Chapter 18.22
CRITICAL AREAS

Sections:

Article I. Authority, Purpose, and Intent

18.22.100    Authority.

18.22.110    Purpose.

18.22.120    Intent and construction of chapter.

Article II. Administrative Provisions

18.22.200    Applicability.

18.22.210    Identification and mapping of critical areas.

18.22.220    Critical area review process.

18.22.230    General exemptions.

18.22.240    Nonconforming uses and structures.

18.22.250    Variance.

18.22.260    Reasonable economic use exceptions.

18.22.270    Physical separation – Functional isolation.

18.22.280    Adaptive management.

Article III. Critical Aquifer Recharge Areas

18.22.300    Purpose.

18.22.310    Classification/designation.

18.22.320    Applicability.

18.22.330    Protection standards.

Article IV. Frequently Flooded Areas

18.22.400    Purpose.

18.22.410    Classification/designation.

18.22.420    Applicability.

18.22.430    Protection standards – Incorporation by reference of Chapter 15.15 JCC and additional requirements.

Article V. Geologically Hazardous Areas

18.22.500    Purpose.

18.22.510    Classification/designation.

18.22.520    Regulated activities.

18.22.530    Protection standards.

18.22.540    Required assessments and reports.

18.22.550    Recording and disclosure.

Article VI. Fish and Wildlife Habitat Conservation Areas (FWHCAs)

18.22.600    Purpose.

18.22.610    Classification/designation.

18.22.620    Regulated activities.

18.22.630    Protection standards.

18.22.640    Buffer reductions and averaging.

18.22.650    Habitat management reports – When required.

18.22.660    Mitigation.

Article VII. Wetlands

18.22.700    Purpose.

18.22.710    Classification/designation.

18.22.720    Regulated activities.

18.22.730    Protection standards.

18.22.740    Mitigation.

Article VIII. Agriculture

18.22.800    Purpose and intent.

18.22.810    Resource concerns.

18.22.820    Applicability and classification.

18.22.830    Protection standards.

18.22.840    Monitoring and adaptive management.

18.22.850    Compliance.

18.22.860    Limited public disclosure.

Article IX. Special Reports

18.22.900    Purpose.

18.22.905    General requirements.

18.22.910    Waivers.

18.22.915    Retaining consultants.

18.22.920    Acceptance of special reports.

18.22.930    Critical aquifer recharge area reports.

18.22.940    Frequently flooded area reports.

18.22.945    Geologically hazardous area reports.

18.22.950    Habitat management reports.

18.22.955    Process and requirements for designating habitats of local importance as critical areas.

18.22.960    Wetland reports.

18.22.965    Critical area stewardship plans.

Article I. Authority, Purpose, and Intent

18.22.100 Authority.

This chapter is adopted under the authority of Article XI, Section 11 of the Washington State Constitution, Chapter 36.70 RCW, which empowers a county to enact a critical area ordinance and provide for its administration, enforcement and amendment, and Chapter 36.70A RCW, the Growth Management Act. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.110 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to adopt development regulations that protect critical areas that are required to be designated under RCW 36.70A.170, part of the Growth Management Act (Chapter 36.70A RCW). [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.120 Intent and construction of chapter.

The intent of this chapter is to comply with the requirements for critical areas in the Growth Management Act (Chapter 36.70A RCW), the Growth Management Act implementing regulations (Chapter 365-190 WAC), and the Jefferson County Comprehensive Plan. The provisions of this chapter and all proceedings under it shall be liberally construed with a view to affect its purpose and intent. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

Article II. Administrative Provisions

18.22.200 Applicability.

(1) This chapter applies to any land disturbing activity, development, or activity undertaken on land located within or containing a critical area or a critical area buffer in Jefferson County. All persons within Jefferson County shall comply with this chapter.

(2) Jefferson County shall not grant any permit or other approval to alter a critical area or a critical area buffer without ensuring compliance with this chapter.

(3) No land disturbing activity, development, or activity on land located within or containing a critical area or a critical area buffer in Jefferson County shall be authorized without full compliance with the terms of this chapter.

(4) Areas characterized by a particular critical area may also be subject to other regulations established by this chapter due to the overlap or multiple functions of some critical areas. When one critical area adjoins or overlaps another, the more restrictive standards shall apply.

(5) Uses, development, and activities in critical areas or critical area buffers for which no permit or approval is required by any other provision of the Jefferson County Code nevertheless are subject to the requirements of this chapter.

(6) When any provision of this chapter is in conflict with any other section of the Jefferson County Code, the provision that provides most protection to the critical area shall apply, except that any critical area occurring within the jurisdiction of the Shoreline Management Act also shall follow the policies and regulations in Chapter 18.25 JCC.

(7) Compliance with these regulations does not remove an applicant from the obligation to comply with all other applicable federal, state, or local regulations.

(8) Any action taken in a critical area or a critical area buffer designated by this chapter that is in violation of the standards and conditions contained in this chapter is expressly prohibited.

(9) The requirements of this chapter shall apply concurrently with review conducted under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) (Chapter 43.21C RCW), as locally adopted (Chapter 18.40 JCC). Any conditions required pursuant to this chapter shall be coordinated with the SEPA review and threshold determination.

(10) This chapter applies to all forest practices over which Jefferson County has jurisdiction under Chapter 76.09 RCW and WAC Title 222. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.210 Identification and mapping of critical areas.

(1) The approximate location and extent of critical areas within the county are displayed on various inventory maps available on the Jefferson County geographic information system (GIS) web site.

(2) The critical areas maps are provided only as a general guide to alert the viewer to the possible location and extent of critical areas. These maps shall not be relied upon exclusively to establish the existence/absence or boundaries of a critical area, or to establish whether all of the elements necessary to identify an area as a critical area actually exist.

(3) The type, extent and boundaries may be determined in the field by a geotechnical professional, wetland specialist, wildlife biologist or staff person according to the requirements of this chapter. In the event of a conflict between a critical area location shown on the county’s maps and that of an on-site determination, the on-site determination will apply.

(4) To the extent practicable, the county shall ensure that its critical area maps are updated as inventories are completed in compliance with the requirements of the Growth Management Act (Chapter 36.70A RCW). [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.220 Critical area review process.

(1) All applicants for new development are encouraged have a customer assistance meeting with the department prior to applying for a permit. Fees for a customer assistance meeting may be applied towards the application fee for the same project. The purpose of this customer assistance meeting is to discuss zoning and applicable critical area requirements, to review any conceptual site plans prepared by the applicant and to identify potential impacts and mitigation measures. Such conference shall be for the convenience of the applicant, and any recommendations shall not be binding on the applicant or the county.

(2) The department shall perform a critical area review for any application submitted for a regulated activity. Reviews for multiple critical areas shall occur concurrently. For critical areas within shoreline jurisdiction, critical area review shall occur as part of the shoreline review process.

(3) The department shall, to the extent reasonable, consolidate the processing of related aspects of other county regulatory programs which affect activities in regulated critical areas, such as subdivision or site development, with the approval process established in this chapter so as to provide a timely and coordinated review process.

(4) As part of the review of all development or building-related approvals or permit applications, the department shall review the information submitted by the applicant to:

(a) Confirm the nature and type of the critical area and evaluate any required assessments, reports, or studies;

(b) Determine whether the development proposal is consistent with this chapter;

(c) Determine whether any proposed alterations to the site containing critical areas are necessary; and

(d) Determine if the mitigation and monitoring plans proposed by the applicant are sufficient to protect the public health, safety, and welfare consistent with the goals, purposes, objectives, and requirements of this chapter.

(5) If a proposal has the potential to impact a critical area or a buffer, the administrator may require a special report pursuant to this chapter. When required, critical area special reports are subject to the following requirements:

(a) The applicant is required to submit a critical area report prepared by a qualified professional based on the report requirements of this chapter;

(b) The report will be evaluated to determine if all potential impacts to the critical area or buffer have been addressed in the critical area report;

(c) Any impacts of the proposed development will be reviewed for compliance with mitigation requirements (as defined in JCC 18.10.130) and determine if the mitigation plan sufficiently addresses the potential impacts; and

(d) Ensure that the submittal for critical areas is consistent with other documents submitted as part of the application and that the submittal is consistent with the requirements for a complete application in Chapter 18.40 JCC.

(6) At every stage of the application process, the burden of demonstrating that a proposal is consistent with this chapter is upon the applicant. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.230 General exemptions.

(1) The activities listed in subsection (4) of this section are exempt from the requirements of this chapter, assuming the proposed activity complies with all provisions of the exemption.

(2) The administrator may determine that an activity is closely allied or similar to any activity in this list even if the proposed activity does not meet the precise terms of a listed exempt activity. The administrator is authorized to determine through a Type I permit process whether or not a development should be classified as an exempt activity and that such an activity does not impact the functions and values of any critical area or a critical area buffer.

(3) It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide sufficient information for the administrator to determine that one of the exemptions listed in subsection (4) of this section applies.

(4) The following activities in critical areas or critical area buffers are exempt from the requirements of this chapter:

(a) Agriculture, as defined in JCC 18.10.010, may continue in substantively the same manner; provided, the activity does not result in adverse impacts to a critical area or a critical area buffer. This exemption shall include maintenance and repair of lawfully established structures, infrastructure, drainage and irrigation ditches, and farm ponds; provided, maintenance work does not expand further into a critical area.

(b) Forest Practices. Classes I, II, III, and IV special (not Class IV general) forest practices regulated and conducted in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 76.09 RCW and forest practice regulations, WAC Title 222, except where the lands have been or are proposed to be converted to a use other than commercial forest product production.

(c) Maintenance – Transportation. Maintenance or reconstruction of existing public or private roads, paths, bicycle ways, trails, and bridges; provided, that the maintenance or reconstruction complies with the additional requirements in subsection (5) of this section.

(d) Maintenance or Reconstruction – On-Site Sewage Systems. Maintenance or reconstruction of on-site sewage systems; provided, the maintenance or reconstruction complies with the additional requirements in subsection (5) of this section.

(e) Maintenance – Drainage. Maintenance and repair of existing drainage facilities or systems and flood control structures, including, but not limited to, ditches that do not meet the criteria for being considered a fish and wildlife habitat conservation area, culverts, catch basins, levees, reservoirs, and outfalls; provided, the maintenance or repair complies with the additional requirements in subsection (5) of this section.

(f) Utility Activities. This exemption is limited to the utility activities listed below; provided, the utility activities comply with the additional requirements in subsection (5) of this section:

(i) Normal and routine maintenance or repair of existing utility facilities or rights-of-way; or

(ii) Installation, construction, relocation and replacement, operation, repair, or alteration of all utility lines, equipment, or appurtenances, not including substations, in improved road rights-of-way.

(g) Reconstruction, Remodeling, or Maintenance – Structures. This exemption is limited to reconstruction, remodeling, or maintenance of existing structures within the footprint of an existing lawfully established structure provided the maintenance complies with the additional requirements in subsection (5) of this section, work areas are minimized to the fullest extent possible, work areas are restored to previous conditions as soon as construction is complete, and staging areas are located outside of all critical areas and critical area buffers. This exemption shall not apply if the activity creates or continues a circumstance where personal or property damage is likely due to conditions of the critical area or if there is further intrusion into a critical area or a critical area buffer.

(h) Site Investigative Work. Site investigative work in wetlands, landslide hazard areas, riverine and coastal erosion hazard areas, or fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas, or their critical area buffers that is necessary for land use application submittals or permit compliance, including but not limited to groundwater monitoring wells, sediment sampling, surveys, soil borings, shallow soil test pits, and percolation tests involving no fill or use of heavy equipment; provided, the site investigative work complies with the additional requirements in subsection (5) of this section and excavation for soil logs or percolation tests are filled.

(i) Emergency Action. Action that is taken which is necessary to resolve or prevent imminent threat or danger to public health or safety, or to public or private property, or serious environmental degradation; provided, the emergency action complies with the additional requirements in subsection (5) of this section. If the nature of the emergency requires immediate action within a time period too short to allow full compliance with this chapter, the department, as well as any federal or state agencies with jurisdiction (e.g., the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers), must be notified of the emergency action within one working day of the initiation of the emergency action. Any person or agency undertaking emergency action using this exemption must submit a complete application to department for review and approval within 30 days of abatement of the emergency, and the “after-the-fact” application must show compliance with all requirements of this chapter. Any impacts to critical areas or critical area buffers that are not mitigated within one year of issuance of an “after-the-fact” permit shall be in violation of this exemption and may be subject to enforcement actions by the department.

(j) Artificial Wetlands and Artificial Ponds. Artificial wetlands and artificial ponds, provided:

(i) The artificial wetland or pond does not meet the definition of wetland or fish and wildlife habitat conservation area; and

(ii) The artificial wetland or pond was not historically constructed from a wetland or fish and wildlife habitat conservation area (without receiving all applicable permits to modify the critical area).

(k) Irrigation. Operation, maintenance and repair of dikes, ditches, reservoirs, ponds and other irrigation structures and facilities that do not require a state hydraulic permit and do not meet the criteria for being designated a fish and wildlife habitat conservation area; provided, the maintenance or repair complies with subsection (5) of this section.

(l) Passive Recreation. Passive recreation, when the activity does not cause adverse impacts. Examples include, but are not limited to, such recreational uses as swimming, canoeing/kayaking, hunting, and fishing (pursuant to state law), bird watching, hiking, and bicycling.

(m) Existing Residential Landscaping. Planting, irrigating, mowing, pruning, and maintenance and repair of landscaping structures; provided, these activities are part of existing normal residential landscaping activities and no building permit is required and the landscaping complies with subsection (5) of this section. This exemption does not allow any additional intrusion, expansion, or introduction of nonnative species into a critical area or a critical area buffer.

(n) Noxious Weed Control. Removal or eradication of noxious weeds listed in Chapter 16-750 WAC. Such activity is the responsibility of the landowner; provided, the following conditions are met:

(i) The removal or control of noxious weeds shall follow guidelines issued by the Jefferson County noxious weed control board. The Jefferson County noxious weed control board shall coordinate with the department of planning and community development for the control of noxious weeds in wetlands.

(ii) All herbicide applications in aquatic environments shall conform to the rules of the Washington Department of Ecology, Washington Department of Agriculture and Washington Department of Natural Resources, pursuant to Chapters 16-228, 173-201a, and 222-38 WAC.

(o) Harvesting of Wild Crops. The harvesting of wild crops; provided, that the harvesting:

(i) Is not injurious to natural reproduction of such crops;

(ii) Does not require tilling soil, planting crops, or changing existing topography, water conditions, or water sources; and

(iii) Does not have any adverse impacts on protection of the critical area or a critical area buffer.

(p) Planting Native Vegetation. The enhancement of a critical area buffer by planting native vegetation.

(q) New Trails. The construction of new, unpaved, nonmotorized trails when located in the outer 25 percent of a wetland or a fish and wildlife habitat conservation area or their critical area buffers; provided, the new trail is no wider than five feet. This exemption shall not apply within a frequently flooded area or its critical area buffer, where development must follow FEMA requirements, or within a geologically hazardous area or its critical area buffer if the new trail will be for public use.

(r) Navigation Aids and Boundary Markers. Installation of navigation aids and boundary markers; provided, they are installed in accordance with applicable state and federal laws or the installation of mooring buoys in accordance with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife design guidelines and the Jefferson County shoreline management program (Chapter 18.25 JCC).

(s) Beaver Dam Alterations with a Hydraulic Project Approval Pursuant to Chapter 77.55 RCW and Chapter 220-660 WAC. Beaver dam alteration in stream channels when undertaken with a hydraulic project approval issued by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife pursuant to Chapter 77.55 RCW and Chapter 220-660 WAC.

(5) Additional Protection and Restoration Requirements. Where compliance with this section is required by a subsection above, all of the following requirements must be met:

(a) Prior to the start of the activity for which an exemption is sought, the applicant must submit to the department a written description of the activity that includes at least the following information:

(i) Type, timing, frequency, and sequence of the activity to be conducted;

(ii) Type of equipment to be used (hand or mechanical);

(iii) Manner in which the equipment will be used; and

(iv) The best management practices to be used.

The written description shall be valid for five years; provided, there is no significant change in the type or extent of the activity.

(b) The activity cannot further alter, impact, or encroach upon critical areas or critical area buffers and no reasonable or practicable alternative exists.

(c) The activity cannot further affect the functions of a critical area or a critical area buffer, and no reasonable or practicable alternative exists.

(d) Best management practices must be implemented to minimize impacts to critical areas and critical area buffers during the activity.

(e) Disturbed critical areas and critical area buffers must be restored immediately after the activity is complete.

(f) Any impacts of the activity to a critical area or a critical area buffer must be mitigated, as approved by the administrator.

(6) The administrator has the authority to:

(a) Request information from an applicant to ensure compliance with exemption requirements;

(b) Determine whether or not an application meets the exemptions listed; and

(c) Take enforcement action for any land disturbing activity, development, or action undertaken on land located within or containing a critical area or a critical area buffer in Jefferson County that does not meet exemption requirements. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.240 Nonconforming uses and structures.

(1) Any legal use or legal structure in existence on the effective date of this chapter that does not meet the critical area or critical area buffer requirements of this chapter for any designated critical area shall be considered a legal nonconforming use.

(2) Any use or structure for which an application has vested or for which a permit has been obtained prior to the effective date of this chapter, that does not meet the critical area buffer requirements of this chapter for any designated critical area, shall be considered a legal nonconforming use.

(3) A legal nonconforming use or structure may be maintained or repaired as allowed by this chapter and the nonconforming provisions of JCC 18.20.260. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.250 Variance.

(1) Requests for relief from the dimensional or performance standards of this chapter shall require a critical areas variance which shall be processed as a Type III permit; provided:

(2) The hearing examiner in accordance with Chapter 2.30 JCC shall have the authority to grant a variance from the requirements of this chapter when, in the opinion of the hearing examiner, all of the following criteria have been met:

(a) There are special circumstances applicable to the subject property or to the intended use such as shape, topography, location, or surroundings that do not apply generally to surrounding properties or that make it impossible to redesign the project to preclude the need for a variance;

(b) The applicant has avoided impacts and provided mitigation to the maximum practical extent;

(c) The critical area buffer reduction proposed through the variance is the minimum necessary to accommodate the permitted use;

(d) Granting the variance will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to the property or improvement;

(e) Granting the variance is necessary to ensure consistency with the Comprehensive Plan and any attendant public service obligations; and

(f) No other practicable or reasonable alternative exists.

(3) In lieu of the criteria in subsections (2)(a) through (f) of this section, an applicant may pursue a critical area variance through proof of all of the following criteria:

(a) The applicant has avoided impacts and provided mitigation, in accordance with this chapter, to the maximum practical extent;

(b) The variance will not adversely impact receiving water quality or quantity;

(c) The variance will not adversely impact any functional attribute of the critical area;

(d) The variance will not jeopardize the continued existence of species listed by the federal government or the state as endangered, threatened, sensitive, or documented priority species or priority habitats; and

(e) The variance is based on the criteria and standards referenced in this chapter. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.260 Reasonable economic use exceptions.

(1) Permit applicants for a property so encumbered by critical areas or buffers that application of this chapter, including buffer averaging, buffer reduction, or other mechanism, would deny all reasonable economic use may seek approval pursuant to the reasonable economic use standards and procedures provided in this section.

(2) Nothing in this chapter is intended to preclude all reasonable economic use of property. If the application of this chapter would deny all reasonable economic use of the subject property, including agricultural use, use or development shall be allowed if it is consistent with the zoning code and the purposes of this chapter.

(3) To qualify as a reasonable economic use, the technical administrator or hearing examiner, as appropriate, must find that the proposal is consistent with all of the following criteria:

(a) There is no portion of the site where the provisions of this chapter allow reasonable economic use, including agricultural use or continuation of legal nonconforming uses;

(b) There is no feasible alternative to the proposed activities that will provide reasonable economic use with less adverse impact on critical areas or buffers;

(c) Activities will be located as far as possible from critical areas and the project employs all reasonable methods to avoid adverse effects on critical area functions and values, including maintaining existing vegetation, topography, and hydrology. Where both critical areas and buffer areas are located on a parcel, buffer areas shall be disturbed in preference to the critical area;

(d) The proposed activities will not result in adverse effects on endangered or threatened species as listed by the federal government or the state of Washington, or be inconsistent with an adopted recovery plan;

(e) Measures shall be taken to ensure the proposed activities will not cause degradation of groundwater or surface water quality, or adversely affect drinking water supply;

(f) The proposed activities comply with all state, local and federal laws, including those related to erosion and sediment control, pollution control, floodplain restrictions, and on-site wastewater disposal;

(g) The proposed activities will not cause damage to other properties;

(h) The proposed activities will not increase risk to the health or safety of people on or off the site;

(i) The inability to derive reasonable economic use of the property is not the result of segregating or dividing the property or creating the condition of lack of use; and

(j) The project includes mitigation for unavoidable critical area and buffer impacts in accordance with the mitigation requirements of this chapter. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.270 Physical separation – Functional isolation.

