Regional workshop on the Critical Areas Ordinance June 18

The San Juan County Association of REALTORS will host a regional workshop on the Critical Areas Ordinance June 18, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at the Anacortes Library, 1220 10th St., Anacortes.

The event is free and open to the public. Tim Gambrell, association executive, San Juan County Association of REALTORS, said the event is co-hosted by Washington REALTORS, and is being held in Anacortes to accommodate participants from the mainland.

The speakers:

— Robert Furstenberg is an ecologist who has spent the last 15 years working on various aspects of salmon recovery in the Puget Sound area.

— Dr. Lyden C. Lee is the founder and principal ecologist at L.C. Lee & Associates, Inc. in Seattle. He is a nationally recognized wetland and river science and regulatory expert and Director of the National Wetland Science Training Cooperative.

— Jana Hansen, director of Community and Economic Development Department for the City of Mount Vernon, with several years experience in environmental and urban planning.

— Attorney David Reynolds is an attorney with extensive experience on land use, environmental, shoreline, Indian Law and other matters, including regulation at all levels of government and owner of Dennis D. Reynolds Law Office on Bainbridge Island.

— Attorney Charles Klinge is a land-use attorney with extensive experience with environmental and land-use issues and is a partner in the law office of Groen Stephens & Klinge LLP in Bellevue.

The speakers will touch on key topics regarding Critical Areas Ordinances and Shoreline Master Plan updates currently being considered by local governments around the state, including San Juan County.

Topics covered by the presentations include:

1. An approach to implementing CAO regulations that balances governmental needs to protect critical areas with the needs of property owners; and

2. Legal overviews on non-conforming uses and the Shoreline Master Program Update process.

RSVP to Gambrell: call 360-378-2101, fax 360-378-0825, e-mail

The Critical Areas Ordinance, or CAO, provides protections for items considered essential for the preservation of the quality of life in the county, including aquifers, fish and wildlife habitat, wetlands, geologically hazardous areas and frequently flooded areas.

San Juan County's update, which is required under the Growth Management Act, was due for completion in 2006. The latest revision of the work plan targets completion of county staff work in mid-2011.

In February, the San Juan County Council voted to restart a portion of the updating process and fund a review of the “Best Available Science” used in the drafting of the regulations to ensure that revisions to existing regulations are appropriate for the county’s island environment.

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