Chapter 19.18


19.18.010    Purpose.

19.18.020    Applicability.

19.18.030    Exemptions.

19.18.035    Trails and trail-related facilities.

19.18.040    Reference maps and inventories.

19.18.050    Disclosure.

19.18.060    Review process.

19.18.070    Mitigation, maintenance, monitoring and contingency.

19.18.080    Surety.

19.18.090    Special reports.

19.18.100    Special reports—Responsibility for completion.

19.18.110    Drainage and erosion control plan.

19.18.120    Geotechnical report.

19.18.130    Grading and excavation plan.

19.18.180    Definitions.

19.18.190    Administration.

19.18.200    Enforcement.

19.18.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this Chapter is to provide for reasonable protection of the natural environment, resource lands and the general public health, safety and welfare, and satisfy the requirements of RCW 36.70A.060 by:

A.    Establishing standards to protect critical areas;

B.    Protecting the general public, resources and facilities from injury, loss of life, property damage or financial loss due to flooding, landslides, or steep slopes failure;

C.    Protecting unique, fragile and valuable elements of the environment including without limitation wildlife and its habitat;

D.    Meeting the requirements of the National Flood Insurance program and maintaining Douglas County as an eligible community for federal flood insurance benefits;

E.    Preventing cumulative adverse environmental impacts on water availability, water quality, groundwater, wetlands, rivers and streams;

F.    Providing appropriate guidance and protection measures for addressing the needs and concerns associated with resource lands and critical areas that help define the quality of life in Douglas County;

G.    Encouraging the retention of open space and development of recreational opportunities, conserving fish and wildlife habitat, and increasing access to natural resource lands and water;

H.    Implementing applicable mandated federal and state regulations; and

I.    Best available science will be used where appropriate in determining appropriate measures to protect the functions and values of critical areas and for the preservation or enhancement of anadromous fisheries. (Ord. TLS 03-01-01B Exh. B (part): Ord. TLS 01-04-07B Exh. B (part): Ord. TLS 97-10-71B Exh. G (part))

19.18.020 Applicability.

A.    When a chapter reference is used, it shall be inclusive of the following sections:

1.    19.18 Resource Lands/Critical Areas--General Provisions

2.    19.18A Resource Lands/Critical Areas--Agriculture, Forest, Mineral Lands, Frequently Flooded Areas

3.    19.18B Resource Lands/Critical Areas--Wetlands

4.    19.18C Resource Lands/Critical Areas--Fish and Wildlife Habitat Areas

5.    19.18D Resource Lands/Critical Areas--Geologically Hazardous Areas

6.    19.18E Resource Lands/Critical Areas--Aquifer Recharge Areas

B.    The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all development activities within unincorporated Douglas County. Any development authorized to alter the condition of any land, water or vegetation; or to alter or construct any building, structure or improvement shall be in compliance with the requirements of this chapter.

C.    When the provisions of this chapter or any other provisions of the DCC are in direct conflict with each other or with other federal or state regulations, the provision that is the most restrictive shall apply.

D.    The director shall have broad authority and discretion to determine appropriate restrictions as applied by this chapter on existing lots of record for all development activity. (Ord. TLS 03-01-01B Exh. B (part): Ord. TLS 00-02-06 Exh. B (part): Ord. TLS 97-10-71B Exh. G (part))

19.18.030 Exemptions.

The activities enumerated below are exempt from the provisions of this chapter. The final determination of whether an activity is exempt is an administrative function of the director.

A.    Normal maintenance or repair of existing buildings, structures, roads or development, including damage by accident, fire or natural elements. Normal repair of buildings and structures involves restoring to a state comparable to the original condition including the replacement of walls, fixtures and plumbing; provided that the value of work and materials in any twelve-month period does not exceed twenty-five percent of the value of the structure prior to such work as determined by using the most recent ICBO construction tables, the repair does not expand the number of dwelling units in a residential building, the building or structure is not physically expanded, and, in the case of damaged buildings and structures, a complete application for repair is accepted by the department within six months of the event and repair is completed within the terms of the permit;

B.    Emergency construction necessary to protect property from damage by the elements. An emergency is an unanticipated event or occurrence which poses an imminent threat to public health, safety, or the environment, and which requires immediate action within a time too short to allow full compliance. Once the threat to the public health, safety, or the environment has dissipated, the construction undertaken as a result of the previous emergency shall then be subject to and brought into full compliance with this chapter;

C.    Agricultural activities normal or necessary to general farming conducted according to industry-recognized best management practices including the raising of crops or the grazing of livestock;

D.    The normal maintenance and repair of culverts and bridges that does not involve the use of heavy equipment, and that does not require permit issuance from other local, state or federal agencies. (Ord. TLS 03-01-01B Exh. B (part): Ord. TLS 97-10-71B Exh. G (part))

