Chapter 30.62A
WETLANDS AND FISH & WILDLIFE HABITAT CONSERVATION AREAS

Sections:

PART 000 - GENERAL

30.62A.010    Purpose and applicability.

30.62A.015    Intent

30.62A.020    Relationship to Snohomish County Shoreline Management Program.

30.62A.030    Relationship to chapter 30.61 SCC - environmental impacts.

30.62A.040    Rulemaking authority.

PART 100 - PROCESS REQUIREMENTS

30.62A.110    Permit pre-applications.

30.62A.120    Critical area services provided by the department.

30.62A.130    Submittal requirements.

30.62A.140    Critical area study content requirements.

30.62A.150    Mitigation plan requirements.

30.62A.160    Permanent identification, protection and recording.

PART 200 - DESIGNATION, FUNCTIONS AND VALUES, AND CLASSIFICATION

30.62A.210    Designation of wetlands and fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas.

30.62A.220    Functions and values of wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas and buffers.

30.62A.230    Classification of streams, lakes, wetlands and marine waters.

PART 300 - STANDARDS AND REQUIREMENTS

30.62A.310    General standards and requirements.

30.62A.320    Standards and requirements for buffers and impervious surfaces.

30.62A.330    Standards and requirements for activities conducted within streams, lakes and marine waters.

30.62A.340    Standards and requirements for activities conducted in wetlands.

30.62A.350    Innovative development design.

PART 400 - CRITICAL SPECIES AND STATE NATURAL HABITATS

30.62A.410    Purpose.

30.62A.420    Applicability.

30.62A.430    Administrative rules authorized.

30.62A.440    Administrative rules - minimum protection requirements.

30.62A.450    General standards and requirements.

30.62A.460    Habitat management plan contents.

30.62A.470    Species of local importance.

PART 500 - EXCEPTIONS

30.62A.510    Minor development activity exceptions.

30.62A.520    Single family residential development exceptions in buffers.

30.62A.530    Emergency activities.

30.62A.540    Reasonable use.

30.62A.550    Mitigation banking and in lieu fee program.

PART 600 - AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES

30.62A.605    Purpose.

30.62A.610    Applicability.

30.62A.620    General Agricultural Standards.

30.62A.630    Special Agricultural Conditions.

30.62A.640    Farm conservation plans and best management practices.

PART 700 - MONITORING AND ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT

30.62A.710    Monitoring and adaptive management program.

30.62A.720    Monitoring and adaptive management program - contents.

30.62A.730    Monitoring and adaptive management program - reporting.

PART 000 - GENERAL

30.62A.010 Purpose and applicability.

(1) The purpose of this chapter is to provide critical area regulations pursuant to the Growth Management Act (chapter 36.70A RCW) for the designation and protection of:

(a) Wetlands, and

(b) Fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas including:

(i) streams, including those planted with game fish by a governmental or tribal entity;

(ii) lakes, including those planted with game fish by a governmental or tribal entity;

(iii) naturally occurring ponds under 20 acres and their submerged aquatic beds that provide fish or wildlife habitat, including those planted with game fish by a governmental or tribal entity. Reference to "lake" or "lakes" in this chapter includes naturally occurring ponds under 20 acres and their submerged aquatic beds that provide fish or wildlife habitat;

(iv) marine waters;

(v) primary association areas for critical species; and

(vi) state natural area preserves, natural resource conservation areas, and state wildlife areas.

(2) This chapter applies to:

(a) Development activities, actions requiring project permits, and clearing, except for the following:

(i) Non-ground disturbing interior or exterior building improvements;

(ii) Routine landscape maintenance of established, ornamental landscaping;

(iii) Non ground disturbing normal maintenance or repair;

(iv) Removal of noxious weeds conducted in accordance with chapter 16-750 WAC;

(v) Maintenance or replacement that does not expand the affected area of the following existing facilities:

(A) septic tanks and drainfields;

(B) wells;

(C) individual utility service connections; and

(D) individual cemetery plots in established and approved cemeteries;

(vi) Data collection and research by nonmechanical means if performed in accordance with state-approved sampling protocols or Endangered Species Act (ESA) Section 10(a)(1)(a), Section 7 consultation (16 USC § 1536);

(vii) Nonmechanical survey and monument placement; and

(viii) Quasi-judicial rezones not accompanied by another permit or approval.

(b) Agricultural activities, which are subject only to Part 600 of this chapter.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct 1, 2007; Amended by Amended Ord. 13-042, July 10, 2013, Eff date July 22, 2013; Amended by Amended Ord. 15-034, Sept. 2, 2015, Eff date Nov. 1, 2015; Amended by Ord. 17-039, July 12, 2017, Eff date Aug. 3, 2017)

30.62A.015 Intent

It is the intent of this chapter to provide the protection required by chapter 36.70A RCW for wetlands and for fish & wildlife habitat conservation areas while simultaneously protecting property rights. The county council nevertheless recognizes that implementation of some provisions of this chapter 30.62A SCC will inevitably entail some restriction of property rights. It is the intent of the county council that this chapter be always construed and interpreted so that property rights be restricted no further than strictly necessary for the critical area protection required under chapter 36.70A RCW.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007)

30.62A.020 Relationship to Snohomish County Shoreline Management Program.

Protection of wetlands and fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas located within shorelines of the state, as defined in chapter 90.58 RCW, shall be accomplished through compliance with the provisions of chapter 30.67 SCC. Nothing in this section shall be construed to be inconsistent with RCW 36.70A.480.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007; Amended by Amended Ord. 15-034, Sept. 2, 2015, Eff date Nov. 1, 2015)

30.62A.030 Relationship to chapter 30.61 SCC - environmental impacts.

Critical area protective measures required by this chapter shall also constitute adequate mitigation of adverse or significant adverse environmental impacts on wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas and their buffers pursuant to chapter 30.61 SCC, to the extent permitted by RCW 43.21C.240.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007)

30.62A.040 Rulemaking authority.

The director shall have the authority to adopt administrative rules to implement the provisions of this chapter. Rulemaking authority shall include, but is not limited to, the adoption of best management practices for the regulation of wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas and buffers.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007)

PART 100 - PROCESS REQUIREMENTS

30.62A.110 Permit pre-applications.

Project proponents may request a pre-application meeting pursuant to SCC 30.70.020 to obtain a preliminary analysis of how the requirements of this chapter apply to the proposed project.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007)

30.62A.120 Critical area services provided by the department.

The department may provide the following services to applicants for single family residential (SFR) dwellings, duplexes, and accessory structures, and commercial structures of 8,000 square feet or less upon submittal of the application and the payment of fees as required by chapter 30.86 SCC:

(1) Identification of fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas;

(2) Development of habitat management plans; and

(3) Delineation and categorization of streams and wetlands.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007)

30.62A.130 Submittal requirements.

(1) For any development activity or action requiring a project permit, the applicant shall submit a site development plan drawn to a standard engineering scale which includes:

(a) Boundary lines and dimensions of the subject property;

(b) Boundary lines and dimensions of the site;

(c) The topography at contour intervals of five feet unless the underlying project permit requires a lesser interval;

(d) Location, size, and type of any existing structures, cleared areas and other existing improvements;

(e) Location, size and type of all proposed development activities, activities subject to project permits and clearing;

(f) Location and description of all wetlands and fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas located on the site or within 300 feet or the width of the widest potential buffer of the site boundaries;

(g) Location of all other critical areas regulated pursuant to chapters 30.62B, 30.62C and 30.65 SCC on or within 300 feet of the site; and

(h) Location of structure setbacks as required in chapter 30.23 SCC.

(2) In addition to a site development plan the following additional information will be required where applicable:

(a) Classification of all streams, wetlands or lakes pursuant to SCC 30.62A.230 (Table 1). Classification is not required if the project permit applicant applies the maximum protection for the specific critical area as specified at SCC 30.62A.320 (Table 2);

(b) Provisions for permanent protection as specified at SCC 30.62A.160;

(c) Provisions for temporary marking on the site of all critical area protection areas, or the limits of the proposed site disturbance outside of the critical area protection areas; and

(d) A critical area study as required by SCC 30.62A.140.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007; Amended by Amended Ord. 15-034, Sept. 2, 2015, Eff date Nov. 1, 2015)

30.62A.140 Critical area study content requirements.

For any development activity or action requiring a project permit occurring in wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas, or within a buffer unless otherwise provided in Part 300, the director may require, where applicable, a survey or map drawn to scale and a report describing the following information:

(1) A wetland delineation map and report, including field worksheets in accordance with the approved federal wetland delineation manual and applicable regional supplement (see WAC 173-22-035). This requirement may be waived if a wetland delineation has been performed within the previous five years that was approved by the department, and the department determines after site review that the wetland boundary is the same as the approved delineation;

(2) Wetland categorization, including worksheets, documenting the proposed wetland categories, based on the Washington State Wetland Rating System for Western Washington: 2014 Update, (Hruby, T., October 2014, or latest edition, Department of Ecology Publication #14-06-029);

(3) Wetland classes present as defined in the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s Classification of Wetlands and Deep Water Habitats in the U.S. (Cowardin et al., 1979);

(4) Stream location, stream name (if named), and stream type pursuant to the typing system contained in SCC 30.62A.230 (Table 1);

(5) Lake location, lake name (if named), and lake type pursuant to the typing system contained in SCC 30.62A.230 (Table 1);

(6) The ordinary high-water mark of any stream, lake or marine water;

(7) A description and illustration of proposed activities within any critical area or buffers;

(8) An assessment of the existing functions and values of the critical area(s) or buffers that will be affected by the proposed activity and the methods used to assess those functions and values;

(9) An assessment of how the activity meets the protection standards established in SCC 30.62A.310 and SCC 30.62A.450. For applications under SCC 30.62A.350, an assessment of how the proposal protects the functions and values specified in SCC 30.62A.220, and how the proposal provides protection equivalent to the standards established in SCC 30.62A.310 and SCC 30.62A.450;

(10) A mitigation plan for activities occurring in a critical area or buffer according to the requirements in SCC 30.62A.150;

(11) A habitat management plan in accordance with SCC 30.62A.460 for any activity occurring within the primary association area of a critical species;

(12) When shoreline or bank stabilization measures and/or flood protection measures are proposed, a geotechnical report investigating alternative structural and non-structural methods pursuant to SCC 30.62B.140; and

(13) Any other information necessary to determine compliance with this chapter.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007; Amended by Amended Ord. 15-034, Sept. 2, 2015, Eff date Nov. 1, 2015)

30.62A.150 Mitigation plan requirements.

