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Shoreline program update approved

The city of Spokane’s newly updated Shoreline Master Program has been approved by the Washington Department of Ecology.

The updated program will increase protection and restoration of water quality along 54 miles of the Spokane River and Hangman Creek, state officials said.

The program guides construction and development along the city’s shorelines. So far, Spokane is the largest city in Washington to have an updated shoreline program. The effort took 3  1/2 years.

Mayor Mary Verner said the shoreline master program helps protect “the economic and environmental health of our waters” while respecting property rights.

The program integrates other zoning and flood plain ordinances; protects the natural character of shorelines and associated wildlife habitat; and requires buffers for development near meandering shorelines.