40.430.030    Administration

A.    Binding Pre-Determination.

    Prior to submittal of a triggering application, a person may request from the responsible official, through a Type II application process described in Section 40.510.020, a written binding pre-determination of whether a probable regulated geologic hazard area exists on or within one hundred (100) feet of any parcel less than forty (40) acres. The pre-determination shall be binding on the responsible official for a period of three (3) years; provided, that such pre-determination shall be subject to administrative appeal upon its application in conjunction with a triggering application. The fee for a pre-determination is set forth in Chapter 6.110A. A complete pre-determination shall include a list of the submittal requirements for a site description under Section 40.430.030(C)(4). Additional submittal requirements may later be required as a part of a geologic hazard area study under Section 40.430.030(C)(5) if the proposal intends to develop within a steep slope or landslide hazard area, or their buffers.

(Amended: Ord. 2005-04-15; Ord. 2006-09-13)

B.    Establishment of Landslide Protection Areas.

1.    Steep slope hazard areas and landslide hazard areas and buffers for which permanent protection is required pursuant to Sections 40.430.020(D) and (E) shall be designated landslide protection areas.

2.    Landslide protection area requirements apply only to site plans and land divisions.

3.    For all development activities subject to this section, landslide protection areas shall be delineated on binding site plans and plots which shall be recorded with the County Auditor.

4.    A conservation covenant applicable to the designated landslide protection area shall be recorded in a form approved by the Prosecuting Attorney as adequate to incorporate the restrictions of this chapter.

5.    Prior to any site development activity, the applicant shall mark with temporary markers in the field the boundary of all landslide protection areas required by this chapter, or the limits of the proposed site disturbance outside of the landslide protection areas, using methods and materials acceptable to the county.

6.    Landslide 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.

7.    Vegetation clearing requirements for development in landslide protection areas, steep slope hazard areas and landslide hazard areas.

a.    Clearing or vegetation removal in landslide protection areas, steep slope hazard areas or landslide hazard areas or their buffers is prohibited except for:

(1)    Activities included in an approved geologic hazard area study as defined in Section 40.430.030(C)(5);

(2)    Limited vegetation removal for surveying and testing necessary for development approvals;

(3)    Emergency or fire hazard removal authorized by the fire marshal;

(4)    Removal of nuisance vegetation using methods which minimize disruption of soil and non-nuisance vegetation;

(5)    Clearing necessary for placement or maintenance of fencing;

(6)    Clearing necessary for hillside vegetation restoration;

(7)    Clearing necessary for vegetation or resource conservation projects authorized by a public agency; and

(8)    Clearing for three (3) foot wide or narrower foot paths surfaced with wood, soil or gravel.

b.    Proposals for clearing may also be subject to other critical areas regulations. Wildlife habitat near streams, which have clearing requirements under the habitat conservation regulations, often overlap with steep slopes included in geologic hazard areas.

(Amended: Ord. 2005-04-15)

C.    Submittal Requirements.

1.    For development activity regulated by this chapter, submittal requirements will vary depending on the type of project and the type of hazard mitigations that are proposed. Pursuant to Section 40.500.010, a review of a geologic hazard area will be conducted in conjunction with the primary development application. Projects are required to submit a basic site description sufficient to verify that the location of proposed building and access road improvements comply with buffers, setbacks, and vegetation preservation required by Sections 40.430.020(D) and (E). If a regulated activity is proposed within a geologic hazard area, additional information in the form of a geologic hazard area study must be provided to assure the project is feasible and will not cause an increased geologic hazard. The information required for a site description is included in Section 40.430.030(C)(4). The requirements for a geologic hazard area study for projects wishing to build in a geologic hazard area are included in Section 40.430.030(C)(5). To avoid duplication, the information required by this section shall be coordinated by the county with the assessments and requirements for other associated permits.

2.    Shoreline Master Program. Within shoreline jurisdiction, development may be allowed for those uses in the Shoreline Master Program either through a statement of exemption pursuant to Section 40.460.230(C) or through an application for a shoreline permit (substantial development, conditional use, or variance) to include a geohazard review pursuant to Section 40.460.530(E) and Sections 40.430.020 and 40.430.030(C).

3.    The responsible official shall waive parts of the submittal requirements if it is determined that they are not applicable to the proposed activity.

4.    Site Description. As part of the development permit application, the following information describing the subject property and areas within twenty-five (25) feet of the property lines or smaller area of concern as deemed appropriate by the responsible official, drawn to an engineering scale no larger than one (1) inch equals twenty (20) feet (1" = 20') and no smaller than one (1) inch equals one hundred (100) feet (1" = 100') as deemed appropriate by the responsible official:

a.    The site boundary lines;

b.    The topography at contour interval of no greater than five (5) feet;

c.    The location and size of all existing and proposed site improvements including structures, wells, drainfields, drainfield reserve areas, public and private right-of-way easements, and utilities;

d.    The location of all drainage-flow characteristics, streams, groundwater seeps, springs, and evidence of seasonal surface water runoff or groundwater;

e.    The location and extent of all existing and proposed grading activities and existing natural or artificial drainage control facilities and systems;

f.    The location and description of all geologic hazards located on the site and observed on properties within one hundred (100) feet of site boundaries;

g.    The general location of all vegetation and the general location, number and description of all trees over six (6) inch diameter measured three (3) feet above the ground; and

h.    The location of all proposed buffers and setbacks.

5.    Geologic Hazard Area Study. A geologic hazard area study is required if the proposed development does not comply with requirements of Sections 40.430.020(D) and (E). Geologic investigation may also be required in some cases to meet International Building Code requirements for foundations and for seismic design. Geologic hazard area studies shall be prepared, stamped and signed by a registered geotechnical engineer or geologist who meets the requirements defined in Section 40.100.070. Based on the site characteristics and the information submitted by the applicant, the responsible official may require all or part of the following information to be included in a geotechnical report:

a.    The requirements for the site description listed above in Section 40.430.030(C)(4);

b.    Site geology information:

(1)    Topographic contours at two (2) foot intervals or as specified by the responsible official;

(2)    Subsurface data that includes the exploration method, location of soil borings, borings, logs, soil and rock stratigraphy and groundwater levels including seasonal changes;

(3)    The location of landslides, or down-slope soil movement, faults, and geologic contacts on the subject property and adjacent properties;

(4)    A site history that describes any prior grading, soil instability or slope failure; and

(5)    A description of the site vulnerability to seismic events;

c.    Geotechnical Information and Plan Requirements.

(1)    A slope stability study and opinion of slope stability on the subject property and adjacent properties;

(2)    Grading plan;

(3)    Structural foundation requirements and estimated foundation settlements;

(4)    Soil compaction criteria;

(5)    Allowable soil-bearing pressure for foundations, minimum footing widths, piling recommendations for foundations, and design pressure for retaining walls;

(6)    Laboratory data and soil index properties for soil samples;

(7)    Suitability for fill;

(8)    Lateral earth pressures;

(9)    Description of erosion vulnerability and an erosion control plan as required in Chapter 40.386;

(10)    An evaluation of proposed surface and subsurface drainage in a stormwater control plan as required in Chapter 40.386;

(11)    Building limitations; and

(12)    A vegetation management and restoration plan or other means for maintaining long-term stability of slopes;

d.    A site evaluation that describes the suitability of the site to accommodate the proposed activity;

e.    Such additional information describing existing physical features for the site and surrounding area as required by the responsible official to complete review of the project under standards of the International Building Code.

(Amended: Ord. 2005-04-15; Ord. 2009-01-01; Ord. 2012-07-16; Ord. 2015-11-24)