Critical Areas Ordinance Update


What is a Critical Areas Ordinance?

The Critical Areas Ordinances includes policies and development regulations that protect the functions and values of critical areas which include: wetlands, areas with a critical recharging effect on aquifers used for potable water; fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas; frequently flooded areas; and geologically hazardous areas.


The Washington State Growth Management Act (GMA) requires updates to the Critical Areas Ordinance. The City's ordinance were last updated in 1997. The Critical Areas Ordinance update will identify any gaps and verify whether policies and regulations within the ordinance meet the Best Science Available requirements of the Growth Management Act.


What is Best Available Science?

The Washington State Legislature amended the Growth Management Act in 1995 to include a provision on best available science. It requires cities and counties to include the best available science in developing policies and development regulations to protect the functions and values of critical areas.


Critical Areas Ordinance Update Documents