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Comments sought on Black Diamond shoreline program update

The Washington Department of Ecology is seeking public comment on Black Diamond's recently updated shoreline master program.
The proposed update will guide construction and development along a total of 6.6 miles of shoreline on Lake Sawyer and Covington Creek in Black Diamond. It combines local plans for future development and preservation with new development ordinances and related permitting requirements.
Black Diamond's shoreline program is locally tailored to minimize environmental damage to shoreline areas, reserve appropriate areas for water-oriented uses, and protect the public's right to public lands and waters.
Under Washington's 1972 voter-approved Shoreline Management Act, Ecology must review and approve Black Diamond's proposed shoreline program before it takes effect. More than 200 cities and counties statewide are updating or crafting their master programs.
Comments on Black Diamond's proposed shoreline program will be accepted through Dec. 21, 2012, and should be addressed to Anthony Boscolo, Department of Ecology, Shorelands and Environmental Assistance Program, 3190 160th Ave SE, Bellevue WA 98008, by email toanthony.boscolo@ecy.wa.gov. For questions, call 425-649-7049.
Black Diamond's proposed shoreline program and related documents can be reviewed online at:
http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/sea/shorelines/smp/mycomments/blackdiamond.html
http://www.ci.blackdiamond.wa.us

Hard copies may be reviewed at Ecology's offices at 3190 160th Ave. SE, Bellevue, call425-649-7000 for an appointment, or at the City of Black Diamond Natural Resources Department, 24301 Roberts Drive in Black Diamond.
Ecology will take comments into consideration as it determines whether to approve the proposed shoreline master program as written, reject it or direct Black Diamond to modify specific parts. Once approved by Ecology, Black Diamond's shoreline program will become part of the overall state shoreline master program.
Black Diamond's proposed updated master program:
. Integrates the city's shoreline regulations with its growth management, planning and zoning, floodplain management and critical areas ordinances as part of a unified development code.
. Establishes protective buffers of 40 to 100 feet, with the flexibility to reduce buffers based on individual property circumstances.
. Limits the length of new residential docks and piers to the minimum necessary, up to 60 feet.
. Encourages soft-bank erosion control methods and limits construction of new shoreline armoring.
. Includes a restoration plan showing where and how voluntary improvements in water and upland areas can enhance the local shoreline environment.
Washington's cities and counties with regulated shorelines must update their programs by December 2014. They are following regulations adopted by Ecology in 2003. The regulations resulted from a negotiated settlement between 58 different parties including business interests, ports, environmental groups, shoreline user groups, cities and counties, Ecology and the courts.

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