40.240.510 Review Uses – Forest Land

A.    The following uses may be allowed on lands zoned Gorge Small Woodland subject to compliance with Sections 40.240.800 through 40.240.900:

1.    On lands designated Gorge Small Woodland, one (1) single-family dwelling on a legally created parcel upon the parcel’s enrollment in the state’s forest assessment program. Upon a showing that a parcel cannot qualify, a parcel is entitled to one (1) single-family dwelling. In either case, the location of a dwelling shall comply with Sections 40.240.140 and 40.240.540. A declaration shall be signed by the landowner and recorded into county deeds and records specifying that the owners, successors, heirs and assigns of the subject parcel are aware that adjacent and nearby operators are entitled to carry on accepted farm or forest practices on lands designated Gorge Small Woodland, or Gorge Large-Scale or Small-Scale Agriculture.

2.    One (1) single-family dwelling if shown to be in conjunction with and substantially contribute to the current agricultural use of a farm pursuant to Section 40.240.430(A)(8). The siting of the dwelling shall comply with Section 40.240.540.

3.    Temporary on-site structures which are auxiliary to and used during the term of a particular forest operation. “Auxiliary” means a use or alteration of a structure or land which provides help or is directly associated with the conduct of a particular forest practice. An auxiliary structure shall be located on-site, temporary in nature, and not designed to remain for the forest’s entire growth cycle from planting to harvesting. An auxiliary use is removed when the particular forest practice for which it was approved has concluded.

4.    Temporary portable facilities for the primary processing of forest products grown on a parcel or contiguous parcels in the same ownership where the facility is to be located. The facility shall be removed upon completion of the harvest operation.

5.    Resource enhancement projects for the purpose of enhancing scenic, cultural, recreation and/or natural resources, pursuant to Section 40.240.270. These projects may include new structures (e.g., fish ladders, sediment barriers) and/or activities (e.g., closing and revegetating unused roads, recontouring abandoned quarries).

6.    Structures associated with hunting and fishing operations.

7.    Towers and fire stations for forest fire protection.

8.    Agricultural structures, except buildings, in conjunction with an agricultural use, pursuant to Section 40.240.540.

9.    Agricultural buildings in conjunction with current agricultural use and, if applicable, proposed agricultural use that a landowner would initiate within one (1) year and complete within five (5) years, pursuant to Sections 40.240.200 and 40.240.540.

10.    Accessory structures for an existing or approved dwelling that are not otherwise allowed outright, eligible for the expedited development review process, or allowed in subsections (A)(11) or (12) of this section.

11.    Accessory building(s) larger than two hundred (200) square feet in area or taller than ten (10) feet in height for a dwelling on any legal parcel less than or equal to ten (10) acres in size are pursuant to Sections 40.240.540 and 40.240.550, and the following additional standards:

a.    The combined footprints of all accessory buildings on a single parcel shall not exceed one thousand five hundred (1,500) square feet in area. This combined size limit refers to all accessory buildings on a parcel, including buildings allowed without review, existing buildings and proposed buildings.

b.    The height of any individual accessory building shall not exceed twenty-four (24) feet.

12.    Accessory building(s) larger than two hundred (200) square feet in area or taller than ten (10) feet in height for a dwelling on any legal parcel larger than ten (10) acres in size are pursuant to Sections 40.240.540 and 40.240.550 and the following additional standards:

a.    The combined footprints of all accessory buildings on a single parcel shall not exceed two thousand five hundred (2,500) square feet in area. This combined size limit refers to all accessory buildings on a parcel, including buildings allowed without review, existing buildings and proposed buildings.

b.    The footprint of any individual accessory building shall not exceed one thousand five hundred (1,500) square feet.

c.    The height of any individual accessory building shall not exceed twenty-four (24) feet.

13.    The temporary use of a mobile home in the case of a family hardship, subject to Sections 40.240.210, 40.240.540 and 40.240.550.

14.    A second single-family dwelling for a farm operator’s relative, subject to Sections 40.240.140, 40.240.430(A)(9) and 40.240.540.

