Chapter 18S.30
GENERAL POLICIES AND REGULATIONS

Sections:

18S.30.010    Purpose.

18S.30.020    Archaeological, Cultural, and Historic Resources.

18S.30.030    Ecological Protection.

18S.30.040    Excavation, Dredging, Filling, and Grading.

18S.30.050    Shoreline Access.

18S.30.060    Scenic Protection and Compatibility.

18S.30.070    Shoreline Stabilization.

18S.30.080    Shoreline Modifications.

18S.30.090    Water Oriented Development.

18S.30.100    Water Quality, Stormwater, and Nonpoint Pollution.

18S.30.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this Chapter is to provide general development policies and regulations that are, or could be, applicable to all shoreline uses and development in all shoreline environment designations. (Ord. 2013-45s4 § 7 (part), 2015)

18S.30.020 Archaeological, Cultural, and Historic Resources.

The intent of the Archaeological, Cultural, and Historic Resources policies and regulations is to recognize that these resources can be found throughout the County and that they are valuable because they are irreplaceable and limited. When these resources are found on shoreline sites they should be preserved, protected, and restored. Archaeological areas, ancient villages, military forts, old settlers' homes, ghost towns, historic trails, historical cemeteries, and other cultural sites and features are nonrenewable resources, many of which are in danger of being lost through present day changes in land use and urbanization.

A.    Applicability. The policies and regulations of this Section shall apply to all uses and development, within all shoreline environment designations.

B.    Policies.

1.    Locate, design, and operate developments to be compatible with the protection of any adjacent identified archaeological, cultural, or historic site.

2.    Where appropriate, locate access trails near protected, educational, historical, and archaeological sites and areas.

3.    Encourage private and public owners of archaeological, cultural, or historic sites to provide public access and educational opportunities in a manner consistent with long-term protection of both historic values and shoreline ecological functions.

C.    Regulations.

1.    Should archaeological materials (e.g., bones, shells, stone tools, beads, ceramics, bottles, hearths, etc.) or human remains be observed during project activities on shorelines, all work in the immediate vicinity shall cease.

a.    Upon discovery of such resources, the applicant shall immediately contact the State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, the County Planning and Land Services Department, the affected Tribe(s), and the County coroner (if applicable) to help assess the situation and determine how to preserve the resource(s).

b.    Compliance with all applicable laws pertaining to archaeological resources (Chapter 27.53 RCW, Archaeological Sites and Resources, Chapter 27.44 RCW, Indian Graves and Records, and Chapter 25-48 WAC, Archaeological Excavation and Removal Permit) is required.

2.    For known archaeological, cultural, and historic resources identified within a State, Federal, or local process for historic places or recorded as cultural resource sites, an archaeological, cultural, or historic resource management plan for the site shall be prepared by an archaeologist or historic preservation professional as a part of the shoreline review process.

a.    For development within shorelines on a site with known historic buildings, the following items shall be included in the historical resource management plan:

(1)    The purpose of the proposed development;

(2)    A site plan for the proposed development;

(3)    An assessment of any known or likely adverse impacts to the historic resources or building including, but not limited to, structural stability, historic character of the resources including buildings and surrounding area, views of or from the resources including buildings considered to be historically significant as a result of the proposed development;

(4)    If impacts will occur, an analysis of how these impacts will be avoided, or where avoidance is not possible; and

(5)    A recommendation of appropriate mitigation measures for any adverse impacts to the historic resources including buildings.

b.    For development within shorelines on the same site as a known historical, cultural, or archaeological resource, the following items shall be included in the historic, cultural, or archaeological resource management plan:

(1)    The purpose of the proposed development;

(2)    A site plan for the proposed development;

(3)    Identification of the location of any known historic, cultural, or archaeological resources;

(4)    Likelihood of discovery of resources not yet identified on or surrounding the project site;

(5)    Depth and location of all ground disturbing activities, including but not limited to utilities, driveways, clearing, and grading;

(6)    An examination of project on-site design alternatives;

(7)    An explanation of the need for the proposed development in the proposed location, or access across and/or through a historic, cultural, or archaeological resource;

(8)    An assessment of the on-site resources and an analysis of the potential adverse impacts as a result of the development;

(9)    If impacts will occur, an analysis of how these impacts have been avoided, or where avoidance is not possible; and

(10)    A recommendation of appropriate mitigation measures.

(Ord. 2013-45s4 § 7 (part), 2015)

18S.30.030 Ecological Protection.

The intent of the Ecological Protection policies and regulations is to ensure that shoreline development is established and managed in a manner that protects existing ecological functions and ecosystem-wide process and that mitigates adverse impacts to ecological functions. This means assuring no net loss of ecological functions and processes in shorelines, and protecting critical areas designated in Title 18E PCC.

Shoreline ecological functions refers to the work performed or role played by the physical, chemical, and biological processes that contribute to the maintenance of the aquatic and terrestrial environments that constitute the shoreline's natural ecosystem. Examples of shoreline ecological functions are fish and wildlife habitat, food chain support, and water temperature maintenance.

Shoreline processes are the suite of naturally occurring physical and geologic processes of erosion, transport, and deposition; and specific chemical processes that shape landforms within a specific shoreline ecosystem and determine both the types of habitat and the associated ecological functions. Processes that should be protected include, but are not limited to, water flow; littoral drift; erosion and accretion; infiltration; groundwater recharge and discharge; sediment delivery, transport, and storage; large woody debris recruitment; organic matter input; nutrient and pathogen removal; and stream channel migration.

Ecological protection of the shoreline also includes conservation of vegetation. Benefits of shoreline vegetation include, but are not limited to, the following:

•    Shade necessary to maintain water temperatures required by salmonids, forage fish, and other aquatic biota;

•    Regulation of microclimate in riparian and nearshore areas;

•    Organic input necessary for aquatic life, including food in the form of various insects and other benthic macroinvertebrates;

•    Bank stabilization, minimized erosion and sedimentation, and reduced occurrence or severity of landslides;

•    Reduced fine sediment input into the aquatic environment by minimizing erosion, aiding infiltration, and retaining runoff;

•    Improved water quality through filtration and vegetative uptake of nutrients and pollutants;

•    A source of large woody debris to moderate flows, create hydraulic roughness, form pools, and increased aquatic diversity for salmonids and other species; and

•    Habitat for wildlife, including connectivity for travel and migration corridors.

