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Regulatory Handbook -> Local Permits -> Shoreline Substantial Development Permit

Shoreline Substantial Development Permit

What is the Purpose of this Permit?
To regulate developments and uses of water bodies and associated upland areas to protect human health and the natural environment. Each local government has development regulations in its shoreline master program. Each program regulates developments and uses defined by state law as "substantial development." These developments need an approved Substantial Development Permit before they may be built or undertaken. Substantial Development Permits (denied and approved) are sent to the Department of Ecology (Ecology) for "filing." For more information about the Shoreline Management Act, go to the links noted below.
Who Issues this Permit?
Local Government - City or County
What Activities Require this Permit?
All non-exempt developments and uses exceeding $6,416 fair market value. For private residential docks in salt water - $2,500; in fresh water - $10,000. See RCW 90.58.030(3). Fair market value is defined in WAC 173-27-030(8).
How Much Will this Permit Cost?
Established by each local government. Ecology does not charge any filing fee.
Do I Need to Include Anything with my Application?
Established by each local government. The minimum required information is listed in WAC 173-27-180.
Is the Decision on my Permit 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?
Permit process time is determined by each local government. After receiving Substantial Development Permits from local government, Ecology will inform local governments and permit applicants in writing of the "date of filing" as defined by RCW 90.58.140.
Where do I Submit my Application?
To the incorporated city, town, or county where the proposed project will take place.
View the schematic
How Long is my Permit Valid?
Determined by local government in accordance with RCW 90.58.143.
What is the Appeal Process for the Permit?
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 filing" as defined by RCW 90.58.140(6). SHB decisions may be appealed to the courts.
Notes / Comments:
Contact your local government for an application.

Substantial Development Permits are reviewed against the criteria in the local Shoreline Master Program and state criteria in WAC 173-27-150.
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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