(1) Exclusion for Functionally Isolated Critical Areas Buffers. Subject to the limitations in subsection (2) of this section, critical areas buffers that are both physically separated and functionally isolated from a critical area and do not protect the critical area from adverse impacts shall be excluded from critical area buffers otherwise required by this chapter. Functional isolation can occur due to existing public roads, structures, vertical separating, or any other relevant physical characteristic.

(2) Limitations on Functional Isolation.

(a) Functional isolation shall be limited to wetland buffers and fish and wildlife habitat conservation area buffers only.

(b) Functional isolation shall not be used in geologically hazardous areas, critical aquifer recharge areas or frequently flooded areas.

(3) Special Report May Be Required. The administrator may require a special report to determine whether a critical area buffer is functionally isolated. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.280 Adaptive management.

Adaptive management relies on scientific methods to evaluate how well regulatory and nonregulatory actions achieve their objectives and adjusts those programs. Management, policy, and regulatory actions are treated as experiments that are purposefully monitored and evaluated to determine whether they are effective and, if not, how they should be improved to increase their effectiveness. An adaptive management program is a formal and deliberate scientific approach to taking action and obtaining information in the face of uncertainty. To effectively implement an adaptive management program, Jefferson County, in support of this chapter, will:

(1) Address funding for the research component of the adaptive management program;

(2) Change course based on the results and interpretation of new information that resolves uncertainties; and

(3) Commit to the appropriate time frame and scale necessary to reliably evaluate regulatory and nonregulatory actions affecting critical areas protection and anadromous fisheries. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

Article III. Critical Aquifer Recharge Areas

18.22.300 Purpose.

Potable water is an essential life-sustaining element for humans and many other species. Much of Jefferson County’s drinking water comes from groundwater supplies. Critical aquifer recharge areas are important to ensure the quality and quantity of groundwater in aquifers. Preventing contamination from land uses that may contaminate groundwater is necessary to protect water supplies and avoid exorbitant costs, hardships and physical harm to people and ecosystems. It is the purpose of this article to identify and classify aquifer recharge areas in accordance with WAC 365-190-100 and balance competing needs for land uses and clean water supplies and preserve essential natural functions and processes, especially for maintaining critical fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.310 Classification/designation.

Critical aquifer recharge areas are areas with a critical recharging effect on aquifers used for potable water, including areas where an aquifer that is a source of drinking water is vulnerable to contamination that would affect the potability of the water, or is susceptible to reduced recharge. Critical aquifer recharge area maps shall be periodically revised, modified, and updated to reflect current information.

The following classifications define critical aquifer recharge areas:

(1) Susceptible Aquifer Recharge Areas. Susceptible aquifer recharge areas are those with geologic and hydrologic conditions that promote rapid infiltration of recharge waters to groundwater aquifers. For the purposes of this article, unless otherwise determined by preparation of an aquifer recharge area report authorized under this article, the following geologic units, as identified from available Washington Department of Natural Resources geologic mapping, define susceptible aquifer recharge areas for east Jefferson County:

(a) Alluvial fans (Ha);

(b) Artificial fill (Hx);

(c) Beach sand and gravel (Hb);

(d) Dune sand (Hd);

(e) Floodplain alluvium (Hf);

(f) Vashon recessional outwash in deltas and alluvial fans (Vrd);

(g) Vashon recessional outwash in melt water channels (Vro);

(h) Vashon ice contact stratified drift (Vi);

(i) Vashon ablation till (Vat);

(j) Vashon advance outwash (Vao);

(k) Whidbey formation (Pw); and

(l) Pre-Vashon stratified drift (Py).

(2) Special Aquifer Recharge Protection Areas. Special aquifer recharge protection areas include:

(a) Sole-source aquifers designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 300f et seq.), such as Marrowstone Island;

(b) Special protection areas designated by the Washington Department of Ecology under Chapter 173-200 WAC;

(c) Wellhead protection areas determined in accordance with delineation methodologies specified by the Washington Department of Health under authority of Chapter 246-290 WAC;

(d) Groundwater management areas designated by the Washington Department of Ecology in cooperation with local government under Chapter 173-100 WAC.

(3) Seawater Intrusion Protection Zones (SIPZ).

(a) Seawater intrusion protection zones are:

(i) Aquifers and land overlying aquifers with some degree of vulnerability to seawater intrusion. SIPZ are defined either by proximity to marine shoreline or by proximity to groundwater sources that have demonstrated high chloride readings.

(ii) All islands and land area within one-quarter mile of marine shorelines and associated aquifers together compose the coastal SIPZ.

(b) High Risk SIPZ.

(i) Existing individual groundwater sources with a history of chloride analyses above 200 mg/L are categorized as a high risk SIPZ for development proposed under this code.

(ii) Areas within 1,000 feet of a groundwater source with a history of chloride analyses above 200 milligrams per liter (mg/L) are categorized as a high risk SIPZ for development proposed under this code.

(c) At Risk SIPZ. Areas within 1,000 feet of a groundwater source with a history of chloride analyses above 100 milligrams per liter (mg/L) are categorized as at risk SIPZ for development proposed under this code.

(4) Connate Seawater Exception. In some cases, high chloride readings may be indicative of connate seawater (i.e., relic seawater in aquifers as opposed to active seawater intrusion). When best available science or a hydrogeologic evaluation demonstrates that high chloride readings in a particular area are due to connate seawater, the area in question shall not be considered an at risk or high risk SIPZ.

(5) Recommendation from Public Health Department. When the status of an area as either a high risk or an at risk SIPZ is in question, the administrator is responsible for making the determination based upon recommendation from the Jefferson County department of public health. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.320 Applicability.

This article applies to any development within critical aquifer recharge areas, unless the proposed activity meets any of the exemptions listed in JCC 18.22.230.

(1) Other Activities. The following activities, when proposed in a critical aquifer recharge area shall be subject to the protection standards in this article:

(a) All industrial and commercial land uses with the potential to impact groundwater;

(b) The following rural residential land uses:

(i) Those using a locally managed community sewage system;

(ii) Those using a large on-site sewage system meeting the management requirements of the Washington Department of Health; and

(iii) All planned rural residential developments. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.330 Protection standards.

The following protection standards shall apply to activities; provided, the activity is not prohibited in JCC 18.22.320.

(1) Critical Aquifer Recharge Area High Impact Activities.

(a) High Impact Activities Listed. The activities listed in Table 18.22.330(1) are high impact activities due to the probability or potential magnitude of their adverse effects on groundwater.

Table 18.22.330(1) – Critical Aquifer Recharge Area High Impact Activities 

Critical Aquifer Recharge Area High Impact Activities

Chemical manufacturing and reprocessing

Creosote/asphalt manufacturing or treatment (except that asphalt batch plants may be permitted in susceptible aquifer recharge areas only if such areas lie outside of special aquifer recharge protection areas and only if best management practices are implemented pursuant to JCC 18.20.240(2)(h)(iv) and 18.30.170(1) and an accepted aquifer recharge area report)

Dry cleaners

Electrical battery processing, reprocessing or storage

Electroplating and metal coating activities

Hazardous substance disposal, storage, and treatment facilities

Junk and salvage yards

Landfills

Petroleum product refinement and reprocessing

Pipelines

Radioactive disposal or processing of radioactive wastes

Recycling centers or recycling collection facilities as defined in JCC 18.10.180

Storage tanks (above or below ground) for hazardous substances or petroleum products

Waste piles as defined in WAC 173-303-660

Wood and wood products preserving

(b) High Impact Activities Prohibited in Areas Classified as Both a Susceptible Aquifer Recharge Area and a Special Aquifer Recharge Protection Area. High impact activities shall be prohibited in areas that are classified as both a susceptible aquifer recharge area and a special aquifer recharge protection area.

(c) High Impact Activities Proposed in Areas Classified Solely as a Susceptible Aquifer Recharge Area Require a Critical Aquifer Recharge Area Report. When high impact activities are proposed for a susceptible aquifer recharge area, a critical aquifer recharge area report that meets all the requirements of JCC 18.22.930 shall be submitted to the department for review.

(d) High Impact Activities Proposed in Areas Classified Solely as a Special Aquifer Recharge Protection Area Require a Critical Aquifer Recharge Area Report. When high impact activities are proposed for a special aquifer recharge protection area, a critical aquifer recharge area report that meets all the requirements of JCC 18.22.930 shall be submitted to the department for review.

(2) Seawater Intrusion Protection Zones. New development, redevelopment, and activities on islands and in close proximity to marine shorelines where there is a risk or a high risk of seawater intrusion should be developed in such a manner to maximize aquifer recharge, maintain the saltwater/freshwater balance to the maximum extent possible, and are subject to the antidegradation policy in accordance with WAC 173-200-030 (Antidegradation Policy).

(3) Stormwater Disposal.

(a) Stormwater runoff shall be controlled and treated in accordance with best management practices and facility design standards as identified and defined in the current Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington and the stormwater provisions contained in Chapter 18.30 JCC. To the extent practicable, stormwater should be managed in a way that facilitates aquifer recharge.

(b) To help prevent seawater from intruding landward into aquifers, all new development activity on Marrowstone Island and within one-quarter mile of any marine shoreline shall be required to infiltrate all stormwater runoff on site, except for those areas within the Port Ludlow Drainage District. The administrator will consider requests for exceptions to this policy on a case-by-case basis; provided a critical aquifer recharge area report that complies with all the requirements of JCC 18.22.930 demonstrates the project does not pose a threat of seawater intruding landward into aquifers.

(4) Golf Courses and Other Turf Cultivation.

(a) Golf courses shall be developed and operated in a manner consistent with the most current edition of “Best Management Practices for Golf Course Development and Operation,” King County department of development and environmental services.

(b) Recreational and institutional facilities (e.g., parks and schools) with extensive areas of cultivated turf shall be operated in a manner consistent with portions of the aforementioned best management practices pertaining to fertilizer and pesticide use, storage, and disposal. In seawater intrusion protection zones, golf courses and other turf cultivation using groundwater for irrigation shall be prohibited, unless the water source is located outside of seawater intrusion protection zones or in an approved public water supply.

(5) Above-Ground and Underground Storage Tanks.

(a) Above-ground and underground storage tanks shall be fabricated, constructed, installed, used and operated in a manner which prevents the release of hazardous substances to the ground or groundwater and is consistent with the Washington Department of Ecology’s standards for construction and installation under Chapter 173-360A WAC.

(b) Above-ground storage tanks intended to hold or store hazardous substances shall be provided with an impervious containment system, enclosing and underlying the tank; or ensure that other measures are undertaken as prescribed by the Uniform Fire Code which provide an equivalent measure of protection.

(c) Underground storage tanks intended to store hazardous substances shall provide an impervious tertiary containment system underlying the tanks or ensure that other measures are undertaken which provide an equivalent measure of protection.

(d) When required under this section, an impervious containment system must be durable, compatible with the substance it is meant to contain, and large enough to contain a volume equal to 10 percent of all containers, or 110 percent of the largest single container, whichever is greater.

(6) Mining and Quarrying. For mining and quarrying, required performance standards with groundwater protection best management practices pertaining to operation, closure, and the operation of gravel screening, gravel crushing, cement concrete batch plants, and asphalt concrete batch plants, where allowed, are contained in Chapters 18.20 and 18.30 JCC.

(7) Hazardous Substances. Activities that generate, handle, store, or use hazardous substances, which are not prohibited outright under this code, and which are conditionally exempt from regulation by the Washington Department of Ecology under WAC 173-303-100 (Dangerous Waste Criteria), or which generate, handle, store or use hazardous substances, shall be required to prepare and submit a hazardous substances management plan that demonstrates that the development will not have an adverse impact on groundwater quality. The hazardous substances management plan shall describe the following:

(a) How hazardous substance(s) will be managed in a manner consistent with Chapter 8.10 JCC and Chapter 173-303 WAC;

(b) Screening of any waste suspected of being a regulated dangerous waste as defined in JCC 8.10.100;

(c) Requirements for labeling of containers holding hazardous substances with the name of the hazardous substance(s) and the applicable material safety data sheets; and

(d) The secondary containment system to be used to prevent releases of hazardous substances to the ground, groundwater, and surface water.

The facility owner must update the hazardous materials management plan annually and provide the updated plan to the department on or before the next January 1st, after the plan is updated.

(8) Well Drilling, Subdivisions, and Building Permits in Seawater Intrusion Protection Zones (SIPZ).

(a) Well Drilling. The Washington Department of Ecology regulates well drilling pursuant to the Water Well Construction Act. Proposed wells, including those exempt from permitting requirements, must be sited at least 100 feet from “known or potential sources of contamination,” which include “sea-salt water intrusion areas” (WAC 173-160-171), unless a variance is obtained from the Washington Department of Ecology per WAC 173-160-106.

(b) Subdivisions. Applications for land division (Chapter 18.35 JCC) in coastal, at risk, and high risk SIPZ must include specific and conclusive proof of adequate supplies of potable water and the applicant must provide a special report that satisfies all the requirements or a hydrogeologic evaluation contained in JCC 18.22.930(2)(b) that demonstrates that the creation of new lots and corresponding use of water will not cause degradation of the aquifer by seawater intrusion. A hydrogeologic evaluation shall not be required when the applicant demonstrates that public water is available for the entire project.

(c) Marrowstone Island. Due to documented seawater intrusion on Marrowstone Island and the existence of undeveloped lots of record, the department, in consultation with Jefferson County environmental public health will only allow land division on the island if public water connections are provided to each lot of a proposed project and all existing wells within the project site are decommissioned. No permit shall be approved if a public water connection to each lot of a proposed project cannot be provided.

(d) Building Permits.

(i) Evidence of potable water may be an individual well, connection to a public water system, or an alternative system. Whatever method is selected, the regulatory and operational standards for that method must be met and the department will work in consultation with the Jefferson County public health department. Identification of well interference problems and impairment to senior rights is the responsibility of the Washington Department of Ecology. If the possibility of a problem is suspected, the local permitting authority should contact the Washington Department of Ecology, as required by RCW 19.27.097.

(ii) All types of building permits that require proof of potable water use, as per RCW 19.27.097, are subject to this article.

(e) Voluntary and mandatory measures of the Jefferson County seawater intrusion policy apply to applications within the coastal, at risk, and high risk SIPZ, and upon Marrowstone Island, in the following manner, in addition to all existing applicable health codes:

(i) Coastal SIPZ.

(A) Voluntary Actions. Voluntary actions may include but are not limited to:

(I) Water conservation measures;

(II) Ongoing well monitoring for chloride concentration; and

(III) Submittal of data to the county.

(B) Mandatory Actions.

(I) For proof of potable water on a building permit application, applicant must utilize DOH-approved public water system if available;

(II) If public water is unavailable, meaning the subject property is not within a current water service area, an individual well may be used as proof of potable water subject to the following requirements:

1. Chloride concentration of a laboratory-certified well water sample submitted with building permit application; and

2. Installation of source-totalizing meter (flow);

(III) If public water is unavailable, a qualifying alternative system may be used as proof of potable water.

(ii) At Risk SIPZ.

(A) Voluntary Actions.

(I) Water conservation measures.

(B) Mandatory Actions.

(I) For proof of potable water on a building permit application, the applicant must utilize a Washington Department of Health-approved public water system if available;

(II) If public water is unavailable, meaning the subject property is not within a current water service area, an individual well may be used as proof of potable water subject to the following requirements:

1. Chloride concentration of a laboratory-certified well water sample submitted with building permit application;

2. Installation of a source-totalizing meter (flow); and

(III) If public water is unavailable, a qualifying alternative system may be used as proof of potable water.

(iii) High Risk SIPZ.

(A) Mandatory Actions.

(I) Water conservation measures;

(II) For proof of potable water on a building permit application, applicant must utilize a Washington Department of Health-approved public water system if available;

(III) If public water is unavailable, meaning the subject property is not within a current water service area, an individual well may only be used as proof of potable water subject to the following requirements:

1. Variance from the WAC Title 173 standards granted by the Washington Department of Ecology per WAC 173-160-106 for a new groundwater well within 100 feet of a sea-salt water intrusion area per WAC 173-160-171 (i.e., within 100 feet of a groundwater source showing chloride concentrations above 200 mg/L or within 100 feet of the marine shoreline) and with the submittal of a hydrogeologic evaluation that satisfies all the requirements or a hydrogeologic evaluation contained in JCC 18.22.930(2)(b);

2. For an existing groundwater well not subject to a Washington Department of Ecology variance, the applicant must provide a hydrogeologic evaluation that satisfies all the requirements or a hydrogeologic evaluation contained in JCC 18.22.930(2)(b), which shall be transmitted to the Washington Department of Ecology for review, demonstrating that use of the well does not cause any detrimental interference with existing water rights and is not detrimental to the public interest;

3. Chloride concentration of a laboratory-certified well water sample submitted with building permit application;

4. If chloride concentration exceeds 250 mg/L in a water sample submitted for a building permit, then the property owner shall be required to record a restrictive covenant that indicates a chloride reading exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency secondary standard (250 mg/L) under the National Secondary Drinking Water Regulations;

5. Installation of a source-totalizing meter flow;

6. Ongoing well monitoring for chloride concentration; and

7. Submittal of flow and chloride data to the county per monitoring program; and

(IV) If public water is unavailable, a qualifying alternative system may be used as proof of potable water.

(iv) Marrowstone Island. Since Marrowstone Island is a sole source aquifer and a high risk SIPZ, and the island is served by public water, proof of potable water connection to the public water supply will be required for all lots in the project.

(9) Mitigating Conditions. The administrator may require additional mitigating conditions, as needed to provide protection to all critical aquifer recharge areas and to ensure that the subject land or water use action will not pose a risk of significant adverse groundwater quality impacts. The determination of significant adverse groundwater quality impacts will be based on the antidegradation policy included in Chapter 173-200 WAC.

(10) Results of Department’s Review of a Critical Aquifer Recharge Area Report, a Hydrogeologic Evaluation or a Hazardous Substances Management Plan. The department shall review a critical aquifer recharge area report, a hydrogeologic evaluation or a hazardous substances management plan and either:

(a) Accept the critical aquifer recharge area report, the hydrogeologic evaluation or the hazardous substances management plan and approve the application; or

(b) Reject the critical aquifer recharge area report, the hydrogeologic evaluation or the hazardous substances management plan and require revisions or additional information.

(11) Authority for Denial. In all critical aquifer recharge areas, the administrator may deny approval if the protection standards contained in this section or added mitigating conditions cannot prevent significant adverse groundwater quality impacts. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

Article IV. Frequently Flooded Areas

18.22.400 Purpose.

The purpose of this article is to protect the public health, safety and welfare from harm caused by flooding and to establish protection standards for these areas. It is the intent of this article to prevent damage or loss to both public and private property. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.410 Classification/designation.

Frequently flooded areas are lands in the floodplain subject to at least a one percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year, or within areas subject to flooding due to high groundwater. These areas include, but are not limited to, streams, rivers, lakes, coastal areas, wetlands, and areas where high groundwater forms ponds on the ground surface. Frequently flooded areas perform important hydrologic functions and may present a risk to persons and property. Flood hazard areas are depicted on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). FIRMs display areas of concern including areas that fall within the 100-year floodplain designations of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Flood Insurance Program. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.420 Applicability.

These standards apply to any development within frequently flooded areas, unless the proposed activity meets any of the exemptions listed in Chapter 15.15 JCC. The flood damage prevention ordinance (Chapter 15.15 JCC) conforms with the intent of the minimum guidelines (WAC 365-190-110(1)) through directly considering the effects of flooding on human health and safety, together with effects on public facilities and services, through its protection standards. For purposes of this article, “development” is defined as any manmade change to improved or unimproved real estate, including but not limited to buildings or other structures, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations, storage of equipment or materials, subdivision of land, removal of more than five percent of the native vegetation on the property, or alteration of natural site characteristics. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.430 Protection standards – Incorporation by reference of Chapter 15.15 JCC and additional requirements.

This article incorporates by reference the classification, designation and protection provisions contained in the Jefferson County flood damage prevention ordinance (Chapter 15.15 JCC) with the following additions:

(1) Compliance with FIRMs. The FIRMs identified in the flood damage prevention ordinance (Chapter 15.15 JCC) shall be used to determine flood hazard areas for compliance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regulatory requirements. Such flood hazard areas shall be subject to the criteria of the flood damage prevention ordinance (Chapter 15.15 JCC).

(2) Compliance with National Marine Fisheries Service Biological Opinion. Development proposed within regulated frequently flooded areas and floodplains shall ensure no impacts to listed fish and wildlife habitat as required by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) September 22, 2008, final Biological Opinion (BiOp) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in Puget Sound (NMFS Tracking No.: 2006-00472 (or as amended by NMFS)).

