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County still working toward new shoreline management plan

September 25th, 2013 - 5:29am

(Port Angeles) Clallam County's Shoreline Master Program is designed to meet standards imposed by the state Department of Ecology...and it's not an easy task.

Under the program, the county must update a document outlining uses and future plans for hundreds of miles of areas that abut waterways across the county, ranging from saltwater to streams.

The county has been working on the update for nearly three years. The county hired a consultant to help draft the overall shoreline update, using a million dollar grant to help fund the effort.

Clallam County senior planning manager Steve Gray says there are a number of steps that are complex in meeting the state's mandates.

"We're at about 60 percent and once we get a new draft to go to the planning commission this fall, we'll be at about 75 percent. The remaining steps will be to take it through the county commissioners and public process over the next few months," said Gray. Gray says the challenge is meeting the state's madates for no net loss of shoreline areas. He said his department has three main goals.

"We're encouraging water-dependent and priority uses which includes single-family homes. The next goal is protecting natural resources and third goal is to encourage public access where appropriate," said Gray. "All three of those goals have to somewhat work together."

The county must have the shoreline update done by the end of next year.

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