Critical Areas

The City of Longview has adopted and administers through its Community Development Department a Critical Areas Ordinance Number 3082, which is set forth as Chapters 7.10 and Chapter 17.12 of the Longview Municipal Code. This Ordinance was mandated by the Washington State Growth Management Act (RCW 36.70A.060) and covers all land within the City.

Growth Management Act

The Growth Management Act requires all counties and the cities within them to identify and designate environmentally sensitive or critical areas and adopt development regulations to assure the conservation of such areas. The Longview Critical Area Ordinance is an ordinance designed to identify resource lands of long-term significance and designating and protecting critical resource areas which include:

  • Critical aquifer recharge areas
  • Fish and wildlife habitat
  • Frequently flooded areas
  • Geologically hazardous areas
  • Wetlands

Environmentally Sensitive Areas

These environmentally sensitive areas may contain valuable natural resources, may perform important ecological functions and processes, or, if developed, present potential hazards to life and property. In conjunction with other applications, the Critical Area Ordinance addresses the following:

  • Aquifer recharge areas: Aquifer recharge areas perform many important biological and physical functions that benefit the City and its residents, including storing and conveying groundwater. Protection of aquifer recharge areas is necessary to protect valuable groundwater resources.
  • Fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas: These conservation areas perform many physical and biological functions that include, but are not limited to, providing opportunities for:
    • Breeding
    • Cover
    • Food
    • Helping to maintain air and water quality
    • Maintaining and promoting diversity of species and habitat
    • Movements for fish and wildlife
    • Nesting
  • Frequently flooded areas: These lands pose a risk to public and private property and public health. Regulation of these lands promotes efficient use of the land and water resources by allocating frequently flooded areas to the uses for which they are best suited and to discourage obstructions to flood flows.
  • Geologic hazards: Geologic hazards pose a risk to the public and private property and to the natural systems that make up the City's environment. Future developments should be directed to more geologically stable areas and away from unsuitable ground. Lands identified as geologically hazardous are susceptible to:
    • Erosion
    • Landslides
    • Mining hazards
    • Seismic activity
    • Volcanic activity
  • Wetlands: Wetlands provide numerous valuable functions, including but not limited to, providing wildlife and fish habitat, water quality enhancement, flood and erosion control, and aquifer recharge and discharge.

Additional Information

For further information or to see if your property is identified as containing a regulated critical area, please contact the Planning Division at phone 360-442-5086.