Shoreline Master Plan

Shoreline Master Program Background

The Washington State Shoreline Management Act (SMA) of 1971 was enacted for the purpose of comprehensively managing and protecting the state’s shorelines. The Shoreline Management Act emphasizes accommodation of appropriate uses that require a shoreline location, protection of shoreline environmental resources and protection of the public's right to access and use the shorelines.

Under the SMA, each city and county with shorelines of the state must prepare and adopt a Shoreline Master Program (SMP) tailored to the specific geographic, economic and environmental needs of the community. The SMP is essentially a combined comprehensive plan, zoning ordinance, and development permit system for shoreline-specific uses. Shorelines of the state include those lands extending landward for two hundred feet in all directions as measured on a horizontal plane from the ordinary high water mark; floodways and contiguous floodplain areas landward two hundred feet from such floodways; and all wetlands and river deltas associated with the streams, lakes, and tidal waters which are subject to the provisions of this chapter; the same to be designated as to location by the department of ecology.” (RCW 90.58.030(2)(d))

The Skagit River, as well as the adjoining jurisdictional lands, meets the definition for a shoreline of the state; therefore the City of Sedro-Woolley must have a SMP. The City completed major updates to the SMP in 2016 as required by the State; those updates went into effect June 14, 2016.

Update Process

The Washington State Department of Ecology requires that a periodic update of the city’s SMP be completed in 2021. Proposed updates will be presented for public review at the Sedro-Woolley Planning Commission. Please see the Planning Commission meetings page for links to the meeting materials, updated SMP documents and information to how to attend the virtual meeting (meetings are held virtually via Zoom due to COVID-19 restrictions on in-person meetings). The City of Sedro-Woolley is accepting public comments on the proposed updates to the SMP from February 2 to March 16, 2021. Comments sent to the City of Sedro-Woolley will be forwarded to the Washington Dept. of Ecology. 

The Planning Commission will be reviewing SMP related information on the following dates. More dates may be added and the listed dates are subject to change:

  • January 19, 2021
  • February 16, 2021
  • March 16, 2021
Documents produced for the 2021 update are here:

Please contact Nicole McGowan, Assistant Planner at if you have any questions about the Sedro-Woolley Shoreline Management Program update. The State Department of Ecology is the regulatory body in charge of overseeing the City’s SMP update.

Adopted SMP Documents:

Supporting Documents: