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What is the purpose of a critical area alteration exception?

This application process allows adjustments in the application of zoning code standards related to critical area buffers to a particular property.

How much will it cost?

See the current fee schedule for an estimate.

Where can I get an application?

How do I submit my application?

  • A pre-application meeting is required before filing a critical area alteration exception application.
  • See our Customer Service Bulletin for submittal information.

What is the timeline for processing a critical area alteration exception?

  • Permitting staff will schedule a pre-application meeting within 30 days from the date of the request.
  • Permitting staff has 28 days from the date the application is filed to determine whether the application is complete.
  • After Permitting staff determines that the application is complete, a Notice of Application is issued. The minimum public comment period is 21 days.
  • The process to make a final decision on a critical area alteration exception generally takes 120 days provided no appeals are filed or substantial additional information is required.

What is the appeal process?

Refer to permit type 2. There is a 14-day appeal period whereby an aggrieved person can file an appeal together with an appeal filing fee to the King County Hearing Examiner.

Learn more

Legal authority

Title 21A of the King County Code, Administered by the Department of Local Services, Permitting Division.