Unless otherwise provided by this chapter, project permit applicants must provide a mitigation plan to address impacts to affected wetland, fish and wildlife habitat conservation area, or buffer functions and values as identified in the critical area study required pursuant to SCC 30.62A.140, provided that mitigation for the primary association area of critical species shall also comply with the requirements of Part 400.

(1) All mitigation plans shall:

(a) Include a report that describes and evaluates the existing functions and values, the functions and values that will be impacted, and the functions and values after mitigation;

(b) Specify how functions and values lost as a result of the activity will be replaced;

(c) Include performance standards;

(d) Specify when mitigation will occur relative to project construction and to the requirements of permits required by other jurisdictional entities;

(e) Include provisions for monitoring and maintenance of the mitigation area on a long-term basis to determine whether the mitigation was successful and that the mitigation measures in the approved plan will be sustainable after the monitoring period has expired;

(f) Include provisions for performance and maintenance security pursuant to chapter 30.84 SCC to ensure that work is completed in accordance with approved plans; and

(g) Include provisions on a form approved by the department for right of entry to the county for the purpose of inspection for the length of the monitoring and maintenance period.

(2) For development activities that require approval by the hearing examiner or those that receive phased administrative, conditional or preliminary approvals, the director may allow mitigation plans to be submitted in two phases: a conceptual phase and a detailed plan phase.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007; Amended by Amended Ord. 15-034, Sept. 2, 2015, Eff date Nov. 1, 2015)

30.62A.160 Permanent identification, protection and recording.

The following measures for permanent identification and protection of wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas and buffers are required for any development activity or action requiring a project permit, except those occurring in public and private road, trail or utility easements and rights-of-way, or for those projects conducted for the primary purpose of habitat enhancement or restoration.

(1) Critical area site plans.

(a) All wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas and buffers occurring on the site shall be designated on a critical area site plan as critical area protection areas.

(b) A critical area site plan is any plan approved by the department that includes but is not limited to subdivisions, records of survey, official site plans, administrative site plans, binding site plans, or other form drawn to a standard engineering scale.

(c) Critical area site plans shall include at a minimum:

(i) the boundaries of the site;

(ii) the boundaries of the property;

(iii) a legal description of the subject property;

(iv) accurate locations/boundaries of the critical area protection area(s), identified by critical area type;

(v) identification of existing legally established uses and structures;

(vi) provisions allowing habitat enhancement in wetland(s), fish and wildlife habitat conservation area(s) and buffers; and

(vii) provisions for the permanent protection of the critical area(s) functions and values including, at minimum, the following:

(A) restrictions on the construction of new structures;

(B) restrictions on the removal of existing native vegetation; and

(C) restrictions on other development activities that would adversely affect the functions and values of the wetland(s), fish and wildlife habitat conservation area(s), or buffers.

(2) Recording. Critical area site plans shall be recorded with the county auditor. Documentation of recording shall be provided to the department prior to permit issuance.

(3) Separate tracts and easements. Wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas, and buffers shall be located in easements or in separate tracts or other protected open space owned in common by all owners of the lots or parcels within any land division or land use permit or decision regulated pursuant to chapters 30.41A, 30.41B, 30.41C and 30.41D SCC or any other multi-family project approval with protected open space owned in common.

(4) Legally established uses and structures. Existing legally established uses or structures that fall within the boundaries of the critical area protection area shall be allowed to continue to be used and maintained without any additional restrictions. These uses and structures shall be clearly identified and described on the critical area site plan.

(5) When using easements on lots for the protection of critical areas or buffers, a fence shall be installed consistent with the fence design and placement requirements of SCC 30.62A.320(1)(f)(ii).

(6) Previously approved critical area site plans. For any development activity, action requiring a project permit or clearing occurring consistent with a previously approved critical area site plan shall be governed according to the terms and conditions of the approved site plan, provided that all wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas and buffers have been identified and specific permanent protection has been provided. "Consistent" means that there are no proposed modifications to the critical area protective measures established on the previously approved plan or direct impacts to the critical areas or buffers.

(7) Permanent marking. Critical area protection area boundaries shall be permanently marked on the site prior to final inspection by the county using methods and materials acceptable to the county, provided that this requirement does not apply to single family residential development occurring on existing lots.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007; Amended by Amended Ord. 15-034, Sept. 2, 2015, Eff date Nov. 1, 2015)

PART 200 - DESIGNATION, FUNCTIONS AND VALUES, AND CLASSIFICATION

30.62A.210 Designation of wetlands and fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas.

The county has designated wetlands and fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas pursuant to RCW 36.70A.170 by defining them and providing criteria for their identification and establishing the functions and values to be protected. Project proponents are responsible for determining whether a wetland or fish and wildlife habitat conservation area exists and is regulated pursuant to this chapter. The department will verify on a case-by-case basis the presence of wetlands and fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas identified by project proponents. Specific criteria for the designation of wetlands and fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas are contained in this chapter and chapter 30.91 SCC. While the county maintains some maps of wetlands and fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas, they are for informational purposes only and may not accurately represent all such areas.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007)

30.62A.220 Functions and values of wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas and buffers.

The functions and values listed in this section are included primarily based on their ecological relationship and value to the critical areas subject to this chapter, and include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following elements:

(1) Streams. Fish and wildlife habitat; transport of water, sediment and organic material; floodwater storage and attenuation;

(2) Wetlands. Fish and wildlife habitat, pollution assimilation, sediment retention, shoreline stabilization, floodwater storage, attenuation and conveyance, wave energy attenuation, stream base-flow maintenance, and groundwater discharge/recharge;

(3) Lakes. Fish and wildlife habitat, sediment retention, pollution assimilation, and floodwater attenuation, storage and conveyance;

(4) Marine waters. Fish and wildlife habitat; wind, wave and current attenuation; sediment supply; longshore transport of sediment; and pollution assimilation;

(5) Primary association areas of critical species. Fish and wildlife habitat;

(6) State natural area preserves, natural resource conservation areas, and state wildlife areas. Fish and wildlife habitat and recreation; and

(7) Buffers. Habitat for water associated and riparian associated wildlife, wildlife movement corridors, noise and visual screening, large woody debris and other natural organic matter recruitment, floodwater attenuation and storage, temperature maintenance, pollution assimilation, streambank stabilization and supply of sediments and nutrients.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007; Amended by Ord. 17-039, July 12, 2017, Eff date Aug. 3, 2017)

30.62A.230 Classification of streams, lakes, wetlands and marine waters.

(1) Classification of streams, lakes and marine waters shall be established in accordance with the water typing rules contained in WAC 222-16-030, summarized in Table 1. In the event of a conflict between WAC 222-16-030 and the contents of Table 1, the provisions in WAC 222-16-030 will govern.

(2) Classification and scoring of wetlands shall occur pursuant to the Washington State Wetland Rating System for Western Washington: 2014 Update, (Hruby, T., October 2014, or latest edition, Department of Ecology Publication #14-06-029) summarized in Table 1. In the event of a conflict between the DOE publication and the contents of Table 1, the provisions in the DOE publication will govern.

Table 1 - Classification of streams, lakes and wetlands 

Classification

Classification Criteria Summary

Streams and Lakes

Type S

Segments of all waters within their bankfull width, as inventoried as "shorelines of the state" under chapter 90.58 RCW and the rules promulgated pursuant to chapter 90.58 RCW.

Type F

Segments of natural waters other than Type S waters, which are within the bankfull widths of defined channels or within lakes having a surface area of 0.5 acres or greater at seasonal low water and which in any case contain fish habitat or are described by one of the following four categories:

(a) Are diverted for domestic use by more than 10 residential or camping units or by a public accommodation facility licensed to serve more than 10 persons, where such diversion is determined by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources to be a valid appropriation of water and the only practical water source for such users. Such waters shall be considered to be Type F water upstream from the point of such diversion for 1,500 feet or until the drainage area is reduced by 50 percent, whichever is less;

(b) Are diverted for use by federal, state, tribal or private fish hatcheries. Such waters shall be considered Type F water upstream from the point of diversion for 1,500 feet, including tributaries if highly significant for protection of downstream water quality;

(c) Waters which are within federal, state, local or private campgrounds with more than 10 camping units: Provided that the water shall not be considered to enter a campground until it reaches the boundary of the park lands available for public use and comes within 100 feet of a camping unit, trail or other park improvement;

(d) Riverine ponds, wall-based channels, and other channel features that are used by fish for off-channel habitat.

