Chapter 18.70


18.70.010    Purpose.

18.70.020    Animal regulations – Small animals and household pets.

18.70.025    Kennels and catteries.

18.70.030    Animal regulations – Livestock – Purpose.

18.70.040    Animal regulations – Livestock – Densities.

18.70.060    Animal regulations – Livestock – Management standards.

18.70.070    Animal regulations – Livestock – Building requirements.

18.70.075    Animal regulations – Livestock – Setbacks for buildings and manure storage areas.

18.70.080    Animal regulations – Livestock – Education and enforcement.

18.70.090    Nonconformances.

18.70.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to enhance and preserve the compatibility between neighboring properties by regulating the scope and intensity of accessory uses or activities involving the keeping of animals. [Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

18.70.020 Animal regulations – Small animals and household pets.

The raising, keeping, breeding or boarding of small animals and household pets are subject to Chapter 6.05 KMC, Animal Care and Control, and the following requirements:

A. The following household pets shall not be limited in number, except as may be provided in KMC Title 6:

1. Household pets in aquariums, terrariums, cages or similar containers;

2. Cats kept indoors.

B. Dogs kept indoors as household pets shall be limited to five.

C. Small animals, including cats and dogs not kept indoors as household pets but excluding bees, shall be limited as follows:

1. Three per household on lots less than 20,000 square feet in size;

2. Five per household on lots of 20,000 to 35,000 square feet in size;

3. An additional two small animals per acre of site area over 35,000 square feet up to a maximum of 20.

4. Mink and fox are permitted only on sites having a minimum area of five acres.

D. Excluding kennels and catteries, the total number of unaltered adult cats and/or dogs per household shall not exceed three. All unaltered animals kept outdoors must be kept on a leash or in a confined area, except as authorized for a hobby kennel or cattery or commercial kennel or cattery pursuant to Chapter 6.05 KMC.

E. All small animals shall be confined within a building, pen, aviary or similar structure, or a securely fenced portion of the site. Any covered structure used to house or contain such animals shall maintain a distance of not less than 10 feet to any property line, except structures used to house mink and fox shall be a distance of not less than 150 feet.

F. An aviary or loft shall provide a minimum of one-half square foot for each parakeet, canary or similarly sized bird, one square foot for each pigeon, small parrot or similarly sized bird, and two square feet for each large parrot, macaw or similarly sized bird.

G. A structure housing poultry, hamsters, nutria, chinchilla, or rabbits shall provide a minimum of one square foot of structure for each animal.

H. Beekeeping is limited as follows:

1. Beehives are limited to 50 on sites less than five acres;

2. The number of beehives shall not be limited on sites of five acres or greater;

3. Colonies shall be maintained in movable-frame hives at all times;

4. Adequate space shall be provided in each hive to prevent overcrowding and swarming;

5. Colonies shall be requeened following any swarming or aggressive behavior;

6. All colonies shall be registered with the extension agent prior to April 1st of each year, on a State registration form acceptable to the City; and

7. Abandoned colonies, diseased bees, or bees living in trees, buildings, or any other space except in movable-frame hives shall constitute a public nuisance, and shall be abated as set forth in Chapter 18.125 KMC, Enforcement.

I. Limits on the allowable number of small animals described in this section may be exceeded only through approval of a conditional use permit, subject to the following:

1. The minimum site area shall be one-half acre.

2. Aviaries or lofts shall not exceed 2,000 square feet and shall be set back at least 20 feet from any dwelling unit.

3. Structures used to house poultry, hamsters, nutria, chinchilla, and rabbits are limited to a maximum of 2,000 square feet. [Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

18.70.025 Kennels and catteries.

Kennels and catteries are subject to the following requirements:

A. For kennels located on residential zoned sites:

1. The minimum site area shall be five acres; and

2. Structures housing animals and outdoor animal runs shall be a minimum distance of 100 feet from property lines abutting residential zones;

B. For kennels located on nonresidential zoned sites, run areas shall be completely surrounded by an eight-foot solid wall or fence; and

C. Catteries shall be on sites of 35,000 square feet or more, and buildings used to house cats shall be a minimum distance of 50 feet from property lines abutting residential zones.

