Shoreline residents swamped by regulations

Please read this attached document sent to me by another CAPR President on the west side of the state.  These types of regulations are exactly what Dr. Michael Coffman refers to in his UN Biodiversity Map that he did for the UN program called the “Wildlands Project” that seeks to “re-wild” over 50% of the USA.  His map describes how people will eventually be regulated away from all waterways, even small creeks.  I have attached a copy of the Coffman Map so people can review the “restricted zones” that say “little to no human use”, and the “buffer zones” with “highly regulated use”. It took 40 years for them to start enacting these regulations, as they are now beginning to enact many of their old plans for Agenda 21.


Their methods are effective because they don’t force you out.  Instead they give you the option to stay if you will constantly comply with their barrage of new and outrageous regulations that continually ask for more and more from you each year.


Rene’ Holaday




Shoreline residents swamped by  regulations

Premium content from Puget Sound Business Journal by
Aaron Laing

Date: Friday, September 9, 2011, 3:00am

Storm-water runoff from public roads and highways is
the single largest source of contamination to lakes, streams, rivers and the
Puget Sound. Municipal wastewater is a close second, as large rain events often
result in sewage overflowing into our waterways.

Current regulatory efforts, however, put an undue
burden on shoreline property owners to solve a problem that is almost entirely
not of their making. To restore the health of the Puget Sound, regulatory
efforts need to focus first and foremost on the primary sources of pollutants.
While shoreline regulations play a role, burdensome, complex regulations will
undermine restoration efforts and divert funding away from much-needed upgrades
to regional storm-water treatment facilities.

The state’s Shoreline Management Act of 1971 requires
cities and counties to work with the Department of Ecology to develop shoreline
master programs (SMPs) to regulate the use of shorelines within their
boundaries. Under the law, local governments must update their SMPs according to
the schedule set by the Legislature. Many Puget Sound jurisdictions either
recently completed or are in the process of completing these updates. The
ostensible purpose of the SMP update is to ensure that shorelines have adequate
protection based on the best available science. Unfortunately, the result has
been the preparation and, in some cases, adoption of arcane, phone-book-sized
regulations that do little to address water quality issues.

For example, Bellevue’s draft SMP is about 350 pages
long and would effectively render much of the existing development on the shores
of Lake Washington, Lake Sammamish, Phantom Lake and Bellevue’s many streams
nonconforming. That is, many existing homes and landscaping would be prohibited
under the new code. Depending on the scope of repairs or improvements,
homeowners could be required to remove landscaping and place deed restrictions
on their properties. Even mundane projects could require homeowners to hire
expensive consultants and go through a complex permitting process. The effect
would be to restrict efforts to maintain existing homes and yards. New
construction could be difficult, if not impossible, depending on the

The problem with such regulations is threefold.
First, they place a disproportionate responsibility on shoreline property owners
to maintain and restore the health of our waters, while ignoring the largest
source of the problem: contaminated storm-water runoff. Shoreline properties
represent a virtual drop in the bucket when it comes to land area and impervious
surface area in the Puget Sound watershed. One need only drive over the
Interstate 90 bridge during a rainstorm and observe the storm water discharging
directly into Lake Washington to understand the source and scope of the true
problem. Overregulating the shorelines will not solve the problem of rainwater
washing harmful pollutants off of thousands of miles of roads and millions of
acres of upland properties that are not subject to such

Second, costly, complex and unreasonable regulations
create a disincentive for homeowners to go through the permitting process that
might require reasonable mitigation, such as infiltrating storm water from roofs
instead of piping it straight into lakes and streams. Even worse, such
regulations invite costly litigation. This is wasteful on many

Third, the Legislature acknowledged that restrictions
could affect the fair market value of affected properties. The act thus requires
that county assessors consider the effect of such regulations in making tax
assessments. By adopting highly restrictive regulations, the assessed value of
shoreline properties is diminished. This, in turn, could reduce tax revenues
needed to upgrade regional wastewater and storm-water facilities. Ironically,
highly restrictive shoreline regulations could have the effect of worsening
water quality over time.

The Shoreline Management Act does not mandate such
results. The law calls for balance. Local governments and the Department of
Ecology should be guided by the law’s purpose and avoid adopting onerous
regulations that do little or nothing to address the key threats to the Puget

AARON LAING is a land-use attorney at Schwabe,
Williamson & Wyatt. He can be reached at

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