Community Development

Shoreline Program Update 2005 - 2011

This page and numerous sub-pages contain information and materials related to the State-mandated revision of Chapter 18.25 of the Jefferson County Code (JCC 18.25), the Shoreline Master Program.

Comprehensive Plan
Unified Development Code (UDC)
Permit Information & Application Forms
Permit Database Search & Map Tools

621 Sheridan Street
Port Townsend,
WA 98368

Phone: 360.379.4450
Fax: 360.379.4451


Monday - Thursday
9:00 to 4:30                     

closed 12:00 - 1:00 for lunch

Fridays, Weekends & Holidays Closed








Note: Click on the table of content 'quick links' below to skip to that section.

Page last updated: 2-3-2011

NOTE: Even when this main page has not been updated, various sub-pages may have been (i.e.  Shoreline Advisory Committees, Shoreline Restoration Planning, or Shoreline Public Outreach).

New Items

State Approval

On January 26, 2011, the Washington Department of Ecology announced their conditional approval of the Locally Approved SMP pending some required changes.  Learn more about the status of the state review process on the state website and the State Review & Approval page.

FAQ Handout

Jefferson County and WA Department of Ecology provide frequently asked question (FAQ) handouts and other resources to help educate and engage the public.  Learn more on the State Review & Approval page.

Schedule Extension and Revised SMP

After the Board's thorough and detailed review of the Planning Commission proposal, they directed staff to make numerous revisions.  The extra time spent in deliberations leads the Board to consider requesting another WA Dept. of Ecology grant contract timeline extension to December 31.  Learn more on the Formal Review Process page.

BoCC to Host Q & A Workshop on Sept. 2

The Board of County Commissioners will host a question & answer workshop with Department of Community Development staff, the Planning Commission, and the public starting at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, September 2, 2009 at the Superior Courtroom, County Courthouse, 1820 Jefferson St., Port Townsend.  The intent is to learn more about the Planning Commission Final Draft SMP Recommendation and DCD Staff Recommendation to encourage informed public comment and decision-making.

DCD Staff Recommendation

Department of Community Development Staff has reviewed the Planning Commission Final Draft SMP Recommendation and provided feedback to the Board of County Commissioners regarding recommended revisions to improve document structure, organization, readability and compliance with legal requirements.  Learn more and view the document at the DCD Staff Recommendation page.

Public Comment Period Open 'til September 8

The Board of County Commissioners is accepting public comment on the Planning Commission Final Draft SMP Recommendation August 19 - September 8.  Learn more on the PC Final Draft page.

Planning Commission Final Draft SMP

The Planning Commission Final Draft SMP is available for review starting August 3, 2009 with a public comment period set for August 19 to September 8, 2009.  The Board of County Commissioners will hold a public hearing on September 8, 2009.  Published legal notice will confirm these dates.  Learn more on the PC Final Draft page.  Comments on this document are available below under Public Comments.

Planning Commission Review Complete

The Planning Commission completed their review of the SMP update proposal and has prepared a recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners.  The Planning Commission Final Draft SMP is slated for public release on August 3, 2009.  The document will be posted online with hard copies available at Department of Community Development, County Library in Hadlock, and Clallam Library in Forks.

PLEASE NOTE:  The Board of County Commissioners SMP review schedule has been further revised and the 7/20/09 version is available here.

Planning Commission Revised Draft SMP

The Planning Commission Revised Draft SMP was available for review and public comment June 3 - 17, 2009.  Learn more on the PC Revised Draft page.

Newly Revised SMP Schedule through Oct. 30, 2009

Ecology has approved the October 30 contract timeline extension, and the Board has approved another review schedule extension for the Planning Commission. Dates for deliberation meetings, document releases, comment periods, and public hearings have changed.  View the new schedule, and learn more on the SMP Formal Review page.

Planning Commission Timeline Extension Approved

On 2/18/09 the Planning Commission requested more time to further review the Preliminary Draft Shoreline Master Program proposal and allow additional public comment opportunity once recommended revisions are prepared.  On 3/16/09 the Board of County Commissioners approved the request, requiring the Planning Commission to complete their Final Draft SMP recommendation by June 30, 2009. See materials and highlights from specific meetings on the SMP Formal Review page.

Cumulative Impacts Analysis

While individual shoreline use and development activities may not cause a net loss of shoreline ecological functions, the collective effects of all activities allowed under a new SMP could.  A revised Draft Cumulative Impacts Analysis report reflects the policies and regulations proposed in the 12/3/08 Preliminary Draft SMP.  Learn more in the Cumulative Impacts section below.

