Approval of master program or segments or amendments — Procedure — Departmental alternatives when shorelines of statewide significance — Later adoption of master program supersedes departmental program.
(1) A master program, segment of a master program, or an amendment to a master program shall become effective when approved by the department as provided in subsection (7) of this section. Within the time period provided in RCW 90.58.080, each local government shall have submitted a master program, either totally or by segments, for all shorelines of the state within its jurisdiction to the department for review and approval.
The department shall strive to achieve final action on a submitted master program within one hundred eighty days of receipt and shall post an annual assessment related to this performance benchmark on the agency web site.
(2) Upon receipt of a proposed master program or amendment, the department shall:
(a) Provide notice to and opportunity for written comment by all interested parties of record as a part of the local government review process for the proposal and to all persons, groups, and agencies that have requested in writing notice of proposed master programs or amendments generally or for a specific area, subject matter, or issue. The comment period shall be at least thirty days, unless the department determines that the level of complexity or controversy involved supports a shorter period;
(b) In the department's discretion, conduct a public hearing during the thirty-day comment period in the jurisdiction proposing the master program or amendment;
(c) Within fifteen days after the close of public comment, request the local government to review the issues identified by the public, interested parties, groups, and agencies and provide a written response as to how the proposal addresses the identified issues;
(d) Within thirty days after receipt of the local government response pursuant to (c) of this subsection, make written findings and conclusions regarding the consistency of the proposal with the policy of RCW 90.58.020 and the applicable guidelines, provide a response to the issues identified in (c) of this subsection, and either approve the proposal as submitted, recommend specific changes necessary to make the proposal approvable, or deny approval of the proposal in those instances where no alteration of the proposal appears likely to be consistent with the policy of RCW 90.58.020 and the applicable guidelines. The written findings and conclusions shall be provided to the local government, and made available to all interested persons, parties, groups, and agencies of record on the proposal;
(e) If the department recommends changes to the proposed master program or amendment, within thirty days after the department mails the written findings and conclusions to the local government, the local government may:
(i) Agree to the proposed changes by written notice to the department; or
(ii) Submit an alternative proposal. If, in the opinion of the department, the alternative is consistent with the purpose and intent of the changes originally submitted by the department and with this chapter it shall approve the changes and provide notice to all recipients of the written findings and conclusions. If the department determines the proposal is not consistent with the purpose and intent of the changes proposed by the department, the department may resubmit the proposal for public and agency review pursuant to this section or reject the proposal.
(3) The department shall approve the segment of a master program relating to shorelines unless it determines that the submitted segments are not consistent with the policy of RCW 90.58.020 and the applicable guidelines.
(4) The department shall approve the segment of a master program relating to critical areas as defined by RCW 36.70A.030(5) provided the master program segment is consistent with RCW 90.58.020 and applicable shoreline guidelines, and if the segment provides a level of protection of critical areas at least equal to that provided by the local government's critical areas ordinances adopted and thereafter amended pursuant to RCW 36.70A.060(2).
(5) The department shall approve those segments of the master program relating to shorelines of statewide significance only after determining the program provides the optimum implementation of the policy of this chapter to satisfy the statewide interest. If the department does not approve a segment of a local government master program relating to a shoreline of statewide significance, the department may develop and by rule adopt an alternative to the local government's proposal.
(6) In the event a local government has not complied with the requirements of RCW 90.58.070 it may thereafter upon written notice to the department elect to adopt a master program for the shorelines within its jurisdiction, in which event it shall comply with the provisions established by this chapter for the adoption of a master program for such shorelines.
Upon approval of such master program by the department it shall supersede such master program as may have been adopted by the department for such shorelines.
(7) A master program or amendment to a master program takes effect when and in such form as approved or adopted by the department. The effective date is fourteen days from the date of the department's written notice of final action to the local government stating the department has approved or rejected the proposal. For master programs adopted by rule, the effective date is governed by RCW 34.05.380. The department's written notice to the local government must conspicuously and plainly state that it is the department's final decision and that there will be no further modifications to the proposal.
(a) Shoreline master programs that were adopted by the department prior to July 22, 1995, in accordance with the provisions of this section then in effect, shall be deemed approved by the department in accordance with the provisions of this section that became effective on that date.
(b) The department shall maintain a record of each master program, the action taken on any proposal for adoption or amendment of the master program, and any appeal of the department's action. The department's approved document of record constitutes the official master program.
(8) Promptly after approval or disapproval of a local government's shoreline master program or amendment, the department shall publish a notice consistent with RCW 36.70A.290 that the shoreline master program or amendment has been approved or disapproved. This notice must be filed for all shoreline master programs or amendments. If the notice is for a local government that does not plan under RCW 36.70A.040, the department must, on the day the notice is published, notify the legislative authority of the applicable local government by telephone or electronic means, followed by written communication as necessary, to ensure that the local government has received the full written decision of the approval or disapproval.
[2011 c 353 § 14; 2011 c 277 § 2; 2003 c 321 § 3; 1997 c 429 § 50; 1995 c 347 § 306; 1971 ex.s. c 286 § 9.]
| Reviser's note: This section was amended by 2011 c 277 § 2 and by 2011 c 353 § 14, each without reference to the other. Both amendments are incorporated in the publication of this section under RCW 1.12.025(2). For rule of construction, see RCW 1.12.025(1).|
Intent -- 2011 c 353: See note following RCW 36.70A.130.
Finding -- Intent -- 2003 c 321: See note following RCW 90.58.030.
Severability -- 1997 c 429: See note following RCW 36.70A.3201.
Finding -- Severability -- Part headings and table of contents not law -- 1995 c 347: See notes following RCW 36.70A.470.