County Council mulls delay in CAO startup date

The San Juan County Council will consider postponing until May 1 the date that the recently approved update of the critical areas ordinance would take effect.

The County Council agreed it would consider postponement of the CAO startup date atf a Feb. 12 public hearing, beginning at 10:15 a.m., allowing for testimony by the public on the topic.

Approved by the council Dec. 3, updates to the CAO, which applies to wetlands, aquifer recharge areas, frequently flooded areas, fish and wildlife habitat and geologically hazardous areas, are slated to take effect March 1.

A postponement would allow an additional two months for county staff to complete a series of workshops for design professionals, planning staff, real estate professionals, and to develop materials and information to assist individuals in understanding revisions of the ordinance before it takes effect, according to a county press release.

Councilwoman Patty Miller, Orcas East, said the delay would provide time to "ensure a solid implementation of the new regulations."

The county Community Development and Planning Department is sponsoring a pair of workshops for land-use design professionals, land-use planners and attorneys, and consultants who regularly deal with development permits and land-use codes. The first workshop is Jan. 30, 8:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m., at the Mullis Street Fire Station, 1011 Mullis Street, in Friday Harbor. The second, on Orcas Island, is Feb. 6, 10:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., at the Eastsound Fire Station, 45 Lavender Lane.

Registration is required for each workshop. To register, contact CDPD's Lynda Guernsey, (360) 370-7579, or, with name, phone number, email address, and the workshop you wish to attend.

Two workshops on San Juan County’s new critical area regulations have been scheduled for design professionals, planners, land use attorneys and consultants who deal with permits and land use codes:



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