Category Archives: Kitsap County

Commentary: Kitsap County Social Marketing Campaign To Remove Shoreline Armor (Bulkheads)

Report by Vivian Henderson (My Interpretation)                  January 21, 2015

January 8, 2015, I pulled up the Agenda for the Commissioners January 12, 2015 meeting and discovered an item I thought to be of great concern to shoreline property owners who have a bulkhead.

It was a Grant in the amount of $365,854 for a contract with “Dept. Fish & Wildlife for a Social Marketing Campaign to remove shoreline armoring . . .” On further investigation I discovered that Futurewise – formerly “1000 Friends of Washington” – is also a major player in the program as is Washington SeaGrant.

It appears the only role DF&W plays in this venture is receiving the money from Kitsap County and distributing it according to the terms of the “Grant Agreement.” Actually the money comes from a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant.

There is much more to the grant than that. I’m working on getting the facts on the grant. Futurewise, and possibly Washington Sea Grant, are what I call “radical” environmentalists.

Futurewise has always been outspoken and hostile about putting the environment above the needs of mankind. Their disregard for property rights and ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ choices people have a right to make for their own benefit – like where they want to live and how to commute to and from work are well known by property rights supporters. Futurewise supports issues completely contrary to the issues Kitsap Alliance supports. They support “Smart Growth”, the ”Growth Management Act”, “sustainable development,” etc.  Continue reading

Kitsap County Social Marketing Campaign to remove shoreline armor

The county believes bulkheads (Shoreline Armoring) deprives beaches of their natural sources of sediment and can degrade the ecological functions of the shoreline. The cumulative impact of numerous bulkheads along a reach of shoreline may be long-term, irreversible loss of habitat and increased erosion on the property of others. Kitsap Shoreline Booklet 

The County proposes to spend a $366,000 Bulkhead Removal Marketing Grant from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife to convince 5 shoreline owners to remove their bulkheads.

The purpose of the grant is to persuade 5 homeowners to remove their bulkheads, and substitute a soft bulkhead. Out of a $366,000 grant, $105, 000 goes to the county, $87, 500 goes to Futurewise, $41, 000 goes to Wasgington Sea Grant, $62,000 goes to Geo Tech Surveyors and at best $14,000 goes to an individual home owner.  Continue reading

Shoreline Property Owners Take Action!

Kitsap County’s Shoreline Master Program (SMP) was approved by the WA Dept. of Ecology on December 10th, 2014. The effective date is December 24th, 2014.

It is important for all shoreline property owners to document/ photograph the current condition of your shoreline, to establish a baseline condition for no net loss. Continue reading

Kitsap County SMP Update Final Approval

Kitsap County’s Shoreline Master Program (SMP) was approved by the Ecology’s Notice of Final Action on Kitsap County Comprehensive Shoreline Master Program Update. The effective date is December 24th, 2014.

Per RCW 90.58.190(2) and RCW 36.70A.290, an interested party may file an appeal with the Growth Management Hearings Board within 60 days of the publication date of Ecology’s written notice of final action. Ecology plans to publish the notice of final action in the Kitsap Sun legal ads on December 22, 2014.


Kitsap County Commissioners to meet on final approval of the Shoreline Master Plan

The Kitsap County Shoreline Master Program (SMP) Update received conditional approval by the Department of Ecology on October 2, 2014. The Board of County Commissioners is scheduled to hold a hearing on adopting the Ecology approval conditions on Monday, November 24th at their regular business meeting (5:30pm, Kitsap County Administration Building, Port Orchard).

Department of Ecology Conditional Approval letter and the Kitsap SMP (Title 22 SMP Final)can also be accessed via the Kitsap SMP website,


Conditional Approval of Kitsap County SMP Update

Kitsap County Shoreline Master Program: Comprehensive Update

On October 2, 2014, the Department of Ecology provided Kitsap County with required and recommended changes to the county’s proposed comprehensive update of their Shoreline Master Program (SMP).

The changes are based on Ecology’s review of whether or not the proposed update complies with state laws and rules, and a public comment period held June 10 to July 12, 2013. Ecology also held an open house and public hearing at Kitsap County’s Administration Building on June 20, 2013. Approximately 25 people attended the open house and public hearing.