(3) Habitat Assessment Requirements.

(a) A habitat assessment that meets all the requirements of JCC 18.22.940 shall be submitted to the department for review if any portion of the proposed project occurs within a special flood hazard area (floodplain), as mapped by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

(b) The administrator may request federal assistance in reviewing the submitted habitat assessment.

(c) The administrator may waive the requirement to submit a habitat assessment only if:

(i) The entire proposal meets one of the exemptions listed in Chapter 15.15 JCC and does not require a state hydraulic permit;

(ii) The proposal requires a federal permit that is reviewed by federal agencies responsible for ensuring compliance with the Endangered Species Act (this could include, but is not limited to, project actions covered by separate consultation under Section 4(d), 7, or 10 of the Endangered Species Act);

(iii) A habitat assessment previously has been prepared and the proposed project clearly fits within the nature and scope of that habitat assessment; or

(iv) If FEMA approves an alternate process for Jefferson County to demonstrate compliance with the Biological Opinion (such as a programmatic review), this department may waive the requirement to submit a habitat assessment. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

Article V. Geologically Hazardous Areas

18.22.500 Purpose.

The purpose of this article is to reduce risks to human life and safety and reduce the risk of damage to structures and property from geologic hazards, to allow for natural geologic processes supportive of forming and maintaining fish and wildlife habitat, and to regulate and inform land use and planning decisions. It is recognized that the elimination of all risk from geologic hazards is not feasible to achieve but the purpose of this article is to reduce the risk to acceptable levels. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.510 Classification/designation.

Geologically hazardous areas are areas that because of their susceptibility to erosion, sliding, earthquake, or other geological events, are not suited to siting commercial, residential, or industrial development consistent with public health or safety concerns. Unless specifically noted below, principal sources of geologically hazardous areas mapped information are the Washington Department of Natural Resources Geologic Hazard Maps (https://www.dnr.wa.gov/programs-and-services/geology/geologic-hazards/geologic-hazard-maps).

(1) The following are geologically hazardous areas and subject to the standards of this article when mapped as high or moderate geologically hazardous areas:

(a) Erosion hazard areas (as defined in JCC 18.10.050).

(b) Landslide hazard areas (as defined in JCC 18.10.120). Landslide hazard areas include any areas susceptible to landslide because of any combination of bedrock, soil, slope (gradient), slope aspect, structure, hydrology, or other factors, as follows:

(i) Areas of historic failures, such as:

(A) Areas delineated by United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service as having a significant limitation for building site development;

(B) Coastal areas mapped by the Washington Department of Ecology Coastal Atlas as unstable, unstable old slides, and unstable recent slides; or

(C) Areas designated and mapped as quaternary slumps, earthflows, mudflows, lahars, or landslide hazards by the Washington Department of Natural Resources or the United States Geological Survey.

(ii) Areas where all three of the following conditions occur:

(A) Slopes are steeper than 15 percent;

(B) Hillsides intersecting geologic contacts with a relatively permeable sediment overlying a relatively impermeable sediment or bedrock; and

(C) Spring or groundwater seepage.

(iii) Areas that have shown movement during the Holocene epoch (from 10,000 years ago to present) or have been underlain or covered by mass wastage debris of this epoch.

(iv) Areas with slopes that are parallel or subparallel to planes of weakness (such as bedding planes, joint systems, and fault planes) in subsurface materials.

(v) Areas with slopes having gradients steeper than 80 percent subject to rockfall during seismic shaking.

(vi) Areas that are potentially unstable as a result of rapid stream incision, stream bank erosion, and undercutting by wave action, including stream channel migration zones.

(vii) Areas that show evidence of, or are at risk from, snow avalanches.

(viii) Areas located in a canyon or on an active alluvial fan, presently or potentially subject to inundation by debris flows or catastrophic flooding.

(ix) Areas with a slope of 40 percent or steeper and with a vertical relief of 10 or more feet, except areas composed of bedrock.

(c) Seismic hazard areas (as defined in JCC 18.10.190).

(d) Channel migration zones (CMZs) (as defined in JCC 18.10.030).

(e) Seiche and landslide generated wave hazard areas (as defined in JCC 18.10.190).

(f) Tsunami hazard areas (as defined in JCC 18.10.200).

(g) Other geologic events, such as coal mine hazards and volcanic hazards, are not a known risk in Jefferson County, and are therefore not subject to review as part of the permitting process. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.520 Regulated activities.

(1) Any development activity or action requiring a project permit or any clearing within an erosion or landslide area shall:

(a) Comply with the requirements in an approved geotechnical report when one is required, including application of the largest buffer or building setback;

(b) Utilize best management practices (BMPs) and all known and available technology appropriate for compliance with this chapter and typical of industry standards;

(c) Prevent collection, concentration or discharge of stormwater or groundwater within an erosion or landslide hazard area and be in compliance with JCC 18.30.070, Stormwater management standards; and

(d) Minimize impervious surfaces and retain vegetation to minimize risk of erosion or landslide hazards.

(2) Any development activity or action requiring a project permit or any clearing within an erosion or landslide area shall not:

(a) Result in increased risk of property damage, death or injury;

(b) Cause or increase erosion or landslide hazard risk;

(c) Increase surface water discharge, sedimentation, slope instability, erosion or landslide potential to adjacent downstream and down-drift properties beyond predevelopment conditions;

(d) Adversely impact wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas or their buffers; or

(e) Be identified as a critical facility necessary to protect public health, safety and welfare. This includes, but is not limited to, schools, hospitals, police stations, fire departments and other emergency response facilities, nursing homes, and hazardous material storage or production. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.530 Protection standards.

(1) Clearing, Grading and Vegetation Removal.

(a) Minor pruning of vegetation for view enhancement may be allowed through consultation with the department. The thinning of limbs on individual trees is preferred to topping of trees for view corridors. Total buffer thinning shall not exceed 25 percent and no more than 30 percent of the live tree crowns shall be removed.

(b) Vegetation shall not be removed from a landslide hazard area, except for hazardous trees based on review by a qualified arborist or as otherwise provided for in a vegetation management and restoration plan.

(c) Seasonal Restrictions. Clearing and grading shall be limited to the period between May 1st and October 1st, unless the applicant provides an erosion and sedimentation control plan prepared by a professional engineer licensed in the state of Washington that specifically and realistically identifies methods of erosion control for wet weather conditions.

(d) Only the clearing necessary to install temporary erosion control measures will be allowed prior to clearing for roads and utilities construction.

(e) The faces of cut and fill slopes shall be protected to prevent erosion as required by the engineered erosion and sedimentation control plan.

(f) Clearing for roads and utilities shall be the minimum necessary and shall remain within marked construction limits.

(g) Clearing for overhead power lines shall be the minimum necessary for construction and will provide the required minimum clearances for the serving utility corridor.

(2) Existing Logging Roads. Where existing logging roads occur in geologically hazardous areas, a geological assessment may be required prior to use as a temporary haul road or permanent access road under a conversion or COHP forest practices application.

(3) The department may also require:

(a) Clustering to increase protection to geologically hazardous areas; or

(b) Enhancement of buffer vegetation to increase protection to geologically hazardous areas.

(4) The provisions in this section are in addition to those required in JCC 18.30.060, Grading and excavation standards, and JCC 18.30.070, Stormwater management standards.

(5) If there is a conflict between applicable published standards, the more restrictive protection requirement applies.

(6) Drainage and Erosion Control.

(a) An applicant submitting a project application shall also submit, and have approved, a stormwater site plan that meets all the requirements of JCC 18.30.070(4)(e), when the project application involves either of the following:

(i) The alteration of a high or moderately high geologically hazardous area or its critical area buffer; or

(ii) The creation of a new parcel within a high or moderately high geologically hazardous area; and

(b) Shall discuss, evaluate, and recommend methods to minimize sedimentation of adjacent properties during and after construction.

(c) Surface drainage shall not be directed across the face of a marine bluff that is mapped as high or moderate erodible or susceptible to landslide or debris flow. The applicant must demonstrate that the stormwater discharge cannot be accommodated on site or upland by evidence presented in a geological assessment as required by JCC 18.22.945, unless waived by the administrator. If drainage must be discharged from a bluff to adjacent waters, it shall be collected above the face of the bluff and directed to the water by tight line drain and provided with an energy dissipating device at the shoreline, above ordinary high water mark (OHWM).

(d) The applicant must clearly demonstrate in the geological assessment that stormwater quantity, quality, and flow path post-construction will be comparable to pre-construction conditions.

(7) Vegetation Retention. The following provisions regarding vegetation retention shall apply:

(a) During clearing for roadways and utilities, all trees and understory vegetation lying outside of approved construction limits shall be retained to the maximum extent practicable;

(b) Clearing limits, as shown on the approved site plan, shall be marked by orange construction barrier fencing to be installed prior to beginning any clearing, grading, or other land-disturbing activities;

(c) Vegetation within identified clearing limits may be removed upon permit issuance. All vegetation within the high or moderate geologically hazardous area or its critical area buffer, but outside the marked clearing limits, shall be retained. Cleared vegetation shall not be placed within a high or moderate geologically hazardous area unless it is used as part of a mitigation plan consistent with other critical area mitigation provisions, is reviewed by the geotechnical professional, and is approved by the administrator; and

(d) Within a high risk CMZ, vegetation removal shall not be allowed. Vegetation removal outside of a high risk CMZ shall not be reviewed under this article. Should this provision conflict with other vegetation retention requirements specified elsewhere within this title, the more restrictive protection requirement applies.

(8) Erosion and Landslide Hazard Development Standards.

(a) Development activities or actions requiring project permits or clearing shall not be allowed in landslide hazard areas unless a geotechnical report demonstrates that building within a landslide hazard area will provide protection commensurate to being located outside the landslide hazard area and meets the requirements of this section. This may include proposed mitigation measures.

(b) Top of Slope Building Setback. All development activities or actions that require project permits or clearing in erosion and landslide hazard areas shall provide native vegetation from the toe of the slope to 25 feet beyond the top of slope, with an additional minimum 15-foot building and impervious surface setback, unless otherwise allowed through a geologic assessment. The minimum building and setback shall be increased from the top of the slope as follows:

(i) For high landslide hazard areas, the setback shall be equal to the height of the slope (1:1 horizontal to vertical) plus the greater of one-third of the vertical slope height or 25 feet.

(ii) For moderate landslide hazard areas, the setback shall be 40 feet from the top of slope.

(9) Geotechnical Report for Toe of Slope Building Setback May Be Required. A geotechnical report may be required based on slope height and stability indicators.

(10) Larger Native Vegetation Width May Be Required. The department may require a larger native vegetation width than the standard buffer distance as determined above if any of the following are identified through the geological assessment process:

(a) The adjacent land is susceptible to severe erosion and erosion control measures will not effectively prevent adverse impacts;

(b) The area has a severe risk of slope failure or downslope stormwater drainage impacts; or

(c) The minimum native vegetation width or building setback requirement may be decreased if a geotechnical report demonstrates that a lesser distance, through design and engineering solutions, will adequately protect both the proposed development and the erosion or landslide hazard area. The department may decrease the setback when such a setback would result in a greater than 1:1 slope setback.

(11) Seismic Hazard Development Standards.

(a) Development activities or actions requiring a project permit occurring within 200 feet of a “high hazard” seismic hazard area may be allowed with an approved geotechnical report that confirms the site is suitable for the proposed development and addresses any fill or grading that has occurred on the subject parcel.

(b) Development activities or actions requiring a project permit within a seismic hazard area shall be in accordance with JCC Title 15.

(12) Reducing Buffer Widths. The administrator may reduce geologically hazardous area buffers as follows:

(a) Buffers may be reduced by up to 25 percent with a geotechnical report prepared by a geotechnical professional with a state stamp; provided, the geotechnical report identifies recommendations for preventing or minimizing risks post-development.

(b) All buffer reductions 25 percent or greater and all development within a high or moderate geologically hazardous area shall require a geotechnical report prepared by a geotechnical professional. The administrator may require a third-party review based on JCC 18.22.930 or the applicant enters into an indemnity and hold harmless agreement with the county that is approved by the county’s risk manager and the prosecuting attorney. If the administrator requires a third-party review of the geotechnical report, the administrator shall be responsible for identifying and transmitting the geotechnical report to the third-party reviewer.

(13) Increasing Buffer Widths. Buffer widths may be increased on a case-by-case basis, as determined by the administrator, to protect the functions and values of a geologically hazardous area and to reduce risks to public safety and welfare. Information that may be used to support this determination, includes but is not limited to:

(a) The landslide area is unstable and active.

(b) The adjacent land is susceptible to severe landslide or erosion, and erosion control measures will not effectively protect the proposed project from the risks posed by the landslide hazard area.

(c) The adjacent land has minimal vegetative cover.

(14) Landslide Hazard Areas – Additional Standards. The following activities may be allowed in active landslide hazard areas when all reasonable measures have been taken to minimize risks and other adverse effects associated with landslide hazards, and when the amount and degree of the alteration are limited to the minimum needed to accomplish the project purpose:

(a) The standards of subsection (1) of this section shall apply.

(b) Developments that will not increase the threat to the health or safety of people and will not increase potential for landslides on or off the site and meet the reasonable economic use exception in JCC 18.22.260.

(c) Utility lines and pipes that are above ground, properly anchored or designed so that they will continue to function in the event of a slope failure or movement of the underlying materials and will not increase the risk or consequences of static or seismic slope instability or result in a risk of mass wasting. Such utility lines may be permitted only when the applicant demonstrates that no other feasible alternative is available to serve the affected population.

(d) Access roads and trails that are engineered and built to standards that minimize the need for major repair or reconstruction beyond that which would be required in nonhazard areas. Access roads and trails may be permitted only if the applicant demonstrates that no other feasible alternative exists, including through the provisions of Chapter 8.24 RCW. If such access through critical areas is granted, exceptions or deviations from technical standards for width or other dimensions and specific construction standards to minimize impacts, including drainage and drainage maintenance plans, may be required.

(e) Stormwater conveyance through a properly designed stormwater pipe when no other stormwater conveyance alternative is available. The pipe shall be located above ground and be properly anchored or designed so that it will continue to function in the event of a slope failure or movement of the underlying materials and will not increase the risk or consequences of static or seismic slope instability or result in increased risk of mass wasting activity.

(15) Seismic Hazard Areas – Standards. Development may be allowed in seismic hazard areas when all of the following apply:

(a) The standards of subsection (1) of this section shall apply.

(b) Structures in seismic hazard areas shall conform to applicable analysis and design criteria of Chapter 18.15 JCC.

(c) Public roads, bridges, utilities, and trails shall be allowed when there are no feasible alternative locations, and geotechnical analysis and design are provided that minimize potential damage to roadway, bridge, and utility structures, and facilities will not be susceptible to damage from seismically induced ground deformation. Mitigation measures shall be designed in accordance with the most recent version of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Manual or another appropriate document.

(16) Tsunami Hazard Areas – Standards.

(a) The standards of subsection (1) of this section shall apply.

(b) For development within tsunami hazard areas the proposed development shall be designed to provide protection from the tsunami hazard that meets the projected hazard on the Washington Department of Natural Resources Tsunami Inundation Maps.

(c) For other low-lying coastal areas not included on the inundation maps, development shall be designed to provide protection for debris impact and an inundation as determined by current Washington Department of Natural Resource modeling, unless other measures can be shown to provide equal or greater protection. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.540 Required assessments and reports.

(1) Map Review. The Jefferson County geologically hazardous areas maps (erosion, landslide, and seismic) provide an indication of where potential geologically hazardous areas are located within the county. The department will complete a review of the map to determine if the proposed activity is located within a hazard area.

(2) When a Geological Assessment Is Required. A geological assessment shall be required when the proposed activity is located within a potential hazard area.

(3) Work Must Be Performed by a Geotechnical Professional. A geotechnical professional, as defined in JCC 18.10.070, shall complete a field investigation and geological assessment to determine whether or not the site for the proposed activity is affected by the geologic hazard, as provided in subsection (4) of this section.

(4) Geological Assessment Types. The geological assessment shall be submitted in the most applicable form as follows:

(a) A geological letter. When the geotechnical professional finds that no moderate or high hazard area exists within 200 feet of the site, a stamped letter may be submitted demonstrating those findings;

(b) A geological report. When the geotechnical professional finds that a moderate or high geologically hazardous area exists within 200 feet of the site, but will not impact the site or need engineering design recommendations;

(c) A geotechnical report. When the geotechnical professional finds that a moderate or high geologically hazardous area exists within 200 feet of the site, and will require engineering design recommendations or other mitigation measures necessary in order to construct or develop within the geologically hazardous area.

(5) The department shall review the geological assessment and either:

(a) Accept the geological assessment and approve the application; or

(b) Reject the geological assessment and require revisions or additional information. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.550 Recording and disclosure.

(1) The following information shall be included in a notice to title that must be signed, notarized, and recorded with the county auditor prior to permit issuance for development in a geologically hazardous area requiring a geotechnical report:

(a) An abstract and description of the specific types of risks identified in the geotechnical report;

(b) A statement that the owner(s) of the property understands and accepts the responsibility for the risks associated with developments on the property given the described condition, and agrees to inform future purchasers and other successors and assignees of the risks; and

(c) A statement that the owner(s) of the property acknowledge(s) that this chapter does not create liability on the part of Jefferson County or any officer or employee thereof for any damages that result from reliance on this chapter or any administrative decision lawfully made under this chapter.

(2) Expiration of Geotechnical Reports. Unless there are documented significant changes, modifications, or other geologic events to render an existing geotechnical report invalid, an existing report shall be considered valid. Validity shall be examined upon submittal of proposed developments or every five years, whichever is later.

(3) Geologically Hazardous Areas – Marking Limits. The limits (or outer extent) of a geologically hazardous area shall be marked on site as follows:

(a) High or moderately high geologically hazardous areas shall be identified and staked by a geotechnical professional. For landslide hazards, the top or toe of slope closest to the proposed activity shall be marked. For erosion hazards, seismic hazards, and high-risk channel migration zones, the extent of the geologically hazardous area closest to the proposed activity shall be staked on site.

(b) Stakes shall be installed and marked as necessary to clearly identify the geologically hazardous areas present; provided, the distance between each of the stakes shall not exceed 50 feet.

(c) Staked limits of the geologically hazardous area shall remain on site based on the type of application, as follows:

(i) Stakes for building or septic applications shall remain in place until a final building certificate of occupancy for a building permit or a final for a septic permit is issued.

(ii) Staking for a subdivision, a planned rural residential development, a binding site plan, or a rezone shall remain in place until a final county approval is issued. If, at the time of subsequent building, septic, or other land use application, the stakes are no longer in place, the administrator may require restaking of the geologically hazardous area by the project geotechnical professional.

(iii) Staking for any other application requiring land use review shall remain in place until the department of community development has made a site visit to review the staking relative to property boundaries and proposed activities, as shown on a submitted site plan.

(d) The staked location of the on-site geologically hazardous areas shall be shown on a site plan submitted with an application.

(e) If more than one geologically hazardous area is present, only the most restrictive geologically hazardous area (area closest to the proposed activity) shall be staked by the geotechnical professional.

(4) Buffer Marking. The location of the outer extent of geologically hazardous area buffers shall be marked in the field as follows:

(a) Geologically hazardous areas and buffers shall be shown on a site plan submitted with an application.

(b) Geologically hazardous area buffers shall be staked on site prior to beginning any clearing, grading, or other land-disturbing activities. The administrator may waive this requirement if all development activities are outside of the geologically hazardous area buffer.

(c) The administrator may require signs be posted at the buffer edge if the proposed activity is commercial or industrial, or if the proposed activity is proposed on public lands. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

Article VI. Fish and Wildlife Habitat Conservation Areas (FWHCAs)

18.22.600 Purpose.

The purposes of this article are to:

(1) Protect, restore, and maintain native fish and wildlife populations by protecting and conserving fish and wildlife habitat and protecting the ecological processes, functions and values, and biodiversity that sustain these resources.

(2) Protect valuable aquatic and terrestrial habitats, including lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams and their associated riparian areas, corridors for state or federally listed species and the ecosystem processes on which these areas depend.

(3) Regulate development so that isolated populations of species are not created and habitat degradation and fragmentation are minimized.

(4) Maintain the natural geographic distribution, connectivity, and quality of fish and wildlife habitat and ensure no net loss of such important habitats, including net losses through cumulative impacts. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.610 Classification/designation.

Fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas (FWHCAs) are areas that serve a critical role in sustaining needed habitats and species for the functional integrity of the ecosystem, and which, if altered, may reduce the likelihood that the species will persist over the long term. FWHCAs include those areas identified as being of critical importance to the maintenance of endangered, threatened, or sensitive species of fish, wildlife or plants, or designated habitats and species of local importance.

