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SMP Development: Building Public Awareness & Participation. Jeffree Stewart Washington Department of Ecology. Shoreline Management Act. Protection of shoreline ecological functions Balanced approach Enabling reasonable use

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SMP Development:Building Public Awareness & Participation

Jeffree Stewart

Washington Department of Ecology


Shoreline Management Act

  • Protection of shoreline ecological functions

  • Balanced approach

    Enabling reasonable use

  • Invite/ encourage public involvement in decisions about shoreline land use


Shoreline Management Act

A broad policy instrument

  • Recognizes the fragile nature of shoreline ecosystems

  • Value for water-dependent uses and recreation.


Shoreline Master Program Guidelines

WAC 173-26-201(3)(b)

  • Calls for public participation

  • Consultation with state and federal agencies

  • Coordination with tribal Governments


Solicit expert consultation

WAC 173-26-100 (3)

  • Include adjacent governments with common jurisdiction

  • Seek out comments from those with special expertise or interests

  • Identify “stakeholders”


Community values

  • The Shoreline Act is set up to have local conditions and community values included in the way its shorelines are regulated and used.


Education & Involvement

An effective public process

leading to adoption of a

Shoreline Master Program

will:

  • Inform citizens of regulations that affect them

  • Educate regarding uses and values of shoreline areas

  • Include public comments in determining SMP content

  • Document the SMP belongs to the community


Range of Approaches

Public involvement can

be handled various ways

  • Formal/ Informal

    (Planning Commission,

    on-the-record testimony versus educational Open House)

  • Advisory Groups

    (Technical/Policy/ General)


Early & Continuous participation

  • Broadcasting of proposals & alternatives

  • Provide for open discussion

  • Consider & respond to public comments


Websites & email lists

  • Encourage public involvement and awareness by making it easy to stay informed.

  • Beyond meetings, its helpful to keep people informed with an up-to-date website.

  • Post recent draft chapters, maps, and meeting minutes for those unable to attend


Document the public process

  • Hold at least one Public Hearing

  • Keep records of who attends, comments, and formal responses.

  • Names and addresses of interested parties a submittal requirement


Port Townsend example

  • A group of dedicated individuals met off and on over a three year period.

  • Their efforts led to a draft SMP that was well received by the community and City Council.


Port Townsend Shoreline Advisory Group

  • City invited select individuals

  • To represent key facets of the community

  • Formal voting rights

  • Staff/ Consultants

  • Observers/Public


Port Townsend Example

Groups represented:

  • Tribal Government

  • Marine Trades

  • Port of Port Townsend

  • State Parks/WDFW

  • Local Realtors

  • Waterfront Residents

  • Environmentalists

  • Science/Ecological experts


PT meetings format

  • Consultant and City presented SMP orientation and options

  • Experts brought in for focus area presentations

  • Group asked to respond in exercises and open discussion


Advisory to Advisory

  • After all the work of Advisory Group, Planning Commission review called for changes to structure of information-putting verbs first- but largely left the content alone.


Facilitation challenges

  • Need to educate members

  • Need to progress in document development

  • Handle disputes about content or process

  • Role of interested public weighing in


Facilitation challenges

  • Tendency to wordsmith vs. focusing on big picture, key issues

  • How to resolve genuine disputes about values or means to achieve

  • Managing comments and change proposals from multiple parties


Advantages of Advisory Group

  • Representatives bring diverse perspectives

  • Focused group effort builds better product

  • Community kept apprised by representatives

  • Advocates in formal Adoption process


Productive Controversy

  • Advisory Group allows people with widely different views to forge working relations and learn from one another

  • When effectively organized and facilitated….

  • Tease out & resolve hidden issues early


Practical Problem Identification

  • Advisory Group Members, being closely involved in drafting, are more likely to recognize and call attention to real problems based on their experience that planning staff might miss


SMP relative to Real World

  • A key success measure for an SMP is how well the goals and policies are aligned, and how those relate to the real world of local shoreline areas and those who use them.

  • Advisory Groups can be great help in resolving differences before the formal adoption proceedings.


Open House Event options

  • Advisory Group participants meet community members

  • Invite guest speakers

  • Host facilitated conversation

  • Have posters and maps on display

  • Interactive GIS presentations

  • Opportunity for written comments being made

  • Keep track of who attends


Jefferson County Road Shows

  • SMP Road Shows held in locations all over the map

  • Widely publicized and fairly well-attended

  • Community gatherings raised interesting questions and discussions


Jefferson County example

  • Convened Technical Advisory Group

  • Convened Policy Advisory Group

  • Occasional joint meetings


Jefferson County Technical Advisory Group

  • Technical Advisory Group was very active in careful review of Inventory and Characterization, and Landscape Scale Analysis

  • Strong focus on Restoration Plan project priority scoring

  • Specific concerns expressed about completeness of data and how products were generated.


Jefferson CountyPolicyAdvisory Group

  • Policy Advisory Group engaged for review of draft SMP language

  • Careful consideration and sometimes lively discussion about proposed polices, regulations


Asking what is No-Net Loss

  • Advisory Group members were asked to tackle definition of NO NET LOSS

  • Excellent exercise in grappling with a core issue whose meaning seems abstract


Jefferson Meetings Format

  • Chapter reviews asking members for “make or break issues” to focus on key issues

  • Method for tracking how well the meeting covered intended areas


State review follows Local

  • After the local adoption process has led to locally approved SMP:

  • Ecology will host a Statewide public hearing and take any further comments


State level review

Advisory GroupProcess

met several requirements

  • Consult State Agencies

  • Tribal Government

  • Open to public comment

  • Educate & Involve


Questions?


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