D. See Chapter 6.05 KMC for standards related to hobby kennels or catteries. [Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

18.70.030 Animal regulations – Livestock – Purpose.

The primary purpose of KMC 18.70.040 through 18.70.080 is to support the raising and keeping of livestock in the City in a manner that minimizes the adverse impacts of livestock on the environment, particularly with regard to their impacts on water quality and salmonid fisheries habitat in City watersheds. The following sections establish regulations which set livestock densities and require implementation of best management practices for minimizing nonpoint pollution from livestock in a manner that recognizes the need for integrated resource management within City watersheds. They are intended to be consistent with livestock welfare; however, these concerns are more appropriately addressed through Chapter 6.05 KMC. [Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

18.70.040 Animal regulations – Livestock – Densities.

The raising, keeping, breeding or fee boarding of livestock is subject to Chapter 6.05 KMC, Animal Care and Control, and the following requirements:

A. The minimum lot size on which livestock may be kept shall be 20,000 square feet; provided, that the portion of the total lot area used for confinement or grazing meets the requirements of this section.

B. The maximum number of livestock shall be as follows:

1. Commercial dairy farms in full compliance with a Washington State Department of Ecology NPDES general or special use permit – as consistent with the permit requirements. Otherwise, subsection (B)(4) of this section applies.

2. The keeping of livestock consistent with a King County farm management plan approved prior to January 1, 2011. Otherwise, subsection (B)(4) of this section applies.

3. Six resident animal units per gross acre in stables, barns and other livestock operations with covered confinement areas; provided, that no more than three animal units per gross acre are allowed to use uncovered grazing or confinement areas on a full-time basis, and the standards in KMC 18.70.060 are met.

4. For all livestock not covered by subsection (B)(1), (B)(2) or (B)(3) of this section, three animal units per gross acre of vegetated site area; provided, that the standards in KMC 18.70.060 are met.

5. For purposes of these regulations, an animal unit shall consist of one adult horse or bovine, two ponies, five small livestock, or equivalent thereof (excluding sucklings); provided, that miniature horses and feeder calves (up to one year of age) shall be considered small livestock. [Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

18.70.060 Animal regulations – Livestock – Management standards.

Property owners with farms containing large livestock at densities greater than one animal unit per two acres, and/or small livestock at densities greater than five animals per acre, shall adhere to the following management standards. This section shall apply as long as farm practices do not result in violation of any federal, State or local water quality standards or the critical area regulations in Chapter 18.55 KMC.

A. Livestock Watering. To minimize livestock access to streams, property owners shall utilize the following livestock watering options:

1. The preferred option shall be a domestic water supply, stock watering pond, roof runoff collection system, or approved pumped supply from the stream so that livestock are not required to enter streams for their water supply.

2. Livestock access to streams and their buffers shall be limited to stream crossing and watering points approved under the provisions of Chapter 18.55 KMC.

a. Fencing shall be used as necessary to prevent livestock access to streams, wetlands and their buffers.

B. Grazing and Pasture Management.

1. Fencing shall be used to establish and maintain critical areas and their buffers.

2. Fencing installed prior to August 31, 1998, at setbacks other than those specified in Chapter 18.55 KMC shall be deemed to constitute compliance with those requirements.

3. Grazing areas within 200 feet of a stream or wetland shall not be plowed during the rainy season (October 1st through April 15th).

4. Grazing areas may extend to the property line; provided, that streams and wetlands adjacent to the property line are buffered in accordance with Chapter 18.55 KMC.

C. Confinement Area Management.

1. Confinement areas located within 200 feet of any streams, wetlands or drainageways shall:

a. Have a 20-foot-wide vegetative filter strip downhill from the confinement area, consisting of heavy grasses or other ground cover with high stem density and which may also include tree cover;

b. Have roof drains of any buildings in the confinement area diverted away from the confinement area.

2. Confinement areas may extend to the property line; provided, that streams and wetlands adjacent to the property line are buffered in accordance with Chapter 18.55 KMC.

