Chapter 13.01


13.01.010    Authority.

13.01.020    Applicability.

13.01.030    Findings.

13.01.040    Purpose.

13.01.050    Relationship to other codes, ordinances and plans.

13.01.060    Liberal construction.

13.01.070    Effective date.

13.01.010 Authority.

The Shoreline Management Act (SMA) of 1971, Chapter 90.58 RCW, is the authority for the enactment and administration of this shoreline master program (SMP). (Ord. 2112 § 3 (Exh. C), 2013).

13.01.020 Applicability.

All proposed uses, activities, or development occurring within shoreline jurisdiction must conform to the intent and requirements of Chapter 90.58 RCW, the SMA, and this SMP whether or not a permit or other form of authorization is required. See Chapter 13.05 BMC for the shoreline jurisdiction description and Chapter 13.03 BMC for the definition of uses, activities, and development. Uses, activities or development that would not result in exterior alteration of structures, nor alter soils, vegetation, critical areas, nor interfere with the normal public use of the surface of the waters are not subject to the SMP.

The SMP applies to shoreline jurisdiction in the city limits and predesignates shoreline jurisdiction in the Bothell planning area; this SMP will apply to shorelines in the planning area upon annexation.

Pursuant to WAC 173-27-060, direct federal agency activities, such as adopting a management plan for a wildlife sanctuary, dredging a new navigation channel or purchasing land for a recreation area, affecting shoreline jurisdiction must be consistent with the SMA, SMP guidelines, and this SMP.

As recognized by RCW 90.58.350, the provisions of this SMP shall not affect treaty rights of Indian Nations or tribes. (Ord. 2112 § 3 (Exh. C), 2013).

13.01.030 Findings.

The SMP is based on the SMA, SMP guidelines, a shoreline analysis report1, and a public visioning process2. Key findings are identified below.

A.    The city of Bothell is located in King and Snohomish counties and has a municipal urban growth area (MUGA) in Snohomish County and a potential annexation area (PAA) in King County. The city limits together with the MUGA and PAA are considered Bothell’s planning area.

B.    The planning area contains freshwater shorelines associated with Washington State’s Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA) 8 – Cedar/Sammamish. WRIA 8 encompasses 692 square miles and collects water from two major rivers (Cedar and Sammamish Rivers) before flowing through Lake Union and ultimately into Puget Sound via the Lake Washington Ship Canal and Hiram M. Chittenden locks.

C.    Several shoreline units in North Creek and Swamp Creek have moderate functions, and some on North Creek have moderate-high functions. These shorelines would benefit from additional protection. All of the Sammamish River units have somewhat degraded riparian conditions that would benefit from restoration, in addition to protection of existing conditions.

D.    All of the shoreline units in Swamp Creek and the Sammamish River have low to low/moderate flood storage potential. North Creek has a history of flooding that has been managed in several areas through installation and maintenance of structural flood hazard reduction measures. Because of existing development along North Creek and the potential for additional increases in peak stream flows, flood hazard reduction, structural and otherwise, is important to consider in the SMP.

E.    Adding fill above or below the ordinary high water mark (OHWM) could reduce floodplain and in-stream storage and conveyance functions.

F.    High temperatures throughout many of the shoreline units result from degraded vegetation cover. Conservation of existing shoreline vegetation is an essential component to stabilize water temperatures.

G.    Fecal coliform and dissolved oxygen levels are the most common water quality impairments within the city’s shoreline jurisdiction. Storm water management and non-point source pollution prevention are key issues to address water quality concerns and avoid further degradation.

H.    The Sammamish River has a continuous network of public parks, open space, and trails with a private golf course near the west end of the city. South of 228th Street SE, North Creek shorelines have a fairly continuous corridor of public and private open space and trails. North of 228th Street SE, recreation opportunities are mostly associated with Centennial Park. Swamp Creek is largely developed with residential uses and does not have as much park and recreation space. Private open space is located along some portions of the creek north of 228th Street SW, and public parks are located near Locust Way.

I.    There are some known areas of shoreline stabilization on North Creek and the Sammamish River. Armoring typically occurs along the banks at stream/road crossings and outfalls.

J.    Several small docks occur along the Sammamish River, but none exist in North Creek or Swamp Creek. While all docks will have some adverse impact on the aquatic conditions around and beneath them, including providing habitat for nonnative and/or predatory fish species, the size, design, and materials will determine the extent of adverse impact on aquatic habitat.

K.    Historically, dredging has occurred along the Sammamish River to maintain its flood carrying capacity. Such dredging has resulted in a uniform channel lacking many beneficial habitat features. Removing sediment by dredging, or adding sediment through the disposal of dredge materials without an explicit beneficial purpose and thorough review of adverse impacts is likely to result in unintended, adverse consequences on site or downstream. However, flood management practices should account for the fact that the Sammamish River is a navigable water body that is used by the public for boating and recreation. Navigation impediments exist along the Sammamish River which may jeopardize the river’s ability to accommodate boat traffic.

