Shoreline Jurisdiction

Shoreline Jurisdiction is similar to zoning, except that the types of zoning are called Shoreline Environments. The 4 environments are:
  • Conservancy
  • Natural
  • Rural
  • Urban
Measuring a Shoreline
There are certain uses that are allowed in some environments, but not others. Some proposals and/or uses will require permits, while others will not. No matter what the proposed use or development is, if your property falls within Shoreline Jurisdiction, a review of your proposal is required. The following are ways to measure the width of Shoreline Jurisdiction:
  1. Subject to section 4 below, wherever the floodway has been established by a flood insurance study prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), shorelines jurisdiction shall be the floodway plus 200 feet, measured on a horizontal plane, or the l00-year floodplain, whichever is the lesser.
  2. Subject to section 4 below, whenever the l00-year floodplain has been identified by a flood insurance study prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency but where no floodway has been identified, shorelines jurisdiction shall be the l00-year floodplain boundary or 200 feet, measured in on horizontal plane, from the ordinary high water mark, whichever is greater.
  3. Whenever there are no detailed floodplain or floodway studies, shoreline jurisdiction shall be 200 feet, measured on a horizontal plane, from the ordinary high water mark.
  4. Under no circumstances shall shoreline jurisdiction be less than 200 feet, measured on a horizontal plane, from the ordinary high water mark of the Shoreline water body.
Shoreline Master Program
All lands within Shoreline Jurisdiction are regulated by the Yakima County Shoreline Master Program (SMP). The purpose of the SMP is to establish a single, uniform system of procedures and standards to be applied to development within Shoreline jurisdiction of unincorporated Yakima County and municipalities in Yakima County which have adopted this regional SMP (YCC 16D.01.03). The intent is to (16D.01.04):
  1. Preserve development options within designated critical areas where such development will not adversely impact critical area values and functions
  2. Prevent further degradation of critical areas
  3. Conserve, protect, and where feasible, restore essential or important natural resources
  4. Protect the public health, safety and general welfare
  5. Further the goals and objectives of the Yakima County Comprehensive Plan and all of its elements
  6. Implement the goals and requirements of the Washington Growth Management Act (RCW Chapter 36.70A) as it applies to Shoreline jurisdiction, the Shoreline Management Act (RCW Chapter 90.58), and the National Flood Insurance Program
  7. Recognize and protect private property rights
  8. Provide development options for landowners of all existing lots to the greatest extent possible, through the establishment of Variance
  9. Reasonable Use provisions and Non-Conforming Use and Facility provisions
  10. Manage for no net loss of ecological function within Shoreline jurisdiction to protect against adverse effects to the public health, the land and its vegetation and wildlife, and the waters of the state and their aquatic life
  11. Establish a consistent foundation of regulations that apply to similar issues whether they are inside or outside of Shoreline jurisdiction. Additional protection measures required as a result of Shoreline Master Program updates to this title are identified as applying within Shoreline jurisdiction and are not intended to be applied outside of Shoreline jurisdiction
  12. Recognize that mining is a unique use as a result of its inherent geology. Therefore, mining and related activities may be an appropriate use when conducted consistent with the policies and provisions of WAC173-26-241(h), within Shoreline Designations, except the Natural and Floodway/CMZ Environments