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Regulatory Handbook -> Local Permits -> Shoreline Exemption

Shoreline Exemption

What is the Purpose of this Exemption?
Many kinds of developments and uses in Shoreline Management Act (SMA) jurisdictions are exempt from one or more of the three types of SMA permit processes and permit fees. Local governments tell applicants when and if their development proposals qualify for SMA exemptions. Most SMA exemptions do NOT exempt a person from still having to comply with local SMA regulations.
Who Issues this Exemption?
Local Government - City or County
What Activities Require this Exemption?
This is determined by the local government. Substantial Development Permit Exemption: Most activities exempt from the requirement for a substantial development permit are in the SMA, RCW 90.58.030(3). Other exemptions are scattered throughout RCW 90.58, and are listed by section order below:
How Much Will this Exemption Cost?
This is determined by each local government. The Department of Ecology does not charge any filing fee.
Do I Need to Include Anything with my Application?
This is determined by each local government.
Is the Decision on my Exemption Dependent on Anything Besides the Information in my Application?
Compliance with the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) may be required.
How Long Will it Take to Review my Application?
This is determined by each local government.
Where do I Submit my Application?
The local government (town, city, county) where the proposed project will be implemented.
How Long is my Exemption Valid?
This is determined by local government
What is the Appeal Process for the Exemption?
Each local government may establish its own appeal process. After local appeals are complete, a person may appeal to the Shorelines Hearings Board (SHB) within 21-days of the "date of receipt" as defined by WAC 173.27.250. SHB decisions may be appealed to the courts.
Notes / Comments:
Contact your local government for an application.
Statewide Contact:
Local Government - City or County
Planning Departments
For assistance contact 1-800-917-0043 (Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance)
* Permit information last updated 6/14/2022
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