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Critical Area Ordinance appeals


The Yakima Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) amended its Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO) by adoption of Ordinance No. 6-2011 on July 12, 2011.  This legislative action is the most recent action taken by the BOCC to address critical area issues appealed to the Growth Management Hearings Board.  The County’s amendments to its CAO initially were adopted as ordinances 13-2007 and 15-2007; and subsequently by Ord. 9-2009, and Ord. 1-2011 and 2-2011.  The purpose for the County’s recent amendments to its CAO was to address compliance issues that were unresolved under prior legislative actions.  

The Hearings Board has now found the County to be compliant on all appeal issues, except the issues involving regulation of Type-5 streams and stream and wetland buffers.  These two remaining issues are subject to the Hearing Board’s stay pending a decision of the appellate courts.

Shoreline Master Program appeals

The Yakima County Shoreline Master Program (SMP) became effective on February 25, 2010, subsequent to Ecology’s approval of the SMP and the BOCC’s approval of Resolution 54-2010.   The Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation filed a Petition for Review to the Eastern Washington Growth Management Hearings Board.  The Hearings Board upheld Ecology’s and Yakima County’s position on three of the four shoreline protection issues presented but as to surface mining, the Board reversed Ecology’s decision to approve Yakima County’s Shoreline Master Program and remanded the matter back to Ecology and the County for the purpose of complying with the Shoreline Management Act.

Yakima County has completed a supplemental cumulative impacts analysis (CIA) to correct the deficiencies in the original cumulative impacts analysis identified by the Eastern Growth Management Hearings Board.   Washington State Department of Ecology has reviewed the CIA and determined that no substantive changes to the SMP are required.   Yakima County is currently waiting a compliance hearing with the Hearings Board.