Chapter 14A.162WETLANDS AREAS

Sections:

14A.162.010
Purpose.
14A.162.020
Designation of Wetland Areas.
14A.162.030
Wetland Categories.
14A.162.040
Regulated Activities.
14A.162.050
Exemptions.
14A.162.060
Special Permitted Uses.
14A.162.070
Delineation, and Wetland Analysis Requirements.
14A.162.080
Protection Standards - Establishing Buffers.
14A.162.090
Protection Standards for Allowing Regulated Activities in Wetlands and Buffers.
14A.162.100
Mitigation.
14A.162.110
New Agricultural Activities.
14A.162.120
Alternative Review Process, Corps of Engineers Section 404 Individual Permits.
14A.162.130
Wetland Review Procedure, Fees, and Title Notification.
14A.162.010Purpose.

The purpose of these regulations is to avoid, or in appropriate circumstances, to minimize, rectify, reduce or compensate for impacts arising from land development and other activities affecting wetlands, and to maintain and enhance the biological and physical functions and values of wetlands with respect to water quality maintenance, stormwater and floodwater storage and conveyance, fish and wildlife habitat, primary productivity, recreation, education, and historic and cultural preservation. When avoiding impacts is not reasonable, mitigation shall be implemented to achieve no net loss of wetlands in terms of acreage, function and value. (Ord. 362 § 3 (part), 2004.)

14A.162.020Designation of Wetland Areas.

Identification of wetlands and delineation of their boundaries pursuant to this Chapter shall be done in accordance with the approved federal wetland delineation manual and applicable regional supplements. All areas within the City meeting the wetland designation criteria in that procedure are hereby designated critical areas and are subject to the provisions of this Chapter. (Ord. 630 § 6, 2015; Ord. 362 § 3 (part), 2004.)

14A.162.030Wetland Categories.

In order to provide information on the functions and values of wetlands in a time- and cost-effective way, wetland analysis reports shall categorize wetlands by their attributes and characteristics. Wetlands shall be rated using the latest adopted version of the Washington State Wetland Rating System for Western Washington published by the Washington State Department of Ecology. (“State Wetland Rating System”).

The State Wetland Rating System provides the detailed criteria for establishing wetland categories. Wetlands are generally designated as follows:

Category I wetlands are those that 1) represent a unique or rare wetland type; or 2) are more sensitive to disturbance than most wetlands; 3) are relatively undisturbed and contain ecological attributes that are impossible to replace within a human lifetime; or 4) provide a high level of functions. Generally, these wetlands are not common and make up a small percentage of the wetlands in the region. The following are considered Category I wetlands:

• Bogs

• Mature and Old-growth Forested Wetlands

• Wetlands That Perform Many Functions Very Well- Wetlands scoring 23-27 points using the Washington State Wetland Rating System for Western Washington, Ecology Publication # 14-06-029.

Category II wetlands are difficult, though not impossible, to replace, and provide high levels of some functions. These wetlands occur more commonly than Category I wetlands, but still need a relatively high level of protection. Category II wetlands in western Washington include Wetlands That Perform Functions Well- Wetlands scoring between 20-22 points using the Washington State Wetland Rating System for Western Washington. Wetlands scoring 20-22 points were judged to perform most functions relatively well, or performed one group of functions very well and the other two moderately well.

Category III wetlands are wetlands with a moderate level of functions (scores between 16-19 points) using the Washington State Wetland Rating System for Western Washington. Category III wetlands usually 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.

Category IV wetlands have the lowest levels of functions (scores between 9-15 points) and are often heavily disturbed. These are wetlands that we should be able to replace, and in some cases be able to improve. These wetlands may provide some important functions. (Ord. 630 § 7, 2015; Ord. 362 § 3 (part), 2004.)

14A.162.040Regulated Activities.

A list of regulated activities is included in Section 14A.142.070 of the General Provisions section of this Title. (Ord. 362 § 3 (part), 2004.)

14A.162.050Exemptions.

A list of exempt activities is included in Section 14A.142.080 of the General Provisions section of this Title. (Ord. 362 § 3 (part), 2004.)