D. Manure Management.

1. Manure storage areas shall be managed as follows:

a. Surface flows and roof runoff shall be diverted away from manure storage areas.

b. During the winter months (October 15th to April 15th), all manure stockpiled within 200 feet uphill of any stream or wetland shall be covered in a manner that excludes precipitation and allows free flow of air to minimize fire danger; or, in the alternative, shall be placed in an uncovered concrete bunker or manure lagoon or held for pickup in a dumpster, vehicle or other facility designed to prevent leachate from reaching any streams or wetlands. Concrete bunkers shall be monitored quarterly for the first two years after installation, then annually unless problems were identified in the first two years, in which case quarterly monitoring shall continue and appropriate adjustments shall be made.

c. Manure shall be stored in a location that avoids having runoff from the manure enter streams or wetlands. Manure piles shall not be located within any stream or wetland buffer.

2. Manure shall be spread on fields only during the growing season, and not on saturated or frozen fields. [Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

18.70.070 Animal regulations – Livestock – Building requirements.

A. In residential zones, free boarding of livestock other than in a legally established stable shall only be as an accessory use to a residence on the subject property.

B. A barn or stable may contain a caretaker’s accessory living quarters under the following conditions:

1. Only one accessory living quarter per primary detached dwelling unit;

2. The accessory living quarter shall not exceed 500 square feet; and

3. The structure must be constructed in conformance with the State Building Code.

C. A barn or stable may contain a caretaker’s accessory dwelling unit as allowed pursuant to the provisions of this title relating to accessory dwelling units. [Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

18.70.075 Animal regulations – Livestock – Setbacks for buildings and manure storage areas.

A. The minimum interior setback for any building used to house, confine or feed swine shall be 90 feet.

B. The minimum interior setback for any building used to house, confine or feed any other livestock shall be 25 feet.

C. The minimum interior setback for any manure storage area shall be 35 feet. [Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

18.70.080 Animal regulations – Livestock – Education and enforcement.

A. Education. Enforcement of these livestock standards shall initially emphasize achieving compliance with the standards as the primary objective, rather than the collection of fines or penalties. Fines or penalties are appropriate when a property owner or livestock operator has been advised of necessary corrective actions, and has not made those corrections. Where violations of the standards do occur, and such violations are directly linked to identified hazards or the discharge of prohibited contaminants, as enumerated in KMC 13.45.030, code enforcement must emphasize immediate correction of the practices resulting in the hazard or prohibited discharge.

B. Both the property owner and any renter or lessee of the property, hereinafter referred to as “livestock operator,” shall be held responsible for compliance with these standards.

C. Prima Facie Evidence. Establishment of and adherence to a farm management plan or the management standards provided by KMC 18.70.060 shall be prima facie proof of compliance with the regulatory provisions of KMC 13.45.040.

D. Violations of Specific Standards. The City shall be responsible for enforcement of the standards set out in this chapter. The City shall be responsible for enforcement of water quality violations pursuant to Chapter 13.45 KMC for prohibited discharges and hazards. If a specific standard identified in this chapter is not being adhered to, the operator and owner shall be given notice of noncompliance. The notice shall specify what actions must be taken to bring the property into compliance. The operator and owner shall be given 45 days in which to adhere to the management standards of KMC 18.70.060. Should the owner and/or livestock operator fail to bring the property into compliance with the standards, the City, after notice, may commence abatement proceedings and impose civil fines 30 days thereafter, to the extent necessary for compliance. Thereafter, upon exhaustion of any appeals and failure of the operator and owner to comply with any continuing order to abate, the operator and owner shall be subject to civil and criminal penalties, and other procedures, as set forth in this title and Chapter 1.20 KMC. [Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

18.70.090 Nonconformances.

Animals being lawfully kept prior to August 2, 2011, shall be allowed to remain until they are sold, moved, or have lived out their life. The City shall notify property owners regarding any known nonconforming animals so that they will not be replaced or their numbers increased following this date. Owners of nonconforming animals also shall be subject to the management practices of this chapter. [Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]