Chapter 15.08
SHORELINE MANAGEMENT PLAN*

Sections:

15.08.010    Plan adopted by reference.

15.08.020    Map adopted by reference.

15.08.030    General provisions and administration.

15.08.040    Permits and variances.

15.08.050    Penalties – Enforcement.

*For statutory provisions on shoreline management, see Chapter 90.58 RCW.

15.08.010 Plan adopted by reference.

That certain document, three copies of which are on file in the office of the town clerk, being marked and designated as the “Shoreline Management and Use Regulations,” for Pierce County, adopted April 4, 1975, and revised April, 1981, is adopted as the shoreline management master plan of the town. All of the use regulations and standards, provisions, conditions and terms of such shoreline management master plan are adopted and made a part hereof as though fully set forth in this chapter, except as modified by EMC 15.08.030. These regulations and standards apply to any development and/or activity within 200 feet of any shoreline outlined in the master plan. (Ord. 95-02 § 1, 1995; Ord. 75-7 § 1, 1975).

15.08.020 Map adopted by reference.

That certain map shown in the Pierce County shoreline management master plan, and all notations and references and information shown thereon, as are pertinent to the town, is adopted by reference and is on file with the town clerk. (Ord. 95-02 § 2, 1995; Ord. 75-7 § 2, 1975).

15.08.030 General provisions and administration.

A. Hearing Examiner/Administrator. The public works director, or designee, shall perform all the duties ascribed to the hearing examiner in Pierce County shoreline management master plan and shall be known as the town shoreline administrator. The administrator shall administer the shoreline permit and notification systems, and shall be responsible for coordinating the administration of shoreline regulations with zoning enforcement, building permits, and all other regulations regulating land use and development in the town.

The administrator shall be familiar with regulatory measures pertaining to shorelines and their use, and, within the limits of his or her authority, shall cooperate in the administration of these measures. Permits issued under the provisions of this shoreline regulation shall be coordinated with other land use and development regulatory measures of the town. The administrator shall establish procedures that advise all parties seeking building permits or other development authorization of the need to consider possible shoreline applications. It is the intent of the town, consistent with its regulatory obligations, to simplify and facilitate the processing of shoreline substantial development permits.

B. Shoreline Board. The members of the town planning commission shall serve as a shoreline board to perform the duties ascribed to such a board in this shoreline regulation. Required public hearings shall be scheduled within the last 10 days of the 30-day local review period provided in the permit procedure. Decisions shall be rendered as soon as possible after the 30-day period lapses and not more than 15 days thereafter.

Meetings shall comply with the provisions of RCW 90.58.140 and may be called by the chairman of the shoreline board, the administrator, or by motion of the shoreline board during an earlier meeting.

C. Appeal. Shoreline substantial development permits, variances and conditional use permits may be appealed. Appeals from the final decisions of the town with regard to shoreline permits shall be governed by Chapter 90.58 RCW. The effective date of the town’s decisions with regard to a shoreline substantial development permit and the Department of Ecology’s decision with regard to conditional use permits and variances shall be the date of filing with the Department of Ecology pursuant to RCW 90.58.140.

D. Interpretation. It is the policy of the town to apply shoreline regulations in such manner as to carry out the objectives of the Shoreline Management Act and the master program. When various town ordinances or laws are in conflict, the most restrictive law or ordinance shall apply.

E. Public Hearing Rules. Any public hearing conducted pursuant to this regulation shall be held according to these rules. The date, time, place and matter of the hearing shall be advertised in the official town newspaper at least 10 days but not more than 20 days in advance of the date of the hearing. Public hearings may be continued to a specific time and place and no further notice, except for posting notice at Town Hall, is required. Where specific property is involved, a hearing notice containing the same information as the newspaper notice shall be sent at least 10 days but not more than 20 days prior to the hearing date to record owners of the property involved and the record owners of all properties, as shown on the Pierce County assessor’s roll, within 200 feet of all property lines of the specific property or properties involved in the hearing. In addition, notice of all hearings involving specific property shall contain a common and a brief legal description of the property involved. Public records shall be kept for all hearings.

F. Existing Requirements for Permits and Certificates. Nothing in these regulations shall obviate any other requirement to obtain any permit, certificate, license or approval from any state agency, the town or other agency. (Ord. 95-02 § 3, 1995).