14A.162.060Special Permitted Uses.

A. The following uses are normally regulated but may be allowed, subject to a Process I administrative determination by the Director, provided the listed criteria are met.

B. Educational and Recreational Facilities. Minor structural fill may be allowed for the construction and enhancement of public trails, such as bridging, and trail-related facilities such as benches, interpretive signs, and viewing platforms. Construction of such features on all previously filled areas is allowed. The following conditions must be met:

1. An alternative location outside the wetland is not feasible. Trails and related facilities within wetlands shall, to the extent possible, be placed on other previously disturbed areas;

2. Associated facilities, such as interpretive centers, restrooms, or parking areas are not allowed within wetlands or buffers by this Conditional Exemption;

3. The fill on which the trails or trial-related facilities is placed is limited to the minimum dimensions necessary for the actual crossing and shall not cover more than 5,000 square feet of wetland area;

4. Project design shall minimize adverse impacts to wetlands/buffers and wildlife habitat. Pervious surfaces shall be used;

5. All construction work in the wetland shall be done during the summer dry season (July 15 to October 15). A time extension may be granted by the Department;

6. Native vegetation disturbed by trail construction activities shall be salvaged and replanted in the disturbed areas to the extent feasible.

C. Minor road or trail crossings. Fills for the construction of a road or trail crossing shall be allowed in wetlands or buffers provided that crossings of wetlands shall be avoided to the extent possible. Fills for the construction of a road crossing through a Category I wetland shall not be allowed by this Conditional Exemption. Crossings shall follow the following criteria:

1. An alternative location outside the wetland is not reasonably feasible;

2. The fill on which the road or trail is placed is limited to the minimum dimensions necessary for the actual crossing;

3. The fill placed in wetlands is shall not cover more than 5,000 square feet of wetland area;

4. Crossings shall utilize design which minimizes the adverse impacts to the wetland and hydrology of the existing system;

5. Wetland disturbance shall be limited to no greater than five feet beyond the designated toe-of-fill;

6. All construction work in the wetland shall be done during the summer dry season (July 15 to October 15). A time extension may be granted in writing by the Department; and

7. Crossing shall serve multiple purposes and properties, whenever possible.

D. Erosion Control. Bank stabilization activities necessary for erosion prevention shall be allowed in buffers and Category II, III, and IV wetlands as part of a single and complete project. Bank stabilization projects shall meet all other applicable local, state and federal laws and the following criteria:

1. The minimum amount of material needed for erosion prevention is used;

2. The bank stabilization activity is no more than 500 feet in length, 15 feet high, and will not exceed an average of 1/2 cubic yard of fill per running foot of bank;

3. No material is placed in any location or manner that may impair surface water movement into or out of any wetland area or other water body;

4. No material is placed in any location or manner that may be eroded by normal or anticipated high flows; and

5. The disturbed area shall be re-vegetated within 60 days after completion of the project with native species indigenous to the site. Hydro-seeding with approved mix may be used for temporary erosion control.

E. The construction of utility lines and poles in Category II, III or IV wetlands and buffers provided there are no feasible alternatives and impacts are mitigated. (Ord. 362 § 3 (part), 2004.)

14A.162.070Delineation, and Wetland Analysis Requirements.

A. Wetland Review Procedures - General Requirements.

1. The Critical Areas Atlas – City Wetland Inventory Maps provide an indication of where potential wetlands are located within the County. The actual presence or location of a potential wetland or a potential wetland that has not been mapped, but may be present on or adjacent to a site shall be determined using the procedures and criteria established in this Chapter.

2. The Department will complete a review of the Critical Areas Atlas – Wetland Inventory Maps and other source documents for any proposed regulated activity to determine whether the project area for a proposed single-family dwelling unit or other proposed development is located in the vicinity of a known wetland. Identification of a potential wetland may also occur as a result of field investigations conducted by Department staff.

3. When the Department's maps, sources, or field investigation indicate that a potential wetland is located within 200 feet of the project area for a proposed one family dwelling unit or other proposed regulated activities, the Department shall require a Wetland Verification Report to determine whether or not a regulated wetland is present and if so, its relative location in relation to the proposed project area or site. The findings of the Wetland Verification Report shall be documented as outlined in Subsections 14A.162.070(B)(1) below.

