This critical areas protection chapter is intended to implement the provisions of RCW 36.70A.060, and to further the objectives of the town of Cathlamet comprehensive plan and the town of Cathlamet shoreline management master program. In compliance with the mandate of the Washington State Growth Management Act, the town finds that certain portions of the town constitute critical areas. These critical areas contain valuable natural resources, perform important ecological functions and processes, provide scenic and recreational qualities important to the character of the town, and/or present a hazard to life and property.
In addition, this chapter reflects the policy of the town of Cathlamet that any proposed method to conserve resource land should emphasize maintenance of existing practices. This chapter is not intended to deprive any person of the viable economic use of his/her property. To the extent that private property is regulated under this chapter, review and processing of permits shall be coordinated with other land use approvals so that additional bureaucratic burdens are not imposed upon the landowner.
Identification, designation, and regulation of critical areas are, therefore, necessary to promote the public health, safety and general welfare of the town’s citizens by provisions designed:
(1) To classify and designate geologically hazardous areas, frequently flooded areas, potential aquifer recharge areas, wetlands, and fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas, as defined herein, as critical areas that are of special concern to the town of Cathlamet;
(2) To protect critical areas from the adverse impact of development located within such designated areas, while protecting the constitutional rights of property owners;
(3) To reduce the potential for personal injury, loss of life, property damage or financial losses due to flooding, erosion, landslides or steep slope failures;
(4) To protect against publicly financed expenditures due to the misuse of critical areas which causes unnecessary maintenance and replacement of public facilities and avoidable costs for public emergency rescue and relief operations;
(5) To protect the rural lifestyle and quality of life of the town of Cathlamet by preserving the town’s natural resources. (Ord. 433 § 1, 2002)