Type Np

Segments of natural waters within the bankfull width of defined channels that are perennial nonfish habitat streams. Perennial streams are waters that do not go dry any time of the year of normal rainfall. However, for the purpose of water typing, Type Np waters include the intermittent dry portions of the perennial channel below the uppermost point of perennial flow. Np waters begin downstream of the point along the channel where the contributing basin area is at least 52 acres in size.

Type Ns

Segments of natural waters within the bankfull width of the defined channels that are not Type S, F, or Np waters. These are seasonal, nonfish habitat streams in which surface flow is not present for at least some portion of a year of normal rainfall and are not located downstream from any stream reach that is a Type Np water. Ns waters must be physically connected by an above-ground channel system to Type S, F, or Np waters.

Wetlands

Category I

 

Wetlands listed by the Washington Natural Heritage Program as having high conservation value

 

Bogs

 

Estuarine wetlands (greater than or equal to one acre) & Coastal Lagoons (greater than or equal to 1/10 acre)

 

High Level Habitat Function (habitat function score is 8-9)

 

Moderate Level Habitat Function (habitat function score is 5-7)

 

Total score 23 or above but not meeting above criteria

Category II

 

Estuarine wetlands (less than one acre)

 

High level of function for habitat (habitat function score is 8-9)

 

Moderate level of function for habitat (habitat function score is 5-7)

 

High level of function for water quality improvement and low for habitat (water quality function score is 8-9 and habitat function score is less than 5)

 

Total score 20-22 but not meeting above criteria

Category III

 

Moderate Level Habitat Function (habitat function score is 5-7)

 

Total score of 16-19 but not meeting above criteria

Category IV

 

Total score for all functions less than 16

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007; Amended by Amended Ord. 15-034, Sept. 2, 2015, Eff date Nov. 1, 2015)

PART 300 - STANDARDS AND REQUIREMENTS

30.62A.310 General standards and requirements.

(1) This Part establishes specific standards and requirements for protection of wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas and their buffers, and under what circumstances mitigation may be used to address the impacts of development.

(2) Any development activity, action requiring a project permit or clearing occurring within wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas, and buffers is prohibited unless conducted in compliance with this chapter.

(3) Except as otherwise provided in Part 500, all development activities, actions requiring a project permit or clearing shall be designed and conducted to achieve no net loss of critical area functions and values and comply with the following general standards and requirements:

(a) The project proponent shall make all reasonable efforts to avoid and minimize impacts to wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas, and buffers in the following sequential order of preference:

(i) avoiding impacts altogether by not taking a certain action or parts of an action; or;

(ii) when avoidance is not possible, minimizing impacts by limiting the degree or magnitude of the action and its implementation, using appropriate technology, or by taking affirmative steps, such as project redesign, relocation, or timing, to avoid or reduce impacts; and mitigating for the affected functions and values of the critical area;

(b) When mitigation is required it shall be conducted in accordance with the following requirements:

(i) mitigation location. Unless otherwise provided in this chapter, mitigation for impacts to the functions and values of wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas and buffers shall be in-kind and on-site. Off-site mitigation may be approved only in those situations where appropriate and adequate on-site mitigation cannot replace the function(s) of the wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat conservation area(s) or buffers at an equivalent level to the off-site location. Off-site mitigation must occur in the same sub-drainage basin for streams, lakes and wetlands, or drift cell for marine waters;

(ii) mitigation timing. Mitigation shall be completed prior to granting of final building occupancy, or the completion or final approval of any development activity or action requiring a project permit for which mitigation measures have been required, except as set forth in chapter 30.84 SCC; and

(iii) function replacement. Unless otherwise provided in this chapter, functions and values shall be replaced at a one to one ratio;

(c) A project proponent may demonstrate compliance with subsection (3) of this section by:

(i) adhering to the standards and requirements in SCC 30.62A.320(1), .330(1), .340(1) and (2) and .450 as applicable; or by

(ii) adhering to the performance standards in SCC 30.62A.320(2) and (3), .330(2), .340(3) and (4), or .350 and mitigating for impacted functions and values as follows:

(A) any development activity, action requiring a project permit or clearing allowed pursuant to SCC 30.62A.320(2), .330(2), .340(3) or .350 shall also comply with general mitigation requirements in SCC subsection (3) of this section. Activities not listed or deviations from the standards contained in Part 300 may only be conducted pursuant to SCC 30.62A.350 or Part 500; and

(B) any development activity or action requiring a project permit listed in SCC 30.62A.320(2), .330(2), .340(3) or .350 shall also comply with the critical area study requirements of SCC 30.62A.140, and the mitigation plan requirements of SCC 30.62A.150; and

(d) Permanent identification and protection of wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas, and their buffers shall be provided as required by SCC 30.62A.160.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007; Amended by Amended Ord. 15-034, Sept. 2, 2015, Eff date Nov. 1, 2015)

30.62A.320 Standards and requirements for buffers and impervious surfaces.

Buffers shall be required adjacent to streams, lakes, wetlands and marine waters to protect the functions and values of these aquatic critical areas.

(1) Buffer standards and requirements - no mitigation required. All development activities, actions requiring project permits and clearing that comply with the buffer requirements of subsections (1)(a) through (g) of this section satisfy the avoidance criteria of SCC 30.62A.310(3) and are not required to provide mitigation.

(a) Buffer widths shall be as set forth in Table 2a or 2b below

Table 2a - Stream, Lake and Marine Buffer Width Standards (Feet)

Streams and Lakes

Type S

150

Type F with anadromous or resident salmonids

150

Type F without anadromous or resident salmonids

100

Type Np

50

Type Ns

50

 

Marine Waters

Type 1

All marine waters

150

 

 

 

Table 2b: Wetland Buffer Width Standards (feet) 

Wetlands

Wetland Category

Description

Buffer Width Requirements (feet)

Standard Buffer Width**

High Intensity Land Use 1 [30.62A.340(4)(c)]

Low Intensity Land Use 2

Buffer w/out mitigation measure 1 or 2

Buffer w/ mitigation measure 1 (*may use measure 1 OR 2)

Buffer w/ mitigation measures 1 AND 2

Wetlands containing salmonids (minimum)

150

Category I

Wetlands listed by the Washington Natural Heritage Program as having High Conservation Value

190

250

220*

190

125

Bogs

190

250

220*

190

125

Estuarine wetlands (greater than or equal to one acre) & Coastal Lagoons (greater than or equal to 1/10 acre)

150

200

175*

150

100

High level habitat function (habitat function score is 8-9)

225

300

262*

225

150

Moderate level habitat function (habitat function score is 5-7)

110

150

130*

110

75

Total score 23 or above but not meeting above criteria

75

100

75

 

50

Category II

Estuarine wetlands (less than 1 acre)

110

150

130*

110

75

High level of function for habitat (habitat function score is 8-9)

225

300

262*

225

150

Moderate to high level of function for habitat (habitat function score is 5-7)

110

150

130*

110

75

High level of function for water quality improvement and low for habitat (water quality function score is 8-9 and habitat function score is less than 5)

75

100

75

 

50

Total score 20-22 but not meeting above criteria

75

100

75

 

50

Category III

Moderate level habitat function (habitat function score is 5-7)

110

150

110

 

75

Total score of 16-19 but not meeting above criteria

60

80

60

 

40

Category IV

Low level function score (less than 16)

40

50

40

 

25

1 High intensity land uses include:

 

• commercial or industrial uses

 

• nonresidential use in zones where the primary intent is residential use as per SCC 30.21.025

 

• Residential use (4 or more units/acre)

 

• High-intensity recreation (golf courses, ball fields, ORV parks, etc.)

2 Low intensity land uses include:

 

• Forestry (cutting of trees only)

 

• Low-intensity open space (hiking, bird-watching, preservation of natural resources, etc.)

 

• Unpaved trails

 

• Utility corridor without a maintenance road and little or no vegetation management.

**Standard buffers represent moderate level land use intensity and include uses that are not defined as high or low intensity.

(b) Buffer widths shall be measured as follows:

(i) the buffer for streams, lakes and marine waters shall be measured from the ordinary high-water mark extending horizontally in a landward direction and for wetlands, the buffer shall be measured from the edge of the wetland extending horizontally in a landward direction; and

(ii) provided however, where the landward edge of the standard buffer shown in Table 2a or 2b extends on to a slope of 33 percent or greater, the buffer shall extend to a point 25 feet beyond the top of the slope.

(c) New effective impervious surface restrictions:

(i) no new effective impervious surfaces are allowed within the buffer of streams, wetlands, lakes or marine waters; and

(ii) total new effective impervious surfaces shall be limited to 10 percent within 300 feet of:

(A) any streams or lakes containing salmonids;

(B) wetlands containing salmonids; or

(C) marine waters containing salmonids.

(d) All development activities, actions requiring project permits or clearing shall be designed to avoid the loss of or damage to trees in buffers due to blow down or other causes.

(e) All development activities, actions requiring project permits or clearing shall be sited and designed to prevent the need for shoreline or bank stabilization and structural flood hazard protection measures for the life of the development except as allowed pursuant to SCC 30.62A.330(2)(b).

(f) The following measures for reducing buffer width and area may be used without a critical area study or mitigation plan:

(i) separate tract reductions. Up to a 15 percent reduction of the standard buffer is allowed when the buffer and associated aquatic critical area are located in a separate tract as specified in SCC 30.62A.160(3);

(ii) fencing reductions. Up to a 15 percent reduction of the standard buffer is allowed when a fence is installed along the perimeter of the buffer. The fence shall be designed and constructed as set forth below:

(A) the fence shall be designed and constructed to be a permanent structure;

(B) the fence shall be designed and constructed to clearly demarcate the buffer from the developed portion of the site and to limit access of landscaping equipment, vehicles, or other human disturbances;

(C) the fence shall allow for the passage of wildlife, with a minimum gap of one and one half feet at the bottom of the fence, and a maximum height of three and one half feet at the top; and

(D) the enhancement area complies with the enhancement ratios of Table 3; and

(iii) for permanent fencing combined with separate tracts, the maximum reduction shall be limited to 25 percent.