4. If Department staff completes a field investigation and determines that no regulated wetlands are present, then wetland review will be considered complete.

5. If it is determined that a wetland exists within 165 feet of a project site, then a Wetland Analysis Report shall be required. All wetland analysis reports shall include a proposed categorization of the wetland in accordance with the guidelines set forth in Section 14A.162.030, and a calculation of the standard wetland buffer as set forth in Section 14A.162.080.

B. General Wetland Review. General wetland review shall include the submittal of a wetland verification report or a wetland analysis report, together with a wetland review fee as established in the City’s Fee Schedule.

1. Wetland Verification Report.

a. A wetland verification report shall be submitted when a field investigation or review of the City’s Critical Areas Atlas determines that a regulated wetland may be present within 200 feet of the site.

b. A wetland verification report may determine that:

(1) No regulated wetland is, in fact, present within 200 feet of the project site; or,

(2) Wetlands are identified but are evaluated and found to be non-regulated; or

(3) A regulated wetland is present within 200 feet of the project site, in which case a Wetland Analysis Report may be required to determine the limits of the wetland, its classification and appropriate buffer width and other appropriate mitigations necessary to protect the wetland functions and values; or,

(4) A regulated wetland is present, however categorization can be summarily determined and it is apparent that the standard buffer does not extend within the site; or

c. The wetland verification report shall include data sheets, site maps, and other field data and information necessary to confirm wetland presence or absence and category. If non-regulated wetlands are identified, a site plan must be provided that identifies their location.

d. The wetland verification report shall identify and discuss wetland boundaries within the site as well as those that extend offsite. Offsite wetlands and associated standard buffers do not have to be marked in the field.

e. Department staff shall review the wetland verification report and either:

(1) Accept the report and approve the wetland application; or

(2) Reject the report and require the submittal of a wetland analysis report.

2. Wetland Analysis Report.

a. If a regulated wetland or its standard buffer extends onto the site, the Department shall require a wetland analysis report. Information required in a wetland analysis report is identified in Appendix C of the Critical Areas Regulations- Administrator’s Manual.

b. If the Department determines that a Category I wetland is onsite which is associated with documented habitat for endangered, threatened, or sensitive species or for potentially extirpated plant species recognized by State or Federal agencies, the Department shall also require the submittal of a habitat assessment report as set forth in Chapter 14A.154.030(B)

c. If the Department determines that additional mitigation is necessary to offset the identified impacts, the applicant shall comply with the additional mitigation requirements set forth in the Wetland Analysis Report, biological assessment, or SEPA determination.

d. The Department shall review and approve the wetland analysis report to determine the appropriate wetland category and buffer, and shall include the wetland in the City’s Wetland Atlas. The Department shall approve the report's findings and proposals unless specific, written reasons are provided which justify not doing so.

e. Approval of the wetland review shall be concluded upon a determination that the wetland analysis report and mitigation plan, if applicable, are thorough and accurate, and meet all requirements of this Title, and that the monitoring program and contingency plan are tied to an acceptable financial guarantee as set forth in Section 14A.142.150 to assure that the requirements will be followed. (Ord. 362 § 3 (part), 2004.)

14A.162.080Protection Standards - Establishing Buffers.

A. Requirements. The buffer widths in Table 14.1 have been established in accordance with the best available science. They are based on the category of wetland and the habitat score as determined by a qualified wetland professional using the Washington state wetland rating system for western Washington.

1. The use of the buffer widths in Table 14.1 requires the implementation of the measures in Table 14.2, where applicable, to minimize the impacts of the adjacent land uses.

2. If an applicant chooses not to apply the mitigation measures in Table 14.2, then a 33% increase in the width of all buffers is required. For example, a 75-foot buffer with the mitigation measures would be a 100-foot buffer without them.

3. The buffer widths in Table 14.1 assume that the buffer is vegetated with a native plant community appropriate for the ecoregion. If the existing buffer is unvegetated, sparsely vegetated, or vegetated with invasive species that do not perform needed functions, the buffer should either be planted to create the appropriate plant community, or the buffer should be widened to ensure that adequate functions of the buffer are provided.

