Chapter 12.12
FOREST PRACTICES AND LAND CLEARING

Sections:

12.12.010    Purpose.

12.12.020    Definitions.

12.12.030    When permit required – Type of action.

12.12.040    Exemptions.

12.12.050    Contents of a complete forest practices/land clearing permit application.

12.12.060    Criteria for approval.

12.12.070    Forest Practices Act permit issuance requirements placed on the city.

12.12.080    Violations.

12.12.090    Burning not allowed.

12.12.100    Term of permit.

12.12.110    Bond requirement.

12.12.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to establish forest practices and land clearing regulations which allow the growing, harvesting and processing of timber on forest land, the conversion of forest land to uses incompatible with timber growing, and the clearing of nonforest land, while preventing the indiscriminate removal or destruction of trees and ground cover on undeveloped and partially developed property during such activities. (Ord. 2041 § 4 (Exh. B), 2010; Ord. 1815 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1629 § 1, 1996).

12.12.020 Definitions.

The definitions in RCW 76.09.020 of the state Forest Practices Act are hereby adopted by reference for purposes of administration of forest practices permits and shall apply in lieu of any conflicting definitions in the Bothell Municipal Code. (Ord. 2041 § 4 (Exh. B), 2010).

12.12.030 When permit required – Type of action.

No person, corporation, or other legal entity shall conduct Class I, II, III or IV forest practices, as defined in RCW 76.09.050, or engage in or cause land clearing in the city without first having obtained a forest practices/land clearing permit, except for exempt activities as provided otherwise under BMC 12.12.040. A forest practices/land clearing permit is a Type I permit if environmental review is not required and a Type II permit if environmental review is required, and shall be subject to the procedures for such permits as set forth in BMC Title 11, Administration of Development Regulations. (Ord. 2041 § 4 (Exh. B), 2010; Ord. 1946 § 2, 2005; Ord. 1815 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1629 § 1, 1996. Formerly 12.12.020).

12.12.040 Exemptions.

The following shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter:

A.    No separate forest practices/land clearing permit shall be required under this chapter if an application has been filed for a development permit, so long as no alteration of the site is made pending the consideration by the city of such application. The purposes and standards set forth in this chapter shall apply to said pending application;

B.    The installation and maintenance of fire hydrants, water meters, pumping stations, and street furniture, by the city or its contractors;

C.    Removal of trees and ground cover in emergency situations involving immediate danger to life or property or substantial fire hazards;

D.    Removal of dead or diseased trees, dead or diseased shrubs, or dead or diseased ground cover;

E.    Removal of invasive, nonnative trees, shrubs, or ground cover unless located within a critical area or its buffer;

F.    Removal of ornamental, landscape trees installed for aesthetic purposes in association with a residential use subject to the landscaping and tree retention requirements of Chapter 12.18 BMC and the critical areas requirements of Chapter 14.04 BMC. Trees associated with timber production such as Douglas fir, western hemlock, western red cedar, western white pine, Engelmann spruce, western larch, and other timber trees as determined by the director of community development shall not be considered ornamental landscape trees for the purposes of this exemption;

G.    Removal of trees, shrubs or ground cover for purposes of general property and utility maintenance or landscaping on developed properties one half acre or less in area, subject to the landscaping and tree retention requirements of Chapter 12.18 BMC and the critical areas requirements of Chapter 14.04 BMC. This exemption shall not apply to any forest practices or land clearing which involves the use of a bulldozer or similar mechanical earth-moving equipment, neither shall it be construed to eliminate the requirement of obtaining other applicable development permits;

H.    Removal of trees as part of the normal maintenance within the Tolt River pipeline right-of-way and the Seattle City Light transmission line easement;

I.    Forest practices on ownerships of contiguous forest land equal to or greater than 20 acres where the forest landowner provides, to the Department of Natural Resources and the applicable county, a written statement of intent, signed by the forest landowner, not to convert to a use other than growing commercial timber for 10 years, in accordance with RCW 76.09.240(1)(a)(i);

J.    Forest practices necessitated by fire, flood, windstorm, earthquake or other emergency defined by the state Forest Practices Board, in accordance with RCW 76.09.060(7);

K.    Forest practices conducted to control exotic forest insect or disease outbreaks, in accordance with RCW 76.09.060(8); and

L.    Forest practices consistent with a habitat conservation plan approved prior to March 25, 1996, by the United States Secretary of the Interior or Secretary of Commerce, and the Endangered Species Act of 1973 as amended, in accordance with RCW 76.09.340. (Ord. 2041 § 4 (Exh. B), 2010; Ord. 1815 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1629 § 1, 1996. Formerly 12.12.030).

