4-3-090 SHORELINE MASTER PROGRAM REGULATIONS:

4-3-090A    PROGRAM ELEMENTS

4-3-090B    REGULATED SHORELINES

4-3-090C    SHORELINES OVERLAY DISTRICTS

4-3-090D    GENERAL DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS

4-3-090E    USE REGULATIONS

4-3-090F    SHORELINE MODIFICATION

4-3-090A PROGRAM ELEMENTS:

The Renton Shoreline Master Program consists of the following elements, which are subject to review and approval by the Washington State Department of Ecology pursuant to RCW 90.58.090:

1. The Shoreline Management Element of the Renton Comprehensive Plan.

2.  This Section, RMC 4-3-090, Shoreline Master Program Regulations.

3.  Chapter 4-11 RMC, Definitions, to the extent that they relate to this Section or are defined by RCW 90.58.030, WAC 173-26-020, and WAC 173-27-030.

4.  RMC 4-9-190, Shoreline Permits, to the extent that they relate to specific procedural mandates of chapter 90.58 RCW and Chapter 173-27 WAC.

5. RMC 4-10-095, Shoreline Nonconforming Uses, Activities, Structures, and Sites.

6. RMC 4-3-050, Critical Areas Regulations, only those provisions incorporated by reference into the Shoreline Master Program pursuant to RMC 4-3-090D2c.

7. The Shoreline Restoration Element of the Shoreline Master Program, of which one printed copy in book form has heretofore been filed and is now on file in the office of the City Clerk and made available for examination by the general public, shall not be considered to contain regulations but shall be utilized as a guideline for capital improvements planning by the City and other jurisdictions undertaking ecological restoration activities within Shoreline Management Act jurisdiction.

8. The Shoreline Environment Overlay Map, of which one printed copy has heretofore been filed and is on file in the office of the City Clerk and made available for examination by the general public, and another printed copy of which is available at the Department of Community and Economic Development. An electronic copy may also be posted online at the City’s website www.rentonwa.gov. (Ord. 5976, 8-3-2020)

4-3-090B REGULATED SHORELINES:

The Renton Shoreline Master Program applies to Shorelines of the State, which include Shorelines of Statewide Significance and shorelines as defined in chapter 4-11 RMC and as listed below.

1. Shorelines of Statewide Significance:

a. Lake Washington;

b. Green River (the area within the OHWM of the Green River is not within the Renton City Limits, but portions of the two hundred foot (200') shoreline jurisdiction are within City limits).

2. Shorelines:

a. Cedar River;

b. May Creek from the intersection of May Creek and NE 31st Street in the southeast quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 32-24-5E WM;

c. Black River;

d. Springbrook Creek from the Black River on the north to SW 43rd Street on the south;

e. Lake Desire (in the City’s potential annexation area at the time of adoption of the Shoreline Master Program).

3. The Jurisdictional Area Includes:

a. Lands within two hundred feet (200'), as measured on a horizontal plane, from the OHWM, or lands within two hundred feet (200') from floodways, whichever is greater;

b. All marshes, bogs, swamps, and river deltas associated with streams, lakes, and tidal waters that are subject to the provisions of the State Shoreline Management Act. (Ord. 5976, 8-3-2020)

4-3-090C SHORELINES OVERLAY DISTRICTS:

1. Natural Environment Overlay District:

a. Designation of the Natural Environment Overlay District: The objectives and criteria for the designation of this district are located in the Shoreline Management Element of the Comprehensive Plan.

b. Application: The location of this district is found on the Shoreline Environment Overlay Map, see subsection A8 of this Section, and shall include that portion of the north bank of the Black River lying west of its confluence with Springbrook Creek. (Ord. 5976, 8-3-2020)

c. Acceptable Activities and Uses: As listed in subsection E of this Section, Use Regulations.

2. Urban Conservancy Overlay District:

a. Designation of the Shoreline Urban Conservancy Environment Overlay District: The objectives and criteria for the designation of this district are located in the Shoreline Management Element of the Comprehensive Plan.

b. Application: The location of this district is found on the Shoreline Environment Overlay Map, see subsection A8 of this Section, and shall include:

•    

That portion of the Lake Washington shoreline within Gene Coulon Park extending from one hundred feet (100') north of the northerly end of the northernmost driveway to the northerly end of the park.

•    

May Creek east of Lake Washington, including the open space area within the Barbee Mill site.