(g) The following buffer reduction methods are only allowed in conjunction with a critical area study, pursuant to SCC 30.62A.140, demonstrating that the methods will provide protection equivalent to the standard requirements contained in Tables 2a and 2b:

(i) the width of a buffer may be averaged, by reducing the width of a portion of the buffer and increasing the width of another portion of the same buffer, if all of the following requirements are met:

(A) averaging will not diminish the functions and values of the wetland(s), fish and wildlife habitat conservation area(s) or buffer(s);

(B) the total area of the buffer on the subject property may not be less than the area that would have been required if averaging had not occurred;

(C) the total area of buffer averaging shall be placed between the developed area and the wetland, lake, stream or marine water;

(D) no part of the width of the buffer may be less than 50 percent of the standard required width or 25 feet, whichever is greater;

(E) averaging of a buffer shall not be allowed where the reduction extends into associated sloping areas of 33 percent or greater; and

(F) buffers on isolated - wetlands or lakes located in close proximity to other aquatic critical areas shall be connected by corridors of native vegetation where possible using the buffer averaging provisions of this section and the following criteria:

(1) the width of the corridor connection between the aquatic critical areas shall be no less than the combined average of the standard buffers for each of the critical areas, provided that if there is not sufficient buffer area available when using averaging to establish a connection, a connection is not required;

(2) no more than 25 percent of the buffer of the individual critical areas shall be used to make a corridor connection;

(3) the corridor connection shall be established where feasible using the highest quality habitat existing between the critical areas;

(ii) enhancement reductions. Up to a 25 percent reduction of the standard buffer width and area is allowed provided the project proponent demonstrates the enhancement complies with all of the following criteria:

(A) a comparative analysis of buffer functions and values prior to and after enhancement, demonstrates that there is no net loss of buffer functions and values;

(B) a full enhancement reduction shall only be allowed where it can be demonstrated that the existing buffer functions and values are non-existent or significantly degraded. Buffers with partial function may receive a partial or prorated reduction; and

(C) the total buffer area after reduction is not less than 75 percent of the total buffer area before reduction;

(iii) reductions may be combined based on the following criteria:

(A) for enhancement combined with permanent fencing, the maximum reduction in width and area shall be limited to 30 percent; and

(B) for enhancement combined with separate tracts, the maximum reduction in both width and area shall be limited to 30 percent.

(h) When averaging is used in combination with any or all of the reduction methods contained in this section, the buffer shall not be reduced to less than half of the standard buffer widths contained in SCC subsection (1)(a) of this section, Tables 2a or 2b.

(2) Buffer standards and requirements - mitigation required. All actions, structures or facilities listed in this section are allowed only when they are determined to be unavoidable pursuant to SCC 30.62A.310(3) and are conducted according to the standards and requirements identified in this section. When a permit is required, an applicant must also provide a critical area study meeting the requirements of SCC 30.62A.140 and a mitigation plan meeting the requirements of SCC 30.62A.150.

(a) New utilities and transportation structures are allowed within buffers when:

(i) no other feasible alternative exists or the alternative would result in unreasonable or disproportionate costs; and

(ii) location, design and construction minimizes impacts to the buffers pursuant to SCC 30.62A.310.

(b) Stormwater detention/retention facilities are allowed pursuant to the requirements of SCC 30.63A.570.

(c) Access through buffers is allowed provided it is designed and constructed to be the minimum necessary to accommodate the use or activity.

(d) Construction of pedestrian walkways or trails in buffers is allowed when constructed with natural permeable materials and does not exceed 6 feet in width.

(e) Trimming of vegetation for purposes of providing a view corridor in a buffer is allowed provided that:

(i) trimming shall not include felling, topping, or removal of trees and be limited to hand pruning of branches and vegetation;

(ii) trimming and limbing of vegetation for the creation and maintenance of view corridors shall occur in accordance with the pruning standards of the International Society of Arboriculture (See articles published by the International Society of Arboriculture, Consumer Information Program, updated July, 2005);

(iii) trimming shall be limited to view corridors of 30 feet wide or 50 percent of the lot width, whichever is less;

(iv) no more than 30 percent of the live crown shall be removed; and

(v) the activity will not increase the risk of landslide or erosion.

(f) New shoreline and bank stabilization measures or flood protection are allowed pursuant to SCC 30.62A.330(2).

(g) Reconstruction or replacement of buildings may be allowed provided the new building does not encroach further into a critical area or its buffer than did the original building being reconstructed or replaced.

(3) Buffer standards and requirements - mitigation ratios.

(a) The mitigation ratios in Table 3 shall apply to buffer impacts and mitigation measures that exceed those allowed in subsections (1)(f)(i), (1)(f)(ii), (1)(g)(i), and (1)(g)(ii) of this section.

(b) Except as provided in subsections (3)(c) and (d) of this section, to mitigate the loss of buffer functions and values, the ratios in Table 3 shall be required. The ratios are based upon the existing type of vegetative cover and are expressed in terms of the units of mitigation area needed to replace the lost functions and values of the impacted buffer area.

(c) Enhancement shall occur in accordance with enhancement criteria contained in subsections (1)(g)(ii)(A), (B) and (C) of this section.

(d) For temporary impacts, the ratios shall be to be 1:1. Temporary impacts are those that can be restored to pre-disturbance conditions in one growing season.

 

Table 3 – Buffer Mitigation Ratios
 

Existing Riparian habitat vegetation type

Creation

Enhancement1

Mature forest

6:1

12:1

 

 

 

Non-mature forest

3:1

6:1

 

 

 

Shrub

2:1

4:1

 

 

 

Non-woody vegetation

1.5:1

3:1

 

 

No vegetated cover

1:1

2:1

1 enhancement of the existing buffer is allowed in lieu of creation for up to one acre of buffer loss

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007; Amended by Amended Ord. 10-026, June 9, 2010, Eff date Sept. 30, 2010; Amended by Amended Ord. 15-034, Sept. 2, 2015, Eff date Nov. 1, 2015)

30.62A.330 Standards and requirements for activities conducted within streams, lakes and marine waters.

This section provides standards and requirements for activities conducted within streams, lakes and marine waters. Protection of streams, lakes and marine waters is inextricably linked to protection of the adjacent buffers. Standards and requirements for buffers adjacent to streams, lakes and marine waters are found in SCC 30.62A.320.

(1) Standards and requirements for streams, lakes and marine waters - no mitigation required. Any development activity, action requiring project permit or clearing that does not encroach into streams, lakes or marine waters and provides buffers consistent with the requirements of SCC 30.62A.320(1) satisfies the avoidance criteria of SCC 30.62A.310(3) and do not require mitigation.

(2) Standards and requirements for streams, lakes and marine waters - mitigation required. All actions, structures or facilities listed in this section are allowed only when they are determined to be unavoidable pursuant to SCC 30.62A.310(3), and are conducted according to the standards and requirements identified in this section. When a permit is required, an applicant must also provide a critical area study meeting the requirements of SCC 30.62A.140 and a mitigation plan meeting the requirements of SCC 30.62A.150.

(a) All development activities, actions requiring project permits and clearing shall meet the following requirements:

(i) the project shall be sited and designed to prevent the need for shoreline or bank stabilization and structural flood hazard protection measures for the life of the development;

(ii) the project shall be sited and designed to avoid the need for new or maintenance dredging; and

(iii) the project shall not obstruct the source and movement of sediment from bluffs along marine waters except as necessary pursuant to subsection (2)(b) of this section.

(b) Shoreline and streambank stabilization and flood protection measures. Shoreline and streambank stabilization and flood protection measures are only allowed to protect an existing primary structure; new or existing utilities, roads and bridges; agricultural land; or as part of a project where the sole purpose is to protect or restore wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas or buffers. Activities allowed under subsection (2)(b) of this section shall meet the following conditions:

(i) the applicant shall submit a geotechnical report as required pursuant to SCC 30.62B.140 which establishes that the stabilization or flood protection is necessary;

(ii) non-structural measures shall be used unless a geotechnical report indicates that the only alternative is use of structural stabilization measures;

(iii) the activity shall avoid interrupting hyporheic zone continuity; and

(iv) the activity should be designed and constructed based on the guidance contained in the Integrated Streambank Protection Guidelines (Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, April 2003) and the Alternative Bank Protection Methods for Puget Sound Shorelines (Washington State Department of Ecology, May 2000, Publication #00-06-012) as appropriate for the type of critical area impacted.

(c) Utility construction. For utilities permitted under Title 30 SCC and Title 13 SCC, the following additional requirements shall apply:

(i) new utility crossings shall be bored beneath types S and F streams, and channel migration zones where feasible;

(ii) underground utilities shall avoid interrupting hyporheic zone continuity;

(iii) utilities shall be contained within the developed footprint of existing roads or utility crossings, where feasible;

(iv) utilities placement shall not increase or decrease the natural rate of shore migration, channel migration or longshore sediment transport within a drift cell;

(v) utilities placement shall avoid interrupting downstream movement of wood and sediment; and

(vi) new overhead electrical facilities are allowed when no other feasible alternative exists or the alternative would result in unreasonable or disproportionate costs, and the location, design and construction minimizes impacts to streams, lakes and marine waters pursuant to SCC 30.62A.310.

