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<br />Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission Comments on <br />Jefferson County Locally Approved Shoreline Master Program <br />Submitted to Department of Ecology, November 2, 2010 <br /> <br />Washington State Parks in Jefferson County <br /> <br />The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission (State Parks) is a major <br />provider of public shoreline access in Jefferson County. The Commission manages five <br />major parks and a number of smaller holdings in the county. These provide county <br />residents with access to 2.6 miles of fresh water and 15 miles of salt water shorelands, <br />supported by nearly 2,900 acres of upland park area. In 2008, excluding Fort Worden, <br />which is in the jurisdiction of Port Townsend, there were approximately 1.2 million <br />visitors to State Park sites in Jefferson County. <br /> <br />The mission of Washington State Parks meshes well with the Shoreline Management <br />Act and Jefferson County’s Shoreline Master Program (SMP). Putting visitors in touch <br />with the outdoors while maintaining the character of the park setting is central to our <br />mission. Recreation plans from jurisdictions nationwide recognize that people highly <br />value water access. We note that providing public access opportunities is one of the <br />overarching goals of the SMA. State Parks’ facilities and programs directly support <br />Jefferson County’s master program goals, especially 1 (Conservation), 3 (Historic, <br />Archeological, Cultural, Scientific and Educational Resources), 4 (Public Access) and 5 <br />(Recreation)[article 3]. <br /> <br />Impacts of the LASMP on Washington State Parks and Public Access <br /> <br />Several elements of the Jefferson County Locally Approved Shoreline Master Program <br />(LASMP) will potentially make it more difficult for Washington State Parks to provide <br />public access opportunities and support the goals of the state Shoreline Management <br />Act. <br />? <br /> In several sections in the shoreline use table, the selection of permitted uses <br />places unnecessary constraints on the development of public access facilities. <br />We are requesting modifications of several policies. <br />? <br /> Shoreline Environmental Designations of two specific sites are inconsistent with <br />the current and planned uses, and existing conditions in some cases do not <br />appear to support the designations. We are requesting changes to these specific <br />designations. <br />? <br /> Two of the regulations are unclear and/or hamper efficient provision of public <br />boating facilities. We are requesting appropriate changes. <br /> <br />Policy Modifications <br /> <br />The LASMP recognizes a fundamental difference between public and private shoreline <br />development, an approach that State Parks concurs with. However, in many cases, it <br />treats both the same in assigning uses to environmental designations. Recognizing <br />appropriate public development as one of the best ways to limit shoreline impacts and <br /> <br />