•    

That portion of the south bank of the Cedar River extending from three hundred fifty feet (350') east of I-405 right-of-way to SR 169.

•    

The Cedar River, extending from SR 169 to the easterly limit of the Urban Growth Area.

•    

That portion of Springbrook Creek beginning from approximately SW 27th Street on the north to SW 31st Street on the south, abutting City-owned wetlands in this area, and for that portion of the west side of the creek in the vicinity of SW 38th Street abutting the City’s Wetlands Mitigation Bank shall be designated conservancy.

•    

Per WAC 176-26-211(2)(e) all areas within shoreline jurisdiction that are not designated within the Shoreline Master Program are automatically assigned to be in the Urban Conservancy Overlay District until the shoreline can be redesignated through a Shoreline Master Program amendment approved by the Washington State Department of Ecology. (Ord. 5976, 8-3-2020)

c. Acceptable Activities and Uses: As listed in subsection E of this Section, Use Regulations.

3. Single Family Residential Overlay District:

a. Designation of the Single Family Residential Overlay: The objectives and criteria for the designation of this district are located in the Shoreline Management Element of the Comprehensive Plan.

b. Application: The location of this district is found on the Shoreline Environment Overlay Map, see subsection A8 of this Section, and shall include those shoreline areas with residential zoning and use located on Lake Washington, the Cedar River, May Creek, and Lake Desire. Publicly owned park and open space areas with residential zoning shall be excluded. (Ord. 5976, 8-3-2020)

c. Acceptable Activities and Uses: As listed in subsection E of this Section, Use Regulations.

4. Shoreline High Intensity Overlay District:

a. Designation of the High Intensity Overlay District: The objectives and criteria for the designation of this district are located in the Shoreline Management Element of the Comprehensive Plan.

b. Application: The location of this district is found on the Shoreline Environment Overlay Map, see subsection A8 of this Section, and shall include:

•    

The Commercial/Office/Residential (COR) zoned properties north of May Creek, including the Quendall Site and Seahawks Headquarters site.

•    

The southerly portion of Gene Coulon Park, generally south of and including the over-water walkway, concession areas, parking areas, boat launch areas, and the swimming beach.

•    

The Urban Center (UC), and Industrial-Heavy zoned (IH) areas along the south shoreline of Lake Washington, the Municipal Airport, and adjacent COR designated areas.

•    

The Cedar River from the mouth to I-405.

•    

The north side of the Cedar River east of I-405 within areas of COR zoning designation.

•    

Areas of Springbrook Creek not in Natural or Urban Conservancy overlays. (Ord. 5976, 8-3-2020)

c. Acceptable Activities and Uses: Subject to subsection E of this Section, Use Regulations, which allows land uses in chapter 4-2 RMC in this overlay district, subject to the preference for water-dependent and water-oriented uses. Uses adjacent to the water’s edge and within buffer areas are reserved for water-oriented development, public/community access, and/or ecological restoration. (Ord. 5759, 6-22-2015)

5. Shoreline High Intensity – Isolated Lands – Overlay District:

a. Designation of the High Intensity – Isolated Lands – Overlay District: The objectives and criteria for the designation of this district are located in the Shoreline Management Element of the Comprehensive Plan.

b. Application: The location of this district is found on the Shoreline Environment Overlay Map, see subsection A8 of this Section, and shall include:

i. Areas within shoreline jurisdiction of the Green River but isolated by the intervening railroad right-of-way.

ii. Areas immediately north of the Cedar River (right bank) and north of Riverside Drive between Williams Avenue South and Bronson Way North. (Ord. 5976, 8-3-2020)

c. Acceptable Activities and Uses: Allowed uses are detailed in subsection E1 of this Section, Shoreline Use Table. The shoreline regulations that apply within this overlay are the land use regulations of Title IV, Development Regulations, of the Renton Municipal Code, subject to the permit and procedural requirements of the Shoreline Master Program. In most cases, the performance standards in this Section do not apply to development or uses in this overlay.