12.12.050 Contents of a complete forest practices/land clearing application.

An application for a forest practices/land clearing permit is complete for the purposes of this section when it has been determined by the city to contain the information described below in addition to the standard application information required under BMC Title 11, Administration of Development Regulations. A complete application shall contain:

A.    A map or plot plan of the subject property at a scale determined to be adequate by the community development director and including date; north arrow; scale; property area, in acres or square feet; contours; location of existing and proposed improvements; location, type, size, and condition of existing trees; general location of existing ground cover and shrubs; and identification of trees, shrubs, and ground cover to be cut or removed;

B.    A tree retention plan consistent with BMC 12.18.030, including calculations;

C.    Description of the methods intended to be utilized for the proposed forest practices or land clearing activity and the expected dates of commencement and completion of such activity;

D.    If applicable, a critical area report as set forth in Chapter 14.04 BMC;

E.    A temporary erosion sedimentation control plan as set forth in the Bothell design and construction standards and specifications;

F.    Additionally, for applications for forest practices permits and conversions to uses other than commercial timber operation, the information required in RCW 76.09.060, including reforestation plans if applicable;

G.    A completed development review billing form committing the applicant to pay development review fees as established in the city fee resolution;

H.    Additionally, for forest practices permit applications, fees as established in RCW 76.09.065. (Ord. 2041 § 4 (Exh. B), 2010; Ord. 1815 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1629 § 1, 1996. Formerly 12.12.040).

12.12.060 Criteria for approval.

A forest practices/land clearing permit application shall be evaluated by the city and the permit granted if it is determined that the proposed forest practice or land clearing activity:

A.    Promotes the public health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of Bothell;

B.    Is consistent with Imagine Bothell… Comprehensive Plan goals and policies fostering sensitive treatment of the city’s natural vegetation, including but not limited to LU-G7, LU-G8, LU-P10, LU-P11, NE-G1, NE-G2, NE-G3, NE-P5 and UD-P7;

C.    Complies with the requirements of Chapter 12.18 BMC, Tree Retention and Landscaping, including but not limited to retention of significant trees;

D.    Complies with the requirements of BMC Title 13, Shoreline Management, as applicable;

E.    Complies with the requirements, purpose and provisions of BMC Title 14, Environment;

F.    Complies with the requirements of the Bothell design and construction standards and specifications, including but not limited to installation and maintenance of erosion and sedimentation control before, during and after the forest practice or land clearing activity;

G.    Complies with all other applicable requirements of the Bothell Municipal Code and Bothell design and construction standards and specifications;

H.    Prevents the indiscriminate removal or destruction of trees and ground cover on undeveloped and partially developed property, and significantly retains the effect of the wooded slopes and the existing tree top line as seen from the valley floors, also known as the “feathered edge”;

I.    Promotes building-planning and site-planning practices that are consistent with the city’s natural topographical and vegetational features;

J.    Retains clusters of trees for the abatement of noise and for wind protection;

K.    Additionally, applications for permits to conduct forest practices or for conversions to uses other than commercial timber operation shall be evaluated for compliance with the requirements of the state Forest Practices Act as set forth in Chapter 76.09 RCW, including but not limited to the following sections:

1.    Legislative finding and declaration, as set forth in RCW 76.09.010;

2.    Rules establishing classes of forest practices – Applications for classes of forest practices – Approval or disapproval – Notifications – Procedures – Appeals – Waivers, as set forth in RCW 76.09.050;

3.    Form and content of notification and application – Reforestation requirements – Conversion of forest land to other use – New applications – Approval – Emergencies, as set forth in RCW 76.09.060;

4.    Forest practices permit – Habitat incentives agreements, as set forth in RCW 76.09.063;

5.    Forest practices application or notification – Fee, as set forth in RCW 76.09.065;

6.    Application for forest practices – Owner of perpetual timber rights, as set forth in RCW 76.09.067;

7.    Reforestation – Requirements – Procedures – Notification on sale or transfer, as set forth in RCW 76.09.070;

8.    Forest practices – County, city or town to regulate – When – Adoption of development regulations – Enforcement – Technical assistance – Exceptions and limitations – Verification that land not subject to a notice of conversion to nonforestry uses – Reporting of information to the department of revenue, as set forth in RCW 76.09.240;

9.    Notice of conversion to nonforestry use – Denial of permits or approvals by the county, city, town or regional governmental entity – Enforcement, as set forth in RCW 76.09.460; and

10.    Conversion of land to nonforestry use – Action required of landowner – Action required of county, city, town or regional governmental entity, as set forth in RCW 76.09.470. (Ord. 2041 § 4 (Exh. B), 2010; Ord. 1815 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1629 § 1, 1996. Formerly 12.12.050).

