The Shoreline Management Act (SMA) was proposed by the Legislature in response to a citizen’s initiative and ratified by Washington voters in 1972. The SMA was intended to protect and restore the valuable natural resources that the state’s shorelines represent. In addition, the SMA was developed to plan for and foster all “reasonable and appropriate uses” that are dependent upon a waterfront location or which will offer opportunities for the public to enjoy the state shorelines: single family homes were specifically identified as a preferred shoreline use by the Legislature.
The SMA applies to approximately 230 cities and counties that have “shorelines of the state” within their jurisdictional boundaries. Lake Tapps and Fennel Creek downstream of Victor Falls are classified as shorelines of the state within the City of Bonney Lake. In addition, Lake Tapps is designated as shoreline of “statewide significance.”
The SMA also created a regulatory framework that attempts to balances the authority to regulate development on the shoreline between state and local government. Within this framework, the Department of Ecology (DOE) has the responsibility for issuing guidelines for Shoreline Master Programs (SMPs), assisting local governments in developing SMPs, and determining if local SMPs meet the policy objectives of the criteria in RCW 90.58.090 and the requirements in Chapter 173-26 WAC. The City of Bonney Lake is responsible for the preparation of a SMP that establishes the policies, goals, and regulations related to the future development and use of the shorelines that is tailored to the specific needs of the community and complies with the requirements of the established by the State.
For general information on Shoreline Management, please use the links below:
¤ Introduction to the Shoreline Management Act (PDF)
¤ WA State Department of Ecology - Shoreline Management
Bonney Lake’s Shoreline Master Program (“SMP”)
The City of Bonney Lake’s first SMP was adopted in 1975 and was never subsequently updated other than minor revisions to the administrative provisions. In 2003, the Legislature mandated comprehensive updates to all local SMPs.
In order to facilitate that update, the City was awarded a grant by the Washington Department of Ecology in 2008 and subsequently initiated the update of its 1975 SMP in 2009. Over the next four years, staff worked with consultants, the Shoreline Advisory Committee, Cascade Water Alliance, the Department of Ecology, and the Planning Commission to develop an updated SMP that balances the environmental protections mandated by the state, private property rights, and recreational usage of the lake and shoreline. Key considerations within the SMP included conservation, public access, guidance for water-oriented recreational uses, and allowances for residential development. The City's resultant SMP became effective on October 16, 2014.
The SMP requires that property owners either obtain a permit or letter of exemption for all development activities within the shoreline area. You may download the application form from our Forms page in the Planning forms section.
For more information, contact staff in the Planning Division.