New advice from Ecology on shoreline buffers and setbacks.

The Washington State Dept. of Ecology published a new chapter of its SMP Handbook on 11/28/11. It deals with Vegetation Conservation, Buffers and Setbacks and is included in its entirety below. One important thing to remember when reading this document is that new rules can only be applied to new development or substantial redevelopment of existing structures and properties.

To protect yourself before shoreline regulations change for your City or unincorporated Kitsap County, it’s a good idea document your existing property. Take a camera and shoot some pictures showing your beach, existing landscaping or vegetation, and make sure that the date stamp is turned on.

Do it now, and do it again every year or two. And, if you disagree with the environment designation proposed for your property, take the photos to the appropriate planning department and ask why your fully developed, lawfully built and landscaped property has been given that designation. Ask how the proposed regulations will affect your home and property.

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