Ecology used mail and email to notify those who had expressed prior interest in the update about the opportunity to comment. Ecology also issued a news release and legal ad to encourage participation and comment. Ecology received 58 comments on the proposed update. The comments focus on a variety of topics ranging from the local public process to specific regulations. The public comments and county’s responses have been incorporated into Attachment A: Findings and Conclusions and are provided within the summary of public comments.

The comprehensive update will revise the existing shoreline program, including the goals, policies, regulations, shoreline environment designations, and administrative procedures and definitions. The required and recommended changes have been sent to the county for their review and response. The county may agree to these changes or offer alternative language. Final Ecology approval will occur when the county and Ecology agree on language that meets state requirements.

Kitsap County’s current shoreline program has not been updated since 1999. Shorelines in under the County’s jurisdiction include over 216 miles of marine shoreline, 22 miles of fresh water streams and 54 miles of lake or associated wetlands. This comprehensive update of the shoreline program recognizes the variety of conditions that exist throughout the County by creating appropriate standards intended to maintain shoreline ecological functions based on the type and intensity of anticipated future development.

Documents related to approval
Note: All documents are PDF.

Director of Ecology’s conditional approval letter, October 2, 2014 (398 KB)
Attachment A: Findings and Conclusions for Proposed Amendments (1,428 KB)
Attachment B: Required Changes (853 KB)
Attachment C: Recommended Changes (1,264 KB)
Attachment D: Responsiveness Summary (1,079 KB)

Locally approved shoreline master program

Ordinance No. 502-2013, January 30, 2013 (1,128 KB)
Kitsap County Shoreline Master Program, Locally Adopted Draft, January 30, 2013 (2,312 KB)

Kitsap County SMP Status

The Washington State Department of Ecology has posted  a summary of the comments that they have received from the public on the Kitsap County SMP. The next step is for the county to respond to these comments. There is no time frame given for the county to respond. The DOE website provides current status.

Response to public comment

Ecology prepared a summary of public comments and sent it to Kitsap County in August. The county will write a response to the public’s comments. The county’s response will be posted here when available. Please check back.

Next steps: Ecology’s decision

Ecology will decide if Kitsap County’s proposed program update meets the requirements of the Shoreline Management Act and the Shoreline Master Program Guidelines. Ecology will decide whether to:

  • Approve the program as is or with recommended changes, or
  • Send the proposed program back to the county with required changes to meet statutory and rule requirements. Recommended changes may also be included with the required changes.
  • Relevant documents will be posted on this website when they become available. Please check back.

Staff contact

Joe Burcar
Washington State Department of Ecology
Northwest Regional Office
3190 160th Avenue SE
Bellevue, Washington 98008
(425) 649-7145

KItsap Alliance Letter to DOE on Kitsap County SMP

Addendum Testimony To Letter Presented At The DOE June 20, 2013 Public Hearing On Kitsap County’s January, 2013 Adopted Shoreline Master Program

Dear Mr. Burcar,

The letter Kitsap Alliance of Property Owners presented at DOE’s June 20, 2013 public hearing held at the Kitsap County Administration Building in Port Orchard, Washington contained a list of seven flaws in Kitsap County’s January, 2013 Shoreline Master Program. Six of those deficiencies were enumerated and five of those made specific reference to testimony Kitsap Alliance had provided Kitsap County that the County ignored in the Program adoption process. Under separate cover Kitsap Alliance has submitted the documentation provided the County that we believe should have caused Kitsap County to have left in place the 1977 Shoreline Master Program and/or the 1999 Amended Master Program without the excessive shoreline buffers imposed therein.

We have stated very clearly and decisively with supportive documentation that Kitsap County’s January, 2013 adopted Shoreline Master Program imposes regulations that go beyond what is required by the “program update guidelines” as found in WAC 173-26. Clearly, you can see by our questions and comments that Kitsap Alliance is asking the Department of Ecology to actually justify based on evidence that Kitsap County’s 1977 adopted Shoreline Master Program was an ineffective measure to achieve a “no net loss standard.” We have made constant reference to the fact that the thirty-five (35) foot shoreline setback was adequate to achieve that standard. Also we provided the scientific documentation to support that claim. Even if that setback was or is considered a buffer, there is no demonstrative scientific evidence in Kitsap County’s record of testimony that supports the need for a buffer greater in width than thirty-five (35) feet. What qualifies as scientific evidence is clearly spelled out in Kitsap County’s Resolution 022-2010.

