Shoreline Management Program

Shoreline Management

Balancing environmental protection, public access, and shoreline development


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The 2.5-mile Long Beach shoreline is a valued natural beach and dune area that supports wetlands and wildlife; it also offers breathtaking ocean views as well as recreational, residential, and economic opportunities. We are drawn to the beauty and bounty of our shoreline; it is where we desire to build our homes and businesses, harvest seafood, and play in the dunes and on the beach. But activities such as these may threaten the very qualities that draw us to the shoreline. How do we balance development/use with protection of the shoreline? Striking that balance is the purpose of the City’s Shoreline Master Program (SMP).You may provide written comments about the Long Beach shoreline during the SMP update process. Send your thoughts, or any comments you may have on draft documents listed on the "Documents" page to:City of Long Beach SMP Update PO Box 310 Long Beach, WA 98631or to:  

SMP Contacts


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Should you have questions, need information, would like to be included on SMP updates, wish to provide the City input, feedback, or comments, or simply want to talk to someone about this issue, please don’t hesitate to contact us.The main contact for the Long Beach SMP update is Community Development Director Ariel Smith at: planner@longbeachwa.govCity of Long Beach SMP Update PO Box 310 Long Beach, WA 98631 360.642.4421Please be sure to leave your contact information.

SMP Participate


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This is your shoreline, and your thoughts about how it ought to be managed should and will be heard. So don’t hesitate to get engaged and participate in the SMP update process. You can take part in updating the Long Beach SMP in many ways. Some of the main ways to participate in the SMP are as follow: • Read this website to stay on top of SMP update news • Get on the SMP email list to receive notices about participation opportunities by clicking here • Attend meetings and Planning Commission workshops • Provide comments on draft reports and documents • Send us your comments and questions by clicking hereThe Public Participation Plan describes how the City plans to engage the public during the SMP update process, including a timeline of major opportunities for involvement. This plan is a living document, and can be expected to be modified over time. You can find a copy of the Public Participation Plan by following the Documents link.Because the SMP is not expected to be complete until mid-2016, there is still plenty of time to participate in the process. The City has already developed an extensive inventory of shoreline information, and we have used this inventory to facilitate discussion with citizens, who helped us by commenting on the contents of the inventory and by giving us their thoughts on how the shoreline should be managed.Public participation is a continuous process and we value your input, so please don’t hesitate to contact us with input at any time via the e-mail links above, or via the Contacts link, above.

Currently, the City is seeking your input on the Second Draft Shoreline Master Program. The city drafted, and the public reviewed and commented on, a Draft SMP. The city revised that document, and it was then reviewed and commented on by Ecology. The city further revised the document, and produced the Second Draft SMP, which presents a shoreline land classification system similar to zoning, and like a comprehensive plan, includes goals, implementing strategies, and regulations intended to achieve shoreline environmental protection, improved shoreline access, and regulate reasonable shoreline development.  It is a blueprint for how your shoreline will be looked after for the next 20 years, so your input is important.Please mail your comments NO LATER THAN OCTOBER 1, 2015 to:City of Long Beach SMP Update PO Box 310 Long Beach, WA 98631or to: planner@longbeachwa.govIt is your shoreline, and we look forward to hearing what you think about it!

SMP References

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ReferencesBelow are documents and web links. This page updates frequently; please visit it often. Some of these documents require a PDF reader. A free PDF viewer is available here.Current City of Long Beach Shoreline Master Program  Washington State Shoreline Management Act Documents The Shoreline Management Act, Chapter 90.58 Revised Code of Washington Shoreline Master Program Guidelines, Chapter 173-26 Washington Administrative Code The SMP Handbook, Washington Department of Ecology, detailed assistance to local governments on complying with the SMA and the SMP Guidelines.Public Participation Public Participation Plan, Shoreline Mater Program Update, City of Long Beach (November 2013)Property Rights Information See the “Property Issues” section at the Ecology FAQs web page: Frequently Asked Questions about the SMA and SMPs Useful Links City of Long Beach GIS system: View recent and historic aerial photographs of the city on an interactive map. This site allows you to search, measure areas and distances, add/remove numerous data layers, and view parcel property and tax data.Washington State Coastal Atlas : View numerous data layers in 15 categories superimposed on your choice of one of 6 base maps. A fascinating and detailed interactive tool.Washington State Geologic Information Portal: View maps regarding geology, seismic scenarios, natural hazards, tsunamis, subsurface geological conditions, more.

SMP Basics


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A Shoreline Master Program (SMP) comprises policies and regulations that apply to shoreline areas. In Long Beach, two related areas are included in the shoreline: 1) the ocean and its beach, from 3 miles west (in the ocean) to about 200 feet east of the base of the outer dune, and 2) what are termed “associated wetlands,” which are those wetlands generally located between the current outer dune and the old outer dune, just west of Ocean Beach Boulevard. The SMP is intended to guide environmental protection, development, and public access. Ideally, SMPs are updated about every eight years. However, the existing Long Beach SMP is dated 1997. While a few things have changed in in the Long Beach shoreline area since that time, much has changed in the regulatory world. So, it is time for an SMP update. This update is expected to be completed mid-2016.The City and State Department of Ecology jointly administer the SMP. For background on the origins of SMPs and the Shoreline Management Act (SMA), see the following links to the Washington State Department of Ecology's ("Ecology") website:What is a shoreline Master Program?Introduction to the Shoreline Management ActFrequently Asked Questions about the SMA and SMPs including property rights.

SMP Documents

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 The City has conducted an inventory of its jurisdictional shoreline area, characterized that area, and documented that effort in a Final Inventory and Characterization Report. This report and its associated map folio/atlas (the map folio/atlas is Appendix A of the Inventory & Characterization Report) are available your information (see below). A draft of this document was available for about two months for public review and comment. It was also reviewed and commented on by the Washington State Department of Ecology.After the Inventory and Characterization Report was complete, citizens attended a Visioning open house, and described their idealized future shoreline (in 10 years, and then in 20 years). This exercise is described  in a Final Community Visioning Report, which is available for your information below.The city also completed a draft and Final Restoration Plan (see below), which lays out a proposed program of restoration actions intended to improve the environmental functions and values of the Long Beach shoreline area over time. Again, this document was reviewed and commented on by the public  and Ecology.

Finally, and relying on the body of work previously prepared and reviewed and commented on by Long Beach citizens and Ecology, the city prepared a Draft SMP, which was reviewed and commented on by the public and Ecology. The city revised the Draft SMP and prepared a Second Draft SMP, now available (see below) for your review and comment. The Long Beach City Council passed Resolution 2016-08 on November 7th, 2016 authorizing the submittal of the Final Draft of the SMP to Ecology. Ecology determined that the submittal was complete on January 6, 2017. Department of Ecology will now submit the document for review comment period.

City of Long Beach SMP Update PO Box 310 Long Beach, WA 98631or to: planner@longbeachwa.govor drop your comments off at City Hall: 115 Bolstad WestThis is one of a continuing number of opportunities you have had and will continue to have to comment on the SMP process, and we look forward to hearing what you have to say. This is your shoreline, let us know what you think!