15.    Private roads serving a residence, subject to Sections 40.240.140 and 40.240.540.

16.    Recreation development, subject to Section 40.240.890 and the Recreation Development Plan (Management Plan, Part III, Chapter 1).

17.    Construction or reconstruction of roads or modifications not in conjunction with forest use or practices.

18.    Agricultural labor housing upon a showing that:

a.    The proposed housing is necessary and accessory to a current agricultural use.

b.    The housing shall be seasonal unless it is shown that an additional full-time dwelling is necessary to the current agricultural use of the subject agricultural unit. Seasonal use shall not exceed nine (9) months.

c.    The housing shall be located to minimize the conversion of lands capable of production of farm crops and livestock and will not force a significant change in or significantly increase the cost of accepted agricultural practices employed on nearby lands devoted to agricultural use.

19.    On parcels in Small Woodland, a land division creating parcels smaller than the designated minimum parcel size, pursuant to Section 40.240.370. If the designated minimum parcel size is twenty (20) acres, this provision will apply to parcels forty (40) acres in size or larger. Similarly, if the designated minimum parcel size is forty (40) or eighty (80) acres, this provision will apply to parcels eighty (80) acres or larger or one hundred sixty (160) acres or larger, respectively.

20.    New cultivation, subject to compliance with Sections 40.240.820, and 40.240.840 through 40.240.870.

21.    Life estates on lands Gorge Small Woodland, pursuant to Section 40.240.560.

22.    Land divisions, subject to Section 40.240.370(B)(1).

23.    Placement of structures necessary for continued public safety and the protection of private property and essential public services damaged during an emergency/disaster event. This includes the replacement of temporary structures erected during such events with permanent structures performing an identical or related function. Land use proposals shall be submitted within twelve (12) months following an emergency/disaster event.

24.    Lot line adjustments that would result in the potential to create additional parcels through subsequent land divisions, pursuant to Section 40.240.380.

25.    Additions to existing buildings greater than two hundred (200) square feet in area or greater than the height of the existing building.

a.    Docks and boathouses, pursuant to Section 40.240.230.

b.    Removal/demolition of structures that are fifty (50) or more years old, including wells, septic tanks and fuel tanks.

c.    Commercial events on lands designated Large Woodland or Small Woodland, pursuant to Section 40.240.290.

B.    The following uses may be allowed on lands zoned Gorge SMA Forest pursuant to Sections 40.240.800 through 40.240.900. The use or development will be sited to minimize the loss of land suitable for the production of forest products:

1.    Any use listed in Section 40.240.430(B).

2.    New cultivation or new agricultural use outside of previously disturbed and regularly worked fields or areas. Clearing trees for new agricultural use is subject to the additional requirements of subsection (B)(24) of this section.

3.    Railroad and road construction or reconstruction.

4.    Exploration, development, and production of sand, gravel, or crushed rock, as defined in Section 40.240.040, for the construction, maintenance, or reconstruction of roads used to manage or harvest commercial forest products in the SMA, pursuant to Sections 40.240.800 and 40.250.022, and all other applicable federal, state and county standards.

5.    Silvicultural nurseries.

6.    Utility facilities for public service upon a finding that:

a.    There is no alternative location with less adverse effect on forest land; and

b.    The size is the minimum necessary to provide the service.

7.    Resource enhancement projects for the purpose of enhancing scenic, cultural, recreation and/or natural resources, pursuant to Section 40.240.270. These projects may include new structures (e.g., fish ladders, sediment barriers) and/or activities (e.g., closing and revegetating unused roads, recontouring abandoned quarries).

8.    Fish hatcheries and agricultural facilities.

9.    Public recreation, commercial recreation, interpretive and educational developments and uses consistent with Section 40.240.810.

