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The purpose of this document is four-fold:

(1) To fulfill the requirements of the Shoreline Management Act (SMA) of 1971, Chapter 286, Laws of 1971, Chapter 90.58 RCW and Chapter 173-26 WAC by developing a Master Program to guide the future use and development of Mercer Island’s shoreline.

(2) To recognize the Lake Washington/Cedar/Sammamish Watershed (WRIA 8) Chinook Salmon Conservation Plan.

(3) To provide guidelines for revising local ordinances and zoning codes.

(4) To provide a basis for evaluating applications for shoreline permits on Mercer Island.

The State of Washington Shoreline Management Act of 1971 recognizes that the shorelines of the state are among our most valuable and fragile natural resources and directs all local governments to develop a Master Program for the management of these shorelines. The Law specifies that all lakes over 1,000 acres in surface area are Shorelines of Statewide Significance. Lake Washington is such a shoreline and in our planning we must, as the Shoreline Management Act specifies, provide for uses in the following order of preference: those which

(1) Recognize and protect the state-wide interest over local interest;

(2) Preserve the natural character of the shoreline;

(3) Result in long term over short term benefit;

(4) Protect the resources and ecology of the shoreline;

(5) Increase public access to publicly owned areas of the shoreline;

(6) Increase recreational opportunities for the public in the shoreline;

(7) Provide for any other element deemed appropriate or necessary.