Chapter 13.13
CRITICAL AREAS IN SHORELINE JURISDICTION

Sections:

13.13.010    General.

13.13.020    Wetlands.

13.13.030    Critical aquifer recharge areas.

13.13.040    Frequently flooded areas.

13.13.050    Geologically hazardous areas.

13.13.060    Fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas.

13.13.010 General.

A.    Purpose and Goals.

1.    The purpose of this chapter is to designate and classify ecologically sensitive and hazardous areas present in shoreline jurisdiction known as critical areas and to protect these areas and their functions and values, while also allowing for reasonable use of private property.

2.    This chapter is to implement the goals, policies, guidelines, and requirements of the city comprehensive plan and the SMA.

3.    The city finds that critical areas provide a variety of valuable and beneficial biological and physical functions that benefit the city and its residents, and/or may pose a threat to human safety or to public and private property. The beneficial functions and values provided by critical areas include, but are not limited to, water quality protection and enhancement, fish and wildlife habitat, food chain support, flood storage, conveyance and attenuation of flood waters, groundwater recharge and discharge, erosion control, wave attenuation, protection from hazards, historical, archaeological, and aesthetic value protection, and recreation. These beneficial functions are not listed in order of priority.

4.    Goals. By limiting development and alteration of critical areas, this chapter seeks to:

a.    Protect members of the public and public resources and facilities from injury, loss of life, or property damage due to landslides and steep slope failures, erosion, seismic events, volcanic eruptions, or flooding;

b.    Maintain healthy, functioning ecosystems through the protection of unique, fragile, and valuable elements of the environment, including ground and surface waters, wetlands, and fish and wildlife and their habitats, and to conserve the biodiversity of plant and animal species;

c.    Direct activities not dependent on critical areas resources to less ecologically sensitive sites and mitigate unavoidable impacts to critical areas by regulating alterations in and adjacent to critical areas; and

d.    Prevent cumulative adverse environmental impacts to water quality, wetlands, and fish and wildlife habitat, and the overall net loss of wetlands, frequently flooded areas, and habitat conservation areas.

5.    The regulations of this chapter are intended to protect critical areas in accordance with the SMA and through the application of most current, available scientific and technical information, as determined according to WAC 173-26-201(2)(a), and in consultation with state and federal agencies and other qualified professionals.

6.    This chapter is to be administered with flexibility and attention to site-specific characteristics. It is not the intent of this chapter to make a parcel of property unusable by denying its owner reasonable economic use of the property or to prevent the provision of public facilities and services necessary to support existing development and planned for by the community without decreasing current service levels below minimum standards.

7.    The city’s enactment or enforcement of this chapter shall not be construed for the benefit of any individual person or group of persons other than the general public.

B.    Relationship to Other Regulations.

1.    These critical areas regulations shall apply within shoreline jurisdiction as an overlay and in addition to zoning and other regulations adopted by the city.

2.    Any individual critical area adjoined by another type of critical area shall have the buffer and meet the requirements that provide the most protection to the critical areas involved. When any provision of this chapter or any existing regulation, easement, covenant, or deed restriction conflicts with this chapter, that which provides more protection to the critical areas shall apply.

3.    These critical areas regulations shall apply concurrently with review conducted under this SMP and State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), as locally adopted. Any conditions required pursuant to this chapter shall be included in the SEPA review and threshold determination and any required shoreline permit.

4.    Compliance with the provisions of this chapter does not constitute compliance with other federal, state, and local regulations and permit requirements that may be required (for example, shoreline substantial development permits, hydraulic project approval (HPA) permits, Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 or 10 permits, national pollutant discharge elimination system permits). The applicant is responsible for complying with these requirements, apart from the process established in this chapter.

5.    It is not intended that this chapter repeal, abrogate, or impair any existing regulations, easements, covenants, or deed restrictions. The SEPA regulations and procedures are not replaced or rescinded by this chapter. It is understood that the provisions of this chapter may not allow development to occur at what otherwise might be the property’s full zoning potential.

C.    Mitigation Sequencing.

1.    Applicants shall demonstrate that all reasonable efforts have been examined with the intent to avoid and minimize adverse impacts to critical areas. When an alteration to a critical area is proposed, such alteration shall be avoided, minimized, or compensated for in the following sequential order of preference:

a.    Avoiding the adverse impact altogether by not taking a certain action or parts of an action;

b.    Minimizing adverse impacts by limiting the degree or magnitude of the action and its implementation, by using appropriate technology, or by taking affirmative steps, such as project redesign, relocation, or timing, to avoid or reduce impacts;

c.    Rectifying the adverse impact to wetlands, critical aquifer recharge areas, frequently flooded areas, and habitat conservation areas by repairing, rehabilitating, or restoring the affected environment to the historical conditions or the conditions existing at the time of the initiation of the project;

(1)    Minimizing or eliminating the hazard by restoring or stabilizing the hazard area through engineered or other methods;

(2)    Reducing or eliminating the adverse impact or hazard over time by preservation and maintenance operations during the life of the action;

(3)    Compensating for the adverse impact to wetlands, critical aquifer recharge areas, frequently flooded areas, and habitat conservation areas by replacing, enhancing, or providing substitute resources or environments; and

(4)    Monitoring the hazard or other required mitigation and taking remedial action when necessary.

    Mitigation for individual actions may include a combination of the above measures as appropriate.

2.    If specific standards, such as buffers and vegetation requirements, are provided in this chapter, then the city shall not require additional mitigation sequencing analysis under these provisions.

D.    Mitigation Requirements.

1.    The applicant shall avoid all impacts that degrade the functions and values of a critical area or areas. Unless otherwise provided in this chapter, if alteration to the critical area is unavoidable or necessary to achieve other objectives of the SMA, such as accommodation of water-oriented and other preferred uses, all adverse impacts to or from critical areas and buffers resulting from a development proposal or alteration shall be mitigated using the most current, available scientific and technical information in accordance with an approved critical areas report and SEPA documents, so as to result in no net loss of critical area and shoreline ecological functions and values.

2.    Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, mitigation shall be in-kind and on-site, when possible, and sufficient to maintain the functions and values of the critical area or shoreline, and to prevent risk from a hazard posed by a critical area.

3.    Mitigation shall not be implemented until after city approval of a critical areas report that includes a mitigation plan, and mitigation shall be in accordance with the provisions of the approved critical areas report.

E.    Fees.

1.    The city by resolution shall establish fees for filing of a critical area identification form, critical area review processing, and other services provided by the city as required by this chapter. These fees shall be based on the anticipated sum of direct costs incurred by the city for any individual development or action and may be established as a sliding scale that will recover all of the city costs including the enforcement of these code provisions. Basis for these fees shall include, but not be limited to, the cost of engineering and planning review time, cost of inspection time, costs for administration, and any other special costs attributable to the critical area review process.

2.    Unless otherwise indicated in this chapter, the applicant shall be responsible for the initiation, preparation, submission, and expense of all required reports, assessment(s), studies, plans, reconnaissance(s), peer review(s) by qualified consultants, and other work prepared in support of or necessary to review the application.

F.    Administrative Rules. Applicable departments within the city are authorized to adopt such administrative rules and regulations as necessary and appropriate to implement this chapter and to prepare and require the use of such forms as necessary for its administration.

G.    Interpretation. In the interpretation and application of this chapter, the provisions of this chapter shall be considered to be the minimum requirements necessary, shall be liberally construed to serve the purpose of this chapter, and shall be deemed to neither limit nor repeal any other provisions under state statute.

H.    Jurisdiction – Critical Areas.

1.    Within shoreline jurisdiction, the city shall regulate all uses, activities, and developments within, adjacent to, or likely to affect one or more critical areas, consistent with the most current, available scientific and technical information and the provisions herein.

2.    Critical areas regulated by this chapter include:

a.    Wetlands as designated in BMC 13.13.020, Wetlands;

b.    Critical aquifer recharge areas as designated in BMC 13.13.030, Critical aquifer recharge areas;

c.    Frequently flooded areas as designated in BMC 13.13.040, Frequently flooded areas;

d.    Geologically hazardous areas as designated in BMC 13.13.050, Geologically hazardous areas; and

e.    Fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas as designated in BMC 13.13.060, Fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas.

3.    All areas within the city’s shoreline jurisdiction meeting the definition of one or more critical areas, regardless of any formal identification, are hereby designated critical areas and are subject to the provisions of this chapter.

4.    Areas Adjacent to Critical Areas Subject to Regulation. Areas adjacent to critical areas within shoreline jurisdiction shall be considered to be within the jurisdiction of these requirements and regulations to support the intent of this chapter and ensure protection of the functions and values of critical areas. “Adjacent” shall mean any activity located:

a.    On a site immediately adjoining a critical area;

b.    A distance equal to or less than the required critical area buffer width and building setback;

c.    A distance equal to or less than one-half mile (2,640 feet) from a bald eagle nest;

d.    A distance equal to or less than 300 feet upland from a stream, wetland, or water body;

e.    Within the floodway, floodplain, or channel migration zone; or

f.    A distance equal to or less than 200 feet from a critical aquifer recharge area.

I.    Building Setbacks. Unless otherwise provided, buildings and other structures shall be set back a distance of 15 feet from the edges of all critical area buffers or from the edges of all critical areas, if no buffers are required. The following may be allowed in the building setback area:

1.    Landscaping;

2.    Uncovered decks;

3.    Building overhangs, if such overhangs do not extend more than 18 inches into the setback area; and

4.    Impervious ground surfaces, such as driveways and patios; provided, that such improvements may be subject to water quality regulations as adopted in the Bothell Design and Construction Standards and Specifications and other adopted ordinances and plans.

J.    Protection of Critical Areas. Any action taken pursuant to this chapter shall result in equivalent or greater functions and values of the critical areas and shorelines associated with the proposed action, as determined by the most current, available scientific and technical information. All actions and developments shall be designed and constructed in accordance with mitigation sequencing subsection C of this section to avoid, minimize, and restore all adverse impacts. Applicants must first demonstrate an inability to avoid or reduce impacts, before restoration and compensation of impacts will be allowed. No activity or use shall be allowed that results in a net loss of the functions or values of critical areas.

K.    Activities Allowed Without a Critical Areas Report.

1.    Critical Areas Report. Activities allowed under this chapter shall have been reviewed and permitted or approved by the city or other agency with jurisdiction, but do not require submittal of a separate critical areas identification form or critical areas report, unless such submittal was required previously for the underlying permit. The shoreline administrator may apply conditions to the underlying shoreline permit or approval to ensure that the allowed activity is consistent with the provisions of this chapter to protect critical areas.

2.    Required Use of Best Management Practices. All allowed activities shall be conducted using the best management practices, adopted pursuant to the city of Bothell design and construction standards and specifications, and any other adopted plans and regulations, that result in the least amount of impact to the critical areas. Best management practices shall be used for tree and vegetation protection, construction management, erosion and sedimentation control, water quality protection, and regulation of chemical applications. The city shall observe the use of best management practices to ensure that the activity does not result in degradation to the critical area. Any incidental damage to, or alteration of, a critical area shall be restored, rehabilitated, or replaced at the responsible party’s expense within a time frame approved by the shoreline administrator, and in any case work shall begin no later than six months of the date of the incident.

3.    Allowed Activities. The following activities are allowed:

a.    Permit Requests Subsequent to Previous Critical Area Review. Development permits and approvals that involve both discretionary land use approvals (such as subdivisions, rezones, or conditional use permits), and construction approvals (such as building permits) if all of the following conditions have been met:

b.    The provisions of this chapter have been previously addressed as part of another approval;

(1)    There have been no material changes in the potential impact to the critical area or buffer since the prior review;

(2)    There is no new information available that is applicable to any critical area review of the site or particular critical area;

(3)    The permit or approval has not expired or, if no expiration date, no more than five years has elapsed since the issuance of that permit or approval; and

(4)    Compliance with any standards or conditions placed upon the prior permit or approval has been achieved or secured;

c.    Modification to Existing Structures. Structural modification of, addition to, or replacement of an existing legally constructed structure that does not further alter or increase the adverse impact to the critical area or buffer and there is no increased risk to life or property as a result of the proposed modification or replacement; provided, that restoration of structures substantially damaged by fire, flood, or act of nature must be initiated within one year of the date of such damage, as evidenced by the submittal of a valid building permit, and diligently pursued to completion;

d.    Activities Within the Improved Right-of-Way. Replacement, modification, installation, or construction of utility facilities, lines, pipes, mains, equipment, or appurtenances, not including substations, when such facilities are located within the improved portion of the public right-of-way or a city authorized private roadway except those activities that alter a wetland or watercourse, such as culverts or bridges, or result in the transport of sediment or increased storm water, subject to the following:

(1)    Critical area and/or buffer widths shall be increased, where possible, equal to the width of the right-of-way improvement, including disturbed areas; and

(2)    Retention and replanting of native vegetation shall occur wherever possible along the right-of-way improvement and resulting disturbance;

e.    Minor Utility Projects. Utility projects that have minor or short-duration impacts to critical areas, as determined by the shoreline administrator in accordance with the criteria below, and that do not significantly impact the function or values of a critical area(s); provided, that such projects are constructed with best management practices and additional restoration measures are provided. Minor activities shall not result in the transport of sediment or increased storm water. Such allowed minor utility projects shall meet the following criteria:

(1)    There is no practical alternative to the proposed activity with less adverse impact on critical areas;

(2)    The activity involves the placement of a utility pole, street signs, anchor, or vault or other small component of a utility facility; and

(3)    The activity involves disturbance of an area less than 75 square feet;

f.    Public and Private Nonmotorized Trails. Public and private nonmotorized trails, except when such trails are located within wetlands, or fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas, or their buffers. Nonmotorized trails shall be subject to the following:

(1)    The trail surface shall meet all other requirements including water quality standards set forth in the city of Bothell design and construction standards and specifications, and any other adopted plans and regulations;

(2)    Nonmotorized trails proposed to be located in landslide or erosion hazard areas shall be constructed in a manner that does not increase the risk of landslide or erosion and in accordance with an approved geotechnical report;

(3)    Nonmotorized trails proposed to be located in wetland buffers shall follow the requirements of BMC 13.13.020(F)(7)(i)(2)(A); and

(4)    Nonmotorized trails proposed to be located in fish and wildlife habitat conservation area buffers shall follow the requirements of BMC 13.13.060(E)(12)(d);

g.    Select Vegetation Removal Activities. The following vegetation removal activities; provided, that no vegetation shall be removed from a critical area or its buffer without approval from the shoreline administrator and that the removal activities are also consistent with BMC 13.09.030, Shoreline vegetation conservation:

(1)    The removal of the following vegetation with hand labor and light equipment only:

(A)    Invasive and noxious weeds listed on the King or Snohomish County noxious weed lists;

(B)    English ivy (Hedera helix);

(C)    Himalayan blackberry (Rubus discolor, R. procerus);

(D)    Evergreen blackberry (Rubus laciniatus);

(E)    Reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea); and

(F)    Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria);

(2)    Removed vegetation shall be replaced with native species as approved by the shoreline administrator;

(3)    The removal of trees from critical areas and buffers that are hazardous, posing a threat to public safety, or posing an imminent risk of damage to private property; provided, that:

(A)    The applicant submits a report from a certified arborist, registered landscape architect, or professional forester that documents the hazard and provides a replanting schedule for the replacement trees;

(B)    Tree cutting shall be limited to pruning and crown thinning, unless otherwise justified by a qualified professional. Where pruning or crown thinning is not sufficient to address the hazard, trees should be removed or converted to wildlife snags;

(C)    All vegetation cut (tree stems, branches, etc.) shall be left within the critical area or buffer unless removal is warranted due to the potential for disease, revegetation by invasive species, or pest transmittal to other healthy vegetation;

(D)    The landowner shall replace any trees that are removed with new trees at a ratio of three replacement trees for each tree removed (3:1) within one year in accordance with an approved restoration plan. Replacement trees may be planted at a different, nearby location if it can be determined that planting in the same location would create a new hazard or potentially damage the critical area. Replacement trees shall be species that are native and indigenous to the site and a minimum of one inch in diameter at breast height (dbh) for deciduous trees and a minimum of six feet in height for evergreen trees as measured from the top of the root ball;

(E)    If a tree to be removed provides critical habitat, such as an eagle perch, a qualified wildlife biologist shall be consulted to determine timing and methods of removal that will minimize impacts; and

(F)    Hazard trees determined to pose an imminent threat or danger to public health or safety, to public or private property, or of serious environmental degradation may be removed or pruned by the landowner prior to receiving written approval from the city; provided, that within 14 days following such action, the landowner shall submit a restoration plan that demonstrates compliance with the provisions of this chapter;

(4)    Measures to control a fire or halt the spread of disease or damaging insects consistent with the state Forest Practices Act, Chapter 76.09 RCW, and local forest practices; provided, that the removed vegetation shall be replaced in-kind or with similar native species within one year in accordance with an approved restoration plan; and

(5)    Unless otherwise provided, or as a necessary part of an approved alteration, removal of any vegetation or woody debris from a habitat conservation area or wetland shall be prohibited;

h.    Chemical Applications. The application of herbicides, pesticides, organic or mineral-derived fertilizers, or other hazardous substances, if necessary, as approved by the city; provided, that their use shall be restricted in accordance with state Department of Fish and Wildlife Management recommendations and the regulations of the state Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency;

i.    Minor Site Investigative Work. Work necessary for land use submittals, such as surveys, soil logs, percolation tests, and other related activities, where such activities do not require construction of new roads or significant amounts of excavation. In every case, impacts to the critical area shall be the minimum necessary and disturbed areas shall be immediately restored; and

j.    Navigational Aids and Boundary Markers. Construction or modification of navigational aids and boundary markers.

