2018-2019 Critical Areas/ Shoreline Master Program Update
Critical Areas Update:
The Growth Management Act (chapter 36.70A RCW) requires that the City of Mercer Island engage in continuing review and evaluation of its development regulations related to the protection of environmentally critical areas. On February 6, 2018, the City Council reviewed the proposed scope of work for evaluating the critical areas regulations and the public engagement plan directed staff to proceed.
The Critical Areas code update fulfills a requirement of the Growth Management Act (GMA) for cities to review and, if needed, revise their development regulations to ensure that they comply with the GMA. Compliance with the GMA means adopting development regulations that protect critical areas, which are defined in state law as (a) wetlands; (b) areas with a critical recharging effect on aquifers used for potable water; (c) fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas; (d) frequently flooded areas; and (e) geologically hazardous areas. RCW 36.70A.030(5). Currently, regulations protecting these features are generally contained in chapter 19.07 of the Mercer Island City Code. The last update of the Critical Areas code occurred in 2005.
The resulting amendments to the critical areas regulations would also apply within the shoreline area; however, to amend the regulations within the shoreline jurisdiction, the City is required to undertake a Shoreline Master Program amendment. Even if the City did not engage in an update to the Critical Areas code, an update to the Shoreline Master Program (SMP) is required in 2019 by state law (chapter 90.58 RCW). Fortunately, the City can update the SMP once, by processing the Critical Areas code update as a SMP amendment that also meets the requirements of the state-mandated SMP update.
Shoreline Master Program Update:
Scope of Work
Click here to view the scope of work for the Critical Areas Update.
Click here to view the Request for Proposals (RFP).
Request for Proposal
Responses to questions received regarding this project:
- The budget includes $125,000 for the Critical Areas Code update and $70,000 for the SMP update, although staff’s expectation is that this entire amount will not be necessary to complete these projects.
- It likely that at least some of the Increased Responsibilities will be included in the contract. Deciding factors on whether and how many will be part of the contract include staff permitting workload and quality of consultant work products.
Planning Commission Schedule