Shoreline Protection

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The Shoreline Management Act of 1971, RCW 90.58.030(2)(c), was passed by the State Legislature and ratified by the people of the State at the general election in November, 1972. The Act was passed in recognition of the scarcity of shoreline resources and the increasing number of problems associated with the use and misuse of the State’s shorelines. The basic policy or intent of the Act is to “provide for the management of the shorelines of the State by planning for and fostering all reasonable and appropriate uses of the State’s shorelines.

In response to this basic policy, the Act provided for the establishment of a cooperative program between State and local governments. This cooperative program includes the administration of a permit system and the development of long-range shoreline management programs by which the policies of the Shoreline Management Act are implemented. These programs are intended to be developed by local government so that unique local circumstances and local interests are considering in the management of the State’s shorelines.

The LLSWD would like to educate you on our watershed, lake, river, and aquifer. There are regulations and policies in place to protect our area, and we encourage your cooperation and understanding. If you live next to a shoreline in Spokane County, there are regulations governing building or removing vegetation within 50 feet from ordinary high water mark. If you are planning to build outside the regulated “buffer zone” or even within the watershed of Liberty Lake, you are required to meet the District’s stormwater requirements before you obtain your building permit from the county. We encourage that if you plan to build, please contact the District and Spokane County before construction takes place. If you plan to install, rebuild a dock, or make improvements to your shoreline (this includes removal of all types of vegetation), permits must first be acquired through WA Department of Fish and Wildlife, Spokane County, and/or the Washington Department of Ecology.

Agency Websites for shoreline development and permitting:

Spokane County Shoreline Management Program

Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife Hydraulic Project Approval (HPA)

Washington State Department of Ecology Shorelands and Environmental Assistance