L.    Critical Area Project Review Process. The city shall conduct a critical area project review process. As part of this review, the city shall:

1.    Verify the information submitted by the applicant;

2.    Evaluate the project area and vicinity for critical areas;

3.    Determine whether the proposed project is likely to impact the functions or values of critical areas; and

4.    Determine if the proposed project adequately addresses the impacts and avoids impacts to the critical area associated with the project.

5.    If the proposed project is within, adjacent to, or is likely to impact a critical area, implement the following steps:

a.    Require a critical areas report from the applicant that has been prepared by a qualified professional;

b.    Review and evaluate the critical areas report. The city shall utilize third party review whenever it is deemed necessary by the shoreline administrator;

c.    Determine whether the development proposal conforms to the purposes and performance standards of this chapter;

d.    Assess the potential adverse impacts to the critical area and determine if they can be avoided or minimized; and

e.    Determine if any mitigation proposed by the applicant is sufficient to protect the functions and values of the critical area and public health, safety, and welfare concerns consistent with the goals, purposes, objectives, and requirements of this chapter.

M.    Critical Area Identification Form.

1.    Submittal. Prior to the city’s consideration of any proposed activity allowed pursuant to subsection (K)(3) of this section, Allowed Activities, the applicant shall submit to the city a complete critical area identification form on forms provided by the city.

2.    Site Inspection. Upon receipt of a project application and a critical area identification form, the shoreline administrator shall conduct a site inspection to review critical area conditions on site if deemed warranted. The shoreline administrator shall notify the property owner of the inspection prior to the site visit. Reasonable access to the site shall be provided by the property owner for the purpose of inspections during any proposal review, restoration, emergency action, or monitoring period.

3.    Critical Area Identification Form Review Process. The shoreline administrator shall review the critical area identification form, conduct a site inspection, and review other information available pertaining to the site and the proposal and make a determination as to whether any critical areas may be affected by the proposal and if a more detailed critical areas report shall be submitted. The shoreline administrator may use the following indicators to assist in determining the need for a critical areas report:

a.    Indication of a critical area on the city critical areas maps that may be impacted by the proposed activity;

b.    Information and scientific opinions from appropriate agencies, including but not limited to the Departments of Fish and Wildlife, Natural Resources, and Ecology;

c.    Documentation, from a scientific or other reasonable source, of the possible presence of a critical area; or

d.    A finding by a qualified professional or a reasonable belief by the shoreline administrator that a critical area may exist on or adjacent to the site of the proposed activity.

4.    Decision on Identification Form.

a.    No Critical Areas Present. If after a site visit the shoreline administrator’s analysis indicates that the project area is not within or adjacent to a critical area or buffer and that the proposed activity is unlikely to degrade the functions or values of a critical area, then the shoreline administrator shall rule that the critical area review is complete and note on the identification form the reasons that no further review is required. A summary of this information shall be included in any staff report or decision on the underlying permit.

b.    Critical Areas Present, But No Impact – Waiver. If the shoreline administrator determines that there are critical areas within or adjacent to the project area, but that the most current, available scientific and technical information shows that the proposed activity is unlikely to degrade the functions or values of the critical area, the shoreline administrator may waive the requirement for a critical areas report. A waiver may be granted if there is substantial evidence that all of the following requirements will be met:

(1)    There will be no alteration of the critical area or buffer;

(2)    The development proposal will not impact the critical area in a manner contrary to the purpose, intent, and requirements of this chapter; and

(3)    The proposal is consistent with other applicable regulations and standards.

    A summary of this analysis and the findings shall be included in any staff report or decision on the underlying permit.

c.    Critical Areas May Be Affected by Proposal. If the shoreline administrator determines that a critical area or areas may be affected by the proposal, then the shoreline administrator shall notify the applicant that a critical areas report must be submitted prior to further review of the project, and indicate each of the critical area types that should be addressed in the report.

5.    Shoreline Administrator’s Determination Subject to Reconsideration. A determination regarding the apparent absence of one or more critical areas by the shoreline administrator is not an expert certification regarding the presence of critical areas and the determination is subject to possible reconsideration and reopening if new information is received.

    If the applicant wants greater assurance of the accuracy of the critical area review determination, the applicant may choose to hire a qualified professional to provide such assurances.

N.    Public Notice of Initial Determination. The city shall notify the public of proposals in accordance with BMC Title 11, in addition to any requirements of BMC 13.17.030, Review and processing requirements, and the following:

1.    If the shoreline administrator determines that no critical areas report is necessary, the city shall state the reasons for this determination in the notice of application issued by the city for the proposal.

2.    If the shoreline administrator determines that there are critical areas on the site that the proposed project is unlikely to impact and the project meets the requirements for and has been granted a waiver from the requirement to complete a critical areas report, a summary of the analysis and findings for this decision shall be stated in the notice of application for the proposal.

3.    If the shoreline administrator determines that critical areas may be affected by the proposal and a critical areas report is required, public notice of the application shall include a description of the critical area that might be affected and state that a critical areas report(s) is required.

O.    Critical Areas Report – Requirements.

1.    Preparation by Qualified Professional. If required by the shoreline administrator in accordance with subsection L of this section, the applicant shall submit a critical areas report prepared by a qualified professional as defined herein.

2.    Incorporation of the Most Current Available Scientific and Technical Information. The critical areas report shall use scientifically valid methods and studies in the analysis of critical areas data and field reconnaissance and reference the source of science used. The critical areas report shall evaluate the proposal and all probable impacts to critical areas in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

3.    Minimum Report Contents. At a minimum, the report shall contain the following:

a.    The name and contact information of the applicant, a description of the proposal, and identification of the permit requested;

b.    A copy of the site plan for the development proposal including:

(1)    A map to scale depicting critical areas, buffers, the development proposal, and any areas to be cleared; and

(2)    A description of the proposed storm water management plan for the development and consideration of impacts to drainage alterations;

c.    The dates, names, and qualifications of the persons preparing the report and documentation of any fieldwork performed on the site;

d.    Identification and characterization of all critical areas, wetlands, water bodies, and buffers adjacent to the proposed project area;

e.    A statement specifying the accuracy of the report, and all assumptions made and relied upon;

f.    An assessment of the probable cumulative impacts to critical areas resulting from development of the site and the proposed development, including a functions and values analysis;

g.    An analysis of site development alternatives including a no development alternative;

h.    A description of reasonable efforts made to apply mitigation sequencing pursuant to subsection C of this section, Mitigation Sequencing, to avoid, minimize, and mitigate adverse impacts to critical areas;

i.    Plans for adequate mitigation, as needed, to offset any adverse impacts, in accordance with subsection Q of this section, Mitigation Plan Requirements, including, but not limited to:

(1)    The impacts of any proposed development within or adjacent to a critical area or buffer on the critical area; and

(2)    The impacts of any proposed alteration of a critical area or buffer on the development proposal, other properties and the environment;

j.    A discussion of the performance standards applicable to the critical area and proposed activity;

k.    Financial guarantees to ensure compliance; and

l.    Any additional information required for the critical area as specified in the corresponding section.

4.    Unless otherwise provided, a critical areas report may be supplemented by or composed, in whole or in part, of any reports or studies required by other laws and regulations or previously prepared for and applicable to the development proposal site, as approved by the shoreline administrator.

P.    Critical Areas Report – Modifications to Requirements.

1.    Limitations to Study Area. The shoreline administrator may limit the required geographic area of the critical areas report as appropriate if:

a.    The applicant, with assistance from the city, cannot obtain permission to access properties adjacent to the project area; or

b.    The proposed activity will affect only a limited part of the subject site.

2.    Modifications to Required Contents. The applicant may consult with the shoreline administrator prior to or during preparation of the critical areas report to obtain city approval of modifications to the required contents of the report where, in the judgment of a qualified professional, more or less information is required to adequately address the potential critical area impacts and required mitigation.

3.    Additional Information Requirements. The shoreline administrator may require additional information to be included in the critical areas report when determined to be necessary to the review of the proposed activity in accordance with this chapter. Additional information that may be required includes, but is not limited to:

a.    Historical data, including original and subsequent mapping, aerial photographs, data compilations and summaries, and available reports and records relating to the site or past operations at the site;

b.    Grading and drainage plans; and

c.    Information specific to the type, location, and nature of the critical area.

Q.    Mitigation Plan Requirements. When mitigation is required, the applicant shall submit for approval by the city a mitigation plan as part of the critical areas report. The mitigation plan shall include:

1.    Environmental Goals and Objectives. The mitigation plan shall include a written report identifying environmental goals and objectives of the compensation proposed and including:

a.    A description of the anticipated impacts to the critical areas and the mitigating actions proposed and the purposes of the compensation measures, including the site selection criteria; identification of compensation goals; identification of resource functions; and dates for beginning and completion of site compensation construction activities. The goals and objectives shall be related to the functions and values of the impacted critical area;

b.    A review of the most current, available scientific and technical information supporting the proposed mitigation and a description of the report author’s experience to date in restoring or creating the type of critical area proposed; and

c.    An analysis of the likelihood of success of the compensation project.

2.    Performance Standards. The mitigation plan shall include measurable specific criteria for evaluating whether or not the goals and objectives of the mitigation project have been successfully attained and whether or not the requirements of this chapter have been met.

3.    Detailed Construction Plans. The mitigation plan shall include written specifications and descriptions of the mitigation proposed, such as:

a.    The proposed construction sequence, timing, and duration;

b.    Grading and excavation details;

c.    Erosion and sediment control features;

d.    A planting plan specifying plant species, quantities, locations, size, spacing, and density; and

e.    Measures to protect and maintain plants until established.

    These written specifications shall be accompanied by detailed site diagrams, scaled cross sectional drawings, topographic maps showing slope percentage and final grade elevations, and any other drawings appropriate to show construction techniques or anticipated final outcome.

4.    Monitoring Program. The mitigation plan shall include a program for monitoring construction of the compensation project and for assessing a completed project. A protocol shall be included outlining the schedule for site monitoring (for example, monitoring shall occur in years one, three, five, and seven after site construction), and how the monitoring data will be evaluated to determine if the performance standards are being met. A monitoring report shall be submitted as needed to document milestones, successes, problems, and contingency actions of the compensation project. The compensation project shall be monitored for a period necessary to establish that performance standards have been met, but not for a period less than five years.

5.    Contingency Plan. The mitigation plan shall include identification of potential courses of action, and any corrective measures to be taken if monitoring or evaluation indicates project performance standards are not being met.

6.    Financial Guarantees. The mitigation plan shall include financial guarantees, if necessary, to ensure that the mitigation plan is fully implemented. Financial guarantees ensuring fulfillment of the compensation project, monitoring program, and any contingency measures shall be posted in accordance with subsection V of this section, Bonds to Ensure Mitigation, Maintenance, and Monitoring.

R.    Unauthorized Critical Area Alterations.

1.    When a critical area or its buffer has been altered in violation of this chapter, all ongoing development work shall stop and the critical area shall be restored. The city shall have the authority to issue a stop work order to cease all ongoing development work, and order restoration, rehabilitation, or replacement measures at the owner’s or other responsible party’s expense to compensate for violation of provisions of this chapter.

2.    Requirement for Restoration Plan. All development work shall remain stopped until a restoration plan is prepared and approved by the city. Such a plan shall be prepared by a qualified professional using the most current, available scientific and technical information and shall describe how the actions proposed meet the minimum requirements described in subsection C of this section. The shoreline administrator shall, at the violator’s expense, seek expert advice in determining the adequacy of the plan. Inadequate plans shall be returned to the applicant or violator for revision and resubmittal.

3.    Minimum Performance Standards for Restoration.

a.    For alterations to critical aquifer recharge areas, frequently flooded areas, wetlands, and habitat conservation areas, the following minimum performance standards shall be met for the restoration of a critical area; provided, that if the violator can demonstrate that greater functional and habitat values can be obtained, these standards may be modified:

(1)    The historic structural and functional values shall be restored, including water quality and habitat functions;

(2)    The historic soil types and configuration shall be replicated;

(3)    The critical area and buffers shall be replanted with native vegetation that replicates the vegetation historically found on the site in species types, sizes, and densities. The historic functions and values should be replicated at the location of the alteration; and

(4)    Information demonstrating compliance with the requirements in subsection Q of this section, Mitigation Plan Requirements, shall be submitted to the shoreline administrator.

b.    For alterations to flood and geological hazards, the following minimum performance standards shall be met for the restoration of a critical area; provided, that if the violator can demonstrate that greater safety can be obtained, these standards may be modified:

(1)    The hazard shall be reduced to a level equal to, or less than, the predevelopment hazard;

(2)    Any risk of personal injury resulting from the alteration shall be eliminated or minimized; and

(3)    The hazard area and buffers shall be replanted with native vegetation sufficient to minimize the hazard.

4.    Site Investigations. The shoreline administrator is authorized to make site inspections and take such actions as are necessary to enforce this chapter. The shoreline administrator shall present proper credentials and make a reasonable effort to contact any property owner before entering onto private property.

S.    Critical Area Markers and Signs.

1.    The boundary at the outer edge of critical area tracts and/or easements shall be delineated with permanent survey stakes, using iron or concrete markers as established by local survey standards.

2.    The boundary at the outer edge of the critical area or buffer shall be identified with temporary signs prior to any site alteration. Such temporary signs shall be replaced with permanent signs prior to occupancy or use of the site.

3.    These provisions may be modified by the shoreline administrator as necessary to ensure protection of sensitive features or wildlife needs.

T.    Notice on Title.

1.    In order to inform subsequent purchasers of real property of the existence of critical areas, the owner of any property containing a critical area or buffer on which a development proposal is submitted shall file a notice with the county records and elections division according to the direction of the city. The notice shall state the presence of the critical area or buffer on the property, the application of this chapter to the property, and the fact that limitations on actions in or affecting the critical area or buffer may exist. The notice shall run with the land.

2.    This notice on title shall not be required for a development proposal by a public agency or public or private utility:

a.    Within a recorded easement or right-of-way;

b.    Where the agency or utility has been adjudicated the right to an easement or right-of-way; or

c.    On the site of a permanent public facility.

3.    The applicant shall submit proof that the notice has been filed for public record before the city approves any site development or construction for the property or, in the case of subdivisions, short subdivisions, planned unit developments, and binding site plans, at or before recording.

U.    Critical Area Tracts.

1.    All critical areas and their buffers shall be placed in separate critical areas tracts, and shall be designated on all site plans, binding site plans, planned unit developments’ records of surveys, or subdivision approval, as follows:

a.    All landslide hazard areas and buffers;

b.    All wetlands and buffers;

c.    All fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas and buffers when applicable and appropriate; and

d.    All other lands to be protected from alterations as conditioned by project approval.

2.    Critical area tracts shall be recorded on all documents of title of record for all affected lots.

3.    Critical area tracts shall be designated on the face of the plat or recorded drawing in a format approved by the city attorney. The designation shall include the following restriction:

a.    An assurance that native vegetation will be preserved for the purpose of preventing harm to property and the environment, including, but not limited to, controlling surface water runoff and erosion, maintaining slope stability, buffering, and protecting plants, fish, and animal habitat; and

b.    The right of the city to enforce the terms of the restriction.

4.    The city may require that any required critical area tract be dedicated to the city, held in an undivided interest by each owner of a building lot within the development with the ownership interest passing with the ownership of the lot, or held by an incorporated homeowners’ association or other legal entity (such as a land trust, which ensures the ownership, maintenance, and protection of the tract).

V.    Bonds to Ensure Mitigation, Maintenance, and Monitoring.

1.    When mitigation required pursuant to a development proposal is not completed prior to the city final permit approval, such as final plat approval or final building inspection, the city shall require the applicant to post a performance bond or other security in a form and amount deemed acceptable by the city. If the development proposal is subject to mitigation, the applicant shall post a mitigation bond or other security in a form and amount deemed acceptable by the city to ensure mitigation is fully functional.

2.    The bond shall be in the amount of 125 percent of the estimated cost of the uncompleted actions or the estimated cost of restoring the functions and values of the critical area that are at risk, whichever is greater.

3.    The bond shall be in the form of a surety bond, performance bond, assignment of savings account, or an irrevocable letter of credit guaranteed by an acceptable financial institution with terms and conditions acceptable to the city attorney.

4.    Bonds or other security authorized by this section shall remain in effect until the city determines, in writing, that the standards bonded for have been met. Bonds or other security shall be held by the city for a minimum of five years to ensure that the required mitigation has been fully implemented and demonstrated to function, and may be held for longer periods when necessary.

5.    Depletion, failure, or collection of bond funds shall not discharge the obligation of an applicant or violator to complete required mitigation, maintenance, monitoring, or restoration.

6.    Public development proposals shall be relieved from having to comply with the bonding requirements of this section if public funds have previously been committed for mitigation, maintenance, monitoring, or restoration.

7.    Any failure to satisfy critical area requirements established by law or condition including, but not limited to, the failure to provide a monitoring report within 30 days after it is due or comply with other provisions of an approved mitigation plan shall constitute a default, and the city may demand payment of any financial guarantees or require other action authorized by the city code or any other law.

8.    Any funds recovered pursuant to this section shall be used to complete the required mitigation.

W.    Critical Area Inspections. Reasonable access to the site shall be provided to the city, state, and federal agency review staff for the purpose of inspections during any proposal review, restoration, emergency action, or monitoring period.

X.    Native Plants. Where native plants are required by regulations in this chapter, applicants shall select plants from the list maintained by the city or consult guidance provided by King or Snohomish Counties or the Washington Native Plant Society. (Ord. 2112 § 3 (Exh. C), 2013).