4. The buffer at its narrowest point is never less than either ¾ of the required width or 75 feet for Category I and II, 50 feet for Category III and 25 feet for Category IV, whichever is greater.

Table 14.1 Wetland Buffer Requirements

Buffer width (in feet) based on habitat score

Wetland Category

3-4

5

6-7

8-9

Category I:Based on total score

75

105

165

225

Category I:Bogs and Wetlands of High Conservation Value

190

225

Category I:Coastal Lagoons

150

165

225

Category I:Interdunal

225 ft

Category I:Forested

75

105

165

225

Category I:Estuarine

150 (buffer width not based on habitat scores)

Category II:Based on score

75

105

165

225

Category II:Interdunal Wetlands

110

165

225

Category II:Estuarine

110 (buffer width not based on habitat scores)

Category III (all)

60

105

165

225

Category IV (all)

40

Table 14.2 Required measures to minimize impacts to wetlands

(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’ 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 ft 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

Disruption of corridors or connections

• Maintain connections to offsite areas that are undisturbed• Restore corridors or connections to offsite habitats by replanting

B. Buffer widths may be modified by averaging, reducing, or increasing.

1. Buffer width averaging may be allowed only where the applicant demonstrates the following:

a. Buffer encroachment is unavoidable.

b. A habitat assessment has been submitted which demonstrates that the site does not provide habitat for any endangered, threatened, or sensitive fish or animal species; or,

c. For wetlands and/or required buffers associated with documented habitat for

endangered, threatened, or sensitive fish, or wildlife species, a habitat assessment report has been submitted that demonstrates that the buffer modification will not result in an adverse impact to the species of study.

d. The wetland contains variations in sensitivity due to existing physical characteristics; and

e. Width averaging will not adversely impact the wetland or critical fish and wildlife habitat; and

f. The total buffer area after averaging is no less than the buffer area prior to averaging; and

g. The minimum buffer width will not be less than seventy-five percent of the widths established in 14A.162.080(A) above.

h. The averaging is accomplished within the project boundaries.

i. Buffer width averaging shall only be permitted where it is shown that there is no feasible alternatives to the site design that could be accomplished without buffer averaging.

2. Buffer width reduction may be allowed only where the applicant demonstrates the following circumstances. Such reduction shall not result in greater than a twenty-five percent (25%) reduction in the buffer width established in 14A.162.080(A). and shall result in a buffer no less than 30 feet in any case.

a. The proposed buffer area is extensively vegetated and has less than fifteen percent slopes, and the reduction will not result in adverse impacts to the wetland; or

b. The project includes a buffer enhancement plan, as part of the mitigation required by Section 14A.162.100. The buffer enhancement plan shall use plant species which are indigenous to the project area, and shall substantiate that an enhanced buffer will improve the functional attributes of the buffer to provide additional protection for wetland functional values; or

c. The acreage included in the buffer would substantially exceed the size of the wetland and the reduction will not result in adverse impacts to the wetland or the project includes a buffer enhancement plan which ensures that the reduction will not result in adverse impacts to the wetland.

3. The Department may require increased buffer width when a larger buffer is necessary to protect wetland functions and values based on local conditions. This determination shall be reasonably related to protection of the functions and values of the regulated wetland. Such determination shall demonstrate that:

a. A larger buffer is necessary to maintain viable populations of existing species; or

b. The wetland is used by species listed by the federal government or the state as endangered, threatened, sensitive or as documented priority species or habitats, or essential or outstanding potential sites such as heron rookeries or raptor nesting areas; or

c. The adjacent land is susceptible to severe erosion and erosion control measures will not effectively prevent adverse wetland impacts; or

d. The adjacent land has minimal vegetative cover or slopes greater than fifteen percent.

C. Buffers shall be measured perpendicular from the wetland edge.

D. When buffer boundaries have been determined, they shall be marked in the field by a licensed surveyor. The markers shall be clearly visible, durable, and permanently affixed to the ground.

