Streams, slopes or wetlands are more than just pretty landscape features. They provide valuable environmental benefits, including cleaning the air we breathe and filtering the water we drink. To explain more about these benefits and give property owners guidance about protecting these "critical areas," Bellevue will offer free training.
Developed in response to common questions people applying for permits have been asking since Bellevue adopted a critical areas ordinance in 2006, the training is set for Tuesday, December 15, 6 to 8 p.m., at City Hall. Registration is not required.
So people can find useful details about critical areas in Bellevue any time, the city has created a series of fact sheets about critical areas now available at the city's Development Services Center.
Bellevue's critical areas ordinance was adopted to protect ecologically fragile areas that, among other things, limit water pollution and flooding and maintain slope stability. In addition to streams, slopes or wetlands, critical areas include shorelines, floodplains and habitat. Property owners who take them into account when starting a project -- such as remodeling, landscaping or tree removal -- can save time and money.
The training is designed to establish a common understanding of the types and definitions of critical areas, how they are regulated and the vital ecological services they provide the community. A discussion of several common permitting and development scenarios will be included. Land use professionals with extensive experience working with the public on implementing these rules and regulations will conduct the training.
In addition to training property owners, the Development Services Department offers a popular seminar about critical areas to architects, engineers and environmental consultants, the professionals commonly hired by landowners to draft development plans and analyze environmental impacts.
A training session for professionals has been scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 19. Registration information for the upcoming critical areas training for professionals can be accessed at My Building Permit.
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