10.    One (1) single-family dwelling on a parcel of forty (40) contiguous acres or larger if an approved forest management plan demonstrates that such dwelling is necessary for and accessory to forest uses. The forest management plan shall demonstrate the following:

a.    The dwelling will contribute substantially to the growing, propagation, and harvesting of trees. The principal purpose for allowing a dwelling on forest lands is to enable the resident to conduct efficient and effective management. This requirement shall indicate a relationship between ongoing forest management and the need for dwelling on the subject property.

b.    The subject parcel has been enrolled in the state’s forest assessment program.

c.    A plan for management of the parcel has been approved by the Washington Department of Natural Resources and the responsible official. The plan must indicate the condition and productivity of lands to be managed; the operations the owner will carry out (thinning, harvest, planting, etc.); a chronological description of when the operations will occur, estimates of yield, labor, and expenses; and how the dwelling will contribute towards the successful management of the property.

d.    There are no other dwellings on the parcel that are vacant or currently occupied by persons not engaged in forest management of the subject parcel.

e.    The dwelling complies with all applicable building code and fire protection guidelines.

f.    A declaration has been signed by the landowner and recorded into county deeds and records specifying that the owners, successors, heirs, and assigns of the subject property are aware that adjacent and nearby operations are entitled to carry on accepted agricultural or forest practices.

11.    Accessory structures for an existing or approved dwelling that are not otherwise allowed outright, eligible for the expedited development review process, or allowed in subsections (B)(12) or (13) of this section.

12.    Accessory building(s) larger than two hundred (200) square feet in area or taller than ten (10) feet in height for a dwelling on any legal parcel less than or equal to ten (10) acres in size are subject to the following additional standards.

a.    The combined footprints of all accessory buildings on a single parcel shall not exceed one thousand five hundred (1,500) square feet in area. This combined size limit refers to all accessory buildings on a parcel, including buildings allowed without review, existing buildings and proposed buildings.

b.    The height of any individual accessory building shall not exceed twenty-four (24) feet.

13.    Accessory building(s) larger than two hundred (200) square feet in area or taller than ten (10) feet in height for a dwelling on any legal parcel larger than ten (10) acres in size are subject to the following additional standards:

a.    The combined footprints of all accessory buildings on a single parcel shall not exceed two thousand five hundred (2,500) square feet in area. This combined size limit refers to all accessory buildings on a parcel, including buildings allowed without review, existing buildings and proposed buildings.

b.    The footprint of any individual accessory building shall not exceed one thousand five hundred (1,500) square feet.

c.    The height of any individual accessory building shall not exceed twenty-four (24) feet.

14.    Home occupations pursuant to Section 40.240.240.

15.    Temporary portable facility for the processing of forest products.

16.    Towers and fire stations for forest fire protection.

17.    Community facilities and nonprofit facilities related to forest resource management.

18.    Expansion of existing nonprofit group camps, retreats, or conference or education centers, necessary for the successful operation of the facility on the dedicated site. Expansion beyond the dedicated site shall be prohibited.

19.    On a parcel of forty (40) acres or greater with an existing dwelling, the temporary use of a mobile home in the case of a family hardship pursuant to Section 40.240.210.

20.    Additions to existing buildings greater than two hundred (200) square feet in area or greater than the height of the existing building.

21.    Docks and boathouses, pursuant to Section 40.240.230.

22.    Removal/demolition of structures that are fifty (50) or more years old, including wells, septic tanks and fuel tanks.

23.    Disposal sites managed and operated by the Washington State Department of Transportation, or a Gorge county public works department for earth materials and any intermixed vegetation generated by routine or emergency/disaster public road maintenance activities within the Scenic Area, subject to compliance with Section 40.240.280.

24.    Clearing trees for new agricultural use with the following steps and subject to the following additional guidelines:

a.    A stewardship plan pursuant to Section 40.240.510(B)(25)(c) shall be submitted and deemed complete by the responsible official and submitted to the Forest Service for review.

b.    Clearing trees for new agricultural use shall be limited to fifteen (15) acres.

c.    If the stewardship plan proves that the above guideline is detrimental to the proposed agricultural use, the final size of the clearing shall be determined by the application of subsection (B)(24)(d) of this section and pursuant to subsection (B)(24)(i) of this section.

d.    After a thirty (30) day public comment period, the Forest Service shall review the stewardship plan using the following criteria:

(1)    Scenic Resource guidelines in Sections 40.240.510(B)(25)(d)(1) and (5).

