SB 5159
As of January 17, 2023
Title: An act relating to shoreline master program review schedules.
Brief Description: Concerning shoreline master program review schedules.
Sponsors: Senators Torres, Boehnke, Fortunato and Lovelett.
Brief History:
Committee Activity: Local Government, Land Use & Tribal Affairs: 1/17/23.
Brief Summary of Bill
  • Changes the master program review and revision cycle in the Shoreline Management Act from eight years to ten years.
Staff: Karen Epps (786-7424)

The Shoreline Management Act governs uses of state shorelines. All counties and cities with shorelines of the state are required to adopt master programs that regulate land use activities in shoreline areas of the state. Master programs apply to both public and private uses of lake, stream, wetland, and marine shorelines.  


Local governments must conduct a review of their master programs at least once every eight years to assure the master program is consistent with legal requirements, their comprehensive plan and development regulations adopted under the Growth Management Act, if applicable, and with other local requirements. Following this review, local governments must revise their master programs, if necessary, under a set schedule:

  • on or before June 30, 2027, for King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties and the cities within those counties;
  • on or before June 30, 2028, for Clallam, Clark, Island, Jefferson, Kitsap, Mason, San Juan, Skagit, Thurston, and Whatcom counties and the cities within those counties;
  • on or before June 30, 2029, for Benton, Chelan, Cowlitz, Douglas, Grant, Kittitas, Lewis, Skamania, Spokane, and Yakima counties and the cities within those counties; and
  • on or before June 30, 2030, for Adams, Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Grays Harbor, Klickitat, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pacific, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Wahkiakum, Walla Walla, and Whitman counties and the cities within those counties.


The Department of Ecology (Ecology) provides guidance and technical assistance for local governments developing master programs. Ecology also reviews and approves master programs before their implementation.

Summary of Bill:

The master program review and revision cycle is changed from eight years to ten years.

Appropriation: None.
Fiscal Note: Not requested.
Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.
Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony:

PRO:  This is a recommendation from the GMA collaborative road map work group. It cleans up the Shoreline Management Act, which requires updates every eight years by changing the updates to every 10 years.  The update cycle for GMA comprehensive plans has been changed to 10 years and this proposal brings consistency with that schedule. This bill will help streamline costs for local governments. This bill keeps the SMA schedule in line with the GMA schedule.  

Persons Testifying: PRO: Senator Nikki Torres, Prime Sponsor; Tim Gates, WA Department of Ecology; Josie Cummings, Building Industry Association of Washington; Bryce Yadon, Futurewise.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: No one.