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Stepping Stone Bridge

Yakima County
Shoreline Master
Program

YCC Title 16D

Steven Erickson, Division Director
Email: Steven.Erickson@co.yakima.wa.us

 

What is a Shoreline?

In Yakima County, Shorelines are the large rivers, streams, lakes and ponds. Because of the vulnerability of their ecosystem, Shorelines are given additional protection measures through the Shoreline Master Program (SMP). The SMP outlines an area adjacent to Shorelines called Shoreline Jurisdiction. All forms of land use and development within Shoreline Jurisdiction require review. In some instances, a Shoreline Permit will be required.

What are the Shorelines of Yakima County?

Streams

Ponds/Lakes

Ahtanum Creek, North Fork

Byron Ponds

Ahtanum Creek, South Fork Horseshoe Pond
Ahtanum Creek Morgan Pond
Columbia River Horseshoe Lake
Cowiche Creek, South Fork Giffin Lake
Bumping River Oleys Lake
Little Naches River Freeway Lake
Naches River Wenas Lake
Rattlesnake Creek Priest Rapids Pool
Tieton River Rimrock Lake
Tieton River, South Fork Clear Lake
Yakima River Lake Aspen
  Willow Lake
  Big Elton Pond
  Bumping Lake

 

How far does Shoreline Jurisdiction extend?

Shoreline Jurisdiction is similar to zoning, except that the types of zoning are actually called Shoreline Environments. The four environments are: Natural, Conservancy, Rural, and Urban. There are certain uses that are allowed in some environments, but not others. Some proposals and/or uses will require permits, while others will not. No matter what the proposed use or development is, if your property falls within Shoreline Jurisdiction, a review of your proposal is required. The following are ways to measure the width of Shoreline Jurisdiction:

  1. Subject to section 4 below, wherever the "floodway" has been established by a flood insurance study prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), shorelines jurisdiction shall be the floodway plus 200 feet, measured on a horizontal plane, or the l00-year floodplain, whichever is lesser.
  2. Subject to section 4 below, whenever the l00-year floodplain has been identified by a flood insurance study prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency but where no "floodway" has been identified, shorelines jurisdiction shall be the l00-year floodplain boundary or 200 feet, measured in on horizontal plane, from the ordinary high water mark, whichever is greater.
  3. Whenever there are no detailed floodplain or floodway studies, shoreline jurisdiction shall be 200 feet, measured on a horizontal plane, from the ordinary high water mark.
  4. Under no circumstances shall shoreline jurisdiction be less than 200 feet, measured on a horizontal plane, from the ordinary high water mark of the Shoreline water body.

 

All lands within Shoreline Jurisdiction are regulated by the Yakima County Shoreline Master Program (SMP). The purpose of the SMP is to establish a single, uniform system of procedures and standards to be applied to development within Shoreline jurisdiction of unincorporated Yakima County and municipalities in Yakima County which have adopted this regional SMP (YCC 16D.01.03). The intent is to (16D.01.04):

    1. Preserve development options within designated critical areas where such development will not adversely impact critical area values and functions;
    2. Prevent further degradation of critical areas;
    3. Conserve, protect, and where feasible, restore essential or important natural resources;
    4. Protect the public health, safety and general welfare;
    5. Further the goals and objectives of the Yakima County Comprehensive Plan and all of its elements;
    6. Implement the goals and requirements of the Washington Growth Management Act (RCW Chapter 36.70A) as it applies to Shoreline jurisdiction, the Shoreline Management Act (RCW Chapter 90.58), and the National Flood Insurance Program.
    7. Recognize and protect private property rights;
    8. Provide development options for landowners of all existing lots to the greatest extent possible, through the establishment of Variance, Reasonable Use provisions and Non-Conforming Use and Facility provisions;
    9. Manage for no net loss of ecological function within Shoreline jurisdiction to protect against adverse effects to the public health, the land and its vegetation and wildlife, and the waters of the state and their aquatic life;
    10. Establish a consistent foundation of regulations that apply to similar issues whether they are inside or outside of Shoreline jurisdiction. Additional protection measures required as a result of Shoreline Master Program updates to this title are identified as applying within Shoreline jurisdiction and are not intended to be applied outside of Shoreline jurisdiction;
    11. Recognize that mining is a unique use as a result of its inherent geology. Therefore, mining and related activities may be an appropriate use when conducted consistent with the policies and provisions of WAC173-26-241(h), within Shoreline Designations, except the Natural and Floodway/CMZ Environments.

    Do I need a Shoreline Permit?
    If your project falls within Shoreline Jurisdiction, there is a good chance a permit is required. However, some activities do not need a permit. Please contact an Environmental and Natural Resources Planner for more information.

    What type of permit do I need?
    The type of permit required is dependent upon where your property is and what you are planning on doing. The most common permits are Shoreline Exemptions, Shoreline Substantial Development Permits, Shoreline Variances and Shoreline Conditional Use Permits. Please contact an Environmental and Natural Resources Planner for more information.

    Prior to any application, an early assistance meeting is required with an Environmental and Natural Resources Planner. Please contact Yakima County Public Services Planning Division at (509) 574-2300 to arrange a meeting. 

    For project specific questions, please contact Yakima County Public Services Planning Division at (509) 574-2300.