(1) The following are designated as fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas:

(a) Areas where federally listed species (endangered and threatened) and state-listed species (endangered, threatened, and sensitive species) have a primary association.

(b) Rivers and streams not otherwise addressed under Washington State Forest Practices regulations (Chapter 76.09 RCW and WAC Title 222).

(c) Commercial and recreational shellfish areas.

(d) Kelp and eelgrass beds.

(e) Surf smelt, Pacific herring, and Pacific sand lance, and other forage fish spawning areas.

(f) Naturally occurring ponds less than 20 acres, including submerged aquatic beds that provide fish and wildlife habitat.

(g) Lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers planted with game fish by a governmental or tribal entity.

(h) State natural area preserves, natural resource conservation areas, and state wildlife areas.

(i) Species and habitats of local importance designated pursuant to the process delineated in Article IX (Special Reports) of this chapter.

(2) Designated fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas that are within shoreline jurisdiction are regulated under the shoreline master program in Chapter 18.25 JCC, and in circumstances where this chapter conflicts with the shoreline master program, the provisions of the shoreline master program shall prevail. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.620 Regulated activities.

Any land use or development activity that is subject to a development permit or approval requirements of this code shall be subject to the provisions of this article. These include, but are not limited to, the following activities and, in certain circumstances, activity allowances, that are directly undertaken or originate in a FWHCA, unless otherwise exempted under JCC 18.22.230.

(1) Stream Crossings. Any private or public road expansion or construction which is proposed and must cross streams classified within this article shall comply with the following minimum development standards:

(a) The design of stream crossings shall meet the requirements of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Fish passage shall be provided if necessary to address manmade obstructions on site. Other alternatives may be allowed upon a showing that, for the site under review, the alternatives would be less disruptive to the habitat or that the necessary building foundations were not feasible.

(b) Crossings shall not occur in salmonid spawning areas unless no other reasonable crossing site exists;

(c) Bridge piers or abutments may be allowed either within the floodway or between the ordinary high water marks, provided no other reasonable alternative placement exists;

(d) Crossings shall serve multiple properties whenever possible; and

(e) Where there is no reasonable alternative to providing a culvert, the culvert shall be the minimum length necessary to accommodate the permitted activity.

(2) Utilities. Placement of utilities within designated fish and wildlife habitat areas may be allowed pursuant to the following standards:

(a) Construction of utilities may be permitted in FWHCAs when no practicable or reasonable alternative location is available and the utility corridor does not cause or increase habitat fragmentation for state or federally listed species and meets the requirements for installation, replacement of vegetation and maintenance outlined below. Utilities are encouraged to follow existing or permitted roads where possible.

(b) Construction of sewer lines or on-site sewage systems may be permitted in FWHCA buffers when it can be demonstrated that it is necessary to meet state or local health code requirements; that there are no other practicable alternatives available; and construction meets the requirements of this article. Joint use of the sewer utility corridor by other utilities may be allowed.

(c) New utility corridors shall not be allowed in FWHCAs with known locations of federal- or state-listed endangered, threatened, or sensitive species, except in those circumstances where an approved habitat management plan is in place.

(d) Utility corridor construction and maintenance shall protect the environment of fish and wildlife habitat areas.

(i) New utility corridors shall be aligned when possible to avoid cutting trees greater than 12 inches in diameter at breast height (four and one-half feet) measured on the uphill side.

(ii) New utility corridors shall be revegetated with appropriate native vegetation at not less than preconstruction vegetation densities or greater, immediately upon completion of construction or as soon thereafter as possible due to seasonal growing constraints. The utility shall ensure that such vegetation survives for a three-year period.

(e) Utility towers should be painted with brush, pad or roller and should not be sandblasted or spray-painted, nor shall lead-based paints be used.

(f) Utilities should follow best management practices for avian protection.

(3) Bank Stabilization.

(a) A stream channel and bank, bluff, and shoreline may be stabilized when naturally occurring earth movement threatens existing legal structures, public improvements, unique natural resources, public health, safety or welfare, or the only feasible access to property, and, in the case of streams, when such stabilization results in maintenance of fish habitat or improved water quality, as demonstrated through a habitat management plan or equivalent study or assessment.

(b) Bluff, bank and shoreline stabilization shall follow the standards of the Jefferson County shoreline master program, geologically hazardous areas provision in this chapter, and the flood damage prevention ordinance.

(4) Gravel mining.

(5) Forest practices, Class IV general and conversion option harvest plans.

(6) Road/Street Expansion and New Construction. Any private or public road or street expansion or construction may be allowed in a FWHCA provided it complies with the following minimum development standards:

(a) No other reasonable or practicable alternative exists and the proposed road or street serves multiple properties whenever possible;

(b) Public and private roads are encouraged to provide for other purposes, such as utility crossings, pedestrian or bicycle easements, viewing points, etc.; and

(c) The road or street construction is the minimum necessary, as required by the department of public works’ guidelines. Minimum necessary provisions may include projected level of service requirements.

(7) Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Trails Construction. Activities and improvements that do not significantly affect the function of the FWHCA (including viewing structures, outdoor scientific or interpretive facilities, trails, hunting blinds, etc.) may be permitted in FWHCAs.

(a) Trails and other facilities shall, to the extent feasible, be placed on existing road grades, utility corridors, or other previously disturbed areas;

(b) Trails and other facilities shall be planned to minimize removal of trees, shrubs, snags, and important wildlife habitat;

(c) Viewing platforms, interpretive centers, benches, and access to them, shall be designed and located to minimize impacts to wildlife, fish, or their habitat; or

(d) Trails, in general, shall be set back from streams so that there will be minimal impact to the stream from trail use or maintenance. Trails shall be constructed with pervious surfaces when feasible and trails within FWHCAs are not intended to be used by motorized vehicles.

(8) Chemical application or storage.

(9) Land division, land use permits and land alteration (such as excavation, dredging, grading, or filling).

(10) Modification of hydrologic regime or conditions (including placement of obstructions or impediments to natural water flow or movement).

(11) Agricultural activities – see Article VIII of this chapter, JCC 18.22.800.

(12) Vegetation removal or alteration (could include but is not limited to clearing, harvesting, shading, intentional burning, use of herbicides/pesticides, or planting vegetation that alters the character of the regulated area; provided, the activity is not exempt under JCC 18.22.230). Minor pruning may be allowed provided it is consistent with JCC 18.22.530(1)(a) and (b).

(13) Relocation of streams, or portions of streams, may be allowed when there is no other feasible alternative and when the relocation will result in equal or better habitat and water quality and quantity, and will not diminish the flow capacity of the stream or other natural stream processes; provided, the relocation meets state hydraulic project approval requirements and that relocation of shoreline streams shall be prohibited unless the relocation has been identified formally by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as essential for fish and wildlife habitat enhancement or identified in watershed planning documents prepared and adopted pursuant to Chapter 90.82 RCW. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.630 Protection standards.

(1) General. Application for a project on a parcel of real property containing a designated FWHCA shall adhere to the requirements in this section.

(2) Drainage and Erosion Control. In addition to complying with the stormwater requirements of Chapter 18.30 JCC, the applicant must clearly show that stormwater quantity, quality, and flow path post-construction will be comparable to pre-construction conditions.

(3) Grading. An applicant submitting a project application shall also submit, and have approved, a grading plan, as specified in Chapter 18.30 JCC.

(4) Vegetation Retention. The following provisions regarding vegetation retention shall apply:

(a) Vegetation within FHWCAs or buffers shall be retained to the extent practicable. Unless exempt under this chapter, vegetation removal or alteration of a FWHCA or a buffer shall require review and approval by the department.

(b) Altering the habitat conditions of FWHCAs or buffers without prior review and approval by the department is prohibited.

(c) All trees and understory vegetation lying outside of road rights-of-way and utility easements shall be retained (except for hazard trees) during maintenance clearing of rights-of-way for roadways and utilities; provided, understory vegetation damaged during approved clearing operations may be pruned.

(d) Damage to vegetation retained during initial clearing activities shall be minimized by directional felling of trees to avoid critical areas and vegetation to be retained.

(5) Buffers – Standard Requirements. The administrator shall have the authority to require buffers from the edges of all FWHCAs in accordance with the following:

(a) Buffers Generally.

(i) Buffers shall be established for activities adjacent to FWHCAs as necessary to protect the integrity, functions, and values of the resource, consistent with the requirements in Tables 18.22.630(1) and 18.22.630(2) of this section.

(ii) A building setback line of five feet is required from the edge of any buffer area; however, nonstructural improvements such as septic drain fields may be located within setback areas and buffers.

(iii) Utilities including sewer lines and on-site sewage systems may be permitted in FWHCA buffers only when no practicable or reasonable alternative location is available.

(iv) Buffers shall be retained in their natural condition; however, minor pruning of vegetation to enhance views or provide access may be permitted as long as the function and character of the buffer are not diminished.

(v) Lighting shall be directed away from the FWHCA.

(vi) The administrator shall have the authority to increase a buffer width, if supported by appropriate documentation showing the increase is needed to protect the functions and values of the FWHCA.

(vii) The administrator shall require signs be posted at the buffer edge if the proposed activity is commercial or industrial, or if the activity is proposed on public lands.

(b) Prescriptive FWHCA Buffers.

(i) The standard buffer widths required by this article are considered to be the minimum required to protect the FWHCA/stream functions and values at the time of the proposed activity. When a buffer lacks adequate vegetation to protect critical area functions, the administrator may require additional documentation before allowing a proposal for buffer reduction or buffer averaging.

(ii) The standard buffer shall be measured landward horizontally on both sides of the stream from the ordinary high water mark (OHWM) as identified in the field. Nevertheless, the required buffer shall include any adjacent regulated wetland(s), landslide hazard areas or erosion hazard areas and required buffers but shall not be extended across paved roads or other lawfully established structures or hardened surfaces. The following standard buffer width requirements are established; provided, portions of streams that flow underground may be exempt from these buffer standards at the administrator’s discretion when it can be demonstrated that no adverse effects on aquatic species will occur.

Table 18.22.630(1): Stream Buffers* 

Stream Type

Buffer Requirement

Type “S” – Shoreline Streams

150 feet

Type “F” – Fish Bearing Streams

150 feet

Type “Np”– Non-Fish Bearing Perennial Streams

75 feet

Type “Ns” – Non-Fish Bearing Seasonal Streams greater than or equal to 20% grade

75 feet

Type “Ns” – Non-Fish Bearing Seasonal Streams less than 20% grade

50 feet

*Note:

(a) The buffers above shall apply to culverted streams.

(b) The buffers above shall not apply to lawfully established piped streams. The burden of proof is on the applicant to show that the pipe was lawfully established; failure to demonstrate compliance with this requirement shall result in buffers being required.

(c) Stream type shall be determined using the criteria in WAC 222-16-030, or as amended.

(iii) Buffers for Other FWHCAs. The administrator shall determine appropriate buffer widths for other FWHCAs based on the best available information. Buffer widths for nonstream habitat conservation areas shall be as follows:

 

Table 18.22.630(2): Buffers for Other FWHCAs 

FWHCA Type

Buffer Requirement

Areas where federally listed (endangered and threatened) species or state-listed (endangered, threatened, and sensitive) species have a primary association

Buffers shall be 150 feet; provided, local and site specific factors shall be taken into consideration and the buffer width based on the best available information concerning the species/habitat(s) in question or the opinions and recommendations of a qualified professional with appropriate expertise.

Commercial and Recreational Shellfish Areas

Buffers shall extend 150 feet landward from ordinary high water mark of the marine shore.

Kelp and Eelgrass Beds

Buffers apply to areas where native kelp and eelgrass species occur only, and buffers shall extend 22 feet from each patch. There is no buffer for nonnative kelp and eelgrass beds.

Surf Smelt, Pacific Herring, and Pacific Sand Lance Spawning Areas

Buffers shall extend 150 feet landward from ordinary high water mark of the marine shore.

Natural Ponds and Lakes (along with any submerged aquatic beds serving as fish or wildlife habitat)

Ponds under 20 acres – buffers shall extend 50 feet from the ordinary high water mark.

Lakes 20 acres and larger – buffers shall extend 100 feet from the ordinary high water mark; provided, where wetlands are associated with the shoreline, the wetland buffer requirements shall also apply.

Natural Area Preserves Natural Resource Conservation Areas

Buffers shall not be required adjacent to these areas. These areas are assumed to encompass the land required for species preservation.

Game Fish Planted by a Governmental or Tribal Agency (lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers)

Ponds under 20 acres – buffers shall extend 50 feet from the ordinary high water mark.

Lakes 20 acres and larger – buffers shall extend 100 feet from the ordinary high water mark; provided, where wetlands are associated with the shoreline, the wetland buffer requirements shall also apply.

Streams and rivers – see Table 18.22.630(1).

Designated Habitats of Local Importance

The need for and dimensions of buffers for other locally important species or habitats shall be determined on a case-by-case basis.

[Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.640 Buffer reductions and averaging.

(1) The administrator shall have the authority to reduce buffer widths on a case-by-case basis; provided, the specific standards for avoidance and minimization in JCC 18.22.660 shall apply, and when the applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the administrator that all of the following criteria are met:

(a) The buffer reduction shall not adversely affect the habitat functions and values of the adjacent FWHCA or other critical area.

(b) The buffer shall not be reduced to less than 75 percent of the standard buffer, unless it can be demonstrated through a special report prepared by a qualified professional that there will be no net loss of FWHCA functions or values.

(c) The slopes adjacent to the FWHCA within the buffer area are stable and the gradient does not exceed 30 percent.

(2) The administrator shall have the authority to average buffer widths on a case-by case basis; provided, the specific standards for avoidance and minimization in JCC 18.22.660 shall apply, and when the applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the administrator that all the following criteria are met:

(a) The total area contained in the buffer area after averaging is no less than that which would be contained within the standard buffer and all increases in buffer dimension are parallel to the FWHCA.

(b) The buffer averaging does not reduce the functions or values of the FWHCA or riparian habitat, or the buffer averaging, in conjunction with vegetation enhancement, increases the habitat function.

(c) The buffer averaging is necessary due to site constraints caused by existing physical characteristics such as slope, soils, or vegetation.

(d) The buffer width averaging does not reduce the buffer to less than 75 percent of the standard width or 50 percent for single-family residential development.

(e) The slopes adjacent to the FWHCA within the buffer area are stable and the gradient does not exceed 30 percent.

(f) Buffer averaging shall not be allowed if FWHCA buffers are reduced.

(3) The limits of clearing for the proposed development or use shall be shown on the site plan relative to the FWHCA and the buffer.

(4) In the case of short plat, long plat, binding site plan, and site plan approvals under this code, the applicant shall include on the face of any such instrument the boundary of the FWHCA.

(5) The applicant may also choose to dedicate the buffer through a conservation easement or deed restriction that shall be recorded with the Jefferson County auditor. Such easements or restrictions shall, however, use the forms approved by the prosecuting attorney. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.650 Habitat management reports – When required.

(1) When a development, use, or activity is proposed on lands designated as a fish and wildlife habitat conservation area or a buffer, a habitat evaluation may be required. An on-site habitat evaluation determines if FWHCAs or buffers occur in the project area.

(2) If the proposed use, development, or activity occurs in marine water, a dive survey shall be required to determine if any FWHCA is present in the project area and if any FWHCA has the potential to be affected by the proposal.

(3) Evaluations shall be conducted pursuant to the special report requirements found in Article IX (Special Reports) of this chapter.

(4) Types of Reports. When required by this section, an applicant shall submit a report documenting the results of the habitat evaluation for county review and approval. Based on the results of the site evaluation, a report shall be prepared by a qualified professional and either be:

(a) Habitat Reconnaissance Letter. This type of report shall be used if the field evaluation determines that no regulated fish and wildlife habitat conservation area or buffer is present in the proposed project area, which includes those areas that may be temporarily affected by construction-related activities or would be within the limits of clearing for construction. Habitat reconnaissance letters shall be prepared by a wildlife biologist based on requirements presented in Article IX (Special Reports) of this chapter.

(b) Habitat Management Plan. This type of report shall be used if the field evaluation determines that any portion of the proposed project occurs within a regulated FWHCA or buffer, which includes those areas that may be temporarily affected by construction-related activities or would be within the limits of clearing for construction. This type of report shall be used if a proposed buffer reduction or buffer averaging does not exceed 25 percent of the standard buffer width, as shown in Tables 18.22.630(1) and (2). Habitat management plans shall be prepared by a wildlife biologist based on report requirements in Article IX (Special Reports) of this chapter.

(c) If the proposal cannot meet the mitigation or critical areas stewardship plan requirements of this chapter, a critical area variance or reasonable use exception in JCC 18.22.250 or 18.22.260 shall be followed and a habitat management plan shall be required. An applicant may pursue a financially bonded critical area stewardship plan (CASP) as applicable under JCC 18.22.965, provided the proposal can meet all CASP financial and other provisions.

(d) If a dive survey is required, the results of the survey shall be described in a report and supported by photos taken underwater. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.660 Mitigation.

(1) When Required. Mitigation is required for FWHCA buffer reductions greater than 25 percent but less than 50 percent of the standard buffer widths. Applications for FWHCA buffer reductions greater than 50 percent may pursue a financially bonded critical areas stewardship plan or be approved for buffer reductions greater than 50 percent through a hearing examiner variance or reasonable economic use exception in accordance with this chapter. All unavoidable impacts to FWHCA require mitigation.

(2) FWHCA Mitigation Sequencing. The overall goal shall be no net loss of functions, natural processes, or area within a FWHCA or a FWHCA buffer. All regulated development, uses, and activities in a FWHCA or an associated buffer shall be mitigated in the following order:

(a) Avoiding the impact altogether by not taking a certain action or parts of an action;

(b) Minimizing adverse impacts by limiting the degree or magnitude of the action and its implementation;

(c) Rectifying the adverse impact by repairing, rehabilitating, or restoring the affected environment to the historical condition or the condition existing at the time of the initiation of a project;

(d) Reducing or eliminating the adverse impact over time by preservation and maintenance operation during the life of the action;

(e) Compensating for the adverse impact by replacing, enhancing, or providing substitute resources or environments;

(f) Monitoring the required compensation and taking appropriate corrective measures when necessary.

(3) Mitigation – Minimum Requirements and Types of Mitigation.

(a) Minimum mitigation requirements are as follows:

(i) Unavoidable impacts to a FWHCA area or buffer shall be mitigated with at least a 1:1 mitigation ratio. The administrator has the authority to require buffer mitigation at a higher ratio if the area to be adversely affected consists of intact native habitat.

(ii) Unavoidable impacts to a FWHCA shall require mitigation that fully compensates for all adverse effects to FWHCA functions, natural processes, and area.

(b) FWHCAs mitigation shall include the following options:

(i) On-Site Mitigation. The applicant may propose on-site mitigation if the mitigation proposal compensates for the loss or degradation to existing habitat.

(ii) Off-Site Mitigation. The applicant may propose off-site mitigation if:

(A) On-site mitigation is not feasible and the mitigation proposal compensates for the loss or degradation of existing habitats and species; or

(B) Off-site mitigation occurs within a connected habitat of a similar nature to the maximum extent practicable and provides better protection of the FWHCA or a significant ecological and functional improvement to the FWHCA; and

(C) There is a willing landowner that accepts the proposed mitigation; and

(D) A mitigation agreement/easement is recorded that specifies the individuals or parties responsible for implementing, maintaining, and monitoring the mitigation area.

(c) In-Lieu Fee Mitigation (ILF). As an alternative to permittee-responsible mitigation, an in-lieu fee program may be used to compensate for impacts or alterations to a fish and wildlife habitat conservation area or a buffer, if an established in-lieu fee program is available for the project area. Use of the in-lieu fee program to address impacts to fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas or buffers shall adhere to the in-lieu mitigation requirements in JCC 18.22.740(4). [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

Article VII. Wetlands

18.22.700 Purpose.

The purposes of this article are to:

(1) Recognize and protect the beneficial functions, values, and services performed by wetlands, which include, but are not limited to, providing food, breeding, nesting or rearing habitat for fish and wildlife; recharging and discharging groundwater; contributing to stream flow during low flow periods; stabilizing stream banks and shorelines; storing storm and flood waters to reduce flooding and erosion; and improving water quality through biofiltration, adsorption, retention and transformation of sediments, nutrients, and toxicants.

(2) Regulate land use to avoid adverse effects on wetlands and maintain the functions, services, and values of freshwater and estuarine wetlands throughout Jefferson County.

(3) Establish review procedures for development proposals in and adjacent to wetlands.

(4) Establish minimum standards for identifying and delineating wetlands. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.710 Classification/designation.

Wetlands are those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface water or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas. Wetlands may include those artificial wetlands intentionally created from nonwetland areas to mitigate conversion of wetlands.

