City of Oak Harbor, Whidbey Island, Washington, Whidbey Island's Premier Waterfront Community

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865 SE Barrington Drive
Oak Harbor, WA 98277
Phone: 360-279-4500
Fax: 360-279-4507

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Critical Areas Ordinance Update Proposed Code Amendments

Critical Areas Ordinance Update Proposed Code Amendments

The Growth Management Act (RCW 36.70A) requires cities and counties to periodically review and revise (if needed) development regulations to ensure they are consistent with the recently adopted comprehensive plan and federal and state regulations. A key set of development regulations are the city’s critical areas regulations. Critical areas include: wetlands; fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas; geologically hazardous areas; critical aquifer recharge areas; and, frequently flooded areas.

Oak Harbor’s critical areas were last updated in 2005. As was required in 2005, these regulations are based on “best available science” to protect the functions and values of critical areas and give special consideration to conservation or protection measures necessary to preserve or enhance anadromous fisheries. While most critical area chapters are not proposed to change too much, others, such as wetlands and fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas, have been the focus of substantial study and research over the last 12 years. The proposed amendments in those chapters represent incorporation of that new, best available science.

To review the proposed draft Ordinance, please click HERE to down load the PDF. To view the proposed amendments in context, please click HERE.  To view the City Council Public Hearing Notice for the July 5 City Council Meeting, click HERE.

If you have any questions about the Critical Areas Ordinance Update, please contact Senior Planner Dennis Lefevre at