13.13.020 Wetlands.

A.    Designating Wetlands. Wetlands are those areas, designated in accordance with the approved federal Wetland Delineation Manual and applicable regional supplements that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. All areas within the city meeting the wetland designation criteria in the federal Wetland Delineation Manual, regardless of any formal identification, are hereby designated critical areas and are subject to the provisions of this chapter.

B.    Wetland Ratings. Wetlands shall be rated according to the Washington State Department of Ecology wetland rating system found in the Washington State wetland rating system documents (Washington State Wetland Rating Manual for Western Washington (revised), Department of Ecology Document No. 04-06-025) or as revised by Ecology. These documents contain the definitions and methods for determining if the criteria below are met.

1.    Wetland Rating Categories.

a.    Category I. Category I wetlands are those wetlands that (1) represent a unique or rare wetland type; or (2) are more sensitive to disturbance than most wetlands; or (3) are relatively undisturbed and contain ecological attributes that are impossible to replace within a human lifetime; or (4) provide a high level of functions. These include bogs, mature and old-growth forested wetlands, and wetlands that perform many functions very well (score 70 points or more (out of 100) on a completed rating form for the appropriate hydrogeomorphic class).

b.    Category II. Category II wetlands are difficult, though not impossible, to replace, and provide high levels of some functions. These wetlands occur more commonly than Category I wetlands, but still need a relatively high level of protection. There are no estuarine or inter-dunal wetlands in Bothell. Category II wetlands are those that score between 51 and 69 (out of 100) points. Wetlands scoring 51 to 69 points were judged to perform most functions relatively well, or performed one group of functions very well and the other two moderately well.

c.    Category III. Category III wetlands are wetlands with a moderate level of functions (scores between 30 and 50 points out of 100). Wetlands scoring between 30 and 50 points generally have been disturbed in some ways, and are often less diverse or more isolated from other natural resources in the landscape than Category II wetlands.

d.    Category IV. Category IV wetlands have the lowest levels of functions (scores less than 30 points out of 100) and are often heavily disturbed. These are wetlands that should be able to be replaced, and in some cases be able to be improved. However, experience has shown that replacement cannot be guaranteed in any specific case. These wetlands may provide some important functions, and also need to be protected.

2.    Date of Wetland Rating. Wetland rating categories shall be applied as the wetland exists on the date of adoption of the rating system by the local government, as the wetland naturally changes thereafter, or as the wetland changes in accordance with permitted activities. Wetland rating categories shall not change due to illegal modifications.

C.    Mapping. The approximate location and extent of wetlands are shown on the adopted critical area maps. The following critical area maps, including locally adopted maps, are hereby adopted. Additionally, soil maps produced by U.S. Department of Agriculture National Resources Conservation Service may be useful in helping to identify potential wetland areas. These maps are to be used as a guide for the city, project applicants, and/or property owners, and may be continuously updated as new critical areas are identified. They are a reference and do not provide a final critical area designation. The exact location of a wetland’s boundary shall be determined through the performance of a field investigation by a qualified professional wetland scientist applying the approved federal Wetland Delineation Manual and applicable regional supplements.

D.    Activities Allowed in Wetlands. The activities listed below are allowed in wetlands in addition to those activities listed in, and consistent with, the provisions established in BMC 13.13.010(K), Activities Allowed Without a Critical Areas Report, and do not require submission of a critical area report, except where such activities result in a loss to the functions and values of a wetland or wetland buffer. These activities include:

1.    Conservation or preservation of soil, water, vegetation, fish, shellfish, and other wildlife that does not entail changing the structure or functions of the existing wetland.

2.    The harvesting of wild crops in a manner that is not injurious to natural reproduction of such crops and provided the harvesting does not require tilling of soil, planting of crops, chemical applications, or alteration of the wetland by changing existing topography, water conditions, or water sources.

3.    Drilling for utilities under a wetland; provided, that the drilling does not interrupt the groundwater connection to the wetland or percolation of surface water down through the soil column. Specific studies by a hydrologist are necessary to determine whether the groundwater connection to the wetland or percolation of surface water down through the soil column is disturbed.

4.    Enhancement of a wetland through the removal of nonnative invasive species. Weeding shall be restricted to hand removal and weed material shall be removed from the site. Bare areas that remain after weed removal shall be revegetated with native shrubs and trees at natural densities. Some hand seeding may also be done over the bare areas with native herbs.

E.    Additional Report Requirements. In addition to the general critical area report requirements of BMC 13.13.010(O), critical area reports for wetlands must meet the requirements of this section. Critical area reports for two or more types of critical areas must meet the report requirements for each relevant type of critical area.

1.    Preparation by a Qualified Professional. A critical area report for wetlands shall be prepared by a qualified professional who is a certified professional wetland scientist or a noncertified professional wetland scientist with a minimum of five years of experience in the field of wetland science and with experience preparing wetland reports.

2.    Area Addressed in Critical Area Report. The following areas shall be addressed in a critical area report for wetlands:

a.    The project area of the proposed activity;

b.    All wetlands and recommended buffers within 300 feet of the project area; and

c.    All shoreline areas, water features, floodplains, and other critical areas, and related buffers within 300 feet of the project area.

3.    Wetland Analysis. In addition to the minimum required contents of BMC 13.13.010(O), Critical Area Reports – Requirements, a critical area report for wetlands shall contain an analysis of the wetlands including the following site- and proposal-related information at a minimum:

a.    A written assessment and accompanying maps of the wetlands and buffers within 300 feet of the project area, including the following information at a minimum:

(1)    Wetland delineation and required buffers;

(2)    Existing wetland acreage;

(3)    Wetland category;

(4)    Vegetative, faunal, and hydrologic characteristics;

(5)    Soil and substrate conditions;

(6)    Topographic elevations, at two-foot contours; and

(7)    A discussion of the water sources supplying the wetland and documentation of hydrologic regime (locations of inlet and outlet features, water depths throughout the wetland, evidence of recharge or discharge, evidence of water depths throughout the year – drift lines, algal layers, moss lines, and sediment deposits).

b.    A discussion of measures, including avoidance, minimization, and mitigation, proposed to preserve existing wetlands and restore any wetlands that were degraded prior to the current proposed land use activity.

c.    A habitat and native vegetation conservation strategy that addresses methods to protect and enhance on-site habitat and wetland functions.

d.    Functional evaluation for the wetland and adjacent buffer using the Washington State Wetland Rating System for Western Washington (revised), Department of Ecology Publication No. 04-06-025 and including the reference of the method and all data sheets.

e.    Proposed mitigation, if needed, including a written assessment and accompanying maps of the mitigation area, including the following information at a minimum:

(1)    Existing and proposed wetland acreage;

(2)    Vegetative and faunal conditions;

(3)    Surface and subsurface hydrologic conditions including an analysis of existing and future hydrologic regime and proposed hydrologic regime for enhanced, created, or restored mitigation areas;

(4)    Relationship within watershed and to existing water bodies;

(5)    Soil and substrate conditions, topographic elevations;

(6)    Existing and proposed adjacent site conditions;

(7)    Required wetland buffers (including any buffer reduction and mitigation proposed to increase the plant densities, remove weedy vegetation, and replant the buffers);

(8)    Property ownership; and

(9)    Associated wetlands and related wetlands that may be greater than 300 feet from the subject project.

f.    A scale map of the development proposal site and adjacent area. A discussion of ongoing management practices that will protect wetlands after the project site has been developed, including proposed monitoring and maintenance programs.

g.    A bond estimate for the installation (including site preparation, plant materials and installation, fertilizers, mulch, stakes) and the proposed monitoring and maintenance work for the required number of years.

h.    Title Notification. All activity in critical area protection areas shall be accompanied by a title.

4.    Additional Information. When appropriate, the shoreline administrator may also require the critical area report to include an evaluation by the state Department of Ecology or an independent qualified expert regarding the applicant’s analysis and the effectiveness of any proposed mitigating measures or programs, and to include any recommendations as appropriate.

a.    If the development proposal site contains or is within a wetland area, the applicant shall submit an affidavit, which declares whether the applicant has knowledge of any illegal alteration to any or all wetlands on the proposed site and whether the applicant previously had been found in violation of this chapter. If the applicant has been found previously in violation, the applicant shall declare whether such violation has been corrected to the satisfaction of the jurisdiction.

b.    The shoreline administrator shall determine if the mitigation and monitoring plans and bonding measures proposed by the applicant are sufficient to protect the public health, safety, and welfare, consistent with the goals, purposes, objectives and requirements of this chapter.

F.    General Requirements.

1.    Activities may only be permitted in a wetland or wetland buffer if the applicant can show that short- and long-term impacts of the proposed activity will not degrade the functions and functional performance of the wetland and other critical areas when mitigation is performed in accordance with the preferred sequencing shown in BMC 13.13.010(C).

2.    Activities and uses shall be prohibited in wetlands and wetland buffers, except as provided for in this chapter.

3.    Category I Wetlands. Activities and uses shall be prohibited from Category I wetlands, except for low-impact public access and recreation facilities, such as raised boardwalks or platforms for hiking or bird/wildlife watching, that provide opportunities for significant numbers of people to enjoy the natural environment. Such facilities shall be designed to avoid or minimize significant vegetation removal. Projects shall be designed to result in no net loss of ecological functions, and all adverse impacts shall be mitigated.

4.    Category II and III Wetlands. With respect to activities proposed in Category II and III wetlands, the following standards shall apply:

a.    Water-dependent activities may be allowed where there are no practicable alternatives that would have a less adverse impact on the wetland, its buffers and other critical areas.

b.    Low-impact public access and recreation facilities, such as raised boardwalks, may be allowed if they provide opportunities for substantial numbers of the general public to enjoy the natural environment. Such facilities shall be designed to avoid or minimize significant vegetation removal. Projects shall be designed to result in no net loss of ecological functions, and all adverse impacts shall be mitigated. Public access and recreational facilities shall incorporate interpretive signs or other mechanism to educate the public about wetland functions.

c.    Where activities are proposed that are neither water-dependent or related to public access and recreation, it shall be presumed that alternative locations are available, and activities and uses shall be prohibited, unless the applicant demonstrates that:

(1)    The basic project purpose cannot reasonably be accomplished and successfully avoid, or result in less adverse impact on, a wetland on another site or sites in the general region; and

(2)    All alternative designs of the project as proposed, that would avoid or result in less of an adverse impact on a wetland or its buffer, such as a reduction in the size, scope, configuration, or density of the project, are not feasible.

5.    Category IV Wetlands. Activities and uses that result in unavoidable and necessary adverse impacts may be permitted in Category IV wetlands and associated buffers in accordance with an approved critical area report and mitigation plan, and only if the proposed activity is the only reasonable alternative that will accomplish the applicant’s objectives. Full compensation for the acreage and lost functions will be provided under the terms established under subsection (G)(6) of this section.

6.    All isolated Category III and IV wetlands less than 1,000 square feet are exempt from the buffer provisions contained in this chapter and the normal mitigation sequencing process in BMC 13.13.010(C) if the following conditions exist:

a.    Are not associated with riparian areas or buffers;

b.    Not part of a wetland mosaic; and

c.    Do not contain habitat identified as essential for local populations of priority species identified by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife or species of local importance identified in BMC 13.13.060(A)(3).

    They may be filled if adverse impacts are fully mitigated. In order to verify the preceding conditions, a wetlands critical area report is required.

7.    Wetland Buffers.

a.    Standard Buffer Widths. Required standard wetland buffers, based on wetland category and habitat score, are as follows:

Table 13.13.020-1. Wetland Buffer Widths (In Feet)
 

Wetland Category

Standard (feet)

Buffer (in feet) if 21 – 25 habitat points*

Buffer (in feet) if 26 – 29 habitat points*

Buffer (in feet) if 30 – 36 habitat points*

I

75

105

165

225

II

75

105

165

225

III

60

105

165

Not applicable

IV

40

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

*    The habitat points are derived from one of three scoring elements (habitat, hydrology and water quality) included in the Washington State Wetland Rating System for Western Washington (revised), Department of Ecology Publication No. 04-06-025.

b.    Nonstandard Buffer Widths.

(1)    Where a legally established roadway transects the buffer, the buffer edge shall extend to the edge of the roadway nearest the wetland.

(2)    Where a legally established structure is located within the designated buffer, the buffer edge shall be the edge of the structure.

(3)    Where a legally established use or activity is located within the designated buffer, the buffer edge shall extend to the edge of the use or activity.

c.    Decreased Buffer Widths. In accordance with an approved critical areas report, buffer widths may be reduced as follows:

(1)    Buffer Enhancement. Buffer widths for wetlands may be reduced up to 25 percent of the required width, or to a minimum of 75 feet for Category I and II, 50 feet for Category III, and 25 feet for Category IV wetlands, whichever is greater, when buffer enhancement is performed that increases the existing functions and values beyond that which the wetland would achieve with a standard buffer width. Buffer quality will be evaluated by a qualified wetlands biologist and verified by the city’s third-party biologist; or

(2)    Impact Mitigation. The shoreline administrator may approve a reduction in the buffer width if one or more of the following mitigating conditions exist or are provided:

(A)    Groundwater Recharge. Where site storm water from impervious surfaces is collected, treated, and infiltrated into the ground above the wetland and the infiltration system is recorded on the title to the property on which it is located; or

(B)    Physical Barriers. Where dense vegetation, such as rose and/or hawthorn, is planted at the outer edge of the wetland buffer to minimize animal and/or human intrusion into the wetland.

d.    Increased Wetland Buffer Widths. The shoreline administrator shall consider, and may require, increased buffer widths, up to 25 feet, in accordance with the recommendations of an experienced, qualified professional wetland scientist, and the most current, available scientific and technical information on a case-by-case basis when a larger buffer is necessary to protect existing wetland functions and values based on site-specific characteristics. This determination shall be based on one or more of the following criteria:

(1)    A larger buffer is needed to protect other critical areas;

(2)    Wetlands within 25 feet of the toe of slopes equal to or greater than 15 percent shall have the following buffers:

(A)    Where the horizontal length of the slope including small benches and terraces is within the buffer for that wetland category, the buffer width shall be the greater of the required buffer for that wetland category or 25 feet beyond the toe of the slope.

(B)    Where the horizontal length of the slope extends beyond the required buffer for that wetland category, the buffer shall extend to a point 25 feet beyond the required buffer for that wetland category.

(3)    The buffer area has minimal vegetative cover. In lieu of increasing the buffer width where existing buffer vegetation is inadequate to protect the existing wetland functions and values, implementation of a buffer planting plan developed by a qualified wetland scientist in accordance with an approved critical areas report may substitute. Existing buffer vegetation is considered “inadequate” and will need to be enhanced through additional native plantings and (if appropriate) removal of nonnative plants when: (A) nonnative or invasive plant species provide the dominant cover, (B) vegetation is lacking due to disturbance and wetland resources could be adversely affected, or (C) enhancement plantings in the buffer could significantly improve buffer functions.

(4)    Buffer widths may vary for any one wetland based on its existing characteristics. It is understood that gradual transition zones will be employed between one buffer width and another. The required buffer width may be increased if any of the following circumstances exist:

(A)    Species listed by the federal government or the state of Washington as endangered, threatened, sensitive or priority, or essential or outstanding actual habitat for those species, or plant associations of infrequent occurrence are present;

(B)    Unusual nesting or resting sites such as heron rookeries or raptor nesting or lookout trees are present;

(C)    The wetland has been identified as providing particularly important water quality maintenance or flood control function, or is particularly sensitive to erosion and/or sedimentation.

e.    Wetland Buffer Width Averaging. The shoreline administrator may allow modification of the standard wetland buffer width in accordance with an approved critical areas report and the most current, available scientific and technical information on a case-by-case basis by averaging buffer widths. Averaging of buffer widths may only be allowed where a qualified professional wetland scientist demonstrates that:

(1)    It will not reduce wetland functions or functional performance;

(2)    The wetland contains variations in sensitivity due to existing physical characteristics or the character of the buffer varies in slope, soils, or vegetation, and the wetland would benefit from a wider buffer in places and would not be adversely impacted by a narrower buffer in other places;

(3)    The total area contained in the buffer area after averaging is no less than that which would be contained within the standard buffer; and

(4)    The buffer at its narrowest point is never less than either 75 percent of the required width or 75 feet for Category I and II, 50 feet for Category III, and 25 feet for Category IV, whichever is greater.

f.    Measurement of Wetland Buffers.

(1)    All buffers shall be measured from the wetland boundary as surveyed in the field.

(2)    The buffer for a wetland created, restored, or enhanced as compensation for approved wetland alterations shall be the same as the buffer required for the category of the created, restored, or enhanced wetland. Only fully vegetated buffers will be considered. Lawns, walkways, driveways, and other mowed or paved areas will not be considered buffers.

g.    Buffer Consistency. All mitigation sites shall have buffers consistent with the buffer requirements of this chapter.

h.    Buffer Maintenance. Except as otherwise specified or allowed in accordance with this chapter, wetland buffers shall be retained in an undisturbed or enhanced condition. Removal of invasive nonnative weeds is required for the duration of the mitigation bond.

i.    Buffer Uses. The following uses may be permitted within a wetland buffer in accordance with the review procedures of this chapter, provided they are not prohibited by any other applicable law and they are conducted in a manner so as to minimize adverse impacts to the buffer and adjacent wetland:

(1)    Conservation and Restoration Activities. Conservation or restoration activities aimed at protecting the soil, water, vegetation, or wildlife.

(2)    Passive Recreation. Passive recreation facilities designed and in accordance with an approved critical areas report, including:

(A)    Walkways and trails; provided, that those pathways that are generally parallel to the perimeter of the wetland shall, where practicable, be located in the outer one-third of the buffer area. Surface permeability of walkways and trails shall be considered where applicable. Raised boardwalks utilizing nontreated pilings area may be acceptable. Buffer widths shall be increased, where practicable, equal to the width of the trail corridor;

(B)    Wildlife viewing structures; and

(C)    Fishing access areas down to the water’s edge shall be no wider than six feet.

