Chapter 18.12C


18.12C.010    Permitted uses and activities.

18.12C.020    Identification.

18.12C.030    Designation.

18.12C.035    Habitat boundary survey.

18.12C.037    Fish/wildlife habitat management and mitigation plan.

18.12C.040    Application requirements.

18.12C.050    General standards.

18.12C.060    Specific standards.

18.12C.070    Variances.

18.12C.080    Action on variances.

18.12C.010 Permitted uses and activities.

Uses and activities allowed within designated habitat conservation areas are those uses permitted by the zoning district, subject to the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 08-02 § 3, 2008)

18.12C.020 Identification.

A. All fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas shall be identified by East Wenatchee to reflect the relative function, value and uniqueness of the habitat area as established through an approved habitat ranking evaluation submitted by the applicant for any development permit in accordance with this code. East Wenatchee may use the information sources in EWMC 18.12.040 as guidance in identifying the presence of potential fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas and the subsequent need for a habitat boundary survey along with an on-site inspection, if necessary.

B. Fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas include:

1. Areas in which endangered, threatened, and sensitive species have a primary association;

2. Habitats and species of local importance;

3. Naturally occurring ponds under 20 acres and their submerged aquatic beds that provide fish or wildlife habitat;

4. Waters of the state;

5. Lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers planted with game fish by a governmental or tribal entity;

6. State natural area preserves and natural resource conservation areas;

7. Riparian areas;

8. Lakes 20 acres and greater in size with a water depth of six feet or greater;

9. Intermittent and perennial streams;

10. Priority habitats and species as identified by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife Priority Habitats and Species Program.

C. Fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas do not include such artificial features or constructs as irrigation delivery systems, irrigation infrastructure, irrigation canals, or drainage ditches that lie within the boundaries of and are maintained by a port district or an irrigation district or company.

D. Identification and regulation of all wetlands, lakes 20 acres or greater in size with a depth less than six feet, lakes under 20 acres in size, and ponds, shall be in accordance with Chapter 18.12B EWMC, Resource Lands/Critical Areas – Wetlands.

E. Identification and regulation of ephemeral or intermittent drainages which do not contain wetland or riparian habitat shall be in accordance with Chapter 18.12D EWMC, Resource Lands/Critical Areas – Geologically Hazardous Areas and Chapter 15.44 EWMC, Flood Hazard Areas. (Ord. 17-07 § 8, 2017; Ord. 08-02 § 3, 2008)

18.12C.030 Designation.

All existing areas in East Wenatchee identified as stated in EWMC 18.12C.020, as determined by the review authority, are designated as fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas.

In addition to existing fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas in East Wenatchee identified as stated in EWMC 18.12C.020, the city may designate additional species, habitats of local importance, and/or wildlife corridors as follows:

A. In order to nominate an area, species, or corridor to the category of locally important, an individual or organization must:

1. Demonstrate a need for special consideration based on:

a. Declining population;

b. Sensitivity to habitat manipulation;

c. Commercial, recreational, cultural, or other special value; or

d. Maintenance of connectivity between habitat areas;

2. Propose relevant management strategies considered effective and within the scope of this chapter;

3. Identify effects on property ownership and use; and

4. Provide a map showing the species or habitat location(s).

B. Submitted proposals shall be reviewed by the city and may be forwarded to the State Departments of Fish and Wildlife, Natural Resources, and/or other local, state, federal, and/or tribal agencies or experts for comments and recommendations regarding accuracy of data and effectiveness of proposed management strategies.

C. If the proposal is found to be complete, accurate, and consistent with the purposes and intent of this chapter and the various goals and objectives of the current comprehensive plan, and the Growth Management Act, the city council will hold a public hearing to solicit comment. Approved nominations will become designated locally important habitats, species, or corridors and will be subject to the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 08-02 § 3, 2008)

18.12C.035 Habitat boundary survey.

A. A wildlife habitat boundary survey and evaluation shall be conducted by a fish or wildlife biologist, as appropriate, who is knowledgeable of wildlife habitat within North Central Washington. The wildlife habitat boundary shall be field staked by the biologist and surveyed by a land surveyor for disclosure on all final major subdivision, short plat or binding site plan, maps, etc.

