2021 Shoreline Master Program Update


State law requires jurisdictions to review and update their SMPs every eight years in accordance with the Shoreline Management Act, RCW 90.58.080 (4) and its current guidelines and legislative rules. The City of Poulsbo is undertaking a periodic review of our SMP. The City is aiming to complete the update in the spring 2021 for submittal to the Washington State Department of Ecology by end of June 2021.

This periodic update will focus on:

  • Reviewing relevant legislative updates since the 2012 SMP update and incorporating any applicable amendments;
  • Reviewing a list of SMP code amendments compiled since adoption in 2012 and incorporating clarifications, interpretations, and changes to address issues that have come up with shoreline projects.

This periodic update will not:

  • Re-evaluate the ecological baseline that was established as part of the the 2012 SMP update;
  • Extensively assess no net loss criteria other than to ensure that proposed amendments do not result in degradation of the baseline condition; or
  • Change shoreline jurisdiction, environment designations, or shoreline buffers.

What is the Shoreline Master Program?

Shoreline Master Programs are local land use policies and regulations that guide the use of Washington shorelines. SMPs apply to both public and private uses. They protect natural resources for future generations, provide for public access to the shorelines, and plan for water-dependent uses. SMPs implement the 1971 Washington State Shoreline Management Act. Every local SMP is updated at regular intervals through either the Comprehensive or Periodic Update Process. Each update process follows the update rules established by the Washington State Department of Ecology.  The current SMP received final periodic update approval from Ecology in 2012, which was a comprehensive update/rewrite of the SMP. For more information about Shoreline Management, including helpful tips for shoreline property owners, see the opens in a new windowShorelines Page.

opens in a new windowNovember 15, 2021 – Ecology Conditional Approvalopens PDF file

August 5, 2021 – Submittal to Ecology for Final Determination

June 17, 2021 – Ecology Initial Determination

April 28, 2021 Submittal for Ecology Initial Determination


Public Participation

The public is encouraged to participate in the periodic update by reviewing changes, sharing comments, and participating in public meetings. The City will use several modes of communication to continuously inform the public and encourage participation in the SMP update, including:

  • Sign up for the City’s email notification list: Members of the public can sign up to receive email notifications about public meetings and other aspects of the SMP amendment process. Email plan&econ@cityofpoulsbo.comcreate new email
  • Website: The City will maintain this SMP update page on its website with updates, important dates, background materials, and drafts.
  • Public notification: The City will publish notifications about public meetings and hearings in the Seattle Times and on the City’s webpage.
  • Virtual Consultations: Virtual consultations are being offered for interested community or environmental interest groups, tribal governments, and property owners directly impacted by SMP legislation. The City is happy to meet with groups individually or to schedule multi-group meetings. If you are interested in scheduling a consultation, please email plan&econ@cityofpoulsbo.comcreate new email.
  • Have a Question: Email plan&econ@cityofpoulsbo.comcreate new email
  • Public comments: Members of the public can provide in-person comments by testifying to the Planning Commission and City Council, or by: providing written comments submitted to the City by letter (attn: Planning Department, 200 NE Moe Street, Poulsbo WA 98370), email (plan&econ@cityofpoulsbo.comcreate new email), or online comment form (below).