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Erosion, flood, landslide, and seismic hazard areas, streams, wetlands, protective buffers, and wildlife habitat areas constitute critical areas that are of special concern to the city. The purpose of this chapter is to designate, classify and protect the critical areas of the Everett community by establishing standards for development and use of properties which contain or adjoin critical areas and thus protect the public health, safety, and welfare by:

A. Preserving, protecting, and restoring critical areas by regulating development within such areas and their buffers;

B. Mitigating unavoidable adverse impacts by regulating alterations when protection cannot be required;

C. Protecting the public from personal injury, loss of life or property damage due to flooding, erosion, landslides, seismic events, or soil subsidence;

D. Avoiding publicly financed expenditures to correct misuses of critical areas, which may cause:

1. Unnecessary maintenance and replacement of public facilities,

2. Publicly funded mitigation of avoidable impacts,

3. Public costs for emergency rescue and relief operations where the causes are avoidable, or

4. Degradation of the natural environment;

E. Protecting and enhancing unique, sensitive, and valuable elements of the environment, including fish and wildlife habitat;

F. Alerting appraisers, assessors, owners, potential buyers or lessees to the presence of critical areas and the respective development limitations of such areas;

G. Providing city officials with sufficient information, direction and authority to protect critical areas when evaluating public or private development proposals;

H. Implementing the policies of the Growth Management Act, State Environmental Policy Act, Chapter 43.21C RCW, Chapter 19.43 EMC, the city’s comprehensive plan, and all updates and amendments, functional plans and other land use policies formally adopted or accepted by the city; and

I. Providing for the maintenance and enhancement of views, solar access, and/or elimination of future potential hazards or nuisances while protecting critical area functions and values. (Ord. 3323-13 § 1, 2013; Ord. 2909-06 § 2, 2006.)