B. The administrator may waive the requirement for the survey for minor development if:

1. The proposed development is not within the management area of the associated wildlife habitat according to available fish and wildlife information;

2. There is adequate information available on the area proposed for development to determine the impacts of the proposed development and appropriate mitigating measures; and

3. The applicant provides voluntary deed restrictions that are approved by the administrator.

C. The wildlife habitat boundary and any associated buffer shall be identified on all major subdivision, short plat or binding site plan, maps, plans and specifications submitted for the project. (Ord. 08-02 § 3, 2008)

18.12C.037 Fish/wildlife habitat management and mitigation plan.

A. A fish/wildlife habitat management and mitigation plan shall be prepared by a biologist who is knowledgeable of fish and wildlife habitat within North Central Washington.

B. In determining the extent and type of mitigation appropriate for the development, the plan shall evaluate the ecological processes that affect and influence critical area structure and function within the water shed or sub-basin; the individual and cumulative effects of the action upon the function and value of the critical area and associated watershed; and note observed or predicted trends regarding specific wetland types in the watershed, in light of natural and human processes.

C. Where compensatory mitigation is necessary, the plan should seek to implement shoreline restoration objectives identified within the Douglas County Shoreline Restoration Plan.

D. The fish/wildlife habitat management and mitigation plan shall demonstrate, when implemented, no net loss of ecological function and value of the habitat conservation area and buffer.

E. The fish/wildlife habitat management and mitigation plan shall identify how impacts from the proposed project shall be mitigated, as well as the necessary monitoring and contingency actions for the continued maintenance of the habitat conservation area and any associated buffer.

F. Mitigation Sequence. When an alteration or impact to a critical area is proposed, the applicant shall demonstrate that all reasonable efforts have been taken to mitigate impacts in the following prioritized order:

1. Avoiding the adverse impact altogether by not taking a certain action or parts of an action, or moving the action.

2. Minimizing adverse impacts by limiting the degree or magnitude of the action and its implementation by using appropriate technology and engineering, or by taking affirmative steps to avoid or reduce adverse impacts.

3. Rectifying the adverse impact by repairing, rehabilitating or restoring the affected environment.

4. Reducing or eliminating the adverse impact over time by preservation and maintenance operations during the life of the action.

5. Compensating for the adverse impact by replacing, enhancing, or providing similar substitute resources or environments and monitoring the adverse impact and the mitigation project and taking appropriate corrective measures.

Mitigation for development may include a sequenced combination of the above measures as needed to achieve the most effective protection or compensatory mitigation for critical area function and value.

G. Mitigation ratios shall be used when impacts to riparian areas, aquatic habitat, and riparian buffers are unavoidable. Compensatory mitigation shall restore, create, rehabilitate or enhance equivalent or greater ecological function and value. Mitigation shall be located on site unless the biologist can demonstrate, and the city approves, that on-site mitigation will result in a net loss of ecological functions. If off-site mitigation measures are determined to be appropriate, off-site mitigation shall be located in the same watershed as the development, within East Wenatchee or Douglas County.

The on-site mitigation ratio shall be at a minimum ratio of 1:1. Mitigation for diverse, high quality habitat or off-site mitigation may require a higher level of mitigation. Mitigation and management plans shall evaluate the need for a higher mitigation ratio on a site by site basis, dependent upon the ecological functions and values provided by the habitat. Recommendations by resource agencies in evaluating appropriate mitigation shall be encouraged.