Wetlands do not include those artificial wetlands intentionally created from nonwetland sites, including, but not limited to, irrigation and drainage ditches, grass-lined swales, canals, detention facilities, wastewater treatment facilities, farm ponds, and landscape amenities, or those wetlands created after July 1, 1990, that were unintentionally created as a result of the construction of a road, street, or highway.

(1) Wetland Delineation. Wetlands shall be delineated in accordance with the requirements of RCW 36.70A.175. Unless otherwise provided for in this chapter, all areas within the county determined to be wetlands in accordance with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Manual, 1987 Edition, and the Western Mountains, Valleys, and Coast Region Supplement (Version 2.0), 2010 or as revised, are hereby designated critical areas and are subject to the provisions of this article.

(2) Wetland Rating. Wetlands shall be rated based on categories that reflect the functions and values of each wetland. Wetland categories shall be based on the criteria provided in the Washington State Wetland Rating System for Western Washington, revised 2014, and as amended thereafter, as determined using the appropriate rating forms and associated figures contained in that publication. These categories are generally defined as follows:

(a) Category I. These wetlands are: (i) relatively undisturbed estuarine wetlands larger than one acre; (ii) wetlands of high conservation value that are identified by scientists of the Washington Natural Heritage Program/Washington Department of Natural Resources; (iii) bogs; (iv) mature and old-growth forested wetlands larger than one acre; (v) wetlands in coastal lagoons; (vi) wetlands that perform many functions well (scoring a total of 23 or more points). These wetlands: (i) represent unique or rare wetland types; (ii) are more sensitive to disturbance than most wetlands; (iii) are relatively undisturbed and contain ecological attributes that are impossible to replace within a human lifetime; or (iv) provide a high level of functions.

(b) Category II. These wetlands are: (i) estuarine wetlands smaller than one acre or disturbed estuarine wetlands larger than one acre or (ii) wetlands with a moderately high level of functions (scoring between 20 and 22 points total).

(c) Category III. These wetlands are (i) those with moderate level of functions (scoring between 16 and 19 points total) or (ii) those that can often be adequately replaced with a well-planned mitigation project. Wetlands scoring between 16 and 19 points generally have been disturbed in some ways and are often less diverse or more isolated from other natural resources in the landscape than Category II wetlands.

(d) Category IV. These wetlands have the lowest levels of functions (scoring 15 or fewer total points) and are often heavily disturbed. These wetlands likely could be replaced or improved in some cases. Replacement cannot be guaranteed in any specific case. These wetlands may provide some important functions, so they should be protected to some degree.

(3) Category IV wetlands that are non-federally regulated and not associated with a riparian area and less than one-tenth acre (4,356 square feet) shall be exempt from the requirements of this article when all of the following criteria are met:

(a) The wetland does not provide significant breeding habitat for native amphibian species. Breeding habitat is indicated by adequate and stable seasonal inundation, presence of thin-stemmed emergent vegetation, and clean water;

(b) The wetland does not have unique characteristics that would be difficult to replace through standard compensatory mitigation practices;

(c) The wetland is not located within a fish and wildlife habitat conservation area (FWHCA) or a FWHCA buffer as defined in Article VI of this chapter, and is not integral to the maintenance of habitat functions of an FWHCA;

(d) The wetland is not located within a floodplain;

(e) The wetland is not within the jurisdiction of the county shoreline master program;

(f) The wetland is not part of a mosaic of wetlands and uplands, as determined using the guidance provided in the wetland rating system; and

(g) The wetland does not score five or more points for habitat functions (based on the 2014 version of the Washington Department of Ecology Wetland Rating System, or as amended by Washington Department of Ecology).

In addition, mitigation in the form of enhancement or expansion of another part of the buffer should be considered in order to offset any expansion of a nonconforming use or structure.

Wetlands less than one-tenth acre that meet the above criteria shall not be filled or otherwise altered. This exemption does not allow for unmitigated alteration of wetland area or functions. Alteration of any wetland, including wetlands less than one-tenth of an acre, shall require mitigation.

(4) General. Application for a project on a parcel of real property containing a designated wetland shall adhere to the requirements in this section.

(a) Types of Wetland Evaluations. An applicant submitting an application for a development, use, or activity on lands determined to be wetland shall also submit, and have approved, a wetland evaluation prepared based on results of an on-site field investigation conducted by a qualified wetland professional using wetland delineation manuals specified in this section. The wetland evaluation shall be completed based on the following:

(i) Wetland Reconnaissance. This type of wetland assessment does not require flagging of wetland boundaries or completing a wetland rating form. It shall be used if no regulated wetland is present within 300 feet of the project area, which includes those areas that may be temporarily affected by construction-related activities or would be within the limits of construction. The wetland reconnaissance requires the wetland specialist to assess all areas within 300 feet of any proposed project component.

(ii) Wetland Delineation. This type of wetland assessment shall be used if any portion of the proposed project is within 300 feet of a regulated wetland, including those areas that may be temporarily affected by construction-related activities or are within the proposed limits of clearing. The on-site wetland boundary shall be flagged in the field and flags shall be numbered sequentially, and a wetland rating form shall be completed, as required by subsection (2) of this section, for each wetland identified. A wetland delineation report shall be prepared by the wetland specialist based on report requirements presented in Article IX (Special Reports) of this chapter.

(b) If the wetland is located off of the property involved in the project application and is inaccessible, the best available information shall be used to determine the wetland boundary and category. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.720 Regulated activities.

(1) Activities Subject to Regulation. Any land use or development activity shall be subject to the provisions of this article, including, but not limited to, the following activities that are directly undertaken or originate in a regulated wetland, unless exempted under JCC 18.22.230:

(a) The removal, excavation, grading, or dredging of material of any kind, including the construction of ponds and trails;

(b) The dumping or discharging of any material, or placement of any fill;

(c) The draining, flooding, or disturbing of the wetland water level or water table;

(d) The driving of pilings;

(e) The placing of anything that obstructs water movement, including but not limited to surface water flow, surface water runoff, or groundwater infiltration;

(f) The construction, reconstruction, or expansion of any structure;

(g) The destruction or alteration of wetland vegetation through clearing, harvesting, shading, intentional burning, application of herbicides or pesticides, or planting of vegetation that would alter existing wetland conditions; or

(h) The alteration or modification of water quality or water quantity.

(2) Requirements for Waiver for Single-Family Residence. The requirement for a wetland evaluation may be waived by the administrator for construction of a single-family residence on an existing lot of record if department staff or a qualified wetland evaluator determines that:

(a) Sufficient information exists for staff to estimate the boundaries of a wetland without a delineation; and

(b) The single-family residence and all accessory structures and uses are not proposed to be located within the distances identified in Table 18.22.730(1)(a) from the estimated wetland boundary. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.730 Protection standards.

The following activities may be permitted in wetlands or wetland buffers as specified when all reasonable measures have been taken to avoid adverse effects on wetland functions and values as documented through a wetland report prepared by a qualified wetland specialist. Compensatory mitigation is required for all adverse impacts to wetlands that cannot be avoided. To the maximum extent practicable, impacts to buffers shall be minimized and any disturbed buffer areas shall be immediately restored except as specifically allowed.

(1) Utility lines in Category II, III, and IV wetlands and their buffers or Category I wetland buffers when no feasible conveyance alternative is available shall be designed and constructed to minimize physical, hydrologic, and ecological impacts to the wetland, and meet all of the following:

(a) The utility line is located as far from the wetland edge or buffer as possible and in a manner that minimizes disturbance of soils and vegetation.

(b) Clearing, grading, and excavation activities are limited to the minimum necessary to install the utility line and the area is restored following utility installation.

(c) Buried utility lines shall be constructed in a manner that prevents adverse impacts to surface and subsurface drainage. This may include regrading to the approximate original contour or the use of trench plugs or other devices as needed to maintain hydrology.

(d) Best management practices are used in maintaining said utility corridors such that maintenance activities do not expand the corridor further into the critical area.

(2) Public roads or bridges in Category II, III, and IV wetlands and their buffers or Category I wetland buffers when no feasible alternative alignment is available and the road or bridge is designed and constructed to minimize physical, hydrologic, and ecological impacts to the wetland, including placement on elevated structures as an alternative to fill, where feasible.

(3) Access to private development sites may be permitted to cross Category II, III, or IV wetlands or their buffers, provided there are no feasible alternative alignments and measures are taken to maintain preconstruction hydrologic connectivity across the access road. Alternative access shall be pursued to the maximum extent feasible, including through the provisions of Chapter 8.24 RCW. Exceptions or deviations from technical standards for width or other dimensions, and specific construction standards to minimize impacts may be specified, including placement on elevated structures as an alternative to fill, if feasible.

(4) Low-impact, passive recreational activities may be constructed, such as pervious trails, nonpermanent wildlife watching blinds, and scientific or educational activities, and sports fishing or hunting, provided construction is limited to the outer 25 percent of the buffer. Trails within buffers shall be designed to minimize impacts to the wetland and shall not include any impervious surfaces and avoid removal of significant trees.

(5) Stormwater management within the buffers of only Category III and IV wetlands with habitat scores of 3 to 4 points are allowed provided the management techniques follow published guidelines for stormwater management in wetlands by the Washington Department of Ecology and are vegetation-lined swales designed for stormwater management or conveyance when topographic restraints determine there are no other upland alternative locations. Swales used for detention purposes may only be placed in the outer 25 percent of the buffer. Conveyance swales may be placed through the buffer, if necessary.

(6) Wetland Buffer Widths.

(a) The standard buffer shall be based on a combination wetland category, habitat function score (from the wetland rating form), and land use intensity. The intensity of the land use shall be determined in accordance with the definitions as listed below unless the technical administrator determines that a lesser level of impact is appropriate based on information provided by the applicant demonstrating that the proposed land use will have a lesser impact on the wetland than that contemplated under the buffer standard otherwise appropriate for the land use.

The administrator shall have the authority to require buffers from the edges of all wetlands, in addition to the building setback in accordance with the following.

(b) Wetland buffers shall be established to protect the integrity, functions, and values of the wetland. Wetland buffers shall be measured horizontally from a perpendicular line established by the wetland boundary based on the base buffer width identified in Table 18.22.730(1)(a). Buffers shall not include areas that are functionally and effectively disconnected from the wetland by an existing, legally established road or another substantial developed surface.

(c) The buffer standards required by this article presume the existence of a dense, multi-storied native vegetation community in the buffer adequate to protect the wetland functions and values. When a buffer lacks adequate vegetation, the technical administrator may increase the standard buffer, require buffer planting or enhancement, or deny a proposal for buffer reduction or buffer averaging.

(d) Standard buffer widths are shown in Table 18.22.730(1)(a). However, for Category I or II wetlands with “special characteristics” as determined and defined through the Washington Department of Ecology (2014) Wetland Rating System as it exists now or may be amended in the future (including estuarine, coastal lagoons, wetlands of high conservation value, bogs, forested, and interdunal wetlands), only buffers in the highest habitat score (8 to 9) group are applied.

(i) The prescribed buffer widths are based the wetland category (I, II, III, IV) as determined by the scoring results on the rating form for the wetland rating system and the expected level of impact of the proposed adjacent land use.

“High intensity land use” means land use that includes the following uses or activities: commercial, urban, industrial, institutional, retail sales, residential (more than one unit/acre), high intensity new agriculture (dairies, nurseries, greenhouses, raising and harvesting crops requiring annual tilling, raising and maintaining animals), high intensity recreation (golf courses, ball fields), hobby farms, and Class IV special forest practices, including the building of logging roads. A high intensity land use may become a moderate intensity land use where required measures to minimize impacts in Table 18.22.730(1)(b) are made part of the proposal and where a buffer condition is well vegetated per subsection (9) of this section criteria.

“Low intensity land use” means land use that includes the following uses or activities: forestry (cutting of trees only), low intensity open space (such as passive recreation and natural resources preservation), utility corridor without a maintenance road and little or no vegetation management and unpaved trails. Low intensity uses incorporate features in Table 18.22.730(1)(b) by the nature of their use.

“Moderate intensity land use” means land use that includes the following uses or activities: residential (one unit/gross acre or less), moderate intensity open space (parks), moderate intensity new agriculture (such as orchards and hay fields), utility corridor or right-of-way shared by several utilities and including access/maintenance roads and paved trails.

The administrator may determine, on the basis of detailed information from the applicant about the site conditions, scope, and intensity of the proposed development, that the proposed land use will have a lesser level of impact on the wetland than indicated by similar land uses on the list.

Table 18.22.730(1)(a). Standard Wetland Buffer Widths 

 

 

Land Use Intensity

Wetland Category

Habitat Function Score

High Impact Buffer Width (feet)

Moderate Impact Buffer Width (feet)

Low Impact Buffer Width (feet)

Category I

 

8 – 9

6 – 7

<3 – 5

300

150

100

225

110

75

150

75

50

Category II

 

8 – 9

6 – 7

<3 – 5

300

150

100

225

110

75

150

75

50

Category III

 

8 – 9

6 – 7

<3 – 5

300

150

80

225

110

60

150

75

50

Category IV

 

All

50

40

25

Table 18.22.730(1)(b). Required Measures to Minimize Impacts to Wetlands 

(All measures are required if applicable to a specific proposal)

Disturbance

Required Measures to Minimize Impacts

Lights

Direct lights away from wetland

Noise

Locate activity that generates noise away from wetland

If warranted, enhance existing buffer with native vegetation plantings adjacent to noise source

For activities that generate relatively continuous, potentially disruptive noise, such as certain heavy industry or mining, establish an additional 10 feet heavily vegetated buffer strip immediately adjacent to the outer wetland buffer

Toxic runoff

Route all new, untreated runoff away from wetland while ensuring wetland is not dewatered

Establish covenants limiting use of pesticides within 150 feet of wetland

Apply integrated pest management

Stormwater runoff

Retrofit stormwater detention and treatment for roads and existing adjacent development

Prevent channelized flow from lawns that directly enters the buffer

Use low intensity development techniques (for more information refer to the drainage ordinance and manual)

Change in water regime

Infiltrate or treat, detain, and disperse into buffer new runoff from impervious surfaces and new lawns

Pets and human disturbance

Use privacy fencing or plant dense vegetation to delineate buffer edge and to discourage disturbance using vegetation appropriate for the ecoregion

Place wetland and its buffer in a separate tract or protect with a conservation easement

Dust

Use best management practices to control dust

(7) Buffer Marking. Upon approval of the wetland evaluation, the location of the outer extent of the wetland buffer shall be identified as follows:

(a) The outer extent of the wetland buffer shall be flagged on site.

(b) In the case of short plat, long plat, and binding site plan, the applicant shall include on the face of any such plan the boundary of the wetland and its buffer.

(c) For all other approvals, the administrator shall have the authority to require a notice to title be recorded on the property by the property owner prior to any permits may be issued.

(d) The administrator shall require signs be posted at the buffer edge if the proposed activity is commercial or industrial, or if the activity is proposed on public lands.

(8) Buffers – Standard Requirements.

(a) The administrator shall have the authority to require buffers from the boundaries of all wetlands as established by this article, and in accordance with the following criteria:

(i) Wetland buffer widths shall be measured along a horizontal line perpendicular to the wetland boundary as marked in the field during delineation if required, or based upon site investigation, aerial photographs, or LiDAR images.

(ii) Functionally isolated buffer areas will be subject to wetland evaluation to determine protective functions such as whether or not the isolated buffer area is used by wildlife to gain access to the wetland. In instances where substantial wildlife use is documented, the area shall be retained as buffer despite being otherwise isolated or disconnected from the wetland.

(iii) When a buffer is on a slope steeper than 30 percent, or lacks adequately dense and diverse vegetation, the administrator may deny a proposal for buffer reduction or buffer averaging.

(9) Reducing Buffer Widths. Buffer widths may be reduced as depicted in Table 18.22.730(1)(c) when implementing listed impact-reducing measures on the adjacent land use per Table 18.22.730(1)(b) and requiring a protected vegetated corridor between the wetland and a priority habitat or relatively undisturbed area, if present. Other buffer reductions may be allowed upon submission of a wetland evaluation by a wetland specialist that demonstrates a buffer reduction does not adversely affect the existing functions and values of the wetland. The administrator shall have the authority to reduce the prescribed buffer widths listed in the Table 18.22.730(1)(a); provided, all of the following shall apply:

(a) The wetland buffer of a Category I or II wetland is not reduced to less than 75 percent of the standard buffer;

(b) The buffer of a Category III or IV wetland is not reduced to less than 75 percent of the required buffer, or 25 feet, whichever is greater;

(c) The applicant implements reasonable measures to reduce the adverse impacts of structures and appurtenances on the subject parcel as determined by the administrator; and

(d) Buffer area reduction shall be minimized to accommodate only those structures and appurtenances as approved by the administrator.

Table 18.22.730(1)(c).

Reduced Wetland Buffer Widths with Implementation of Table 18.22.730(1)(b) Measures 

Wetland Category

Habitat Function

High Impact Buffer Width

I

8 – 9

225

6 – 7

110

<3 – 5

75

II

8 – 9

225

6 – 7

110

<3 – 5

75

III

8 – 9

225

6 – 7

110

3 – 5

60

IV

all

40

(10) Averaging Buffer Widths. Upon submission of a wetland evaluation by a wetland specialist that demonstrates a buffer reduction does not adversely affect the existing functions and values of the wetland, the administrator shall have the authority to average wetland buffer widths on a case-by-case basis; provided, all of the following shall apply:

(a) The buffer averaging does not have any adverse impact on the functions and values of the wetland and provides greater protection of the wetland;

(b) The total area contained within the buffer after averaging is no less than that which would be contained within the prescribed buffer, and the buffer boundary remains more or less parallel to the wetland boundary;

(c) The most sensitive, or highest value, areas of the wetland have the widest buffer dimensions, and the buffer boundary considers variations in slope, soils, or vegetation to optimize the overall effectiveness of the buffer;

(d) The minimum buffer width is no less than 75 percent of the standard prescribed buffer width;

(e) The buffer width was not already the subject of a buffer reduction; and

(f) If area of buffer reduction is composed of native trees that are eight inches in diameter at breast height, the buffer reduction shall not be approved unless the area of buffer increase consists of native trees of a similar size, age, density, and species composition as that in the area to be reduced.

(11) Buffer reductions in excess of those allowed under buffer reductions or buffer averaging will be subject to a variance or reasonable economic use exception, as applicable under JCC 18.22.250 and 18.22.260 or may pursue a financially bonded critical areas stewardship plan (CASP), as applicable under JCC 18.22.965; provided, the proposal can meet all CASP financial and other provisions.

(12) Increasing Buffer Widths. Buffer widths may be increased on a case-by-case basis, as determined by the administrator, to protect the functions and values of a wetland. Supporting documents that may be used to support this determination include but are not limited to:

(a) The wetland is used by, or has habitat features that could be used by, state or federally listed threatened or endangered species;

(b) The wetland serves as nesting or foraging habitat for raptors or great blue herons;

(c) The area adjacent to the wetland is susceptible to erosion or landslide; or

(d) The area adjacent to the wetland has minimal deep rooting, native vegetation or the slopes are greater than 30 percent. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.740 Mitigation.

The overall goal of mitigation shall be no net loss of wetland function, value, and area.

(1) Mitigation Sequence. Mitigation includes avoiding, minimizing, or compensating for adverse impacts to regulated wetlands. When a proposed use or development activity poses potentially significant adverse impacts to a regulated wetland, the preferred sequence of mitigation as defined below shall be followed unless the applicant demonstrates that an overriding public benefit would warrant an exception to this preferred sequence.

(a) Avoiding the impact altogether by not taking a certain action or parts of an action;

(b) Minimizing adverse impacts by limiting the degree or magnitude of the action and its implementation;

(c) Rectifying the adverse impact by repairing, rehabilitating, or restoring the affected environment to the historical condition or the condition existing at the time of the initiation of a project;

(d) Reducing or eliminating the adverse impact over time by preservation and maintenance operation during the life of the action;

(e) Compensating for the adverse impact by replacing, enhancing, or providing substitute resources or environments;

(f) Monitoring the required compensation and taking appropriate corrective measures when necessary.

(2) Compensatory Wetland Mitigation – General Requirements. As a condition of any permit or other approval allowing alteration which results in the unavoidable loss or degradation of regulated wetlands, or as an enforcement action pursuant to Chapter 18.50 JCC, compensatory mitigation shall be required to offset impacts resulting from the actions of the applicant or any code violator.