15.08.040 Permits and variances.

A. Required Permits. Certain forms of development or activity occurring within the area of shoreline jurisdiction require a shoreline substantial development permit, conditional use permit and/or variance prior to commencement of construction or beginning the activity. The permit procedure shall be as explained in Chapter 90.58 RCW and amendments to that chapter shall automatically cause a similar amendment to this regulation.

B. Substantial Development Permits. Those forms of development for which substantial development permits are required are defined by the Act as follows:

“Substantial development” means any development of which the total cost or fair market value exceeds $2,500, or any development which materially interferes with the normal public use of the water or shorelines of the state; except the following shall not be considered substantial developments for the purpose of these regulations:

1. Any development of which the total cost or fair market value, whichever is higher, does not exceed $2,500, if such development does not materially interfere with the normal public use of the shoreline;

2. Normal maintenance or repair of existing structures or developments, including damage by accident, fire or elements;

3. Construction of the normal protective bulkhead common to single-family residences;

4. Emergency construction necessary to protect property from damage by the elements;

5. Construction and practices normal or necessary for farming, irrigating and ranching activities, including agricultural service roads and utilities on wetlands, construction of a barn or similar agricultural structure, and the construction and maintenance of irrigation structures, including but not limited to head gates, pumping facilities, and irrigation channels;

6. Construction or modification of navigational aids such as channel markers and anchor buoys;

7. Construction on wetlands by an owner, lessee or contract purchaser of a single-family residence for his own use or for the use of his family, which residence does not exceed a height of 35 feet above average grade level and which meets all requirements of the state agency or local government having jurisdiction thereof, other than requirements imposed pursuant to WAC Title 173;

8. The marking of property lines or corners on state-owned land;

9. Operation and maintenance of any system of dikes, ditches, drains or other facilities existing on the effective date of the 1975 amendatory act that were created, developed or utilized as a part of an agricultural drainage or diking system;

10. Any project with a certification from the governor pursuant to Chapter 80.50 RCW.

C. Conditional Use Permits.

1. The objective of a conditional use provision is to provide more control and flexibility for implementing the regulations of the master program. With provisions to control undesirable effects, the scope of uses within each of the three environments can remain flexible. Uses not listed within the three environments may be classified as conditional uses and may be permitted after consideration by the shoreline board that such uses will meet standards that make the use compatible with other permitted uses with the area.

2. Conditional use permits will be granted only after the applicant can demonstrate all of the following:

a. The use will cause no unreasonably adverse effects on the environment or other adjacent uses.

b. The use will not unduly interfere with public use of public shorelines.

c. Design of the site will be compatible with the surroundings, the master program and the town’s zoning requirements.

d. The proposed use will not be contrary to the general intent of the master program and the town’s comprehensive land use plan.

e. The public interest will not suffer any substantial detrimental effect from the proposed use.

f. Other uses not classified in the master program may be authorized as conditional uses provided the applicant demonstrates the criteria set forth in subsections (C)(2)(a) through (e) of this section and that extraordinary circumstances preclude reasonable use of the property in a manner consistent with the master program.

3. Should the shoreline board approve the request, the specific conditions of approval, i.e., any specific required structures, designs or actions of the applicant, will be written on the permit issued to the applicant. Conditional use permits must be approved by the Department of Ecology and do not take effect until such approval is obtained and appeal periods have expired.

D. Variances.

1. Variance deals with specific requirements of the master program and its objective is to grant relief when there are practical difficulties or unnecessary hardship in carrying out the strict letter of the master program. The property owner must show that if he complied with the provisions he cannot make any reasonable use of his property. The fact that he might make a greater profit by using his property in a manner contrary to the intent of the program is not sufficient reason for a variance.

2. A variance may be granted by the shoreline board only after the applicant demonstrates all of the following:

a. The hardship which serves as the basis for granting a variance is specifically related to the property of the applicant.

b. The hardship results from the application of the requirements of the Shoreline Management Act and master program and not from, for example, deed restrictions or the applicant’s own actions.

c. The variance granted will be in harmony with the general purpose and intent of the master program.

d. Public welfare and interest will be preserved; if more harm will be done to the area by granting the variance than would be done to the applicant by denying it, the variance will be denied.