H. The fish/wildlife habitat management and mitigation plan shall contain a report containing, but not limited to, the following information:

1. Location maps, regional 1:24,000 and local 1:4,800;

2. A map or maps indicating the boundary of the habitat conservation areas; the width and length of all existing and proposed structures, utilities, roads, easements; wastewater and stormwater facilities; and adjacent land uses;

3. A description of the proposed project including the nature, density and intensity of the proposed development and the associated grading, structures, roads, easements, wastewater facilities, stormwater facilities, utilities, etc., in sufficient detail to allow analysis of such land use change upon the habitat conservation area;

4. A detailed discussion of surface and subsurface hydrologic features both on and adjacent to the site where the review authority determines appropriate;

5. A description of the vegetation in the habitat conservation area, on the overall project site and adjacent to the site;

6. A detailed description of the proposed project’s effect on the habitat conservation area, and a discussion of any federal, state or local management recommendations which have been developed for the species or habitats in the area;

7. A plan, by the applicant, which explains how any adverse impacts created by the proposed development will be mitigated to ensure no net loss of ecological function and value. Methods may include, but are not limited to, the following techniques:

a. Establishment of buffer zones;

b. Preservation of critically important plants and trees;

c. Limitation of access to the habitat conservation area;

d. Seasonal restriction of construction activities;

e. Establishment of a timetable for periodic review of the plan;

f. Direct lights away from the habitat conservation area and buffer;

g. Locate facilities that generate substantial noise away from the habitat conservation area and buffer;

h. Establish covenants that limit the use of pesticides within the buffer or habitat area;

i. Implement integrated pest management programs;

j. Post signs at the outer edge of the habitat conservation area or buffer to clearly indicate the location of the critical area according to the direction of the city;

k. Plant buffer with native vegetation appropriate for the region to create screens or barriers to noise, light, human intrusion and discourage domestic animal intrusion;

l. Use low impact development where appropriate;

m. Application of management recommendations developed by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife through its Priority Habitat Species Program;

8. A detailed discussion of ongoing management practices which will protect the habitat conservation area after the project site has been fully developed, including proposed monitoring, contingency, maintenance and surety programs as provided for in subsection I of this section;

9. A narrative which addresses subsections A through G of this section.

I. The following performance standards shall apply to compensatory mitigation projects:

1. Mitigation planting survival will be 100 percent for the first year, and 80 percent for each of the four years following.

2. Mitigation must be installed no later than the next growing season after completion of site improvements, unless otherwise approved by the administrator.

3. Where necessary, a permanent means of irrigation shall be installed for the mitigation planting that is designed by a professional experienced in the design and installation of irrigation systems. The design shall meet the specific needs of riparian and shrub steppe vegetation.

4. Monitoring reports by the biologist must include verification that the planting areas have less than 20 percent total nonnative/invasive plant cover consisting of exotic and/or invasive species. Exotic and invasive species may include any species on the state noxious weed list which may be referenced on the web at and, or considered a noxious or problem weed by the Natural Conservation Services Department or local conservation districts.

5. On-site monitoring and monitoring reports shall be submitted to East Wenatchee community development department one year after mitigation installation; three years after mitigation installation; and five years after mitigation installation. Monitoring reports shall be submitted by a biologist or qualified professional, as defined by EWMC 18.12.180. The biologist or qualified professional must verify that the conditions of approval and provisions in the fish and wildlife management and mitigation plan have been satisfied.

6. Mitigation sites shall be maintained to ensure that the mitigation and management plan objectives are successful. Maintenance shall include corrective actions to rectify problems, include rigorous, as-needed elimination of undesirable plants; protection of shrubs and small trees from competition by grasses and herbaceous plants, and repair and replacement of any dead plants.

7. Sequential release of funds associated with the surety agreement shall be reviewed for conformance with the conditions of approval and the mitigation and management plan. Release of funds may occur in increments of one-third for substantial conformance with the plan and conditions of approval. If the standards that are not met are only minimally out of compliance and contingency actions are actively being pursued by the property owner to bring the project into compliance, the city may choose to consider a partial release of the scheduled increment. Noncompliance can result in one or more of the following actions: carry over of the surety amount to the next review period; use of funds to remedy the nonconformance; scheduling a hearing with the East Wenatchee hearing body to review conformance with the conditions of approval and to determine what actions may be appropriate.

