Page Updated 2/11/2014
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Final State Approval!
of Ecology has approved the Jefferson County Shoreline Master
Program (SMP)! This final action completes the comprehensive
update process. The new Program will be in effect starting
February 21, 2014. For more information:
Board Adopts SMP (12/2013)
The Board of County Commissioners took formal
action to adopt the new SMP with supporting documents by unanimous
December 16, 2013. Staff is preparing to
updated SMP to
Ecology for final adoption and anticipates the new program will be
in effect by mid-January 2014. Final documents will be posted
online when available.
Final Adoption (10/2013)
After much consideration and additional public input, the
Board and Ecology have agreed on
proposed provisions to regulate finfish aquaculture. Ecology's
September approval of the County's approach to a limited allowance
for net pens concludes the County's formal response to the
State's required and recommended changes. Staff is working to
prepare the final SMP document and it's adopting ordinance, a
resolution for the supplemental technical documents.
Revised Timeline to Final SMP Adoption
After review of public input, the Board made revisions to the March
’13 Public Review Draft of the Final Response to Ecology on
Required Changes #13 – 15 and submitted that to Ecology last
month. Ecology had some follow-up questions and requested
clarification on a handful of issues. To address these, staff
anticipates taking some minor edits back to the Board for approval
on August 5. Then, after Ecology reviews and approves these minor
edits, staff will proceed with preparing the final SMP document,
adopting ordinance and other supplemental materials.
At present staff anticipates the Board to take action to adopt the SMP
in mid-September. The last step is to send the County's adopted SMP
to Ecology for their final review & adoption; the SMP will take
effect approximately two weeks after the date of Ecology’s final
approval letter, likely mid-October. Please recognize that this is
an estimated timeline and further schedule changes could occur as
this moves forward. Watch for Board agendas and related SMP
materials (posted as links from the agendas)
Review - Finfish Aquaculture Provisions
After much consideration, the Board of County Commissioners released a Public Review Draft of the Revised Response to Ecology
regarding provisions to allow finfish aquaculture use and
development, along with a supplemental document to help describe
where this type of shoreline activity would potentially be allowed
to locate (based only on shoreline designation; additional regulatory
provisions would still apply):
4.9 MB; informational only - will not be codified into SMP)
The Board accepted public comments in writing and conducted a public
hearing on April 15, 2013. Two additional informational
handouts were provided at the public hearing:
Public Comments received:
Additional comments received between 4/11 and
Verbal testimony from the public hearing included
in BoCC meeting minutes
with Fish Disease Experts
The Board of County Commissioners will meet with several fish disease
experts on Monday, October 8, 2012 at 1:30 pm at the Cotton
Building, 607 Water Street in downtown Port Townsend. The
meeting is open for public attendance but is not a public hearing.
Another source of policy guidance previously provided for the Board's
consideration and added to the collection of
Ecology Options & Timeline
Ecology responded to the County's request for more time by asking the
County to choose a path forward by October 1, 2012. The County
considered the three options presented by Ecology's July letter and
began reviewing draft performance standards that would serve as
Conditional Use Permit (CUP) criteria should the Board choose that
option. The Board further considered the issue of how to best
regulate in-water finfish aquaculture (i.e. net pens) and informed
Ecology the County would pursue Option 1, the CUP.
The State's July 2012 letter directing final action on the SMP Update
requested a decision by the County by August 15, 2012. The
County sent a response to indicate that timeline would not be met
due to logistical challenges and asked for an extension:
A Board workshop regarding fish disease issues related
to in-water finfish aquaculture is in the planning/scheduling phase.
More information will be posted here when available.
Direction for Final Action
The Board of County Commissioners received a letter from WA Department
of Ecology, partially in response to legal questions posed in
February. The letter also clarifies technical and procedural
issues that have arisen during the County's continued consideration
of the in-water finfish aquaculture issue.
identifies three pathways for moving forward on this final detail of
the SMP Update: 1) conditional use; 2) conditional use & moratorium;
or 3) reject, deny, appeal/rulemaking:
The County will consider this latest input from Ecology and is trying
to schedule a workshop with a state expert on fish disease
monitoring and prevention to better understand one key concern
regarding marine net pen aquaculture (BoCC agendas online
Should the County proceed with option #1 or #2, the updated SMP would
need to be adopted by the Board via local ordinance and gain final
approval from Ecology before taking effect. There is no
estimated timeline for such action.
Workshop with Ecology Team
The County continued its consideration of finfish aquaculture
at a workshop between the Board of County Commissioners
and a team of Ecology policy and technical experts on January 23,
2012. Related materials include:
It was a good dialogue that allowed participants to better understand
each other and to consider how to find a solution to the current
disagreement regarding in-water finfish aquaculture provisions to be
included in the new SMP. The crux of this issue is that Ecology
cannot support the complete prohibition of this water-dependent use
as proposed by the County. The state is pushing for the County
to allow the activity when/where proposals meet review criteria for
a Conditional Use Permit (CUP). While some criteria are included in
the County's 10/31/11
proposed finfish provisions, Ecology has cautioned that such
criteria must not result in a de facto ban. The outcomes of the workshop include:
County staff will work with Ecology staff and
technical experts from NOAA
Fisheries, WA Department of Fish and Wildlife, and other
agencies/entities as appropriate, to further evaluate how the existing guidance on
net pen siting and operations would apply 'on the ground' in
Jefferson County to identify if/where such activity could exist
in local waters without unmitigated impacts to shoreline
resources and adjacent uses. Should this analysis identify
locations where in-water finfish aquaculture would be considered
feasible, staff would also work together to draft a set of
proposed CUP review criteria.