3. Variances must be approved by the Department of Ecology and do not take effect until such approval is obtained and appeal periods have expired.

4. Applicants for either a variance or conditional use permit will adhere to the procedures set forth in ordinances of the town.

E. Permit Application. Once an applicant has determined a permit is required for a contemplated project, he shall apply on forms provided by the administrator. The permit form shall include as a minimum the following information:

1. Name, address and telephone number of applicant and the relationship of the applicant to the property owner;

2. Name, address and telephone number of property owners;

3. Names and addresses of property owners, as shown on the records of the Pierce County assessor, owning property within 200 feet of the boundaries of the property lines in mailing label format;

4. Legal description of property;

5. Common description of property;

6. Name of associated shoreline or wetland;

7. Drawings or text sufficient to fully explain the intended project, which information must include:

a. Indication of size and placement of all structures, including bulkheads,

b. Indication of size, grade and profile of all roads or other vehicular passageways,

c. Indication of all water supplies and sewage disposal facilities,

d. Relation of all physical development to the associated shoreline or wetlands,

e. Scale drawings of all bridges or other structures to be built in, on or over streams, marshes, swamps or lakes;

8. A vicinity map showing:

a. The site location,

b. If development within the shoreline involves excavation or soil removal, the disposal site,

c. A general description of land use and development within 1,000 feet of the property lines;

9. The intended starting and completion dates;

10. The reason, if any, why this project requires a shoreline location as opposed to a nonshoreline location;

11. If a variance is being requested, the application shall contain the applicant’s reasons why the variance should be granted;

12. If a conditional use is being requested, the application shall contain the applicant’s reasons why the conditional use should be granted;

13. A wetland analysis which identifies the site bogs, marshes, other sensitive areas and related information to assist the administrator in identifying development impacts;

14. Other materials as may be required by WAC 173-14-110 as now or as it may hereafter be amended. The administrator may require such additional information as may assist in coordinating the shorelines program with other land use and development programs of the town.

On the day the applicant submits the completed form along with application fee, the official permit procedure begins. The administrator shall not accept incomplete permit applications.

F. Permit Fees. All applications for a substantial development permit, conditional use permit, or variance shall be accompanied by such fee or fees as shall be established by the town council from time to time by resolution.

G. Shoreline Substantial Development Permits.

1. Step One. After the administrator has determined that a complete application, as defined by subsection (E) of this section, has been submitted and the administrator accepts it, the town shall cause public notices of the application to appear in the town’s official newspaper. At least two notices shall appear one week apart and contain the information required by WAC 173-14-070 and such other notice as the administrator deems appropriate. The administrator shall also mail notice of the application to all property owners, at the addresses shown on the records of the Pierce County Assessor, within 300 feet of the property lines of the entire property involved in the application and post notices in three conspicuous places on the property and at Town Hall.

2. Step Two. Starting from the day of the publication of the second public notice, a 30-day comment period will commence during which the administrator shall evaluate the application, collect all relevant data, and solicit communications from persons and agencies wishing to express views on the application. At the beginning of the 30-day comment period, a complete copy of the application shall be sent to the planning commission for their review and recommendation. The administrator shall examine each application for consistency with the shoreline master program.

3. Step Three. Ten days prior to the end of the 30-day comment period the planning commission shall forward its recommendation to the administrator. The administrator shall consider the recommendation of the planning commission and other comments and make a decision to approve, approve with conditions or deny the application within 15 days of the close of the comment period.

4. Step Four. The administrator shall then transmit the decision(s) and findings and other determinations by letter to the planning commission, applicant, Department of Ecology and Attorney General.

5. Step Five. Upon the date of filing of a substantial development permit with the Department of Ecology, a 30-day appeal period will commence, during which appeals to the town’s decision may be made.

6. Step Six. Should there be no appeal to the decision at the end of the 30-day period, if the town’s decision was to approve or approve with conditions, and if no other permits are needed, the project may proceed.

7. Step Seven. Should there be an appeal, the project applied for may not begin until appeals are settled and required waiting periods have passed as provided in Chapter 90.58 RCW.

