County prevails in Lopez shoreline case
June 24, 2008 · Updated 12:01 PM
On June 12, 2008, the Shoreline Hearing Board denied a variance for a vacation home on a narrow irregular shaped parcel along Fisherman Bay on Lopez Island. If allowed, it would be the only house on 1.2 miles of stretch of Fisherman Bay. The owners purchased the property knowing that it was unbuildable, and then applied for a variance to allow a setback from the top of the bank at 25 feet, according to Pete Rose, County Administrator.
The shoreline hearings board denied the variance and said: “one of the fundamental policies of the SMA is recognizing that our shorelines are fragile and that the increasing pressure of additional use requires management and planning.” The applicants were unable meet the variance standard because they could not show extraordinary or unique circumstances or that the setback would impose unnecessary hardship, said Rose.