Periodic Review the City of Aberdeen's Shoreline Master Program 2023



The City of Aberdeen is performing a periodic review of its Shoreline Master Program (SMP). The Shoreline Management Act (SMA) requires each SMP to be reviewed and revised, if needed, on an eight-year schedule established by the Legislature, in accordance with WAC 173-26-090. The review ensures the SMP stays current with changes in laws and rules, remains consistent with other city plans and regulations, and is responsive to changed circumstances, new information, and improved data. The SMP is Aberdeen Municipal Code Chapter 14.50.


The current SMP was last updated in 2017. Since then, state laws, rules, and guidance have been updated which may require amendments to the SMP. The Department of Ecology publishes a checklist of state laws, rules, or other applicable documents published each year that require local governments to review their SMP for conformance. In 2022, the city's consultant, AHBL, reviewed the checklist and identified opportunities for amendments.


Early and continuous public participation is a requirement of the Shoreline Management Act. As part of the City's SMP Periodic Review, the City has prepared a public participation plan which describes how the public will be informed about and involved in decision making for the SMP update. The City also acknowledges that a variety of stakeholders and partners having particular interest in the City's SMP. For full details, please view the City’s Public Participation Plan.


Q: What is a Shoreline Master Program (SMP)?

A: Shoreline Master Programs are both planning and regulatory documents. SMPs carry out the policies of the Shoreline Management Act on local shorelines. An SMP consists of a comprehensive use plan, use regulations, maps, diagrams or other descriptive material, statement of desired goals and standards for shorelines of the state [RCW 90.58.030(3)(b)]. SMPs are based on state laws and rules and tailored to local geographic and environmental conditions and existing development patterns.

Q: What is the Shoreline Management Act?

A: The Shoreline Management Act (SMA), RCW 90.58, provides a statewide framework for managing, accessing, and protecting shorelines. Now more than 40 years old, the SMA reflects the strong interest of the public in our shorelines and waterways for recreation, protection of natural areas, aesthetics, and commerce. The SMA applies to major water bodies and their adjacent shorelands throughout Washington State. Within the State, there are approximately 28,204 miles of shorelines including All associated wetlands, Marine waters, Streams over 20 cubic feet per second mean annual flow, Upland areas called shorelands that are 200 feet landward of the Ordinary High Water Mark and Water areas and reservoirs 20 acres and greater. Within the City of Aberdeen, the SMP applies to anything within the city’s Shoreline Jurisdiction as described in AMC Section

Q: What is the periodic review of the City’s Shoreline Master Program?

A: The Shoreline Management Act (SMA) requires a periodic review of comprehensively updated SMPs. Local governments must review amendments to the SMA and Ecology rules that have occurred since the master program was last amended, and determine if local amendments are needed to maintain compliance. Local governments must also review changes to the comprehensive plan and development regulations to determine if the SMP policies and regulations remain consistent with them. Local governments should consider during their periodic review whether to incorporate any amendments needed to reflect changed circumstances, new information, or improved data. The Legislature has established a schedule for every community to complete these reviews.

Q: Is the public permitted to provide feedback on the proposed amendments to the City’s SMP?

A: Yes, in fact, the SMA requires public participation for all amendments. Ecology rules call for a public participation plan that should include broad dissemination of informative materials, proposals and alternatives, opportunities for written comments, public meetings after effective notice, provisions for open discussion, and consideration of and responses to public comments. The plan will ensure the public knows when to comment on the scope of the review and proposed changes, and when the City Council is expected to take formal action. Comments will be accepted throughout the project until the SMP is formally adopted. The public will also have an opportunity to comment at a public hearing where proposed amendments to the SMP will be discussed.


• For additional information email the City of Aberdeen Community Development Department or call 360-537-3238.

DOCUMENTS (This section to be updated regularly as documents become available)

Public Participation Plan

• Information Letter

• Initial Review Checklist

Shoreline Maps (per AMC

• Draft SMP Revision Document (proposed changes shown in redlines)

• Public Hearing and Comment Period Notice

• SEPA Environmental Review Documents