Shoreline Requirements

If your property is adjacent to a large waterway such as a lake, major stream, near marine waters or within associated wetlands or flood plains adjacent to these water bodies, your development project may be subject to additional development regulations pursuant to both the county and state shoreline regulations. The purpose of these regulations is to protect these valuable resources.

Estuary with reeds and seagulls

How do I know if my property is in a designated shoreline area? 

View the Map Portal and locate your property to determine if it is in shoreline jurisdiction.

Stream flowing through meadow

Residential Development in Shorelines

Shoreline regulations can be very complicated. For single family projects there are three different types of shoreline permit approvals (substantial development, conditional use and variance). Some projects may require more than one shoreline approval depending upon the size and type of activity being proposed. Staff highly recommends applicants undergo a pre-application conference to fully understand the types of permits required and specific restrictions before beginning design work.

Shoreline Permit Processing

Applicants submit the shoreline application first to Snohomish County for review and then the county forwards the application with recommendation to the Department of Ecology (DOE) for approval. Once the shoreline application is approved by DOE, the county can issue the associated development permits. 

Obtaining a Shoreline Permit

  1. Apply for a pre-application conference
  2. Fill out our Shoreline Permit Application (PDF) following the advice given by PDS staff in the pre-application meeting
    • Address items on checklist
    • Address specific elements for your project based on development proposal as outlined for your specific shoreline designation requirements.(Code 30.44 & 30.67)
    • For shoreline Management Variance, Supplement B
    • Environmental Checklist must be completed for Shoreline Substantial Development or Shoreline Conditional Use proposals
  3. Submit your completed application and filing fees to begin the review process.

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