SEA Counseling


What is SEA Counseling and is it required for my project?

SEA Counseling is a pre-application counseling meeting that occurs before the permit application is submitted. Ideally, the SEA Counseling meeting is held before the project design is finalized. The goal is to help the prospective applicant design a project with the least impacts to the SEA resources and potentially meet the requirements to receive a Ministerial SEA Review. A Ministerial SEA Review is a cheaper and faster review process for the applicant.


How much does it cost?

See our Fee Schedule for the cost of “Significant Ecological Areas Counseling”.


What do I need to submit? How do I submit my SEA Counseling application?

You will need to submit 1) SEA Counseling application, 2) Biological Constraints Map (BCM), and 3) Conceptual Project Design. You will be sent an invoice for the SEA Counseling fee after you submit your application package and your application is assigned to a planner.

See our Applications and Forms page for the application form and checklist. Scroll down to “Significant Ecological Areas Counseling”.


What is a Biological Constraints Map (BCM)? Who can make one for me?

A BCM is a map of the project site that identifies all the SEA Resources on the property. A BCM must be prepared by a qualified biologist on the SEATAC Certified Biologist List.

See Chapter 6 of the Implementation Guide for the required details and examples of BCMs.

See our SEATAC Certified Biologist List to search for a biological consultant who can prepare a BCM.


How long does it take to schedule a SEA Counseling meeting?

Once you submit your SEA Counseling application, please give our Department about 2 weeks to send you an invoice and conduct a preliminary review of the application package. A planner will be assigned to your project and will contact you to schedule a meeting.


Can One-Stop and SEA Counseling meetings happen at the same time?

Yes, One-Stop and SEA Counseling meetings can happen at the same time. Please consult your planner if you would like to combine both meetings.


What does the SEA Counseling recommendation mean? What do I do after SEA Counseling? 

The recommendation given at the end of the SEA Counseling meeting is not an approval. It is a recommendation based on the BCM and Conceptual Project Design submitted. The recommendation consists of which Use Permit and SEA review type you will need for the full permit application process. At the end of the SEA Counseling meeting, the planner will provide instructions for next steps and a recommendation form.