Critical Areas Ordinance Update


The City of Bainbridge Island is updating its Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO) under the Washington Growth Management Act. The CAO (Bainbridge Island Municipal Code Chapter 16.20) is the portion of local code that provides development standards for protecting the environment and minimizing risk to human safety.  Critical areas include:

   - Critical Aquifer Recharge Areas;
   - Fish and Wildlife Habitat Conservation Areas;
   - Frequently Flooded Areas;
   - Geologically Hazardous Areas; and
   - Wetlands.

The primary intent of the update is to revise code as necessary to comply with state mandates that require cities to periodically review and evaluate their adopted critical areas policies and regulations, including consideration and use of best available science (BAS). The update will include:

   - Incorporation of Comprehensive Plan policies and implementing actions
   - Correction of inconsistencies with the Shoreline Master Program (SMP)
   - Incorporation of relevant BAS available since the last update
   - Updates to comply with GMA updates and/or other laws or recent decisions
   - Corrections of errors or internal inconsistencies
   - Inclusion of code updates identified by staff to improve implementation
   - Consideration of other updates proposed through the public process

Background Information

Supporting information for the CAO update includes:
Issues/Topics for Consideration  

Background, Scope of Work and Schedule 

 Current CAO  

Schedule and Opportunities for Public Input

Staff anticipates the update will be completed this year. Planning Commission will review the CAO at its regularly-scheduled meetings on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month. Planning Commission will forward a recommendation to the City Council sometime this summer. Planning Commission and City Council meetings will include opportunity for public comment, including at least one public hearing.
Public participation is invited throughout the CAO update process. Check this page for updated project information, timelines, draft documents and meeting notices. You may also join an email listserv to receive timely project notifications:  Notify Me
If you have questions or comments regarding this project please contact Senior Planner Christy Carr at (206) 780-3719 or