Attached to this letter, is a letter with graphic exhibits of testimony presented to the Kitsap County Board of County Commissioners presented at their October 22, 2012 public hearing. The letter is a supporting document for enumerated point number 1 Kitsap Alliance’s testimony presented on June 20, 2013. Also we have reason to be concerned that despite the inappropriateness of the “one size fits all” buffer that was applied to the property owners having developed and undeveloped lots in the Plat of Indian Bay there have been two variance applications that have gone to public hearing within the months of June and July, 2013 to allow the property owners to build on three of the four vacant lots. In each case the County has required a “habitat management plan” and made it a condition of approval to enhance the reduced buffer without presenting one scintilla of documentation that such a plan was either warranted or justified based on evidence the proposed single-family residence would degrade the shoreline environment.

These two shoreline variance applications are case in point that “rules” can and will be improperly implemented when regulations are adopted that are not based on evidence. Further, these two variance cases illustrate the very issues that were identified in the October 22, 2012 letter presented to the Board of County Commissioners.

Kitsap Alliance is now asking the State Department of Ecology to justify any decision to approve Kitsap County’s 2013 adopted Shoreline Master Program when clearly the rights of citizens to own, use and enjoy their property is severely curtailed and unjustifiably so by this set of regulations. We maintain as stated in our June 20, 2013 letter that the rights of private property owners are preeminent and are constitutionally guarantied. Environmental protection is not addressed in our State’s Constitution. If construed to be a public interest then there must be compensation for the taking of a right that redounds to the private property owner. Also as stated in our letter of June 2oth, Kitsap Alliance objects to legislation that requires a property owner to pay the County thousands of dollars in an attempt to gain or regain a right enjoyed by other property owners in the same vicinity. Development within the Plat of Indian Bay is an illustration of this point, but as detailed in Kitsap Alliance’s letter of October 22, 2012, there are many other places in Kitsap County where small lot plats exist along the shoreline that have vacant lots in amongst developed property.

Please review both the other record testimony referenced in our letters or provided to DOE directly and address Kitsap Alliances’ data and documents in a substantive fashion to indicate the reasons why DOE might endorse or remand Kitsap County’s 2013 adopted Shoreline Master Program. We would appreciate receiving a response to our concerns prior to any action taken by DOE.

Kitsap Alliance questions Kitsap County SMP

Dear Mr. Burcar:

This letter provides Kitsap Alliance comments on the Kitsap County Shoreline Master Program Comprehensive Update. These comments are in addition to those provided in our letter of June 20, 2013.

Our comments are in the form of questions that were raised, but never answered, in Kitsap Alliance correspondence with Kitsap County during their development of the SMP update – nor were the needed changes they represent incorporated into the SMP update. They directly address the failure of the SMP update to comply with the applicable state laws (the GMA and WAC 173-26). It is noted that you were on distribution for (or handed copies of) this correspondence (with the exception of Attachment 13) and should be well aware of the issues we raised. Continue reading

Reminder: Last Testimony due on Kitsap County SMP July 12 @5 PM

Washington State Department of Ecology is in the review process for the Kitsap County Shoreline Master Program Update. Final public comments are due Friday 12 July at 5 PM. The SMP affects all development that takes place within 200 feet of the shoreline after the formal adoption of the program  by the county and the state.

1. Provide the State DOE your comments on the SMP
Kitsap Property Alliance of Property Owners Testimony to DOE

2. Shoreline Property owners are encouraged to review the status of their property in the  Kitsap County documents:

If you believe your property is miscategorized: Summit comments to both the County and to DOE.

3. Since the SMP affects future development all Shoreline property owners should take dated photographs of their property and file them for future reference to document current property conditions.

Submit written comments and questions to:

Joe Burcar
Washington State Department of Ecology
Northwest Regional Office
3190 160th Avenue SE
Bellevue, Washington 98008
(425) 649-7145

Comments must be received no later than July 12, 2013 at 5 p.m

Kitsap County SMP Comments link