Shoreline Master Program (SMP) Periodic Review

Updated December 10, 2021

What is a Shoreline Master Program?

The City of South Bend Shoreline Master Program (SMP) is a set of policies and regulations required by state law that has three basic principles:

  • Encourages reasonable and appropriate development of shorelines with an emphasis on water dependent uses;
  • Protects the natural resources and character of the shorelines, the land, vegetation, wildlife, water, and aquatic life within shoreline environment; and,
  • Promotes public access and provides opportunities to enjoy the aesthetic qualities of the natural shorelines and recreational activities in shoreline areas.

Link to the City of South Bend 2017 Shoreline Master Program

Where does the Shoreline Master Program apply?

The jurisdiction of the SMP applies to the following areas within the city limit boundaries:

  • The aquatic areas waterward from the ordinary high-water mark, which includes the Willapa River, Potter Slough, and Skidmore Slough
  • The narrow band of land 200 feet upland from the ordinary high-water mark of the Willapa River, Potter Slough, and Skidmore Slough
  • Any wetlands associated with the Willapa River, Potter Slough, and Skidmore Slough

Link to the Shoreline Jurisdiction Map

Since the adoption of the city’s 2017 SMP, the city has issued only one substantial development permit and one letter of exemption within shoreline jurisdiction.


Required Periodic Review

The Shoreline Management Act (SMA) requires the city to review, and revise if necessary, its SMP on an eight-year schedule under state law (RCW 90.58.080). This review ensures the SMP stays current with changes with state laws and rules, remains consistent with other city plans and development regulations, and reflects changed circumstances, new information, or improved data.

While most of the updates required by the state during this periodic review are relatively minor, the new Ocean Resource Management Act (ORMA) requirements represent the biggest change to the city’s SMP.  You can learn more about Washington State’s Ocean Management program by visiting the Department of Ecology’s web page.

Link to the Department of Ecology’s Ocean Management Program


New Draft SMP Ready for Public Review

The City of South Bend Planning Commission recently released a draft document for public review that incorporates all required Washington State laws and rules.  Included with the draft SMP are two checklists – one for the Ocean Management rule changes and another that covers all other laws and rules that now need to be in the SMP.  These checklists are handy for pinpointing where you can find these changes in the new draft.  The Draft SMP below is in Track Changes format so you can see all changes in the document.

Link to revised City of South Bend Master Program Draft

Link to Ocean Management Checklist

Link to Periodic Review Checklist


Submitting Comments and Public Hearing on SMP Draft

The City of South Bend Planning Commission is now seeking public comment on the Draft SMP.  You may submit comments on the Draft SMP from December 22, 2021 until 5:00 PM, January 24, 2022.  Please send your comments to Lisa Smith here.

In addition, the Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the Draft SMP via Zoom beginning at 5:30 PM, January 18, 2022.  You can join the hearing by using the link below:

Meeting ID: 833 807 3662

Passcode: 530183

One tap mobile: +12532158782,,8338073662#,,,,*530183#

Link to Public Hearing Legal Notice

There will be a presentation by the city followed by an opportunity for those in attendance to share their comments on the draft.  Interested parties may continue to provide comments to the Planning Commission until the close of the comment period on January 24, 2022.

Next Steps

  1. After conclusion of public comment period on January 24, 2022, the Planning Commission will meet on February 22, 2022 to consider all comment received, including those from the Department of Ecology and other state agencies. The Planning Commission will consider any proposed changes to the Draft SMP and then make a recommendation to the City Council regarding any action.

  2. Before the draft SMP goes before the City Council, the city will submit the document to the Department of Ecology for the Initial Determination of Consistency. This allows the department to conduct a formal review of the document for consistency with all state laws and rules.  The department may make recommendations for changes or simply state approve its consistency.  Any substantive changes may require the draft SMP to go back before the Planning Commission for consideration and recommendation.

  3. Once the Department of Ecology and the city are satisfied with the Draft SMP, it will then go before the City Council for adoption.  This may occur sometime in April or early May.  Upon adoption, the city then forwards the SMP and all related materials to the department for their final approval.


Please visit this site often as there maybe updates to schedules and draft documents.


For more information:

Please contact Dennis Houk, City Supervisor, here or (360) 875-5571

Read 1650 times