(d) Road crossings are subject to the following requirements:

(i) road crossings on fish-bearing streams shall be designed according to the guidelines set forth in Water Crossing Design Guidelines (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, May 9, 2013) or as subsequently amended or revised; and

(ii) road crossings shall avoid interrupting natural rates of the downstream movement of woody debris and sediment.

(e) Stream conveyances. Where feasible, stream conveyances shall avoid interrupting natural rates of the downstream movement of woody debris and sediment.

(f) Docks, piers and floats are subject to the following requirements:

(i) use of toxic or treated materials that will come in contact with the water is prohibited;

(ii) construction timing shall avoid critical life cycle stages of fish and wildlife;

(iii) these structures shall avoid critical saltwater habitats; and

(iv) joint use of docks, piers and floats shall be required where feasible.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007; Amended by Amended Ord. 15-034, Sept. 2, 2015, Eff date Nov. 1, 2015)

30.62A.340 Standards and requirements for activities conducted in wetlands.

Protection of wetlands is inextricably linked to protection of the adjacent buffer areas. Standards and requirements for the buffers adjacent to wetlands are found in SCC 30.62A.320. Additional standards and requirements for development activities, actions requiring project permits and clearing within wetlands are in this section.

(1) Standards for wetlands - prohibitions. The following actions are prohibited:

(a) Filling of estuarine wetlands, wetlands listed by the Washington Natural Heritage Program as having High Conservation Value, mature forested wetlands and Category I bogs;

(b) Point discharges of stormwater into Category I bogs; and

(c) Septic systems and effective impervious surfaces within 300 feet of Category I bogs.

(2) Standards for wetlands - no mitigation required. All development activities, actions requiring project permits and clearing that do not encroach into wetlands and provide buffers consistent with the requirements of SCC 30.62A.320(1)(a) through (f) and the prohibitions in subsection (1) of this section satisfy the avoidance criteria of SCC 30.62A.310(3) and do not require mitigation.

(3) Standards for wetlands - mitigation required. The actions, structures and facilities listed in this section are allowed only when they are determined to be unavoidable pursuant to SCC 30.62A.310, are consistent with the prohibitions in subsection (1) of this section, and are conducted according to the standards and requirements identified in this section. When a permit is required, an applicant must also provide a critical area study meeting the requirements of SCC 30.62A.140 and a mitigation plan meeting the requirements of SCC 30.62A.150.

(a) New utilities and transportation structures are allowed within wetlands provided no other feasible alternative exists.

(b) Stormwater detention/retention facilities are prohibited in Category I bogs pursuant to subsection (1)(b) of this section but are otherwise allowed pursuant to the requirements of SCC 30.63A.570.

(4) Standards for wetlands - mitigation requirements.

(a) Mitigation ratios – Except as provided in subsection (4)(b) of this section, to mitigate the loss of wetland functions, the ratios in Table 4 shall be required. The ratios are expressed in terms of the units of area needed to replace the lost functions and values of the wetland.

(b) For temporary impacts, the ratios shall be to be 1:1. Temporary impacts are those that can be restored to pre-disturbance conditions in one growing season.

 

Table 4

Wetland Mitigation Ratios
 

Category/Type of Wetland

Creation

Enhancement1

All Category IV

1.5:1

3:1

 

 

 

All Category III

2:1

4:1

 

 

 

Category II Estuarine

innovative development only

4:1

All other Category II

3:1

6:1

 

 

 

Category I based on score for functions

4:1

8:1

Category I listed by the Washington Natural Heritage Program as having High Conservation Value

Innovative development only

Innovative development only

Category I Coastal Lagoon

Innovative development only

Innovative development only

Category I Bog

Not allowed

Innovative design only

Category I Estuarine

Innovative development only

Innovative development only

1 Enhancement is allowed in lieu of creation for up to one acre of wetland fill

(c) To reduce wetland buffer widths from the width required for high intensity land uses, optional mitigation measures and process requirements may be applied to reduce wetland buffer widths as shown in SCC 30.62A.320(1)(a) Table 2b.

(i) Optional mitigation measures.

(A) Mitigation measure 1. All applicable mitigation measures from Table 5 may be used to mitigate impacts to wetlands from high intensity land uses. When fencing and/or separate tracts are used pursuant to this section additional buffer width reductions for fencing or separate tracts otherwise allowed in SCC 30.62A.320(1) shall not be applied;

 

Table 5 - Mitigation Measures for High Intensity Land Uses
 

Examples of disturbance

Activities and uses that cause disturbances

Examples of measures to minimize impacts

Lights

Parking lots

Direct lights away from wetland

Warehouses

Manufacturing

Residential

Noise

Manufacturing

Locate activity that generates noise away from the wetland

Residential

Toxic runoff*

Parking lots

Route all new untreated runoff away from wetland while ensuring that wetland is not dewatered

Roads

Manufacturing

Residential areas

Establish covenants governing use of pesticides within 150 feet of wetland

Landscaping

 

 

Apply integrated pest management

Stormwater runoff

Parking lots

Retrofit stormwater detention and treatment for roads and existing adjacent development

Roads

Manufacturing

Prevent channelized flow from lawns that directly enters buffer

Residential areas

Commercial

Landscaping

Change in water regime

Impermeable surfaces

Infiltrate or treat, detain, and disperse into buffer new runoff from impervious surface and new lawns

Lawns

Tilling

Pets and human disturbance

Residential areas

Use privacy fencing; plant dense vegetation to delineate buffer edge and to discourage disturbance using vegetation appropriate for the ecoregion; place wetland and its buffer in a separate tract

* These examples are not necessarily adequate for minimizing toxic runoff if threatened or endangered species are present at the site.

(B) Mitigation measure 2. For Category I or II wetlands that score moderate or high for habitat (5 points or more for the habitat functions), a habitat corridor shall be preserved that meets the following criteria:

(I) Except as allowed in number (II) below, the habitat corridor shall connect the Category I or II wetland with a habitat score of 5 or more to any other wetland, fish and wildlife habitat conservation area or buffer which is:

(aa) on the same property or within the same development, including all phases proposed;

(bb) on adjacent properties and already protected as Native Growth Protection Areas or Critical Area Protection Areas or other permanently protected open space suitable for wildlife habitat use and which either extends to the property boundary or connected by easement; or

(cc) on county, state or federal land used for forestry, conservation or passive recreation parks.

(II) The habitat corridor may connect to a stormwater detention facility, either on-site or on an adjacent site, if it is designed to replicate a natural pond or wetland.

(III) The habitat corridor shall meet the following minimum physical characteristics:

(aa) The corridor shall consist of a relatively undisturbed, vegetated corridor.

(bb) The corridor shall maintain an average width equal to the difference between the high intensity buffer and the standard buffer for the relevant Category I or II wetland as shown in Table 6, except when the corridor is connecting two Category I or II wetlands each with a habitat score of 5 or more and the corridor maintains an average width of 100 feet, it will fulfill the connection requirement for both wetlands.

Table 6 - Average Width for Habitat Corridor (feet)
 

Wetland Category

Description

Standard Buffer Width

High Intensity Buffer Width

Average Habitat Corridor Width

Category I

Listed by the Washington Natural Heritage Program as having High Conservation Value

190

250

60

Bogs

190

250

60

Estuarine (at least 1 acre) & Coastal Lagoons

150

200

50

High Level Habitat Function (habitat function score is 8 or greater)

225

300

75

Moderate Level Habitat Function (habitat function score is 5-7)

110

150

40

Category II

Estuarine (less than 1 acre)

110

150

40

High Level Habitat Function (habitat function score is 5-7)

225

300

75

Moderate Level Habitat Function (habitat function score is 5-8)

110

150

40

(cc) The corridor shall maintain a width at each connection not less than the required average width as described in subsection (4)(c)(i)(B)(III)(bb) of this section.

(dd) The director may approve alternative configurations which meet the intent of no net loss of habitat functions and values pursuant to SCC 30.62A.350.

(IV) The following activities are allowed within the habitat corridor:

(aa) If the corridor maintains an average width of 100 feet or more, an unpaved trail - narrow single file walking path no bicycles or motorized vehicles allowed - may be allowed.

(bb) Vegetation management is allowed as follows:

(A) hazardous tree management - creation of snags and down logs is favored over tree removal whenever possible

(B) hand removal of invasive plant species

(C) when trails are allowed as per subsection (4)(c)(i)(B)(IV)(aa) of this section, minimal trail maintenance is also allowed

(D) restorative/enhancement plantings with native species to increase species diversity or replace plants lost to disease or damage; and

(E) planting with native species along outer edge of corridor to increase plant density and discourage disturbance or intrusion.

(ii) Process requirements in Part 100 shall be supplemented with the necessary information to document the mitigation locations and protection requirements, provide an assessment of functions and values and evaluation of the level of protection achieved by the mitigation measures and establish provisions for permanent protection.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007; Amended by Amended Ord. 10-026, June 9, 2010, Eff date Sept. 30, 2010; Amended by Amended Ord. 15-034, Sept. 2, 2015, Eff date Nov. 1, 2015)

30.62A.350 Innovative development design.

