Critical Areas

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What are critical areas?
Section 12.08.040 (5) of the Wenatchee City Code (WCC) defines critical areas as an individual or  combination of wetlands, critical aquifer recharge areas, frequently flooded areas or geologically hazardous areas, and fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas.  Download the Critical Areas Map for current designations. 

Why do we protect critical areas?
The state Legislature has passed RCW 36.70A.060, which mandates local governments that plan under 36.70A.040 to adopt development regulations to ensure the conservation of agricultural, forest and mineral resource lands, and to adopt development regulations precluding land uses or development that is incompatible with critical areas designated under RCW 36.70A.170.

Can we develop property within a critical area?
The Resource Lands and Critical Areas Development Chapter 12.08 of the WCC, provides guidance to protect critical areas and their functions and values, while allowing development that provides an economic benefit or productive use of private property.

For more information on critical areas development, please contact the Department.

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