People with streams, slopes or wetlands on their property have one more thing to think about when they consider landscaping or remodeling. To give them guidance about these "critical areas," the City of 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 Wednesday, July 15, 6 to 8 p.m., at City Hall. Registration is required, and is available at My Parks and Recreation.
"The development and delivery of this training program is essential to the city's goals of giving customers the information they need and providing tools to create the smoothest permitting pathway," Development Services Director Mike Brennan said.
So people can find useful details about critical areas in Bellevue any time, the city has created a series of fact sheets, now available at the city's Development Services Center and on the Development Services Handouts page.
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 also developed a seminar for architects, engineers and environmental consultants, the professionals commonly hired by landowners to draft development plans and analyze environmental impacts associated with development adjacent to critical areas.
The first session of the critical areas training for professionals was conducted on June 4, with resounding positive feedback.
"It is extremely helpful to know what the city's goals and objectives are, and what they expect to see during the application process," noted one consultant who attended the training.
Due to the overwhelming response by the consultant community, another session has been scheduled for Sept. 9. Registration information for the upcoming critical areas training for professionals can be accessed at My Building Permit.
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