMA) was enacted by the Legislature in 1971. The county adopted a Shoreline Master Program (SMP) (PDF 3.3MB) in 1974, and it had not been amended until this latest effort. The Department of Ecology adopted new rules for SMPs in 2003. The Growth Management Act states that the goals and policies of the SMA are considered a fourteenth goal for purposes of the Act and the comprehensive plan.

Project contact

Gordy Euler
(360) 397-2280 ext. 4968


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