Whatcom County has just completed the process of updating its critical areas regulations. The critical areas regulations are those rules in the County Code (WCC 16.16) that address how various environmental resource and hazard areas, including wetlands, geologically hazardous areas, frequently flooded areas, critical aquifer recharge areas, and fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas, are to be addressed when using or developing property.
Counties and cities are required to conduct periodic updates of their comprehensive plan and development regulations, including but not limited to consideration of critical area ordinances (RCW 36.70a.130). Whatcom County is required to review, and if necessary, update its critical areas regulations. Review consists of using the Department of Commerce’s checklist (DOC), and reviewing and considering whether there have been any new:
- Best available science
- Changes to state law
- Court cases
- Growth Management Hearings Board cases
Additionally, this was an opportunity to address any amendments that the Council wanted to see, including issues that the public raised or administrative issues that staff identified.
More information can be found at this link.