H. Conditional Use Permits and Variances.

1. Step One. After the administrator has determined that a complete application, as defined by subsection (E) of this section, has been submitted and the administrator accepts it, the town shall cause public notices of the application to appear in the town’s official newspaper. At least two notices shall appear one week apart and contain the information required by WAC 173-14-070 and such other notice as the administrator deems appropriate. The administrator shall also mail notice of the application to all property owners, at the addresses shown on the records of the Pierce County Assessor, within 300 feet of the property lines of the entire property involved in the application and post notices in three conspicuous places on the property and at Town Hall.

2. Step Two. Starting from the day of the publication of the second public notice, a 30-day comment period will commence during which the administrator shall evaluate the application, collect relevant data, and solicit communications from persons and agencies wishing to express views on the application. At the beginning of the 30-day comment period, a complete copy of the application shall be sent to the planning commission for their review and recommendation and to the shoreline board. The shoreline board shall schedule a public hearing during the last 10 days of the 30-day comment period.

3. Step Three. The administrator shall examine the application for consistency with the shoreline master program. Ten days prior to the end of the 30-day comment period the administrator shall forward staff and planning commission recommendations to the shoreline board. The shoreline board shall make any decisions to approve or deny the application within 15 days of the close of the comment period.

4. Step Four. The administrator shall then transmit the decision(s) and findings of the shoreline board and other determinations by letter to the planning commission, applicant, Department of Ecology and Attorney General.

5. Step Five. Upon the date of filing with the Department of Ecology, a 30-day review period will commence, during which the Department shall approve with conditions or deny the application. The Department shall transmit its final decision to the town and the applicant within 30 days of submittal of the application by the town to the Department.

6. Step Six. Upon receipt of the Department of Ecology’s decision by the town, a 30-day appeal period will begin, during which time appeals to Ecology’s decision may be appealed to the State shoreline board.

7. Step Seven. Should there be no appeal to the decision at the end of the 30-day period, if the Department of Ecology’s decision was to approve or approve with conditions, and if no other permits are needed, the project, may proceed.

8. Step Eight. Should there be an appeal, the project applied for may not begin until appeals are settled and required waiting periods have passed as provided in Chapter 90.58 RCW.

I. Revocation of Permit. The administrator, pursuant to RCW 90.58.140(8), may revoke the permit and halt the project if conditions written on the permit are not fulfilled, are violated or if any other of these regulations are violated. The decision of the administrator may be appealed to the shoreline board.

J. Notification Required for Nonpermit Required Forms of Development.

1. There are certain forms of development and activity that may occur within the area of jurisdiction, but which do not need substantial development permits. Notification of intent to perform some of these nonpermit required forms of development and activity must be given to the administrator. Such notification shall be by letter, transmittal with other permit or license requirements. Such notification must include: the name of the person or persons intending to perform the subject development or activity, the name of the property owner, the nature of the proposed development or activity, the location of the property, and the anticipated starting and ending dates of the project. This notice must arrive in the office of the administrator at least one week prior to the anticipated starting date. Those forms of development or activity subject to this notification provision and acceptable notification are as follows:

a. Construction of single-family residences as provided under subsection (B) of this section, Substantial Development Permits (building permit application shall be compliance);

b. Herbicide, insecticide, or other dangerous chemical application (copies of licenses required by the Department of Agriculture or written notice shall be compliance);

c. The destruction of any building (city demolition permit application shall be compliance);

d. The removal of natural vegetation from 1/10 acre or more (grading permit application or other written notice shall be compliance).

2. Failure to give such notice shall be a violation of this regulation. The burden of providing this notice rests jointly on the operator or contractor and the property owner. (Ord. 95-02 § 4, 1995).

15.08.050 Penalties – Enforcement.

A. Penalties. In addition to incurring civil liability under RCW 90.58.210, any person found to have wilfully engaged in violation of the provisions of these regulations shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Each day of violation shall be considered a separate, and separately punishable, offense.

B. Enforcement. The town attorney shall bring such injunctive, declaratory, or other actions as are necessary to ensure that no uses are made of the shorelines of the state in conflict with state law and the provisions of the town regulations, as adopted, and the master program, and to otherwise enforce the provisions of these regulations and the intent of the master program. (Ord. 95-02 § 5, 1995).