Why are shoreline permits required?
The short answer is that the State of Washington requires all cities and counties with shorelines to regulate the shoreline, through the Shoreline Management Act.
But why did the state adopt the Shoreline Management Act? It was written in 1971 in response to a citizens’ initiative petition and was adopted through a citizen referendum by a two-to-one margin. The purpose was to benefit the public interest by protecting shorelines, since they are a limited resource. The Act recognizes that it requires planning to balance protecting the public interest on one hand and private property rights on the other hand. Planning ahead means that you cannot let everyone do whatever they want, you have to think about the consequences. Requiring a permit means there is review of the action before it happens and that conditions can be placed to prevent or make up for impacts caused by the project.

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1. Why are shoreline permits required?
2. If it is a State permit, why don’t I get a permit from the State?
3. Why shouldn’t I cut down the tules in front of my lot?
4. I have erosion on my lot, so I’ll just build a bulkhead, right?
5. It’s a big lake. What I do on my lot doesn’t matter.