8. Prior to site development and or building permit issuance, a performance surety agreement in conformance with EWMC 18.12.080 must be entered into by the property owner and East Wenatchee. The surety agreement must include the complete costs for the mitigation and monitoring which may include, but not be limited to: the cost of installation, delivery, plant material, soil amendments, permanent irrigation, seed mix, and three monitoring visits and reports by a biologist or qualified professional, including Washington State sales tax. East Wenatchee must approve the estimate for said improvements. (Ord. 08-02 § 3, 2008)

18.12C.040 Application requirements.

Development permit applications shall provide appropriate information on forms provided by the review authority, including without limitation the information described in subsections A through F of this section. Additional reports or information to identify potential impacts and mitigation measures to fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas may be required if deemed necessary. Projects processed according to EWMC Titles 12, 13, 15, 16, and 17 within a fish or wildlife habitat conservation area or its buffer shall provide the following information:

A. The location and dimensions of all existing and proposed buildings, roads and other improvements, and their physical relationship to the habitat conservation area;

B. The location and type of any proposed buffers, including the identification of any other protective measures;

C. Wildlife habitat boundary survey and ranking evaluation pursuant to EWMC 18.12C.035;

D. Habitat management and mitigation plan pursuant to EWMC 18.12C.037;

E. A drainage and erosion control plan pursuant to EWMC 18.12.110;

F. A grading and excavation plan pursuant to EWMC 18.12.130.

18.12C.050 General standards.

The following minimum standards shall apply to all development activities occurring within designated habitat conservation areas and their associated buffers.

A. Habitat conservation areas and buffers will be left undisturbed, unless the development proposal demonstrates that impacts to the habitat conservation area and/or buffer are unavoidable, demonstrated by compliance with EWMC 18.12C.037(F). Impacts must be addressed with appropriate mitigation and enhancement measures as determined on a site-specific basis in conformance with EWMC 18.12C.037.

B. Habitat Conservation Areas.

1. Development occurring within a 1,000-foot radius of a state or federal threatened, endangered, or sensitive species den, nesting, or breeding site, migration corridors or feeding areas of terrestrial species shall require a habitat management and mitigation plan.

2. Cliff, cave and talus slope habitats shall have at least a 50-foot buffer for safety and resource protection.

3. Bald Eagles. An approved bald eagle management plan by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife meeting the requirement and guidelines of the Bald Eagle Protection Rules, WAC 232-12-292, as amended, satisfies the requirements of a habitat management and/or mitigation plan.

4. Rocky Mountain Mule Deer Habitat. Habitat connectivity and migration corridors for mule deer shall be considered in habitat management and/or mitigation plans.

5. Development in or over all surface waters shall require a habitat mitigation plan.

6. Riparian Habitat Area Buffers. The table below shows the proposed buffer width and setback.





Columbia River – Southern Area

Southern City Limits to River Mile 464.75

75 feet

15 feet

Columbia River – Northern Area

River Mile 464.75 to the Northern City Limits

150 feet

15 feet

Sand Canyon

Mouth to the Eastern City Limits

75 feet

15 feet

C. Appropriate buffer areas shall be maintained between all permitted uses and activities and designated habitat conservation areas.

1. All buffers shall be measured from the habitat edge, as established by the approved habitat boundary survey. Riparian buffers shall be measured as provided for in subsection (B)(6) of this section.

2. All buffer areas shall be temporarily fenced between the construction activity and the buffer with a highly visible and durable protective barrier during construction to prevent access and protect the designated habitat conservation area and associated buffer. The review authority may waive this requirement if an alterative to fencing which achieves the same objective is proposed and approved.

3. Except as otherwise allowed, buffers shall be retained in their natural condition. Any habitat created, restored or enhanced as compensation for approved habitat alterations shall have the standard buffer required for the category of the created, restored or enhanced habitat.

4. The width of the buffer may be increased by the review authority for a development project on a case-by-case basis when a larger buffer is necessary to protect the designated habitat conservation area function and value. The determination shall be based on site-specific and project-related conditions, which include without limitation:

a. The designated habitat conservation area is used for feeding, nesting and resting by species proposed or listed by the federal or state government as endangered, threatened, sensitive, candidate, monitor or critical; or if it is an outstanding potential habitat for those species or has unusual nesting or resting sites such as heron rookeries or raptor nesting trees;

b. The adjacent land is susceptible to severe erosion and erosion control measures will not effectively prevent adverse habitat impacts;

c. The proposed development adjacent to the designated habitat conservation area would be a high intensity land use.