(3)    Other Water-Oriented Public Access and Recreation. Consistent with the use allowances for each environment designation, public access and public recreation facilities and their accessory uses and developments may be located in wetland buffers. All such uses and facilities in wetland buffers shall be located to avoid or minimize significant vegetation removal and shall minimize impervious areas. The project shall be designed to result in no net loss of ecological functions, and all adverse impacts shall be mitigated.

(4)    Storm Water Management Facilities. Storm water management facilities, except conveyance facilities and dispersion outfalls for which no alternative location is feasible, are prohibited within Category I and II wetland buffers. Storm water management facilities may be located within the outer 25 percent of the buffer of Category III or IV wetlands; provided, that:

(A)    No other location is feasible; and

(B)    The location of such facilities will not degrade the functions or values of the wetland.

8.    Signs and Fencing of Wetlands.

a.    Temporary Markers. The outer perimeter of the wetland or buffer and the limits of those areas to be disturbed pursuant to an approved permit or authorization shall be marked in the field in such a way as to ensure that no unauthorized intrusion will occur and is subject to inspection by the shoreline administrator prior to the commencement of permitted activities. This temporary marking shall be maintained throughout construction and shall not be removed until permanent signs, if required, are in place.

b.    Permanent Signs. As a condition of any permit or authorization issued pursuant to this chapter, the shoreline administrator may require the applicant to install permanent signs along the boundary of a wetland or buffer.

(1)    Permanent signs shall be made of an enamel-coated metal face and attached to a metal post, or another nontreated material of equal durability. Signs must be posted at an interval of one per lot or every 50 feet, whichever is less, and must be maintained by the property owner in perpetuity. The sign shall be worded as follows or with alternative language approved by the shoreline administrator:

Protected Wetland Area

Do Not Disturb

Contact the City of Bothell

Regarding Uses and Restriction

(2)    The provisions of subsection (F)(8)(a) of this section may be modified as necessary to assure protection of sensitive features or wildlife.

c.    Fencing.

(1)    The shoreline administrator shall determine if fencing is necessary to protect the functions and values of the critical area. If found to be necessary, the shoreline administrator shall condition any permit or authorization issued pursuant to this chapter to require the applicant to install a permanent fence at the edge of the wetland buffer, when fencing will prevent future adverse impacts to the wetland.

(2)    The applicant shall be required to install a permanent fence around the wetland or buffer when domestic grazing animals are present or may be introduced on site.

(3)    Fencing installed as part of a proposed activity or as required in this subsection shall be designed so as to not interfere with species migration, including fish runs, and shall be constructed in a manner that minimizes adverse impacts to the wetland and associated habitat.

G.    Compensatory Mitigation Requirements. Compensatory mitigation for alterations to wetlands shall achieve equivalent or greater biologic functions. Compensatory mitigation plans shall be consistent with the state Department of Ecology Wetland Mitigation in Washington State – Part 2: Developing Mitigation Plans (Version 1), Ecology Publication No. 06-06-011b, Olympia, WA, March 2006 or as revised, as revised.

1.    Mitigation shall be required in the following order of preference:

a.    Avoiding the adverse impact altogether by not taking a certain action or parts of an action.

b.    Minimizing adverse impacts by limiting the degree or magnitude of the action and its implementation, by using appropriate technology, or by taking affirmative steps to avoid or reduce impacts.

c.    Rectifying the adverse impact by repairing, rehabilitating, or restoring the affected environment.

d.    Reducing or eliminating the adverse impact over time by preservation and maintenance operations.

e.    Compensating for the adverse impact by replacing, enhancing, or providing substitute resources or environments.

2.    Mitigation for Lost or Affected Functions. Compensatory mitigation actions shall address functions affected by the alteration to achieve functional equivalency or improvement and shall provide similar wetland functions as those lost, except when:

a.    The lost wetland provides minimal functions as determined by a site-specific function assessment, and the proposed compensatory mitigation action(s) will provide equal or greater functions or will provide functions shown to be limiting within a watershed through a formal Washington State watershed assessment plan or protocol; or

b.    Out-of-kind replacement will best meet formally identified watershed goals, such as replacement of historically diminished wetland types.

3.    Preference of Mitigation Actions. Compensatory mitigation actions shall address functions affected by the alteration to achieve functional equivalency or improvement. Mitigation actions that require compensation shall occur in the following order of preference:

a.    Restoring wetlands on upland sites that were formerly wetlands. Wetland restoration refers to actions performed to reestablish wetland functional characteristics and processes that have been lost by alterations, activities, or catastrophic events within an area that no longer meets the definition of a wetland.

b.    Creating wetlands on disturbed upland sites such as those with vegetative cover consisting primarily of nonnative introduced species. Wetlands creation refers to actions performed to intentionally establish a wetland at a site where it did not formerly exist. Creation should only be attempted when there is a consistent source of hydrology and it can be shown that the surface and subsurface hydrologic regime is conducive for the wetland community that is being designed.

c.    Enhancing significantly degraded wetlands in combination with restoration or creation. Enhancement refers to actions performed to improve the condition of existing degraded wetlands so that the functions they provide are of a higher quality. Such enhancement should be part of a mitigation package that includes replacing the impacted area meeting appropriate ratio requirements.

4.    Type and Location of Mitigation. Unless it is demonstrated that a higher level of ecological functioning would result from an alternate approach, such as a mitigation bank located within Watershed Resource Inventory Area (WRIA) 8, implementation of a project found in the city’s shoreline restoration plan, or a city of Bothell-sponsored fee-in-lieu program, compensatory mitigation for ecological functions shall be either in-kind and on site, or in-kind and within the same stream reach or subbasin. Mitigation actions shall be conducted within the same subdrainage basin and on the site as the alteration except when all of the following apply:

a.    There are no reasonable on-site or in-subdrainage basin opportunities or on-site and in-subdrainage basin opportunities do not have a high likelihood of success, after a determination of the natural capacity of the site to mitigate for the adverse impacts. Consideration should include: anticipated wetland mitigation replacement ratios; buffer conditions and proposed widths; hydrogeomorphic classes of on-site wetlands when restored; proposed flood storage capacity; and potential to mitigate riparian fish and wildlife impacts (such as connectivity);

b.    Off-site mitigation has a greater likelihood of providing equal or improved wetland functions than the impacted wetland; and

c.    Off-site locations shall be in the same subdrainage basin unless:

(1)    Established watershed goals for water quality, flood or conveyance, habitat, or other wetland functions have been established and strongly justify location of mitigation at another site; or

(2)    Credits from a state-certified wetland mitigation bank located within the Sammamish River, North Creek, or Swamp Creek drainage basin are used as mitigation and the use of credits is consistent with the terms of the bank’s certification;

(3)    The mitigation occurs as part of a city of Bothell-sponsored fee-in-lieu program;

(4)    Wetponds established and maintained for control of surface water shall not constitute replacement or enhancement for wetland alterations.

5.    Mitigation Timing. Mitigation projects shall be completed with an approved monitoring plan prior to activities that will disturb wetlands. In all other cases, mitigation shall be completed immediately following disturbance and prior to use or occupancy of the activity or development. Construction of mitigation projects shall be timed to reduce adverse impacts to existing fisheries, wildlife, and flora.

    The shoreline administrator may authorize a one-time temporary delay, up to 120 days, in completing minor construction and landscaping when environmental conditions could produce a high probability of failure or significant construction difficulties. The delay shall not create or perpetuate hazardous conditions or environmental damage or degradation, and the delay shall not be injurious to the health, safety, and general welfare of the public. The request for the temporary delay must include a written justification that documents the environmental constraints that preclude implementation of the mitigation plan. The justification must be verified and approved by the city and include a financial guarantee.

6.    Mitigation Ratios.

a.    Acreage Replacement Ratios. The following ratios shall apply to creation or restoration that is in-kind, is on site, is the same category, is timed prior to or concurrent with alteration, and has a high probability of success. These ratios do not apply to remedial actions resulting from unauthorized alterations; greater ratios shall apply in those cases. These ratios do not apply to the use of credits from a state certified wetland mitigation bank. When credits from a certified bank are used, replacement ratios should be consistent with the requirements of the bank’s certification. The first number specifies the acreage of replacement wetlands and the second specifies the acreage of wetlands altered.

Table 13.13.020-2. Wetland Mitigation Ratios
 

Category and Type of Wetland Impacts

Reestablishment or Creation

Rehabilitation Only1

Reestablishment or Creation (R/C) and Rehabilitation (RH)1

Reestablishment or Creation (R/C) and Enhancement (E)1

Enhancement Only1

All Category IV

1.5:1

3:1

1:1 R/C and 1:1 RH

1:1 R/C and 2:1 E

6:1

All Category III

2:1

4:1

1:1 R/C and 2:1 RH

1:1 R/C and 4:1 E

8:1

Category II

3:1

6:1

1:1 R/C and 4:1 RH

1:1 R/C and 8:1 E

Not allowed

Category I forested

6:1

12:1

1:1 R/C and 10:1 RH

1:1 R/C and 20:1 E

Not allowed

Category I – based on score for functions

4:1

8:1

1:1 R/C and 6:1 RH

1:1 R/C and 12:1 E

Not allowed

Category I Natural Heritage site

Not allowed

6:1 Rehabilitation of a Natural Heritage site

Not allowed

Not allowed

Not allowed

Category I bog

Not allowed

6:1 Rehabilitation of a bog

Not allowed

Not allowed

Not allowed

1    These ratios are based on the assumption that the rehabilitation or enhancement actions implemented represent the average degree of improvement possible for the site. Proposals to implement more effective rehabilitation or enhancement actions may result in a lower ratio, while less effective actions may result in a higher ratio. The distinction between rehabilitation and enhancement is not clear-cut. Instead, rehabilitation and enhancement actions span a continuum. Proposals that fall within the gray area between rehabilitation and enhancement will result in a ratio that lies between the ratios for rehabilitation and the ratios for enhancement.

b.    Increased Replacement Ratio. The shoreline administrator may increase the ratios under the following circumstances:

(1)    Uncertainty exists as to the probable success of the proposed restoration or creation;

(2)    A significant period of time will elapse between adverse impact and replication of wetland functions;

(3)    Proposed mitigation will result in a lower category wetland or reduced functions relative to the wetland being adversely impacted; or

(4)    The impact was an unauthorized impact.

H.    Subdivisions. The subdivision and short subdivision of land in wetlands and associated buffers is subject to the following:

1.    Land that is located wholly within a Category I, II or III wetland or its buffer may not be subdivided.

2.    Land that is located partially within a Category I, II or III wetland or its buffer may be subdivided; provided, that an accessible and contiguous portion of each new lot is:

a.    Located outside of the wetland and its buffer; and

b.    Meets the minimum lot size requirements of BMC Title 12.

3.    Access roads and utilities serving the proposed subdivision may be permitted within the wetland and associated buffers only if the city determines that no other feasible alternative exists and when consistent with this chapter. (Ord. 2112 § 3 (Exh. C), 2013).

13.13.030 Critical aquifer recharge areas.

A.    Designation and Mapping.

1.    Potable water is an essential life sustaining element. Once groundwater is contaminated, it is difficult, costly, and sometimes impossible to clean up. Preventing contamination is necessary to avoid exorbitant costs, hardships, and potential physical harm to the public. It is the city of Bothell’s intent, through this section of the critical areas regulations, to recognize the importance of aquifers and to acknowledge a responsibility common to all governmental agencies to ensure, as much as possible through each jurisdiction’s powers to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public, the continued quantity and quality of groundwater supplies through the regulation of land uses which may contribute contamination that may degrade groundwater quality and/or quantity in recharge areas of vulnerability. The extent of regulation shall be based on the degree of vulnerability of an identified recharge area and the contaminant loading potential of the proposed land use.

2.    Where it is determined through special studies or city of Bothell mapping projects that soil and geologic formation permeability exists such that the presence of a groundwater recharge area is likely, the shoreline administrator may require further investigation by the applicant of the existence of recharge areas when the proposed land use involved is considered to be of a type or intensity that has a high contamination potential. Such uses may include, but are not limited to, planned unit developments, waste disposal sites, or agriculture activities.

B.    Additional Report Requirements. Any additional required special study shall address, but is not limited to, the following:

1.    Depth of groundwater;

2.    Aquifer properties such as hydraulic conductivity and gradients;

3.    Soil texture, permeability, and contaminant attenuation properties;

4.    Characteristics of the vadose zone (the unsaturated top layer of soil and geologic material) including permeability and attenuation properties; or

5.    Other relevant factors.

C.    General Requirements. Based upon information provided in any required special report or study, the shoreline administrator shall determine conditions of development which will ensure, to the extent possible, no degradation of groundwater quantity or quality. Such conditions shall be attached to the appropriate shoreline permit or approval when required as a result of the presence of any other critical area or to any other permit required by the project or approval of a rezone application or certification of zoning compliance for either tenancy or new construction. (Ord. 2112 § 3 (Exh. C), 2013).

13.13.040 Frequently flooded areas.

A.    Designation of Frequently Flooded Areas. Frequently flooded or special flood hazard areas are lands subject to a one percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year; otherwise known as the “100-year” flood or the “base” flood. These areas could include, but are not limited to, streams, lakes, wetlands and their associated floodplains, flood fringes or areas identified by the Federal Insurance Administration in a scientific and engineering report entitled “The Flood Insurance Study for King County, Washington and Incorporated Areas” dated March 30, 1998, and any revisions thereto, and “The Flood Insurance Study for Snohomish County, Washington, and Incorporated Areas,” dated November 8, 1999, and any revisions thereto, with accompanying FIRMs are hereby adopted by reference and declared to be part of this chapter. The flood insurance studies and FIRMs are on file at the office of the city clerk.

B.    Findings and Intent.

1.    Frequently flooded or flood hazard areas are subject to periodic inundation which results in loss of life and property, health and safety hazards, disruption of commerce and governmental services, extraordinary public expenditures for flood protection and relief, and impairment of the tax base, all of which adversely affect the public health, safety, and general welfare. These flood losses are caused by the cumulative effect of obstructions in areas of special flood hazards which increase flood heights and velocities, and when inadequately anchored, damage uses in other areas. Uses that are inadequately floodproofed, elevated, or otherwise protected from flood damage or which are inappropriately located in the floodplain also contribute to the flood loss.

2.    It is the intent of the city of Bothell, by way of this section, to reduce, minimize and/or prevent the public and private losses noted above and to promote the public health, safety and general welfare, through the regulation of development within frequently flooded areas designed to:

a.    Restrict or prohibit uses which are dangerous to health, safety and property due to water or erosion hazards, or which result in damaging increases in erosion or in flood heights or velocities;

b.    Require that uses vulnerable to floods, including facilities which serve such uses, be protected against flood damage at the time of initial construction;

c.    Control and minimize the alteration of natural floodplains, stream channels and natural protective barriers which help accommodate or channel floodwaters;

d.    Control filling, grading, dredging and other development which may increase flood damage; and

e.    Prevent or regulate the construction of flood barriers which will unnaturally divert floodwaters or which may increase flood hazards in other areas.

C.    Administration.

1.    Designation of the Local Flood Management Administrator. The public works director is the administrator. The public works director is appointed to administer and implement this section by reviewing permit applications in accordance with its provisions and providing final findings to the shoreline administrator who shall issue or deny the underlying shoreline permit based on said findings and consistency with all other provisions of the SMP.

2.    Duties and Responsibilities of the Local Flood Management Administrator. Duties of the local flood management administrator shall include, but not be limited to:

a.    Permit Review.

(1)    Review all permit applications within areas of special flood hazard to determine that the requirements of this chapter and this section have been satisfied;

(2)    Review all permit applications within areas of special flood hazard to determine that all necessary permits have been obtained from those federal, state or local governmental agencies from which prior approval is required;

(3)    Review all permit applications within areas of special flood hazard to determine if the proposed development is located in the floodway. If located in the floodway, assure that the encroachment provisions of subsection (G)(4)(l) of this section are met.

b.    Use of Other Base Flood Data.

(1)    When base flood elevation data has not been provided, the local flood management administrator shall obtain, review and reasonably utilize any base flood elevation and floodway data available from a federal, state, or other source, in order to fulfill his or her duties and responsibilities under this chapter.

(2)    Review of Building Permits. Where base flood elevation data has not been provided or is not available either through the flood insurance study or from another authoritative source, applications for building permits shall be reviewed to assure that proposed construction will be reasonably safe from flooding. The test of reasonableness is the judgment of the city engineer and includes use of historical data, high water marks, photographs of past flooding, etc., where available. Failure to elevate at least two feet above the highest adjacent grade in these zones may result in higher insurance rates.

D.    Relationship to Other Critical Areas Regulations. In addition to the provisions of this section, requirements for buffers, sensitive area tracts, development setback lines, permitted alterations, mitigation and monitoring for a development proposal site on or adjacent to a flood hazard area shall be as established elsewhere in this chapter for the streams, wetlands, wildlife habitat conservation areas or other critical areas which form the constituent elements of the floodplain.

E.    Information to Be Obtained and Maintained.

1.    Where base flood data is provided through the flood insurance study or as required in subsection (C)(2)(b)(1) of this section, obtain and record the actual elevation (in relation to mean sea level) of the lowest floor (including basement) of all new or substantially improved structures, and whether or not the structure contains a basement.

