Ecology’s SMP concerns mostly technical in nature

Department of Ecology Shorelands Program ManagerOctober 3, 2012 

I am writing to clarify the Sept. 11 story, “Ecology official warns Olympia City Council about draft shoreline plan,” which is unfortunately out of context.

The presentation before the Olympia City Council by Ecology staff wasn’t a “warning.” In fact, it was a routine summary of comments Ecology has on the draft Shoreline Master Program and recommendations for ensuring the final document complies with statewide SMP guidelines.

The story stated Ecology told the council the draft plan is “‘simply going in the wrong direction’ in a number of areas.” However, staff actually said there are few – as in minimal – places the plan is going the wrong direction. Staff did note places our agency feels the plan needs further work.

Ecology’s concern related to the city’s direction is technical in nature, and has to do with ensuring consistency with designation criteria when applying shoreline environment designations (and making sure these designations and associated development standards match so they can consistently be applied in Olympia’s shoreline areas). Ecology is impressed with the city’s diligence and skill in addressing difficult issues.

The story unfortunately and inaccurately appeared to portray Ecology’s primary concerns as being about development setback requirements on Port of Olympia property.

We thank The Olympian for publishing this information, and the correction saying Ecology’s likely areas of concern do not include shoreline on the east bank of Capitol Lake, but rather an area known as BUDD 3-A, which is along West Bay drive between Reliable Steel and Dunlap Towing.

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