What is the purpose of this permit?
To regulate developments and uses of shoreline water bodies and associated upland areas to protect human health and the natural environment. Each local government has development regulations in its shoreline master program (SMP). Each SMP regulates developments and uses defined by state law as "substantial development." These developments need an approved substantial development permit (SDP) before they may be built or undertaken. Local governments send SDPs, whether denied or approved, to the Department of Ecology (Ecology) for "filing."
For more information about the Shoreline Management Act, go to the links below.
Who issues this permit?
Local Government - City or County
What activities require this permit?
An SDP is required for all non-exempt developments and uses exceeding $8,504 fair market value. RCW 90.58.030(3)(a) defines "development" as “a use consisting of the construction or exterior alteration of:
- Dredging; drilling; dumping; filling;
- Removal of any sand, gravel, or minerals;
- Driving of piling;
- Placing of obstructions; or
- Any project of a permanent or temporary nature which interferes with the normal public use of the surface of the waters overlying lands subject to this chapter at any state of water level.”
Under WAC 173-27-150, SDPs shall be granted only when the proposed development is consistent with policies and procedures of the Shoreline Management Act (SMA), Ecology rules, and the local SMP.
Local government may condition the approval of permits, if needed, to ensure consistency of the project with the SMA and the SMP. Local governments must review and approve or deny applications for SDPs and then send the permit material to Ecology for filing.
How much will this permit cost?
The fee is established by each local government. Ecology does not charge a fee.
Do I need to include anything with my application?
This is established by each local government. The minimum required information is listed in WAC 173-27-180
. Contact your local government for an application form.
Is the decision on my permit dependent on anything besides the information in my application?
SDPs are reviewed against the criteria in the local shoreline master program and state criteria in WAC 173-27-150.
Compliance with the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) may be required.
How long will it take to review my application?
Permit process time is determined by each local government. After receiving Substantial Development Permits from local government, Ecology will inform local governments and permit applicants in writing of the "date of filing" as defined by RCW 90.58.140
Where do I submit my application?
To the county or city where the proposed project will take place.
How long is my permit valid?
This is determined by the local government in accordance with RCW 90.58.143
. Typically, construction must begin within two years and must conclude within five years of receiving the permit.
What is the appeal process for the permit?
Decisions granting, denying, or rescinding a shoreline substantial development, or denial of a shoreline conditional use or variance, can be appealed. “Date of receipt” is defined in RCW 43.21B.001(2)
. The appeal process is governed by Chapters 43.21B and 90.58 RCW, and Chapter 461-08 WAC.
Get more information on the Shorelines Hearings Board web page
Notes / Comments:
Contact your local government for an application.
Substantial Development Permits are reviewed against the criteria in the local Shoreline Master Program and state criteria in WAC 173-27-150