Critical Areas Ordinance Update

The County’s critical areas regulations (Skamania County Code Title 21A) address wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas, critical aquifer recharge areas, frequently flooded areas, and geologically hazardous areas throughout the County. All critical areas must be designated and their functions and values protected using the best available scientific information – known as best available science or BAS.

Skamania County first adopted its Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO) in July 1997. Minor amendments were adopted in May 2005. A review of the ordinance was last completed in December 2014 which did not make any changes to the ordinance and the ordinance remains largely the same is when first adopted. As part of this review, the County anticipates the adoption of a revised Critical Areas Ordinance.

Why is the County updating its Critical Areas Ordinance now?

The Growth Management Act (GMA) sets forth various land use planning requirements for Washington's 39 counties.  As a partially planning county, Skamania County is required to address critical areas and natural resource lands in its GMA planning. The County is currently undergoing its periodic review of its Critical Areas Ordinance, and is required to review, and if necessary, update its critical areas regulations by June 2019.

Project Updates

The County introduced a draft Critical Areas ordinance update at a November 7, 2018, Open House held at the Hegewald Center in Stevenson, and invited the public to comment on the proposal through the end of January 2019.

Now, a revised draft has been prepared for the Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioners' review at a combined meeting on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. The draft is also available for download here.

Please join us on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, at 5 PM in the Commission Meeting Room to learn more about the revised draft. Click here to see the meeting notice. The Planning Commission will be considering the revised draft at an upcoming public hearing to be scheduled after the May 21st meeting.

Draft Critical Areas Ordinance

A draft of the proposed Critical Areas Ordinance update is available for your review and comment:

Combined Draft Critical Areas Ordinance (05/2019 Draft)

The draft is organized into the following seven chapters:

  • Chapter 19.01 General Critical Area Provisions 
  • Chapter 19.02 Definitions 
  • Chapter 19.03 Wetlands
  • Chapter 19.04 Critical Aquifer Recharge Areas 
  • Chapter 19.05 Fish and Wildlife Habitat Conservation Areas
  • Chapter 19.06 Frequently Flooded Areas 
  • Chapter 19.07 Geologically Hazardous Areas

Staff Contact

The project manager for this review is Alan Peters, Assistant Planning Director. Please contact him at apeters@co.skamania.wa.us with any suggestions or concerns or if you would like to be added to a mailing list for periodic updates. 

SCCDD NEWS
Skamania County is updating its Critical Areas Ordinance.
 
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Courthouse Annex
170 NW Vancouver Ave.
PO Box 1009 
Stevenson, WA 98648

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