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State seeks public comment on Pierce County’s shoreline plan

A small boat heads out from the 72nd Street boat launch in Longbranch, Washington, on July 18, 2015. Pierce County’s shoreline master program, which governs use of its 700 miles of shoreline, including access to the water, is under review by the state Department of Ecology. Ecology officials want to hear from the public before ruling on the plan.
A small boat heads out from the 72nd Street boat launch in Longbranch, Washington, on July 18, 2015. Pierce County’s shoreline master program, which governs use of its 700 miles of shoreline, including access to the water, is under review by the state Department of Ecology. Ecology officials want to hear from the public before ruling on the plan. Staff photographer

The state Department of Ecology wants to hear from the public before it decides whether to approve Pierce County’s draft shoreline master program or request changes.

An open house is planned March 30 at Pacific Lutheran University at 5 p.m. A public hearing on the plan starts 6:30 p.m. at Chris Knutzen Hall, 12180 Park Ave. S.

The shoreline document governs how the county manages its 700 miles of shoreline, including Puget Sound, lakes and rivers and associated wetlands.

That includes determining whether development is allowed near these areas and how the public can use them.

If adopted, the new plan will replace the existing document.

Pierce County approved its shoreline plan last year and sent it to the Ecology Department for review. This is the first comprehensive update to the plan since 1975.

The draft document can be viewed at 1.usa.gov/21E4NUF or in person at the Pierce County Planning Department, 2401 S. 35th St. in Tacoma, or at the Ecology Southwest Regional Office, 300 Desmond Drive in Lacey.

Comments and questions can be sent to Kim Van Zwalenburg at Kim.VanZwalenburg@ecy.wa.gov.

Once the county’s shoreline plan is approved by the Ecology Department, it will become part of the overall state Shoreline Master Program.

Public comment will be accepted through April 29.

Brynn Grimley: 253-597-8467, @bgrimley

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