County legal counsel will confer with State legal
counsel to further evaluate the procedural issues related to
if/when/how Ecology would pursue formal rule-making to finalize
the County's new SMP.
NOAA Fisheries staff invited the County to visit
the net pen research facility at the federal Manchester Lab to
become more familiar with such operations as they are quite
similar to commercial facilities.
on Finfish Aquaculture
Prior to preparing the ordinance
package for adoption of the revised SMP via local ordinance, the
requested consultation from Ecology on the issue of finfish
aquaculture to ensure there would be no problems upon submittal of
the locally adopted SMP to the State for final adoption.
Ecology convened a team of policy and technical experts and met
in-house to discuss the finfish provisions of the 10/31/11 formal
response document. Ecology has sent a letter providing their
feedback that, in short, they will not support a complete
prohibition of in-water finfish aquaculture as a limitation of a
water-dependent use without adequate scientific analysis that shows
there is nowhere in Jefferson County the use could be allowed with
mitigation. The Board will consider options for how to proceed -
discussions with Ecology are anticipated to continue in early-2012.
County's Formal Response to Ecology
In early-October, the Board directed staff to make revisions to the
draft response document based on their review of public comments
received and review of additional information about finfish
aquaculture. The Finfish Aquaculture Bibliography has been
revised to reflect the numerous submittals by interested public.
Staff has prepared the County's formal response to Ecology regarding
the 63 possible changes to the Locally Approved SMP. This
formal response will be submitted to Ecology along with the final
SMP after the Board takes formal action to adopt the revised SMP by
local ordinance. Ecology has the authority for final review
and approval, and the new Jefferson County SMP will take effect upon
Ecology's final adoption.
Revised Map #3 - Mill Pond designation
Revised Map #8 - Port Ludlow designation
Revised Map #9 - Port Ludlow designation
Revised Map #12 - Port Ludlow designation
Revised Map #13 - Port Ludlow designation
(Note: The proposed Port
Ludlow shoreline designation change does not appear on this map
due to a new mapping program that 'clips' the Official Shoreline
Map differently than the previous program; See proposed change on Maps #8,
9 and 12; Map #13 included for comparison with current version
Revised Map #18 - Ocean Coastal Resources
Finfish Aquaculture Bibliography - Revised (10/2011)
Note: These documents are provided as a
courtesy; there is currently no public comment period open on these
materials or the SMP Update.
Staff is working to prepare the revised SMP document as
part of the ordinance package for final
Board adoption of the SMP.
Final Adoption Process Timeline
The following steps are part of the final adoption process:
Public comment period closed on July 25, 2011
Board considered public input to finalize
a formal response to Ecology on changes to be made to the
Locally Approved SMP;
Board will adopt the updated SMP (with changes) via local ordinance,
to become effective upon Ecology's final adoption;
Board will officially submit formal County Response
and locally adopted SMP to Ecology;
Ecology will consider County Response and the
SMP and may either:
Jefferson County's updated SMP; or
2) further negotiate with
County on certain changes before final adoption of updated SMP
The exact dates for each step cannot be
predicted, but this process was to be completed before
the legislative deadline of December 1, 2011. Ecology has
statutory authority to take remedial action should the deadline
be missed. In most cases the State works with local
jurisdictions to find consensus that supports completion of the
required comprehensive SMP update.
Draft County Response to
On June 22, 2011, the Board of County Commissioners released its draft response to
Ecology about 63 possible changes to the
Locally Approved Shoreline Master Program (LA-SMP). The
Board invited review and input by conducting a month-long public
comment period including a public hearing held on July 11, 2011.
The Draft Jefferson County Response to Ecology on
Changes to the LA-SMP ("Draft County Response") matrix of 63
possible changes, including maps, is available below for review and
(Full document w/ matrix & maps - 11.6 MB)
Supplemental Materials for Draft County
A public review copy of the Draft County Response document (matrix + maps) is available at the
Department of Community Development office (621 Sheridan St., Port
Townsend, WA 98368). A limited supply of hand-out copies for
the public is currently available.
Finfish Aquaculture Information
As the County considers its response to Ecology on required changes to
the proposed policies and regulations regarding finfish aquaculture,
additional literature and technical information is being considered.
Review those materials via the Laserfiche WebLink.
"Long Range Planning"
"Finfish Aquaculture Information"
Documents are provided in PDF and many files
are very large.
