Chapter 18.10


18.10.010    Purpose.

18.10.020    Definitions.

18.10.030    Procedures for identifying significant wetlands.

18.10.040    Land use and permit requirements.

18.10.050    Appeals.

18.10.060    Variances.

18.10.070    Penalties.

18.10.080    Conflicts.

18.10.090    Findings of fact.

18.10.100    Amendments.

18.10.010 Purpose.

(1) The purpose of this chapter is to establish a process and standards which will minimize the degradation and destruction of significant wetlands within the city of Veneta and conserve wetland resources and their functions and values. This chapter is intended to protect and enhance local water quality; to preserve fish and wildlife habitat; to provide flood storage capacity, nutrient attenuation, and sediment trapping; and to preserve open spaces within the city of Veneta.

(2) The city of Veneta finds that significant wetlands are a community asset providing environmental, educational, recreational and aesthetic values, while contributing to long-term sustainable community development. Therefore, pursuant to ORS 660-023-0100(b), the city has chosen to restrict the filling, grading and excavation of wetlands for their protection. (Ord. 419 § 1, 2000)

18.10.020 Definitions.

As used in this chapter or in the conditions imposed by the city pursuant to VMC 18.10.030, the following words and phrases, unless the context otherwise requires, shall mean:

(1) "Enhancement" means an activity which improves one or more specific functions or values of an existing wetland.

(2) Functions and Values. "Functions" refers to the environmental roles served by wetlands and buffer areas including, but not limited to, water quality protection and enhancement, fish and wildlife habitat, flood storage, nutrient attenuation, and sediment trapping. "Values" refers to the qualities ascribed to a wetland such as educational and recreational opportunities, open space, and visual aesthetic qualities.

(3) "Restoration" means to improve a disturbed wetland by returning wetland parameters which may be missing; adding soils, water, or plants. The restoration may return a missing or damaged wetland function to achieve a desired outcome. (Ord. 419 § 2, 2000)

18.10.030 Procedures for identifying significant wetlands.

The wetland regulations contained in this chapter apply to those areas identified as significant wetlands on the comprehensive plan wetlands map exhibit, and wetland sites meeting Division of State Lands criteria. Precise wetland boundaries may vary from that shown on the comprehensive plan wetlands map exhibit if an on-site delineation or other city-approved documentation indicate more accurate boundaries. For any proposed development impacting significant wetlands or within 50 feet of identified significant wetlands, the applicant shall be required to conduct a wetland delineation to determine the precise wetland boundary for application of the Removal-Fill Law, and if applicable, the nature and extent of development impacts on adjacent wetlands. The more precise boundaries obtained through a wetland delineation can be identified, mapped, and used for review and development without a change in the comprehensive plan wetlands map exhibit. All developments proposed within or adjacent to a designated wetland area shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter and site plan review pursuant to Veneta's land development ordinance. (Ord. 419 § 3, 2000)

18.10.040 Land use and permit requirements.

(1) Permitted Uses. The following uses are permitted within wetlands identified as locally significant:

(a) Removal of fill and any refuse that is in violation of local, state or federal regulations. Removal of fill must be consistent with state of Oregon removal-fill regulations;

(b) Removal of non-native vegetation or invasive plant species;

(c) Planting or replanting with native plants;

(d) Channel maintenance to maintain storm water conveyance and flood control capacity, as required by local policies, state and federal regulations, or intergovernmental agreements;

(e) Site management and maintenance practices, whose purpose is to maintain or improve natural functions and values or protect public health and safety, and which are consistent with adopted plans and policies, including but not limited to perimeter mowing and other cutting necessary for hazard prevention;

(f) Wetland and natural area restoration and enhancement of natural functions and values which involve displacement, excavation or relocation of less than 50 cubic yards of earth, and which carry out the objectives of this chapter and are consistent with adopted policies and plans;

(g) Preservation and maintenance activities associated with historic structures.

(2) Uses Subject to Site Review Approval. Within locally significant wetlands the following uses are subject to site review approval in accordance with Veneta's land development ordinance:

(a) Nature interpretive centers and wetland research facilities, when specified in or consistent with adopted plans or policies;

(b) Maintenance facilities for storage of equipment and materials used exclusively for maintenance of wetlands and other natural resources;

(c) Construction of trails, boardwalks, viewing platforms, information kiosks, and trail signs;

(d) Realignments and reconfigurations of channels and pond banks, including the restoration and enhancement of natural functions and values which involve displacement, excavation or relocation of more than 50 cubic yards of earth and which carry out the objectives of this chapter;

(e) Construction of access roads for maintenance of channels, wetlands and other natural resource areas;

(f) Construction of bikeways and other paved pathways;

(g) Construction of stormwater quality treatment facilities that use biofiltration methods.

(3) Prohibited Uses. Within locally significant wetlands, practices that are specifically not allowed and would adversely affect wetland functions and values include, but are not limited to the following:

(a) New development or expansion of existing development;

(b) Storage or use of chemical pesticides, fertilizers, or other hazardous or toxic materials;

(c) Construction of new septic drainfields;

(d) Channelizing or straightening natural drainageways;

(e) Removal or destruction of rare, threatened or endangered plant species or valuable native plant species as found on a list determined by the Oregon Natural Heritage Program and kept on file at Veneta City Hall;

(f) Filling, grading, and/or excavating wetland areas.

(4) DSL Notification and Approval Required. In addition to the restrictions and requirements of this section, all proposed development activities wholly or partially within areas identified as wetland are also subject to DSL standards and approval. Where there is a difference, the more restrictive regulation shall apply. The city shall be responsible for notifying DSL whenever any portion of any wetland is proposed for development, in accordance with ORS 227.350. No action can be taken on a proposed development until such notification is provided. (Ord. 419 § 4, 2000)

18.10.050 Appeals.

Any decision by the city on a land use application concerning the wetland protection requirements herein may be appealed to the planning commission and city council pursuant to Veneta's land development ordinance. (Ord. 419 § 5, 2000)

18.10.060 Variances.

(1) For parcels that have no usable building site through application of the requirements of this chapter, a variance may be granted to allow development on the parcel; provided, that the design of the development minimizes impact to the wetland.

(2) A variance may be granted in those instances where claims of map error are verified by the Division of State Lands.

(3) A variance may be granted in those instances where the planning commission and city council jointly determine that the public need outweighs the potential adverse impacts of development in or near a locally significant wetland resource site. (Ord. 419 § 6, 2000)

18.10.070 Penalties.

Any person found to have filled, excavated or otherwise destroyed a wetland site in violation of this chapter, or who fails to comply with any condition of a wetland permit shall, upon conviction, incur a civil penalty of not less than $500.00 nor more than $1,000 for each violation. A violation of this chapter shall be considered a separate offense for each day the violation continues. Violators shall be subject to the enforcement procedures pursuant to Veneta's land development ordinance. (Ord. 419 § 6, 2000)

18.10.080 Conflicts.

To best protect important values of wetlands in the event that the requirements of this chapter conflict with other ordinance requirements, the city shall apply the requirements that best provide for the protection of the resource. (Ord. 419 § 7, 2000)

18.10.090 Findings of fact.

The city council adopts the findings of fact set out in the preamble to Ordinance No. 419 as a basis for adoption of the land use ordinance codified in this chapter. (Ord. 419 § 8, 2000)

18.10.100 Amendments.

All amendments made to this chapter shall be in accordance with the amendment procedures set forth in Veneta's land development ordinance. (Ord. 419 § 9, 2000)