E. A building setback line of eight (8) feet shall be required from the edge of a buffer.

F. Except as otherwise specified, buffers shall be retained in a natural condition.

G. A wetland buffer shall not be required to extend beyond an existing substantial improvement such as an improved road, dike, levee, or a permanent structure, where the existing improvement obviates the beneficial impact that the buffer would provide for the wetland. (Ord. 630 § 8, 2015; Ord. 362 § 3 (part), 2004.)

14A.162.090Protection Standards for Allowing Regulated Activities in Wetlands and Buffers.

A. Regulated activities in Category III and IV wetlands and/or buffers for Category III and IV wetlands may be allowed when the applicant demonstrates to the Department that all adverse impacts to wetlands will be mitigated according to Section 14A.162.100;

B. The placement of access roads, utility lines, and utility poles may be allowed in buffers for Category II wetlands if the following conditions are met:

1. There is no feasible alternative location for an access road and/or utilities to the site; and

2. The applicant demonstrates that all adverse impacts to wetlands will be mitigated according to a mitigation plan which complies with A14A.162.100.

C. The following activities may be allowed in a buffer without a complete mitigation plan if the applicant demonstrates to the Department that all adverse impacts to wetlands will be mitigated according to Section 14A.162.100. In cases that require environmental review, a threshold environmental determination may not be made until the Department is satisfied that adequate mitigation will occur. The allowed activities are as follows:

1. One well and necessary appurtenances, including a pump and appropriately sized pump house, but not including a water storage tank (unless the water storage tank can be contained within the pump house), may be allowed on each site in a buffer if all the following conditions are met:

a. The pump house is a one story building with a ground area of less than 220 square feet; and

b. The well is more than 75 feet deep; and

c. For Category I and II wetlands, the minimum distance from the well and appurtenances to the wetland edge is no less than fifty percent of the buffer widths established in the table in Section 14.162.070 A.; and

d. Access to the well and pump house shall be by a pervious trail for pedestrian traffic only, or, if necessary, by an unimproved access for a maintenance vehicle.

2. Pervious walkways and trails and associated viewing platforms, provided that those pathways are limited to minor crossings having no adverse impact on water quality. They should be generally parallel to the perimeter of the wetland, located only in the outer twenty-five percent (25%) of the wetland buffer area and located to avoid removal of significant trees. They should be limited to pervious surfaces no more than five (5) feet in width for pedestrian use only. Raised boardwalks utilizing non-treated pilings may be acceptable. In the case of Category I wetlands the minimum distance from the wetland edge is no less than fifty percent of the buffer width established in the table in Section 14.162.070(A).

3. The placement of utility lines which do not require excavation, or utility poles, in any part of a buffer for a Category II, III, or IV wetland. They may be placed in a buffer for a Category I wetland, provided that the minimum distance from the wetland edge is no less than fifty percent of the Category I buffer width established in the table in Section 14.162.070(A).

4. Activities within that area of a buffer in which a direct line to the wetland is obstructed by an existing substantial improvement such as an improved road or a permanent structure, the presence of which significantly reduces the likely impact of the proposed activity on the wetland.

A zoning certification, building permit, and/or site development permit shall not be issued for these regulated activities until the applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Department that all adverse impacts to wetlands will be mitigated according to Section 14A.162.100.

D. Reasonable Use Exception- Category I and II Wetlands. Regulated activities in Category I and II wetlands and/or buffers for Category I and II wetlands may be allowed only if, following a public hearing, the Hearing Examiner determines that a reasonable use exception is warranted pursuant to LMC Section 14A.142.080, and the following criteria are met:

1. No reasonable use with less impact on the wetland is possible; and

2. There is no feasible on-site alternative to the proposed activities, including phasing of project implementation, change in timing of activities, revision of road and lot layout, and/or related site planning and density considerations, that would allow a reasonable economic use with less adverse impacts to wetlands; and

3. The proposed activities will result in minimum feasible alteration or impairment to the wetland's functional characteristics and existing contours, vegetation, fish and wildlife resources, and hydrological conditions; and

4. The disturbance of wetlands has been minimized by locating any necessary activities outside the wetland to the extent possible; and