A.    Applicability. The Ecological Protection policies and regulations shall apply to all uses and development, within all shoreline environment designations.

B.    Policies.

1.    Establish and manage shoreline uses and development in a manner that mitigates adverse impacts so that the resulting ecological condition is maintained or improved.

2.    All shoreline uses and development should avoid and minimize adverse impacts on the shoreline environment.

3.    Recognize the value of adaptive management as a means of providing for flexibility in administering ecological protection provisions of the Master Program.

4.    Assure that shoreline modifications individually and cumulatively do not result in a net loss of ecological functions. This is to be achieved by limiting the number and extent of shoreline modifications and by giving preference to those types of shoreline modifications that have a lesser impact on ecological functions and requiring mitigation of identified impacts resulting from shoreline modification.

5.    Plan for the enhancement of impaired ecological functions where feasible and appropriate while accommodating permitted uses and development. As shoreline modifications occur, incorporate all feasible measures to protect ecological shoreline functions and ecosystem-wide processes.

6.    Preserve and protect existing trees and native vegetation within shorelines to maintain shoreline ecological functions and mitigate the direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of shoreline development. Where shoreline vegetation is inadequate to protect against the impact of new uses or development, native vegetation should be enhanced.

7.    Avoid impacts to shorelines through application of mitigation sequencing, giving highest priority to impact avoidance whenever new uses or development are proposed in shorelines.

8.    Replace designated noxious weeds and invasive species with native vegetation and other non-invasive vegetation to establish and maintain shoreline ecological functions and processes.

9.    Allow vegetation management through practices such as pruning, trimming, or limbing for purposes of views and access paths when it is demonstrated that these practices will result in no net loss of shoreline ecological functions and processes.

C.    Regulations – General.

1.    All development shall occur as defined in Table 18S.30.030-1, Mitigation Sequencing, with avoidance of impacts being the highest priority. Lower priority measures shall be applied only when higher priority measures are determined to be infeasible or inapplicable. Mitigation sequencing components consist of a series of consecutive steps beginning with avoidance and ending with monitoring and taking appropriate corrective measures.

Table 18S.30.030-1. Mitigation Sequencing

Higher Priority

Lower Priority

Avoiding the impact altogether by not taking a certain action or parts of actions.

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

Rectify the impact by repairing, rehabilitating, or restoring the affected environment.

Reducing or eliminating the impact over time by preservation and maintenance operations.

Compensate for the impact by replacing, enhancing, or providing substitute resources or environments.

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

2.    Where new developments and uses are proposed, shoreline vegetation shall be conserved or restored when feasible. Shoreline vegetation helps to maintain shoreline ecological functions and processes and mitigate the direct, indirect and cumulative impacts of shoreline development.

3.    Where retention of shoreline vegetation is not feasible, new developments shall include a vegetation management plan as defined in subsection G.2. of this Section.

4.    Where a critical area or critical area buffer is present, the applicable requirements of Title 18E PCC shall apply.

5.    The Department shall periodically evaluate the cumulative effects of all project review actions in shoreline areas.

D.    Regulations – Critical Areas.

1.    Title 18E PCC, Development Regulations – Critical Areas, is hereby adopted by reference. In instances when the regulations of Title 18E PCC conflict with the requirements of this Title, the more protective standard shall apply.

2.    Because of its incorporation by reference, the provisions of Title 18E PCC shall apply to any use, alteration, or development within shoreline jurisdiction, to include those instances when it is determined that a shoreline permit or approval is not required.

3.    The following provisions of Title 18E PCC do not apply within shoreline jurisdiction:

a.    PCC 18E.10.090, Reconsideration and Appeal Procedures;

b.    PCC 18E.20.050, Reasonable Use Exceptions; and

c.    PCC 18E.20.060, Variances.

4.    Any modification to a critical area buffer that exceeds 25 percent shall be subject to review of a Shoreline Variance.

5.    For regulations specific to submerged aquatic vegetation, forage fish spawning and herring holding areas and other in-water critical saltwater habitats, see PCC 18E.40.040 D. through F.

6.    Category III and IV Wetlands. The mitigation requirements of PCC 18E.30.050, Mitigation Requirements, will not be imposed for activities within:

a.    Category III wetlands less than 2,500 square feet in size which are not:

(1)    Contiguous with a freshwater or estuarine system;

(2)    Located within shoreline jurisdiction; or

(3)    Part of a mosaic wetland complex, as set forth in PCC 18E.30.020 E.2.

b.    Category IV wetlands less than 10,000 square feet in size which are not:

(1)    Contiguous with a freshwater or estuarine system;

(2)    Located within shoreline jurisdiction; or

(3)    Part of a mosaic wetland complex, as set forth in PCC 18E.30.020 E.2.

7.    Wetlands shall be rated using the Washington State Wetland Rating System for Western Washington (Hruby, 2014) (Ecology Publication No. 14-06-029).

8.    Buffers to protect critical areas, such as a wetland or fish and wildlife habitat conservation area, may be wider than the shoreline buffers of this Title. The most protective regulations apply.

9.    Application requirements for critical areas are in addition to those for shoreline permits.

10.    Shoreline permits for development which may impact a critical area will not be granted until critical area review is complete.

E.    Regulations – Shoreline Buffers.

1.    Development on shorelines is subject to both the buffer requirements of this Title and the applicable requirements of Title 18E PCC. Table 18S.30.030-2 indicates the standard shoreline buffer requirements. Table 18E.40-060-1 identifies Fish and Wildlife Habitat Conservation Area buffer which may exceed the standard shoreline buffer for the same water body. The most restrictive buffer width requirement shall apply.

2.    Standard shoreline buffers listed in Table 18S.30.030-2 below are determined based on the Shoreline Environment Designation and shall be measured from the ordinary high water mark (OHWM), except that for Lake Tapps Reservoir, the setback shall be measured from the full pool elevation of 543 feet (equivalent to water level 543 msl as measured at the USGS Gage 12101000).

Table 18S.30.030-2. Standard Shoreline Buffers and Setbacks

Shoreline Environment Designation (SED)

Standard Buffer

Natural

150 feet

Conservancy

100 feet

Residential

75 feet

Setback for Lake Tapps Reservoir

50 feet

High Intensity – non water-dependent use, or those portions of a use that are not water-dependent

50 feet

High Intensity – water-dependent use, or those portions of a use that are water-dependent

0 feet

See Chapter 18E.40 PCC for Fish and Wildlife Habitat Conservation Area regulations; critical area buffers may be greater than the standard shoreline buffer.

3.    Modification Allowances to the Standard Shoreline Buffer/Setback Width. This Section does not apply to critical area buffer modification allowances which are regulated pursuant to Chapter 18E.40 PCC.

a.    Any modification to a standard shoreline buffer that exceeds 25 percent shall be subject to review of a Shoreline Variance.

b.    Standard Buffer Averaging. The standard buffer, as indicated in Table 18S.30.030-2 for all SEDs, may be averaged to reduce portions of the buffer by a maximum of 25 percent when the applicant demonstrates all of the following:

(1)    Avoidance of the impact to the buffer, as preferred by mitigation sequencing described in Table 18S.30.030-1, is not feasible due to topographic or other site constraints;

(2)    The buffer alteration is minimized or reduced by limiting the degree and magnitude of the proposal;

(3)    The buffer to be reduced is offset by an increase in the width of other portions of the buffer so that the total buffer area after alteration is no less than the buffer area prior to the alteration;

(4)    Changes to the configuration of the buffer area are consistent with other requirements set forth in the Master Program and with applicable requirements of Title 18E PCC, Development Regulations – Critical Areas;

(5)    The alteration to the buffer area will not result in a net loss of shoreline ecological function nor increase the risk of slope failure or downslope stormwater drainage impacts; and

(6)    The standard shoreline buffer shall not be averaged for commercial forestry in a Natural SED.

c.    Standard Buffer Reduction. The standard buffer, as indicated in Table 18S.30.030-2 for the Residential or Conservancy SEDs, may be reduced by a maximum of 25 percent when the applicant demonstrates all of the following:

(1)    Standard buffer averaging, as described above, is not feasible;

(2)    The reduction is unavoidable;

(3)    The proposed alteration is minimized by reducing or limiting the degree or magnitude of the proposal;

(4)    Changes to the configuration of the buffer area are consistent with other requirements set forth in the Master Program and with applicable requirements of Title 18E PCC, Development Regulations – Critical Areas;

(5)    The alteration to the buffer area will not result in a net loss of shoreline ecological function nor increase the risk of slope failure or downslope stormwater drainage impacts; and

(6)    The buffer area has less than 15 percent slopes.

d.    Adjacent Development Standard Buffer/Setback Reduction. The standard shoreline buffer/setback, as indicated in Table 18S.30.030-2, for a vacant lot may be reduced when the vacant lot has a common property line with one or more lots which abut the OHWM and which are developed with single-family residence(s), provided:

(1)    The single-family residence(s) on the adjacent lot(s) is(are) built no more than 100 feet from the vacant lot, as measured from the property line to the building; and

(2)    The standard buffer/setback is reduced by no more than 25 percent and the resulting buffer/setback is no less than the average setback of the adjacent residences.

(3)    This reduction does not apply to an adjacent residence built with a reduced setback pursuant to a variance or other approval that reduced the standard setback or buffer.

4.    Uses and Development Allowed within Standard Shoreline Buffer.

a.    Water dependent uses and public shoreline access are allowed within the standard shoreline buffer subject to applicable regulations of the Master Program.

b.    An unpaved access path from a residential dwelling to the shoreline is allowed if:

(1)    The path width is limited to 4 feet;

(2)    The length of the path is minimized by keeping the path at a right angle to the shoreline to the degree feasible; and

(3)    No trees are removed.

c.    Up to 500 square feet or 25 percent of the area encompassed within the first 50 feet measured from the ordinary high water mark (OHWM) may be disturbed to accommodate shoreline access, landscaping, or minor construction associated with a water dependent use upon review and approval of a Vegetation Planting Plan pursuant to subsection G.2. of this Section. Such disturbance shall not be concentrated nor span the extent of the shoreline at the water's edge.

5.    Expansion of Existing Development within Standard Shoreline Buffer. Expansion of legally existing development within the standard Shoreline buffer is allowed without a Shoreline Variance in the following instances:

a.    Expansion landward of existing development within a Shoreline buffer when an existing permanent substantial improvement serves to eliminate or greatly reduce the impact of the proposed expansion upon Shoreline ecosystem functions. Examples of features that may serve as a substantial improvement include permanent structures (such as homes and commercial buildings), larger paved areas (such as commercial parking lots and major roadways), dikes, and levees. Smaller structures (such as sheds and outbuildings) and smaller paved areas do not typically serve as substantial improvements.

b.    Development may be allowed in-line with existing development, parallel to the shoreline and no closer than the existing structure, when on existing impervious surfaces and when there is no loss of existing vegetation.

c.    Development is allowed upward, above an existing building footprint, provided applicable height limits of the Master Program and zone classification are satisfied.

F.    Regulations – Impervious Surface Limits. For residential development, not more than one third of the parcel within shoreline jurisdiction and landward of the ordinary high water mark shall be covered by effective impervious areas, except that new lots created in a Natural or Conservancy SED shall be limited to 10 percent effective impervious surfaces. The calculation for impervious surfaces shall include parking areas but may exclude a 12-foot-wide driveway. This restriction applies to both principal and accessory uses and structures.

G.    Regulations – Vegetation Conservation.

1.    Retention of existing vegetation shall be a priority within the entire shoreline jurisdiction. Retention of existing trees is particularly important. Significant trees as identified in Table 18J.15.030-1 cannot be removed without approval of a vegetation planting plan. Prior to proposing any tree removal, the land owner shall first evaluate alternate means of achieving their development goals, such as selective limbing and tree topping.

2.    Vegetation Planting Plan. Where vegetation is removed or disturbed within a standard shoreline buffer in excess of the vegetation removal allowances described in subsections G.3. through G.6. of this Section, the applicant shall be required to prepare and implement a Vegetation Planting Plan. The Plan shall be submitted for review with a site development or building permit application subject to the following requirements:

a.    Mitigation for loss of vegetation within the standard shoreline buffer shall generally consist of replanting an area equal to or greater than the area of vegetation that was removed or disturbed, except that in those instances when a standard shoreline buffer is reduced, replacement at a greater ratio may be required. Additional forms of mitigation, such as the installation of habitat features, may also be proposed;

b.    Vegetation to be disturbed should not be concentrated along the shoreline, and the first priority for planting shall be adjacent to the ordinary high water mark;

c.    Planting shall occur in a way that maximizes connectivity between critical areas and between the water's edge and upland areas. Small isolated plantings are undesirable;

d.    Plants shall consist of native tree, shrub, and groundcover vegetation;

e.    Vegetation Planting Plans shall identify the following:

(1)    The location and area of the vegetation loss;

(2)    The location of an equal area, or areas, to be planted;

(3)    No less than one tree species, two shrub species, and two groundcover species; and

(4)    The number of plants as specified in Table 18S.30.030-3 below.

Table 18S.30.030-3. Vegetation Conservation Mitigation Planting

Plant Type

Spacing

Number of Plants = Square Footage of Area to be Planted Divided By

Trees

12-15 feet on-center

144-225 square feet (based on tree spacing)

Shrubs

6 feet on-center

36 square feet

Herb/Groundcover

3 feet on-center

9 square feet

f.    Monitoring of vegetation planted according to the planting plan shall be provided as follows:

(1)    Pre-planting photos; and

(2)    Photos taken in a consistent fashion, at established locations, at intervals of 6, 12, and 24 months.

3.    Minor vegetation removal for purposes of providing views and protecting overhead utility lines shall be limited to selective limbing of trees and removal of shrubs. Tree limbing shall be done consistent with Vegetation Management: A Guide for Puget Sound Bluff Property Owners, by the Washington State Department of Ecology. https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/publications/publications/9331.pdf

4.    Hazard Tree Removal may be performed pursuant to PCC 18J.15.130 C.4., Removal of Danger, Hazard and Diseased Trees and, where applicable, PCC 18E.40.040 B.2., Vegetation Removal, Disturbance, and Introduction.

5.    Control of noxious weeds that are included on the State noxious weed list (Chapter 16-750 WAC) or invasive plant species as identified by Pierce County is allowed when conducted by clipping, pulling, over-shading with native tree and shrub species, or non-mechanized digging. Shoreline buffer mitigation planting is not required for this type of vegetation removal but erosion control measures may be required.

6.    Maintenance of lawfully established landscaping and gardens is allowed within the shoreline buffer or setback including, but not limited to, mowing lawns, weeding, harvesting, and replanting of garden crops, pruning and planting of vegetation to maintain the condition and appearance of such areas as they existed on the effective date of this Title and planting of indigenous native species.

7.    Trees within shoreline setbacks may be removed and replaced with shrubs and groundcover at the spacing standard described in Table 18S.30.030-3.

8.    Vegetation enhancement within shoreline buffers or setbacks should consist of plants that do not require use of fertilizers, pesticides or chemicals that are detrimental to water quality or harmful to aquatic life.

H.    In-lieu Fee Mitigation and Mitigation Banking. An applicant may utilize In-lieu Fee (ILF) Mitigation or Mitigation Banking at such time as the County has developed such programs and the programs have been approved by the appropriate State and Federal agencies. Applicants proposing ILF or Mitigation Banking are still subject to the mitigation sequencing requirements of Table 18S.30.030-1.

(Ord. 2018-57s § 1 (part), 2018; Ord. 2013-45s4 § 7 (part), 2015)

18S.30.040 Excavation, Dredging, Filling, and Grading.

The intent of the Excavation, Dredging, Filling, and/or Grading policies and regulations is to provide direction for shoreline excavation, dredging, filling, and/or grading associated with a principal use. This Section may contain more restrictive regulations that limit or effectively preclude a use or development that is authorized pursuant to another Section(s) and this Section shall control in the event of a conflict.

A.    Applicability. The policies and regulations of this Section shall apply to all development for proposals that include excavation, dredging, filling or grading, within all shoreline environment designations.

B.    Policies.

1.    Prohibit fill waterward of the ordinary high water mark (OHWM) except for restoration projects, mitigation actions, beach nourishment or enhancement projects, or when necessary to support a water dependent use, public access, cleanup of contaminated sediments, or alteration of a transportation facility of statewide significance.

2.    Locate and design new development to avoid the need for fill. When fill is deemed necessary, its use should be minimized and environmental impacts mitigated.

3.    Evaluate fill projects for:

a.    Total water surface reduction;

b.    Navigation restriction;

c.    Impediment to water flow, circulation, and currents;

d.    Reduction of water quality;

e.    Destruction of habitat and natural resources systems; and

f.    Creation of hazard to the public and adjacent properties.

4.    Locate and design new development to avoid or minimize the need for maintenance dredging.

5.    Allow dredging only for water-dependent uses and only to the extent necessary to support those uses.

6.    Allow dredging for the purpose of establishing, expanding, relocating, or reconfiguring navigation channels and basins to ensure safe and efficient accommodation of existing navigational uses.

7.    Restrict maintenance dredging of established navigation channels and basins to the minimum necessary, and limit such dredging to the historic or a previously dredged location, depth, and width.

8.    Encourage the recycling of clean, drained, dredged material, for uses that benefit shoreline resources, and agricultural, forest land, and landscaping uses.

9.    Prohibit dredging waterward of the OHWM for the purpose of obtaining fill material.

10.    Pierce County is concerned about potential for impacts to the environment from discharging dredged materials in Pierce County marine waters within the Nisqually Reach Aquatic Reserve. The County encourages citizen participation and engagement in the oversight of dredged material disposal through the Nisqually Reach Aquatic Reserve Implementation Committee and the Anderson Island Citizens Advisory Board (AICAB). The County shall work with DNR Aquatic Reserve Program staff to seek feedback from the Implementation Committee and the AICAB on Shoreline Conditional Use Permit applications related to dredge disposal within Reserve boundaries.

C.    Regulations. These regulations are in addition to those in Title 17A PCC, Construction and Infrastructure Regulations – Site Development and Stormwater Drainage, Pierce County Stormwater Management and Site Development Manual.

