b'CITY NEWSUnderstanding Critical AreasThe BasicsBY HOLLY KEETON, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DIRECTORThe City of Normandy Parkgo hand-in-hand in Washington.of regulations without forcing is a lush, biodiverse part ofAll of these topographic featureseveryone to be a municipal Washington; its beauty isrequire additional review andcode expert. A series of articles present in stretching shoreline,professional assessment thatwill be published in City Scene majestic mature growth treesrequire the property owner toin the coming year to help the as well as lakes and streams.find and hire an environmentalcritical area and review process Living in such a stunning placespecialist and apply for permits.become less of an enigma and to can, unfortunately, presentIt is important to know that if youteach the public about the local burdens for property owners ashave a slope, a body of watertopography, followed by another the natural landscape in suchor commonly damp soil areason slopes or bluffs (geohazard areas also carries regulatoryon your property, or such areasareas), work within a stream or responsibilities. City staffwithin 60 feet of your property,wetland buffer, and work within realizes that being proactivethen you are likely subject tothe shoreline jurisdiction. in addressing the presence ofcritical areas regulations, foundWith the regions sunny season critical areas within the City ofin the City of Normandy Parkat its start, many people will Normandy Park will likely serveMunicipal Code (NPMC), Chapterplan home improvements as a benefit to both citizens and18.36. These regulations oftenand landscaping projects. Its staff. The goals of this article arerequire that a property owner hireimportant to understand that to tell you about critical areas, toa geotechnical engineer and/orif you plan to do any type of help you identify if you might bebiologist to assess the site priorwork in a critical area, it likely located in a critical area, and toto any site work being allowed.requires a permit, which can only provide you with what you needWhen such work is undertakenbe provided after the review of to know if you are located in onewithout a permit, it becomes athe appropriate environmental of those areas.code enforcement issue. Staffreports. These reports must The City of Normandy Parkmembers have joined togetheraddress the specific elements consists of many critical areas. to discuss how we can help It is covered with shoreline atcitizens become more awarecontinued next pagethe westerly city boundary; lining much of the shoreline are steep bluffs and slopes, while wetlands are also found throughout the city. If you reside in a lowland or aIf you are unsure of whether or not you are highland, chances are you live inlocated in a critical area, staff is available a critical area. The lowlands are prone to wetland characteristicsto assist you in understanding preliminary while the highlands have steep slopes that also border streamsdata tied to your property. Please contact in some areas. If you live nearCommunity Development for more information the shoreline (all property 200 feet from the ordinary high waterby emailing permits@normandyparkwa.govmark), its likely that you have more than one type of sensitiveor by calling 206-248-8260. area present on your property as steep slopes and shoreline often 12 NORMANDY PARK CITY SCENE|SUMMER 2020'