5. The proposed activities 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

6. The proposed activities will not cause significant degradation of groundwater or surface water quality; and

7. The proposed activities comply with all state, local and federal laws, including, but not limited to, those related to sediment control, pollution control, floodplain restrictions, and on-site wastewater disposal; and

8. Any and all regulated activities in wetlands and buffers will be mitigated according to Section 14A.162.100. The Examiner may require the preparation of a formal mitigation plan; and

9. There will be no damage to nearby public or private property and no threat to the health or safety of people on or off the property; and

10. The inability to derive reasonable economic use of the property is not the result of actions by the applicant in segregating or dividing the property and creating the undevelopable condition after the effective date of this Chapter.

E. Reasonable Use Provision, Categories III and IV Wetlands. If an applicant for a regulated activity on a Category III or IV wetland and/or associated buffer cannot obtain permission through the procedures described in 14A.162.090(A) and 14A.162.090(C), the activity may be allowed if, following a public hearing, the Hearing Examiner determines the criteria of 14.162.090(D) are met. (Ord. 630 § 9, 2015; Ord. 362 § 3 (part), 2004.)

14A.162.100Mitigation.

A. All activities in wetlands and/or buffers shall be mitigated according to this Section. Mitigation sequencing is used to determine the type and extent of mitigation and is considered in order of preference, however there may be circumstances when an alternative mitigation strategy is preferable such as a mitigation bank, in-lieu fee program, or advance mitigation project that is implemented according to federal and state rules, state policy and state water quality regulations.

The order of preference for mitigation is:

1. Avoiding the impact altogether by not taking a certain action or parts of actions, and providing specified buffers and setbacks. Provision of specified buffers and setbacks is the expected method of mitigation unless an activity is listed as exempt, a reasonable use exception has been granted according to the provisions of this Chapter, or an appropriate alternative mitigation program has been approved through a formal mitigation plan.

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

3. The following types of mitigation (no order of preference):

a. Rectifying the impact by repairing, rehabilitating, or restoring the affected environment;

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

c. Compensating for the impact by replacing or providing substitute resources or environments.

4. Monitoring the impact and compensation and taking appropriate corrective measures.

5. Mitigation for individual actions may include a combination of the above measures.

B. Compensatory mitigation for alterations to wetlands shall be used only for impacts that cannot be avoided or minimized and shall achieve equivalent or greater biologic functions. Compensatory mitigation plans shall be consistent with Wetland Mitigation in Washington State–Part 2: Developing Mitigation Plans—Version 1, (Ecology Publication #06-06-011b, Olympia, WA, March 2006, or as revised), and Selecting Wetland Mitigation Sites Using a Watershed Approach (Western Washington) (Publication #09- 06-32, Olympia, WA, December 2009).

1. Mitigation ratios shall be consistent with Paragraph 3 below.

2. Mitigation requirements may also be determined using the credit/debit tool described in Calculating Credits and Debits for Compensatory Mitigation in Wetlands of Western Washington: Final Report (Ecology Publication #10-06-011, Olympia, WA, March 2012, or as revised) consistent with subsection H of this Chapter.

3. 

Wetland Mitigation Ratios[]:

Category and Type of Wetland

Creation or Re-establishment

Rehabilitation

Enhancement

Category I:

Bog, Natural Heritage site

Not considered possible

Case by case

Case by case

Category I:

Mature Forested

6:1

12:1

24:1

Category I:

Based on functions

4:1

8:1

16:1

Category II

3:1

6:1

12:1

Category III

2:1

4:1

8:1

Category IV

1.5:1

3:1

6:1

1Ratios for rehabilitation and enhancement may be reduced when combined with 1:1 replacement through creation or re-establishment. See Table 1a, Wetland Mitigation in Washington State – Part 1: Agency Policies and Guidance –Version 1, (Ecology Publication #06-06-011a, Olympia, WA, March 2006 or as revised).

4. The detailed mitigation plan shall be signed by the wetland specialist to indicate that the plan is according to specifications determined by the wetland specialist. A signed original mitigation plan shall be submitted to the Department.