Preliminary Draft SMP Proposal Now Under Review

After a lengthy preparation phase, the Preliminary Draft SMP (PDSMP) is now available for formal public review.  The PDSMP is a stand-alone document that contains proposed amendments to the Comprehensive Plan and Unified Development Code.  An extended initial open public comment period from December 3, 2008 to January 30, 2009 allowed citizens and stakeholders to provide input to the Planning Commission as they form a recommendation for the Board of County Commissioners.  The first public hearing was held January 21, 2009 for oral testimony. 

View and download the PDSMP in the Project Documents section below. 

Learn more, view materials and track the Planning Commission & Board of County Commissioners review on the SMP Formal Review page.

Also see the Review & Revision diagram in the SMP Update Process section below that shows the timeline for final adoption, that has been further revised in May '09.

Planning Commission Revised Draft SMP

The Planning Commission Revised Draft SMP is available for review and public comment June 3 - 17, 2009.  Learn more on the PC Revised Draft page.

SMP Comment Form

Community input and participation is critical to the process of updating the SMP.   An SMP Comment Form was developed for use during a series of SMP Open Houses held in October 2007 but the project team of staff, consultants and advisory committees welcomes both informal and formal input from interested citizens at any time.  The formal review process begins once a draft SMP is submitted to Planning Commission, anticipated for Fall 2008.    More information about public events and other opportunities to stay informed of this project are on the Shoreline Public Outreach page.

SMP Comprehensive Update

Jefferson County is scheduled to submit an update of its Shoreline Master Program (SMP) to the State Department of Ecology by October 30, 2009.  The current effort began with selection of a project consultant team.

Since early 2006, DCD has been coordinating preliminary work with ESA Adolfson (formerly Adolfson Associates, Inc.), the consultant selected to assist the County with the SMP update; the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, operated by Battelle Science and Technology International; a pair of advisory committees; and other entities and individuals. 

In the spring of 2006, the County submitted a proposal to Washington State Department of Ecology requesting an extension of the SMP Comprehensive Update project through the 2007/09 biennium with additional funding. This is consistent with an April ‘07 legislative rule change that allows jurisdictions to now take 3 years (rather than 2) to complete the mandated SMP update process. The 2005/07 grant contract between Jefferson County and Ecology was signed in June ’06 and ended June 30, 2007.

Ecology approved the extension proposal and will provide additional project funds over the 2007 - 09 biennium.  A revised project schedule includes continued staff, consultant and committee work, additional public outreach & involvement, and a formal review process with the Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioners resulting in submittal of a locally-adopted SMP to Ecology by October 30, 2009. The May '09 revised project schedule is posted here.  The July '09 revised project schedule is posted here.  See the Formal Review page for the most up to date schedule.

Learn more about Ecology’s SMP Grant Program here.

For questions on Jefferson County's SMP update process, contact Associate Planner Michelle McConnell of Long-Range Planning.

SMP Update Project Background

By statute, Jefferson County has until the end of 2011 to update its SMP under new Ecology Shoreline Master Program Guidelines.  The County is planning to adopt an updated SMP by the end of June 2009, following behind the "early adopters," which include the City of Port Townsend, Snohomish County, and Whatcom County.  The State Department of Ecology informed Jefferson County on March 6, 2005 that Jefferson County had been selected for full funding of the SMP update for the 2005-2007 biennium.  The funds were appropriated by the State Legislature in early 2005.

DCD released a Request for Qualifications/Quotations (RFQQ) on August 31, 2005 in relation to a comprehensive SMP update by the end of June 2007.  The following documents are associated with the RFQQ:

  1. Detailed RFQQ    8/31/05
  2. Scope of Work - includes project description, tasks and deliverables
  3. Process Flow Chart
  4. Timeline

The County selected to work with ESA Adolfson (formerly Adolfson Associates, Inc.), of Seattle, Washington for the SMP update project.

As the public involvement component of the SMP update process is developed and implemented, this webpage will be updated with pertinent information.

The Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) and WA Department of Ecology are the decision-making bodies for adoption of an updated Jefferson County SMP.  The Planning Commission is the advisory body that will review a proposed SMP in a public process and make a recommendation to the Board.  The Board will submit a locally approved SMP to Ecology for final review and approval.  Then both the State and the County adopt the new SMP, and implementation begins.

SMP Update Process

The state Department of Ecology has recently developed an outline for a 3-year, 5-phase planning process as guidance for jurisdictions to update SMPs as per the SMA and the SMP Guidelines.  DCD Staff has prepared a diagram to help illustrate components of this overall process:

Formal Public Review Process - Starting in December 2008, the Preliminary Draft SMP (PDSMP) staff proposal for Comprehensive Plan and Unified Development Code amendments is undergoing formal public review.  Learn more on the SMP Formal Review page.

Public Outreach & Involvement

Community input and participation are critical to the update process.  Learn more at the Shoreline Public Outreach page.

