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Overview of the Growth Management Act (GMA) & Critical Areas Ordinances (CAOs) www.1000friends.org.

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Presentation on theme: "Overview of the Growth Management Act (GMA) & Critical Areas Ordinances (CAOs) www.1000friends.org."— Presentation transcript:

1 Overview of the Growth Management Act (GMA) & Critical Areas Ordinances (CAOs)

2 What does the GMA Require Cities and Counties to Do? 1. Designate and protect critical areas (All Counties & Cities) 2. Designate resource lands (All Counties & Cities) and protect them (Counties & Cities fully planning under the GMA) 3. Adopt comprehensive plans (Counties & Cities fully planning under the GMA) 4. Adopt development regulations (Counties & Cities fully planning under the GMA) 5. Periodically update comprehensive plans and development regulations (Counties & Cities fully planning under the GMA)

3 Periodic Update Deadlines 12/1/ 2004 Clallam, Clark, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish, Thurston, and Whatcom Counties 12/1/2005 Cowlitz, Island, Lewis, Mason, San Juan, Skagit, and Skamania Counties 12/1/2006 Benton, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, Kittitas, Spokane, and Yakima Counties 12/1/2007 Adams, Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grays Harbor, Klickitat, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pacific, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Wahkiakum, Walla Walla, and Whitman Counties

4 GMA Planning Process

5 What Are Critical Areas? Wetlands Wetlands Areas with a critical recharging effect on aquifers used for potable water Areas with a critical recharging effect on aquifers used for potable water Fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas Fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas Frequently flooded areas Frequently flooded areas Geologically hazardous areas. RCW 36.70A.030(5) Geologically hazardous areas. RCW 36.70A.030(5)

6 What Are Fish & Wildlife Habitat Conservation Areas? [WAC (5)(a)] Areas with which endangered, threatened, and sensitive species have a primary association Areas with which endangered, threatened, and sensitive species have a primary association Habitats and species of local importance Habitats and species of local importance Commercial and recreational shellfish areas Commercial and recreational shellfish areas Kelp and eelgrass beds; herring and smelt spawning areas Kelp and eelgrass beds; herring and smelt spawning areas Naturally occurring ponds under twenty acres and their submerged aquatic beds that provide fish or wildlife habitat Naturally occurring ponds under twenty acres and their submerged aquatic beds that provide fish or wildlife habitat Waters of the state Waters of the state Lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers planted with game fish by a governmental or tribal entity Lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers planted with game fish by a governmental or tribal entity State natural area preserves and natural resource conservation areas State natural area preserves and natural resource conservation areas

7 GMA Goals Environment Protection Goal. Protect the environment and enhance the state's high quality of life, including air and water quality, and the availability of water. RCW 36.70A.020 (10) Environment Protection Goal. Protect the environment and enhance the state's high quality of life, including air and water quality, and the availability of water. RCW 36.70A.020 (10) Must balance goals and requirements Must balance goals and requirements Some goals, such as the environmental protection goal, are more directive than others Some goals, such as the environmental protection goal, are more directive than others

8 GMA Critical Areas Requirements Designate critical areas. RCW 36.70A.170 Designate critical areas. RCW 36.70A.170 Adopt development regulations that protect critical areas. RCW 36.70A.060(2) Adopt development regulations that protect critical areas. RCW 36.70A.060(2) Identify open space corridors within and between urban growth areas (UGAs) including Identify open space corridors within and between urban growth areas (UGAs) including –wildlife habitats and –to connect critical areas. RCW 36.70A.160

9 GMA Critical Areas Requirements (Continued) Include best available science in designating and protecting critical areas. RCW 36.70A.172(1) Include best available science in designating and protecting critical areas. RCW 36.70A.172(1) Give special consideration to conservation or protection measures necessary to preserve or enhance anadromous fisheries. RCW 36.70A.172(1) Give special consideration to conservation or protection measures necessary to preserve or enhance anadromous fisheries. RCW 36.70A.172(1) Use GMA definition of wetland. RCW 36.70A.030(20) Use GMA definition of wetland. RCW 36.70A.030(20) Use State Wetlands Delineation Manual to identify wetlands. RCW 36.70A.175 Use State Wetlands Delineation Manual to identify wetlands. RCW 36.70A.175

10 Growth Board Elaboration The requirement to protect critical areas, particularly wetlands and fish and wildlife habitats, means that the values and functions of such ecosystems must be maintained The requirement to protect critical areas, particularly wetlands and fish and wildlife habitats, means that the values and functions of such ecosystems must be maintained In no case can CAOs result in a net loss of the value and functions of such ecosystems within a watershed In no case can CAOs result in a net loss of the value and functions of such ecosystems within a watershed Tulalip Tribes v. Snohomish County, CPSGMHB Case No , FDO, p. 11 (January 8, 1997).

11 Key Process Requirements Encourage citizen participation RCW 36.70A.020 (11) Encourage citizen participation RCW 36.70A.020 (11) Prepare and disseminate a public participation program that provides for early and continuous public involvement. RCW 36.70A.140 Prepare and disseminate a public participation program that provides for early and continuous public involvement. RCW 36.70A.140 Review and evaluate CAOs. RCW 36.70A.130(1)(a) Review and evaluate CAOs. RCW 36.70A.130(1)(a) Include best available science in the record. RCW 36.70A.172(1) Include best available science in the record. RCW 36.70A.172(1)

12 How to Find Out More About What the GMA Means Growth Management Act Goal and Requirements Growth Management Act Goal and Requirements CTED Regulations & Guidance CTED Regulations & Guidance Growth Board Digests Growth Board Digests Growth Board Decisions Growth Board Decisions

13 Jurisdiction for Appeals (Appeals to Superior Court)

14 Four Steps to a Successful Appeal 1. You need to participate in the City or County’s adoption of the CAO Update 2. The data that shows the CAO does not comply with the GMA must be on the record 3. You need to file the appeal within 60 calendar days of the notice of adoption 4. You need to show in the briefing and oral argument how the CAO does not comply with the GMA

15 Web Links Growth Board digests and decisions: Growth Board digests and decisions: Source for Growth Management Act and state regulations: Source for Growth Management Act and state regulations: State Wetlands Delineation Manual : State Wetlands Delineation Manual :


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