Chapter 16.60


16.60.010    Vegetation conservation areas.

16.60.020    Repealed.

16.60.030    Repealed.

16.60.010 Vegetation conservation areas.

A. Shoreline buffers shall be considered vegetation conservation areas in which existing native vegetation is retained, except in the following circumstances and when mitigation sequencing is demonstrated:

1. The activity is part of a permitted shoreline restoration or enhancement project;

2. The activity is an allowed water-dependent or water-enjoyment use or modification;

3. The activity implements a public access or recreation maintenance plan; or

4. The vegetation removal is otherwise specifically allowed under Chapter 16.50, 16.55, or 18.55 KMC.

Vegetation clearing shall occur only in the minimum shoreline area that is necessary to support the permitted use and shall be mitigated. Nonnative vegetation may be retained unless otherwise required to be replaced as part of an enhancement associated with development or expansion of development on the property.

B. The vegetation management standards established in Chapter 18.55 KMC for critical areas and their buffers shall apply within all shorelines.

C. Retention of forest communities along stream and river channels provides shade and a source of woody debris to the aquatic habitat. Only trees determined by the City to be hazardous or diseased may be removed, unless authorized under subsection A of this section. Selective pruning for safety and view protection is allowed, provided pruning is conducted in a manner that minimizes harm to the health of the trees being pruned.

D. Nonnative vegetation may be removed as part of a restoration or enhancement project if replacement plantings will provide greater benefit to shoreline ecological processes than would be provided by strict application of this chapter.

E. Landscaping plans for shoreline buffers associated with shoreline development regulated under the shoreline code must be prepared by a qualified professional with experience developing native lakefront or riverfront landscaping plans. Landscaping plans are not required for normal maintenance, including maintenance of existing nonconforming landscaping that complies with KMC 16.75.050.

F. Landscaping plans for shoreline buffers should avoid adverse impacts on existing public views of the shoreline.

G. Vegetation management in shorelines shall be consistent with the requirements for grading permits under Chapter 15.25 KMC. If there is a conflict between this chapter and Chapter 15.25 KMC, the more restrictive standards shall apply.

H. When considering compensatory habitat enhancement as mitigation for impacts from new structures, such as when a reduced buffer or shoreline setback or a non-water-dependent use is requested, the enhancement should:

1. Be proportional to the degree of impact of the new structure and associated alterations on shoreline ecological functions. For example, an approved buffer or setback reduction should be compensated with an equivalent area of native vegetation enhancement, including trees along the water’s edge, when feasible;

2. Take into account the degree to which the existing buffer has already been compromised;

3. Offset changes in surface water runoff rates and water quality (such as through increased impervious area), habitat structure (such as loss or alteration of vegetation), and habitat quality (such as from lighting, noise or activities) that are a result of the project; and

4. Focus on restoring ecological functions that are most critical and that have been most diminished in the Kenmore shoreline.

Enhancements may also focus on restoring other critical ecological functions in the shoreline that have been lost or diminished over time (such as placement of large woody debris in water or restoring shallow water habitat) at a subbasin or watershed scale. The city manager may determine whether an enhancement that provides a broader ecological benefit may be substituted for one that would offset the impacts of an individual project.

The city manager may deny a request to allow intrusion into a buffer or for development of a non-water-dependent use if the enhancement proposed does not fully mitigate the impacts of the project or provide a sufficient broader ecological benefit. [Ord. 20-0506 § 3 (Exh. 1); Ord. 12-0334 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

16.60.020 Vegetation management within critical areas.

Repealed by Ord. 20-0506. [Ord. 12-0334 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

16.60.030 Vegetation management within Lake Washington shoreline buffers.

Repealed by Ord. 20-0506. [Ord. 12-0334 § 3 (Exh. 1).]