Council backs revision of shoreline inventory report

Information below is from a county issued press release:

The San Juan County Council Tuesday agreed with a staff recommendation to send the draft Shoreline Master Program’s Inventory and Characterization Report back to the consultants who compiled it for revisions.

The report provides an overview of the geographical character and environmental functions of county shorelines, and is considered in setting goals and policies that will shape regulations affecting land near the shoreline and near-shore marine waters.

County Senior Planner Colin Maycock told the Council that, after a review of the draft by the Council-appointed Shoreline Master Program Technical Advisory Committee and county staff, it was apparent further revisions were needed.

Maycock characterized the expected changes as significant, most pertaining to the analytical framework used to describe and characterize the shoreline’s geology and associated ecological activities. A new five-week public comment period on the report will begin after the revisions are complete.

At the close of the previous comment period, April 30, there was a flurry of public concern after a property rights group posted a widely circulated comment form which some shoreline property owners misconstrued as a mandatory county form. The Inventory and Characterization report analyzes the overall physical shape and geology, marine and shoreline habitat, and level of development of sections of shoreline averaging more than a mile in length.

Maycock indicated that while all input is welcome, the photographs and detailed information about such things as lawns, fire pits, docks, buoys and family gatherings that owners of individual shoreline parcels entered on the property rights group’s form don’t relate directly to the report. However, Maycock emphasized that all comments submitted at any time before the amendments to the Shoreline Master Program are adopted will be accepted and included in the record.

All forms and comments directed specifically at the I&C Report that are received prior to the close of the next comment period on the draft will be attached to the final report. Additionally, information and pictures from the parcel forms submitted will be integrated into the county’s GIS system.

The revised draft of the I&C Report is expected to be available in August.

Maycock said he does not expect the delay to slow the overall progress of the Shoreline Master Program update, now scheduled for completion in June 2013. The Planning Commission is scheduled to conduct a workshop meeting on the SMP goals and policies July 20.

More information on the Shoreline Master Program is available in the SMP section of the county’s website at:

The Feb. 2, 2012 Draft Inventory and Characterization Report is available on the SMP site’s core documents page,

Anyone wishing to receive emailed updates concerning the I&C Report  and the Shoreline Master Plan Project can sign up at:

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