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Significant Ecological Areas:
SEAs are officially designated areas within the County identified for their biological value. These areas warrant special management because they contain biotic resources that are considered to be rare or unique; are critical to the maintenance of wildlife; represent relatively undisturbed areas of County habitat types; or serve as linkages.
The SEA Program:
The SEA Program is the name given to the regulations, policies and maps the County uses to guide development within SEAs. The County relies on the SEA Program to balance preservation of the County’s natural biodiversity with the development rights of property owners located within the SEAs. There are 3 main components of the SEA Program:
- The SEA and Coastal Resource Areas Map (within the General Plan)
- SEA language in the General Plan (including goals, policies and resource descriptions)
- SEA Ordinance (including SEA Development Map, and SEA Connectivity and Constriction Map)
The General Plan establishes the location of the SEAs, documents the resources within the SEAs and establishes guidance on the objectives and scope of the SEA Program. The SEA Ordinance, a component of the County Zoning Code (“Title 22”) is the implementation tool of the SEA Program which establishes the permitting standards and process for development within SEAs.
Beginning in 1999, the SEA Program has been undergoing a comprehensive update process that parallels the General Plan’s ongoing update efforts. Click here for more information about the SEA Program Update.