Alternative proposal to Shoreline Master Program on docket for Monday Council

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Burien’s Shoreline Master Program (SMP) will be the sole item on the agenda for Monday night’s City Council Study Session starting at 7 p.m. April 22 at City Hall.

The updated draft documents for the SMP update can be found online at

“Presentation and discussion regarding an Alternative Proposal to the Department of Ecology (DOE) regarding Burien’s Shoreline Master Program,” is how it’s listed in the packet, which can be downloaded here (PDF file).

A Public Hearing will be held May 6, and the council could take a vote as soon as May 20.

“This session will include presentations on the proposals that have been developed to respond to the DOE’s ‘conditional acceptance’ of the first submission.” said Michael Noakes, Burien Marine Homeowners Association president. “These proposals have received a preliminary review by DOE and an initial review during a public Council meeting. There is every reason to believe the new draft will receive a formal acceptance by DOE if the City Council decides to submit this update to DOE for review.”

Here’s more info Noakes sent out to some area residents Sunday:

Most of the proposed changes are in Chapter 4 (IV). The bulk of these concern revisions to the regulations that manage new development in the first 35′ or 45′ from Ordinary High Water Mark depending on location long the Lake Burien and Puget Sound.

These revised buffer standards are an expansion of the current 25′ setback but are better adapted to existing conditions than the fixed 65′ buffer that was proposed for Puget Sound in the original draft.

The new language includes text to emphasis Council’s intent to assure that all existing homes can be maintained and even fully renovated within their existing footprint.

The changes are highlighted with the customary color-coded underline/strikeout method.

The revised buffer proposals are supported by 3 supplements to the original “technical documents”:

Burien City Hall is located at 400 SW 152nd Street.

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3 Responses to “Alternative proposal to Shoreline Master Program on docket for Monday Council”
  1. Coverofnight says:

    In my opinion, there’s absolutely NO reason any setback needs to be increased. Burien should tell the State to “leave us alone”. Anything that isn’t already developed along the Sound is virtually on the side of a cliff! I don’t see a lot of developers flocking to this area to bulldoze everything clear.

    But, alas, that would take some backbone – something this council lacks.

    I’d say that the shorelines have been fine for decades and, with the resistance to change that Burien homeowners seem to possess, they’ll be fine for decades to come.

    • Chris says:

      They can’t jus say “leave us alone.” They are compelled by LAW to properly manage the shorelline. Yeah, they and the state can agree to disagree on the particulars, but they can’t simply tell WA State to take a hike.

    • Lee Moyer says:

      You are right. Most of our shoreline is so developed that little will change in the near future. However, the increased buffer/setback zones with mitigation for some types of land use changes in these areas mean that there will gradually be some chance for immprovement of the shoreline ecosystem.
      You can say the shorelines are fine but that is contrary to virtually every scientific sdudy of the shoreline ecology. If you don’t want to read about it, just look at the bulkheads that are being undercut and failing due to the drop in beach level, which is caused by the cumulative effect of the bulkheads themselves.

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