(1) A project permit applicant may request approval of an innovative design, which addresses wetland, fish and wildlife habitat conservation area or buffer treatment in a manner that deviates from the standards contained in Part 300. The applicant shall demonstrate in a critical area study required pursuant to SCC 30.62A.140 how the innovative development design complies with the following requirements:

(a) The innovative design will achieve protection equivalent to the treatment of the functions and values of the critical area(s) which would be obtained by applying the standard prescriptive measures contained in this chapter;

(b) Applicants for innovative designs are encouraged to consider measures prescribed in guidance documents, such as watershed conservation plans or other similar conservation plans, and low impact stormwater management strategies that address wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat conservation area or buffer protection consistent with this section; and

(c) The innovative design will not be materially detrimental to the public health, safety or welfare or injurious to other properties or improvements located outside of the subject property.

(2) Applicants proposing development activities on properties designated as Urban Center Transit Pedestrian Village on the county’s Future Land Use Map may utilize the innovative design provisions in this section to deviate from the requirements in Part 300. Such deviations may include but are not limited to provisions related to avoidance of impacts, standard buffer widths, allowed uses in buffers and wetlands, mitigation ratios and use of off-site mitigation. The applicant shall demonstrate in a critical area study required pursuant to SCC 30.62A.140:

(a) Why the deviation is necessary to implement the policies in the county’s comprehensive plan General Policy Plan under objective LU 3.B; and

(b) How the innovative development design achieves protection at least equivalent to the treatment of the functions and values of the critical area(s) which would be obtained by applying the standard prescriptive measures contained in Part 300.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007; Amended by Ord. 10-024, June 9, 2010, Eff date Sept. 30, 2010; Amended by Amended Ord. 15-034, Sept. 2, 2015, Eff date Nov. 1, 2015; Amended by Ord. 15-103, Jan. 11, 2016, Eff date Jan. 22, 2016)

PART 400 - CRITICAL SPECIES AND STATE NATURAL HABITATS

30.62A.410 Purpose.

This Part establishes standards and requirements for the protection of critical species and state natural habitats, which includes:

(1) Species listed as threatened or endangered under RCW 77.12.020 and Title 16 United States Code;

(2) Species of local importance designated under SCC 30.62A.470; and

(3) The following Washington State listed sensitive species:

(a) Larch mountain salamander;

(b) Common loon;

(c) Peregrine falcon;

(d) Olympic mudminnow;

(e) Pygmy whitefish;

(f) Gray whale;

(g) Bald eagle; and

(h) Margined sculpin.

(4)  State natural area preserves, natural resource conservation areas, and state wildlife areas, collectively referred to as "state natural habitats."

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007; Amended by Amended Ord. 15-034, Sept. 2, 2015, Eff date Nov. 1, 2015; Amended by Ord. 17-039, July 12, 2017, Eff date Aug. 3, 2017)

30.62A.420 Applicability.

(1) The provisions of this Part shall apply as of the effective date of the listing to all development activities, actions requiring project permits and clearing occurring on a site containing a primary association area for a critical species. The provisions of this Part shall also apply to all development activities, actions requiring project permits and clearing within a state natural habitat. The provisions of this Part shall apply in addition to any other requirements of this chapter.

(2) Actions subject to this chapter not requiring a project permit should consult with state or federal resource agencies with technical expertise and/or regulatory authority over such critical species or necessary protection measures and comply with the administrative rules for the species adopted pursuant SCC 30.62A.430.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007; Amended by Ord. 17-039, July 12, 2017, Eff date Aug. 3, 2017)

30.62A.430 Administrative rules authorized.

In order to protect critical species and their habitats and state natural habitats, the department shall develop administrative rules under chapter 30.82 SCC that establish protection requirements specific to these species and their habitats and state natural habitats.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007; Amended by Amended Ord. 15-034, Sept. 2, 2015, Eff date Nov. 1, 2015; Amended by Ord. 17-039, July 12, 2017, Eff date Aug. 3, 2017)

30.62A.440 Administrative rules - minimum protection requirements.

In developing administrative rules under this section, the department shall consider establishing at least the following minimum protections:

(1) Establishment of the primary association area;

(2) Limitation on development activities within the primary association area;

(3) Limitation on access to the primary association area;

(4) Provisions for seasonal restrictions on construction activities where appropriate;

(5) Preservation of habitat for the critical species;

(6) Permanent protection pursuant to SCC 30.62A.160; and

(7) Protection of state natural habitats.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007; Amended by Ord. 17-039, July 12, 2017, Eff date Aug. 3, 2017)

30.62A.450 General standards and requirements.

Proponents for all development activities, actions requiring project permits or clearing shall make all reasonable efforts to avoid and minimize impacts to critical species and state natural habitats pursuant to the requirements of this section, in the following sequential order of preference:

(1) Avoid impacts altogether by not taking a certain action or parts of an action; or

(2) When avoidance is not possible, minimize impacts by limiting the degree or magnitude of the action and its implementation, using appropriate technology, or by taking affirmative steps, such as project redesign, relocation, or timing, to avoid or reduce impacts; and

(3) Comply with rules adopted pursuant to SCC 30.62A.430 and a habitat management plan when required pursuant to SCC 30.62A.460.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007; Amended by Ord. 17-039, July 12, 2017, Eff date Aug. 3, 2017)

30.62A.460 Habitat management plan contents.

For any development activity or action requiring a project permit occurring within the primary association area of a critical species or state natural habitats, the director may require all or a portion of the following:

(1) A critical area study meeting the requirements of SCC 30.62A.140;

(2) A map drawn to scale or survey showing the location and description of the primary association area(s) of the critical species or state natural habitats on the subject property;

(3) Evidence of use of the site by a critical species, including the location and nature of use;

(4) An assessment of how the proposed activities will affect the critical species and/or its habitat or the state natural habitat, and how the proposal will avoid, minimize or mitigate impacts to those critical species and their habitats or state natural habitats pursuant to SCC 30.62A.450. The department shall waive this requirement when a proposed activity is consistent with the protection standards adopted in an administrative rule developed pursuant to SCC 30.62A.430; and

(5) In the absence of an adopted administrative rule governing a listed species or state natural habitat, the applicant shall provide a habitat management plan consistent with the minimum requirements of SCC 30.62A.440. In addition, the habitat management plan shall contain an assessment of best available science applicable to the species or the state natural habitat, demonstrating how the proposal will provide sufficient protection of the critical species and its habitat or the state natural habitat. Applicants are encouraged to consult with the department, and federal and state agencies with technical expertise or regulatory jurisdiction.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007; Amended by Ord. 17-039, July 12, 2017, Eff date Aug. 3, 2017)

30.62A.470 Species of local importance.

This section provides the process for the designation, nomination and protection of species of local importance. The designation, nomination and protection strategies shall be based on best available science.

(1) Designation criteria.

(a) Designation of species of local importance must be based on both the following circumstances:

(i) protection of the native species and its primary association area through existing policies, laws, regulations, or non-regulatory tools is not adequate to prevent degradation of the species in the county; and

(ii) the primary association area nominated to protect a particular species is high quality native habitat or has a high potential to be high quality habitat, or provides landscape connectivity which contributes to the designated species’ preservation.

(b) In addition to the requirements in SCC 30.62A.470(1)(a), designation of species of local importance must also be based on one or more of the following circumstances:

(i) local populations of a native species are in danger of extirpation based on existing trends;

(ii) local populations of a native species are likely to become threatened or endangered under state or federal law;

(iii) local populations of a native species are vulnerable or declining;

(iv) the native species has recreational, commercial, or tribal significance; or

(v) long-term persistence of a native species is dependent on the protection, maintenance, and/or restoration of the nominated primary association area.

(2) Petition Contents. The petition to nominate a species of local importance shall contain all the following:

(a) A map showing the nominated primary association area location(s);

(b) An environmental checklist in conformance with SCC 30.61.100;

(c) A written statement that

(i) identifies which designation criteria form the basis of the nomination;

(ii) includes supporting evidence that designation criteria are met; and

(iii) indicates what specific habitat feature(s) or plant communities are to be protected (e.g., nest sites, breeding areas, and nurseries);

(d) Recommended management strategies for the species, supported by the best available science and which meet the minimum requirements of SCC 30.62A.440; and

(e) An economic analysis identifying the cost of implementing a mitigation or protection plan and the financial impact of the requested designation on affected properties or local governments.

(3) Approval Process.

(a) Timing. Nominations for species of local importance will be considered by the council no more than once per year. The department will accept proposals for amendments at any time; however, proposals received after July 31st of each year will be processed in the next annual review cycle.

(b) Process. The county may include a species of local importance for protection pursuant to this section through adoption of legislation by the council. The council considers whether to adopt a motion to list a species of local importance through the following process:

(i) any person may nominate species for designation by submitting a petition meeting the requirements of SCC 30.62A.470(2) and payment of fees as required by chapter 30.86 SCC;

(ii) the department shall complete a SEPA threshold determination and provide notice of the petition as required under SCC 30.70.045 for SEPA threshold determinations associated with a project permit;

(iii) the department shall review the submittal of the petitioner, and coordinate and assemble all available comments of the public, other county departments, and other agencies. Based on the available record, and any other information that may be available, the department shall provide a staff report and recommendation to the council concerning whether the petition meets the requirements for approval;

(iv) the department shall submit to the executive an executive/council approval form (ECAF) containing the staff recommendation, all relevant SEPA documents, and a proposed motion which provides for disposition of the petition; and

(v) upon delivery of an ECAF to the council by the executive, the proposed motion will be subject to the requirements of chapter 2.48 SCC.

(c) Cost of environmental studies. Any person submitting a petition to nominate a species of local importance shall pay the cost of environmental review and studies necessary under SEPA, as required under chapter 30.61 SCC. The person may, at his or her own expense and to the extent determined appropriate by the responsible official, provide additional studies or other information.

