August 16, 2017 Wendy Harris Action
The [Whatcom] county staff and council are not including the proper legal standard for CAO [Critical Areas Ordinance] protection. We must protect critical areas and the ecosystems in which they are located against a net loss of ecological function and value. Instead, the county limits review to critical areas to the development site, and maybe a short distance beyond (I am not sure if this has been changed.)
Tell the county to follow the law.
Under WAC 365-196-830(4) : Development regulations may not allow a net loss of the functions and values of the ecosystem that includes the impacted or lost critical areas.
WAC 365-196-830(6): Functions and values must be evaluated at a scale appropriate to the function being evaluated. Functions are the conditions and processes that support the ecosystem. Conditions and processes operate on varying geographic scales ranging from site-specific to watershed and even regional scales. Some critical areas, such as wetlands and fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas, may constitute ecosystems or parts of ecosystems that transcend the boundaries of individual parcels and jurisdictions, so that protection of their function, and values should be considered on a larger scale.
WAC 365-196-830(2): Critical areas that must be protected include the following areas and ecosystems:…..
WAC 365-196-200(5): Revised Definitions: Critical areas include specific “areas and ecosystems”.
How much more of your tax dollars do you want wasted on pointless lawsuits because the county does not want to comply with the law in order to protect agriculture and developers?
Email addresses for Whatcom County Council:
Messages can be copied to Whatcom County Planning officials and the Whatcom County Executive: