Chapter 18H.30
DEVELOPMENT MORATORIA Revised 12/18

Sections:

18H.30.010    Purpose.

18H.30.020    Development Moratoria. Revised 12/18

18H.30.030    Allowable Activities. Revised 12/18

18H.30.050    Request for Single-Family Dwelling Exception. Revised 12/18

18H.30.060    Time Limitations.

18H.30.010 Purpose.

This Chapter provides the criteria for establishing development moratoria. It also provides standards for the Hearing Examiner to remove a 6-year development moratorium, and for the Director to authorize the construction of one single-family dwelling unit on a site that is subject to a 6-year development moratorium. (Ord. 2004-58s § 5 (part), 2004)

18H.30.020 Development Moratoria. Revised 12/18

A.    General Requirements. Where development moratoria are applicable, all applications for permits or approvals relating to non-forestry uses of land (e.g., building permits, development applications, project construction, subdivision approvals) shall not be accepted by Pierce County for a period of six years. All development moratoria established in this Chapter shall be mandatory, pursuant to Chapter 76.09 RCW.

B.    Applicability of Development Moratorium. The applicability of 6-year development moratoria pursuant to Chapter 76.09 RCW shall be as follows:

1.    Class I forest practices shall not be subject to a 6-year development moratorium when conducted in accordance with Chapter 76.09 RCW and its rules.

2.    Class IV-General forest practices approved by Pierce County shall not be subject to a 6-year development moratorium when conducted in accordance with Title 18H PCC and all associated conditions of approval imposed on the approved forest practices permit.

3.    Class II, III, or IV-Special forest practices with an associated COHP, shall not be subject to a 6-year development moratorium when conducted in accordance with Chapter 76.09 RCW and its rules, an approved forest practices permit (if applicable), and the Pierce County approved COHP.

4.    Class II, III, or IV-Special forest practices which do not have an associated COHP shall result in the imposition of a 6-year development moratorium.

5.    Any forest practice conducted in violation of Chapter 76.09 RCW or its rules, and/or Title 18H PCC including failure to comply with the conditions of an approved forest practices permit or failure to obtain required forest practices permits or approvals, shall result in the imposition of a 6-year development moratorium.

6.    The violation of an approved COHP or condition of a COHP approval shall result in the imposition of a six year development moratorium.

C.    Consequences of a Development Moratorium.

1.    Pierce County shall not accept applications for any development of land that is subject to a 6-year development moratorium. Provided that any reports or studies associated with a request for a single-family dwelling exception pursuant to PCC 18H.30.050 may be accepted, reviewed, and approved in conjunction with the request.

2.    In those cases where a development moratorium is imposed on a parcel that is subject to pending development applications, Pierce County shall immediately cease to review the applications and shall deny the applications. The County shall provide notice of the moratorium to the applicant prior to the denial of applications and shall allow the applicant 30 days from the date of the notice to apply for moratorium removal pursuant to 18H.30.040. If an application for moratorium removal is received during the 30-day period, the denial of any development applications will be postponed until such time as a decision on the moratorium removal request is rendered.

3.    All development moratoria imposed by Pierce County shall extend to the harvest area, including any associated road construction, indicated in the forest practices permit. If no forest practices permit was issued, or a condition of a COHP approval is violated, the moratorium shall apply to the entire parcel.

4.    Pierce County shall notify the appropriate State agency if a forest practices activity that meets the definition of a Class II or III forest practices has been initiated on a parcel without an approved forest practices permit.

D.    Effective Date of a Moratorium.

1.    The 6-year development moratorium shall be imposed from the effective date of the applicable Class II, Class III, or Class IV-Special forest practices permit.

2.    If forest practices occur on a site without the appropriate permit, a 6-year development moratorium shall be imposed from the date the unpermitted forest practices were documented by Pierce County or DNR.

3.    Where a site is subject to an approved forest practices permit with or without a COHP, forest practices occurring at the site which are outside the scope of the approved permit shall be considered unpermitted forest practices for moratorium purposes. In these cases, a 6-year development moratorium shall be imposed from the date the unpermitted forest practices were documented by Pierce County or DNR.

4.    If a condition of a COHP approval is violated, a 6-year development moratorium shall be imposed from the date the unpermitted forest practices were documented by Pierce County or DNR.

(Ord. 2017-89s § 5 (part), 2018; Ord. 2009-18s3 § 6 (part), 2009; Ord. 2006-103s § 3 (part), 2006; Ord. 2004-58s § 5 (part), 2004)

18H.30.030 Allowable Activities. Revised 12/18

The following activities shall be allowed on any parcel that is subject to a development moratorium:

A.    The division of land into lots, each of which is one thirty-second of a section of land or larger or 20 acres or larger; provided, the proposed division meets the minimum lot size or density requirements in Title 18A PCC.

B.    Repair or remodeling within the existing footprint of existing structures.

C.    Reconstruction of a structure damaged or destroyed due to fire, explosion, wind, flood, earthquake, or other similar calamity.

D.    The construction of a structure typically accessory to a residence, such as a garage, greenhouse or storage building, may be permitted on a parcel up to a maximum of 576 total square feet.

E.    Essential Public Facility uses specified under the Essential Public Facilities Category in PCC 18A.33.240 of the Pierce County Zoning Code.

F.    A Site Development Permit application may be submitted, reviewed and approved to address any site development violations on the parcel.

G.    A Wetland and/or Critical Fish and Wildlife Habitat area application per Title 18E PCC may be submitted, reviewed and approved to address any wetland and/or critical fish and wildlife habitat areas violations on the parcel.

(Ord. 2017-89s § 5 (part), 2018; Ord. 2013-85 § 1 (part), 2013; Ord. 2013-30s2 § 8, 2013; Ord. 2009-18s3 § 6 (part), 2009; Ord. 2006-103s § 3 (part), 2006; Ord. 2004-58s § 5 (part), 2004)

18H.30.050 Request for Single-Family Dwelling Exception. Revised 12/18

The Director may administratively grant an exception to the mandatory 6-year development moratorium to allow the construction of one single-family dwelling unit and associated accessory structures, including septic system and wells, pursuant to the following standards:

A.    General Requirements.

1.    An application for a Request for Single-Family Dwelling Exception may not be submitted until after the associated DNR forest practices permit has been closed/withdrawn by the DNR.

2.    The area that is permitted to be developed pursuant to this administrative exception shall not exceed two acres in size. The area shall be undivided and shall be rectangular in shape.

3.    Upon approval of a single-family dwelling exception, a memorandum of agreement (MOA) shall be recorded with the Pierce County Auditor by the landowner. The MOA shall identify the actions to be taken by the landowner to correct any violations of County ordinances or regulations.

4.    When the moratorium was imposed as a result of harvesting under an approved Class II, Class III, or Class IV-Special forest practices permit, a minimum of three years shall have elapsed from the effective date of the forest practices application or notification. The three years may be waived if the applicant provides the County information that no critical areas and buffers were impacted by logging activities and the critical areas and buffers have been preserved pursuant to Pierce County regulations and that 190 trees per acre have been planted and survived a growing season unless reforestation was not required by the DNR permit.

5.    The determination of compliance with County regulations shall be made as part of the application for the Single-Family Dwelling Exception. An initial determination that County regulations have been complied with, including that no critical areas and buffers were impacted, shall be made prior to continued processing of the Single-Family Dwelling Exception application. A building permit for a single-family home and accessory structures may be filed concurrently; however, if it is determined that critical areas and buffers were impacted by logging activities, then the 3-year waiting period shall apply.

6.    When the moratorium was imposed as a result of unpermitted harvesting or a violation of an approved COHP or Class IV-General forest practices permit, a minimum of three years shall have elapsed from the date the moratorium was imposed by Pierce County.

7.    The development moratorium shall remain in effect for all other non-forestry uses of the site.

8.    Only one Single-Family Dwelling Exception application may be submitted on a parcel during the 6-year development moratorium.

B.    Review Criteria. One single-family dwelling, permitted accessory structures, septic system, well, lawn and landscaped area, and access road may be constructed together with site development activities necessary to construct the dwelling on land subject to a development moratorium provided that:

1.    The construction of the single-family dwelling, lawn and landscaping area, accessory structures, and access road are in compliance with all applicable County regulations.

2.    Where critical areas have been impacted and after the 3-year waiting period, the landowner mitigates any damage to critical areas and critical areas buffers resulting from the forest practices in accordance with the requirements set forth in Title 18E PCC. The mitigation requirement shall apply to the entire parcel, including those areas outside of the maximum two acre exception area set forth in the request.

3.    Reforestation of the parcel has occurred, if required pursuant to Chapter 222-34 WAC, when the moratorium was imposed as a result of permitted harvesting. Reforestation shall not be required in the area subject to the Single Family Dwelling Exception application.

4.    The harvest area, excepting the area subject to the Single Family Dwelling Exception application, shall be reforested pursuant to Chapter 222-34 WAC when the moratorium was imposed under PCC 18H.30.020 B.5.

5.    The entire area reforested pursuant to PCC 18H.30.050 B.3. or 18H.30.050 B.4. requires at a minimum 190 tree seedlings per acre survive for at least one growing season.

6.    Trees and seedlings shall be of a commercial tree species native to the Puget Sound Basin. Reforested areas, wherever possible, should represent a mix of coniferous and hardwood native tree species.

7.    The trees and seedlings to be replanted shall be free from injury, pests, disease and nutritional disorders.

8.    It is recommended, wherever possible, that replanting within the harvest area take into consideration the long term functionality of the forest stand and connectivity with other habitat areas.

(Ord. 2017-89s § 5 (part), 2018; Ord. 2009-18s3 § 6 (part), 2009; Ord. 2006-103s § 3 (part), 2006; Ord. 2004-58s § 5 (part), 2004)

18H.30.060 Time Limitations.

A.    Expiration of Approvals.

1.    A Single Family Dwelling Exception approval shall be valid for two consecutive years following the date of issuance.

(Ord. 2006-103s § 3 (part), 2006)