Shoreline plans in final stages for county, Ocean Shores

Public comment is being sought through Dec. 3 on what are being called “significant revisions that Grays Harbor County is seeking to make” to its Shoreline Master Program (SMP) — similar to the updated review process now being completed by the city of Ocean Shores and approved by the state Department of Ecology.

According to Ecology, which oversees the process, the locally tailored set of land-use policies and regulations are designed to protect and guide how the county will develop, restore, and preserve more than 1,200 miles of marine and freshwater shorelines in and around the Grays Harbor estuary, the Pacific Ocean coastline and numerous rivers and streams. River shorelines in the county include the Chehalis, Hoquiam, Humptulips, Copalis, Moclips, North, Elk, John, Quinault, Satsop, Wishkah, and Wynoochee rivers. Six lakes also are part of the update.

Grays Harbor County last amended its SMP in 1991. The proposed updated master program is designed to:

• Prioritize water-oriented uses and development in Grays Harbor County.

• Provide for public access to public waters and shorelines.

• Support restoration actions consistent with the county’s shoreline restoration plan.

• Incorporate critical area regulations to ensure environmentally-sensitive areas within the county’s shoreline jurisdiction are protected.

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