5. Approval of the detailed mitigation plan shall be signified by a notarized memorandum of agreement signed by the applicant and Department Director or designate, and recorded with the County Auditor. The agreement shall refer to all requirements for the mitigation project.

6. The mitigation project shall be completed according to a schedule agreed upon between the Department and the applicant.

7. Wetland mitigation shall occur according to the approved wetland mitigation plan, and shall be consistent with provisions of this Chapter.

8. On completion of construction for the wetland mitigation project, the wetland specialist shall notify the Department. The Department will inspect and review the construction project prior to acceptance. (Ord. 630 § 10, 2015; Ord. 362 § 3 (part), 2004.)

14A.162.110New Agricultural Activities.

An applicant may use the following procedure to initiate agricultural activities:

A. Where the Department determines that a regulated wetland may be present within 150 feet of the proposed activity, the applicant shall select one of the following options:

1. The applicant shall provide the Department with a report prepared by a wetland specialist which recommends the appropriate wetland category and includes rationale for the recommendation. The Department will review and approve the wetland category and buffer as follows:

Wetland Category

Buffer

I

150 feet

II

100 feet

III

50 feet

IV

25 feet

2. Alternatively, the Department, upon request, shall determine the appropriate wetland category. The buffer width shall be according to the table in 14A.162.110(A)(1)

B. The Department will determine whether the activity would intrude into the buffer, the wetland, or both.

1. If the Department determines that the proposed activity may intrude into the wetland and/or buffer, the applicant shall prepare a delineation report subject to approval by the Department; or

2. If the Department determines that the proposed activity may intrude only into the buffer, the Department, upon request, shall delineate the wetland.

C. Following approval of the delineation report or the Department's completion of the delineation, the applicant shall place permanent, clearly visible markers on-site at the edge of the buffer. Placement of markers by a licensed surveyor is not required. No regulated activities shall occur within the wetland and/or buffer except as allowed in 14A.162.110(D). Temporary intrusion into the buffer necessary for construction activities may be allowed if the buffer can be adequately restored. Livestock shall be fenced from the wetland and buffer, unless requirements of 14A.162.110(D) are met.

D. Agricultural activities may be initiated:

1. In a buffer, if the applicant demonstrates to the Department that all adverse impacts to wetlands will be mitigated.

2. In the wetland after Department approval of the following reports, which shall be prepared by a wetland specialist obtained by the applicant:

a. A report which recommends the appropriate wetland category and includes rationale for the recommendation, unless the category has already been determined by the Department; and

b. A wetland delineation report, unless a delineation has already been approved by the Department; and

c. A Best Management Plan developed by the Pierce County Conservation District or U.S.D.A. Soil Conservation Service. A wetland specialist shall review the plan and specify mitigation for all impacts to wetlands, other than water quality impacts reviewed by the Conservation District or Soil Conservation Service; and

d. A report prepared by a wetland specialist which demonstrates that the proposed activity:

(1) 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;

(2) Will not cause significant degradation of groundwater or surface water quality; and

(3) Will not damage public or private property and will not threaten public health or safety. (Ord. 362 § 3 (part), 2004.)

14A.162.120Alternative Review Process, Corps of Engineers Section 404 Individual Permits.

A. The alternative review process outlined below will be used in cases where a Section 404 individual permit is required from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. (Refer to 33 CFR § 320.1, § 323.2(g), and § 325.5(b)(1)).

1. The applicant shall notify the Department when the applicant applies for the Section 404 permit or contacts the Corps concerning a specific project. The applicant shall apprise the Department of the Corps' permitting process, including notifying the Department of all hearings or meetings scheduled to discuss the applicant's project, potential mitigation or approval. The review process of the Corps will substitute for the review process outlined in Section 14A.162.130. The City participation in the Corps' review process does not constitute approval of the applicant's project by the City. The substantive provisions of this Chapter are still applicable and authorization of regulated activities will be approved or denied by the Department based upon those provisions. However, the Department shall consider the mitigation requirements as set forth by the commenting agencies during the Corps' review process and shall concur with that mitigation, if it is functionally equivalent with the requirements of this Chapter.

