Planning Process 2004-2007


Pursuant to RCW 36.70A.130(4), Jefferson County must take action every seven years to review and, if needed, revise its Comprehensive Plan and development regulations to ensure that the Plan and regulations continue to comply with the GMA. The deadline to complete the first seven-year update is December 1, 2004.

For more information on the State-mandated update, visit the webpage of CTED Growth Management Services. CTED has a portal page for information on the update process, including these frequently asked questions (PDF). For general information on Jefferson County's response to this mandate, visit the "2004 Update" page.

As part of the "2004 Update" process, County staff and consultants reviewed current BAS to determine whether amendments to critical area protections in the UDC are warranted as part of the review mandate under RCW 36.70A.130(4).

The 2004 Docket Integrated Staff Report and SEPA Addendum incorporates staff review of BAS and associated UDC amendment proposals. The following two documents are Appendix Items in the Report:
  • Item 15: Review of Best Available Science
  • Item 16: Proposed UDC Amendments per Review of Best Available Science
The BAS Review references maps and reports released in 2004 on East Jefferson County Core Habitats and Corridors and Channel Migration Zone Hazards.

The author of the white paper reviewing BAS (Item 15 linked above) submitted a letter in response to comments received by the County concerning the critical areas proposal:
  • Christensen BAS response letter November 15, 2004
In the late autumn of 2004, the Planning Commission and staff jointly recommended the following to the BoCC with regard to protections for critical areas.

Proposed UDC amendments, 2004

Proposed UDC Amendments per Review of Best Available Science with one additional change: Substitute the technical reference contained in UDC 3.6.9(1)(a). Replace Washington State Department of Ecology's Wetland Rating System for Western Washington, 2nd Edition, 1993, with Washington State Wetland Rating System for Western Washington-Revised (Ecology Publication #04-06-014), August 2004.

On December 13, 2004, through Ordinance No. 17-1213-04, the BoCC re-adopted UDC Section 3, the section of the code that contains the regulatory protections for environmentally critical areas, rather than adopt the Planning Commission and staff-recommended UDC amendments or any other changes to the code.

The BoCC addressed this letter to the Washington State Association of Counties (WSAC) concerning the BAS requirement:

BoCC Letter to WSAC re: BAS 12/14/04

A copy of the letter was also sent to the State Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development (CTED) and other parties.


A petition for review was filed with the Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board (WWGMHB) by the Washington Environmental Council (WEC), asserting that the County's "failure to act" to modify critical areas protections in 2004 has resulted in a state of non-compliance with the GMA.

The County expects to bring into the public review process in 2005 a proposed set of UDC amendments related to critical areas protection.

As a form of introduction, the Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) met with the Managing Director for CTED Growth Management Services and other state officials to discuss best available science (BAS) and critical areas on April 14 at WSU Extension in Hadlock.
  • Agenda for BoCC / CTED Workshop on BAS April 14, 2005
The BoCC is the decision-making body for adoption of amendments to the development code. The Planning Commission is the advisory body that will review proposed UDC amendments in a public process and make a recommendation to the BoCC.

DCD and the Planning Commission hosted three critical areas workshops in the months of May and June 2005.
  • Press Release on Critical Areas Workshops May 6, 2005
The public workshops were held at the regular meeting times of the Planning Commission, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., at the WSU Community Learning Center in Hadlock. The agendas included public comment periods following presentations from guests and discussion among Planning Commissioners and Long-Range Planning staff.

