Chapter 30.32B
AGRICULTURAL LANDS

Sections:

30.32B.010    Purpose and applicability.

30.32B.020    Resource protection areas.

30.32B.100    Prohibited uses: riverway and upland commercial farmland.

30.32B.110    Subdivision and short subdivision restrictions: upland commercial farmland.

30.32B.120    Rural cluster subdivision restrictions: local commercial farmland.

30.32B.130    Setbacks for new dwellings.

30.32B.140    Road and utility limits.

30.32B.200    Agricultural activities - presumed reasonable and not a nuisance.

30.32B.210    Notice and disclosure required.

30.32B.220    Disclosure text.

30.32B.010 Purpose and applicability.

(1) The purpose of this chapter is to regulate development on and adjacent to designated farmlands in order to conserve farmland resources and ensure compatibility between farmlands and adjacent uses. This chapter is intended to assure that the use of lands adjacent to designated farmland does not interfere with the continued use, in the accustomed manner, of the designated farmland for the production of food and agricultural products. The chapter establishes that farm activities conducted on designated farmland are recognized as accepted activities. A further purpose is to encourage a good neighbor relationship between farmland owners and residential and other landowners. The chapter promotes greater awareness of farming activities through notification regarding farm activities to owners of land in, adjacent to, and near designated farmlands.

(2) The provisions of this chapter shall apply to:

(a) Lands designated as farmland;

(b) Lands adjacent to or within 1,300 feet of lands designated farmland; and

(c) Agricultural activities as defined in chapter 30.91A SCC.

(Added Amended Ord. 02-064, December 9, 2002, Eff date February 1, 2003)

30.32B.020 Resource protection areas.

(1) Applicants for building permits for new dwellings proposed to be located on existing legal lots within farmlands or on parcels adjacent to farmlands may establish a resource protection area.

(2) Subdivisions, short subdivisions, and rural cluster subdivisions of parcels adjacent to designated farmland shall establish a resource protection area which implements the minimum setback requirements of 30.32B.130.

(3) Resource protection areas shall be recorded in the manner required by law for covenants running with the land.

(4) Dwellings shall not be located in the resource protection area and this use restriction shall be considered in calculating the assessed value of the property.

(Added Amended Ord. 02-064, December 9, 2002, Eff date February 1, 2003; Amended Ord. 05-089, December 21, 2005, Eff date Feb. 1, 2006)

30.32B.100 Prohibited uses: riverway and upland commercial farmland.

The following uses shall not be allowed within the riverway commercial farmland and upland commercial farmland designation areas:

(1) Churches;

(2) Ultralight airfields; and

(3) New government structures and facilities, except roads, utilities, and flood protection, drainage, and irrigation structures and facilities.

(Added Amended Ord. 02-064, December 9, 2002, Eff date February 1, 2003)

30.32B.110 Subdivision and short subdivision restrictions: upland commercial farmland.

Land designated upland commercial farmland and not zoned agriculture 10-acre, shall not be divided into lots of less than 10 acres unless a properly executed deed restriction that runs with the land is recorded with the Snohomish County Auditor which provides that the land divided is to be used exclusively for agricultural purposes and specifically not for any dwelling.

(Added Amended Ord. 02-064, December 9, 2002, Eff date February 1, 2003; Amended Ord. 05-089, December 21, 2005, Eff date Feb. 1, 2006)

30.32B.120 Rural cluster subdivision restrictions: local commercial farmland.

Areas designated local commercial farmland shall not be divided into lots of less than 10 acres unless:

A properly executed deed restriction which runs with the land and which provides that the land divided is to be used exclusively for agricultural purposes and specifically not for a dwelling(s), is recorded with the Snohomish County Auditor.

(Added Amended Ord. 02-064, December 9, 2002, Eff date February 1, 2003; Amended Ord. 05-089, December 21, 2005, Eff date Feb. 1, 2006)

30.32B.130 Setbacks for new dwellings.

An application for a new dwelling shall require a setback from the boundary lines of abutting designated farmland as follows:

(1) Dwellings within designated farmland shall be setback 50 feet.

(2) Dwellings on parcels adjacent to designated farmland shall be setback 100 feet.

(3) If the size, shape, and/or physical site constraints of an existing legal lot do not allow for the required setback, the new dwelling shall maintain the maximum setback possible within the physical constraints of the lot as determined by the department; or

(4) If the owner of the land on which the new dwelling is proposed and the owner of the adjacent designated farmland each sign and record with the county auditor, in the manner required by law for covenants running with the land, a document which establishes an alternative setback for one or both of the adjacent properties, an alternative setback may be maintained.