(4) Establishment of specific rules for protection. Within 120 days of an action by the council, the department shall develop an administrative rule pursuant to chapter 30.82 SCC addressing protection of the species of local importance in compliance with this section.

(5) The department may establish administrative procedures necessary to administer this section.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007)

PART 500 - EXCEPTIONS

30.62A.510 Minor development activity exceptions.

(1) Certain minor development activities may occur in or cause impacts to wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas or buffers provided the project proponent complies with best management practices (BMPs) adopted through rulemaking pursuant to chapter 30.82 SCC and all known and available reasonable technology (AKART) appropriate for compliance with this chapter. Best management practices are physical, structural, or managerial practices which have gained general acceptance by professionals in the appropriate field to minimize and mitigate adverse impacts to the functions and values of critical areas.

(2) All minor development activities authorized in this section shall comply with administrative BMP rules upon adoption. Prior to adoption of such administrative rules, project proponents shall comply with all known and available BMPs as defined in subsection (1) of this section. The director shall adopt BMPs for the minor development activities listed in this section pursuant to the rulemaking provisions of chapter 30.82 SCC.

(3) The following minor development activities may occur pursuant to this section:

(a) Normal maintenance and repair that does not expand the footprint of existing:

(i) improved public and private road rights-of-way,

(ii) utility corridors,

(iii) trails,

(iv) utility facilities,

(v) flood protection and bank stabilization structures,

(vi) stormwater facilities; and

(vii) structures;

(b) Minor replacement, modification, extension, installation, or construction by a utility purveyor in an improved public road right-of-way;

(c) Survey or monument placement;

(d) Minor replacement or modification of existing facilities by a utility purveyor in an improved utility corridor;

(e) Minor replacement or modification by a utility purveyor of individual utility service lines connecting to a utility distribution system;

(f) Minor replacement, modification, minor installation or construction in an improved road right-of-way by the county or by the holder of a current right-of-way use permit;

(g) All development activities in non-riparian Category II and III wetlands smaller than 5,000 square feet, and non-riparian Category IV wetlands smaller than 10,000 square feet, and their associated buffers;

(h) Removal of invasive weeds;

(i) Felling or topping of hazardous trees based on review by a qualified arborist;

(j) Minor replacement, modification or installation of drainage, water quality or habitat enhancement projects;

(k) All other on-going lawfully established development activities not specifically addressed in this chapter; and

(l) Site investigative work necessary for land use application submittals pursuant to this title, such as surveys, soil borings, test pits, percolation tests, non-mechanical survey monument placement, data collection by non-mechanical means or other related activities, provided that the work is otherwise consistent with the provisions of other local, state and federal laws and regulations. Land disturbance shall be no greater than that necessary to accomplish the site investigative work and disturbed areas shall be restored to pre-disturbance conditions in one growing season.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007; Amended by Amended Ord. 15-034, Sept. 2, 2015, Eff date Nov. 1, 2015)

30.62A.520 Single family residential development exceptions in buffers.

New single family residential development, expansions of existing single family residences and ordinary residential improvements on lots existing prior to October 1, 2007 are allowed in buffers only as follows:

(1) The development cannot comply with the standard requirements contained in PART 300 of this chapter;

(2) The development shall not disturb more than 4,000 square feet of the buffer;

(3) There is not 4,000 square feet of area available for the development outside of the standard buffer;

(4) To the extent feasible, total effective new impervious areas shall be limited to 10 percent within 300 feet of all waters containing salmonids and bogs;

(5) Expansion of an existing single family residence or accessory structure may be allowed within a buffer provided the footprint of the expansion does not exceed 50 percent of the existing structure or 2,000 square feet, whichever is less, and the expansion is set back from the critical area a distance which is greater than or equal to the setback of the original structure;

(6) For new single family development, there must be no alternate location for the development outside of the buffer;

(7) Development in the buffer shall be located to avoid impacts to critical species;

(8) The buffer shall not be reduced to less than one half of the standard buffer as provided at SCC 30.62A.320(1)(a) or 25 feet, whichever is greater, provided that access road crossing may encroach further into the buffer when there are no feasible alternatives;

(9) To the maximum extent feasible, the development shall be designed to avoid the removal of existing native vegetation with emphasis on preservation of conifers greater than or equal to 24 inches diameter at breast height (dbh), and hardwoods greater than or equal to 20 inches dbh;

(10) Utility service lines servicing a single family residence may be allowed in areas of the buffer containing native vegetation provided that the removal of any vegetation within the buffer shall be the minimum necessary to install the lines;

(11) A permanent fence or other equivalent visual and physical barrier shall be installed along the edge of the reduced buffer, provided that the barrier may be installed at the edge of the naturally or restored vegetated part of the buffer;

(12) Mitigation for any encroachment into the buffer shall include, where beneficial, enhancement of existing buffers on the site based on the following criteria:

(a) The enhanced buffer should be located between the residential structures and improvements and the aquatic critical area; and

(b) The ratio of the area of buffer enhanced to the area of the buffer encroached upon should be 2 to1.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007; Amended by Amended Ord. 15-034, Sept. 2, 2015, Eff date Nov. 1, 2015)

30.62A.530 Emergency activities.

Emergency activities necessary to prevent an immediate threat to public health, safety, welfare or property, or to prevent an imminent threat of serious environmental degradation, are allowed without prior approval in wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas or buffers, based on the criteria set forth in this section:

(1) The activity must be the minimum necessary to alleviate the emergency;

(2) The project proponent shall notify the department prior to any action taken to remedy an emergency. If prior notification is not feasible, the project proponent shall notify the department within 48 hours of the action; and

(3) Applications for any required project permits necessary to satisfy compliance with this chapter are submitted to the department within 120 days of the start of the action taken. For actions not requiring permits, compliance with this chapter shall occur within a reasonable time period not to exceed twelve months.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007)

30.62A.540 Reasonable use.

(1) A project permit applicant who is unable to comply with the specific standards of this chapter without forfeiting all economically viable use of the property may seek approval of a "reasonable use" allowance under this section. The application must be made on a form provided by the department and accompany a project permit application.

(2) To qualify as a reasonable use, the director shall find that the proposal meets the following criteria:

(a) Application of this chapter will deny all economically viable use of the subject property. In making this determination, the director shall also determine that:

(i) the subject property is an existing legal lot and the inability to derive reasonable use of the subject property is not the result of actions by the applicant in segregating, dividing or creating a condition on the site after April 1, 1995; and

(ii) the inability to derive all reasonable use of the subject property is not the result of prior actions taken in violation of this title or any other local, state or federal law or regulation; and

(b) The proposed development activity meets all other requirements of this title, does not otherwise constitute a nuisance or pose a threat to public health, safety, and welfare on or off the site.

(3) If the director determines that a project permit application meets the requirements of SCC 30.62A.540(2), the project permit application may be approved where the director finds:

(a) The applicant has complied with Part 100 of this chapter;

(b) After review of the project under this chapter, there is no other permitted use of the property with less impact on wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas or buffers;

(c) The proposed alteration of a wetland, fish and wildlife habitat conservation area or buffer is the minimum necessary to allow for reasonable use of the property. Activities shall be located as far away as possible from wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas and buffers and low impact development techniques shall be used to the maximum extent possible. In all cases, disturbance of a wetland, stream, marine water or lake may only occur if no reasonable use can be achieved by disturbance of a buffer associated with that feature;

(d) The proposed activity is located to minimize impacts to critical species;

(e) If a reasonable use of a parcel cannot exist without modification of the required front, side or rear setbacks or other bulk standards, the department may consider modifying those standards only to the extent necessary to provide for a reasonable use, while providing as much protection as is possible under the circumstances to critical areas, while maintaining the public health safety and welfare. This section shall not relieve an applicant from the obligation of complying with applicable variance procedures set forth in chapters 30.43B and 30.43E SCC or other applicable modification procedures adopted under this title; and

(f) To the greatest extent feasible, the project includes compensation and mitigation for unavoidable impacts to the functions and values of critical areas regulated under this chapter in accordance with the requirements of SCC 30.62A.150.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007)

30.62A.550 Mitigation banking and in lieu fee program.

(1) The director may approve the establishment and use of a wetland, fish and wildlife habitat conservation area or buffer mitigation bank to provide mitigation required by this chapter. The director’s approval may allow for deviations from the requirements of Parts 100 through 400 with respect to the treatment of wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas or buffers.

(2) Criteria for approval of use of mitigation banks:

(a) The following must have been approved by the county and the federal, state and local agencies with jurisdiction:

(i) a memorandum of agreement (MOA) defining guidelines for establishing a wetland, fish and wildlife habitat conservation area or buffer mitigation banking program and an implementation manual establishing a mitigation bank at a specific site; and

(ii) the MOA and/or implementation manual shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, provisions for the following:

(A) specific criteria and standards for use of the mitigation bank;

(B) methods for tracking credits;

(C) an interagency oversight committee composed of representatives from each of the agencies with jurisdiction for the purpose of regulatory review and approval of banking activities;

(D) permanent management and maintenance to assure the long-term viability of the bank site;

(E) professional construction oversight to ensure successful construction of the mitigation bank site;

(F) quantitative and qualitative performance standards;

(G) systematic compliance and performance monitoring to determine the degree to which the site meets performance standards;

(H) a schedule and timeline for compliance and performance monitoring,

(I) contingency plans;

(J) methods to be used to determine the functions and values of replacement wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat conservation area or buffers based on a watershed analysis;

(K) provisions for assuring the funding of long-term maintenance of the bank and performance of mitigation and monitoring requirements;

(L) a description of wetland, fish and wildlife habitat conservation area or buffer mitigation ratios to be used and justification for these ratios based upon best available science. Mitigation ratios will be based upon consideration of factors including but not limited to the likelihood of success of the mitigation, the types and quality of wetland, fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas or buffers involved, research results, and monitoring results;

(M) the mitigation plan requirements contained in SCC 30.62A.150; and

(N) provisions for mitigation sequencing that requires at minimum that all proposals using a mitigation bank shall have made reasonable efforts to avoid and minimize impacts to wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas and buffers.

