MONTESANO, Wash. - The Grays Harbor County Commissioners yesterday adopted an ordinance revising the County's Critical Areas Ordinance, and designating natural resource lands.
John Kliem, President of Creative Community Solutions explained the goal of the new ordinance to the commissioners at yesterday's meeting.
...reflects the work that's come out of the legal challenge to the county's original critical areas ordinance, and a request to go ahead and designate resource lands of long term commercial significance. - John Kliem
The Critical Areas Ordinance establishes building regulations for wetlands, aquifers, fish and wildlife conservation areas, frequently flooded areas, and geologically hazardous areas.
Commissioner Mike Wilson said the ordinance was a long time coming, and commended staff that worked on the culmination of five workshops on the matter.
It's hard to get people to agree on everything, but to at least come to the acceptance that there is something here that is good, I believe this is in the best interest of the people and the county. - Commissioner Mike Wilson
Washington’s Growth Management Act requires all counties and cities to adopt the Ordinance in order to outline regulations for all new development on or adjacent to "critical areas." Grays Harbor was the last county in the state to do so, and was legally challenged in July of 2010 by Futurewise and Friends of Grays Harbor who argued that the original ordinance did not do enough to protect fragile wetlands.