Ecology starts review of Yarrow Point Shoreline program update, seeks public comment


The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) is seeking public comment on Yarrow Point’s recently updated shoreline master program.


The proposed updated shoreline program will guide construction and development in the town’s 1.5 miles of Lake Washington shoreline. It combines local plans for future development and preservation with new development ordinances and related permitting requirements.


Yarrow Point’s locally-tailored shoreline program is designed to help minimize environmental damage to shoreline areas, reserve appropriate areas for water-oriented uses, and protect the public’s right to public land and waters.


Under Washington’s 1972 voter-approved Shoreline Management Act, Ecology must review and approve Yarrow Point’s proposed shoreline program before it takes effect.  More than 200 cities and counties statewide are in the process of, or soon will be, updating or developing their master programs.


Ecology will accept public comment on Yarrow Point’s proposed shoreline program through June 7, 2013.  Comments and questions should be addressed to Anthony Boscolo, Department of Ecology, Shorelands and Environmental Assistance Program, 3190 160th Ave. SE, Bellevue, WA 98008, by email to, or call 425-649-7049.


Yarrow Point’s proposed shoreline program and related documents can be reviewed at:


After the public comment period, Ecology may approve the proposed shoreline master program as written, reject it or identify specific provisions that need modification to meet the requirements of the Shoreline Management Act and applicable state regulations.


Once approved by Ecology, Yarrow Point’s shoreline program will become part of the overall state shoreline master program.


Yarrow Point’s proposed updated master program:


  • Integrates shoreline regulations with the town’s growth management planning and zoning, and floodplain management as part of a unified development code.


  • Establishes protective buffers of 50 to 75 feet with the flexibility to reduce buffers based on individual property circumstances.


  • Limits the length of new residential docks and piers to the minimum necessary, up to 150 feet.


  • Encourages soft-bank erosion control methods and limits construction of new shoreline armoring.


  • Includes a restoration plan showing where and how voluntary improvements in water and upland areas can enhance the local shoreline environment.


  • Helps support the broader initiative to protect and restore Puget Sound.


Washington’s cities and counties with regulated shorelines must update their programs by December 2014. They are following regulations adopted by Ecology in 2003. The regulations resulted from a negotiated settlement among 58 parties including business interests, ports, environmental groups, shoreline user groups, cities and counties, Ecology and the courts.