6. Aquatic Shoreline Overlay District:

a. Designation of the Aquatic Overlay District: The objectives and criteria for the designation of this district are located in the Shoreline Management Element of the Comprehensive Plan.

b. Application: The Aquatic Overlay District is defined as the area waterward of the OHWM of all streams and rivers, all marine water bodies, and all lakes, constituting shorelines of the State together with their underlying lands and their water column; but do not include associated wetlands and other shorelands shoreward of the OHWM. This designation is not found on the Shoreline Environment Map, but shall be assigned based on the description above.

c. Acceptable Activities and Uses: Subject to subsection E of this Section, Use Regulations, water-dependent uses and a limited range of water-oriented uses are allowed in the Aquatic Overlay, subject to provision of shoreline ecological enhancement and public access.

4-3-090D GENERAL DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS:

1. Applicability: This Section shall apply to all use and development activities within the shoreline. Items included here will not necessarily be repeated in subsection E of this Section, Use Regulations, and shall be used in the evaluation of all shoreline permits.

Renton Municipal Code provisions in Title IV, Development Regulations, Chapter 4, City-wide Property Development Standards (chapter 4-4 RMC) contain regulations and standards governing site development of property City-wide, such as parking, landscaping, fencing, tree retention, and others. Such provisions shall apply within shoreline jurisdictions unless there is a conflict with the standards set forth by the Shoreline Master Program. In case of conflict, the standards set forth in the Shoreline Master Program shall prevail. (Ord. 5976, 8-3-2020)

2. Environmental Effects:

a. No Net Loss of Ecological Functions:

i. No Net Loss Required: Shoreline use and development shall be carried out in a manner that prevents or mitigates adverse impacts to ensure no net loss of ecological functions and processes in all development and use. Permitted uses are designed and conducted to minimize, in so far as practical, any resultant damage to the ecology and environment (RCW 90.58.020). Shoreline ecological functions that shall be protected include, but are not limited to, fish and wildlife habitat, food chain support, and water temperature maintenance. Shoreline processes that shall be protected include, but are not limited to, water flow; 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 formation/maintenance.

ii. Impact Evaluation Required: In assessing the potential for net loss of ecological functions or processes, project-specific and cumulative impacts shall be considered and mitigated on- or off-site.

iii. Evaluation of Mitigation Sequencing Required: An application for any permit or approval shall demonstrate all reasonable efforts have been taken to provide sufficient mitigation such that the activity does not result in net loss of ecological functions. Mitigation shall occur in the following prioritized order:

(a) Avoiding the adverse impact altogether by not taking a certain action or parts of an action, or moving the action.

(b) Minimizing adverse impacts by limiting the degree or magnitude of the action and its implementation by using appropriate technology and engineering, or by taking affirmative steps to avoid or reduce adverse impacts.

(c) Rectifying the adverse impact by repairing, rehabilitating, or restoring the affected environment.

(d) Reducing or eliminating the adverse impact over time by preservation and maintenance operations during the life of the action.

(e) Compensating for the adverse impact by replacing, enhancing, or providing similar substitute resources or environments and monitoring the adverse impact and taking appropriate corrective measures.

b. Burden on Applicant: Applicants for permits have the burden of proving that the proposed development is consistent with the criteria set forth in the Shoreline Master Program and the Shoreline Management Act, including demonstrating all reasonable efforts have been taken to provide sufficient mitigation such that the activity does not result in net loss of ecological functions.

c. Critical Areas within Shoreline Jurisdiction:

i. Applicable Critical Area Regulations: Critical areas regulations, as codified in RMC 4-3-050, Critical Area Regulations, are adopted by reference except for the provisions modified in subsection D2cii of this Section and excluded in D2ciii of this Section. Said provisions shall apply to any use, alteration, or development within shoreline jurisdiction whether or not a shoreline permit or written statement of exemption is required. Unless otherwise stated, no development shall be constructed, located, extended, modified, converted, or altered, or land divided without full compliance with the provision adopted by reference and the Shoreline Master Program. Within shoreline jurisdiction, the regulations of RMC 4-3-050 shall be liberally construed together with the Shoreline Master Program to give full effect to the objectives and purposes of the provisions of the Shoreline Master Program and the Shoreline Management Act. If there is a conflict or inconsistency between any of the adopted provisions below and the Shoreline Master Program, the most restrictive provisions shall prevail.

ii. The following provisions of the Critical Areas Regulations in RMC 4-3-050 are modified within shoreline jurisdiction:

(a) RMC 4-3-050G1 is not adopted within shoreline jurisdiction. Uses and developments within shoreline jurisdiction, including proposals with critical areas, are subject to the standard of no net loss of shoreline ecological functions and processes.

