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SMP Updates

June 12, 2017

Mason County Shoreline Master Program

Public Comment Extended - May 22 to July 14, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.

Please provide comments on Mason County’s Shoreline Master Program update.  Authority for the update is based on Washington’s Shoreline Management Act (Ch. 90.58 RCW) and related rules.

Send comments to:  Rick Mraz, WA Dept. of Ecology, PO Box 47775, Olympia, Washington 98504-7775, or email to:

Comments due July 14, 2017, by 5 p.m.

Documents available for review at:

· WA Dept. of Ecology, 300 Desmond Drive SE, Lacey, SWRO Reception Desk. 

Web: programs/sea/shorelines/smp/ mycomments/MasonCounty.html  

 · Mason County Department of Community Development: 615 W Alder St., Shelton WA 98584.

 Questions: 360-407-6221. ADA accommodation: 360- 407-7058, Relay Service 711, or TTY 877-833-6341.

May 17, 2017

Dear fellow waterfront property owners and concerned citizens,

We have been participating in the Mason County Shoreline Master Program (SMP) workshops for the last 6 plus years and have been able to shape the program somewhat.  The Mason County Board of County Commissioners approved the Draft SMP in January and it is now in the hands of the State Department of Ecology (DOE) for review and statewide comment.  DOE is required to solicit statewide comments from the public (May 22 to June 21, 2017) and here is where we need your help as this is our last chance. 

Please review the attached Executive Summary (it is a short 1 page) and you will get an understanding of our concerns.  The Exhibits (10 pages) that go with this summary are also attached.  To get a more in-depth understanding of our concerns, please refer to the attached 8 page document.  John Egbert and I presented an earlier version to DOE representatives at their office in Olympia. Attachments:

BOTTOM LINE:  This is important - Please take 5 minutes to write a letter to DOE - handwritten is fine; or you can prepare comments and email them to me and I will forward them to DOE.  Your comments do not have to be much.  We suggest that you add some of "your own story".   If nothing else, you can send an email stating that you agree with the comments prepared by Egbert/Reece. Note that we sent you the notice of public comment with attached links in an earlier email.

Any questions and you can call or email either of us.  We can pick up handwritten comments if needed.  

THANK YOU for your time.   

John T. Egbert, P.E. Cell  425-681-1868

Jim Reece cell 360-434-1234

December 6th 2016

Hi all!

The Mason County Board of County Commissioners met on Tuesday December 6, 2016 at 9 am.

After discussions, the commissioners voted to send the SMP and associated documents on to the Olympia Department of Ecology for another state wide round of public comments.  After the Department of Ecology approves the SMP package it will be returned to the Mason County Commissioners for adoption.

The final version should be posted on the Mason County website soon at the following link:

I will try to keep you all posted when the final package is submitted to the Department of Ecology so that anyone who wants to comment to the Department of Ecology in Olympia may do so.

A lot of input was accepted to improve this package, however some items still remain of concern and I will try to list them after the package going to Olympia is released.

Please note the following:

The principal planner for Mason County, Rebecca Hersha who followed this SMP, has moved to Michigan.

  • The department manager, Barbara Adkins, is leaving this job for on outside position.
  • Kell McAboy is now following the SMP for the county - 360.427.9670 ext. 365.

Thanks for your help,

Jim Reece, 360.434.1234,

John Egbert, 425.681.1868,

October 25th 2016 PAC/SMP meeting

Hi all!

I attended the Mason County Board of County Commissioners public hearing on October 25, 2016 at 6 pm.  This was a very interesting meeting as the commissioners (only 2 present: Randy Neatherlin, and Terri Jeffreys) really seemed to listen, ask questions, and really engage in the conversation.  Contrary to the public hearings on the motor boating ordinance.  Again, one persons opinion of the meeting.

Please note that the public hearing was continued to December 6, 2016 at 9 a.m., at which time more public comments will be accepted.

The October 25th meeting was interesting in that, after the general meeting, another public hearing on a different subject, and the SMP presentation by Rebecca Hersha, and 2 representatives from the Washington State Department of Ecology, the floor was opened for questions, discussions, etc. just like a workshop.  After all questions seemed to be answered the public hearing was opened for anyone who wished to do so could speak on the SMP subject.  I paraphrased the documents that I previously sent the MCBCC and copied you all.

About 27 people were in the audience.  They were mostly from Lake Cushman, and the subject was regarding what can be built on their property as well as docks for their property.  This subject has another twist as Tacoma Power owns most of the property/water which the occupants lease, and they must not only follow the SMP rules, but the Tacoma Power Rules as well since they are their landlord.

Permit fees were addressed in several of the discussions, but permit fees are not really part of the SMP.  However, permit fees are a big subject which needs to be addressed.

Again, please note that if you want any say in what you can and cannot do with your waterfront property you should attend the next Mason County Board of County Commissioners public hearing on December 6, at 9 a.m. or at least submit your written comments.

Repeating the process for SMP approval:  The Mason County Board of County Commissioners must approve and submit the SMP to the Department of Ecology for state wide public comments.  After state review it will be sent back to the MCBCC for modifications/enactment.

One comment I believer was made by Terri Jeffreys was something like: "Never knew boat lifts could be environmentally friendly!"

Thanks for your help,

Jim Reece

MBC meeting 10/08/16

 “Shoreline Master Program” (SMP) by the Planning Advisory Commissions (PAC)

Started November 2010 – lots of meetings have taken place: PAC, citizens groups, other.

The Mason County Board of County Commissioners MCBofCC) will be scheduling a public hearing on October 25, 2016 at 6:00 pm, public hearing at 6:30 pm to adopt the revised SMP and related documents.  This will be submitted to the Washington State Department of Ecology for final approval, before adoption by Mason County.