19.18.035 Trails and trail-related facilities.

Construction of public and private trails and trail-related facilities, such as picnic tables, benches, interpretive centers and signs, viewing platforms and campsites may be authorized within designated resource lands and critical areas, subject to the following minimum standards:

1.    Trail facilities shall, to the extent feasible, be placed on existing road grades, utility corridors, or any other previously disturbed areas;

2.    Trail facilities shall minimize the removal of trees, shrubs, snags and important habitat features;

3.    Viewing platforms, interpretive centers, campsites, picnic areas, benches and their associated access shall be designed and located to minimize disturbance of wildlife and/or critical characteristics of the affected conservation area;

4.    All facilities shall be constructed with materials complimentary to the surrounding environment; and

5.    Trail facilities shall be located at least a distance equal to the width of the trail corridor away from the wetland edge, as established by the approved wetland boundary survey or aquatic habitat conservation area. (Ord. TLS 03-01-01B Exh. B (part))

19.18.040 Reference maps and inventories.

The distribution of critical areas within Douglas County is described and displayed in reference materials and on maps maintained by the department. These reference materials, in the most current form, are intended for general information only and do not depict site-specific designations. They are intended to advise Douglas County, applicants and other participants in the development permit process that a resource land or critical area may exist and that further study, review and consideration may be necessary. These reference materials shall include but are not limited to the following:

A.    Maps.

1.    Douglas County Level 1 Critical Fish & Wildlife Habitat Conservation Areas (1997, as amended);

2.    Douglas County Level 1 Critical Fish & Wildlife Habitat Areas for Threatened, Endangered & Candidate Species (1997, as amended);

3.    Douglas County Level 2 Awareness, Important Wildlife Habitat (two maps) (1995, as amended);

4.    WSDOT/Douglas County Pit Sites, as amended;

5.    Douglas County Identified Critical Areas and Steep Slopes Maps (Greater East Wenatchee Area Comprehensive Plan, 1996);

6.    Flood Insurance Rate Maps (1978 and 1982);

7.    Flood Boundary and Floodway Maps (1978 and 1982);

8.    US Fish and Wildlife Service National Wetlands Inventory, as amended;

9.    U.S.G.S. 7.5 Minute Series Topographic Quadrangle Maps;

10.    Aerial photos; and

11.    WDFW Priority Habitats and Species and Wildlife Heritage Maps and Data, 2001, as amended;

B.    Documents.

1.    Approved special reports previously completed for a subject property;

2.    The Flood Insurance Study for the Unincorporated Areas (1978, revised 1982);

3.    Douglas County Comprehensive Plan, as amended;

4.    Douglas County Shoreline Master Program, as amended;

5.    Natural Resources Conservation Service Soil Survey -- Douglas County Soils Survey;

6.    Federal Wetlands Delineation Manual (1987, as amended);

7.    Washington State Wetlands Identification and Delineation Manual (WDOE #91-058, March 1997, as amended);

8.    Washington State Wetlands Rating System for Eastern Washington (WDOE 02-06-019, as amended);

9.    Wetlands Buffers: Use and Effectiveness (WDOE #92-10, as amended);

10.    Management Recommendations for Washington’s Priority Habitats and Species, May 1991, as amended;

11.    Management Recommendations for Washington’s Priority Habitats- Riparian, December 1997, as amended; and

12.    Priority Habitats and Species List, July 1999, as amended. (Ord. TLS 03-01-01B Exh. B (part): Ord. TLS 97-10-71B Exh. G (part))

19.18.050 Disclosure.

The presence of any known or suspected critical areas on or within one hundred feet of property that is the subject of a development permit shall be identified by the applicant in the application materials submitted to Douglas County. (Ord. TLS 03-01-01B Exh. B (part): Ord. TLS 97-10-71B Exh. G (part))

19.18.060 Review process.

Provisions of this chapter shall be considered and applied appropriately during development permit application reviews initiated under applicable titles of the DCC. (Ord. TLS 03-01-01B Exh. B (part): Ord. TLS 97-10-71B Exh. G (part))

19.18.070 Mitigation, maintenance, monitoring and contingency.

A.    Mitigation, maintenance, monitoring and contingency plans shall be implemented by the developer to protect resource lands, critical areas and their buffers prior to the commencement of any development activities.

B.    The property owner shall be responsible for reporting to the department and undertaking appropriate corrective action when monitoring reveals a significant deviation from predicted impacts or a failure of mitigation or maintenance measures. (Ord. TLS 03-01-01B Exh. B (part): Ord. TLS 97-10-71B Exh. G (part))

19.18.080 Surety.

If a development proposal is subject to mitigation, maintenance or monitoring plans, an assurance device or surety may be required by the review authority in accordance with DCC Title 14. (Ord. TLS 03-01-01B Exh. B (part): Ord. TLS 97-10-71B Exh. G (part))

19.18.090 Special reports.

A.    In order to maintain and protect critical areas, as well as to assist in classifying and designating such areas, site-specific environmental information will be required when evaluating a development proposal.