(b) The use of the mitigation bank will result in equivalent treatment of the functions and values of the wetland, fish and wildlife habitat conservation area or buffer to offset the impacts to critical areas functions and values on the project site such that the total net impact will be no net loss of critical area functions and values in the watershed in which the impacts will occur. For the purposes of this section, "watershed" means an area identified as a state of Washington water resource inventory area (WRIA) under WAC 173-500-040.

(c) The creation and operation of the mitigation bank and development activity which utilizes the wetland, fish and wildlife habitat conservation area or buffer bank, shall not create unmitigated long term or permanent adverse impacts to the critical functions and values of the wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas or buffers in the sub-drainage basin in which the impacts will occur. Critical functions and values listed at SCC 30.62A.220 are those that are important to the long-term ecological viability of the wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas or buffers in the sub-drainage basin.

(3) The director shall make MOAs and mitigation banking documents available for public review and comment prior to approval.

(4) In-lieu fee mitigation.

(a) The director may approve the establishment and use of a wetland, fish and wildlife habitat conservation area or buffer mitigation in-lieu fee program to provide mitigation required by this chapter. The director’s approval may allow for deviations from the requirements of Parts 100 through 400 of this chapter with respect to the treatment of wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas or buffers.

(b) In-lieu fee mitigation shall be established in accordance with the guidance contained in “Guidance on In-lieu Fee Mitigation” (Washington State Department of Ecology, December 2012, or latest edition, Publication #12-06-012).

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007; Amended by Amended Ord. 15-034, Sept. 2, 2015, Eff date Nov. 1, 2015)

PART 600 - AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES

30.62A.605 Purpose.

In accordance with RCW 36.70A.020, the Growth Management Act (GMA) goals require the county to maintain and enhance natural resource-based industries, including commercial agriculture. This Part implements the necessary balance between goals 8 and 10 of the GMA relative to commercial agriculture and the protection of critical areas.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007)

30.62A.610 Applicability.

This Part applies to agricultural activities as defined in SCC 30.91A.090 or 30.91A.092, occurring on lands where agriculture is a legal use, where critical areas defined as wetlands or fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas, or their buffers are present on the site and could potentially be impacted by the agricultural activities.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007; Amended by Amended Ord. 13-042, July 10, 2013, Eff date July 22, 2013)

30.62A.620 General Agricultural Standards.

Except as provided in SCC 30.62A.630, normal agricultural activities as defined in SCC 30.91A.090 or 30.91A.092, subject to this Part 600, are in compliance with this chapter when those activities are performed in accordance with subsection (1), (2) or (3) of this section:

(1) The best management practices contained in the latest edition of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Field Office Technical Guide (FOTG);

(2) Other recognized best management practices for such activity that protect the functions and values of critical areas, where the NRCS FOTG does not provide specific guidance or a best management practice; or

(3) A farm conservation plan that includes provisions addressing critical areas protection specific to the farm site recommended by the NRCS or the Snohomish conservation district (SCD), approved by the county and signed by the landowner. Any confidential or proprietary information contained in a farm conservation plan may be redacted prior to public disclosure.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007; Amended by Amended Ord. 13-042, July 10, 2013, Eff date July 22, 2013; Amended by Amended Ord. 15-034, Sept. 2, 2015, Eff date Nov. 1, 2015)

30.62A.630 Special Agricultural Conditions.

(1) Notwithstanding SCC 30.62A.620, agricultural activities as defined in SCC 30.91A.090 or 30.91A.092 subject to this Part 600 that meet one or more of the following special conditions shall comply with subsection (2) of this section:

(a) Agricultural activities that require a county permit or project approval except for a flood hazard permit required pursuant to chapter 30.43C SCC;

(b) In certain special flood hazard areas designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as specified in SCC 30.65.040, the construction of agricultural access or service roads greater than six inches average and twelve inches maximum height above grade;

(c) Agricultural activities that occur in a wetland, except where:

(i) The activity is exempt from wetland regulation under Section 404(f) of the federal Clean Water Act;

(ii) The activity is occurring in a non-riparian Category II or III wetland that is no greater than 5,000 square feet in size; or

(iii) The activity is occurring in a non-riparian Category IV wetland that is no greater than 10,000 square feet in size; and

(d) Agricultural activities that bring land into agricultural use by removal of native woody vegetation or alteration of surface or ground water flows, other than that which results from normal cultivation.

(2) The agricultural activities listed in subsection (1) of this section are in compliance with this chapter when those activities are performed as follows:

(a) The activity complies with Parts 000 through 500 of this chapter;

(b) The activity is done in compliance with a farm conservation plan, as described in SCC 30.62A.620(3); or

(c) The director issues a written decision finding that the landowner’s compliance with other state or federal regulations or permits provides sufficient protection on the site to satisfy related critical areas requirements of this chapter.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007; Amended by Amended Ord. 15-034, Sept. 2, 2015, Eff date Nov. 1, 2015)

30.62A.640 Farm conservation plans and best management practices.

(1) Farm conservation plans and best management practices described in SCC 30.62A.620 are subject to the approval of the county.

(2) Farm conservation plans and best management practices shall:

(a) Specify when implementation will occur relative to project construction;

(b) Include provisions for monitoring and maintenance on a long term basis to determine whether the practices are successful. The length of time for monitoring and maintenance should be sufficient to determine if performance standards have been achieved; and

(c) Include provisions on a form approved by the department for the right to entry to the county for the purpose of inspection for the length of the monitoring and maintenance period. Prior to a site inspection the county shall provide reasonable notice to the property owner as to the purpose and need for entry.

(3) The county and/or the farm operator shall monitor and report farm plan implementation and compliance provided in the farm plan. The farm plan should include periodic inspections by the county for the first two years after permit issuance or self-assessment and certification by the operator, or by other appropriate means thereafter as determined by the county.

(4) Agricultural operations shall cease to be in compliance with this chapter when the department determines one of the following three conditions is met. In such an event, a new or revised farm conservation plan may be required or the noncompliance may be referred to the appropriate agency for enforcement:

(a) The operator fails to implement and maintain the farm plans and/or best management practices;

(b) It has been determined by the county that the farm conservation plan and/or best management practices fails to protect critical areas. If so a new or revised plan shall be required; or

(c) Substantial changes in the agricultural activities of the operation have occurred which render the current plan ineffective.

(5) The county shall only retain summary information of that portion of the plan needed for permit approval, including the general location of the operation, the nature of the activity, required permits and specific best management practices. The summary information shall be supplied to the county by the operator and used to document the basis for the county’s approval of the plan. Any confidential or proprietary information contained in a farm conservation plan may be redacted prior to public disclosure.

(Added by Amended Ord. 15-034, Sept. 2, 2015, Eff date Nov. 1, 2015)

PART 700 - MONITORING AND ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT

30.62A.710 Monitoring and adaptive management program.

The Executive shall develop and implement a monitoring and adaptive management program to establish a baseline and provide performance measures to determine whether the County is achieving no net loss through its policies and programs affecting wetlands and fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas, in conformance with the Natural Environment Element of the General Policy Plan of the comprehensive plan. The program along with a budget shall be submitted for approval to the County Council within six months of the effective date of this ordinance.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007)

30.62A.720 Monitoring and adaptive management program - contents.

(1) Monitored critical areas shall include wetlands and fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas.

(2) The purpose of the monitoring and adaptive management program is to

(a) Identify and collect meaningful data concerning the effectiveness of the county’s programs and policies concerning protection of wetlands and fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas; and

(b) Identify corrective actions in response to a clear indication that the county’s programs are not sufficient to actually protect wetlands and fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas.

(3) The monitoring and adaptive management program shall be based on best available science, and shall incorporate the following:

(a) Benchmarks that describe the state of existing functions and values of the monitored critical areas and that are tied to the protective measures being assessed;

(b) Data collection methods that provides accurate measurements of the functions and values of the monitored critical areas and that are tied to the protective measures being assessed, including appropriate time periods for collection of data;

(c) Threshold levels for addressing management practices, regulations and other measures that are determined through data collection and monitoring to be negatively affecting functions and values of monitored critical areas. Thresholds are to be set in light of the benchmarks for existing conditions and in accordance with scientifically-based habitat minimums; and

(d) Strategies for adaptive management or addressing change to provide for expeditious action in reaction to reaching a threshold level. The monitoring and adaptive management program may provide for different strategies for action, depending on the critical area being monitored, the cause of the negative impacts to functions and values, and other variables.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007)

30.62A.730 Monitoring and adaptive management program - reporting.

One year prior to the GMA (RCW 36.70A.130) required review and update of the county’s critical area regulations, the executive shall report to the council on the monitoring and adaptive management program, using best available science, and provide data and conclusions regarding the effectiveness of the county in achieving no net loss of critical area functions and values. If net loss is detected, using scientifically valid techniques, the executive shall report and recommend strategies for adaptive management.

(Added Amended Ord. 06-061, Aug. 1, 2007, Eff date Oct. 1, 2007; Amended by Amended Ord. 15-034, Sept. 2, 2015, Eff date Nov. 1, 2015)