It's backwards. It always has been backwards, and as long as critical areas themselves, rather than development effects, are the stuff of buffers and restrictions, there will never be nexus and proportionality. In the last CAO, the County took great pride in claiming that they had derived "site-specific buffers." The fatal defect, however, was that they did not derive "development-specific buffers." All the factors necessary to derive a County-specified buffer are present on any piece of property whether one builds a garden shed, a lead smelter, the Empire State Building ... or nothing at all. Buffer imposition is triggered by development, but not related to its effects in any way.
Nothing has changed. In the March 5 CAO, once again buffers are triggered by development, but not related to development impacts.
And this strange fact leads Councilman Hughes on the same search as that of his predecessor, Councilman Fralick ... looking for any weasely way to find some justifiable paradox that will allow Eastsound (and other urban growth areas, but mainly Eastsound) to have smaller buffers. Hughes wants the critical areas of more developed areas to be buffered less than rural areas ... and he lives quite comfortably with this desire even though it would undermine the "buffer protection" logic of someone more perspicacious.