Commissioners Could Declare Shoreline Homes Conforming

As explained below, Kitsap County Commissioners could use Senate Bill 5451 to financially save the shoreline property owners from over regulation using no science. What will be their choice?

Sent: Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Subject: Sen. Ranker’s Shoreline Structure Bill – SSB 5451 (2011)

Rep. Angel,

Following up on your request this morning, Sen. Ranker’s shoreline structure bill, SSB 5451 (2011) specifies, in brief, that new or amended shoreline master programs (master programs) approved by the Department of Ecology on or after September 1, 2011, may include provisions authorizing:

  • Residential structures and appurtenant structures that were legally established and are used for a conforming use (but that do not meet standards for setbacks, buffers, or yards, area, bulk, height, or density) to be considered conforming structures; and
  • Redevelopment, expansion, change with the class of occupancy, or replacement of the residential structure if it is consistent with the master program, including requirements for no net loss of shoreline ecological functions.

“Appurtenant structures” is defined in the bill to mean garages, sheds, and other legally established structures. The term does not include bulkheads and other shoreline modifications or over-water structures.

Additionally, the residential structure provisions do not restrict the ability of a master program to limit redevelopment, expansion, or replacement of over-water structures located in hazardous areas, nor do the provisions affect the application of other federal, state, or local government requirements governing residential structures.

The bill’s provisions are optional. In order for the bill to apply, a two-step process would have to take place. First, the local government would need to adopt a master program that allows qualifying structures to be considered conforming structures, and allows modification of the residential structure that are consistent with the master program. Second, the DOE would have to approve the local government’s master program.

As such, SSB 5451 doesn’t guarantee that a residential or appurtenant structure will be considered a conforming structure, but it does establish a process for allowing that to take place.


One response to “Commissioners Could Declare Shoreline Homes Conforming

  1. Kitsap County has posted an “official”, but unsigned, response to our postcard, shown above. You will find it on their SMP Update website ( You can access the response here…

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