1.    The following activities are prohibited:

a.    Filling in locations that will cut off or isolate hydrologic features, except as allowed pursuant to PCC 18S.40.060, Flood Hazard Management;

b.    Solid waste landfills; and

c.    Dredging for the purpose of obtaining fill material, except for projects associated with Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) or Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) habitat restoration, or any other significant restoration effort project approved by a Conditional Use Permit.

2.    Filling waterward of the OHWM is prohibited for the purpose of creating upland, but may be allowed when necessary to support:

a.    Water-dependent uses;

b.    Public access;

c.    Cleanup and disposal of contaminated sediments as part of an interagency environmental clean-up plan;

d.    Disposal of dredged material considered suitable under, and conducted in accordance with, the dredged material management program of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR);

e.    Expansion or alteration of transportation facilities of statewide significance currently located on the shoreline, and then only upon a demonstration that alternatives to fill are not feasible;

f.    Mitigation action, environmental restoration, beach nourishment, or enhancement project; or

g.    Public utility projects approved in accordance with an adopted transportation or utility plan or program.

3.    Excavation, dredging, filling, and/or grading shall not occur without an authorized principal use or development.

4.    Excavation, dredging, filling, and/or grading shall be limited to the minimum amount necessary for the specific use or development proposed.

5.    Activities waterward of the OHWM shall only be allowed after the proponent has demonstrated that alternative locations and designs have been considered and found to be infeasible, and the dump site or destination and staging area for dredged material has been provided.

6.    Excavation, dredging, filling, and/or grading shall not unnecessarily impact natural processes such as water flow, circulation, currents, channel migration, erosion, sediment transport, and floodwater storage, and shall not cut off or isolate hydrologic features.

7.    Dredging material, if suitable, should be utilized for beneficial shoreline resources.

8.    Stabilization measures should be designed to blend physically and visually with existing topography.

9.    New development shall be located and designed to avoid or minimize the need for maintenance dredging.

(Ord. 2018-57s § 1 (part), 2018; Ord. 2013-45s4 § 7 (part), 2015)

18S.30.050 Shoreline Access.

The intent of the Shoreline Access policies and regulations is to recognize the rights of the general public to reach, touch, view and enjoy the water's edge, to travel the waters of the State, and to view the water and the shoreline from adjacent locations. These rights are a fundamental element of the Shoreline Management Act (Act).

A.    Applicability. The policies and regulations of this Section shall apply to the following:

1.    Public projects, except for public linear infrastructure projects where the amount of land and/or legal authority of the project preclude the ability to provide shoreline access and except for instances of incompatibility due to safety, security or impact to the shoreline environment;

2.    Residential developments containing five or more dwelling units;

3.    Non-residential recreational, commercial, industrial, and civic development; and

4.    Marinas.

B.    Policies.

1.    Protect the navigation rights of the general public.

2.    Provide the space necessary for water-dependent uses.

3.    Protect, promote, and enhance the public's opportunity to enjoy the physical and aesthetic qualities of shorelines, including views of the water, while also protecting private property rights and public safety.

4.    Increase the amount and diversity of shoreline access to the State's shorelines consistent with the natural shoreline character, property rights, public rights under the Public Trust Doctrine, and public safety.

5.    Design shoreline access to give priority to public safety and minimize potential impacts to private property, individual privacy, and shoreline ecological functions and processes.

6.    Include shoreline access facilities in development by public entities unless such access is shown to be incompatible because of safety or security concerns, adverse impacts to the shoreline environment or where a more effective public access system can be achieved through alternate means. Focus public access at the most desirable locations.

7.    Publicly financed or subsidized development should not restrict public access to the water's edge except where such access is determined to be infeasible because of incompatible uses, safety, security, or harm to ecological functions.

8.    Design the scale and character of shoreline access areas and facilities proportionate to the scale of the proposed development.

9.    Preserve and protect access opportunities offered by public road-ends and other public rights-of-way that abut the water's edge, existing shoreline public use areas, and other public areas that provide visual or physical access to the shoreline.

10.    Discourage right-of-way for utility development that would impede shoreline access, trails, and recreation.

11.    Give preference to new recreation uses that facilitate the public's ability to reach, touch, and enjoy the water's edge, to travel on the waters of the state, and to view the water and the shoreline.

12.    Acquire access to publicly owned tidelands and shorelands where appropriate and encourage cooperation among the County, landowners, developers, other agencies and organizations to enhance and increase public access to shorelines as specific opportunities arise.

C.    Regulations – Residential. Residential developments containing five or more dwelling units shall provide and maintain a commonly owned tract between the water's edge and the first tier of lots closest to the water's edge for the benefit of all lots within said subdivision. The purpose of the tract is to maintain the natural visual appearance and ecological functions of the waterfront and to provide shoreline access.

D.    Regulations – Non-Residential.

1.    Public shoreline access shall consist of a dedication of land or a physical improvement in the form of a walkway, trail, bikeway, viewpoint, park, deck, observation tower, pier, boat launching ramp, dock or pier area, or other area serving as a means of view and/or physical approach to public waters. It may include interpretive centers and displays. Public shorelines access shall incorporate the following location and design criteria:

a.    Public pedestrian access is required where open space, including critical areas, is provided along the water's edge, and public access can be provided in a manner that will not adversely impact shoreline ecological processes and functions.

(1)    The access shall be buffered from sensitive ecological features and provide limited and controlled access to the water's edge where appropriate.

(2)    Fencing may be used to control damage to plants and other sensitive ecological features.

(3)    Pedestrian access shall be constructed of permeable materials to reduce impacts to ecologically sensitive resources.

b.    Public areas and shoreline access points shall connect to abutting public sidewalks, walkways, trails and streets.

c.    Where views of the water or shoreline are available and physical access to the water's edge is not present or appropriate, a public viewing area shall be provided.

d.    Intrusions on privacy shall be minimized by avoiding locations adjacent to windows and outdoor private open spaces or by screening or other separation techniques.

e.    Public shoreline access design shall provide for the safety of users to the extent feasible. Appropriate amenities such as benches, picnic tables, and public parking sufficient to serve the users shall be provided.

2.    Public shoreline access shall be placed on-site unless one or more of the following conditions apply:

a.    Unavoidable health or safety hazards to the public exist which cannot be prevented by any practical means.

b.    Inherent security requirements of the use cannot be satisfied through the application of alternative design features or other solutions.

c.    The cost of providing the access, easement, or an alternative amenity is unreasonably disproportionate to the total long-term cost of the proposed development.

d.    Adverse impacts to shoreline ecological processes and functions will result from the public access.

e.    Significant unavoidable conflict between any access provision and the proposed development and adjacent development would occur.

f.    A public entity has enacted a program for effective public access to shorelines in lieu of project-specific access.

3.    To meet any of the conditions in subsection D.2. above, the applicant shall demonstrate that all reasonable alternatives to providing on-site public access have been exhausted including, but not limited to:

a.    Regulating access by such means as maintaining a gate and/or limiting hours of use; and/or

b.    Separating uses and activities (e.g., fences, terracing, use of one-way glazings, hedges, landscaping, etc.).

4.    If on-site public shoreline access cannot be provided, off-site public shoreline access shall be provided consisting of a dedication of land, physical improvement, and/or equivalent financial contribution to a local public access fund for a specific public access project.

5.    Off-site public shoreline access should be located in the general vicinity of the project.

6.    The County shall not vacate a county road or part thereof which abuts a shoreline unless the purpose of the vacation is to enable a public authority to acquire the vacated property for port purposes, boat moorage or launching sites, or for park, viewpoint, recreational, educational or other public purposes, or unless the property is zoned for industrial uses, pursuant to RCW 36.87.130.

7.    Public shoreline access sites (on or off site) should be fully developed and available for public use at the time of use or occupancy of the shoreline development. If a financial contribution to a parks department, agency, or entity furthering public access is allowed, the payment shall be received prior to occupancy, although the specific project it is funding need not be initiated.

8.    Public shoreline access provisions shall run with the land and be recorded via a legal instrument such as an easement, or as a dedication on the face of a plat or short plat. Such legal instruments shall be recorded with the County Auditor's Office prior to the time of building permit approval, occupancy, or plat approval, whichever comes first pursuant to RCW 58.17.110. Future actions by the applicant's successors in interest or other parties shall not diminish the usefulness or value of required public access areas and associated improvements.

9.    Maintenance of the public shoreline access facility over the life of the use or development shall be the responsibility of the owner unless otherwise accepted by a public or non-profit agency through a formal agreement recorded with the County Auditor's Office.

10.    Shoreline access should be available to the public from dawn to dusk unless specific hours of operation are established through a shoreline permit or approval.

11.    Public shoreline access sites shall be made barrier-free for the physically disabled and in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

12.    Signs that indicate the public's right of shoreline access shall be constructed, installed, and maintained by the applicant or owner in conspicuous locations at public access sites.

(Ord. 2013-45s4 § 7 (part), 2015)

18S.30.060 Scenic Protection and Compatibility.

The purpose of the Scenic Protection and Compatibility policies and regulations is to preserve shoreline scenic vistas and to ensure development on shorelines is compatible with the surrounding environment, existing, and planned development.

A.    Applicability. The policies and regulations of this Section shall apply to all uses and development, within all shoreline environment designations. For private property view enhancement by way of tree trimming see PCC 18S.30.030 G.3.

B.    Policies.

1.    Encourage sustainable residential development through restrictions on the scale of development, preservation of vegetation and topography, and preservation of views.

2.    Locate new residential structures with respect to views and with a height limit of 35 feet.

3.    Design development, except linear public utilities, to fit the natural topography and vegetation to preserve the natural landscape. Design linear public utilities to preserve the natural landscape.

4.    Maintain, enhance, and/or restore shoreline features including vegetation.

5.    Avoid or minimize negative impacts of commercial development proposals to areas of scenic or cultural importance.

6.    Address scenic protection and aesthetic impacts, including views, through measures such as placement of utilities underground, minimizing topographic alterations for above ground uses, increased setbacks, landscaping, low impact development (LID) techniques, screening, color selection, etc.

7.    Locate new transportation routes to avoid parks, scenic views, historical, archaeological, and cultural resources, unless no feasible alternative exists.

8.    Design shoreline stabilization activities and structures to accomplish the stabilization with maximum preservation of the aesthetics and natural characteristics of the shoreline.

9.    Locate in- and over-water structures so as to minimize visual impacts to adjacent properties and uses and other in- and over-water uses.

10.    Consider aesthetics in placement and design of over-water structures and encourage multiple uses of over-water facilities.

11.    Consider impacts to view and scenic resources enjoyed by abutting uses.

C.    Regulations – General.

1.    Utility facilities should be located outside shorelines. Whenever utility facilities must be placed in a shoreline area, the location and design should be chosen so as not to obstruct or destroy scenic views. Transmission facilities paralleling the water's edge should be placed underground.

2.    The County may require a visual impact analysis of views from various locations to determine if the shoreline view for adjacent properties will be significantly obstructed as part of a development proposal.

3.    Parking lots, including circulation driveways, shall be located as far inland as practicable with pedestrian access provided by walkways or other methods.

4.    Compatibility with, and impacts to, the following shall be considered: navigation, recreation, public access, public use of the beaches and surface waters, traffic, abutting uses, and views.

5.    The ability of watercraft to navigate past the site should not be blocked unless inherently impossible for the use proposed, such as a dam.

6.    Appropriate measures shall be employed to protect public safety and prevent adverse impacts on navigation, public access, recreation, and other approved shoreline development.

7.    Over-water facilities should accommodate multiple uses whenever feasible.

D.    Regulations – Height Limits. Structure height is measured from the average pre-developed grade level to the highest point of a structure; provided, that television antennas, chimneys, and similar appurtenances shall not be used in calculating height, except where such appurtenances obstruct the view of the shoreline of a substantial number of residences on areas adjoining such shorelines; provided further, that temporary construction equipment is excluded from this calculation.

1.    Residential structures shall not exceed a height of 35 feet.

2.    Non-residential structures should be limited to 35 feet, but may exceed a height of 35 feet if the following standards are met:

a.    The increased height provides greater protection to ecological functions;

b.    A visual impact analysis demonstrates that the increased height does not obscure the view of the water body on another property by more than 33 percent of the predevelopment view from that property; and

c.    Overriding consideration of the public interest will be served.

(Ord. 2013-45s4 § 7 (part), 2015)

18S.30.070 Shoreline Stabilization.

