Property within Shoreline Jurisdiction
Shoreline Exemption and Shoreline Substantial Development
All development in shoreline jurisdiction is subject to Title 18S and the Shoreline Management Act. Certain development types require review through the "Substantial Development" (SD) permit process. Other types are reviewed through the "Exemption to a Substantial Development" permit process. To see if your project qualifies for the Exemption to a Substantial Development review process, please refer to PCC 18S.60.020 and the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 173-27-040. A project may also require variance, conditional use or administrative conditional use permits, as well as other County review such as critical areas review.
Shoreline Conditional/Administrative Conditional Use
The purpose of Shoreline Conditional Use and Administrative Conditional Use Permits is to allow flexibility in the application of development regulations in a manner consistent with the policies of the Shoreline Management Act (Act). Conditions may be attached to the permit to prevent undesirable effects of the proposal or to assure consistency of the project with the Act and the Master Program.
All shoreline development is subject to the State Shoreline Management Act. Some projects are exempt from the requirement to obtain a Shoreline Substantial Development Permit. To see if your project qualifies for a Shoreline SD Exemption, refer to Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 173-27-040. Some development on shorelines requires approval of a Shoreline Variance. These projects may or may not also be subject to a Shoreline Substantial Development Permit.
Shoreline Nonconforming Use
All shoreline development is subject to the State Shoreline Management Act. Some projects are exempt from the requirement to obtain a Shoreline Substantial Development Permit. To see if your project qualifies for a Shoreline SD Exemption, refer to Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 173-27-040. Nonconforming uses on shorelines are subject to Pierce County Code (PCC).
These items are required when you apply for any of the above shoreline permits
- Application Checklist
- JARPA (Links to State ORIA permitting website)
- Cross-Section View
- SEPA Environmental Checklist
- Site Plan
- Site Photos
- Required Findings (not necessary for Shoreline Exemption to Substantial Development applications)
When you are ready, apply online at piercecountywa.gov/permit
More Information about submittal requirements:
Use this checklist as a guide to a complete application for property located within shoreline jurisdiction. If you don't know if your property is located in shorelines, visit our About My Property page to find out.
This is a master application for shoreline projects. JARPA stands for "Joint Aquatic Resources Permit Application." In addition to Pierce County it is accepted for applications with the following agencies:
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps): Section 10 and Section 404 (Corps Permits FAQ).
- U.S. Coast Guard: Private Aids to Navigation (PATON).
- Washington Department of Ecology: 401 Water Quality Certification.
- Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife: Hydraulic Project Approval (HPA FAQ).
- Washington Department of Natural Resources: Aquatic Use Authorization
Permit application drawings. View requirements at: US Army Corps of Engineers.
SEPA Environmental Checklist
State Environmental Policy Act is required if the project is not exempt Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 197-11-800 and Pierce County Code (PCC) Title 18D. The original signed form must be submitted with the application.
Draw site plan to scale, showing: property corners, adjacent roads & easements, areas of vegetation to be removed, new proposed shoreline armor, buffer or setback, existing and proposed structures, ordinary high water mark (OHWM), location of any view corridors, and areas of new impervious surface.
Photos of existing structure(s) and/or area where new structure(s) is proposed.