5. Standard buffer widths may be modified by the review authority for a development proposal by averaging buffer widths based on a report, submitted by the applicant and prepared by a qualified professional approved by the administrator (e.g., wildlife biologist), and shall only be allowed where the applicant demonstrates all of the following:

a. Averaging is necessary to avoid an extraordinary hardship to the applicant caused by circumstances peculiar to the property;

b. The designated habitat conservation area contains variations in sensitivity due to existing physical characteristics or the character of the buffer varies in slope, soils, or vegetation;

c. The width averaging shall not adversely impact the designated habitat conservation area’s function and value;

d. The total area contained within the buffer after averaging is no less than that contained within the standard buffer prior to averaging;

e. Off-site mitigation is required if the buffer area is smaller than normally required in order to accommodate small lot sizes or other special conditions;

f. For riparian buffers, the minimum buffer width shall not be less than 50 percent of the widths established under subsection (C)(6) of this section or 25 feet, whichever is greater; and

g. For riparian buffers, the buffer has not been reduced under any other provision of this chapter.

h. The variation of buffer widths on a site, via buffer width averaging, must be supported by best available science as demonstrated by the submittal and approval of a fish and wildlife habitat management and mitigation plan in conformance with EWMC 18.12C.037.

6. The administrator shall have the authority to reduce buffer widths on a case-by-case basis; provided, that the general standards for avoidance and minimization per EWMC 18.12C.037(F) shall apply, and when the applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the administrator that all of the following criteria have been met:

a. The buffer reduction shall not adversely affect the habitat function and value of the riparian area or other critical area.

b. The maximum buffer width reduction allowed shall not exceed 25 percent.

c. The buffer width reduction is contingent upon the submittal and approval of a fish and wildlife habitat management and mitigation plan in conformance with EWMC 18.12C.037.

7. The administrator shall have the authority to reduce front yard setback standards associated with a public or private roadway, where such as reduction is necessary to avoid or minimize impacts to a habitat area or buffer. In no case shall the reduction result in a front yard setback of less than 15 feet. The applicant must demonstrate to the administrator that the following criteria have been met:

a. The reduction in the front yard setback shall be the minimum necessary to address extraordinary hardship to the property owner caused by circumstances unique to the property.

b. The standards for avoidance and minimization have been addressed consistent with the provisions of EWMC 18.12C.037(F).

c. The administrator may require the applicant to retain an engineer to verify that the setback reduction will not adversely affect the public safety; where sight distance, roadway speeds, or site topography may be an issue.

d. Vehicular parking and access shall be designed such that no vehicle shall back directly into the road right-of-way, and allow for vehicles to be completely out of structures before entering road right-of-way.

8. A common line riparian buffer may be utilized for the development of a single-family residence on an undeveloped lot, where the lot is located adjacent to existing residential dwelling units on both adjacent shoreline lots. The common line buffer shall be determined by; averaging the riparian buffers, as measured landward from the ordinary high water mark, for each of the adjacent residential dwelling units on the shoreline.

a. Common line buffers shall apply when:

i. The width of the undeveloped lot is less than 150 feet;

b. Common line buffers shall not apply when:

i. The elevation of adjacent structures on adjacent lots is 15 feet higher or lower from the natural grade on the vacant center lot.

ii. One of the adjacent lots is undeveloped.

iii. Either of the adjacent lots has been developed since December 1, 2007.

c. A mitigation and management plan prepared by a biologist or qualified professional shall be submitted and approved which demonstrates no net loss of ecological function and value for the site in conformance with EWMC 18.12C.037. (Ord. 08-02 § 3, 2008)

18.12C.060 Specific standards.