2. The applicant shall submit the information specified in Section 14A.162.070 and 14A.162.100 to the Department when filing for the Corps permit. The Department may also require the submittal of any additional information deemed necessary.

3. Notice of Application. A notice of application will be required for any permit applications subject to LMC 18A.02.670. (Ord. 362 § 3 (part), 2004.)

14A.162.130Wetland Review Procedure, Fees, and Title Notification.

A. Procedure. The provisions of this section regarding wetlands regulation shall be incorporated and integrated into other City permitting requirements including, but not limited to, the review and issuance of zoning certifications, site development permits, clearing and grading permits, building permits, environmental reviews under SEPA, administrative and conditional use permits, shoreline permits and subdivisions.

B. Fees. Each applicable fee shall be payable at the time the applicant submits an application or document to which a fee applies according to the City’s Fee Schedule.

C. Notice on Title. When the City determines that activities not exempt from this Chapter are proposed, the property owner shall file for record with the Pierce County Auditor a notice approved by the Department in a form substantially as set forth below. The notice shall provide notice in the public record of the presence of a wetland or buffer, the application of this Chapter to the property, and that limitations on actions in or affecting such wetlands and buffers may exist. The notice shall be notarized and shall be recorded prior to approval of any land use proposal for the site.

Notice on title is not required for utility line easements on lands not owned by the jurisdiction conducting the regulated activity.

Form of notice:

WETLAND AND/OR WETLAND BUFFER NOTICE

Tax Parcel Number:

Name:

Address:

Legal Description:

NOTICE: This property contains wetlands or wetland buffers as defined by the City Code 14.162. Restrictions on use or alteration of the wetlands or wetland buffers may exist due to natural conditions of the property and resulting regulations.

Signature of owner _________________________________________

Date: __________

(NOTARY ACKNOWLEDGMENT)

D. Wetland Tract.

1. Prior to final approval of any development application on a property containing a wetland or wetland buffer, the part of the wetland and/or buffer which is on the site shall be placed in a separate wetland tract or tracts, protective easement, public or private land trust dedication, or similarly preserved through an appropriate permanent protective mechanism as determined by the City. All wetland tracts, protective easements, land trust dedications and other similarly preserved areas shall remain undeveloped in perpetuity, except as they may be allowed to be altered pursuant to this Chapter.

2. Prior to final approval of any development application on a property containing a wetland or wetland buffer, the common boundary between a wetland tract, protective easement, land trust dedication, or other similarly preserved area and the adjacent land shall be permanently identified with permanent signs. Sign locations, wording, and size and design specifications shall be as required by the Department.

3. At any time after a wetland tract, protective easement, land trust dedication, or other similarly preserved area has been established, the owner may submit a delineation report to the Department. If the Department determines that a boundary change has occurred, or that a wetland no longer exists, the wetland tract, protective easement, land trust dedication, or other similarly preserved area may be altered or eliminated, as appropriate. If the Department determines that wetland boundaries have changed or that a wetland has been eliminated due wholly or in part to illegal activity, a change or elimination of wetland tract, protective easement, land trust dedication, or other similarly preserved area shall not be permitted.

4. A wetland tract, protective easement, land trust dedication, or other similarly preserved area is not required for utility lines in easements on lands not owned by the jurisdiction conducting the regulated activity.

E. Review and Approval. Provisions for the protection of wetlands in conjunction with regulated activities shall be reviewed and approved by the Department. Approval shall be granted upon a determination that the wetland analysis report and mitigation plan meet all applicable requirements of this Chapter, and that the monitoring program and contingency plan are tied to an acceptable financial guarantee to assure that the requirements will be complied with.

F. Expiration. Approvals shall be valid for a period of three years from the date of issue unless a longer or shorter period is specified by the Department. An extension of an original approval may be granted upon submittal of a written request to the Department prior to expiration. Prior to the granting of an extension, the Department may require updated studies if, in its judgment, the original intent of the approval is altered or enlarged by the renewal, if the circumstances relevant to the review and issuance of the original permit have changed substantially, or if the applicant failed to abide by the terms of the original approval. (Ord. 362 § 3 (part), 2004.)