Critical Areas Code Update

Critical area regulations place development restrictions on properties containing streams, wetlands, springs, steep slopes and other features. These regulations are more restrictive than basic zoning standards addressing issues such as setbacks and lot coverage. 

Recent Changes

The City has completed revisions to both the critical area regulations and the Shoreline Master Program (SMP). One of the goals of this work is to merge the two sets of critical area regulations into a single code that will apply citywide. All critical area regulations have been consolidated to Chapter 19.37. Other changes include:

  • Streamlining of the regulations in order to eliminate redundancy and inconsistencies.
  • Codify two Planning Director Interpretations addressing federally protected threatened and endangered species.
  • Incorporate the latest guidance on wetland buffers from the Washington State Department of Ecology.
  • Consolidate critical area report requirements into one location. Currently, these requirements are spread throughout the chapter.

Here is a link to the revised critical areas regulations, effective on May 31, 2019.