The intent of the Shoreline Stabilization policies and regulations is to allow shoreline stabilization structures or measures where no alternatives are feasible to accommodate development along the shorelines, while preserving and improving ecological functions of the shoreline and while protecting the shoreline environment from impacts caused by development within and adjacent to geologically hazardous areas.

A.    Applicability. The policies and regulations of this Section apply to all uses and development on shorelines within all shoreline environment designations.

B.    Policies.

1.    Allow structural shoreline stabilization only where it is demonstrated to be necessary to support or protect an existing primary structure that is in danger of loss or substantial damage, or are necessary for reconfiguration of the shoreline for mitigation or enhancement.

2.    Reduce the adverse effects of shoreline modifications and, as much as possible, limit shoreline modifications in number and extent.

3.    Allow only shoreline modifications that are appropriate to the specific type of shoreline and environmental conditions for which they are proposed.

4.    Protect shoreline ecological functions and mitigate the direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of shoreline development where development is proposed.

5.    Avoid new development, including the creation of new lots, that would cause foreseeable risk from geological conditions to people or improvements during the life of the development.

6.    Avoid new development that would require structural shoreline stabilization over the life of the development.

7.    Maintain existing bank stabilization conditions to reduce the occurrence or severity of landslides.

8.    Provide adequate storm drainage controls to prevent runoff from increasing the occurrence or severity of landslides.

9.    Allow stabilization structures or measures where no alternatives, including relocation or reconstruction of existing structures, are found to be feasible.

10.    Nonstructural methods are preferred over structural methods.

11.    Repair and maintenance of existing structural stabilization measures, which are substantially degraded, should be considered new development.

C.    Regulations.

1.    New shoreline stabilization measures or structures shall be allowed only where they are demonstrated to be necessary to support or protect an existing primary structure that is in danger of loss or substantial damage or are necessary for reconfiguration of the shoreline for mitigation or enhancement purposes.

2.    Repair and maintenance of existing structural shoreline measures shall: use the same or similar materials as the existing structure; encompass less than 60 percent of the structure over a 10 year period; and not expand the area to be protected.

3.    Shoreline stabilization shall not create dry land.

4.    Measures to protect development in or near an active shoreline erosion hazard area include, in order of priority: (a) locating development so it does not require shoreline stabilization, (b) soft stabilization methods, and then (c) hard stabilization methods. See Chapter 18E.110 PCC for Erosion Hazard Area regulations.

5.    Shoreline stabilization measures are allowed only after the applicant has demonstrated that locating development a sufficient distance from the shoreline, including a location outside shorelines, to prevent shoreline erosion impacts to the development is not feasible.

6.    If relocation of development is not feasible, the use of soft armoring techniques is the preferred method for shoreline protection.

7.    Hard armoring shoreline erosion control measures are allowed only when the need to protect primary structures from damage due to erosion is demonstrated through a geological assessment-shoreline erosion geotechnical report, as set forth in PCC 18E.110.030 B. The report shall indicate the following:

a.    Nonstructural measures, such as placing the development further from the shoreline, planting vegetation, or installing on-site drainage improvements, are not feasible or not sufficient;

b.    The use of beach nourishment alone or in combination with soft armoring techniques is not adequate to protect the property from shoreline erosion processes;

c.    The property contains an existing structure(s) that will be threatened within the next 10 years; and

d.    The erosion is not being caused by upland conditions, such as the loss of vegetation and drainage. Erosion is caused by natural processes, such as tidal action, currents, and waves.

8.    Hard armoring shoreline protection measures shall not be allowed for protection of a proposed structure when it is determined that the proposed structure can be located landward of the 120-year regression area.

9.    Stabilization measures shall not exceed the minimum actions necessary to address the erosion impacts.

10.    Shoreline stabilization is prohibited to protect new structures from future channel migration except when such is achieved through relocation of development, bioengineering, soft armoring techniques, or public flood control projects.

11.    Stabilization measures shall not alter the hydraulic energy along the shoreline such that nearby properties may require added shoreline stabilization in the future to protect against increased erosion.

12.    The use of the shoreline erosion protection measure shall not cause a significant adverse impact on adjacent properties (i.e., increase erosion on adjacent properties).

13.    Stabilization measures shall not include jetties and breakwaters except as an integral component of a professionally designed harbor, marina, or port.

14.    Stabilization structures shall not be located waterward of the ordinary high water mark (OHWM) or any existing shoreline stabilization structure unless there are overriding safety, structural, or environmental concerns, and except for structures that are intrinsically required to be below the OHWM. In such cases, the replacement shall abut existing shoreline stabilization structure. Soft shoreline stabilization measures that provide restoration of shoreline ecological functions may be permitted waterward of the OHWM.

15.    Breakwater structures shall be floating, portable, or submerged, unless it is demonstrated that such structures are not feasible, or that a different design structure will have less environmental impact.

16.    Erosion Hazard Area regulations are found in Title 18E PCC, Development Regulations – Critical Areas, and Chapter 18E.110 PCC, Erosion Hazard Areas.

(Ord. 2013-45s4 § 7 (part), 2015)

18S.30.080 Shoreline Modifications.

The intent of the Shoreline Modification policies and regulations is to limit those actions that modify the physical configuration or qualities of the shoreline area. Shoreline modifications are those actions that modify the physical configuration or qualities of the shoreline area, usually through the construction of a physical element such as a dike, breakwater, pier, weir, dredged basin, fill, bulkhead, or other shoreline structure. They can include other actions, such as clearing, grading, or application of chemicals.

A.    Applicability. The policies and regulations of this Section shall apply to all uses and development within all shoreline environment designations.

B.    Policies.

1.    Allow structural shoreline modifications only where they are demonstrated to be necessary to support or protect an allowed primary structure that is in danger of loss or substantial damage or are necessary for reconfiguration of the shoreline for mitigation or enhancement purposes.

2.    Reduce the adverse effects of shoreline modifications and, as much as possible, limit shoreline modifications in number and extent.

3.    Allow only shoreline modifications that are appropriate to the specific type of shoreline and environmental conditions for which they are proposed.

4.    Assure that shoreline modifications individually and cumulatively do not result in a net loss of ecological functions. This is to be achieved by giving preference to those types of shoreline modifications that have a lesser impact on ecological functions and requiring mitigation of identified impacts resulting from shoreline modifications.