B.    Special reports shall be submitted for review and approval in conjunction with development applications when required by the review authority. Each chapter dealing with a specific resource or critical area contains a description of when special reports may be required. The department shall establish and maintain a list of qualified consultants for the different types of reports, plans, studies, etc.

C.    When no other application review process is required, final special reports shall be reviewed and approved pursuant to DCC Section 14.10.020. (Ord. TLS 03-01-01B Exh. B (part): Ord. TLS 97-10-71B Exh. G (part))

19.18.100 Special reports—Responsibility for completion.

The preparation of special reports or tests required by this chapter is the responsibility of the applicant for a development permit. Costs incurred by the county to engage technical consultants or for staff review and interpretation of data and findings submitted by or on behalf of the developer or applicant shall be reimbursed by the applicant in accordance with a schedule adopted by the department. (Ord. TLS 03-01-01B Exh. B (part): Ord. TLS 97-10-71B Exh. G (part))

19.18.110 Drainage and erosion control plan.

During project development the following standards apply:

A.    All drainage and erosion control plans shall be prepared by an engineer or other qualified person as approved by the reviewing authority.

B.    All drainage and erosion control plans shall address methods to minimize and contain soil within the project boundaries during construction and to provide for stormwater drainage from the site and its surroundings during and after construction.

C.    All drainage and erosion control plans shall be prepared using the Type 2 SCS model, taking into account a storm event equal to or exceeding a SCS Type 2, one-hundred-year storm. (Ord. TLS 14-09-31C Exh. B (part); Ord. TLS 03-01-01B Exh. B (part): Ord. TLS 97-10-71B Exh. G (part))

19.18.120 Geotechnical report.

A.    All geotechnical reports shall be prepared by an engineer.

B.    A geotechnical report shall include a description of the geology of the site, conclusions and recommendations regarding the effect of geologic conditions on the proposed development, and opinions and recommendations on the suitability of the site to be developed. The report shall evaluate the actual presence of geologic conditions giving rise to the geologic hazard, and an evaluation of the safety of the proposed project, and identification of construction practices, monitoring programs and other mitigation measures necessary. A bibliography of scientific citations shall be included as necessary.

C.    The review authority may waive the requirement for the report if, in his/her opinion, the proposed development would not cause significantly adverse geological impacts, or there is adequate geological information available on the area proposed for development to determine the impacts of the proposed development and appropriate mitigating measures. (Ord. TLS 11-02-02B Exh. B (part); Ord. TLS 03-01-01B Exh. B (part): Ord. TLS 97-10-71B Exh. G (part))

19.18.130 Grading and excavation plan.

All grading and excavation plans shall be prepared by an engineer, and shall contain the following information:

A.    A cover sheet showing the general vicinity and specific location of work, the name and address of the owner and the licensed civil engineer who prepared the plans;

B.    Property limits and accurate contours of existing ground and details of terrain and area drainage;

C.    Limits of proposed excavation and fill sites, finished contours and proposed drainage systems and/or facilities, including an estimated runoff served by the systems and/or facilities;

D.    Location of any buildings or structures on the property where the work is to be performed and the location of any buildings or structures on land of adjacent owners which is within fifteen feet of the property;

E.    Recommendations included in any soils engineering report and/or an engineering geology report shall be incorporated in the grading plans or specifications. (Ord. TLS 11-02-02B Exh. B (part); Ord. TLS 03-01-01B Exh. B (part): Ord. TLS 97-10-71B Exh. G (part))

19.18.180 Definitions.

Words, terms and phrases used in the chapters identified in DCC Section 19.18.020 are defined in DCC Chapter 14.98 as supplemented in those chapters. (Ord. TLS 03-01-01B Exh. B (part): Ord. TLS 97-10-71B Exh. G (part))

19.18.190 Administration.

The director of land services or his/her designee shall have the authority and duty to administer the provisions of the chapters identified in DCC Section 19.18.020. The director may adopt, and revise as required, such instructions, policies and forms as are necessary to carry out the provisions of the applicable titles. (Ord. TLS 03-01-01B Exh. B (part): Ord. TLS 97-10-71B Exh. G (part))

19.18.200 Enforcement.

The provisions of DCC Chapter 14.92 shall be applied and interpreted for the enforcement of violations of the titles identified in DCC Section 19.18.020. (Ord. TLS 03-01-01B Exh. B (part): Ord. TLS 97-10-71B Exh. G (part))