(a) Except persons exempt under this article, any person who alters or proposes to alter regulated wetlands shall provide wetland mitigation that is equivalent to or larger than those altered in order to compensate for wetland losses. Table 18.22.740(1) specifies the mitigation ratios by category and type of mitigation that must be used for compensatory wetland mitigation:

Table 18.22.740(1)

Required Replacement Ratios for Compensatory Wetland Mitigation 

Category and Type of Wetland Impacts

Reestablishment or Creation

Rehabilitation Only1

Reestablishment or Creation (R/C) and Rehabilitation (RH)1

Reestablishment or Creation (R/C) and Enhancement (E)1

Enhancement Only1

All Category IV

1.5:1

3:1

1:1 R/C and 1:1 RH

1:1 R/C and 2:1 E

6:1

All Category III

2:1

4:1

1:1 R/C and 2:1 RH

1:1 R/C and 4:1 E

8:1

Category II Estuarine

Case-by-case

4:1

Rehabilitation of an estuarine wetland

Case-by-case

Case-by-case

Case-by-case

All Other Category II

3:1

6:1

1:1 R/C and 4:1 RH

1:1 R/C and 8:1 E

12:1

Category I Forested

6:1

12:1

1:1 R/C and 10:1 RH

1:1 R/C and 20:1 E

24:1

Category I Based on Score for Functions

4:1

8:1

1:1 R/C and 6:1 RH

1:1 R/C and 12:1 E

16:1

Category I Wetlands with High Conservation Value

Not considered possible2

6:1

Rehabilitation of a wetland with high conservation value

R/C not considered possible3

R/C not considered possible3

Case-by-case

Category I Coastal Lagoon

Not considered possible2

6:1

Rehabilitation of a coastal lagoon

R/C not considered possible3

R/C not considered possible3

Case-by-case

Category I Bog

Not considered possible2

6:1

Rehabilitation of a bog

R/C not considered possible3

R/C not considered possible3

Case-by-case

Category I Estuarine

Case-by-case

6:1

Rehabilitation of an estuarine wetland

Case-by-case

Case-by-case

Case-by-case

1 These ratios assume that the rehabilitation or enhancement actions implemented represent the average degree of improvement possible for the site. Proposals to implement more effective rehabilitation or enhancement actions may result in a lower ratio, while less effective actions may result in higher ratio. The distinction between rehabilitation and enhancement is not clear-cut. Instead, rehabilitation and enhancement actions span a continuum. Proposals that fall within the gray area between rehabilitation and enhancement will result in a ratio that lies between the ratios for rehabilitation and the ratios for enhancement.

2 Wetlands with high conservation value, coastal lagoons, and bogs are considered irreplaceable wetlands because they perform some functions that cannot be replaced through compensatory mitigation. Impacts to such wetlands would therefore result in a net loss of some functions no matter what kind of compensation is proposed.

Note: Each type of mitigation is defined in subsection (3) of this section under mitigation types.

Note: Wetland preservation may be approved by the administrator under limited circumstances on a case-by-case basis if preservation requirements are met, as specified in Wetland Mitigation in Washington State, Part 1: Agency Policies and Guidance, or as amended.

(b) Compensatory mitigation may also be determined using methods described in Calculating Credits and Debits for Compensatory Mitigation in Wetlands of Western Washington: Final Report (Washington Department of Ecology Publication No. 10-06-011, or as amended); provided, the mitigation is consistent with Table 18.22.740(1).

(c) Compensatory mitigation must follow an approved compensatory mitigation plan pursuant to this article, with the replacement ratios as specified above.

(d) Compensatory mitigation must be conducted on property that will be protected and managed to avoid further development or degradation. The applicant or code violator must provide for long-term preservation of the compensation area. The administrator has the authority to require the applicant record a notice to title to ensure protection.

(e) Compensatory wetland mitigation shall be designed to mimic natural wetland hydrologic conditions, and shall not be used as a stormwater system to comply with Chapter 18.30 JCC.

(f) The applicant may be required to post a mitigation performance bond to ensure monitoring the site occurs and contingency plans are implemented if the project fails to meet projected goals. Corrective actions must be coordinated and approved by department of community development.

(3) Compensatory Wetland Mitigation – Type, Location, and Timing.

(a) Mitigation is to be provided in the preferred order listed below. A lower order preference shall not be approved unless a wetlands evaluation prepared by a wetlands specialist documents to the satisfaction of the administrator that a higher preferred option is not ecologically viable.

(i) Restoration (reestablishment or rehabilitation) is the preferred mitigation option;

(ii) Creation (also referred to as establishment) may be approved if restoration is not an ecologically viable option;

(iii) Enhancement may be approved if restoration or creation are not ecologically viable options or may be required in the same buffer area when a use or structure is permitted and encroaches into the same buffer;

(iv) Preservation (also referred to as protection or maintenance) is the least preferred mitigation option and shall be permitted only under limited circumstances when, based on a report prepared by a wetlands specialist, the administrator determines that no other option is ecologically viable.

(b) On-site compensation within the same subdrainage basin is preferred. The administrator may approve off-site compensation only if:

(i) A wetlands specialist documents that on-site mitigation is not feasible and that off-site mitigation is ecologically preferable;

(ii) No reasonable opportunities exist on-site and within the same subdrainage basin;

(iii) On-site mitigation would result in the loss of high-quality upland habitats;

(iv) Off-site mitigation has a greater likelihood of compensating for project-related impact;

(v) On-site compensation is not feasible due to hydrology, soils, waves, or other factors;

(vi) On-site compensation is not practical due to probable adverse impacts from surrounding land uses; and

(vii) Potential functions and values at the site of the proposed restoration are significantly greater than the lost wetland functional values.

(c) Compensation outside of the subdrainage basin may be approved by the administrator if an in-lieu fee program is used.

(d) Construction of compensation projects must be timed to reduce impacts to existing wildlife and flora. Construction must be timed to assure that grading and soil movement occurs during the dry season. Planting of vegetation must be specifically timed to the needs of the target species.

(e) Compensation must be completed prior to wetland destruction, where feasible.

(4) In-Lieu Fee (ILF) Program. An applicant may opt to use an ILF program to compensate for impacts to aquatic resources (critical areas) or buffers based on criteria listed below. Use of an ILF program transfers the responsibility of providing compensatory mitigation from the applicant to an ILF program sponsor. The sponsoring organization is required to provide mitigation that complies with all mitigation requirements of this chapter.

(a) The ILF program may be used by an applicant as a way to mitigate for project impacts if the impacts to the critical area or buffer occur within an ILF program service area. If an impact occurs outside of an ILF program service area, an applicant may request that Jefferson County investigate the possibility of using the ILF program as mitigation. The ILF program sponsor is under no obligation to accept mitigation responsibilities for impacts outside an ILF program service area.

(b) The applicant shall determine if there is a preference for using the ILF program over permittee-responsible mitigation to compensate for unavoidable impacts. The county may encourage an applicant to use the ILF program, but shall not require an applicant to use ILF for mitigation.

(c) The administrator may approve an application using an ILF program for mitigation if the ILF program sponsor accepts the mitigation responsibility. The sponsoring organization has the right to deny the request if the sponsoring organization cannot fulfill all ILF program mitigation requirements. If the sponsoring organization does not accept the mitigation responsibility, the applicant shall be responsible for providing mitigation that complies with this chapter. The administrator shall not approve a permit involving ILF mitigation until (i) the applicant has purchased the appropriate number of credits from the sponsoring organization and (ii) the sponsoring organization has completed a statement of sale. Once the ILF program sponsor completes the financial transaction with the applicant, the sponsor becomes responsible for completing the mitigation effort to comply with Jefferson County Code critical areas requirements and the applicable approved in-lieu fee program instrument. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

Article VIII. Agriculture

18.22.800 Purpose and intent.

(1) Jefferson County desires to encourage the conservation of productive agricultural lands and to implement alternative means of protecting critical areas using conservation practices in this article. As allowed under WAC 365-196-830 (Protection of Critical Areas), both regulatory and voluntary measures may be developed and used to prevent degradation of critical areas.

(2) The well-being of agricultural activities in Jefferson County depends in part on good quality soil, water, air, and other natural resources. Agricultural operations that incorporate protection of the environment, including critical areas and their buffers as defined by this title, are essential to achieving this goal.

(3) Jefferson County offers agricultural producers two paths to achieve no net loss of critical area functions and values while supporting the viability of agriculture. These two paths are:

(a) A “prescriptive” approach is one in which standard buffer widths from streams, wetlands, and ponds are established, which may offer a simpler yet stricter set of standards; or

(b) A “performance” based approach where the producer works independently or with farm assistance agencies to identify the resource concerns that are unique to the farm operation and to implement practices best suited to address those concerns.

(4) Jefferson County shall ensure monitoring and adaptive management processes are in place to evaluate whether the application of performance-based approaches address resource concerns identified in this article to the extent related to agricultural activities. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.810 Resource concerns.

Agricultural activities have the potential to create adverse impacts to critical areas. It is the county’s policy to minimize such impacts.

(1) Nutrient Pollution of Water. Agricultural activities without proper conservation practices may contribute wastes or sediments into a natural or modified natural stream or wetlands.

(2) Nutrient and Farm Chemical Management. Without proper conservation practices, manure could be carried into a stream, wetlands, or other waters of the state by any means. Farm chemicals must be applied consistent with chemical container labels and all applicable federal and state laws and regulations to avoid harm to streams, wetlands, and other fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas.

(3) Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Management. Construction of roads used for agricultural purposes, agricultural equipment operation, and ditch construction and maintenance should be undertaken in such a manner as to avoid sediment contribution to streams.

(4) Operation and Maintenance of Agricultural Drainage Infrastructure. Maintenance and operation of ditches should be designed to prevent maintenance problems, avoid blocking water flow, ensure control of erosion, avoid sedimentation, protect water quality, and ensure stream bank vegetation is protected or replanted.

(5) Riparian Management. Dense riparian vegetation along the water’s edge will slow and protect against flood flows; provide infiltration and filtering of pollutants; secure food and cover for fish, birds, and wildlife; and keep water cooler in summer. Existing riparian vegetation should be managed to continue to provide soil and streambank stability, shade, filtration, and habitat for fish and wildlife, and control noxious weeds. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.820 Applicability and classification.

(1) Applicability. Proponents of the following activities within fish and wildlife conservation areas or wetlands or their buffers shall comply with either the prescriptive standards of this chapter or the performance-based approach in this article:

(a) New or expanded areas of agricultural activities.

(b) Producers conducting one or more of the following activities within the footprint of the agricultural activity as of the effective date of this code (March 10, 2020):

(i) Adding or expanding temporary or permanent structures;

(ii) Adding or expanding compacted areas such as for parking, roads, or access;

(iii) Adding or expanding impervious areas;

(iv) Adding or replacing wells or septic systems;

(v) Constructing or altering ditches or drainage systems;

(vi) Constructing or altering farm and stock ponds;

(vii) Expanding or altering manure or compost management structures or practices;

(viii) Altering the application of fertilizers or agricultural chemical management activities in proximity to wetlands or water bodies;

(ix) Adding or altering irrigation practices; or

(x) Other similar activities as determined by the administrator.

(2) This article does not apply to:

(a) Exempt Activities per JCC 18.22.230. Agricultural activities occurring within the footprint of use as of the effective date of this code (March 10, 2020) are exempt from compliance with this chapter unless listed in JCC 18.22.720.

(b) Agricultural activities that do not lie within fish and wildlife conservation areas or wetlands.

(3) Agricultural Checklist and Classification. The department shall develop, adopt and maintain an agricultural checklist in consultation with farm assistance agencies for completion by producers. The agricultural checklist shall identify agricultural activities and the conservation practice(s) necessary to achieve the performance standards in JCC 18.22.830 and avoid potential negative impacts described under resource concerns in JCC 18.22.810. Based on the achievement of performance standards as documented in the agricultural checklist, proposals shall be typed as follows:

(a) Type 1 Conservation Practices Compliant. Type 1 applies to producers that have a farm plan developed by state or federal farm assistance agencies, or have completed the agricultural checklist, demonstrating that the proposal addresses performance standards in JCC 18.22.830 due to the nature of the proposals and conservation practices in place that avoid potential negative impacts described under resource concerns in JCC 18.22.810.

(b) Type 2 Conservation Practices Scheduled. Type 2 applies to proposals that do not meet one or more performance standards in JCC 18.22.830 and identifies conservation practices that will adequately address resource concerns created by the agricultural activities. The conservation practices shall be implemented based on a schedule developed in consultation with farm assistance agencies or a report by a natural resource conservation professional. Such scheduled conservation practices shall avoid resource concerns identified in JCC 18.22.810 and meet performance standards in JCC 18.22.830.

(c) Type 3 Critical Area Undocumented. Type 3 proposals do not meet Type 1 or 2 criteria and cannot document that appropriate conservation practices have been implemented or scheduled that will adequately address resource concerns created by the agricultural practices. The producer shall complete an agricultural checklist and provide a report prepared by a state or federal farm assistance agency or a natural resource conservation professional to demonstrate how the proposal meets the performance standards in JCC 18.22.830 and avoids potential negative impacts described under resource concerns in JCC 18.22.810. If performance standards cannot be met with adequate conservation practices scheduled, the proponent shall be subject to the prescriptive standards of this chapter and may apply for variances or reasonable economic use exceptions as applicable under JCC 18.22.250 and 18.22.260, where appropriate, or may pursue a financially bonded critical area stewardship plan (CASP) as applicable under JCC 18.22.965; provided, the proposal can meet all CASP financial and other provisions. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.830 Protection standards.

(1) Performance Standards. Producers shall submit an agricultural checklist and supporting documentation to the satisfaction of the administrator to demonstrate the following performance standards are met due to the nature of the proposal as well as installed or scheduled conservation practices:

(a) Structures and impervious surfaces are sited to prevent manure, pathogens, sediment, and other contaminants from entering fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas and wetlands.

(b) Roof runoff is managed so that it does not result in ponding or channeling in confinement areas, or contribute to the discharge of manure, pathogens, sediment, pesticides, and other contaminants to fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas and wetlands.

(c) Areas of farm production are managed to prevent stormwater from carrying manure, pathogens, sediment, pesticides, and other contaminants from entering all fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas and wetlands.

(d) Catch basins, drains, tiles, pipes and other conveyances of surface and ground water that outlet to streams and ditches installed and maintained in a manner that prevents the entry of manure, pathogens, sediment, pesticides, and other contaminants.

(e) Livestock are excluded from fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas and wetlands by means of fencing, gates or other controls that are consistent with the practices recommended by farm assistance agencies.

(f) Buffers are established that either: (i) are consistent with either the prescriptive standards in this chapter applicable to fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas or wetlands or (ii) consistent with farm assistance agency-designed conservation practices that provide for buffers around fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas or wetlands within areas where livestock are kept.

(g) Manure is handled and stored in a way that prevents nutrients, pathogens, sediment, and other contaminants from entering fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas and wetlands.

(h) Manure is applied in a manner and its application timed to prevent pollution of fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas and wetlands.

(i) Compost production is handled and stored in a way that prevents stormwater from carrying nutrients, pathogens, sediment and other contaminants into fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas and wetlands.

(j) Application of fertilizers or agricultural chemicals for weed and pest control are conducted in a manner that prevents them from entering any fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas and wetlands on the farm either by aerial drift or by stormwater run-off.

(k) The proposal avoids adverse alteration of wetland hydrology.

(l) The proposal protects riparian vegetation or tree cover after drainage maintenance or construction.

(m) The proposal maintains surface and groundwater flow, discharge, and recharge, through such means including but not limited to maintaining soil permeability, avoiding net increases in impervious areas, avoiding compaction, or avoiding changing discharge to streams.

(n) Existing native woody vegetation is retained along streams, lakes, ponds, and wetlands consistent with the practices recommended by farm assistance agencies.

(o) The site has not been cleared under a forest practices permit or altered tree cover by more than 10,000 square feet.

(p) If in a flood hazard area, all fill or excavation or additional permanent impervious areas as proposed are in conformity with county flood hazard regulations and the practices recommended by farm assistance agencies.

(q) The proposed agricultural activity is consistent with locational allowances in subsection (2) of this section.

(2) Locational Standards. Table 18.22.830(1) identifies agricultural activities that are allowed in or near wetlands and streams and their prescriptive buffers.

(a) Cultivation and production and agricultural structures, buildings, impervious areas shall meet the locational allowances and associated performance standards.

Table 18.22.830(1)

Agricultural Activities Allowances in Wetland and Wetland/Stream Buffers 

Activity

Allowed in Wetlands

Allowed in Prescriptive Wetland and Stream Buffers

Cultivation and production

Yes, existing agricultural activities lawfully established as of the effective date of this chapter (March 10, 2020)

Yes, new or expanded agricultural activities 1,2

Yes, existing agricultural activities lawfully established as of the effective date of this chapter (March 10, 2020)

Yes, new or expanded agricultural activities 1,2

Agricultural structures, buildings, impervious areas

Limited to activities addressed by farm assistance agency practices on farmed wetlands, including but not limited to high tunnel systems, where consistent with federal and state law 1,2,3

Yes, existing agricultural activities lawfully established as of the effective date of this chapter (March 10, 2020)

Yes, new or expanded agricultural activities 1,2

Notes:

1 Subject to performance standards in subsection (1) of this section and determined to be a Type 1 or Type 2 proposal per JCC 18.22.820.

2 Conditions or performance standards applied by the administrator may include but are not limited to wetland/riparian or buffer enhancement in limited circumstances and as determined in consultation with a farm assistance agency or qualified professional, provided proposed actions for compensation are conducted in advance of the impact and are shown to be successful and provided enhancement is part of ongoing monitoring.

3 Producers shall demonstrate they have received a NRCS Certified Wetlands Determination or equivalent determination by another farm assistance agency, state oversight agency official, qualified professional, or Jefferson County.

(3) Structures. Structures shall be determined to achieve no-net-loss of critical area functions and values when following NRCS Field Office Technical Guides (FOTGs). Documentation supports the administrator making a written decision finding that the landowner’s compliance with other state or federal regulations or permits provides sufficient protection on the site to satisfy related critical areas requirements of this chapter.

(a) The administrator may condition the proposed agricultural activities to avoid resource concerns in JCC 18.22.810 through the application of conservation practices recommended by farm assistance agencies or a qualified professional.

(b) If the agricultural activity is a Type 3 critical area undocumented or does not demonstrably meet the performance standards in subsection (1) of this section, or does not meet locational requirements of Table 18.22.830(1), the administrator shall deny proposal. The proponent may seek use of the prescriptive path offered in this chapter.

(4) Conservation Practices. Agricultural landowners and operators are encouraged to design conservation practices through use of the following resources:

(a) Section 4 of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) “Field Office Technical Guide” (FOTG) contains a nonexclusive list of conservation practices to guide implementation of the expectations of this article.

(b) The Jefferson County conservation district is available to assist with completion of an agricultural checklist and in the development of conservation plans approved through the NRCS. A producer may also work with other farm assistance agencies.

(5) Scheduled Conservation Practices. For a Type 2 conservation practices scheduled proposal, the proponent shall identify the standards by which the practice will be designed and the scheduled date of implementation. The proponent shall provide documentation the scheduled conservation practice has been established in accordance with the design specifications following implementation. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.840 Monitoring and adaptive management.

Monitoring provides information used by Jefferson County to assist in determining the effectiveness of the county’s critical area regulations and conservation practices applicable to agricultural activities. Jefferson County shall develop a cooperative monitoring program with producers, conservation district and farm assistance agency staff based on the conservation practices and performance standards of approved critical areas permits in agricultural areas. The monitoring program shall identify existing functions and values per subsection (1) of this section, the thresholds of no harm or degradation in subsection (2) of this section, and the benchmarks and outcomes in subsection (3) of this section. The monitoring and adaptive management report shall be prepared periodically in accordance with subsection (4) of this section.

(1) “Existing functions and values” relate to the following categories as compared to conditions as of the effective date of this chapter (March 10, 2020):

(a) Water quality, as documented in a given watershed by the Jefferson County conservation district or other management agency.

(b) The existence or absence of large woody debris within a stream, as documented in the analyses completed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for the Water Resource Inventory Areas (WRIAs) 16, 17, 20, and 21, or other relevant studies.

(c) The existing riparian buffer characteristics and width, including, but not limited to, the existing amount of shade provided by the existing riparian buffer, as documented in analyses completed for the Water Resource Inventory Areas (WRIAs) 16, 17, 20, and 21, or other relevant studies.

(d) The existing channel morphology as documented with Washington Department of Natural Resources Aerial Photography.

(e) Location and functions of wetlands if present and determined by a wetland rating or as depicted by National Wetlands Inventory, Jefferson County GIS critical areas mapper or other mapped documentation and described by a wetland rating (when available).

(2) “No harm or degradation” means the following:

(a) Maintaining or improving documented water quality levels, if available.

(b) Meeting, or working towards meeting, the requirements of any total maximum daily load (TMDL) requirements established by the Washington Department of Ecology pursuant to Chapter 90.48 RCW.

(c) Meeting all applicable requirements of Chapter 77.55 RCW and Chapter 220-660 WAC (Hydraulics Code).