As additional materials are obtained they'll be added to the
Consideration of Changes
Upon receipt of Ecology's conditional approval of the
Locally Approved Shoreline Master Program (LA-SMP), the
Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) must consider the required and
recommended changes and respond to Ecology as to
whether the County accepts, declines or proposes alternative
changes. BoCC agendas are posted
here. Below are details of this process:
6/20/11 - BoCC approved the Draft County
Response for public review regarding 63 possible changes to the LA-SMP,
including finfish aquaculture provisions and two mapping changes,
and approved the publication of a legal notice to hold a comment
period and public hearing. Staff was directed to correct a
mapping error to accurately reflect the Board's intent.
6/6/11 - BoCC reviewed draft finfish
aquaculture code proposal and directed staff to make final edits and
mapping revisions for the Draft County Response to Ecology on
Changes to LA-SMP ("Draft County Response") in preparation for
publishing a legal notice for a comment period and public hearing.
4/25/11 - BoCC continued their discussion of
finfish/net pen aquaculture, advised staff to temporarily cap the
collection of additional literature, requested staff to prepare a
revised draft of finfish aquaculture code proposal, and sent a
letter to Ecology regarding project status:
4/18/11 - BoCC continued their discussion of
finfish/net pen aquaculture and agreed to take more time to review
the growing collection of literature on the subject.
3/21/11 - BoCC continued their review of the draft response on
finfish/net pen aquaculture. The pending public comment
period/hearing is on hold until further notice. BoCC to further
consider draft response in light of key supporting documents at
future meeting (TBD). Handouts included:
(Provided as a copy of the document that was included as an
'Appendix D' to City of Bremerton's SMP; it has been noted that
some pages appear to be missing; staff is seeking the missing
pages &/or a complete copy)
Finfish Aquaculture Case Law Summary
(Prepared by Chief Civil DPA)
Ecology Guidance on Net Pen Aquaculture
(Email dated 3/18/11)
Draft Response - Finfish & Net Pen Aquaculture (3/21/11
3/14/11 - BoCC completed review of draft
response to Ecology except for changes to finfish/net pen
aquaculture provisions. Additional discussion needed, so
public hearing date not yet determined. Handouts included:
3/7/11 - Continued BoCC review of possible
changes to LA-SMP. Staff was directed to prepare draft
response to Ecology including Whatcom-type provisions for
finfish/net pen aquaculture.
2/28/11 - BoCC continued their review of the
DCD Recommendation and agreed with most of the staff guidance.
Further consideration on some topics will continue at the next
meeting. One handout was provided:
2/22/11 - BoCC began their review of
the DCD Recommendation on Ecology's required and recommended
changes and additional revisions proposed for clarification. BoCC agreed to send a letter to Ecology advising that
the County's response will be submitted by April 30, 2011.
BoCC indicated another public hearing is anticipated in March on
some/all possible changes. Staff provided the following materials and handouts:
2/7/11 - BoCC began their initial review of Ecology's approval with
required and recommended changes. Staff provided a handout with
corrected citations and added page number references to assist
review. And the Chief Civil Deputy Prosecuting Attorney (DPA) provided a
matrix to review alternatives related to another public hearing. BoCC
directed staff to prepare a recommendation on possible changes. See these materials below:
On January 26, 2011, the Washington Department of Ecology announced
their conditional approval of the
Locally Approved SMP
pending some required changes. The letter from Ecology's
Director with attachments are posted below, and are online at the
Ecology sent notification to a mailing list of
over 3,000 shoreline property owners and an email list of over 600
interested parties. See the letter below:
Ecology also distributed a
press release to
regional media and local newspapers to announce their approval of
the County's SMP.
Next steps include County review of the required
changes and response to Ecology to accept or provide alternative
changes, State final adoption and County final adoption by
As required by state SMP Guidelines, the County has prepared a review
of and response to the issues raised by over 300 comment
letters/testimonies received during the state-wide public
comment period. The Responsiveness Summary groups individual
comments into topics, identifies issues of public interest and
responds generally to those issues. The original June 2010 due date was extended
twice by request
to Ecology to allow review of the large volume of comment received.
View related documents below:
See below for letters/testimony submitted during the
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
As part of the ongoing effort to keep citizens and stakeholders
informed, a new informational handout has been prepared by Jefferson
County to address issues commonly heard from interested parties.
Further, the state Department of Ecology provides numerous resources
to educate and engage the public.
Jefferson County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney has prepared two memos
specific to public interests in the issue of 'takings' regarding
private property rights.
Additional materials help explain the science used to determine the
Click below to view the
State-wide Public Comment Period
The Washington Department of Ecology accepted public comments on
the Locally Approved SMP
from April 12 to May 11, 2010 and held a public hearing on April 20 at Fort Worden Sate
Park in Port Townsend. Learn more about the status of the
state review process on the
comments received by the State are available for viewing online by
Laserfiche WebLink viewing instructions. Click on the
'State-wide Comments_2010' subfolder under 'SMP'. An
Item Log is provided as a table of contents.
Locally Approved SMP page
Return to the
SMP Formal Review page.
Return to the
SMP Update page.