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1. What is Goal 5?

Statewide Planning Goal 5:

To protect natural resources and conserve scenic and historic areas and open spaces. Local governments shall adopt programs that will protect natural resources ... for present and future generations. These resources promote a healthy environment and natural landscape that contribute to Oregon's livability.

2. Goal 5 process

The Goal 5 rules require the County to inventory certain natural resources, assess their quality, determine levels of protection and adopt policies/rules based on the desired level of protection.

3. County develops Goal 5 Program

The County’s Goal 5 program was completed in the early 1980s. The inventory process included identification and mapping of 2,400 acres of fish and wildlife habitat. Natural resource policies and standards were developed and implemented through Comprehensive Plan elements, and the program was approved by the state.

4. Community Development Code Provisions

The Community Development Code (CDC) addresses two primary types of SNRs:

  • Water-related areas: Floodplains, drainage hazard areas, ponds, water areas, wetlands, related fish and wildlife habitat. If new development affects these areas, enhancement may be required.

  • Wildlife Habitat: Mapped sensitive habitats and forested areas that coincide with, or are upland from, water-related areas.

If a development “seriously interferes” with wildlife habitat and water-related habitat areas, the developer must reduce the impact and/or offset the loss of habitat values from development (mitigate).

5. Tualatin Basin Program 

In 2005,Washington County collaborated with cities, Clean Water Services and Metro to approve the Tualatin Basin Program, a regional fish and wildlife protection plan for determining consistency with Goal 5. The program limits development in valuable riparian corridor/habitat areas and encourages habitat protection with habitat-friendly designs and incentives for developers. Some changes to the County's regulations were part of this process.

6. County's SNR land use review process

  1. If SNRs are shown on a map, a Habitat Report is required.

  2. Natural resource professional visits site and prepares Habitat Report, providing SNR location, area, condition, potential impacts and proposed mitigation.

  3. If site has a CWS Water Quality Sensitive Area, CWS reviews plans and recommends conditions of approval to County staff.

  4. Habitat Report is submitted with the land use application. Staff approves or requires changes. CWS conditions are incorporated into the land use decision.

  5. Developers must comply with conditions of approval; property owners must comply with ongoing conditions.


Please find the SNR Assessment here and the technical appendices here.