Tacoma Power’s Cushman Hydroelectric Project operates under a license issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Managing the use of the Lake Cushman and Lake Kokanee shorelines is included as part of the license.
Managing the shorelines includes ensuring waterfront lessees’ structures (docks, buoys, bulkheads, etc.) and uses are permitted in compliance with Tacoma Power’s FERC-approved Shoreline Management Plan.
If you are a lessee with an existing structure (or plan to build one), please take these steps to find out the status of your structure(s) and obtain the appropriate permits:
- Review the Shoreline Use Specifications and Permitting Guidelines (SUSPG) handbook. It describes the types of allowed structures and uses, specific review criteria, and construction methods and materials for particular shoreline structures.
- Contact Shoreline and Lands Coordinator Wynnae Wright at (253) 318-2527 to schedule a pre-application site visit. She will guide you through the next steps in the process, which will include determining if your proposed structure or use meets Tacoma Power’s requirements, if you require permits from other agencies, how to fill out the application, etc.
- Shoreline Use Specifications and Permitting Guidelines (SUSPG)
Tacoma Power’s Shoreline Use Specifications and Permitting Guidelines (SUSPG) applies to Lake Cushman and Lake Kokanee.
Tacoma Power provides the SUSPG to assist persons interested in placing structures upon, or making use of, any land or water within the Cushman Hydro Project (Project). Tacoma Power developed these specifications and guidelines in support of its Shoreline Management Plan. This handbook describes the types of structures and uses that require prior approval by Tacoma Power and the reasons these approvals are necessary. It also describes the permitting process, identifies specific criteria Tacoma Power applies when reviewing Shoreline Use Permit applications, and provides standards for construction methods and materials for particular shoreline structures.
- Tacoma Power Shoreline Use Permit Application and Instructions
Learn how to obtain a Tacoma Power Shoreline Use Permit
Tacoma Power’s Shoreline Use Permit application for Lake Cushman and Lake Kokanee.
- Plans (Drawings) Checklist and Example Plans
Tacoma Power requires both a plan (overhead) view and elevation (side) view drawing set as part of your SUP application package. Use this checklist to ensure your shoreline structure plans meet Tacoma Power’s requirements.
Please note that Mason County requires that an engineer design any shoreline protection (bulkhead) or dock structures.
View example plans.
- Determining Property Boundaries
It is important for lessees to determine the property boundary of their development lot before doing any work. As described in your sublease for your development lot, the waterward property boundary for Lake Cushman-adjacent lots is 742 feet elevation and 482 feet for Lake Kokanee-adjacent lots. This boundary is 4 feet in elevation above the ordinary high water mark (shoreline). If your development lot is low bank, the property boundary may be further upland than you think.
Also described in your sublease, there is a 10-foot lateral strip on your development lot wherein Tacoma Power must give permission before placement of fill material or permanent structures.
Please view these diagrams to help determine your waterward property boundary:
Lake Cushman boundaries diagram
- Tacoma Power and Regulatory Agency Contacts
Tacoma Power Contacts:
- For questions about your existing or proposed structures, or Tacoma Power’s shoreline policies, please contact Shoreline and Lands Coordinator Wynnae Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org or (253) 318-2527.
- If you notice activity that may not be in compliance with Tacoma Power’s shoreline policies, please contact Wildlife and Lands Officer Kyrra Wilson at email@example.com or (253) 686-0904.
Nearly all work on Tacoma Power property will require regulatory permitting. Wynnae can provide information on design techniques that will make regulatory permitting easier, and will direct you to apply for your regulatory permits after review and approval of your Shoreline Use Permit application package.
Please note that agencies will not accept your regulatory permit applications for work on Tacoma Power property without written permission from Tacoma Power.
Regulatory Agency Contacts:
Regulatory Permitting Assistance
The Governor’s Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance (ORIA) is available to assist you with applying for the required regulatory permits for your project or call 1-800-917-0043.
Mason County requires shoreline and building permits for new and existing shoreline structures. Their requirements and contact information can be found here.
Hydraulic Project Approval (HPA) permits from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) are required for any work waterward of the ordinary high water mark. Get their permitting information and requirements and local area Habitat Biologist contact information.
Any addition of fill in the form of concrete or rock (e.g., for a bulkhead or piling footings) or dredging will require a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) Section 404 permit. Get their permitting information and requirements and find contact information for your local area Project Manager.
- Shoreline Management Plan (SMP)
Tacoma Power’s Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) applies to Lake Cushman and Lake Kokanee.
The intent of an SMP is to ensure that a licensee’s actions conform to the Cushman Hydro Project (Project) license requirements and are consistent with the purposes of protecting and enhancing the scenic, recreational, and environmental values of the Project, while affording reasonable public access.
Tacoma Power developed this SMP in consideration of FERC guidelines, the goals and objectives of the Settlement Agreement, and the concerns of agencies, stakeholders, and shoreline property owners. It provides the framework for a comprehensive shoreline planning approach for managing non Project-related shoreline use and development.
The SMP serves as a tool to assist in effectively analyzing appropriate shoreline uses within the Project boundary, as well as providing a supportable and defensible means for shoreline management and permitting decisions.
- Report Non-Compliant Activity
If you notice activity that may not be in compliance with Tacoma Power’s shoreline policies, please contact Wildlife and Lands Officer Kyrra Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (253) 686-0904.
- Public Meetings
Cushman Shoreline Management Plan Update – Sept. 20, 2019
Cushman Fire Hall | 4 to 6 p.m.
Approximately 75 attendees
- Summary Table
- Table of Proposed Changes
- Comment Form (Please note: comments were due Nov. 1, 2019)
Cushman Shoreline Management Plan Update Materials – Dec. 9, 2017