Critical Areas Planning

Adopted Critical Areas Regulations

The current critical areas regulations can be found in Anacortes Municipal Code Chapter 19.70.

The Growth Management Act (GMA) requires that local jurisdictions periodically review, and revise, if needed, critical areas regulations pursuant to RCW 36.70A.130. 

The City's most recent periodic review and update was completed on July 26, 2021, with City Council adoption of Ordinance 3064. The CAO was subsequently amended via Ordinance 4015 (adopted 3/28/22) and Ordinance 4025 (adopted 10/17/22).

Critical areas are features of the landscape that perform key functions to enhance our environment and protect us from hazards. Under the Growth Management Act (GMA), Anacortes is required to designate critical areas and protect their functions and values. There are five types of critical areas identified in the GMA:
• Wetlands
• Areas with a critical recharging effect on aquifers used for potable water
• Frequently flooded areas
• Geologically hazardous areas
• Fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas, including streams