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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 Endangered Species Act-listed species and their critical habitat, and preserve archeological and traditional cultural resources, shellfish resources, and navigation rights.

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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 $8,504. Some applications may qualify for a Shoreline Exemption; see Washington Administrative Code (WAC)173-27-040(2).
  • 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 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.
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How much will it cost?

See the current fee schedule for an estimate.

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Where can I get an application?

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How do I submit my application?

Refer to instructions on individual application forms in the packets above. All shoreline permits except exemptions require a pre-application meeting prior to filing the application. For more information, see the Pre-application meeting packet.

What is the timeline for processing a shoreline development permit?

120 days.

Legal authority

Title 21A.25 of the King County Code

Administered by

The Department of Local Services, Permitting Division. For questions, please contact customer service at 206-296-6600 or email

Schedule a land use inspection
  • Schedule a land use inspection or if you have questions, call 206-296-6600
Keep final plans and permits displayed on-site!

Approved building and land use permits must be displayed prominently on construction and development sites.

Maintaining these records on-site is the responsibility of the applicant and/or contractor.

Tools and Resources