Mercer Island City Council Revises Shoreline Rules for Redevelopment

cropped-mercerisland.jpg Mercer Island City Council recently revised the projected shoreline rules for redevelopment of waterfront properties on the island. The revisions are due to the Department of Ecology’s rejection of the initial shoreline master program created by the city. The changes adopted by Mercer Island City Council align the city’s shoreline program more closely to ones already approved by the state’s Department of Ecology.

The revised rules for waterfront redevelopment on Mercer Island passed by the council include the following:

  • When redeveloping smaller sections: include a 20-foot-wide buffer extending the width of the property, 50%+ of it covered with native plants
  • When redeveloping over 1,000 square feet: the buffer must be covered 75%+ with native plants

Regarding docks, the city council decided to allow them to be 5 feet wide within 30 feet of the shore. While this decision does not align with the Department of Ecology’s recommendation, nor U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rules, it does allegedly meet Americans with Disabilities Act standard for public docks.

Take a moment to read the Seattle Times article about the Mercer Island City Council’s decision, and what these changes may mean for waterfront home owners. The article also briefly discusses why the Departmental of Ecology is mandating the percentage of native vegetation plantings be included in redevelopment plans.

This is a community issue that the residents of Mercer Island will be watching closely as the shoreline plan goes through the next round of approval consideration with the Department of Ecology.