Description: Challenge to the Shorelines Hearing Board's approval of the Grays Harbor County Shoreline Master Program (SMP) update.
Friends of Grays Harbor v. State
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 12/12/2022 Opinion Download Approval of the Grays Harbor County Shoreline Master Program update affirmed. Washington Appellate Court Rejected Claims that Shoreline Master Plan Unlawfully Failed to Consider Sea Level Rise. The Washington Court of Appeals affirmed the Shorelines Hearing Board’s approval of the Grays Harbor County Shoreline Master Program (SMP) update. The court ruled that the Shoreline Management Act of 1971 and administrative rules governing SMPs did not require SMPs to address sea level rise beyond flood hazard regulations. The court also rejected arguments that the Grays Harbor County SMP provided inadequate protection against flooding in violation of statutory and regulatory requirements because it relied only on past data and not projections for future rising sea levels. In addition, the court found that the Board did not err when it concluded that the SMP was required to prevent no let loss of ecological functions from development, not from sea level rise itself. Similarly, the court found that the law did not require the Cumulative Impacts Analysis to evaluate and consider sea level rise. The court also rejected contentions that the SMP ignored evidence in the County’s Shoreline Analysis Report of sea level rise and its impacts and that Department of Ecology guidance mandated that SMPs address sea level rise.