Shoreline Advisory Committees

DCD has formed two advisory committees to help staff and consultants develop a Preliminary Draft SMP update proposal for Planning Commission and formal public review anticipated to start in  Fall 2008, and to assist development of a Shoreline Restoration Plan. The Shoreline Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) and the Shoreline Policy Advisory Committee (SPAC) have met as needed since Spring 2006 including an intensive series of 10 meetings during Fall 2007.  STAC and SPAC meetings are open to the public and provide observer comment periods. See more details on the Shoreline Committees page.

Project Documents

The ongoing effort to complete a comprehensive update to the Shoreline Master Program will produce a number of supporting and accessory documents as well as several iterations of an updated SMP as it goes through both informal and formal review processes. 

Where to Review Documents:

As these many documents become available, they will be posted here for viewing and free download.  Some are available as public review copies at:

  • Department of Community Development (DCD) Front Desk -  Walk-in requests will be met on a first-come first-served basis or call 360-379-4450 to make an appointment
  • Jefferson County Library & Bookmobile (640 Cedar Ave., Port Hadlock; 360-385-6544); and
  • Clallam County Library in Forks

Also, project documents may be purchased in hard copy format at $0.15 per page, or on compact disc (CD) for $1.10.  Payment is required in advance at DCD Front Desk.

Project documents are described and posted below.

Consistency & Integration: 

As part of the effort to update the current Shoreline Master Program (SMP), a comparison was made between both the 2000 Draft SMP and the 2005 Shoreline Inventory to see how they meet the requirements of the 2003 SMP Guidelines.  The resulting Consistency Report and Integration Strategy compiled by ESA Adolfson will help guide development of the updated SMP.


Cumulative Impacts:

A required step in the SMP update process is to evaluate the cumulative effects of the proposed policies and regulations.  The intent is to recognize that even preferred uses have effects on the very shoreline resources the SMP is intended to protect.  The development of just one residence or appurtenant structure like a bulkhead may not have significant negative impacts, but collectively all such allowed development under the proposed SMP may likely result in environmental degradation. 

As a key compliance hurdle is to ensure "no net loss of ecological function" it is important to analyze the collective effect of the proposed policies and regulations.  The Draft Cumulative Impacts Analysis has been revised to assess the effects of the Locally Approved SMP and is part of the submittal to Ecology for final review and adoption of the SMP. 

View the iterative versions of the document, and related materials, below:


Iterations of the Updated SMP:

NOTE:  Refer to the SMP Review and Revision Process diagram for details on process and timeline.

Several iterations of a draft SMP lead up to final adoption.  Below is a summary of those iterations:

  • 12/14/06 - Release of proposed revisions to chapters 1 and 3
  • 9/18/07 - Release of the first available full document version of a draft SMP was the Committee Working Draft SMP. This was reviewed and revised by the Shoreline Policy Advisory Committee (SPAC), and the Shoreline Technical Advisory Committee (STAC). 
  • 5/22/08 - Release of Revised Committee Working Draft SMP with revisions based on committee input.  This was not a formal public review document, but committee feedback and informal public input was requested by July 11, 2008. 
  • 12/3/08 - Release of the Preliminary Draft SMP (PDSMP) with additional revisions to reflect committee and public input.  View the document below.
  • 6/3/09 - Release of the Planning Commission Revised Draft SMP with recommended changes to the PDSMP.  View the document at the PC Revised Draft page. 
  • 8/3/09 - Anticipated release of the Planning Commission Final Draft SMP recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners.  Document will be posted when available.

The proposed goals, policies, designations and regulations of the updated SMP must reflect and implement the community vision of the Comprehensive Plan, the findings of the Inventory & Characterization Report and comply with State requirements.  

Application & Legal Notice: 

The 12/3/08 Preliminary Draft SMP (PDSMP) is available below as the full document (3.4 MB) or as individual articles:

NOTE:  Files over 1 MB are identified

Past draft versions received informal comments from advisory committees, general public and stakeholders.

NOTE:  The September 2007 Committee Working Draft SMP and the May 2008 Revised Committee Working Draft SMP that were previously posted here have been removed to conserve web server file space.  Both are still available for review at DCD and the County Library, or for purchase as hard copy or digital.


Shoreline Inventory & Analysis

As a required first step of the update process, the County is assessing landscape scale processes and their effects on ecological functions as part of the Shoreline Inventory and Characterization.  The June 2008  Final Shoreline Inventory and Characterization Report is available on the Shoreline Inventory & Analysis page.  Comments received on this document are available above.


Shoreline Restoration Planning

Every jurisdiction is required to develop a Restoration Plan that reflects the findings of the inventory and characterization and supports the goals, policies and regulations of the SMP.  The final Shoreline Restoration Plan is available on the Shoreline Restoration page.  Comments received on this document are available above.

Return to the Shoreline Planning & Management page



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