5.    Plan for the enhancement of impaired ecological functions where feasible and appropriate while accommodating permitted uses. As shoreline modifications occur, incorporate all feasible measures to protect ecological shoreline functions and ecosystem-wide processes.

6.    Avoid and reduce significant ecological impacts according to the mitigation sequence in Table 18S.30.030-1, Mitigation Sequencing.

C.    Regulations.

1.    New in-stream structures shall be designed to avoid modifying flows and water quality in ways that may adversely affect critical fish species.

2.    In-stream structures shall provide for the protection and preservation of ecosystem-wide processes, ecological functions, and cultural resources including, but not limited to, fish and fish passage, wildlife and water resources, shoreline critical areas, hydrogeological processes, and natural scenic vistas.

3.    The location and planning of in-stream structures shall give due consideration to the full range of public interests, watershed functions and processes, and environmental concerns, with special emphasis on protecting and restoring priority habitats and species.

4.    Regulations for shoreline stabilization, to include breakwaters, jetties, groins, and weirs, are found in PCC 18S.30.070, Shoreline Stabilization, and in Chapter 18E.110 PCC, Erosion Hazard Areas.

5.    Regulations for piers and docks are found in PCC 18S.40.140, Water Access Facilities.

6.    Regulations related to filling, dredging and dredge material disposal are found in PCC 18S.30.040, Excavation, Dredging, Filling, and Grading.

7.    Regulations for shoreline habitat and natural systems enhancement are found in PCC 18S.40.110, Restoration and Enhancement.

(Ord. 2013-45s4 § 7 (part), 2015)

18S.30.090 Water Oriented Development.

The intent of the Water Oriented Development policies and regulations is to ensure that water-dependent, water-related, or water-enjoyment, or a combination of such uses, is preferred in shorelines.

A.    Applicability. The policies and regulations of this Section shall apply to all uses and development, within all shoreline environment designations.

B.    Policies.

1.    Reserve shorelines, to the maximum extent possible, for water-oriented uses, including water-dependent, water-related and water-enjoyment uses.

2.    Allow water-related and water-enjoyment uses as part of mixed use development on over-water structures where they are clearly auxiliary to, and in support of, water-dependent uses.

3.    Allow mixed use commercial and industrial development, including non water-dependent uses, only when they include and support water-dependent uses.

4.    Give priority to water-oriented uses over non water-oriented uses, with highest priority given to water-dependent uses.

C.    Regulations.

1.    Parking areas associated with a principal use shall be located outside shorelines unless no feasible alternative location exists. Parking as a principal use is prohibited.

2.    Except for single-family residences, non water-oriented uses or portions of a use that are non water-oriented shall demonstrate why the use must be located in shorelines.

3.    Water dependent uses and public access to shorelines are preferred use in all shoreline environments.

4.    In the Natural SED, commercial, industrial, multi-family residential, and non water-oriented recreation uses are prohibited.

5.    In the Conservancy SED, water-dependent and water-enjoyment recreation facilities that do not deplete the resource over time, including but not limited to boating facilities, angling, hunting, wildlife viewing trails, and swimming beaches, may be allowed if adverse impacts to the shoreline are mitigated. Commercial development should be limited to where those uses have been located in the past or to unique sites that possess shoreline conditions and services necessary to support the commercial development.

6.    In the Residential SED:

a.    Residential and water-oriented commercial development is allowed where such development can be accommodated with no net loss of shoreline ecological functions.

b.    Public or private recreation facilities are allowed if compatible with surrounding development. Preferred recreational uses include water-dependent and water-enjoyment recreation facilities that provide opportunities for substantial numbers of people to access and enjoy the shoreline.

c.    New commercial development should be limited to water-oriented uses. Expansion of existing non water-oriented commercial uses may be permitted; provided, that such uses should create a substantial benefit with respect to the goals and policies of this Title, such as providing improved public access or restoring degraded shorelines.

7.    In the High Intensity SED, non water-oriented uses are not allowed unless they provide a significant public benefit, such as ecological restoration and public access, and:

a.    They are within a legally established building or are located within an existing mixed-use development;

b.    They do not conflict with or limit opportunities for water-oriented uses; or

c.    They are located on sites where there is no direct access to the water's edge.

8.    A change from an existing non water-oriented use to another non water-oriented use is permitted, without a Conditional Use Permit, subject to the general policies and regulations of this Title.

9.    Expansion of an existing non water-oriented use is subject to a Conditional Use Permit.

10.    A change in use from an existing water-oriented use to a non water-oriented use is not permitted.

(Ord. 2013-45s4 § 7 (part), 2015)

18S.30.100 Water Quality, Stormwater, and Nonpoint Pollution.

The intent of the Water Quality, Stormwater, and Nonpoint Pollution policies and regulations is to protect against adverse impacts to water quality and quantity.

A.    Applicability. The policies and regulations of this Section shall apply to all uses and development, within all shoreline environment designations.

B.    Policies.

1.    Locate, construct, and operate development in a manner that maintains or enhances the quantity and quality of surface and ground water over the long term.

2.    Prevent impacts to water quality and stormwater quantity that would result in a net loss of shoreline ecological functions.

3.    Prevent contamination of surface and ground water and soils.

4.    Minimize the need for chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other similar chemical treatments.

5.    Encourage the use of low impact development (LID) techniques.

6.    Minimize the use of impervious surfaces.

7.    Protect commercial shellfish areas and legally established aquaculture enterprises from damaging sources of pollution.

C.    Regulations.

1.    See Title 17A PCC, Construction and Infrastructure Regulations – Site Development and Stormwater Drainage. Pierce County Stormwater Management and Site Development Manual regulations are applicable and binding.

2.    In addition to water quality regulations found in Title 17A PCC, water quality impacts shall be avoided as follows:

a.    Operations involving substances harmful to water quality and aquatic life shall demonstrate how spills and leaks will be prevented, and how they will be responded to in the event there is a spill or leak.

b.    Erosion, turbidity, stormwater and pollution control measures shall be provided both during and after construction, where appropriate.

c.    After construction, the work site shall be restored to pre-project conditions to the maximum extent feasible. Any mitigation required within shorelines shall be maintained for the life of the project.

d.    Development and structures shall be constructed with materials that do not leach toxic substances.

(Ord. 2013-45s4 § 7 (part), 2015)