Critical Areas Ordinance Update

What’s New

The City Council will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 to accept public comment on the draft critical areas ordinance. Please refer to City Council Agendas for the approximate time. The public hearing draft document will be available for review on December 29, 2017.

Background documents available for review include:

Summary of Public Comments
Summary of Changes to Draft CAO
Best Available Science Review
BAS Review Attachment A
BAS Review Attachment B
Ordinance 2017-17


The City of Bainbridge Island is updating its Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO) under the Washington Growth Management Act. The CAO (Bainbridge Island Municipal Code Chapter 16.20) is the portion of local code that provides development standards for protecting the environment and minimizing risk to human safety.  Critical areas include:

   - Critical Aquifer Recharge Areas;
   - Fish and Wildlife Habitat Conservation Areas;
   - Frequently Flooded Areas;
   - Geologically Hazardous Areas; and
   - Wetlands.

Summary Sheets

Two summary sheets are available to provide a quick look at proposed changes in the critical areas ordinance:

Critical Areas Ordinance Summary Sheet - Provides a high-level overview of proposed changes throughout the ordinance.

Native Vegetation Protection Area - Answers the questions, "Where did the idea come from?" and "What is it and where does it apply?" about the new Native Vegetation Protection Area (NVPA) requirement in the critical aquifer recharge areas section (BIMC 16.20.100).

Draft Documents

City Council Revised Public Hearing Draft - January 9, 2018
City Council Revised Public Hearing Draft - November 14, 2017
City Council Revised Public Hearing Draft - October 24, 2017
City Council Public Hearing Draft - October 3, 2017
Planning Commission Recommended Draft Ordinance


Background Information

Supporting information for the CAO update includes:
SEPA Notice of Determination of Non-Significance
SEPA Environmental Checklist
Issues/Topics for Consideration  
Background, Scope of Work and Schedule 
Current CAO  
Critical Areas Ordinance Transmittal Memo to Council
BAS References

Schedule and Opportunities for Public Input

City Council meetings begin at 7:00 PM, in City Hall Council Chambers, 280 Madison Avenue North.  If you are unable to attend, you may submit comments to the City Clerk via hand-delivery, first class mail or by e-mail at cityclerk@bainbridgewa.govWritten comments will be accepted until the public hearing is closed and will be part of the record for Council's consideration of the Ordinance. 

Public participation is invited throughout the CAO update process. Check this page for updated project information, timelines, draft documents and meeting notices. You may also join an email listserv to receive timely project notifications:  Notify Me
If you have questions or comments regarding this project please contact Senior Planner Christy Carr at (206) 780-3719 or