(2)    Applicable guidelines of Sections 40.240.800 through 40.240.900.

(3)    The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) soil unit description shall indicate that soils are suitable for the proposed agricultural use. The woodland management tables shall be used as part of the analysis of suitability for both agricultural and forest uses.

(4)    The size, shape and pattern on the landscape of the clearing for the new agricultural use shall blend with the surrounding landscape pattern either because the existing pattern includes agricultural openings or because the new agricultural opening is designed to appear natural.

e.    The Forest Service shall send the review statement to the responsible official. The Forest Service shall state whether or not the new agricultural use should proceed including any conditions that are recommended to be required by the responsible official.

f.    The responsible official will accept an application for new agricultural use on forested lands after receipt of a positive review statement from the Forest Service.

g.    The forest practice portion of the new agricultural use shall not be approved by the State Forestry Department or responsible official until a decision on the new agricultural use is issued by the responsible official.

h.    The new agricultural use shall be operational within two (2) years of the time frame described in the approved stewardship plan.

i.    New agricultural uses with an approved stewardship plan requiring more than fifteen (15) acres shall attain the final approved size sequentially. After the first fifteen (15) cleared acres are operational, each subsequent clearing shall not occur until the previous clearing is operational.

25.    Forest practices in accordance with an approved forest practices application (see Section 40.240.050), and pursuant to Section 40.240.570.

a.    The following information, in addition to general site plan requirements in Section 40.240.050, shall be required:

(1)    Delineate the following on a recent aerial photo or detailed map:

(a)    The size, shape, and exact location of the proposed treatment area including any clumps of leave trees to remain. If more than one silvicultural prescription is to be used, code each on the photo;

(b)    Other important natural features of the subject parcel such as steep areas, streams, wetlands, rock outcrops, etc.;

(c)    Road and structure construction and/or reconstruction location;

(d)    Location of proposed rock or aggregate sources;

(e)    Major skid trails, landings, and yarding corridors;

(f)    Commercial firewood cutting areas; and

(g)    Protection measures for scenic, cultural, natural, and recreation resources, such as road closures.

(2)    A description of the existing forest in terms of species, ages, sizes, landscape pattern (including how it fits into the surrounding landscape pattern) and canopy closure for all canopy layers.

(3)    A description of how the forest practice will fit into the existing landscape pattern and how it will meet scenic and natural resource standards in Sections 40.240.510(B)(25)(d) and (e).

(4)    Written silvicultural prescriptions with projected post-treatment forest condition specified in terms of species, ages, sizes, landscape pattern (including how it fits into the surrounding landscape pattern) and canopy closure for all canopy layers.

(5)    Road and structure construction and/or reconstruction design.

(6)    Existing and proposed rock pit development plans.

(7)    A discussion of slash disposal methods.

(8)    A reforestation plan as reviewed by the appropriate state forest practices agency.

b.    As part of the application, flag, stake or mark buffers, any trees or downed wood to be retained or removed (whichever makes the most sense), and areas for placing fill or removing material in preparation for a field visit by the reviewer.

c.    Stewardship Plan Requirements. The following information, in addition to the applicable portions of the forest practice application requirements above, and general site plan requirements shall be provided:

(1)    An outline of the long-term goals, proposed operations, and future sustainability of the subject parcel.

(2)    A description of the time frame and steps planned to reach the long-term goals.

(3)    For forest practices, describe how the proposed activities fit into the long-term goals and sustainability of the parcel and/or forest health. The following shall be addressed:

(a)    The range of natural conditions expected in the forest in terms of tree species, structure, and landscape pattern;

(b)    What the resulting tree species, structure, and landscape pattern will be after the proposed activities;

(c)    A clear explanation of how a deviation from the applicable guidelines may better achieve forest health objectives; and

(d)    A clear explanation how and why the proposed activities will lead the forest towards its range of natural viability and result in reaching sustainability, resiliency to disturbances.

