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What is the purpose of shoreline development permits?

Shoreline development permits aim to preserve the resources and ecology of the water and shorelines, avoid natural hazards, promote visual and physical access to the water, protect ESA listed species and their critical habitat, and preserve archeological, traditional cultural resources, shellfish resources, and navigation rights.

What activities require this type of permit?

  • A Shoreline Substantial Development Permit is required to build on or within 200 feet of any lake, river or stream and whose improvement value exceeds $5,718 and is consistent with King County's Critical Area Ordinance (CAO). Applications which are valued at less than $5,718 qualify for a Shoreline Exemption.
  • A Shoreline Conditional Use Permit is also required for a proposed use which is normally not allowed under the shoreline designation for that property.
  • A Shoreline Redesignation is a method to revise the state approved shoreline designation.
  • A Shoreline Variance is required for all other development proposals within the Shorelines jurisdiction which meet the requirements of the CAO and provide a needed public benefit.

How much will it cost?

See the Permitting Department's current fee schedule for an estimate.

Where can I get an application?

  • Refer to the following packets for application materials:
  • Request an application packet by mail by calling the Permitting Department's customer service at 206-296-6600 or
  • Pick up an application packet at the Permitting Department in Snoqualmie (see map and directions).

How do I submit my application?

Refer to instructions on individual application forms in the packets above. See information on pre-applications for those applications that require a pre-application meeting prior to filing the application. For more information, refer to Applying for a Permit at the Permitting Department.

What is the timeline for processing a shoreline development permit?

Decision type 2: 120 days.
Shoreline redesignation decision type 4: 120 days.

Notes / Comments

For more information:

Legal authority

Title 20* and Title 21A of the King County Code

Administered by

The Department of Permitting and Environmental Review. For questions, please contact customer service at 206-296-6600.