(d) No evidence of degradation to the existing fish and wildlife habitat characteristics of the stream or wetland that can be reasonably attributed to adjacent agricultural activities.

(e) The references above to Chapters 77.55 and 90.48 RCW and Chapters 173-201A and 220-660 WAC shall not be interpreted to replace Washington Department of Ecology and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife authority to implement and enforce these state programs.

(3) Monitoring Program Benchmarks and Outcomes.

(a) Water quality monitoring results shall be based on sampling data collected and analyzed by Jefferson County department of public health or a designated partnering agency. To comply with the no harm requirement for water quality, all parameters evaluated must remain comparable (or improve) relative to established state standards. If any water quality parameter shows a decline, the departments of community development and public health may require on-site sampling of upstream and downstream water quality conditions to determine if permitted activities that have been implemented have since affected water quality.

(b) Habitat ecology should remain comparable to the watershed conditions as documented by agencies with expertise with no net loss of critical area functions and values compared to a baseline as of the effective date of this ordinance (March 10, 2020). Additionally, indicators of habitat conditions, such as (i) the percent cover of woody vegetation shall not result in a net decrease; (ii) the amount of habitat features such as snags, downed woody debris, and open water habitats shall not result in a net decrease.

(c) In-stream fish habitat, wetland and riparian vegetation conditions should remain stable or improve (based on assessments, reports, and online information published the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife or another state or federal agency with comparable expertise). Critical area restoration and habitat improvement projects when required as part of approved conservation practices or performance standards shall meet specific benchmarks to ensure success. The applicant shall propose specific benchmarks for approval by the director. The benchmarks shall reference indicators of habitat conditions per subsection (3)(b) of this section or other relevant habitat ecology indicators based on site specific conditions, advice from farm assistance agencies, advice from agencies with expertise, or applicable areawide studies by qualified professionals or agencies with expertise that are relevant to the site. At a site-specific level, any activity that negatively affects salmonids shall be considered a negative benchmark. This could include, but is not limited to, installation of in-stream barriers to fish passage, removing woody debris from a stream, altering spawning gravel, altering pool/riffle instream conditions, or introduction of chemicals into the water column.

(d) Wetland area and function should remain stable or improve, as documented by monitoring or periodic site inspection of plan implementation or aerial photo analysis of mapped wetlands within areas of new or expanded agricultural intersects.

(4) Reporting. The administrator shall periodically review the monitoring and adaptive management report of applicant conservation practices programs’ implementation and compliance beginning one year after the effective date of this article and every two years thereafter, through the life of the monitoring and adaptive management report, or more frequently at the administrator’s discretion. The review may include periodic site inspections, a certification of compliance by the producer, or other appropriate actions. A subset of properties may be monitored on a rotating basis.

(a) Self-certification is allowed for approved Type 1 or Type 2 classifications. A sufficient self-certification monitoring report shall include photos and implemented conservation practices or documentation from farm assistance agencies or a qualified professional. Self-certifications shall be submitted within 45 days of request; county staff may make a site visit. Site visits will be coordinated with the landowner/producer. Prior to carrying out a site inspection, the administrator shall provide reasonable notice to the owner or manager of the property as to the purpose or need for the entry, receive confirmation, and afford at least two weeks in selecting a date and time for the visit. At the landowner’s/producer’s discretion, the Jefferson conservation district staff or other farm assistance agency staff may accompany staff.

(b) The county will, in cooperation with producers or farm assistance agency staff, publish the results of its periodic reviews and make them available to the public and state agencies. These results will include all baseline monitoring data, summary statistics, an assessment of the accuracy and completeness of the data, and a description of data collection issues if any, identified during the reporting period as well as the following additional information:

(i) A description of all compliance assessments and source identification actions taken during the reporting period;

(ii) A description of educational outreach actions as well as enforcement actions taken during the reporting period;

(iii) A description of any actions taken to modify conservation practices on a site or area specific basis;

(iv) A discussion of monitoring priorities for the next reporting period; and

(v) Potential adaptive management measures applicable on an areawide or countywide basis when monitoring indicates: that standards or thresholds are being exceeded; the exceedance is adversely affecting designated critical areas; and a change in regulations that are applicable areawide or countywide is needed to address the exceedance. Modifications may also be made if monitoring indicates that less stringent standards are appropriate based on best available science. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.850 Compliance.

(1) Critical area protection is required for existing and ongoing agriculture as well as new agriculture. All agricultural activities shall be conducted so as not to cause harm or degrade the existing functions of critical areas and associated buffers.

(2) Agricultural activities are expected to meet the objectives and standards of this article through voluntary compliance. Agricultural operations shall cease to be in compliance with this article, and a new or revised agricultural checklist and supporting documentation will be required consistent with JCC 18.22.820, when the administrator determines that any of the following has occurred:

(a) When a producer fails to implement and maintain their conservation practices determined to exist or be scheduled in a Type 1 or Type 2 review per JCC 18.22.820 properly and fully.

(b) When implementation of the conservation practices fails to protect critical areas. If so, a new or revised agricultural checklist and schedule of conservation practices shall be required per JCC 18.22.820 to protect the values and functions of critical areas at the benchmark condition described in JCC 18.22.840 or a baseline established by the producer in consultation with a farm assistance agency or qualified professional.

(c) When substantial changes in the agricultural activities of the farm or livestock operation have occurred that render the current agricultural checklist and associated conservation practices ineffective. Substantial changes that render an agricultural checklist and associated conservation practices ineffective are those that:

(i) Degrade baseline critical area conditions for riparian and wetland areas that existed when the plan was approved;

(ii) Result either in a direct discharge or substantial potential discharge of pollution to surface or ground water; or

(iii) The type of agricultural practices changes from Type 1 to Type 2, Type 2 to Type 3.

(d) When a new or revised agricultural checklist and supporting documentation is required, and the producer has been so advised in writing and a reasonable amount of time has passed without significant progress being made to develop said plan. Refusal or inability to provide a new agricultural checklist within a reasonable period of time shall be sufficient grounds to revoke the approved agricultural activity and require compliance with the standard provisions of this chapter.

(3) When a producer denies the administrator reasonable access to the property for technical assistance, monitoring, or compliance purposes, then the administrator shall document such refusal of access and notify the producer of his/her findings. The producer shall be given an opportunity to respond in writing to the findings of the administrator, propose a prompt alternative access schedule, and to state any other issues that need to be addressed. Refusal or inability to comply with an approved agricultural checklist and schedule of conservation practices within a reasonable period of time shall be sufficient grounds to revoke said plan and require compliance with the standard provisions of this chapter.

(4) If agricultural activities result in degradation of a critical area, the producer shall be required to either cease the agricultural activity that results in critical area degradation or prepare an agricultural checklist and supporting documentation that demonstrates how farming activities will be brought into compliance with critical area protection requirements. The agricultural checklist shall be submitted to department of community development for review and approval. If the administrator determines the proposed activities and conservation practices do not sufficiently address critical areas degradation, a farm assistance agency or qualified professional shall prepare a schedule of conservation practices. The proponent shall allow the county or farm agency with expertise reasonable access to the parcel to determine that the scheduled conservation practices are installed, and critical areas functions are not being degraded. If compliance cannot be achieved, other enforcement action based on Chapter 18.50 JCC shall be required.

(5) A producer is responsible only for those conditions caused by agricultural activities conducted by the producer and is not responsible for conditions that do not meet the standards of this article resulting from actions of others or from natural conditions not related to the on-site agricultural operations. Conditions resulting from unusual weather events (such as storm in excess of a 25-year, 24-hour storm) or other exceptional circumstances that are not the product of obvious neglect are not the responsibility of the owner or operator. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.860 Limited public disclosure.

(1) Producers that have a farm plan developed by state or federal farm assistance agencies will not be subject to public disclosure unless required by law or a court of competent jurisdiction.

(2) Provided, that the county will collect summary information related to the general location of a farming enterprise, the nature of the farming activity, and the specific conservation management practices to be implemented such as through an agricultural checklist per JCC 18.22.820. The summary information shall be provided by the producer or his/her designee and shall be used to document the basis for the county’s approval of the proposal.

(3) The county will provide to the public via its website information regarding which farms have approved Type 1 or Type 2 conservation practices per JCC 18.22.820 and the date of their approval.

(4) Upon request, the county may provide a sample agricultural checklist, exclusive of site- or property-specific information, to give general guidance on the development of a conservation farm plan. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

Article IX. Special Reports

18.22.900 Purpose.

(1) Purpose. Special reports may be required to provide environmental information and to present proposed strategies for maintaining, protecting, or mitigating impacts to critical areas:

(a) Demonstrate that the submitted proposal is consistent with the purposes and specific standards of this chapter;

(b) Describe all relevant aspects of the development proposal and critical areas adversely affected by the proposal and assess impacts on the critical area from activities and uses proposed;

(c) Where impacts are unavoidable, demonstrate through an alternatives analysis that no other feasible alternative exists; and

(d) Consider the cumulative impacts of the proposed action that includes past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions to facilitate the goal of no net loss of critical areas. Such impacts shall include those to wildlife, habitat, and migration corridors; water quality and quantity; and other geologic or watershed processes that relate to critical area condition, process, or service. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.905 General requirements.

(1) When Special Reports Are Required. The administrator may require a special report or reports if any portion of a proposed development or use has the potential to negatively impact a critical area or encroach upon a buffer, and that impact or encroachment requires mitigation, consistent with the standards found in this chapter.

(2) Standard Requirements. Special reports shall be prepared for review and approval by the administrator. In addition to specific requirements of particular special reports described in this article, each special report shall describe narratively and show graphically, if applicable, the following:

(a) The proposed activity, location and dimensions;

(b) Existing site conditions and property boundaries preferably on a scaled site plan with structures, features and geographic location described and graphically depicted;

(c) All critical areas and their buffers on the project site;

(d) Assess potential impacts to critical areas function and values per the specific requirements described in this article for each critical area type;

(e) Propose mitigation for unavoidable losses and impacts to critical areas;

(f) Identify amount of and limits of clearing, grading, and impervious surface on a stormwater calculation worksheet, if applicable; and

(g) Present photographs of the project site.

(3) Special reports shall be valid for five years from the date the report was prepared and report validity may be extended by the administrator; provided, critical area conditions, including buffer conditions, have not changed since the special report was written. The administrator shall have the authority to require a revised special report, as needed, to satisfy all the provisions of this chapter. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.910 Waivers.

The administrator may waive the requirement for a special report in limited circumstances when an applicant demonstrates all of the following:

(1) The proposal involved will not affect the critical area in a manner contrary to the goals, purposes, and objectives of this code; and

(2) The minimum protection standards required by this chapter are satisfied. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.915 Retaining consultants.

Jefferson County may retain consultants to assist in the review of special reports outside the range of staff expertise. The applicant shall pay for the costs of retaining said consultants. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.920 Acceptance of special reports.

(1) The administrator shall verify the accuracy and sufficiency of all special reports.

(2) If the administrator finds that a special report does not accurately reflect site conditions, or does not incorporate appropriate protections mechanisms, the administrator shall cite evidence that demonstrates where the special report is insufficient or in error. The applicant may then revise and resubmit the special report. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.930 Critical aquifer recharge area reports.

(1) General. Critical aquifer recharge area reports serve as the primary means for Jefferson County to verify the accuracy of its critical aquifer recharge area map and to determine specific aquifer protection measures to be applied to prevent significant adverse impacts to groundwater quality, and in some cases water quantity. A critical aquifer recharge area report shall be prepared when required in Article III (Critical Aquifer Recharge Areas) of this chapter.

(2) Standards for Critical Aquifer Recharge Area Report or Hydrogeologic Evaluation. A critical aquifer recharge area report or a hydrogeologic evaluation shall be made by a hydrogeologist. The critical aquifer recharge area report shall include:

(a) A detailed description of how the project, including all processes and other activities, has the potential to impact groundwater recharge or for contaminating groundwater;

(b) A hydrogeologic evaluation that includes, at a minimum:

(i) A description of the hydrogeologic setting of the aquifer region;

(ii) Site location, topography, drainage, and surface water bodies;

(iii) Soils and geologic units underlying the site;

(iv) Groundwater characteristics of the area, including flow direction and gradient, and existing groundwater quality;

(v) The location and characteristics of wells and springs within 1,000 feet of the site; and

(vi) An evaluation of existing groundwater recharge;

(c) A contaminant transport analysis for the uppermost groundwater supply aquifer assuming an accidental spill or release of project-specific contaminants or on-site sewage discharge, or both if applicable;

(d) A discussion and evaluation that details available on-site spill response and containment equipment, employee spill response training, and emergency service coordination measures;

(e) Best management practices to minimize exposure of permeable surfaces to potential pollutants and to prevent degradation of groundwater quality;

(f) Demonstrate compliance with applicable protection standards in JCC 18.22.330; and

(g) Requirements for a monitoring program with financial guarantees/assurances that the monitoring program will be implemented.

(3) County Review. Critical aquifer recharge area report or hydrogeologic evaluation shall be forwarded to the Jefferson County department of public health for technical review. The county may request additional information in order to determine the adequacy of the reports and may rely on input from Washington Department of Ecology.

(4) Conditions for Mitigation Identified in the Critical Aquifer Recharge Area Report or Hydrogeologic Evaluation. The administrator shall determine appropriate permit conditions as identified in the critical aquifer recharge area report or hydrogeologic evaluation to mitigate the impacts of proposed activities to critical aquifer recharge areas. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.940 Frequently flooded area reports.

(1) Habitat Assessment Required. A habitat assessment shall be submitted if any portion of the proposed project occurs within a special flood hazard area (floodplain), as mapped by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

(2) Standards for Habitat Assessment.

(a) In addition to the general requirements found at JCC 18.22.905, frequently flooded area reports shall be based on 2013 FEMA Region 10 guidance document entitled Regional Guidance for Floodplain Habitat Assessment and Mitigation in the Puget Sound Basin (or as amended by FEMA).

(b) Habitat assessments also shall be prepared to comply with Article IV of this chapter and the flood damage prevention ordinance, as codified in Chapter 15.15 JCC. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.945 Geologically hazardous area reports.

(1) Standards for All Geological Assessments.

(a) Must be Based on Site Conditions. Recommendations for earthwork, clearing or siting structures in geologically hazardous areas shall be based on existing site conditions rather than measures that have not yet been successfully approved, designed, or constructed (e.g., slope recontouring, slope retaining walls, vegetation improvements, bulkheads, etc.).

(b) Limits on Shoreline Bulkheads and Retaining Walls. Shoreline bulkheads and retaining walls may only be utilized as an engineering solution where it can be demonstrated that:

(i) An existing residential structure or other permitted existing public or private structures or public facilities such as roads or highways cannot be safely maintained without such measures;

(ii) Other nonstructural methods of beach stabilization have been considered and determined infeasible; and

(iii) The resulting stabilization structure is the minimum necessary to provide stability for the existing structure and appurtenances.

(c) Minor Repair Activities on Existing Permitted Structures. Minor repair activities on existing permitted structures (i.e., those that do not involve design modifications, changes in structure location, or demolition or abandonment of failed structure and replacement with new structure) are not subject to the project submittal standards in subsections (2) and (3) of this section.

(2) Project Submittal Standards for Geological Reports. A geological report is required for site development proposals that involve development activity or the installation of structures within a geologically hazardous area, or as otherwise required but do not involve or require engineering design recommendations. The following minimum information is required:

(a) Site information regarding the critical areas designations that affect site features;

(b) Description of surface and subsurface conditions, including ground materials, vegetation, surface drainage, groundwater, and a preliminary geologic hazard assessment which includes the locations of structures and the identification of the slope and/or coastal processes occurring at the site and factors that contribute to them;

(c) Review of available site information, literature, and mapping;

(d) Detailed description of slope and other topographic features;

(e) Conceptual siting of structures and general recommendations, which include methods and practices that avoid and/or reduce slope and shore impacts. Minimum recommendations should include upland and slope drainage control, groundwater control, site vegetation management, and erosion control;

(f) A description of how the proposal complies with the clearing, grading, excavation, and stormwater requirements in JCC 18.30.060 and 18.30.070, and the current version of the Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington;

(g) A description of potential effects of the proposal on stormwater quantity, quality, and runoff patterns post-construction;

(h) A clear statement whether or not the proposal will affect or alter water movement to the geologically hazardous area and its critical areas buffer if the proposal is implemented; and

(i) Identify measures to avoid or minimize alteration of stormwater runoff patterns post-construction.

(3) Project Submittal Standards for Geotechnical Reports. A geotechnical report is required when the department or a geological report determines that a proposal requires additional site information such as engineering design recommendations, slope stability analysis, subsurface exploration and testing, coastal process analyses, or construction recommendations. Depending on the level of activity proposed, the geotechnical report will either be a more limited geotechnical slope evaluation report or a full geotechnical design investigation report as described below.

(a) Geotechnical Slope Evaluation Report. A geotechnical slope evaluation report is required when slope stability analyses are confined to addressing only existing surface and/or drainage conditions, including the relationship of natural and constructed slope features to proposed changes in environmental conditions such as drainage, vegetation removal and slope geometry. The following minimum information is required:

(i) All the information required under subsection (2) of this section (Project Submittal Standards for Geological Reports);

(ii) Subsurface data, exploration logs, and testing data, when required by the geotechnical engineer;

(iii) Estimated (or surveyed) site plan with ground surface profiles and typical cross-sections;

(iv) Relative location of ordinary high water (OHW) on the surface profile and cross-sections, where applicable;

(v) Soil strength parameters;

(vi) Stability analysis of existing site;

(vii) Analysis of the relationship of vegetation and slope stability; and

(viii) Conceptual site development plans and cross-sections.

(b) Geotechnical Design Investigation Report. A geotechnical design investigation report is required for site development activities that propose design and construction measures at the slope crest, face and/or toe. If a designed structure does not impact slope stability or coastal processes, the report will not be required to perform all items listed under this section, as long as each item is addressed and the report details why a particular item does not apply. The report shall include all items considered necessary by the engineer to fully address the engineering design requirements of the site. The following minimum information is required:

(i) All the information required under subsection (1)(a) of this section (Geotechnical Slope Evaluation Report);

(ii) Geotechnical requirements and measures to reduce risks;

(iii) Geotechnical criteria used for any designs including all critical dimensions, lateral earth pressures, soil bearing pressures, location, and limits of structures on or near the slope, maximum constructed slope angles, minimum soil reinforcement embedment, soil compaction requirements, and structure heights;

(iv) Temporary construction slope stability recommendations and analysis of proposed final site stability measures;

(v) Required construction specifications and construction monitoring procedures;

(vi) Revegetation and surface and groundwater management requirements;

(vii) Evaluation of erosion potential, recommendations for erosion avoidance and any proposed mitigation measures;

(viii) Detailed tabulation of all basic geotechnical engineering test results pertinent to design and construction, and when required for clarification, detailed examples of tests conducted for the project; and

(ix) Information outlined in the geotechnical design investigation report site evaluation checklist required in subsection (3)(d) of this section.

(c) Additional Requirements for Projects in Landslide-Prone Geologically Hazardous Areas. When a project is located within a landslide-prone geologically hazardous area, the following additional project submittal requirements shall apply:

(i) Erosion Control Information. An evaluation of the erosion potential on the site during and after construction is required. The evaluation shall include recommendations for mitigation, including retention of vegetative buffers and a revegetation program. The geotechnical engineer shall provide a statement identifying buffer areas at the top or toe of a slope based on geotechnical site constraints and the impacts of proposed construction methods on the erosion potential of the slope.

(ii) Seismic Information. The geotechnical engineer shall submit a statement that the design criteria consider the one-in-100-year seismic event (an earthquake ground motion that has a 40 percent probability of exceedance in 50 years). Calculations of soil bearing capacity, general soil stability, and wall lateral earth pressures shall be adjusted to reflect a one-in-100-year seismic event and the structural plans for the project shall be reviewed by the geotechnical engineer for consistency with these design criteria:

Analysis for the one-in-100-year seismic event shall be based on a near-crustal event having an assumed magnitude of 6.5 and occurring directly below the site. Based on regional studies performed by others, the department will allow the use of the following minimum general values of horizontal peak ground accelerations for this event:

a = 0.2g for fill, alluvial soils

a = 0.17g for till, firm glaciated soils

a = 0.15g for rock.

The appropriateness of the above accelerations shall be confirmed by the geotechnical engineer based on the actual site characteristics. Reduction in the above values may be considered when supported by the appropriate analytical evidence. Slope stability, lateral pressures, and liquefaction of the site shall be assessed by using subsurface soil, rock, and groundwater conditions, as well as the seismic parameters discussed above.

(iii) Recommendations on Relative Site Stability. The geotechnical engineer shall make recommendations as to which portions of the site are the least prone to instability and the preferred location of the structure. The limits of any area proposed for grading activity shall be identified.

