Shoreline Master Program

What is a Shoreline Master Program (SMP)?

The Shoreline Master Program (SMP) regulates uses and development along Lake Stevens and other waters of the state - Stich Lake, Catherine Creek, and Little Pilchuck Creek - as well as their shorelands, which are defined as areas within 200 feet of the ordinary high-water mark (OHWM). The city adopted its first SMP in 2013, and completed a mandatory periodic review in 2018-2019.

To supplement the SMP, the city has created a User Guide to assist waterfront property owners in interpreting shoreline regulations in a more reader-friendly format. The User Guide identifies common development projects and outlines the regulations and permit processes for each with various flowcharts and diagrams. 

Where does the SMP apply?

The SMP applies only to properties within Shoreline Jurisdiction. Shoreline jurisdiction includes Lake Stevens, Stitch Lake, parts of Little Pilchuck and Catherine Creek, and areas within 200 feet of their shorelines. Please see the Shoreline Designation layer of the shoreline interactive map for a visual representation of shoreline jurisdiction, along with drone imagery from 2022.

When is a shoreline permit necessary?

Generally, a shoreline permit is required for all new, expanded, or replaced development within shoreline jurisdiction. Please see the FAQ section of the User Guide for an overview of permits required for common projects. Some projects may also require permits from other agencies. 

Shoreline questions can be directed to the planning department at 425-622-9430.

Other helpful links:

Lake Stevens_Dock