12.12.070 Forest Practices Act permit issuance requirements placed on the city.

In accordance with the state Forest Practices Act, when issuing a forest practices permit, the city shall:

A.    Include with every forest practices permit associated with the conversion of forest land to a use other than commercial timber operation a verification that the land in question is not or has not been subject to a notice of conversion to nonforestry uses under RCW 76.09.060 during the six-year period prior to the submission of a permit application, as required by RCW 76.09.240(7);

B.    Report to the state Department of Revenue no later than 60 days after the date the forest practices permit was issued permit information including but not limited to the landowner’s legal name, address, telephone number, and parcel number, as required by RCW 76.09.240(8); and

C.    Make inspections of forest lands before, during and after the conducting of forest practices, as required by RCW 76.09.150. (Ord. 2041 § 4 (Exh. B), 2010).

12.12.080 Violations.

A.    Conducting forest practices or land clearing without a permit or failing to comply with the conditions of an issued forest practices/land clearing permit is a violation of these regulations and shall be subject to the provisions under Chapter 11.20 BMC, Enforcement. The unauthorized removal of vegetation shall be mitigated as set forth in BMC 12.18.030(F).

B.    In addition to the provisions in subsection A of this section, conducting forest practices without a permit or failing to comply with the conditions of a permit which authorizes a forest practice, including unauthorized conversion to nonforestry use, shall be subject to the violation regulations in the state Forest Practices Act as set forth in Chapter 76.09 RCW, including but not limited to the following sections:

1.    Stop work orders – Grounds – Contents – Procedure – Appeals, as set forth in RCW 76.09.080;

2.    Notice of failure to comply – Contents – Procedures – Appeals – Hearing – Final order – Limitations on actions, as set forth in RCW 76.09.090;

3.    Failure to comply with water quality protection – Department of ecology authorized to petition appeals board – Action on petition, as set forth in RCW 76.09.100;

4.    Final orders or final decisions binding on all parties, as set forth in RCW 76.09.110;

5.    Failure of owner to take required course of action – Notice of cost – Department authorized to complete course of action – Liability of owner for costs – Lien, as set forth in RCW 76.09.120;

6.    Failure to obey stop work order – Departmental action authorized – Liability of owner or operator for costs, as set forth in RCW 76.09.130;

7.    Enforcement, as set forth in RCW 76.09.140;

8.    Violations – Conversion to nontimber operation – Penalties – Remission or mitigation – Appeals – Lien, as set forth in RCW 76.09.170;

9.    Disposition of moneys received as penalties, reimbursement for damages, as set forth in RCW 76.09.180;

10.    Additional penalty, gross misdemeanor, as set forth in RCW 76.09.190;

11.    Notice of conversion to nonforestry use – Denial of permits or approvals by the county, city, town or regional governmental entity – Enforcement, as set forth in RCW 76.09.460; and

12.    Conversion of land to nonforestry use – Action required of landowner – Action required of county, city, town or regional governmental entity, as set forth in RCW 76.09.470. (Ord. 2041 § 4 (Exh. B), 2010).

12.12.090 Burning not allowed.

The burning of trees, shrubs, ground cover or any other material shall be prohibited. (Ord. 2041 § 4 (Exh. B), 2010; Ord. 1815 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1629 § 1, 1996. Formerly 12.12.070).

12.12.100 Term of permit.

Any permit granted under this chapter shall expire two years from the date of issuance. Upon a showing of good cause, a permit may be extended for an additional one year. Approved plans shall not be amended without authorization of the responsible official. The permit may be suspended or revoked by the community development director if incorrect information has been supplied in the application, or upon violation of the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 2041 § 4 (Exh. B), 2010; Ord. 1815 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1629 § 1, 1996. Formerly 12.12.080).

12.12.110 Bond requirement.

The community development director may require as a condition to the granting of a forest practices/land clearing permit that the applicant furnish a performance bond to the city to secure the applicant’s obligation to complete the restoration and replanting of the property after the approved land clearing has been accomplished in accordance with the terms of this permit and within the term thereof. The bond shall be in an amount equal to 120 percent of the estimated cost of such restoration and replanting and with surety and conditions satisfactory to the community development director. (Ord. 2041 § 4 (Exh. B), 2010; Ord. 1815 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1629 § 1, 1996. Formerly 12.12.090).