Environmentally Critical Areas

Wetland area near Allen Lake.

Like other local counties and cities, Sammamish has regulations for protection of Environmentally Critical Areas. Environmentally critical areas include wetlands, streams and other fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas, frequently flooded areas, geologically hazardous areas, and aquifer recharge areas. The city’s Environmentally Critical Areas Regulations, found in Chapter 21A.50 of the Sammamish Municipal Code, set the standards and criteria for development or other activities proposed in and around critical areas.

2011/2012/2013 Environmentally Critical Areas Regulations Update

In December 2005 the City Council adopted current Environmentally Critical Areas Regulations to comply with a state statutory deadline. These regulations became effective on January 3, 2006. The Environmentally Critical Areas Regulations were developed using a Best Available Science (BAS) approach and updated the standards Sammamish had inherited from King County upon incorporation.

The Environmentally Critical Areas Regulations adopted in 2005 included a sunset clause that would cause certain provisions within the Environmentally Critical Areas Regulations to lapse at the end of 2009. The sunset clause was included in the 2005 regulations as a mechanism to cause the city to review and determine whether certain aspects of the environmental regulations (such as buffer requirements for streams and wetlands) should be modified. On December 1, 2009, the City Council extended the sunset date to January 3, 2012 to allow for a detailed review process to occur.

Updates for the 2011/2012/2013 Environmentally Critical Areas Regulations review process can be found on this site. Please check back for evolving information. Following are links to the project schedule and public comments supplied.

Department of Ecology Submittal

Department of Ecology Update

Tab 1

Tab 2

Tab 3

Tab 4

Tab 5

Tab 6

CD Copies are available to purchase containing email details referring to:

  • 5D Communication with State Tribes
  • 5N ECA Appeals – Emails 1
  • 5O ECA Appeals – Emails 2

Planning Commission Public Comments

Resource Guide

This Resource Guide is intended to provide a general overview of the relevant regulations, policy language, and context for the Environmentally Critical Area Regulations update.  The Resource Guide also contains a number of logistical documents (e.g. ground rules, calendar, etc.) and will eventually include a copy of the draft regulations as they are generated.  Consequently, the Resource Guide should be considered a working document that will be modified on a somewhat regular basis.

Tab 1 - Growth Management Summary

Tab 2 - Sammamish Comprehensive Plan Policy Excerpts

Tab 3 - Current Code

Tab 4 - Draft Code

Tab 5 - Known Topics

Tab 5 - Rules of Conduct

Tab 5 - Success Statement

Tab 6 - ECA Schedule

Tab 7 - Public Comment Summary Matrix

Tab 8 - Best Available Science

Tab 9 - Draft CARA, Seismic, FFA Regulations

Tab 10 - Draft Wetlands, Wetland Management Area Overlay, Streams, FWHCA, Lake Management Areas

Tab 11 - Draft Landslide Hazard Areas, Erosion Areas & Erosion Hazards Near Sensitive Water Bodies

Tab 12 - Draft Administrative Edits – ECA Regulations

Planning Commission Packet Material

March 1, 2012

March 15, 2012

April 5, 2012

April 19, 2012

May 3, 2012

May 17, 2012

June 14, 2012

June 28, 2012

July 12, 2012

July 26, 2012

August 8 and August 16, 2012

September 6, 2012

September 20, 2012

October 4, 2012

October 18, 2012

November 8, 2012

November 15, 2012

December 6, 2012

December 13, 2012

January 17, 2013

January 24, 2013

Current Environmentally Critical Areas Regulations

Adopted by City Council on Dec 20, 2005.

Chapter 21A.50 in the Sammamish Municipal Code.

Environmental Regulations Prior To 2006 Critical Areas Update

City Town Center Wetland Inventory

The city of Sammamish conducted a wetland inventory in and around the city’s proposed Town Center area. Results from this wetland inventory effort are available (see here). Included in this link is a map outlining the approximate boundary of each wetland and a “Wetland Rating Form - Western Washington”; which contains information about buffer requirements, the wetland classification and other important details. Please note that a map of some of the known critical areas within the larger city of Sammamish may be found through the NWMaps website (see here).


Maps, Exhibits and Forms

All critical areas maps are deemed advisory with the exception of the mapped critical aquifer recharge area, the flood insurance study for King County, and the wetland management area and erosion hazard near sensitive water bodies overlay maps.

Advisory maps are derived from various data sources and display the location of approximate critical areas boundaries. Critical areas that have not been mapped may be present. Critical areas may be shown where not actually present. The boundaries and extend of mapped critical areas maybe understated or overstated. Site specific critical areas studies may be needed to determine the location of accurate critical areas boundaries on individual parcels and development sites. The City of Sammamish assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in this mapped information.

City Council ECA Process Volume 1

Tab 1 - PC Handoff Material

Tab 2 - PC Approval Documents

Tab 3 - Rationale for deviations from BAS

Tab 4 - Existing Flexibilities

Tab 5 - Draft code

Tab 6 - Relevant Comprehensive Plan policies

Tab 7 - Growth Management Act requirements (RCW / WAC)

City Council ECA Process Volume 2

Tab 1 - Rules of Conduct

Tab 2 - BAS reports and addendums

Tab 3 - BAS/Critical Areas Reference Material

Tab 4 - Public/Agency Summary Sheets to PC

Tab 5 - Public Hearing drafts of evaluation forms

Tab 6 - Staff Recommendation Memo

City Council ECA Process Volume 3

Final ECA Code

Tab 1 - City Council Draft code

Tab 2 - Inter-jurisdictional Review of ECA Regulations by AMEC

Tab 3 - DRAFT Cumulative Impact Analysis by ESA, Inc (forthcoming)

Tab 4 - Summary of Council identified amendments to the Environmental Critical Areas (ECA) Regulations

Tab 5 - Staff Responses to City Council Questions on the Environmental Critical Area (ECA) regulations

Tab 6 - Public Comment to City Council