Jefferson County commissioners Chair Kate Dean, right, responds to public comment with District 2 Commissioner David Sullivan at their Monday morning meeting. (Zach Jablonski/Peninsula Daily News)

Jefferson County commissioners Chair Kate Dean, right, responds to public comment with District 2 Commissioner David Sullivan at their Monday morning meeting. (Zach Jablonski/Peninsula Daily News)

Jefferson commissioners set ordinance deadline

EDITOR’S NOTE: The county’s approval of modifying a timeline to update the Critical Area Ordinance was in regard to a state Public Works Board grant for the Port Hadlock Urban Growth Area. This story corrects an earlier story that erroneously said that Monday’s action was connected with the Tarboo Ridge Coalition versus Jefferson County decision.

PORT TOWNSEND — The Jefferson Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution to modify the timeline to update the Critical Area Ordinance.

The decision was made at the board’s Monday morning meeting at the Jefferson County Courthouse.

The updated timeline is in response to a letter the commission received from the state Public Works Board regarding grant funding it had provided the county for the Port Hadlock Urban Growth Area, said Patty Charnas, Jefferson County director of community development.

The Critical Area Ordinance has to follow the established county comprehensive plan and adhere to regulation changes that the state changed in January.

The grant came with the condition that the county must complete or make substantial progress in its periodic review and update of their comprehensive plan, development regulations, and critical areas ordinance, Charnas said.

The letter clarified that the commission has to complete the update or the county may lose the legislative grant funding, Charnas said.

“This timeline will likely resolve the dispute between the County and the [Public Works Board] regarding the timeline for the [Critical Area Ordinance] adoption,” Charnas said via email.

Commissioners plan to adopt the final updated Critical Area Ordinance by Feb. 28, 2020.

The update will be worked on through a collaboration between the Critical Areas Regulatory Reform Task Force, the Department of Community Development, the Planning Commission and the Board of County Commissioners.

The full timeline for the county can be found at

The Critical Area Ordinance’s drafting was started in 2014, and in 2018, the commission agreed to separate the planning for the Comprehensive Plan and the Critical Area Ordinance, so the comprehensive plan could be moved forward to completion in December 2018.

The commission created a Critical Areas Regulatory Reform Task Force in July “to discuss and collectively recommend refinements to the policy, regulations an environmental standards of an existing draft [Critical Area Ordinance] update and to complete its review and deliver its recommendations to the Department of Community Development and to the Planning Commission,” the resolution said.

District 2 Commissioner David Sullivan said there is a lot of work that needs to be done on the update.

“This is ambitious I think,” Sullivan said. “But we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do.”


Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected].

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