2.    For all new or substantially improved floodproofed structures in a special flood hazard area:

a.    Verify and record the actual elevation in relation to sea level to which the structure was floodproofed.

b.    Maintain the floodproofing certifications required by this section. The applicant must provide certification by a professional civil engineer or land surveyor licensed in the state of Washington of the actual as-built elevation of the lowest floor, including basement (in relation to mean sea level), and, if applicable, the actual as-built elevation to which the structure is floodproofed. If the structure has a basement, this must be indicated.

c.    Maintain for public inspection all records pertaining to the provisions of this section.

F.    Other Agencies. In all flood hazard areas, the city of Bothell shall honor all existing contractual obligations with any federal agency.

G.    Development Regulations.

1.    Any activities in a special flood hazard area as defined by this chapter shall require the appropriate shoreline permit and shall be subject to the requirements of this section.

2.    Alteration of Watercourses.

a.    Notify adjacent communities and the state Department of Ecology prior to any alteration or relocation of a watercourse, and submit evidence of such notification to the Federal Insurance Administration.

b.    Require that maintenance is provided within the altered or relocated portion of said watercourse so that the flood-carrying capacity is not diminished.

3.    Interpretation of FIRM Boundaries. Make interpretations where needed, as to exact location of the boundaries of the areas of special flood hazards. The person contesting the location of the boundary shall be given a reasonable opportunity to appeal the interpretation as provided for elsewhere in this chapter.

4.    General Standards. In all areas of special flood hazards, the following standards are required:

a.    In areas where a regulatory floodway has not been designated, no new construction, substantial improvements, or other development (including fill) shall be permitted within zone AE on the community’s FIRMs, unless it is demonstrated that the cumulative effect of the proposed development when combined with all other existing development will not increase the water surface elevation of the base flood more than six inches at any point within the community.

b.    Anchoring.

(1)    All new construction and substantial improvements shall be anchored to prevent flotation, collapse, or lateral movement of the structure;

(2)    All manufactured homes must likewise be anchored to prevent flotation, collapse, or lateral movement, and shall be installed using methods and practices that minimize flood damage. Anchoring methods may include, but are not limited to, use of over-the-top or frame ties to ground anchors, or as otherwise provided in FEMA’s “Manufactured Home Installation in Flood Hazard Areas” guidebook.

c.    Construction Materials and Methods.

(1)    All new construction and substantial improvements shall be constructed with materials and utility equipment resistant to flood damage.

(2)    All new construction and substantial improvements shall be constructed using methods and practices that minimize flood damage.

(3)    Electrical, heating, ventilation, plumbing, and air-conditioning equipment and other service facilities shall be designed and/or otherwise elevated or located so as to prevent water from entering or accumulating within the components during conditions of flooding.

d.    Utilities.

(1)    Utilities shall be located in the 100-year floodplain only when no other physically feasible location is available.

(2)    All new and replacement water supply systems, when permitted in the 100-year floodplain, shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwaters into the system.

(3)    Installation of new sanitary sewage systems in the 100-year floodplain shall be prohibited unless a waiver is granted by the applicable department of public health. If a waiver is granted, the system shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwaters into the system and discharge from the system into floodwaters.

(4)    Installation of replacement sanitary sewage systems within the 100-year floodplain shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwaters into the systems and discharge from the systems into floodwaters.

(5)    On-site waste disposal systems, when permitted in the 100-year floodplain, shall be located to avoid impairment to them or contamination from them during flooding.

(6)    Construction of sewage treatment facilities in the 100-year floodplain shall be prohibited.

(7)    Utility transmission lines transporting hazardous substances within the 100-year floodplain shall be buried at a minimum depth of four feet below the maximum depth of scour for the base flood as predicted by a professional civil engineer licensed in the state of Washington and shall achieve sufficient negative buoyancy so that any potential for flotation or upward migration is eliminated.

e.    Critical facilities shall not be constructed in the 100-year floodplain.

f.    Construction of livestock manure storage facilities and associated nonpoint source water pollution facilities shall not be constructed in the 100-year floodplain.

g.    Residential Construction.

(1)    New construction and substantial improvement of any residential structure shall have the lowest floor, including basement, elevated one foot above base flood elevation;

(2)    Fully enclosed areas below the lowest floor that are subject to flooding are prohibited, or shall be designed to automatically equalize hydrostatic flood forces on exterior walls by allowing for the entry and exit of floodwaters. Designs for meeting this requirement must either be certified by a registered professional engineer or architect or must meet or exceed the following minimum criteria:

(A)    A minimum of two openings having a total net area of not less than one square inch for every square foot of enclosed area subject to flooding shall be provided;

(B)    The bottom of all openings shall be no higher than one foot above grade;

(C)    Openings may be equipped with screens, louvers, or other coverings or devices; provided, that they permit the automatic entry and exit of floodwaters.

h.    Nonresidential Construction. New construction and substantial improvement of any commercial, industrial or other nonresidential structure shall either have the lowest floor, including basement, elevated one foot above the level of the base flood elevation; or together with attendant utility and sanitary facilities shall:

(1)    Be floodproofed so that below one foot above the base flood level the structure is watertight with walls substantially impermeable to the passage of water.

(2)    Have structural components capable of resisting hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads and effects of buoyancy.

(3)    Be certified by a registered professional engineer or architect that the design and methods of construction are in accordance with accepted standards of practice for meeting provisions of this subsection based on their development and/or review of the structural design, specifications and plans. Such certifications shall be provided to the official as set forth elsewhere in this section.

(4)    Nonresidential structures that are elevated, not floodproofed, must meet the same standards for space below the lowest floor as described in subsection (G)(4)(g) of this section.

(5)    Applicants floodproofing nonresidential buildings shall be notified that flood insurance premiums will be based on rates that are one foot below the floodproofed level.

i.    Manufactured Homes. All manufactured homes to be placed or substantially improved within Zones A, AE, and X shall be elevated on a permanent foundation such that the lowest floor of the manufactured home is one foot above the base flood elevation and be securely anchored to an adequately anchored foundation system in accordance with the provisions of subsection (G)(4)(b) of this section.

j.    Subdivision Proposals.

(1)    All subdivision proposals shall be consistent with the need to minimize flood damage.

(2)    Subdivisions, short subdivisions, and binding site plans shall follow these requirements:

(A)    New building lots shall contain 5,000 square feet or more of buildable land outside the 100-year floodplain and building setback lines shall be shown on the face of the plat to restrict permanent structures to this 5,000-square-foot or greater area;

(B)    All public utilities and facilities such as sewer, gas, electrical and water systems shall be located and constructed consistent with subsection (G)(4)(d) of this section;

(C)    Adequate drainage shall be provided to reduce exposure to flood damage;

(D)    Where base flood elevation data has not been provided or is not available from another authoritative source, it shall be generated for subdivision proposals and other proposed developments which contain at least 50 lots or five acres, whichever is less;

(E)    Base flood data and flood hazard notes shall be shown on the face of the recorded plat, including, but not limited to, the base flood elevation, required flood protection elevations, and the boundaries of the 100-year floodplain; and

(F)    The following note shall appear on the face of the recorded plat for all affected lots:

NOTICE

    Lots and structures located within flood hazard areas may be inaccessible by emergency vehicles during flood events. Residents and property owners should take appropriate advance precautions.

k.    Floodways. Located within areas of special flood hazard are areas designated as “floodways.” Since the floodway is an extremely hazardous area due to the velocity of floodwaters which carry debris, potential projectiles and erosion potential, the following provisions apply:

(1)    Prohibit encroachments, including fill, new construction, substantial improvements and other development unless certification by a registered professional engineer or architect is provided demonstrating that encroachments shall not result in any increase in flood levels during the occurrence of the base flood discharge.

(2)    If this subsection is satisfied, all new construction and substantial improvements shall comply with all applicable flood hazard reduction provisions of this section.

(3)    Construction or reconstruction of residential structures is prohibited within designated floodways, except for (A) repairs, reconstruction, or improvements to a structure which do not increase the ground floor area; and (B) repairs, reconstruction or improvements to a structure, the cost of which does not exceed 50 percent of the market value of the structure either (1) before the repair, reconstruction, or improvement is started, or (2) if the structure has been damaged, and is being restored, before the damage occurred. Any project for improvement of a structure to correct existing violations of state or local health, sanitary, or safety toward specifications which have been identified by the local code official and which are the minimum necessary to assure safe living conditions or to structures identified as historic places shall not be included in the 50 percent.

l.    Encroachments. The cumulative effect of any proposed development, when combined with all other existing and anticipated development, shall not increase the water surface elevation of the base flood more than six inches at any point.

m.    Compensatory Storage. New development shall not reduce the effective flood storage volume of the regulatory floodplain. A development proposal shall provide compensatory storage if grading or other activity eliminates any effective flood storage volume. Compensatory storage shall:

(1)    Provide equivalent volume at equivalent elevations to that being displaced. For this purpose, “equivalent elevation” means having similar relationship to ordinary high water and to the best available 10-year, 50-year and 100-year water surface profiles;

(2)    Be hydraulically connected to the source of flooding; and

(3)    Provide compensatory storage in the same construction season as when the displacement of flood storage volume occurs and before the flood season begins.

(4)    Be graded and vegetated to allow fish access during flood events without creating fish stranding areas.

n.    Recreational Vehicles. Recreational vehicles placed on sites will be required to either:

(1)    Be on the site for fewer than 180 consecutive days; and

(2)    Be fully licensed and ready for highway use, on its wheels or jacking system, be attached to the site only by quick disconnect type utilities and security devices and have no permanently attached additions; or

(3)    Meet the requirement of subsection (G)(4)(b) of this section and the elevation and anchoring requirements for manufactured homes. (Ord. 2112 § 3 (Exh. C), 2013).

13.13.050 Geologically hazardous areas.

A.    Designation, Classification, and Mapping. Geologically hazardous areas include areas susceptible to erosion, sliding, earthquake, or other geological events. They pose a threat to the health and safety of citizens when incompatible development is sited in areas of significant hazard. Such incompatible development may not only place itself at risk, but also may increase the hazard to surrounding development and use. Areas susceptible to one or more of the following types of hazards shall be designated as a geologically hazardous area:

1.    Erosion hazard;

2.    Landslide hazard;

3.    Seismic hazard; and

4.    Other geological events including mass wasting, debris flows, rock falls, and differential settlement.

B.    Designation of Specific Hazard Areas.

1.    Erosion Hazard Areas. Erosion hazard areas are those areas identified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service as having a “moderate to severe,” “severe,” or “very severe” rill and inter-rill erosion hazard and/or those areas containing soils which, according to the USDA Soil Conservation Service Soil Classification System, may experience severe to very severe erosion hazard. Erosion hazard areas are also those areas impacted by shore land and/or stream bank erosion and those areas within a river or stream’s channel migration zone.

2.    Landslide Hazard Areas. Landslide hazard areas are areas of historic failure or potentially subject to landslides based on a combination of geologic, topographic, and hydrologic factors. They include areas susceptible because of any combination of bedrock, soil, slope (gradient), slope aspect, structure, hydrology, or other factors. Example of these may include, but are not limited to, the following:

a.    Areas of historic failures, such as:

(1)    Those areas delineated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service as having a “severe” limitation for building site development;

(2)    Those areas mapped by the Washington State Department of Ecology (Coastal Zone Atlas) or the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (slope stability mapping) as unstable (U or class 3), unstable old slides (UOS or class 4), or unstable recent slides (URS or class 5); or

(3)    Areas designated as quaternary slumps, earthflows, mudflows, lahars, or landslides on maps published by the U.S. Geological Survey or Washington State Department of Natural Resources.

b.    Areas with all three of the following characteristics:

(1)    Slopes steeper than 15 percent;

(2)    Hillsides intersecting geologic contacts with a relatively permeable sediment overlying a relatively impermeable sediment or bedrock; and

(3)    Springs or groundwater seepage.

c.    Areas that have shown movement during the Holocene epoch (from 10,000 years ago to the present) or that are underlain or covered by mass wastage debris of that epoch;

d.    Slopes that are parallel or subparallel to planes of weakness (such as bedding planes, joint systems, and fault planes) in subsurface materials;

e.    Slopes having gradients steeper than 80 percent subject to rock fall during seismic shaking;

f.    Areas potentially unstable because of rapid stream incision, stream bank erosion, and undercutting by wave action, including channel migration zones;

g.    Areas that show evidence of, or are at risk from, snow avalanches;

h.    Areas located in a canyon or on an active alluvial fan, presently or potentially subject to inundation by debris flows or catastrophic flooding; and

i.    Any area with a slope of 40 percent or steeper and with a vertical relief of 10 or more feet except areas composed of consolidated rock. A slope is delineated by establishing its toe and top and is measured by averaging the inclination over at least 10 feet of vertical relief.

3.    Seismic Hazard Areas. Seismic hazard areas are areas subject to severe risk of damage as a result of earthquake induced ground shaking, slope failure, settlement, soil liquefaction, lateral spreading, or surface faulting. One indicator of potential for future earthquake damage is a record of earthquake damage in the past. Ground shaking is the primary cause of earthquake damage in Washington. The strength of ground shaking is primarily affected by:

a.    The magnitude of an earthquake;

b.    The distance from the source of an earthquake;

c.    The type of thickness of geologic materials at the surface; and

d.    The type of subsurface geologic structure.

    Settlement and soil liquefaction conditions occur in areas underlain by cohesionless, loose, or soft-saturated soils of low density, typically in association with a shallow groundwater table.

4.    Other Hazard Areas. Geologically hazardous areas shall also include areas determined by the shoreline administrator to be susceptible to other geological events including mass wasting, debris flows, rock falls, and differential settlement.

C.    Classification of Geologically Hazardous Areas. All geologic hazard areas should be classified according to the following categories for each geologic hazard type in Table 13.13.050-1.

Table 13.13.050-1. Geologic Hazard Classification

Classification

Documentation and Data Sources

Known or Suspected Risk

Documentation or projection of the hazard by a qualified professional exists.

Risk Unknown

Documentation or projection of the lack of hazard by a qualified professional exists, or data are not available to determine the presence or absence of a geologic hazard.

D.    Mapping of Geologically Hazardous Areas.

1.    The approximate location and extent of geologically hazardous areas are shown on the adopted critical areas maps. The adopted critical areas maps include:

a.    U.S. Geological Survey landslide and seismic hazard maps;

b.    Washington State Department of Natural Resources seismic hazard maps for Western Washington;

c.    Washington State Department of Natural Resources slope stability maps;

d.    Federal Emergency Management Administration flood insurance maps; and

e.    Locally adopted maps.

2.    These maps are to be used as a guide for the city, project applicants and/or property owners and may be continuously updated as new critical areas are identified. They are a reference and do not provide a final critical areas designation.

E.    Allowed Activities. The following activities are allowed in geologically hazardous areas pursuant to BMC 13.13.010(K), Activities Allowed Without a Critical Areas Report, and do not require submission of a critical areas report:

1.    Erosion and Landslide Hazard Areas. Except as otherwise provided for in this chapter, only those activities approved and permitted consistent with an approved critical areas report in accordance with this chapter shall be allowed in erosion or landslide hazard areas.

2.    Seismic Hazard Areas. The following activities are allowed within seismic hazard areas:

a.    Construction of new buildings with less than 2,500 square feet of floor area or roof area, whichever is greater, and which are not residential structures or used as places of employment or public assembly;

b.    Additions to existing single-story residences that are 250 square feet or less; and

c.    Installation of fences.

3.    Other Hazard Areas. The shoreline administrator may allow the following activities within other geologically hazardous areas, if the activity will not increase the risk of the hazard:

a.    Construction of new buildings with less than 2,500 square feet of floor area or roof area, whichever is greater, and which are not residential structures or used as places of employment or public assembly;

b.    Additions to existing residences that are 250 square feet or less; and

c.    Installation of fences.

F.    Additional Critical Areas Report Requirements.

1.    Preparation by a Qualified Professional. A critical areas report for a geologically hazardous area shall be prepared by an engineer or geologist, licensed in the state of Washington, with experience analyzing geologic, hydrologic, and groundwater flow systems, and who has experience preparing reports for the relevant type of hazard.

2.    Area Addressed in Critical Areas Report. The following areas shall be addressed in a critical areas report for geologically hazardous areas:

a.    The project area of the proposed activity; and

b.    All geologically hazardous areas within 200 feet of the project area or that have potential to be affected by the proposal.

3.    Geological Hazards Assessment. A critical areas report for a geologically hazardous area shall contain an assessment of geological hazards including the following site- and proposal-related information at a minimum:

a.    Site and Construction Plans. The report shall include a copy of the site plans for the proposal showing:

(1)    The type and extent of geologic hazard areas, any other critical areas, and buffers on, adjacent to, within 200 feet of, or that are likely to impact the proposal;

(2)    Proposed development, including the location of existing and proposed structures, fill, storage of materials, and drainage facilities, with dimensions indicating distances to the floodplain, if available;

(3)    The topography, in two-foot contours, of the project area and all hazard areas addressed in the report; and

(4)    Clearing limits;

b.    Assessment of Geological Characteristics. The report shall include an assessment of the geologic characteristics of the soils, sediments, and/or rock of the project area and potentially affected adjacent properties, and a review of the site history regarding landslides, erosion, and prior grading. Soils analysis shall be accomplished in accordance with accepted classification systems in use in the region. The assessment shall include, but not be limited to:

(1)    A description of the surface and subsurface geology, hydrology, soils, and vegetation found in the project area and in all hazard areas addressed in the report;

(2)    A detailed overview of the field investigations, published data, and references; data and conclusions from past assessments of the site; and site-specific measurements, tests, investigations, or studies that support the identification of geologically hazardous areas; and

(3)    A description of the vulnerability of the site to seismic and other geologic events;

c.    Analysis of Proposal. The report shall contain a hazards analysis including a detailed description of the project, its relationship to the geologic hazard(s), and its potential impact upon the hazard area, the subject property, and affected adjacent properties; and

d.    Minimum Buffer and Building Setback. The report shall make a recommendation for the minimum no-disturbance buffer and minimum building setback from any geologic hazard based upon the geotechnical analysis.

