In an effort to gain first-hand knowledge of the issues confronting Bellevue as it updates its shoreline management regulations, the city's Planning Commission will host an informational cruise of Bellevue's Lake Washington waterfront in September.
Seats for the three-hour tour were made available to the public, and residents snapped them up by Aug. 25. (If you want to get your name on a waiting list, contact Sharon Taylor at 425-452-4392 or email@example.com.)
Guided by the Watershed Company, an environmental consulting firm, the tour will help Commission members understand existing conditions and the specific requirements of the update.
The boat will sail from Newport Shores Yacht Club the afternoon of Saturday, Sept. 20. Members of the Bellevue City Council, city boards and commissions and staff from permitting agencies and local Indian tribes are also expected to attend.
Bellevue's Shoreline Management Program and Overlay District, essentially a planning and zoning ordinance that governs shoreline development, was approved in 1974, following passage of the Shoreline Management Act at the state level.
Intended to prevent the "inherent harm in an uncoordinated and piecemeal development of the state's shorelines," the law's broad policies include encouraging water-dependent uses, protecting shoreline natural resources and promoting public access. Cities like Bellevue are responsible for local regulation, but the state Department of Ecology reviews local programs and permit decisions.
In 2003 the state revised its shoreline management guidelines to emphasize ecologically appropriate development and to reinforce the other goals of the Act. As a consequence, Bellevue has to update its shoreline regulations by 2010.
The city's Shoreline Master Plan section offers more details about this project.
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