(b) Within shoreline jurisdiction, variances to critical areas regulations shall be processed through a shoreline variance in RMC 4-9-190I, rather than RMC 4-9-250.

(c) To provide for flexibility in the administration of the ecological protection provisions of the Shoreline Master Program, alternative averaged buffer approaches provided in RMC 4-3-050I may be utilized within shoreline jurisdiction. Other reduced buffer allowances provided in RMC 4-3-050I are not applicable within the shoreline jurisdiction.

(d) Wetland Identification, Rating, Buffer, Mitigation Ratio, and Buffer Averaging provisions of subsection D2d of this Section shall apply within shoreline jurisdiction.

iii. Inapplicable Critical Area Regulations: The following provisions of RMC 4-3-050, Critical Area Regulations, shall not apply within shoreline jurisdiction:

(a) RMC 4-3-050K, Variances, RMC 4-3-050G1 and any related reference to RMC 4-9-250.

(b) RMC 4-3-050M, Appeals, shoreline permit appeals are dictated by the Shoreline Management Act and must be executed in accordance with RCW 90.58.180.

(c) Any allowance provided based on a reference to Reasonable Use. Within the shoreline jurisdiction, reasonable use is demonstrated through the shoreline variance.

(e) Other GMA authorized administrative provisions such as appeals, permits, penalties and enforcement that are not consistent with the Shoreline Management Act.

(f) RMC 4-3-050G9dii Independent buffer study allowances for alternative wetland buffers.

(g) Pursuant to RMC 4-3-050C3 Table footnote 22, allowances for new accessory structures, such as fences, gazebos, storage sheds, and playhouses within a critical area buffer are not applicable within the shoreline jurisdiction.

iv. Critical Area Regulations for Habitat Conservation Areas: Shoreline Environments designated as Natural or Urban Conservancy shall be considered Habitat Conservation Areas. Regulations for habitat conservation areas Type S Streams and Lakes are contained within the development standards and use standards of the Shoreline Master Program, including but not limited to subsection F1 of this Section, Vegetation Conservation, which establishes vegetated buffers adjacent to water bodies and specific provisions for use and for shoreline modification in subsections E and F of this Section. There shall be no modification of the required setback and buffer for non-water-dependent uses in Type S Fish Habitat Conservation areas without an approved Shoreline Conditional Use Permit.

v. Alternate Mitigation Approaches: To provide for flexibility in the administration of the ecological protection provisions of the Shoreline Master Program, alternative mitigation approaches may be applied for as provided in RMC 4-3-050L1giv, Alternative Mitigation. Modifications within shoreline jurisdiction may be approved for those critical areas regulated by that Section as a Shoreline Conditional Use Permit where such approaches provide increased protection of shoreline ecological functions and processes over the standard provisions of the Shoreline Master Program and are scientifically supported by specific studies performed by qualified professionals. (Ord. 5976, 8-3-2020)

d. Wetlands within Shoreline Jurisdiction:

i. Wetland Identification: Wetlands shall be identified in accordance with the requirements of RCW 36.70A.175 and 90.58.380. Unless otherwise provided for in this Chapter, all areas within the City meeting the criteria in the approved Federal Wetland Delineation Manual and regional supplements, regardless of any formal identification, are hereby designated critical areas and are subject to the provisions of this Chapter.

ii. Wetland Rating System: Wetlands shall be rated based on categories that reflect the functions and values of each wetland. Wetland categories shall be based on the criteria provided in the Washington State Wetland Rating System for Western Washington, 2014 Update (Ecology Publication No. 14-06-029). These categories are generally defined as follows:

(a) Category I Wetlands: Category I wetlands are those wetlands of exceptional value in terms of protecting water quality, storing flood and stormwater, and/or providing habitat for wildlife as indicated by a rating system score of twenty three (23) points or more. These are wetland communities of infrequent occurrence that often provide documented habitat for critical, threatened or endangered species, and/or have other attributes that are very difficult or impossible to replace if altered.

(b) Category II Wetlands: Category II wetlands have significant value based on their function as indicated by a rating system score of between twenty (20) and twenty two (22) points. They do not meet the criteria for Category I rating but occur infrequently and have qualities that are difficult to replace if altered.

(c) Category III Wetlands: Category III wetlands have important resource value as indicated by a rating system score of between sixteen (16) and nineteen (19) points.