4.    Incorporation of Previous Study. Where a valid critical areas report has been prepared within the last five years for a specific site, and where the proposed land use activity and surrounding site conditions are unchanged, said report may be incorporated into the required critical areas report. The applicant shall submit a hazards assessment detailing any changed environmental conditions associated with the site.

5.    Mitigation of Long-Term Impacts. When hazard mitigation is required, the mitigation plan shall specifically address how the activity maintains or reduces the pre-existing level of risk to the site and adjacent properties on a long-term basis (equal to or exceeding the projected lifespan of the activity or occupation). Proposed mitigation techniques shall be considered to provide long-term hazard reduction only if they do not require regular maintenance or other actions to maintain their function. Mitigation may also be required to avoid any increase in risk above the pre-existing conditions following abandonment of the activity.

G.    Additional Critical Areas Report Technical Information Requirements for Specific Hazards. In addition to the general critical areas report requirements of BMC 13.13.010(O) and subsection (F) of this section, critical areas reports for geologically hazardous areas must meet the requirements of this section. Critical areas reports for two or more types of critical areas must meet the report requirements for each relevant type of critical area.

1.    Erosion and Landslide Hazard Areas. In addition to the basic critical areas report requirements, the technical information for an erosion hazard or landslide hazard area shall include the following information at a minimum:

a.    Site Plan. The critical areas report shall include a copy of the site plan for the proposal showing:

(1)    The height of slope, slope gradient, and cross-section of the project area;

(2)    The location of springs, seeps, or other surface expressions of groundwater on or within 200 feet of the project area or that have potential to be affected by the proposal; and

(3)    The location and description of surface water runoff features;

b.    Hazards Analysis. The hazards analysis component of the critical areas report shall specifically include:

(1)    A description of the extent and type of vegetative cover;

(2)    A description of subsurface conditions based on data from site-specific explorations;

(3)    Descriptions of surface and groundwater conditions, public and private sewage disposal systems, fills and excavations, and all structural improvements;

(4)    An estimate of slope stability and the effect construction and placement of structures will have on the slope over the estimated life of the structure;

(5)    An estimate of the bluff retreat rate that recognizes and reflects potential catastrophic events such as seismic activity or a 100-year storm event;

(6)    Consideration of the run-out hazard of landslide debris and/or the impacts of landslide run-out on down slope properties and critical areas;

(7)    Consideration of the effects of erosion on down slope properties and other critical areas;

(8)    A study of slope stability including an analysis of proposed cuts, fills, and other site grading;

(9)    Recommendations for building siting limitations; and

(10)    An analysis of proposed surface and subsurface drainage, and the vulnerability of the site to erosion;

c.    Geotechnical Engineering Report. The technical information for a project within a landslide hazard area shall include a geotechnical engineering report prepared by a licensed engineer that presents engineering recommendations for the following:

(1)    Parameters for design of site improvements including appropriate foundations and retaining structures. These should include allowable load and resistance capacities for bearing and lateral loads, installation considerations, and estimates of settlement performance;

(2)    Recommendations for drainage and subdrainage improvements;

(3)    Earthwork recommendations including clearing and site preparation criteria, fill placement and compaction criteria, temporary and permanent slope inclinations and protection, and temporary excavation support, if necessary; and

(4)    Mitigation of adverse site conditions including slope stabilization measures and seismically unstable soils, if appropriate;

d.    Erosion and Sediment Control Plan. For any development proposal on a site containing an erosion hazard area, an erosion and sediment control plan shall be required. The erosion and sediment control plan shall be prepared in compliance with requirements set forth in the city of Bothell’s adopted storm water and water quality standards;

e.    Drainage Plan. The technical information shall include a drainage plan for the collection, transport, treatment, discharge, and/or recycle of water prepared in accordance with the city of Bothell adopted surface water standards. The drainage plan should consider on-site septic system disposal volumes where the additional volume will affect the erosion or landslide hazard area;

f.    Mitigation Plans. Hazard and environmental mitigation plans for erosion and landslide hazard areas shall include the location and methods of drainage, surface water management, locations and methods of erosion control, a vegetation management and/or replanting plan, and/or other means for maintaining long-term soil stability; and

g.    Monitoring Surface Waters. If the shoreline administrator determines that there is a significant risk of damage to downstream receiving waters due to potential erosion from the site, based on the size of the project, the proximity to the receiving waters, or the sensitivity of the receiving waters, the technical information shall include a plan to monitor the surface water discharge from the site. The monitoring plan shall include a recommended schedule for submitting monitoring reports to the city.

2.    Seismic Hazard Areas. In addition to the basic report requirements, a critical areas report for a seismic hazard area shall also meet the following requirements:

a.    The site map shall show all known and mapped faults within 200 feet of the project area or that have potential to be affected by the proposal.

b.    The hazards analysis shall include a complete discussion of the potential impacts of seismic activity on the site (for example, forces generated and fault displacement).

c.    A geotechnical engineering report shall evaluate the physical properties of the subsurface soils, especially the thickness of unconsolidated deposits and their liquefaction potential. If it is determined that the site is subject to liquefaction, mitigation measures appropriate to the scale of the development shall be recommended and implemented.

3.    Other Geologically Hazardous Areas. In addition to the basic requirements, the shoreline administrator may require additional technical information to be submitted when determined to be necessary to review the proposed activity and the subject hazard. Additional technical information that may be required includes, but is not limited to:

a.    Site Plan. The site plan shall show all hazard areas located within 200 feet of the project area or that have potential to be affected by the proposal; and

b.    Hazards Analysis. The hazards analysis shall include a complete discussion of the potential impacts of the hazard on the project area and of the proposal on the hazard.

H.    General Requirements.

1.    Alterations of geologically hazardous areas or associated buffers may only occur for activities that:

a.    Will not increase the threat of the geological hazard to adjacent properties beyond predevelopment conditions;

b.    Will not adversely impact other critical areas;

c.    Will not require structural shoreline stabilization over the life of the development except when the applicant can demonstrate that stabilization is necessary to protect allowed uses where no alternative locations are available and no net loss of ecological functions will result;

d.    Are designed so that the hazard to the project is eliminated or mitigated to a level equal to or less than predevelopment conditions; and

e.    Are certified as safe as designed and under anticipated conditions by a qualified engineer or geologist, licensed in the state of Washington.

2.    Critical Facilities Prohibited. Critical facilities shall not be sited within geologically hazardous areas unless there is no other practical alternative.

I.    Specific Hazards.

1.    Erosion and Landslide Hazard Areas. Activities on sites containing erosion or landslide hazards shall meet the standards of subsection (H) of this section, General Requirements, and the specific following requirements:

a.    Buffer Requirement. A buffer shall be established from all edges of landslide hazard areas. The size of the buffer shall be determined by the shoreline administrator to eliminate or minimize the risk of property damage, death, or injury resulting from landslides caused in whole or part by the development, based upon review of and concurrence with a critical areas report prepared by a qualified professional.

(1)    Minimum Buffer. The minimum buffer shall be equal to the height of the slope or 50 feet, whichever is greater.

(2)    Buffer Reduction. The buffer may be reduced to a minimum of 10 feet when a qualified professional demonstrates to the shoreline administrator’s satisfaction that the reduction will adequately protect the proposed development, adjacent developments, and uses and the subject critical area.

(3)    Increased Buffer. The buffer may be increased where the shoreline administrator determines a larger buffer is necessary to prevent risk of damage to proposed and existing development.

b.    Alterations. Alterations of an erosion or landslide hazard area and/or buffer may only occur for activities for which a hazards analysis is submitted and certifies that:

(1)    The development will not increase surface water discharge or sedimentation to adjacent properties beyond predevelopment conditions;

(2)    The development will not decrease slope stability on adjacent properties; and

(3)    Such alterations will not adversely impact other critical areas.

c.    Design Standards. Development within an erosion or landslide hazard area and/or buffer shall be designed to meet the following basic requirements unless it can be demonstrated that an alternative design that deviates from one or more of these standards provides greater long-term slope stability while meeting all other provisions of this chapter. The requirement for long-term slope stability shall exclude designs that require regular and periodic maintenance to maintain their level of function. The basic development design standards are:

(1)    The proposed development shall not decrease the factor of safety for landslide occurrences below the limits of 1.5 for static conditions and 1.2 for dynamic conditions. Analysis of dynamic conditions shall be based on a minimum horizontal acceleration as established by the current version of the International Building Code;

(2)    Structures and improvements shall minimize alterations to the natural contour of the slope, and foundations shall be tiered where possible to conform to existing topography;

(3)    Structures and improvements shall be located to preserve the most critical portion of the site and its natural landforms and vegetation;

(4)    The proposed development shall not result in greater risk or a need for increased buffers on neighboring properties;

(5)    The use of retaining walls that allow the maintenance of existing natural slope area is preferred over graded artificial slopes; and

(6)    Development shall be designed to minimize impervious lot coverage.

d.    Vegetation Retention. Unless otherwise provided or as part of an approved alteration, removal of vegetation from an erosion or landslide hazard area or related buffer shall be prohibited.

e.    Seasonal Restriction. Clearing shall be allowed only from May 1st to October 1st of each year; provided, that the city may extend or shorten the dry season on a case-by-case basis depending on actual weather conditions, except that timber harvest, not including brush clearing or stump removal, may be allowed pursuant to an approved forest practice permit issued by the city or the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.

f.    Utility Lines and Pipes. Utility lines and pipes shall be permitted in erosion and landslide hazard areas only when the applicant demonstrates that no other practical alternative is available. The line or pipe shall be located above ground and properly anchored and/or designed so that it will continue to function in the event of an underlying slide. Storm water conveyance shall be allowed only through a high-density polyethylene pipe with fuse-welded joints, or similar product that is technically equal or superior.

g.    Point Discharges. Point discharges from surface water facilities and roof drains onto or upstream from an erosion or landslide hazard area shall be prohibited except as follows:

(1)    Conveyed via continuous storm pipe downslope to a point where there are no erosion hazard areas downstream from the discharge;

(2)    Discharged at flow durations matching predeveloped conditions, with adequate energy dissipation, into existing channels that previously conveyed storm water runoff in the predeveloped state; or

(3)    Dispersed discharge upslope of the steep slope onto a low-gradient undisturbed buffer demonstrated to be adequate to infiltrate all surface and storm water runoff, and where it can be demonstrated that such discharge will not increase the saturation of the slope.

h.    Subdivisions. The division of land in landslide hazard areas and associated buffers is subject to the following:

(1)    Land that is located wholly within a landslide hazard area or its buffer may not be subdivided. Land that is located partially within a landslide hazard area or its buffer may be divided; provided, that each resulting lot has sufficient buildable area outside of, and will not affect, the landslide hazard or its buffer; and

(2)    Access roads and utilities may be permitted within the landslide hazard area and associated buffers if the city determines that no other feasible alternative exists.

i.    Prohibited Development. On-site sewage disposal systems, including drain fields, shall be prohibited within erosion and landslide hazard areas and related buffers.

2.    Seismic Hazard Areas. Activities proposed to be located in seismic hazard areas shall meet the standards of subsection H of this section, General Requirements.

3.    Other Hazard Areas. Activities on sites containing or adjacent to other geologically hazardous areas shall meet the standards of subsection H of this section, General Requirements. (Ord. 2112 § 3 (Exh. C), 2013).

13.13.060 Fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas.

A.    Designation of Fish and Wildlife Habitat Conservation Areas. All areas within the city meeting one or more of the following criteria, regardless of any formal identification, are considered fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas and are hereby designated critical areas subject to the provisions of this chapter. For purposes of management and regulation, the shoreline water bodies and their associated buffers shall be considered critical areas. Fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas include:

1.    Areas with Which State or Federally Designated Endangered, Threatened, and Sensitive Species Have a Primary Association.

a.    Federally designated endangered and threatened species are those fish and wildlife species identified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service that are in danger of extinction or threatened to become endangered. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service should be consulted for current listing status.

b.    State designated endangered, threatened, and sensitive species are those fish and wildlife species native to the state of Washington identified by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife that are in danger of extinction, threatened to become endangered, vulnerable, or declining and are likely to become endangered or threatened in a significant portion of their range within the state without cooperative management or removal of threats. State designated endangered, threatened, and sensitive species are periodically recorded in WAC 232-12-014 (state endangered species) and WAC 232-12-011 (state threatened and sensitive species). The state Department of Fish and Wildlife maintains the most current listing and should be consulted for current listing status.

    A combined list of federally and state identified species is included in Appendix D to the Critical Areas Assistance Handbook: Protecting Critical Areas within the Framework of the Growth Management Act, Washington State Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development, November 2003.

2.    State Priority Habitats and Areas Associated with State Priority Species. Priority habitats and species are considered to be priorities for conservation and management. Priority species require protective measures for their perpetuation due to their population status, sensitivity to habitat alteration, and/or recreational, commercial, or tribal importance. Priority habitats are those habitat types or elements with unique or significant value to a diverse assemblage of species. A priority habitat may consist of a unique vegetation type or dominant plant species, a described successional stage, or a specific structural element. Priority habitats and species are identified by the State Department of Fish and Wildlife, or herons.

    A state list of priority habitats is included in Appendix E to the Critical Areas Assistance Handbook: Protecting Critical Areas within the Framework of the Growth Management Act, Washington State Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development, November 2003.

3.    Habitats and Species of Local Importance. Habitats and species of local importance are those identified by the city, including but not limited to those habitats and species that, due to their population status or sensitivity to habitat manipulation, warrant protection. Habitats may include a seasonal range or habitat element with which a species has a primary association, and which, if altered, may reduce the likelihood that the species will maintain and reproduce over the long term.

a.    The city shall accept and consider nominations for habitat areas and species to be designated as locally important on an annual basis. Nominations shall be processed by the city as a Type IVA permit, in accordance with Chapter 11.04 BMC.

b.    Habitats and species to be designated shall exhibit the following characteristics:

(1)    Local populations of native species are in danger of extirpation based on existing trends:

(A)    Local populations of native species that are likely to become endangered; or

(B)    Local populations of native species that are vulnerable or declining;

(2)    The species or habitat has recreation, commercial, game, tribal, or other special value;

(3)    Long-term persistence of a species is dependent on the protection, maintenance, and/or restoration of the nominated habitat;

(4)    Protection by other county, state, or federal policies, laws, regulations, or nonregulatory tools is not adequate to prevent degradation of the species or habitat in the city; and

(5)    Without protection, there is a likelihood that the species or habitat will be diminished over the long term.

c.    Areas nominated to protect a particular habitat or species must represent either high-quality native habitat or habitat that has a high potential to recover to a suitable condition and which is of limited availability, highly vulnerable to alteration, or provides landscape connectivity which contributes to the integrity of the surrounding landscape.

d.    Habitats and species may be nominated for designation by any person.

e.    The nomination should indicate whether specific habitat features are to be protected (for example, nest sites, breeding areas, and nurseries), or whether the habitat or ecosystem is being nominated in its entirety.

f.    The nomination may include management strategies for the species or habitats. Management strategies must be supported by the most current, available scientific and technical information, and where restoration of habitat is proposed, a specific plan for restoration must be provided prior to nomination.

g.    The shoreline administrator shall determine whether the nomination proposal is complete, and if complete, shall evaluate it according to the characteristics enumerated in subsection (A)(3)(b) of this section and make a recommendation to the shorelines board based on those findings.

(1)    The shorelines board shall hold a public hearing for proposals found to be complete in accordance with BMC Titles 11 and 12 and make a recommendation to the city council based on the characteristics enumerated in subsection (A)(3)(b) of this section.

(2)    Following the recommendation of the shorelines board, the city council shall designate a habitat or species of local importance.

(3)    Approved nominations will be subject to the provisions of this chapter.

4.    Naturally Occurring Ponds Under 20 Acres. Naturally occurring ponds are those ponds under 20 acres and their submerged aquatic beds that provide fish or wildlife habitat, including those artificial ponds intentionally created from dry areas in order to mitigate impacts to ponds. Naturally occurring ponds do not include ponds deliberately designed and created from dry sites, such as canals, detention facilities, wastewater treatment facilities, farm ponds, temporary construction ponds, and landscape amenities, unless such artificial ponds were intentionally created for mitigation.

5.    Waters of the State. Waters of the state include lakes, rivers, ponds, streams, inland waters, underground waters, and all other surface waters and watercourses within the jurisdiction of the state of Washington, as classified in WAC 222-16-030.

6.    Lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers planted with game fish by a governmental or tribal entity.

7.    State Natural Area Preserves and Natural Resource Conservation Areas. Natural area preserves and natural resource conservation areas are defined, established, and managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.

B.    Mapping. The approximate location and extent of habitat conservation areas are shown on the critical areas maps adopted by the city, as most recently updated. These maps are to be used as a guide for the city, project applicants, and/or property owners and should be continuously updated as new critical areas are identified. They are a reference and do not provide a final critical areas designation. The following critical areas maps are hereby adopted:

1.    Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife priority habitat and species maps;

2.    Washington State Department of Natural Resources Natural Heritage Program mapping data;

3.    Anadromous and resident salmonid distribution maps contained in the habitat limiting factors reports published by the Washington Conservation Commission;

4.    Washington State Department of Natural Resources state natural area preserves and natural resource conservation area maps; and

5.    City official habitat maps.

C.    Additional Critical Areas Report Requirements. In addition to the general critical areas report requirements of BMC 13.13.010(O), critical areas reports for habitat conservation areas must meet the requirements of this section. Critical areas reports for two or more types of critical areas must meet the report requirements for each relevant type of critical area.

