An update to the City of Mountlake Terrace shoreline management regulations adopted by the City Council on Monday includes a provision to add up to two more public piers on Lake Ballinger.
Under the state Shoreline Management Act, cities must have a plan or program for their shorelines around most marine and lake bodies; Mountlake Terrace last updated its shoreline plan in 1993 and was required to develop a new one that would meet current state law.
After approval by the state’s Department of Ecology, the Mountlake Terrace City Council gave its final OK to the city’s latest shoreline plan. In addition to increasing the number of allowable public piers on the Lake Ballinger shoreline, the new regulations add greater protection for Ballinger Island, ensure public access to the lake, and encourage shoreline re-vegetation with native and wetland species to increase habitat biodiversity and improve water quality.
Existing uses around Lake Ballinger, such as recreation, park, open space, and single-family residential, are allowed to continue under the newly adopted ordinance. The newly adopted regulations also clarify how the city will review future applications for uses and modifications proposed within the shoreline area.
Under previous regulations, Mountlake Terrace was limited to one public pier at Lake Ballinger — the fishing pier at the Ballinger boat launch served as that purpose. City officials and park supporters have already contemplated adding additional piers at the newly created Ballinger Park; with the approved Shoreline Management Act the city could now proceed with two new piers if it so desired.
City officials and members of the Recreation and Parks Advisory Committee plan on studying possible Ballinger Park amenities ideas, including public piers, in 2014.
Mountlake Terrace’s shoreline area consists exclusively of Lake Ballinger along its park property, Ballinger Island and private property owned by the Nile Shriners along the lake’s east edge and three parcels in the northwest corner of the lake. Edmonds regulates the shoreline area that is within its city limits on the westside of the lake.
The City of Mountlake Terrace shoreline plan will become part of the state’s Shoreline Management laws. Shoreline plans are generally updated once every eight years.