L.    Many of the city’s shoreline units in North Creek presently have moderately well-functioning shoreline habitats, shorelines in Swamp Creek have moderate habitat functions, and the Sammamish River shorelines are generally somewhat degraded. The type of recommended enhancement will vary according to the present conditions, but all of the shoreline units would benefit from shoreline habitat enhancement projects.

M.    The most significant boating facility in the city is the Blue Heron Landing on the north bank of the Sammamish River. There are three private motorized boat launching facilities in other locations.

N.    The character of the North Creek shoreline is mixed, with reaches of residential areas interspersed with reaches of an office/commercial/industrial pattern. The Swamp Creek land use pattern is predominantly residential with some public and private parks, recreation and open space. The Sammamish River land use pattern is mostly flanked by public and private parks, recreation and open space with occasional residential and commercial uses.

O.    Residential development is found along all three shorelines but is concentrated along Swamp Creek. Existing commercial development is common throughout the Bothell shoreline jurisdiction, but is concentrated along North Creek. There are no significant water-dependent or water-related commercial uses in Bothell other than the Blue Heron Landing marina located on the Sammamish River. Industrial development in shoreline jurisdiction is concentrated along North Creek with none of this industry considered water-oriented.

P.    Portions of shoreline jurisdiction are forested, particularly the following reaches: Centennial Park, Fitzgerald, Swamp Creek, Sammamish River Park, and Bothell Way Corridor.

Q.    Roadways, bridges, and parking areas are located in some portions of the shoreline, including four major transportation features: I-405, SR-527, SR-524, and SR-522.

R.    Many shoreline jurisdiction parcels are served by city storm water, water and sewer systems, which may require repair or expansion as development in these areas continues. (Ord. 2112 § 3 (Exh. C), 2013).

13.01.040 Purpose.

The purposes of this SMP are:

A.    To promote the public health, safety, and general welfare of the city by providing comprehensive policies and effective, reasonable regulations for development, use and protection of jurisdictional shorelines; and

B.    To further assume and carry out the local government responsibilities established by the SMA in RCW 90.58.050, including planning and administering the regulatory program consistent with the policy and provisions of the SMA in RCW 90.58.020; and

C.    To provide a high quality shoreline environment where:

1.    Recreational opportunities are abundant;

2.    The public enjoys access to and views of shoreline areas;

3.    Natural systems are preserved, restored or enhanced;

4.    Ecological functions of the shoreline are maintained and improved over time;

5.    Water-oriented uses are promoted consistent with the shoreline character and environmental functions; and

D.    To apply special conditions to those uses which are not consistent with the control of pollution and prevention of damage to the natural environment or are not unique to or dependent upon use of the state’s shoreline; and

E.    To assure no net loss of ecological functions associated with the shoreline. (Ord. 2112 § 3 (Exh. C), 2013).

13.01.050 Relationship to other codes, ordinances and plans.

A.    All applicable federal, state, and local laws shall apply to properties in the shoreline jurisdiction.

B.    In the event provisions of this SMP conflict with provisions of federal, state, county or city regulations, the provision that is most protective of shoreline resources shall prevail. It is understood that the provisions of this chapter may not allow development to occur at what otherwise might be the property’s full zoning potential.

C.    The shoreline master program element contains the SMP policies, and these state the underlying objectives the BMC Title 13 shoreline management regulations are intended to accomplish. The shoreline master program element policies guide the interpretation and enforcement of BMC Title 13 shoreline management regulations. The shoreline master program element policies are not regulations in themselves and, therefore, do not impose requirements beyond those set forth in the regulations. (Ord. 2112 § 3 (Exh. C), 2013).

13.01.060 Liberal construction.

As provided for in RCW 90.58.900, the SMA is exempted from the rule of strict construction. The city shall therefore interpret the SMP not only on the basis of actual words and phrases used in it but by also taking purposes, goals, and policies into account. (Ord. 2112 § 3 (Exh. C), 2013).

13.01.070 Effective date.

The SMP is hereby adopted on February 6, 2013. This SMP and all amendments thereto became effective 14 days after final approval and adoption by Ecology. (Ord. 2112 § 3 (Exh. C), 2013).


    The Watershed Company and ICF International, February 2011. Final shoreline analysis report for the cities of Bothell and Brier shorelines: Sammamish River, North Creek, and Swamp Creek. Prepared for the city of Bothell community development department, Bothell, Washington.


    Melinda Posner Consulting, September 30, 2010. Bothell Shoreline Master Program Update: Visioning Workshops Summary: September 2010. Prepared for the city of Bothell community development department, Bothell, Washington.