The schedule for the workshops included the following:
  • May 18: Wetlands and New DNR Stream Typing System
  • June 1: Channel Migration Zones and Preliminary Shoreline Inventory and Analysis
  • June 15: Wildlife Core Habitat Areas & Corridors, Conservation Planning, Agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs)
  • Suzanne Tomassi, wildlife biologist, presents 2004 wildlife study of east Jefferson County
  • Tami Pokorny, Jefferson County Natural Resources, and Stephanie Reith, Jefferson Land Trust, provide an overview of habitat conservation programs in Jefferson County
  • Andy Cook, attorney at law, Building Industry Association of Washington, discusses legal complications with "best available science"


DCD has developed a set of proposed amendments for the Unified Development Code (UDC) associated with the designation and protection of environmentally critical areas. The proposal was developed in accordance with direction from the Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) in January 2006.
  • Legal Notice: MLA06-242 published March 17, 2006
  • MLA06-242 application - includes proposed line-in/line-out code amendments - March 17, 2006

Frequently Asked Questions

"Frequently Asked Questions" sheet for Jefferson County re: Critical Areas corrected September 7, 2006
"Frequently Asked Questions" sheet for West End residents re: Critical Areas July 14, 2006

Updated Review Schedule & Process

May 17

DCD issues proposal for public review. Legal notice appears in the Leader newspaper. Initial timeline anticipates Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) legislative action on or before July 18, 2006.

The Planning Commission is tasked with developing a recommendation for BoCC consideration.

June 7

The Planning Commission holds a public hearing on the proposal at the WSU Community Learning Center in Port Hadlock, 6:30 p.m. The public hearing is extended to June 21.

June 21

Planning Commission public hearing continues. The Planning Commission extends the written comment period indefinitely. Comments can be emailed.

July 10

The BoCC agrees to a settlement agreement amendment that delays consideration of the proposal. The BoCC now expects to take legislative action on or before January 18, 2007. The May 17 proposal will be revised through a Planning Commission committee process working with a group of representative stakeholders.

August 2

Planning Commission Critical Areas workshop to provide update on process and timeline and to answer questions from the public on the current proposal, process for revising the proposal, and Critical Areas requirements under State law. Planning Commission meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.; Critical Areas topic is expected at approximately 7:30 p.m. See Planning Commission agenda and the DCD press releases. The Planning Commission establishes a Critical Areas Committee with an associated Advisory Group of representative stakeholders.

August 10, 2006 to April 1, 2007

A Planning Commission committee works with an Advisory Group of representative stakeholders to review available scientific information, revise the May 17 proposal, and describe and defend the recommended revisions. The committee-stakeholder process is open to the public. A committee report is expected by April 1, 2007.

Note: The Committee was originally projected to complete its work by October 1, 2006. On October 9, the BoCC granted a time extension request.

Once the Critical Areas Committee Report is Completed: A revised Critical Areas proposal comes before the full Planning Commission and the general public. The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing. The BoCC may also hold a public hearing. The BoCC is expected to make a legislative decision.

Revised Timeline

According to an anticipated amendment to the Second Settlement Agreement with growth management petitioner WEC, the BoCC is expected to take legislative action to amend Jefferson County's critical areas provisions on or before October 18, 2007.

East Jefferson County Maps & Reports

The following east Jefferson County-specific maps and reports are referenced in the BAS review for the "2004 update" and subsequent 2005-2006 critical areas planning process.

Wildlife Habitat

  • East Jefferson County Core Habitats & Corridors 2004
  • Final Draft Wildlife Strategies Document September 2004

Channel Migration Zones (CMZs)

The following CMZ maps are marked "Draft - For Review Only" during the review process for the 2006 Critical Areas code amendment proposal. Final maps will be produced. An "example legend" is also linked below providing more detail on the hazard zone classifications. The 2006 CMZ maps have been updated from 2004 using Washington Department of Ecology CMZ protocols.
  • Example legend for CMZ maps
  • East Jefferson County CMZ maps January 28, 2006 between 1.5 and 2.0 MB each
    • Little Quilcene River
    • Upper Big Quilcene River
    • Lower Big Quilcene River
    • Upper Dosewallips River
    • Lower Dosewallips River
    • Duckabush River
  • Channel Migration Hazard Maps: Final Report (Perkins Geosciences) February 2006 2.4 MB
  • Channel Migration Zone Study: Jefferson County, Washington (J. Klawon, Bureau of Reclamation) September 2004 large file - 7 MB
Note: Appendix B to the Klawon CMZ report, Historical Ortho-photography Metadata and Accuracy Reports, is available at DCD.