The following standards shall apply to the activity identified below, in addition to the general standards outlined in EWMC 18.12C.050:

A. Road Repair and Construction. When no other practical alternative exists, public or private road or repair, maintenance, expansion or construction may be authorized within a designated habitat conservation area and buffer, subject to the following minimum standards:

1. The road shall serve multiple properties;

2. No significant adverse impacts to the designated habitat conservation area shall result from the repair, maintenance, expansion or construction of any public or private road;

3. The road shall provide for the location of public utilities, pedestrian or bicycle easements, viewing points, etc.; and

4. Road repair and construction is the minimum necessary to provide safe traveling surfaces.

B. Docks. Construction of a dock, pier, moorage, float or launch facility may be authorized subject to the following standards:

1. The dock/facility shall be in substantial conformance with the Douglas County Regional Shoreline Master Program;

2. The dock/facility and landward access shall not significantly alter the existing habitat conservation area or buffer vegetation; and

3. For all land divisions, dock/facilities shall be designed, designated and constructed for joint use.

C. Stream Crossings. Expansion or construction of stream crossings may be authorized within a designated habitat conservation area and buffer, subject to the following minimum standards:

1. Bridges are required for streams which support salmonids;

2. All crossings using culverts shall use superspan or oversize culverts;

3. Crossings shall not occur in salmonid spawning areas unless no other feasible crossing site exists;

4. Bridge piers or abutments shall not be placed in either the floodway or between the ordinary high water marks unless no other feasible alternative placement exists;

5. Crossings shall not diminish flood carrying capacity; and

6. Crossings shall serve multiple properties whenever possible.

7. Construction of sewer lines or on-site sewage systems within a designated wetland buffer which are necessary to meet state and/or local health code requirements shall not adversely impact the function and quality of the designated wetland buffer.

D. Water-dependant uses, as defined by the Douglas County Regional Shoreline Master Program, may be located within a habitat conservation area or buffer when the applicant or property owner can demonstrate compliance with EWMC 18.12C.037.

E. Developments authorized within a designated habitat conservation area or buffer shall comply with the following minimum standards:

1. A habitat management and mitigation plan shall be required.

2. Designated habitat conservation areas and their associated buffers shall be delineated and disclosed on final major subdivision, short plat or binding site plan, maps, documents, etc., as critical area tracts, nonbuildable lots, buffer areas or common areas. Ownership and control may be transferred to a homeowner’s association or designated as an easement or covenant encumbering the property.

3. All lots within a major subdivision, short plat or binding site plan shall have the outer edge of all required buffers clearly marked on site with permanent buffer edge markers. Buffer markers may be either buffer signs or steel posts painted with a standard color and label, as approved by the administrator. The markers shall be field verified by the surveyor or biologist of record prior to final major subdivision, short plat or binding site plan approval. Each lot shall contain a minimum of three buffer area markers located at the landward edge of the buffer perimeter for each habitat type; one located at each side property line and one midway between side property lines. Covenants for the subdivision shall incorporate a requirement stating that buffer area markers shall not be removed, or relocated, except as a may be approved by the administrator.

F. View Corridors. The development or maintenance of view corridors can provide the general public and property owners of single-family residences opportunities for visual access to water bodies associated with shoreline lots. One view corridor may be permitted per lot, when consistent with the provisions of this chapter. A mitigation and management plan consistent with EWMC 18.12C.037 must be submitted for review and approval; either with a complete building permit application for a new single-family residence or associated with an existing single-family residence.

1. In addition to the submittal of a complete mitigation and management plan, an applicant must submit the following materials:

a. A signed East Wenatchee master application form by the property owner of the shoreline proposed for vegetation alterations.

b. A scaled graphic which demonstrates a side, top and bottom parameter for the view corridor with existing vegetation and proposed alterations. The view corridor shall be limited to 25 percent of the width of the lot, or 25 feet, whichever distance is less.

c. A graphic and/or site photos for the entire shoreline frontage which demonstrates that the homesite and proposed or existing home does or will not when constructed have a view corridor of the water body, taking into account site topography and the location of shoreline vegetation on the parcel.

d. Demonstration that the applicant does not have an existing or proposed shoreline access corridor or dock access corridor.