(iv) Construction Season Limitation. In general, no excavation will be permitted in landslide-prone geologically hazardous areas during the typically wet winter months. When excavation is proposed, including the maintenance of open temporary slopes, between October 1st and April 30th, technical analysis shall be provided to ensure that no environmental harm, threat to adjacent properties, or safety issues would result. In addition, recommendations for temporary erosion control and shoring/mitigating measures shall be provided. The technical analysis shall consist of plans showing mitigation techniques and a technical memorandum from the geotechnical engineer.

(v) Revisions to Geotechnical Report. Further recommendations shall be provided by the geotechnical engineer should there be additions or exceptions to the original recommendations based on the plans, site conditions, or other supporting data. If the geotechnical engineer who revises the plans and specifications is not the same engineer who prepared the geotechnical report, the new engineer shall, in a letter to the department, express his or her agreement or disagreement with the recommendations in the geotechnical report and state whether the plans and specifications conform to his or her recommendations.

(vi) Plan and Specification Review. The geotechnical engineer shall submit a statement that, in his or her judgment, the plans and specifications (if prepared by others) conform to the recommendations in the geotechnical report and that all portions of the site which are disturbed or impacted by the proposed development have appropriate measures or specifications that permit construction to occur while addressing slope stability so that the work does not create additional risk. The statement shall also indicate whether or not a relative gain in slope stability will be achieved after construction is complete.

(vii) Construction Inspection. A final inspection report shall be provided by the geotechnical engineer stating that construction has or has not implemented the design recommendations of the geotechnical report and evaluating any deviation from the design recommendations.

(d) Geotechnical Design Investigation Report – Site Evaluation Checklist. The following are report guidelines for geotechnical design investigation reports:

(i) Project information:

(A) Site owner name;

(B) Project proponent name;

(C) Ordinary high water mark (OHWM) where applicable; and

(D) Critical areas designations affecting site features.

(ii) Project description, including:

(A) Description of proposed structures, site improvements, and adverse impact avoidance and reduction methods; and

(B) Location and total area of the construction zone.

The site evaluation checklist information shall be included as part of the geotechnical design investigation report. All items listed above must be addressed in the report. However, the above guidelines are not intended to be all-inclusive. It is the responsibility of the geotechnical engineer to address all factors which in their geotechnical design investigation report is relevant to the project. For any items in the site evaluation checklist that are not relevant to a project, information shall be provided to demonstrate why the site evaluation checklist items are not relevant to a project.

(4) Results of Department’s Review. The department shall review the geological assessment and either:

(a) Accept the geological assessment and approve the application; or

(b) Reject the geological assessment and require revisions or additional information. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.950 Habitat management reports.

(1) General. When required in Article VI of this chapter, a site visit conducted by a wildlife biologist is required to determine if a fish and wildlife habitat conservation area (FWHCA) or buffer is present. Based on the site visit, the biologist shall prepare a habitat reconnaissance letter or a habitat management plan and include all of the required information described in JCC 18.22.905. Habitat reconnaissance letters and habitat management plans shall be prepared based on requirements in Article VI (Fish and Wildlife Habitat Conservation Areas), the general report requirements of JCC 18.22.905, and the criteria specified in subsections (2) and (3) of this section.

(2) Habitat Reconnaissance Letter. A habitat reconnaissance letter shall be prepared and submitted only if all project components, including areas of temporary impact and the limits of construction, are outside of all FWHCA buffers, as described in this chapter; provided, no critical areas buffer reduction is proposed. A habitat reconnaissance letter shall document that proposed projects because of their location will not impact FWHCA and will include the following:

(a) A description of all FWHCAs and buffers on the property;

(b) Narratively and graphically present the distance of all FWHCAs from the limits of clearing, as shown on a site plan. The site plan used during the site visit shall be included in the habitat review letter; and

(c) Photographs of the site and the FWHCAs.

(3) Habitat Management Plan. A habitat management plan shall be prepared and submitted if any portion of the proposed activity, including areas of temporary impact and areas within the limits of clearing, are within a FWHCA, as described in this chapter, or if a critical areas buffer reduction is proposed. A habitat management plan shall address the following:

(a) Detailed description of all proposed project components relative to on-site FWHCAs, other on-site development, and limits of clearing;

(b) State whether or not in-water work is proposed, and if so, describe timing and methods of construction;

(c) Date site visits were made and date report was completed;

(d) Detailed description of the field investigation results, including habitat types present on the property, habitat conditions with FWHCAs, location of native vegetation on the property, and location of nonnative or invasive vegetation on the property. The habitat management report should indicate if the critical areas extend off site;

(e) If the project area is identified as potential habitat for threatened or endangered species, methods used to determine presence or absence of listed species, methods used to determine if appropriate habitat occurs on site or in the vicinity of the site, and results of the field investigation;

(f) In addition to complying with the clearing, grading, excavation, and stormwater requirements in JCC 18.30.060 and 18.30.070, and the current Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington, describe any potential effects of the proposed activity on stormwater quantity, quality, and runoff patterns post-construction. The report must clearly indicate if the proposal will affect or alter water movement to the FWHCA and buffer if the proposal is implemented and identify measures to avoid or minimize alteration of stormwater runoff patterns post-construction;

(g) Identify all potential impacts of the proposed activity on FWHCAs. The habitat management report shall include:

(i) Mitigation Sequencing. Describe measures to avoid and minimize impacts to FWHCAs. For any unavoidable impacts, describe and justify all project components that cannot avoid impacting the FWHCA. For unavoidable impacts, mitigation plans must be prepared in accordance with subsection (3)(h) of this section.

(ii) Types of Impacts. All potential impacts to FWHCAs and their functions and values shall be identified and described in the habitat management report. Habitat management reports shall consider direct impacts, indirect impacts, permanent impacts, temporary (long-term and short-term) impacts, and cumulative impacts.

(iii) Impact Area. The area (square footage) of potential impact shall be quantified for each FWHCA. At a minimum, impact area shall include FWHCA that occurs within the limits of clearing, as shown on the site plan;

(h) Provide a detailed mitigation plan for any unavoidable impacts. Mitigation plans shall include:

(i) Description and scaled, graphic rendering of the mitigation proposal and of the area, suitability, and objectives of the area to compensate for impact area and functions.

(ii) A table identifying impact areas (in square feet) and functions affected for each FWHCA and buffer that also identifies mitigation areas (in square feet) and functions. The table shall clearly show a link between potential impacts (area and function) and proposed mitigation (area and function).

(iii) Mitigation plans shall include performance standards that are applicable to the objectives of the mitigation effort. Monitoring shall be required annually for five years and quantifiable performance standards shall be specified in the plan for each of the five years of monitoring.

(iv) A planting plan, when appropriate, that lists the species to be planted, including quantity and planting density of each species to be installed.

(v) Monitoring schedule, monitoring methods, and monitoring data to be collected shall be described.

(vi) Contingency measures shall be described. If any performance standard is not met, the administrator shall require contingency measures be implemented and may extend the monitoring period beyond five years to ensure FWHCAs are adequately mitigated and protected.

(vii) Photographs of the site and the FWHCAs.

(4) Habitat management plans prepared for any unavoidable development activity within a FWHCA or the inner 75 percent of a standard buffer shall accompany either a financially bonded critical area stewardship plan or critical areas variance application or reasonable economic use exception in JCC 18.22.250 or 18.22.260.

(5) In-Lieu Fee Program. A mitigation plan shall not be required if an actively managed ILF program is used to mitigate project impacts; provided, that the administrator has approved the use of ILF to achieve compensatory FWHCA mitigation. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.955 Process and requirements for designating habitats of local importance as critical areas.

(1) Purpose. This section describes the process for designating species and habitats of local importance that are not covered by the federal and state sensitive, threatened, or endangered species regulations. Accordingly, this section details the requirements for designating and monitoring species and habitats of local importance, as well as removing such species and habitats from designation if necessary.

(2) Definition. The use of the term “habitat” in this section means a place or type of site where a plant or animal naturally or normally lives and grows, and includes areas used by a species during any life stage at any time of the year.

(3) Procedure for Designation – Generally. An application/nomination to designate a habitat of local importance as a critical area shall be processed according to the procedures for Type V land use decisions established in Chapter 18.40 JCC.

(4) Nominations/Applications. Any person, organization, or Jefferson County agency may nominate and apply for designation a species or habitat of local importance. A nominating person or organization must be a resident of, or headquartered in, Jefferson County.

(5) Nomination/Application Submittal.

(a) The applicant shall provide information demonstrating that the species or habitat is native to Jefferson County, existing on or before the date of adoption of the regulations codified in this chapter.

(b) All nominations/applications for designation of a species/habitat of local significance shall include the following:

(i) Identification of the species including its scientific and locally common name(s);

(ii) Identification of the geographic location, including Jefferson County parcel numbers, and extent of the habitat associated with a nominated species or the nominated habitat itself if not associated with a nominated species; a map of an appropriate scale to properly describe the location and extent of the habitat will accompany the nomination, as well as geo-referencing information sufficient to allow mapping of the habitat site in the county GIS mapping system;

(iii) The status of the species or the occurrence of the type of habitat in surrounding counties and in the rest of the state has been considered in making this nomination;

(iv) A management strategy for the species or habitat;

(v) Indications as to whether the proposed management strategy has been peer reviewed, and if so, how this was done and by whom;

(vi) Where restoration of habitat is proposed, a specific plan, including how the restoration will be funded, must be provided as part of the nomination;

(vii) Recommendations for allowed, exempt, and regulated activities within the area;

(viii) Recommended buffer and setback requirements and their justification;

(ix) Seasonal requirements;

(x) A monitoring plan must be practical and achievable and include the following:

(A) Baseline data and a description of what measurements will be used to determine the success of the project. The plan shall include the criteria and time period required to evaluate the success of the plan;

(B) A contingency plan for failure; and

(C) A list of all parcels not included in the nomination but affected by the monitoring process;

(xi) The nomination must also include an economic impact, cost, and benefits analysis. The nomination must also include an analysis of alternative solutions to formal designation of the habitat of local importance as a regulated critical area under this chapter.

(c) The applicant shall be responsible for paying all fees and all expenses incurred by Jefferson County to process the application.

(6) Review and Approval Criteria.

(a) Species nominated for designation under this section must satisfy the following criteria:

(i) Local populations that are in danger of extirpation based on documented trends since the adoption of the Growth Management Act;

(ii) The species is sensitive to habitat manipulation;

(iii) The species or habitat has commercial, game, or other special value such as locally rare species;

(iv) The nomination includes an analysis of the proposal using best available science; and

(v) The nomination specifies why protection by other county, state or federal policies, laws, regulations or nonregulatory tools is inadequate to prevent degradation of the species or habitat and for which management strategies are practicable, and describes why, without designation and protection, there is a likelihood that the species will not maintain and reproduce over the long term, or that a unique habitat will be lost.

(b) Habitats nominated for designation under this section must satisfy the following criteria:

(i) Where a habitat is nominated to protect a species, the use of the habitat by that species must be documented or be highly likely or the habitat is proposed to be restored with the consent of the affected property owner so that it will be suitable for use by the species; and long-term persistence of the species in Jefferson County and adjoining counties is dependent on the protection, maintenance or restoration of the habitat;

(ii) Areas nominated to protect a particular habitat must represent either high quality native habitat or habitat that has an excellent potential to recover to a high-quality condition and which is either of limited availability or highly vulnerable to alteration; and

(iii) The nomination specifies the specific habitat features to be protected (e.g., nest sites, breeding areas, nurseries, etc.). In the case of proposed wildlife corridors, the nomination shall specify those features that are required for the corridor to remain viable to support and protect the nominated species.

(7) Review and Approval Process.

(a) The department of community development shall determine whether the application submittal is complete. If deemed complete, the department shall evaluate the proposal for compliance with the approval criteria in this section and make a recommendation to the planning commission based on those criteria. The department shall also notify all parcel owners affected of the terms and contents of the proposal.

(b) Upon receipt of a staff report and recommendation from the department, the planning commission shall hold a public hearing, and make a recommendation to the board of commissioners based upon the approval criteria in this section.

(c) The Jefferson County board of commissioners shall consider the recommendation transmitted by the planning commission at a regularly scheduled public meeting, and may then adopt an ordinance formally approving the designation. Should the board wish to vary from the planning commission recommendation and alter or reject the application, such action may only occur following a separate public hearing conducted by the board.

(d) Upon approval, the ordinance designating and regulating the species or habitat of local importance shall be codified in this article for public information and implementation by the department, and a notice to title shall be placed upon all parcels affected by the designation.

(e) Each ordinance creating a species or habitat of local importance shall include periodic review or reassessment of the initial designation. The length of the periodic review may be dependent on the characteristics of the species or habitat.

(8) Removal from Designation. Species or habitats of local significance may be removed at any time; provided, they no longer meet the criteria in subsection (6) of this section (e.g., as a result of a natural catastrophe or climatic change event); and provided further, that the procedural requirements of this section and the procedural requirements established for Type V land use decisions within Chapter 18.40 JCC are met. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.960 Wetland reports.

(1) General. When required by Article VII of this chapter, a site visit conducted by a qualified wetland professional is required to determine if a wetland is present. Based on the site visit, a wetland reconnaissance letter or a wetland delineation report shall be prepared. Wetland reconnaissance letters and wetland delineation reports shall be prepared based on requirements in Article VII (Wetlands) of this chapter, the general report requirements of JCC 18.22.905, and the criteria specified in subsections (2) and (3) of this section.

If a proposed activity is unavoidable and occurs within a wetland or the inner 75 percent of a wetland buffer the wetland reports shall accompany either a financially bonded critical area stewardship plan or critical area variance application in JCC 18.22.250 or reasonable economic use exception in JCC 18.22.260.

(2) Wetland Reconnaissance Letter. A wetland reconnaissance letter shall be prepared and submitted only if all the project components are at least 300 feet from areas of temporary impact and the limits of clearing; provided, no buffer reduction is proposed. A wetland reconnaissance letter shall document that proposed projects because of their location will not impact wetlands and will include the following:

(a) Describe all wetlands and buffers on the property;

(b) Narratively and graphically describe the distance of all wetlands from the limits of clearing, as shown on the site plan. The site plan used during the site visit shall be included in the wetland reconnaissance letter;

(c) Provide a wetland delineation field data form for all potential wetland areas assessed;

(e) Plot locations shall be shown on the site plan that is attached to the wetland reconnaissance letter; and

(f) Photographs of the site and the wetlands.

(3) Wetland Delineation Report. A wetland delineation report shall be prepared and submitted if any portion of the proposed activity is within 300 feet of areas of temporary impact and areas within the limits of clearing, or if a buffer reduction is proposed. A wetland delineation report shall address the following:

(a) Date site visits were made and date report was completed.

(b) Summary of information reviewed (such as maps and reports) to determine the potential for wetlands to be present. Based on this review, describe wetlands within 300 feet of the proposed activity.

(c) Detailed description of the field evaluation results, location and types of wetlands identified, and buffer conditions. Discuss all on-site wetlands identified, potential off-site wetlands, and wetland ratings and buffer widths. Indicate locations of wetland boundary flagging and plot flagging, including flag color, type, and number.

(d) In addition to complying with the clearing, grading, excavation, and stormwater requirements in JCC 18.30.060 and 18.30.070, and the 2014 Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington (or as amended), describe any potential effects of the proposed activity on stormwater quantity, quality, and runoff patterns post-construction. The report must clearly indicate if the proposal will affect or alter water movement to the wetland if the proposal is implemented and identify measures to avoid or minimize alteration of stormwater runoff patterns post-construction.

(e) Describe how the proposal complies with all the requirements of Article VII (Wetlands) of this chapter.

(f) Wetland rating form for each wetland identified shall be included in the wetland report.

(g) Figure showing mitigation areas on the property. Square footage of each mitigation area shall be shown on the figure. If buffer averaging is proposed, the area of increase shall be shown relative to the area of decrease on the figure.

(h) Photographs of the site and the wetlands or buffer.

(4) A mitigation plan shall not be required if an actively managed ILF program is approved by the administrator and used to mitigate project impacts. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]

18.22.965 Critical area stewardship plans.

(1) Property Owner Election. Property owners may elect to develop site-specific critical area stewardship plans (CASPs) as an alternative to the prescriptive requirements of Article VI (Fish and Wildlife Habitat Conservation Areas (FWHCAs)) and Article VII (Wetlands) of this chapter.

(2) The administrator may approve CASPs for critical area buffer reductions greater than 25 percent; provided, the project does not require a reasonable economic use variance.

(3) Review and Approval of CASPs. The administrator shall be responsible for reviewing and approving submitted CASPs. The administrator may, at the administrator’s discretion, seek technical assistance from the Jefferson County conservation district, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife or the Washington Department of Ecology when reviewing CASPs.

(4) Applicability and Limitations. The following provisions define the applicability and limitations of the CASP:

(a) CASPs may be used in any zoning designation if the provisions of this article can be met. CASPs may not be used in the urban growth area if a buffer reduction implemented while using transitional zoning (i.e., rural zoning designation prior to connection with a sewer system) has the potential to preclude future density requirements. The overall goal of the CASP is to maintain existing functions and values of the watershed and subbasin, while addressing the needs and desires of the property owner.

(b) CASPs can be applied to properties one-quarter acre or larger.

(c) CASPs are only applicable to fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas and associated buffers (Article VI of this chapter) or wetlands and associated buffers (Article VII of this chapter).

(d) CASPs must provide equal or greater protection of critical area functions and values than the prescriptive standards of buffers and setbacks.

(e) CASPs will be administered as a Type I permit, per Chapter 18.40 JCC.

(5) Implementation.

(a) A CASP permit is valid for the same timeframe as the underlying permit (e.g., building permit, septic permit, shoreline permit). If the underlying permit does not have a specified expiration date or if the CASP application is a standalone application, the CASP permit shall be valid for three years from the date the CASP permit is issued. A CASP permit shall not be considered valid beyond five years from the date the CASP permit is issued. If the underlying permit remains valid beyond five years, the CASP permit shall be considered null and void. Once the permit has expired, it shall not be renewed.

(b) The applicant shall record a notice title for any approved mitigation at the auditor’s office and shall post a mitigation performance bond with the department. The administrator shall provide the necessary paperwork to the applicants. Assuming the administrator does not need to designate staff (or contract with other qualified professionals) to ensure that maintenance and monitoring are completed as required by this section, the performance bond is to be refunded to the applicant at the end of the specified monitoring period or when all performance standards are met, whichever is greater. The CASP permit is a conditional approval and no other permits (such as building, shoreline, septic) shall be approved until the applicant has recorded the notice to title and posted the performance bond.

(6) As-Built Plan Requirement. An as-built plan shall be prepared by a wetland specialist describing the action taken to implement the CASP. This as-built plan shall include:

(a) A contour map describing final contours if grading is required;

(b) A quantitative description of the vegetation planted;

(c) Establishment of two or more permanent photo documentation stations with established bearings and monuments to ensure that subsequent photographs depict the same landscape for comparative purposes;

(d) Additional photographic documentation that shows the condition of mitigation area(s) once CASP mitigation has been implemented;

(e) A site plan showing the location of the mitigation areas relative to the mitigation proposal as presented in the approved CASP report and to the CASP permit conditions; and

(f) Building final certificate of occupancy or septic final shall not be issued until the applicant has submitted an as-built showing compliance with this article, the approved CASP report, and all CASP permit conditions.

(7) Contingency Plan Requirement. A contingency plan is required describing how the CASP might be modified if monitoring indicates a failure to meet the stated goals, or a need to modify the goals because of events outside the landowner’s control (e.g., damage associated with wildlife). For instance, if one of the planted species of vegetation proves ill adapted to the environment and fails to survive or thrive to the extent needed to provide the intended function then alternative species should be identified. In general, plans should initially plant at greater than 120 percent of the specified final density of shrubs and trees. The contingency plan should call for either supplemental planting when the density falls below the prescribed final density or it could call for the planting of alternate specie(s).

(8) Failure to Submit Required Reports. Failure to submit a report required under this article shall constitute a failure to comply with the terms of the permit.

(9) Performance Bond. The administrator shall authorize the use of the performance bond to ensure maintenance and monitoring are completed to comply with permit conditions. In the event the performance bond amount is insufficient to ensure compliance with the permit (or if activities on the site have negatively affected the mitigation area(s), the failure to comply with CASP permit conditions shall be processed by the administrator pursuant to Chapter 18.50 JCC (Enforcement).

(10) Waiver. The administrator may waive portions of a critical area stewardship plan (CASP) if, in the administrator’s opinion, critical area functions and values will not be adversely affected by a proposed activity.

(11) Recording of Approved CASP Required. An approved CASP must be recorded on the property deed (recorded with the Jefferson County auditor) and must remain in effect unless replaced by a new or updated CASP approved by the county. [Ord. 5-20 § 2 (Appx. A)]