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Island County > Planning > Shorelines



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Shoreline Master Program Update Underway 

Under the Washington State Shoreline Management Act (SMA), the next update to Island County's Shoreline Master Program (SMP) is due in 2020.  The review and preparations for the update are underway.  Find out more on the project page: 



Shoreline Substantial Development Threshold 

The Shoreline Management Act defines “substantial development” as any development in which the fair market value exceeds five thousand dollars. In 2002, the Legislature passed a bill that requires the Office of Financial Management to adjust this dollar threshold, based on inflation, every five years. As of September 2, 2017, State raised the “substantial development” dollar threshold to $7,047.00. 


Training Resources

Subscribe to receive email updates on training session dates and new homeowner resources as they are finalized.  

DOE Soft Shore Webinar​​

Marine Shoreline Design Guidelines

New SHORELINE MASTER PROGRAM effective 1/19/2016​

      Shoreline Master Program (SMP) as adopted by the Board of County Commissioners  Approved by the Department of Ecology

  1. C-107-05 cover ordinance
  2. Exhibit A
    Goals and Policies
    Shoreline Restoration Plan
  3. Exhibit B
    Figures 1 and 2
  4. Exhibit C - Board's Findings of Fact
  5. Exhibit D - Planning Commission's Findings of Fact
  6. Exhibit E - Shoreline Environmental Designation Map - Appendix to 17.05A ICC
  7. Exhibit F - Map showing change to Shoreline Designation Map required by the Department of Ecology 

New Shoreline Designation Map

Shoreline Inventory and Characterization - March 2012
     Cover and Table of Contents
     Chapter 1 & 2 Intro Methods
     Chapter 3 Ecosystem Profile
     Chapter 4 Land Use Analysis
     Chapter 5 West Whidbey Island
     Chapter 6 East Whidbey Camano Island
     Chapter 7 Freshwater LakesCh. 8 Shoreline Analysis Summary.pdf
     Chapter 8 Shoreline Analysis Summary
     Chapter 9 References

Associated Maps

     Map 1 Shoreline Planning Area
     Map 2 Regional Context
     Map 3 Topography
     Map 4 Hydrography
     Map 5 Priority Habitat and Species
     Map 6 Marine Shellfish and Forage Fish
     Map 7 Kelp and Eelgrass
     Map 8 Geomorph Drift Cells
     Map 9 Shoretype Steep Slopes
     Map 10 Shoreform
     Map 11 Zoning
     Map 12 Land Use
     Map 13 Armoring Breakwaters Jetties
     Map 14 Overwater Structures
     Map 15 Shellfish Aquaculture
     Map 16 Public Access
     Map 17 Nearshore Process Degradation


 Click here to go to Washington State Department of Ecology Shoreline Master Programs description

The Island County SMP consists of both a policy plan and development regulations that apply to areas within shoreline jurisdiction (200-feet upland of Ordinary High Water Mark including lakes larger than 20-acres in size).       

Shoreline uses are identified as either permitted, conditional, or prohibited uses depending on the shoreline environment designation. This designation is essentially shoreline zoning that is based on an inventory of existing uses. In general, projects within the shoreline jurisdiction are reviewed by staff to ensure compliance with the development standards listed in the SMP chapter 17.05 ICC.  Regulations for development activities within a shoreline jurisdiction are located in ICC 16.21 Shoreline Management.        

For Shoreline permits click here to access the land use permit page

Coastal Atlas (Washington State Dept. of Ecology)

Hydraulic Project Approval - HPA (WDFW)

Ordinary High Water Mark (OHWM)


Island County Marine Resources CommitteeSalmon swimming through eelgrass​​​​​​​​​