1.    Preparation by a Qualified Professional. A critical areas report for a habitat conservation area shall be prepared by a qualified professional who is a biologist with experience preparing reports for the relevant type of habitat.

2.    Areas Addressed in Critical Areas Report. The following areas shall be addressed in a critical areas report for habitat conservation areas:

a.    The project area of the proposed activity;

b.    All habitat conservation areas and recommended buffers within 300 feet of the project area; and

c.    All shoreline areas, floodplains, other critical areas, and related buffers within 300 feet of the project area.

3.    Habitat Assessment. A habitat assessment is an investigation of the project area for fish or wildlife species or habitat. A critical areas report for a habitat conservation area shall contain an assessment of habitats including the following site- and proposal-related information at a minimum:

a.    Detailed description of vegetation on and adjacent to the project area and its associated buffer;

b.    Identification of any species of local importance, priority species, or endangered, threatened, sensitive, or candidate species that have a primary association with habitat on or adjacent to the project area, and assessment of potential project impacts to the use of the site by the species;

c.    A discussion of any federal, state, or local special management recommendations, including Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife habitat management recommendations, that have been developed for species or habitats located on or adjacent to the project area;

d.    A detailed discussion of the direct and indirect potential impacts on habitat by the project, including potential impacts to water quality;

e.    A discussion of measures, including avoidance, minimization, and mitigation, proposed to preserve existing habitats and restore any habitat that was degraded prior to the current proposed land use activity and to be conducted in accordance with BMC 13.13.010(C), Mitigation Sequencing; and

f.    A discussion of ongoing management practices that will protect habitat after the project site has been developed, including proposed monitoring and maintenance programs.

4.    Additional Information May Be Required. When appropriate due to the type of habitat or species present or the project area conditions, the shoreline administrator may also require the habitat management plan to include:

a.    An evaluation by an independent qualified professional regarding the applicant’s analysis and the effectiveness of any proposed mitigating measures or programs, to include any recommendations as appropriate;

b.    A request for consultation with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife or the local Native American Indian Tribe or other appropriate agency; and

c.    Detailed surface and subsurface hydrologic features both on and adjacent to the site.

D.    General Requirements.

1.    Alterations. A habitat conservation area may be altered only if the proposed alteration of the habitat or the mitigation proposed does not degrade the quantitative and qualitative functions and values of the habitat. All new structures and land alterations shall be in accordance with this chapter.

2.    Nonindigenous Species. No plant, wildlife, or fish species not indigenous to the region shall be introduced into a habitat conservation area unless authorized by a state or federal permit or approval. Domesticated animals may be kept, subject to the provisions of this chapter.

3.    Mitigation and Contiguous Corridors. Mitigation sites shall be located to preserve or achieve contiguous wildlife habitat corridors in accordance with a mitigation plan that is part of an approved critical areas report to minimize the isolating effects of development on habitat areas, so long as mitigation of aquatic habitat is located within the same aquatic ecosystem as the area disturbed.

4.    Approvals of Activities. The shoreline administrator shall condition approvals of activities allowed within or adjacent to a habitat conservation area or its buffers, as necessary to minimize or mitigate any potential adverse impacts. Conditions shall be based on the most current, available scientific and technical information and may include, but are not limited to, the following:

a.    Establishment of buffer zones (except as specifically identified in Chapter 13.13 BMC);

b.    Preservation of critically important vegetation and/or habitat features such as snags and downed wood;

c.    Limitation of access to the habitat area, including fencing to deter unauthorized access;

d.    Seasonal restriction of construction activities;

e.    Establishment of a duration and timetable for periodic review of mitigation activities;

f.    Requirement of a performance bond, when necessary, to ensure completion and success of proposed mitigation; and/or

g.    Application of herbicides and pesticides consistent with BMC 13.13.010(K)(3)(h).

5.    Mitigation and Equivalent or Greater Biological Functions. Mitigation of alterations to habitat conservation areas shall achieve equivalent or greater biologic and hydrologic functions and shall include mitigation for adverse impacts upstream or downstream of the development proposal site. Mitigation shall address each function affected by the alteration to achieve functional equivalency or improvement on a per function basis.

6.    Approvals and the Most Current, Available Scientific and Technical Information. Any approval of alterations or impacts to a habitat conservation area shall be supported by the most current, available scientific and technical information.

7.    Buffers.

a.    Establishment of Buffers. The shoreline administrator shall require the establishment of buffer areas for activities adjacent to habitat conservation areas to protect habitat conservation areas. Buffer dimensions for shoreline water bodies, other streams and wetlands are specified in these regulations. Buffers shall consist of an area established to protect the integrity, functions, and values of the affected habitat, but may also be modified and reduced to accommodate preferred uses when consistent with the SMA and this SMP, and when conducted so that no net loss of critical areas or shoreline ecological functions occurs. Habitat conservation areas and vegetated portions of their buffers shall be preserved in perpetuity through the use of critical areas tracts in accordance with BMC 13.13.010(U).

b.    Seasonal Restrictions. When a species is more susceptible to adverse impacts during specific periods of the year, seasonal restrictions may apply. Larger buffers may be required and activities may be further restricted during the specified season.

c.    Habitat Buffer Reduction. Buffers for shoreline water bodies and streams do not extend farther upland than the waterward edge of a legally established and improved roadway.

d.    Habitat Buffer Averaging. The shoreline administrator may allow the recommended habitat area buffer width to be averaged in accordance with a critical areas report, the most current, available scientific and technical information, and the management recommendations issued by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, only if:

(1)    It will not reduce stream or habitat functions;

(2)    It will not adversely affect anadromous fish habitat;

(3)    It will provide additional natural resource protection, such as buffer enhancement;

(4)    The total area contained in the buffer area after averaging is no less than that which would be contained within the standard buffer; and

(5)    The buffer area width is not reduced by more than 25 percent in any location.

8.    Signs and Fencing of Habitat Conservation Areas.

a.    Temporary Markers. The outer perimeter of the habitat conservation area or buffer and the limits of those areas to be disturbed pursuant to an approved permit or authorization shall be marked in the field in such a way as to ensure that no unauthorized intrusion will occur and verified by the shoreline administrator prior to the commencement of permitted activities. This temporary marking shall be maintained throughout construction and shall not be removed until permanent signs, if required, are in place.

b.    Permanent Signs. As a condition of any permit or authorization issued pursuant to this chapter, the shoreline administrator may require that the applicant install permanent signs along the boundary of a habitat conservation area or buffer.

(1)    Permanent signs shall be made of a metal face and attached to a metal post or another material of equal durability. Signs must be posted at an interval of one per lot or every 50 feet, whichever is less and must be maintained by the property owner in perpetuity. The sign shall be worded as follows or with alternative language approved by the shoreline administrator:

Habitat Conservation Area

Do Not Disturb

Contact City of Bothell

Regarding Uses and Restriction

(2)    The provisions of subsection (D)(8)(a) of this section may be modified by the shoreline administrator as necessary to assure protection of sensitive features or wildlife.

c.    Fencing.

(1)    The shoreline administrator shall determine if fencing is necessary to protect the functions and values of the critical area. If found to be necessary, the shoreline administrator shall condition any permit or authorization issued pursuant to this chapter to require the applicant to install a permanent fence at the edge of the habitat conservation area or buffer, when fencing will prevent future impacts to the habitat conservation area.

(2)    The applicant shall be required to install a permanent fence around the habitat conservation area or buffer when domestic grazing animals are present or may be introduced on site.

(3)    Fencing installed as part of a proposed activity or as required in this subsection shall be designed so as to not interfere with species migration, including fish runs, and shall be constructed in a manner that minimizes habitat impacts.

9.    Subdivisions. The subdivision and short subdivision of land in fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas and associated buffers is subject to the following:

a.    Land that is located wholly within a habitat conservation area or its buffer may not be subdivided.

b.    Land that is located partially within a habitat conservation area or its buffer may be divided; provided, that the developable portion of each new lot and its access is located outside of the habitat conservation area or its buffer and meets the minimum lot size requirements of BMC Title 12.

c.    Access roads and utilities serving the proposed development may be permitted within the habitat conservation area and associated buffers only if the city determines that no other feasible alternative exists and when consistent with this chapter.

E.    Specific Habitats.

1.    Endangered, Threatened, and Sensitive Species.

a.    No development shall be allowed within a habitat conservation area or buffer with which state or federally endangered, threatened, or sensitive species have a primary association, except that which is provided for by a management plan established by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife or an applicable state or federal agency, or that which is necessary to accommodate preferred uses when consistent with the SMA and this SMP, and when conducted so that no net loss of critical areas or shoreline ecological functions occurs.

b.    Whenever activities are proposed adjacent to a habitat conservation area with which state or federally endangered, threatened, or sensitive species have a primary association, such area shall be protected through the application of protection measures in accordance with a critical areas report prepared by a qualified professional and approved by the city. The shoreline administrator may consult with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife for animal species, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources for plant species, and other appropriate federal or state agencies.

c.    Bald eagle habitat shall be protected pursuant to the Washington State Bald Eagle Protection Rules (WAC 232-12-292). Whenever activities are proposed adjacent to a verified nest territory or communal roost, a habitat management plan shall be developed by a qualified professional.

2.    Anadromous Fish.

a.    All activities, uses, and alterations proposed to be located in water bodies used by anadromous fish or in areas that affect such water bodies shall give special consideration to the preservation and enhancement of anadromous fish habitat, including, but not limited to, adhering to the following standards:

(1)    Activities shall be timed to occur only during the allowable work window as designated by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife for the applicable species;

(2)    An alternative alignment or location for the activity is not feasible;

(3)    The activity is designed so that it will not degrade the functions or values of the fish habitat or other critical areas;

(4)    Shoreline erosion control measures shall be designed to use bioengineering methods or soft armoring techniques, according to an approved critical areas report; and

(5)    Any impacts to the functions or values of the habitat conservation area are mitigated in accordance with an approved critical areas report.

b.    Structures that prevent the migration of salmonids shall not be allowed in the portion of water bodies currently or historically used by anadromous fish. Fish bypass facilities shall be provided that allow the upstream migration of adult fish and shall prevent fry and juveniles migrating downstream from being trapped or harmed.

c.    Fills, when authorized by this SMP, shall not adversely impact anadromous fish or their habitat or shall mitigate any unavoidable impacts and shall only be allowed for a water-dependent use or as otherwise specified in BMC 13.11.070.

3.    Wetland Habitats. All proposed activities within or adjacent to habitat conservation areas containing wetlands shall conform to the wetland development performance standards set forth in BMC 13.13.020. If nonwetlands habitat and wetlands are present at the same location, the provisions of this chapter or the wetlands chapter, whichever provides greater protection to the habitat, apply.

4.    Stream Buffers. Stream buffer widths are applied to streams and shoreline water bodies within shoreline jurisdiction, as follows: standard buffers, decreased standard buffers, increased standard buffers, alternative buffers, and decreased alternative buffers. In addition, all use environments allow expansions of legal pre-existing structures provided no part of the expansion is closer to the OHWM than the closest point of the legal, pre-existing structure, except as allowed in subsection (E)(8) of this section, Alternative Buffer Widths. These buffers are applied based upon the following:

a.    The standard stream buffer width, as delineated within Tables 13.13.060-1 and 13.13.060-2 and Figure 13.13.060-1, or as may be increased under subsection (E)(7) of this section, is applied as follows:

(1)    All properties within the Natural, urban conservancy and marina environments;

(2)    All proposed new development, and substantial redevelopment or alteration of legal pre-existing development where the cost of the alteration exceeds 50 percent of the assessed value of the existing development within the shoreline residential and high intensity environments.

b.    Decreased standard stream buffer widths may be applied only in the shoreline residential and high intensity environments as provided under subsection (E)(6) of this section and Tables 13.13.060-1 and 13.13.060-2 and Figure 13.13.060-1.

c.    Increased standard stream buffer widths may be applied in all environment designations as provided under subsection (E)(7) of this section.

d.    Alternative stream buffer widths are applied only in the shoreline residential and high intensity environments on properties containing legal pre-existing developments where the actual existing buffer (alternative buffer) is less than the standard buffer required under Table 13.13.060-2 as provided under subsection (E)(8) of this section.

e.    Decreased alternative buffer widths are applied only in the shoreline residential environment and only to legal pre-existing development pursuant to subsection (E)(9) of this section and as illustrated in Figure 13.13.060-1.

f.    Expansions of legal pre-existing structures may be permitted subject to conditions as provided in subsection (E)(10) of this section.

Table 13.13.060-1. Activity Buffer Options
 

Activity

Environment Designation

Buffer Widths Possible

New development and substantial redevelopment

Natural

• Standard buffer width

• Increased buffer width

 

Urban conservancy

• Standard buffer width

• Increased buffer width

 

Marina

• Standard buffer width

• Increased buffer width

 

High intensity/high intensity-park

• Standard buffer width

• Increased buffer width

• Decreased standard buffer width

 

Shoreline residential

• Standard buffer width

• Increased buffer width

• Decreased standard buffer width

Legal pre-existing development

Natural

• Expansions (lateral) of legal pre-existing structures no closer to OHWM

 

Urban conservancy

• Expansions (lateral) of legal pre-existing structures no closer to OHWM

 

Marina

• Expansions (lateral) of legal pre-existing structures no closer to OHWM

 

High intensity/high intensity-park

• Alternative buffer width

• Expansions (lateral) of legal pre-existing structures no closer to OHWM

 

Shoreline residential

• Alternative buffer width

• Reduced alternative buffer width

• Expansions (lateral) of legal pre-existing structures no closer to OHWM

Figure 13.13.060-1. Buffer Width Flow Chart

5.    Standard Stream Buffer Widths. Standard stream buffer widths are shown in Table 13.13.060-2.

a.    A stream buffer shall have the standard width recommended, unless a greater width is required pursuant to subsection (E)(7) of this section, or a lesser width is allowed pursuant to subsection (E)(6) of this section.

b.    The standard buffer width applies to all properties in the Natural, urban conservancy, and marina environments.

c.    Within properties designated as shoreline residential and high intensity, the standard buffer applies to:

(1)    Proposed new development on a previously undeveloped site.

(2)    Existing developed sites that are proposed to be redeveloped in full or where the cost of the alteration exceeds 50 percent of the assessed value of the existing development.

Table 13.13.060-2. Stream Buffer Widths
1, 2 

Stream Type

Standard Buffer Width

Type S; or shorelines of the state

High intensity/high intensity-park environment

100 feet3

Marina environment

15 feet

Shoreline residential environment

100 feet3

Urban conservancy environment

100 feet3

Natural environment

150 feet

Type F; or other salmonid-bearing streams

100 feet

Type Np; or other perennial, non-salmonid-bearing streams

75 feet

Type Ns; or other intermittent, non-salmonid-bearing streams

50 feet

Table Notes:

1    While water typing is used here to classify riparian habitat areas, regulations regarding riparian habitat areas as listed above are applicable to aquatic systems containing perennial or intermittent flowing water. See the definition for riparian habitat. Habitats associated with standing water are regulated by the performance standards in this chapter.

2    When environment designations are parallel, the buffer assigned to the waterward environment extends only to the upland edge of that environment. The buffer for the landward environment as measured from the OHWM would apply to uses and modifications in that upland environment.

3    Except that the mainstem of North Creek located between 240th Street SE and 228th Street SE and all of Swamp Creek shall have a stream buffer width of 150 feet for all environment designations.

6.    Decreased Standard Stream Buffer Widths.

a.    As a means of increasing the ecological functions of shoreline and stream buffers that are determined to be degraded or adversely altered by past development or activities, new or substantial redevelopment may request buffer enhancement in exchange for a reduced buffer dimension pursuant to this subsection (E)(6). The critical areas report must include a site-specific assessment of the conditions that demonstrate an evaluation of the buffer as “degraded.”

b.    Reduction of standard stream buffer widths are permitted only within properties with an environment designation of shoreline residential or high intensity/high intensity-park and only when the city characterizes the buffer as degraded as defined in Chapter 13.03 BMC.

c.    If meeting the criteria in subsections (E)(6)(a) and (E)(6)(b) of this section, the standard buffer width may be reduced up to a maximum of 40 percent on Type S streams, and up to a maximum of 25 percent on Type F, Np or Ns streams, with the implementation of one or more of the buffer reduction options provided in Table 13.13.060-3. Buffer width reduction is measured perpendicular from the OHWM.

d.    If the proposed buffer reduction results in loss of native trees or shrubs and the applicant is not proposing to utilize buffer reduction option 1, the applicant must provide replacement native trees and shrubs at a 2:1 ratio by number of impacted trees or shrubs in addition to meeting the requirements of the selected buffer reduction option.

e.    Buffer averaging may be applied to reduced standard buffers consistent with subsection (E)(11) of this section, provided the buffer width is not reduced by more than an additional 10 percent in any one location and does not exceed the maximum reduction listed under subsection (E)(6)(c) of this section.

f.    Measures identified in Table 13.13.060-3 may not be applied to buffer reduction if they are required by federal, state, or local regulations or are offered as mitigation for other actions or impacts.

g.    Buffers shall be approved by the city’s shoreline administrator.

h.    All developments proposing a reduction in the standard buffer width shall be fully consistent with the applicable provisions and standards of Chapters 13.07, 13.09, 13.11 and 13.13 BMC for the specific use, activity and development proposed.

