Regional News

State Supreme Court affirms Ecology approval authority for shoreline master programs

Aug 19, 2011

The state Supreme Court has unanimously affirmed the state - not local governments - has final approval authority for shoreline management plans and regulations.

The case was brought by Citizens for Rational Shoreline Planning, Ronald Jepson and Building Industry Association of Whatcom County against the state Ecology Department and Whatcom County..

Plaintiffs had sought to invalidate key protections in Whatcom County's shoreline master program Ecology approved in 2008. If shoreline program decisions were local, they argued it violated state tax law that mostly prohibits local governments from imposing certain taxes or fees in exchange for development rights.

The high court affirmed earlier county and appellate court decisions rulings.

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