Critical Areas

Aberdeen's Critical Areas Code governs areas of Aberdeen that provide critical environmental functions. For example, wetlands can protect water quality and provide fish and wildlife habitat. Our code also addresses areas that represent particular challenges for development due to geologic or other natural conditions. The goal of our code regulations, (Aberdeen Municipal Code (AMC) chapter 14.100) is to effectively protect these areas and to protect public safety while allowing reasonable development in our city.

Designated environmentally critical areas are defined in AMC 14.100.020 and are generally described as:

  • Fish and Wildlife Habitat Conservation Areas including:
    • Riparian watercourses (all streams and Haller and Bitter Lakes)
    • Riparian Management Areas (the land within 100 feet of riparian watercourse)
    • Areas designated by Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife as priority habitats and species areas
    • Shoreline Habitat, which is all Type 1 waters in Aberdeen, including
  • Frequently Flooded areas
  • Geologic hazard areas including:
    • Landslide/Liquefaction-prone areas (including steep slope areas, potential landslide areas, and  known landslide areas and sites with loose, saturated soil that lose the strength needed to support a building during earthquakes)
    • Erosion-prone areas
    • Seismic and Shaking hazard areas
  • Wetlands

2021 Amended Critical Areas Ordinance