(d) Category IV Wetlands: Category IV wetlands are wetlands of limited resource value as indicated by a rating system score of less than sixteen (16) points. They typically have vegetation of similar age and class, lack special habitat features, and/or are isolated or disconnected from other aquatic systems or high quality upland habitats.

iii. Wetland Buffers:

(a) Buffer Required: Wetland buffer zones shall be required for all regulated activities adjacent to regulated wetlands. Any wetland created, restored or enhanced as compensation for approved wetland alterations shall also include the standard buffer required for the category of the created, restored or enhanced wetland. All buffers shall be measured from the wetland boundary as surveyed in the field. Buffers shall not include areas that are functionally and effectively disconnected from the wetland by a permanent road or other substantially developed surface of sufficient width and with use characteristics such that buffer functions are not provided and that cannot be feasibly removed, relocated or restored to provide buffer functions.

(b) Buffer May Be Increased: The buffer standards required by this Chapter presume the existence of a dense vegetation community in the buffer adequate to protect the wetland functions and values. When a buffer lacks adequate vegetation, the Administrator of the Department of Community and Economic Development or designee may increase the standard buffer, require buffer planting or enhancement, and/or deny a proposal for buffer reduction or buffer averaging.

(c) Minimum Buffer Width:

Wetland Category

High Habitat Functions
(8 – 9 points)

Moderate Habitat Functions
(6 – 7points)

Low Habitat Functions
(3 – 5 points)

Buffer Width (feet)

Category I – Bogs and Natural Heritage Wetlands

225

190

190

Category I – All Others

225

110

75

Category II

225

110

75

Category III

225

110

60

Category IV

40

40

40

iv. Mitigation Ratios for Wetland Impacts: Compensatory mitigation for wetland alterations shall be based on the wetland category and the type of mitigation activity proposed. The replacement ratio shall be determined according to the ratios provided in the table below. The created, re-established, rehabilitated, or enhanced wetland area shall at a minimum provide a level of function equivalent to the wetland being altered and shall be located in an appropriate landscape setting.

 

Wetland Mitigation Type and Replacement Ratio*

Wetland Category

Creation

Re-establishment

Rehabilitation

Enhancement Only

Category IV

1.5:1

1.5:1

3:1

6:1

Category III

2:1

2:1

4:1

8:1

Category II

3:1

3:1

6:1

12:1

Category I

6:1

6:1

8:1

Not allowed

*Ratio is the replacement area: impact area.

v. Wetland Buffer Averaging: The Administrator of the Department of Community and Economic Development or designee may average wetland buffer widths on a case-by-case basis when the applicant demonstrates through a wetland study to the satisfaction of the Administrator that all the following criteria are met:

(a) The wetland has significant differences in characteristics that affect its habitat functions, such as a wetland with a forested component adjacent to a degraded emergent component or a “dual-rated” wetland with a Category I area adjacent to a lower rated area;

(b) The buffer is increased adjacent to the higher-functioning area of habitat or more sensitive portion of the wetland and decreased adjacent to the lower functioning or less sensitive portion;

(c) The total area of the buffer after averaging is equal to the area required without averaging and all increases in buffer dimension for averaging are generally parallel to the wetland edge;

(d) The buffer at its narrowest point is never less than three quarters (3/4) of the required width. (Ord. 5976, 8-3-2020)

e. Development Standards for Aquatic Habitat:

i. Stormwater Requirements: Development shall provide stormwater management facilities including water quality treatment designed, constructed, and maintained in accordance with the current stormwater management standards. Water quality treatment facilities shall be provided for moderate alteration of nonconforming structures, uses and sites as provided for in RMC 4-10-095.

ii. Erosion and Sediment Control Requirements: Best management practices for control of erosion and sedimentation shall be implemented for all development in shorelines through approved temporary erosion and sediment control plan, or administrative conditions.

iii. Lighting Requirements: Nighttime lighting shall be designed to avoid or minimize interference with aquatic life cycles through avoidance of light sources that shine directly onto the water. Exterior lighting fixtures shall include full cut off devices such that glare or direct illumination does not extend into water bodies. Lighting shall include timers or other switches to ensure that lights are extinguished when not in use.

