Community Development

Critical Areas 1990 - 2003

Comprehensive Plan
Unified Development Code (UDC)
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621 Sheridan Street
Port Townsend,
WA 98368

Phone: 360.379.4450
Fax: 360.379.4451


Monday - Thursday
9:00 to 4:30                     

closed 12:00 - 1:00 for lunch

Fridays, Weekends & Holidays Closed

Planning Process 1990-2003

The GMA at RCW 36.70A.060 required that local jurisdictions adopt development regulations that protect critical areas on or before September 1, 1991 (or March 1, 1992 for those not "fully planning" under GMA).  Following the CTED guidelines to classify critical areas (WAC 365-190-080), Jefferson County adopted an Interim Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO) on May 9, 1994 through Ordinance No. 05-0509-94, amended on June 26, 1995 through Ordinance No. 14-0626-95.

The Comprehensive Plan, adopted on August 28, 1998, included critical areas maps and goals and policies related to the protection of critical areas.

The Interim CAO remained in effect until January 16, 2001, the effective date of the Unified Development Code (UDC), adopted through Ordinance No. 11-1218-00 on December 18, 2000.   The provisions to protect critical areas are found in Article VI-D of the Jefferson County Code (JCC), beginning at JCC 18.15.185.  There have been amendments to some critical areas provisions since initial adoption of the UDC.

The GMA was amended in 1995 to include the requirement that local jurisdictions consider "best available science" (BAS) when establishing protection measures for critical areas.  [See Part Nine of Chapter 365-190 WAC.]  Jefferson County considered BAS during the review and adoption process for the UDC in the year 2000.

As part of the BAS review in 2000, the following "white paper" was drafted, with a focus on riparian buffers for protecting the habitat of anadromous fish (which spawn in freshwaters and live part of their life cycles in marine waters):

Amendments made to the UDC since initial adoption have included BAS.  Amendments concerned wetland mitigation ratios, designating zones vulnerable to seawater intrusion as critical aquifer recharge areas, and modifying exemptions to standard stream and wetland buffers for existing and ongoing agriculture.

The County has also been party to a pair of East Jefferson County-specific studies since adoption of the UDC.

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