This final revised draft will be available sometime before the October 25th meeting.  I hope to get a copy and hope it will be on the Mason County website.

My suggestion is to try and read the documents and make public comments at the public hearing, or submit written comments to the Mason County Board of County Commissioners before the public hearing.  Send comments to:

Julie Almanzor
360.427.9670 ext. 589

The planner is:
Rebecca Hersha
360.427.9670 ext. 287

SMP highlights include:

·       Impacts what you can do along your shoreline

·       Maximum piling dock width of 6 feet, floating docks can be 8 feet wide

·       Limited square footage for the water end of the dock using any configuration

·       Ramps can be 5 feet wide

·       Maximum dock length of 60 feet for a single parcel and 75 feet for joint use parcels

·       Boat lifts require a permit – some reduction in fees

·       The SMP does not make any mention of wake or surf boat large wakes and associated shoreline damage

·       In some cases lots will not be able to build a dock as determined by the planners

·       Grandfathering of permitted structures is included


The final package of documents should contain:

·       A staff report to the MCBofCC

·       Draft of Title 15

·       Draft of Resource Ordinance

·       Draft of Shoreline Master Program

I plan to submit my comments to the MCBCC and email to several people via BCC as some have requested. 

The June 27, 2016 PAC/SMP meeting completed the draft to be presented to the Board of County Commissioners to hold a public hearing before the draft goes on to Olympia for approval by the Department of Ecology and back to Mason County for adoption.

We argued to eliminate all boat lift permit fees, and the PAC voted to remove the HMP requirement for an outside consultant which may save in the area of $2,000 for fresh water boat lift permit fees.

Please note that after a lot of discussion NO ACTION was taken to define large wake producing watercraft or to reduce the fees to repair damage caused by the large waves.  Position is that all the avenues currently exist to repair damage, just that it takes time and money to get approval permits to repair damage.

The three (3) documents that will go to the Mason County Board of County Commissioners (MC B of CC) include: "Title 15", "Resource Ordinance", and "Shoreline Master Program".  The final draft form has yet to be decided and hopefully I will be able to inform you of when the documents will be available, and when the Board of County Commissioners public hearing will be held, so that you may present your comments either in writing or in person at the public hearing.  This will be an important public hearing if you want to have any say in what happens with what you can do or not do with your shoreline (docks, bulkheads, floats, lifts, etc.).  The MC B of CC seems to listen to the volume of people speaking or writing at these public hearings.

For reference:


  • Continue taking input from the audience on the motor boating ordinance proposals
  • At the July 26 meeting I think they can enact, modify, or ask for more review and revisions of the motor boat ordinance

Editorial comment:  Shorter docks by the PAC/SMP, increased speed within the limited speed/no wake zone by the motor boat ordinance all seem to me to lead to more problems.

Thanks for your support,

Jim Reece
H 360.427.1981

SMP Update - Upcoming Public Hearings
The Staff Report has been prepared for the Planning Advisory Commission's (PAC) public hearings on the draft Shoreline Master Program, Resource Ordinance, and Title 15.  Drafts were provided in a previous email sent on March 3rd, and they are available on the County's
website.  Please contact Rebecca Hersha (360-427-9670 ext. 287 or for copies or for more information. 

Written comments on the drafts should be submitted by the end of day on June 8th.  Oral and/or written comments may also be submitted at the applicable public hearing in June.


The hearings will be held on the following dates:

JUNE 13, 2016 (focus will be on Resource Ordinance and Title 15)

JUNE 20, 2016 (focus will be on Shoreline Master Program)

JUNE 27, 2016 (likely to be a public meeting for PAC to discuss comments received)

JULY 11, 2016 (make final recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners)

JULY 25, 2016 (tentative)

These public hearings and/or public meetings will be held at 6 PM in Mason County Building I, Commission Chambers, 411 N 5th Street, Shelton, WA  98584.  Please contact Melissa Drewry at extension 236 if you need accommodations.

Hello everyone.

In a recent email exchange with Rebecca I was told that there would be no more Workshops regarding the Shoreline Master Program.  Thank you to all who attended the last workshop on January 25.  It was a good session and we had lots of audience participation.  In her email back to me, Rebecca stated: 

“The PAC is finished with the workshops.  Public hearings are scheduled for April 18th and 25th,  but I have not made a necessary deadline, so we will have to postpone these hearings a bit.”

Here is the link to the Shoreline Master Program Update on the Mason County Planning Advisory Commission’s website.

I know it is a lot of information and tedious to go through each document but PLEASE use the table of contents or word search to at least look at the requirements for docks, floats, boat launch, beach access and residential regulations. 

Jim and I are working on putting together comments for the public hearings.  In whatever document we generate it will at least include a proposal to ease the pain associated with the requirement (at least as I understand it) that every property owner who wants to put a boatlift in the water needs to have a “study” prepared by a professional to certify that no damage will be done.  We want to propose that a single “study” (and I am not sure of the extent of “study” requirements) apply to a larger sector or quadrant of a lake or waterfront.  That will eliminate the need for one person to pay for a study and a week later his neighbor 4 doors away having to pay for the same “study” all over again.

Jim & I welcome any and all comments.  Be aware – this is our LAST chance to have any influence at all.  We believe the County will be receptive to reasonable input but the County is constrained by what the State Dept of Ecology has already done to us.

I am forwarding the attached checklist I just received via the email below for the finding of no significant impact prepared by Mason County.


John T. Egbert, PE

Global Construction Services, Inc.

8040  161st Ave NE #393

Redmond, WA  98052-3807

Direct/Cell:  425-681-1868