How to File a Petition for Review

Filing a Petition for Review is a three-step process.

  1. Prepare a written document that identifies the decision being appealed and a short, plain statement of the reasons for the petition.
  2. File the document with the Shorelines Hearings Board.
  3. Serve the agency that issued the decision being appealed.


There is no fee to file a petition.

During the Review

State law provides that construction allowed by a permit issued by local government cannot begin until all appeals and review proceedings are finished. The board does not need to be asked to halt or delay action under the permit. Penalties automatically are put on hold during the Petition to Review process.


The three steps must be done by the required deadline, which varies by the type of government decision or action being reviewed. If the deadline is missed, the board will not be able to consider the case. Read Washington Administrative Codes 461-08-305, 340, and 355 for specific deadlines and definitions, which are simplified below.

A twenty-one day deadline applies for the following:

  • The Department of Ecology's decision on a local government's approval of a shoreline conditional use permit and/or variance, which are subject to Ecology's review and final determination before an appeal to the board can begin. Ecology's transmittal of its final decision or order on the variance or conditional use permit to local government starts the deadline for the petition process.
  • A local government's decision to deny a shoreline conditional use permit and/or variance. The date of actual receipt by Ecology of the local government's decision starts the deadline for the petition process.
  • A local government's decision to grant, deny, or rescind a shoreline substantial development permit. The date of actual receipt by Ecology of the local government's decision starts the deadline for the petition process, except when the local government simultaneously transmits to Ecology its decision on the shoreline substantial development permit with its approval of a shoreline conditional use permit and/or variance. Then, the date that Ecology transmits its final decision or order on the variance or conditional use permit to local government starts the deadline for the petition process.

A thirty-day deadline applies for the following:

To compute the applicable deadline, exclude the first day in question but include the last, unless the last day is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, and then it is excluded and the next succeeding day which is neither a Saturday, Sunday, nor legal holiday is included. See Washington Administrative Code 461-08-310.

Document Format

Make sure documents are clearly written in ink or typed, legible, signed, and dated. Numbered lines are not required. Numbers on the side are used for convenience only.

Step 1: Prepare the Petition

The petition should contain the following information:

  • The name, mailing address, daytime telephone number, fax number if available, and e-mail address of the person making the appeal, and the name, address, telephone number, and fax number if available of that person’s lawyer if using one.
  • A copy of the order or decision being appealed. The decision may be an agency order, a civil penalty, or a permit. Include this official document from the agency with the appeal. (NOTE: If the order or decision followed an application, include a copy of the application.)
  • Identification of the other parties in the case. On the first page, identify all the parties by name, including the following:
    • the agency or local government whose decision is being appealed
    • the person the decision is directed to (for example, if a permit that was issued to someone else is being appealed, identify the person or company that applied for the permit).
  • A brief statement about why the decision is being appealed.
  • A brief statement of what is being requested of the board (the "relief" or "remedy" being sought).
  • The signature of the person appealing or the signature of the lawyer. The signature certifies that the content of the petition is true.
  • A document showing that all other parties to the petition have been served with a copy of the petition.

The rule that applies to the content of the petition may be found online.

Step 2: File the Petition

The petition must be filed electronically through the board’s online Case Management System (CMS). A person who does not have the technological capacity to file electronically through the CMS may file the appeal by personal delivery, commercial delivery, fax, e-mail, or mail.

File Using CMS

  1. Start at the CMS portal. DO NOT start at the SecureAccess Washington web page.
  2. Click “Create a User Account or Log in.”
  3. You will be routed to a page that looks just like the usual SecureAccess Washington login, but has this web address: If you do not see this web address, you may have started from the wrong place and will need to go to the CMS portal.
  4. From this page you can create a new account or log in with your existing SecureAccess Washington credentials. Note: If you have an existing SecureAccess Washington account, log out of it the first time you file something with the board.
  5. You will be redirected back to the page where you started, but will no longer see the “Create a User Account or Log in” button. If you continue to get an error, please e-mail ELUHO and include the web address (URL) of the error page in your e-mail.
  6. Once in the CMS, select “File a New Appeal/Petition for Review.” Fill in the fields, upload appeal documents, and answer the questions on the electronic form. Enter an electronic signature and select “Submit Case & Documents” to file the appeal.

NOTE: If a person files through the CMS, the board will serve its orders on that person through the CMS.

The board will e-mail a confirmation that it received the petition via the CMS. The CMS e-mail will have an address of Be sure to check junk and spam e-mail folders and make ELUHO a safe sender.

File by Mailing or Delivering in Person

Deliver a copy of the petition and other documents related to the petition to ELUHO.

Mailing Address
PO Box 40903
Olympia, WA 98504-0903

Street Address
1111 Israel Road Southwest, Suite 301
Tumwater, Washington 98501

File by E-mail

E-mail the petition and other documents to

After the initial petition, all e-mail filings should be e-mailed to

File by Fax

The petition and other documents may be faxed to 360-586-2253.

IMPORTANT: The petition will be considered filed on the date it is received by the board not the date it was sent or uploaded. The filing must be received by 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on a board business day to be considered filed on that day.


Telephone: 360-664-9160
Relay Service for the Hearing Impaired, call 711

Step 3: Serve the Petition

To serve the petition, provide a copy of the petition documents to the person being served by either delivering them in person, mailing, faxing, or submitting electronically if the recipient agrees to electronic service. Electronic service may be done by e-mail or by uploading the documents to the recipient’s designated electronic system. See Washington Administrative Code 371-08-305(14).

If mailing the petition—to the proper address and with adequate postage—it is considered served on the date it is mailed. Service by e-mail is complete when the e-mail is sent successfully, and electronic service is complete when the document is uploaded successfully. (NOTE: This is different from filing, which only is considered complete when received.)

Submit a copy of the petition documents to the Department of Ecology in person, by surface mail, or by email at the following addresses:




Department of Ecology
Attn: Appeals Processing Desk
300 Desmond Drive Southeast
Lacey, WA 98503

Department of Ecology
Attn: Appeals Processing Desk
PO Box 47608
Olympia, WA 98504-7608


Read Washington Administrative Code 461-08-355(3) for details about serving local governments. A copy of the petition must be served on the following:

  • If requesting a review of the decision of a local government on a permit, serve a copy of the petition with the Department of Ecology, the State Attorney General, and the local government that issued the decision. This must be accomplished within seven days of filing the petition with the board.
  • If the appealing party is not the permit applicant, the permit applicant also must be served with a copy of the petition.

Initial Scheduling Letter

After the petition is filed, the board will send all parties to the case an initial scheduling letter that does the following:

  • Sets a prehearing
  • Sets important dates for the hearing
  • Provides information about how the case will move forward and other services available, such as mediation
  • Provides a telephone number and pin code or video link to use when calling in for the prehearing
  • Asks the parties to submit a list of proposed legal issues and preliminary witnesses and exhibits to discuss at the prehearing

Rescheduling the Prehearing

To reschedule the prehearing, contact the other parties to see if they will agree to reschedule. If they agree, pick another date and time that the parties are available and e-mail board staff to request the presiding officer change the prehearing date. Usually, the presiding officer will agree, and a new date for the conference will be established. The parties then will receive a letter confirming the new date.

If the other side doesn't agree to reschedule, request a conference with the presiding officer for all parties to discuss scheduling options.