(4)    For clearing trees for new agricultural use, the following shall be addressed in addition to Sections 40.240.510(B)(25)(c)(1) and (2):

(a)    How each NRCS soil unit will be affected by the proposed clearing or treatment;

(b)    A clear explanation, based on the needs of the operation, as to the exact size of the clearing needed and how it will meet the natural and scenic requirements set forth in Sections 40.240.570(B)(4)(d)(1) through (4);

(c)    Describe in sufficient detail for evaluation the proposed agricultural use, the improvements needed on the parcel, time line for its establishment, and its marketability; and

(d)    Evidence that an agricultural specialist, such as the county extension agent, has examined and found the proposed agricultural use reasonable and viable.

d.    For forest practices, the following scenic resource guidelines shall apply:

(1)    Forest practices shall meet the design guidelines and scenic standards for the applicable landscape setting and zone.

(2)    In the western portion (to White Salmon River) of the SMA Coniferous Woodland Landscape Setting, no more than eight percent (8%) of the composite key viewing area view shed from which the forest practice is topographically visible shall be in created forest openings at one (1) time.The view shed boundaries shall be delineated by the Forest Service. The Forest Service will assist (as available) in calculating and delineating the percentage of the composite key viewing area view shed that is in created forest openings at one (1) time.

(3)    For all other landscape settings, created forest openings visible at one time shall be within the desired range for the vegetation type as set forth in Natural Resources guidelines in Sections 40.240.510(B)(25)(e)(1) through (e)(3).

(4)    Size, shape, and dispersal of created forest openings shall maintain the desired natural patterns in the landscape as set forth in Natural Resources guidelines in Sections 40.240.510(B)(25)(e)(1) through (3).

(5)    The maximum size of any created forest opening is set forth by the “Desired” vegetation type in the Forest Structure and Pattern Table.

(a)    If the treatment is proposed to go beyond the above guideline based on forest health or ecosystem function requirements, a stewardship plan shall be required.

(b)    If the stewardship plan proves that the above guideline is detrimental to either forest health or ecosystem function, the size of the created forest opening shall be within the natural range for the vegetation type as listed in the Desired Forest Structure and Pattern Table for each vegetation type, shall not mimic catastrophic fires, and shall maintain scenic standards.

(6)    Created forest openings shall not create a break or opening in the vegetation in the skyline as viewed from a key viewing area.

e.    Forest practices shall maintain the following in addition to applicable natural resources guidelines in Section 40.240.800:

(1)    Silvicultural prescriptions shall maintain the desired natural forest stand structures (trees species, spacing, layering, and mixture of sizes) based on forest health and ecosystem function requirements. Forest tree stand structure shall meet the requirements listed in the Desired Forest Structure and Pattern Table for each vegetation type. Forest tree stand structure is defined as the general structure of the forest in each vegetation type within which is found forest openings.

(2)    Created forest openings shall be designed as mosaics not to exceed the limits defined as “Desired” in the Desired Forest Structure and Pattern Table unless proposed as a deviation as allowed under the scenic resource guideline in Section 40.240.510(B)(12).

(3)    Snag and down wood requirements shall be maintained or created as listed in the Desired Forest Structure and Pattern Table for each vegetation type.

(4)    If the treatment is proposed to deviate from the snag and down wood requirements, a stewardship plan shall be required and shall show and prove why a deviation from the snag and down wood requirements based on forest health or ecosystem function requirements, a stewardship plan shall be required.

26.    Placement of structures necessary for continued public safety and the protection of private property and essential public services damaged during an emergency/disaster event. This includes the replacement of temporary structures erected during such events with permanent structures performing an identical or related function. Land use proposals shall be submitted within twelve (12) months following an emergency/disaster event.

(Amended: Ord. 2006-05-04; Ord. 2008-06-02)