173-26-110  <<  173-26-120 >>   173-26-130

State process for approving/amending shoreline master programs.

Review and approval of master programs and amendments by the department shall follow the procedures set forth below. The state public comment period under subsection (2) of this section does not apply to master programs adopted under the optional joint review process of WAC 173-26-104.
(1) Formal review for completeness:
(a) The department shall review the submitted master program or amendment for compliance with either WAC 173-26-100 or 173-26-104, and 173-26-110. The department shall notify the local government in writing when it determines that a complete submittal has been received.
(b) If the submittal is determined to be incomplete, the department will identify the deficiencies and so notify the local government in writing. The review process will not begin until the department determines the submittal is complete.
(2) State public comment period:
For local governments that have followed WAC 173-26-100, the department shall follow the procedures below:
(a) The department shall provide reasonable notice and opportunity for written comment to all parties of record who expressed interest regarding the local government proposal and to all persons, groups, agencies, and tribes that have requested in writing notice of proposed master programs or amendments generally or for a specific subject matter. The comment period shall be at least thirty days, unless the department determines that a lack of complexity or controversy surrounding the proposal supports a shorter period.
(b) For master program or amendment proposals involving local governments planning under chapter 36.70A RCW, the department shall provide notice to the department of commerce of its intent to begin formal review of the local government proposal.
(c) At the department's discretion, it may conduct a public hearing during the comment period in the jurisdiction proposing the master program or amendment.
(d) If the department conducts a hearing pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, it shall publish notice of the hearing in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the area affected by the master program. The public notice shall include:
(i) A description of the proposed master program or amendment;
(ii) Reference to the authority under which the action is proposed;
(iii) The dates, times, and locations of the public hearing, and the manner in which interested persons may obtain copies of the proposal and present their views.
For master program or amendment proposals involving adoption by rule, the notice of the hearing shall be published at least once in each of the three weeks immediately preceding the hearing in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the county in which the hearing is to be held.
(e) Within fifteen days after the close of the department's public comment period, the department shall request of the local government submitting the proposal a review of the issues if any, identified by the public, interested parties, groups, agencies, and tribes, and a written response as to how the proposal addresses the identified issues consistent with the policy of RCW 90.58.020 and the applicable guidelines. Local government shall submit its response to the department within forty-five days of the date of the department's letter requesting a response. If no response is received by the department within the forty-five-day period, the department may proceed with action on the proposal according to subsection (3) of this section. Within the forty-five-day period, the local government may request in writing additional time to prepare a response.
(3) Approval:
(a) Within thirty days after receipt of the local government written response pursuant to subsection (2)(e) of this section, or for jurisdictions that followed WAC 173-26-104, after determination of completeness pursuant to subsection (1)(a) of this section, the department shall:
(i) Make written findings and conclusions regarding the consistency of the proposal with the policy of RCW 90.58.020 and the applicable guidelines;
(ii) For amendments adopted under WAC 173-26-100, provide a response to the issues identified in subsection (2)(e) of this section; and
(iii) Either approve the proposal as submitted, recommend specific changes necessary to make the proposal consistent with chapter 90.58 RCW policy and its applicable guidelines, or deny 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, tribes, groups, and agencies of record on the proposal.
(A) In reaching its determination of consistency with the policy of RCW 90.58.020 and the applicable guidelines, the department shall approve those parts of a master program relating to shorelines unless it determines that the submitted parts are not consistent with the policy of RCW 90.58.020 and the applicable guidelines.
(B) The department shall approve those parts of a master program relating to shorelines of statewide significance only after determining the program provides for optimum implementation of the statewide interest as set forth in the policy of RCW 90.58.020 and the applicable guidelines.
(b) If the department recommends changes to the proposal, within thirty days after the department provides the written findings and conclusions to the local government pursuant to this subsection (3), the local government may:
(i) Agree to the proposed changes by written notice to the department. The department shall provide written notice of the local government acceptance to all parties of record; 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 proposed by the department in this subsection (3) and with the policy of RCW 90.58.020 and the applicable guidelines, it shall approve the alternative changes and provide written notice to all parties of record.
If the department determines the alternative proposal is not consistent with the purpose and intent of the changes proposed by the department, the department may either deny the alternative proposal or at the request of local government start anew with the review and approval process beginning in WAC 173-26-120.
(c) Department notice of final action.
(i) 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.
(ii) If the notice is for a local government that does not fully 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.
(d) Effective date.
(i) A master program or amendment thereto takes effect in such form as it is approved or adopted by rule 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.
(ii) For master programs adopted by rule, the effective date is governed by RCW 34.05.380.
(iii) 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.
[Statutory Authority: Chapter 90.58 RCW. WSR 17-17-016 (Order 15-06), § 173-26-120, filed 8/7/17, effective 9/7/17. Statutory Authority: RCW 90.58.140(3) and [90.58].200. WSR 96-20-075 (Order 95-17), § 173-26-120, filed 9/30/96, effective 10/31/96.]
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