Environmentally Critical Areas Update - What & Why

Enviornmentally Critical Area Updates

What's Happening Now? 

Our updated environmentally critical areas (ECA) regulations took effect on May 15, 2017. In addition to the updated regulations, we updated the Great Blue Heron Management Plan Director's Rule and the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Exemptions From Environmental Review Requirements When Establishing, Changing, or Expanding a Use Director's Rule. Our Director's Report summarizes these changes. Check out our Director’s Report, the two Director’s Rules, and the regulations, on our project documents page.

On May 15, 2017, we updated the Tips that address our changes to the ECA regulations:

Project Benefits

By updating our ECA policies and regulations to improve their effectiveness and to include updated best available science, we can better protect our critical areas and manage development in areas that are hazardous to build on. We can also enhance the urban environment by protecting wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat, riparian corridors, and other ecological resources. The health of these areas is an important indicator of the overall health and well-being of our city. 

The End Result

Our updated ECA policies and regulations continue to comply with the Growth Management Act and include current best available science.