2. Applications for view corridors must be consistent with the following standards:

a. Native vegetation removal shall be prohibited.

b. Pruning of native vegetation shall not exceed 30 percent of a tree’s limbs, and shrubs shall not be pruned to a height less than six feet. No tree topping shall occur.

c. Nonnative trees should be preserved unless the mitigation and management plan demonstrates that the species or location would be detrimental to the functions and values of the habitat or pose a hazard to public safety.

d. Nonnative vegetation within a view corridor may be removed when the mitigation and management plan can demonstrate a net gain in site functions, and where impacts are mitigated at a ratio of 2:1.

e. Whenever possible, view corridors shall be located in areas dominated with nonnative vegetation and invasive species.

f. Pruning shall be done in a manner that shall ensure the continued survival of vegetation.

g. The applicant’s biologist shall clearly establish that fragmentation of fish and wildlife habitat will not occur, and that there is not a net loss of site ecological functions.

G. Shoreline Restoration/Shoreline Access. Shoreline restoration of degraded or limited function shoreline areas shall be encouraged consistent with the Douglas County Shoreline Restoration Plan. Where appropriate, opportunities for enhanced shoreline access, use and enjoyment may be offered as incentives to shoreline property owners to restore or enhance the functions of shoreline habitat. Access corridors provide physical access to the shoreline and water.

For this section, the access corridor and restoration applies to that portion of the shoreline zone that falls within the riparian buffer. The application of this section is to limited functioning shorelines and is not appropriate for shorelines with diverse habitat or functions. Shoreline restoration and access plans must address the following standards and provide the following application materials:

1. A fish/wildlife habitat management and mitigation plan shall be prepared pursuant to EWMC 18.12C.037 for the access corridor and restoration plan. The mitigation plan shall demonstrate that the proposed restoration plan shall result in a net increase in function of the shoreline.

2. Where consistent with the provisions of this chapter, access corridors within the buffer may be permitted through the implementation of a restoration plan. The restoration plan would provide mitigation for the installation of the access corridor (lawn grass) within the buffer. The access corridor shall be installed in such a manner that prevents erosion and provides no net loss of functions and values of the shoreline.

3. Access corridors and restoration may only be implemented along shorelines where the existing function of the shoreline will not be decreased and the implementation of the restoration plan would result in a net increase in function. This includes disturbed shoreline as well as low functioning undisturbed shorelines that can be significantly improved by the implementation of a restoration plan consisting of trees, shrubs and groundcover. This subsection is not appropriate for high functioning shorelines.

4. Access corridors shall be designed to provide access through the buffer to an area where an existing use occurs (docks, boatlifts, swim areas, etc.). If no existing use is established, the access corridor shall take into account the existing native vegetation, shoreline slope, and any proposed uses (dock). The installation of an access corridor and restoration action shall avoid removing native vegetation, which shall be maintained and incorporated into the restoration planting plan. Developed shoreline restoration/access sites approved pursuant to this code, are not eligible for view corridor provisions identified in subsection F of this section.

5. The access corridors shall be permitted at the same time as other shoreline permits whenever possible.

6. The width of the access corridor shall be tapered to 10 feet within the first 25 percent of the riparian buffer, measured landward of the ordinary high water mark of the shoreline of the subject property. The intent is for the shoreline restoration design to provide for significant blocks of habitat in close proximity to the shoreline; avoiding areas of existing native vegetation; and tapering use areas at the widest point to the landward edge of the buffer area.

7. No structures shall be constructed within the lawn grass. Lawn grass may extend to within five feet of the ordinary high water mark, as long as it can be installed in such a manner that prevents erosion. The use of pesticides and fertilizers shall not be permitted within 50 feet of the ordinary high water mark.

8. Mitigation (restoration plan) for the access corridor shall be provided through the planting of native vegetation within the buffer. The area of the buffer that shall be available for the access corridor and the restoration area shall be only that area that is devoid of native vegetation. Within this area that is devoid of native vegetation the ratio of mitigation to lawn grass shall be 2:1. In most cases the access corridor and the restoration plan shall not encompass the entire buffer, as some native riparian and shrub steppe species occur on most properties.