(Added Amended Ord. 02-064, December 9, 2002, Eff date February 1, 2003; Amended Ord. 05-089, December 21, 2005, Eff date Feb. 1, 2006; Amended by Amended Ord. 08-087, Feb. 4, 2009, Eff date Apr. 5, 2009)

30.32B.140 Road and utility limits.

Environmental review pursuant to chapter 30.61 SCC for the installation within farmland of all new or expanded public road, utilities, or drainage facilities, shall include review of impacts on farmlands and farm operations. The road and utility development shall avoid prime farmland as much as possible and minimize disruption of current field and farm operation patterns.

(Added Amended Ord. 02-064, December 9, 2002, Eff date February 1, 2003)

30.32B.200 Agricultural activities - presumed reasonable and not a nuisance.

Agricultural activities conducted on designated farmland in compliance with acceptable agriculture practices are presumed to be reasonable and shall not be found to constitute a nuisance unless the activities have a substantial adverse effect on the public health or safety. Nothing in this chapter shall affect or impair any right to sue for damages.

(Added Amended Ord. 02-064, December 9, 2002, Eff date February 1, 2003; Amended Ord. 05-089, December 21, 2005, Eff date Feb. 1, 2006)

30.32B.210 Notice and disclosure required.

The disclosure text set forth in SCC 30.32B.220 shall be used under the following circumstances and in the following manners:

(1) Within 90 days of October 15, 1993 (the effective date of this requirement), and each three years after the effective date, Snohomish County shall mail a copy of the disclosure text in SCC 30.32B.220, with an explanatory informational attachment to owners of designated farmland and real property within approximately 1,300 feet of designated farmland;

(2) Development permits and building permits for land designated farmland or land adjacent to or within 1,300 feet of designated farmland shall include the disclosure text in SCC 30.32B.220, on the final development or building permit in a location determined by the director of the department. The disclosure notice shall apply to the real property upon development or building permit approval, and may not be applicable thereafter if areas designated farmland are changed from the farmland designation;

(3) Prior to the closing of a transfer of real property designated farmland, or real property adjacent to or within 1,300 feet of designated farmland, by sale, exchange, gift, real estate contract, lease with option to purchase, any other option to purchase, or any other means of transfer (except transfers made by testamentary provisions or the laws of descent), the transferor shall provide the transferee a copy of the disclosure text in SCC 30.32B.220 and shall record with the county auditor a copy of the same showing an acknowledgment of receipt executed by the transferee in a form prescribed by the director of the department. The form of the acknowledged disclosure text shall include a statement that the disclosure notice applies to the subject real property as of the date of the transfer, and may not be applicable thereafter if areas designated farmland are changed from the farmland designation; and

(4) In no case shall liability attach to Snohomish County for any actions, error, or omissions of any person subject to the requirements of this section.

(Added Amended Ord. 02-064, December 9, 2002, Eff date February 1, 2003)

30.32B.220 Disclosure text.

The following shall constitute the disclosure required by this part:

Your real property is on, adjacent to, or within 1,300 feet of designated farmland; therefore, you may be subject to inconveniences or discomforts arising from agricultural activities, including but not limited to, noise, odors, fumes, dust, smoke, the operation of machinery of any kind (including aircraft), the storage and disposal of manure, the application by spraying or otherwise of chemical or organic fertilizers, soil amendments, herbicides and pesticides, hours of operation, and other agricultural activities.

Snohomish County has adopted a Agricultural Lands Regulations (chapter 30.32B SCC) which may affect you and your land. You may obtain a copy of chapter 30.32B SCC from Snohomish County.

A provision of chapter 30.32B SCC provides that "agricultural activities conducted on designated farmland in compliance with acceptable agriculture practices are presumed to be reasonable and shall not be found to constitute a nuisance unless the activities have a substantial adverse effect on the public health or safety."

This disclosure applies to the real property upon any development or building permit approval; or, in the case of real property transfers, the disclosure applies to the subject property as of the date of the transfer. This disclosure may not be applicable thereafter if areas designated as farmland are changed from the farmland designation.

Nothing in chapter 30.32B SCC shall affect or impair any right to sue for damages.

(Added Amended Ord. 02-064, December 9, 2002, Eff date February 1, 2003; Amended Ord. 05-089, December 21, 2005, Eff date Feb. 1, 2006)