Best Available Science
The Growth Management Act (RCW 36.70A) requires Washington’s counties and cities to review, evaluate, and update comprehensive land use plans, as well as updating development regulations using Best Available Science (BAS) to identify, designate and protect critical areas.
Mercer Island last updated its Critical Area regulations in 2005, and an update is due by summer, 2019. The City hired a consultant, ESA, to conduct an analysis of the Best Available Science as it pertains to the critical areas located in Mercer Island. ESA's findings are available in two reports here and here.
Mercer Island is home to 5 types of critical areas:
- Fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas
- Geologically hazardous areas
- Critical aquifer recharge areas