SMP Periodic Review - Public Participation Plan


The City of Gig Harbor is conducting a periodic review of its Shoreline Master Program (SMP), consistent with the state Shoreline Management Act (SMA; RCW 90.58) and Ecology’s Periodic Review Rule set forth in WAC 173-26-090. Gig Harbor last updated its SMP in 2013. The SMP is both a planning document that sets policy, and development regulations for the City’s shoreline areas, which include adjacent upland areas within 200 feet of designated shorelines. The primary policy objectives of the SMA are to: encourage water-dependent and water-oriented uses; protect the shoreline ecology and natural resources; and promote public access. Since public use and enjoyment of the shorelines is a principal policy of the SMA, it is imperative that the public has opportunities to participate in the process. This Public Participation Plan identifies goals and strategies to ensure such participation occurs.

Goals of the Public Participation Plan

The SMA and SMP guidelines (RCW 90.58.130 and WAC 173-26-090) require that local governments inform the people of the state about the planning process and invite and encourage participation by all who have any interest or responsibility related to shorelines. The goal of the Public Participation Plan is to provide a guide to proactively encourage public participation throughout the SMP periodic review process. The City of Gig Harbor is committed to encouraging coordinated and effective public involvement.

Overview of the City and Shorelines

The City of Gig Harbor is centrally located in Puget Sound, 11 miles west of Tacoma and 49 miles south of Seattle. The City encompasses an area of approximately four-square miles. As of 2018, the City’s population was approximately 10,320 (City of Gig Harbor website, November 2018). The SMP also discusses the city’s urban growth area (UGA) with the exception of portions of Henderson Bay and the Burley Lagoon located north of the city limits. The SMP will not be effective in the UGA, however, until the area annexes into the city.

Gig Harbor has approximately 8.1 miles of Puget Sound shorelines in its city limits and UGA. The shorelines include Gig Harbor Bay, portions of Colvos Passage and the Tacoma Narrows, and portions of Henderson Bay and Burley Lagoon adjacent to the City’s UGA boundary. Tidally influenced downstream segments of Crescent Creek and Donkey Creek (also known as North Creek), which flow through the City into Gig Harbor Bay, portions of Purdy Creek, which flows into Burley Lagoon, and Goodnough and McCormick Creeks, which both discharge into Henderson Bay are also included. The shorelines along these water systems are where community members live, work, and play and therefore are of great value to the residents of Gig Harbor.

Roles and Responsibilities

The City of Gig Harbor is responsible for all aspects of the SMP periodic review. The City will be the primary regulator, with Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) acting in a support and review capacity. Ecology must approve new or amended shoreline master programs. Following local adoption of the City’s amended SMP, Ecology will conduct its own public review as part of its formal approval process.

Updates to City Council and Planning Commission

It is important to keep interested parties at all levels adequately informed from the beginning of the process.  Through periodic meetings with the Planning Commission and City Council, concerns can be address as they surface.  These meetings also provide another opportunity for other interested parties to obtain information on the process.

Target Schedule

City of Gig Harbor's Public Participation Schedule 
November 15, 2018 
Planning Commission Meeting
March 7, 2019Planning Commission Meeting
April 4, 2019Planning Commission Meeting
December 5, 2019Planning Commission Meeting
June 18, 2020Planning Commission Meeting
February 18, 2021Planning Commission Meeting
March 18, 2021Planning Commission Meeting
July 1, 2021Planning Commission Meeting
August 16, 2021

Start: 30-day Joint Public Comment Period with Dept. of Ecology

Start: 60-day Dept. of Commerce Notice of Intent to Adopt an Amendment
August 23, 2021

SEPA Threshold Determination Issuance

Start: SEPA 14-day Comment Period + 7-day Appeal Period
September 15, 2021End: SEPA 14-day Comment Period + 7-day Appeal Period
September 15, 2021End: 30-day Joint Public Comment Period with Dept. of Ecology
September 16, 2021Planning Commission Public Hearing
October/November 2021City Council  Ordinance Reading and Adoption
November/December 2021SMP Submittal to Ecology

Primary Contacts:

Carl deSimas

Principal Planner &

Project Manager

(253) 853-7628

Email Carl

Katrina Knutson, AICP

Community Development Director

(253) 853-7631

Email Katrina

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