The Clallam County Shoreline Master Program (CCSMP)
The CCSMP is the document that implements the Washington State Shoreline Management Act at the local level. The CCSMP applies the policies and goals of the State Act to the unique conditions and features of Clallam County. The CCSMP is a local regulation developed by the Shorelines Committee, a citizens body appointed by the Board of Clallam County Commissioners. Because the Master Program is adopted by the Washington State Department of Ecology, it also has the authority of State law.
The CCSMP designates all the shorelines of the County as one of five different categories as follows: Urban, Suburban, Rural, Conservancy, and Natural. The permitted, prohibited and conditional uses are based on the designation of the shoreline environment. For example, commercial development may be permitted (although it still may require a permit) in the Urban environment and prohibited in the Natural environment.
There are three different types of shoreline permits: a Substantial Development Permit, a Conditional Use Permit, and a Variance Permit. A given project may require more than one of these.
A Substantial Development Permit is required for all substantial developments within the shoreline jurisdiction. This permit is issued by the Shorelines Committee or Administrator and may be appealed first to the Board of Clallam County Commissioners and then to the Washington State Shorelines Hearings Board.
A Conditional Use Permit is required if the specific activity you wish to undertake is listed as a conditional use or is not specifically listed as a use element in the CCSMP. This permit is issued by the County, if the application meets certain criteria, and must be approved by the Washington State Department of Ecology.
A Variance Permit is required if the activity does not meet the minimum standards for this type of development as outlined in the Master Program. For example, the CCSMP states that RVs in RV parks must be set back 100 feet from the Shoreline. If you wish to have these sites closer than 100 feet, a variance must be obtained. This permit is issued by the County, if the application meets certain criteria, and must be approved by the Department of Ecology.
A project is exempt from permit requirements if it is not a substantial development or if it is exempt by statute, such as single family dwellings. However, such projects must meet the minimum standards of the Master Program. For example, in the case of a single family dwelling, this means the home must be set back from the ordinary high water mark 35 to 150 feet, depending on the shoreline environment designation in the area.
If your project is not a substantial development, you should request a shoreline exemption from the Department of Community Development. This request should be in the form of a letter with enough information attached; including the fair market value, a drawing of the development, and an accurate description of the project; in order for the Department to be able to make a determination.