Table 13.13.060-3. Buffer Reduction Options Applicable to SR
and HI/HI-P Environments 

Buffer Reduction Option

Allowed Buffer Width Reductiona

Sammamish River

All Other Streams

1

Develop and implement a city-approved shoreline native vegetation enhancement plan that achieves the following:

1-foot reduction in buffer width for every two feet (measured perpendicular to the OHWM) of vegetation enhancement area whichever is less b, c

1-foot reduction in buffer width for every three feet (measured perpendicular to the OHWM) of vegetation enhancement area whichever is less b, c

 

• At least five trees (conifer or deciduous) per 100 linear feet of shoreline;

 

 

 

• Native trees and shrubs shall be planted along 80 percent by length of the water body frontage, at a planting density that will provide at least 60 percent areal tree and shrub coverage of the buffer enhancement area within three years of installation. Native groundcovers shall provide up to 30 percent areal coverage of the buffer enhancement area within three years of installation. Landscape plans shall demonstrate that the selected plantings have the ability to provide 100 percent coverage of the buffer enhancement area at vegetation maturity.

 

 

 

• Trees are placed to shade and/or overhang the watercourse.

 

 

 

• Vegetation enhancement is maintained for the duration of the use or facility.

 

 

 

The remaining 20 percent of water body frontage may be maintained for access to the water or to over-water structures as either lawn, native groundcover, pervious pathway, or other natural or pervious materials. The city may approve, on a case-by-case basis, enhancement plans that include the removal of terrestrial and aquatic invasive species; provided, that best management practices are taken to control erosion and minimize exposure of toxic materials.

 

 

 

Note: Vegetation installed in the buffer as required mitigation for a shoreline/stream bank stabilization or over-water structure proposal shall not be counted towards this mitigation option. See Figures 13.13.060-2a, 13.13.060-2b, 13.13.060-2c and 13.13.060-2d.

 

 

2

Remove an existing hard structural shoreline or stream bank stabilization measure located at, below, or within five feet landward of the OHWM along at least 75 percent of the linear water body frontage of the subject property, and restore to a natural or semi-natural state, including restoration of topography and substrate composition. Any upland areas disturbed by this option must be revegetated with native trees, shrubs and groundcovers. Assessment and design by a qualified professional, consistency with other SMP performance standards as appropriate (e.g., shoreline stabilization in BMC 13.11.150) and applicable state and federal permits are required. This option cannot be used in conjunction with Option 4 below. See Figures 13.13.060-3a and 13.13.060-3c.

40 percent reduction

40 percent reduction on North and Swamp Creeks, 25 percent on other streams

3

Existing hard structural shoreline or stream bank stabilization measures are set back from the OHWM more than five feet and are sloped at a maximum three vertical (v): one horizontal (h) angle to dissipate flows and increase the quality of aquatic habitat. Assessment and design by a qualified professional is required, and applicable state and/or federal permits may be required. See Figures 13.13.060-3b and 13.13.060-3c.

25 percent reduction

25 percent reduction

4

Install woody debris where doing so would provide significant improvement to in-stream habitat conditions. The material shall be sized and placed to remain stable in high flow conditions, and to enhance in-stream habitat conditions. Assessment and design by a qualified professional is required, and applicable state and/or federal permits may be required.

NA

20 percent reduction

5

For properties with existing docks, replace ramp decking and decking that is not immediately over floats with grated decking to allow light penetration to the water. Applicable state and/or federal permits may be required.

5 percent reduction

NA

6

Install low impact development facilities in locations where such facilities are not required by the Bothell design and construction standards. The facilities shall be designed to meet the requirements of the City of Bothell Surface Water Design Manual standards in effect at the time, and should be located outside of buffers except when retrofitting existing improvements inside of the buffer. These facilities include:

1 technique 5 percent

2 techniques 10 percent

3 techniques 20 percent

 

• Biofiltration/infiltration mechanisms (e.g., rain gardens, bioswales) in lieu of piped or surface discharge to the water body,

 

 

 

• Pervious material for 50 percent of all new pollution generating surfaces, such as driveways, parking or private roads, or replace 50 percent of existing pollution generating surfaces with pervious materials that allow water to pass through at rates similar to predeveloped conditions,

 

 

 

• Install oil-water separator(s) to remove hydrocarbons from parking areas, roads or driveways that would otherwise discharge storm water runoff to a water body without treatment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

Restore at least 20 percent of the gross lot area located outside of the buffer and any critical areas and their associated buffers as native vegetation. See Figure 13.13.060-4.

10 percent reduction

Table Notes:

a.    Buffer reduction measured perpendicular to the OHWM.

b.    Minimum enhancement area averaging 10 feet in width from the OHWM.

c.    For properties with existing native woody vegetation coverage greater than 50 percent by area of the applicable standard buffer, allowed buffer reduction widths will be commensurate with the amount of proposed shoreline enhancement as determined by the shoreline administrator.

7.    Increased Stream Buffer Widths. Standard stream buffer widths shall be increased, as follows:

a.    When the shoreline administrator determines that the standard width is insufficient to prevent habitat degradation and to protect the structure and functions of the habitat area;

b.    When the frequently flooded area exceeds the standard stream buffer width, the stream buffer shall extend to the outer edge of the frequently flooded area;

c.    When the stream buffer is within an erosion or landslide hazard area, or buffer, the stream buffer width shall be the standard distance, or the erosion or landslide hazard area or buffer, whichever is greater.

8.    Alternative Buffer Widths.

a.    Alternative buffer widths apply only in the shoreline residential and high intensity environments on properties containing legal, pre-existing developments where the actual existing buffer (alternative buffer) is less than the standard buffer required under Table 13.13.060-2 and under the following conditions:

(1)    Development that exists on or before February 6, 2013; and

(2)    Development that retains a use in existence on or before February 6, 2013; and

(3)    Development that is altered or remodeled to a level that is equal to or less than 50 percent of the existing development’s assessed value.

b.    Alternative buffer dimensions:

(1)    The buffer shall be equal to the distance between the ordinary high water mark and the original wall of the existing primary structure or development. The 15-foot building setbacks required under BMC 13.13.010(I) are not required to be established from alternative buffers. See Figure 13.13.060-5.

(2)    When the buffer is transected by a legally established and improved roadway, the buffer edge shall extend to the waterward edge of the improved roadway footprint.

(3)    Where an existing structure or development does not extend more than 50 percent of the width of the parcel, the alternative buffer only applies to that portion of the parcel on which the structure or development is found, and the standard buffer applies to the remainder.

c.    Legal Status. The city of Bothell recognizes such development described in subsection (E)(8)(a) of this section as legal conforming structures and uses.

d.    Widths shall be measured outward in each direction, on the horizontal plane, from the ordinary high water mark, or from the top of bank, if the ordinary high water mark cannot be identified.

9.    Decreased Alternative Buffer Widths.

a.    Reduction of alternative stream buffer widths is only permitted in the shoreline residential environment.

b.    Developments in the shoreline residential environment may expand waterward up to 200 square feet into the alternative buffer area if all of the following conditions apply:

(1)    When the existing condition is degraded;

(2)    If no alternate location is available;

(3)    Provided, that the edge of the expansion extends waterward no more than 12 feet or no closer than 35 feet from the OWHM, whichever is the greater distance from the OHWM; and

(4)    If a compensation plan using buffer reduction options presented in Table 13.13.060-3 is prepared. See Figures 13.13.060-6a and 13.13.060-6b.

10.    Lateral Expansions. Lateral expansions of legal pre-existing structures that are located between the upland edge of the standard and alternative buffers or within the standard buffer when the alternative buffer is not applicable may be allowed as follows:

a.    Expansions are limited to extensions adding no more than 25 percent of the length of the original wall as it existed prior to SMP adoption, subject to other applicable requirements of this SMP and other city development regulations.

b.    Enlargement of that portion of the building footprint located within the buffer shall not exceed 25 percent of the gross floor area of the structure as it existed prior to SMP adoption.

c.    The addition shall not protrude any further waterward than original wall closest to the OHWM. See Figure 13.13.060-7a.

d.    Lateral expansions that result in an increase in impervious surface must be mitigated with native vegetation plantings in the stream buffer as close to the water body as feasible and at a 3:1 ratio by area, including replacement of removed trees with native trees at a 3:1 ratio. See Figure 13.13.060-7b for an illustration.

11.    Stream Buffer Width Averaging. The shoreline administrator may allow the standard stream buffer width to be reduced through buffer averaging in accordance with a critical areas report only if:

a.    The width reduction will not reduce stream or habitat functions, including those of non-fish habitat;

b.    The width reduction will not degrade the habitat, including habitat for anadromous fish;

c.    The proposal will provide additional habitat protection;

d.    The total area contained in the stream buffer of each stream on the development proposal site is not decreased;

e.    The standard stream buffer width is not reduced by more than 40 percent in any one location for shoreline residential and high intensity/high intensity-park environment designations and 25 percent for any other shoreline environments;

f.    The width reduction will not be located within another critical area or associated buffer; and

g.    The reduced stream buffer width is supported by the most current, available scientific and technical information.

12.    Allowed Activities within Shorelines, Streams, and Shoreline and Stream Buffers. The following specific activities may be permitted within shoreline water bodies, streams or associated buffers when the activity complies with other provisions set forth in this SMP and subject to the standards of this subsection. The standards that provide the most protection to protected habitat and species shall apply.

a.    Clearing and Grading. When clearing and grading is permitted as part of an authorized activity or as otherwise allowed in these standards and BMC 13.09.030, Shoreline vegetation conservation, the following shall apply:

(1)    Grading is allowed only during the dry season, which is typically regarded as beginning on May 1st and ending on October 1st of each year; provided, that the city may extend or shorten the dry season on a case-by-case basis, determined on actual weather conditions.

(2)    Filling or modification of a wetland or wetland buffer is permitted only if it is conducted as part of an approved wetland alteration.

(3)    The soil duff layer shall remain undisturbed to the maximum extent possible. Where feasible, any soil disturbed shall be redistributed to other areas of the project area.

(4)    The moisture-holding capacity of the topsoil layer shall be maintained by minimizing soil compaction or reestablishing natural soil structure and infiltrative capacity on all areas of the project area not covered by impervious surfaces.

(5)    Erosion and sediment control that meets or exceeds the standards set forth in the Bothell SMP shall be provided.

b.    Streambank Stabilization. Streambank stabilization to protect new structures from future channel migration is not permitted except when such stabilization is achieved through bio-engineering or soft armoring techniques in accordance with an approved critical areas report and pursuant to BMC 13.11.150, Shoreline stabilization, for Type S waters.

c.    Roads, Bridges, and Rights-of-Way. Construction of roadways, and minor road bridging, less than or equal to 30 feet wide, may be permitted in accordance with an approved critical areas report subject to BMC 13.11.160, Transportation, for Type S waters, all other provisions of this SMP, and the following standards:

(1)    There is no other feasible alternative route with less impact on the environment;

(2)    The crossing minimizes interruption of downstream movement of wood and gravel;

(3)    Roads in riparian habitat areas or their buffers shall not run parallel to the water body;

(4)    Crossings, where necessary, shall only occur as near to perpendicular with the water body as possible;

(5)    Mitigation for impacts is provided pursuant to a mitigation plan of an approved critical areas report; and

(6)    Road bridges are designed according to the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife Design of Road Culverts for Fish Passage, 2003, and the National Marine Fisheries Service Guidelines for Salmonid Passage at Stream Crossings, 2001.

d.    Trails. Trails are preferred in the outer 25 percent of the buffer. Parallel portions of trails may be constructed closer to the aquatic area if the trail can be constructed without significant vegetation removal or is located on previously disturbed rights-of-way, access and/or utility easements and legally altered sites. Viewing platforms and crossings are allowed in buffers, provided they are also located to avoid significant vegetation removal. All impacts must be mitigated pursuant to a city-approved mitigation plan that is submitted with a critical areas report. Trails and associated viewing platforms shall be made of permeable materials except for regional trail facilities such as the Burke-Gilman, North Creek, and other regional trails.

e.    Private Pathways. Residential development may have a pervious pathway to access the water’s edge or any over-water structures. The pathway must be no wider than five feet, and shall be sited to avoid and minimize removal of trees and shrubs. Tree and shrub removal must be mitigated with planting of native species at a 1:1 ratio in the buffer.

f.    Utility Facilities. New utility lines and facilities may be permitted to cross watercourses in accordance with an approved critical areas report, if they comply with BMC 13.11.160, Transportation, for Type S waters, all other provisions of this SMP, and the following standards:

(1)    Fish and wildlife habitat areas shall be avoided to the maximum extent possible;

(2)    Installation shall be accomplished by boring beneath the scour depth and hyporheic zone of the water body and channel migration zone, where feasible;

(3)    The utilities shall cross at an angle greater than 60 degrees to the centerline of the channel in streams or perpendicular to the channel centerline whenever boring under the channel is not feasible;

(4)    Crossings shall be contained within the footprint of an existing road or utility crossing where possible;

(5)    The utility route shall avoid paralleling the stream or following a down-valley course near the channel; and

(6)    The utility installation shall not increase or decrease the natural rate of shore migration or channel migration.

g.    Public Flood Protection Measures. New public flood protection measures and expansion of existing ones may be permitted, subject to the city’s review and approval of a critical areas report and the approval of a federal biological assessment by the federal agency responsible for reviewing actions related to a federally listed species. Flood protection measures along Type S waters are also subject to the provisions of BMC 13.09.060, Flood hazard reduction.

h.    In-Stream Structures. In-stream structures, such as, but not limited to, high flow bypasses, sediment ponds, in-stream ponds, retention and detention facilities, tide gates, dams, and weirs shall be allowed only as part of an approved watershed basin restoration project approved by the city and upon acquisition of any required state or federal permits. The structure shall be designed to avoid modifying flows and water quality in ways that may adversely affect habitat conservation areas. In-stream structures on Type S waters are also subject to the provisions of BMC 13.11.100, In-stream structures.

i.    Storm Water Conveyance Facilities. Conveyance structures may be permitted in accordance with an approved critical areas report subject to the following standards:

(1)    No other feasible alternatives with less impact exist;

(2)    Mitigation for impacts is provided;

(3)    Storm water conveyance facilities shall incorporate fish habitat features; and

(4)    Vegetation shall be maintained and, if necessary, added adjacent to all open channels and ponds in order to retard erosion, filter out sediments, and shade the water.

j.    On-Site Sewage Systems and Wells.

(1)    New on-site sewage systems and individual wells may be permitted in accordance with an approved critical areas report only if accessory to an approved residential structure, for which it is not feasible to connect to a public sanitary sewer system.

(2)    Repairs to failing on-site sewage systems associated with an existing structure shall be accomplished by utilizing one of the following methods that result in the least impact:

(A)    Connection to an available public sanitary sewer system;

(B)    Replacement with a new on-site sewage system located in a portion of the site that has already been disturbed by development and is located landward as far as possible, provided the proposed sewage system is in compliance with the King or Snohomish County health district (as applicable); or

(C)    Repair to the existing on-site septic system.

k.    Water-dependent uses and developments, including accessories, may be allowed in shoreline buffers as follows, provided the project is designed to result in no net loss of ecological functions, and all adverse impacts shall be mitigated:

(1)    Consistent with the use allowances for each environment designation, water-dependent uses and activities may be located at the water’s edge, or as prescribed by conditions stipulated within a permit.

(2)    Water-oriented accessory uses and developments associated with a water-dependent use that locate in a shoreline buffer should be located to avoid significant vegetation removal and shall minimize impervious areas.

(3)    Other water-oriented accessory uses, developments and activities may be located in the shoreline buffer if a location in the buffer is necessary for operation of the water-dependent use or activity (e.g., a road to a boat launch).

l.    Water-related and water-enjoyment public access and public recreation facilities and their accessory uses and developments may be located in the shoreline buffer consistent with the use allowances for each environment designation and the following standards:

(1)    Uses and facilities shall be located to avoid or minimize significant vegetation removal;

(2)    Uses and facilities shall minimize impervious areas;

(3)    Uses and facilities shall be designed to result in no net loss of ecological functions; and

(4)    Any adverse impacts shall be mitigated.

m.    New minor structures, such as play structures, picnic tables and benches, and sheds, excluding accessory dwelling units, may be located waterward of the shoreline buffer, provided all of the following criteria are met:

(1)    The maximum total footprint is not more than 200 square feet;

(2)    The maximum height is not more than 10 feet;

(3)    The structure is located outside of wetlands, streams, other ecologically sensitive areas and their associated buffers;

(4)    Trees or any native vegetation are not removed or adversely impacted by the structure; and

(5)    The structure does not require a permanent foundation.

    See illustration on Figure 13.13.060-8.

Figure 13.13.060-2a. Buffer Reduction Option: Sammamish River – Plan View: Vegetation Enhancement

Figure 13.13.060-2b. Buffer Reduction Option: Vegetation Enhancement Sammamish River – Cross Section

Figure 13.13.060-2c. Buffer Reduction Option: Vegetation Enhancement Sammamish River – Cross Section

Figure 13.13.060-2d. Buffer Reduction Option: Vegetation Enhancement All Other Streams – Cross Section

Figure 13.13.060-3a. Buffer Reduction Option: Replace Hard Structural Stabilization with Soft Stabilization

Figure 13.13.060-3b. Buffer Reduction Option: Set Back Hard Structural Stabilization Five Feet from OHWM

Figure 13.13.060-3c. Photos of North Creek Soft Shoreline Stabilization

Figure 13.13.060-4. Restore Area outside of Buffer

Figure 13.13.060-5. Measurement of Alternative Buffer – SR and HI Use Environments

Figure 13.13.060-6a. Alternative Buffer Reduction – SR Use Environment

Figure 13.13.060-6b. Alternative Buffer Reduction – SR Use Environment – Elevation

Figure 13.13.060-7a. Expansion Illustrations

Figure 13.13.060-7b. Illustration of Vegetation Required for Lateral Expansion of Legal Pre-Existing Building

Figure 13.13.060-8. Example Accessory Structure Illustration

(Ord. 2112 § 3 (Exh. C), 2013).