9. Prior to work on the property, the biologist of record shall verify that the boundaries of disturbance have clearly been demarcated by silt fencing straw bales or other approved temporary erosion and sediment control device. Written verification from the biologist of record shall be required prior to work commencing.

10. Areas designated for restoration shall be cleared and grubbed and deconsolidated to a depth of at least 10 inches. “Clearing and grubbing” is defined as the removal of plant material, including the roots, which entails minimal ground disturbance. Restoration areas soils shall be tested prior to planting to determine if soil amendments will be required. Soil testing shall be verified by invoices from the installing contractor. Importing of gravel and/or soil amendments shall also be subject to approval from the Chelan County PUD, if such importing occurs waterward of the Exhibit G or K line.

11. Native planting within the restoration area shall be planted with trees (spaced 10 feet on center), shrubs (spaced three to five feet on center based on shrub size) and groundcover (grasses, forbes, etc.). The restoration plan must contain all three layers of vegetation and include both riparian and shrub steppe species.

12. Species composition shall be determined based on the size of the restoration area. For areas less than 500 square feet, a minimum of two species of trees and four species of shrubs shall be installed. For areas between 500 and 2,000 square feet, a minimum of three species of trees and six species of shrubs shall be installed. For areas greater than 2,000 square feet, a minimum of four species of trees and eight species of shrubs shall be installed. (Ord. 08-02 § 3, 2008)

18.12C.070 Variances.

Applicants who are unable to comply with the specific dimensional or performance standards of this chapter may seek approval pursuant to the variance standards of the this section. The procedures for the processing of a variance under this section shall be as established under Chapter 17.88 EWMC, as amended; as a quasi-judicial review application before the East Wenatchee hearing body. The burden of proof shall rest with the applicant to prove by clear, cogent and convincing evidence all of the following elements:

A. The strict application of the dimensional or performance standards set forth in this chapter precludes a reasonable permitted use of the property;

B. The hardship asserted by the applicant is specifically related to the property and is the result of unique conditions such as irregular lot shape or size, topography, physical features, location or surroundings over which the applicant has no control;

C. The hardship asserted by the applicant results from the application of this chapter to the property and not the result of deed restrictions or the actions of the applicant or owner;

D. The requested variance will not constitute a grant of special privilege not enjoyed by other properties in the same neighborhood or district, and is the minimum relief necessary for the preservation of a property right substantially the same as possessed by owners of property in the same neighborhood or district;

E. The granting of the variance will not be detrimental to the purposes of this chapter, be injurious to property in the same neighborhood or district in which the property is located, cause substantial adverse impact on the public interest or be otherwise detrimental to the objectives of the comprehensive plan;

F. The project includes mitigation for unavoidable critical area and buffer impacts, consistent with the requirements of EWMC 18.12C.037;

G. The applicant can clearly demonstrate compliance with the avoidance and minimization standards established in EWMC 18.12C.037(F). (Ord. 08-02 § 3, 2008)

18.12C.080 Action on variances.

The hearing body or zoning adjustor may approve, conditionally approve or deny a request for a variance. The hearing body may, in granting a variance, establish conditions determined necessary to:

A. Protect the interests of surrounding properties and the general public health, safety, welfare and interest;

B. Accomplish the objectives and intent of this chapter, other applicable regulations and the comprehensive plan; and

C. Mitigate potential adverse impacts of the proposal.

D. The hearing body shall establish a date by which site development must commence. Development which does not commence within this time frame must submit a new application and fees in accordance with the codes in place at the time of a new complete application submittal. A maximum two-year time period shall be established; with the ability of the administrator to grant a one-year extension prior to the termination of the two-year period. The one-year extension must be based upon hardship demonstrated by the applicant that is not in the applicant’s control. The hearing body may authorize a longer period based upon good cause, demonstrated by the applicant. (Ord. 08-02 § 3, 2008)