3. Use Compatibility and Aesthetic Effects:

a. General: Shoreline use and development activities shall be designed and operated to allow the public’s visual access to the water and shoreline and maintain shoreline scenic and aesthetic qualities that are derived from natural features, such as shoreforms and vegetative cover.

b. View Obstruction and Visual Quality: The following standards and criteria shall apply to developments and uses within the jurisdiction of the Shoreline Master Program:

i. View Corridors Required: Where commercial, industrial, multiple use, multi-family and/or multi-lot developments are proposed, primary structures shall provide for view corridors between buildings where views of the shoreline are available from public right-of-way or trails.

ii. Maximum Building Height: Buildings shall be limited in height as specified in Table 4-3-090D7a, Shoreline Bulk Standards.

iii. Minimum Setbacks for Commercial Development Adjacent to Residential or Park Uses: All new or expanded commercial development adjacent to residential use and public parks shall provide fifteen feet (15') setbacks from adjacent properties to attenuate proximity impacts such as noise, light and glare, and may address scale and aesthetic impacts. Fencing or landscape areas may be required to provide a visual screen.

iv. Lighting Requirements: Display and other exterior lighting shall be designed and operated so as to prevent glare, to avoid illuminating nearby properties used for noncommercial purposes, and to prevent hazards for public traffic. Methods of controlling spillover light include, but are not limited to, limits on the height of light structure, limits on light levels of fixtures, light shields, and screening.

v. Reflected Lights to Be Limited: Building surfaces on or adjacent to the water shall employ materials that limit reflected light.

vi. Integration and Screening of Mechanical Equipment: Building mechanical equipment shall be incorporated into building architectural features, such as pitched roofs, to the maximum extent feasible. Where mechanical equipment cannot be incorporated into architectural features, a visual screen shall be provided consistent with building exterior materials that obstructs views of such equipment.

vii. Visual Prominence of Freestanding Structures to Be Minimized: Facilities not incorporated into buildings including fences, piers, poles, wires, lights, and other freestanding structures shall be designed to minimize visual prominence.

viii. Maximum Stair and Walkway Width: Stairs and walkways located within buffers shall not exceed four feet (4') in width; provided, that where ADA requirements apply, such facilities may be increased to six feet (6') in width. Stairways shall conform to the existing topography to the extent feasible.

ix. Other Design Standards: Any other design standards included in community plans or regulations adopted by the City shall be incorporated. (Ord. 5976, 8-3-2020)

c. Community Disturbances: Noise, odors, night lighting, water and land traffic, and other structures and activities shall be considered in the design plans and their impacts avoided or mitigated.

d. Design Requirements: Architectural styles, exterior designs, landscaping patterns, and other aspects of the overall design of a site shall be in conformance with urban design and other standards contained in RMC 4-3-100, Urban Design Regulations, and other applicable provisions of RMC Title IV, Development Regulations, as well as specific policies and standards of the Shoreline Master Program.

e. Screening Required: The standards in RMC 4-4-095 concerning screening of mechanical equipment and outdoor service and storage areas shall apply within shorelines with the additional criteria that the provisions for bringing structures or sites into conformance shall occur for minor alteration or renovation as provided in RMC 4-9-190.

4. Public Access:

a. Physical or Visual Access Required for New Development: Physical or visual access to shorelines shall be incorporated in all new development when the development would either generate a demand for one or more forms of such access, would impair existing legal access opportunities or rights, or is required to meet the specific policies and regulations of the Shoreline Master Program. A coordinated program for public access for specified shoreline reaches is established in the Comprehensive Plan, Shoreline Policy SH-31 Table of Public Access Objectives by Reach Element, Policy SH-31 with provisions for public access, including off-site facilities designated in the table Public Access Requirements by Reach in subsection D4f of this Section.

b. Public Access Required: Public access shall be provided for the following development, subject to the criteria in subsection D4d of this Section.

i. Water-dependent uses and developments that increase public use of the shorelines and public aquatic lands, or that would impair existing legal access opportunities, or that utilize public harbor lands or aquatic lands, or that are developed with public funding or other public resources.

ii. Non-water-dependent development and uses shall provide community and/or public access consistent with the specific use standards in subsection E of this Section, Use Regulations, unless ecological restoration is provided.

iii. Developments of more than ten (10) single family residential lots or single family dwelling units, including subdivision, within a proposal or a contiguously owned parcel are required to provide public access. Developments of more than four (4) but less than ten (10) single family residential lots or single family dwelling units, including subdivision, within a proposal or a contiguously owned parcel are required to provide community access.

iv. Development of any non-single-family residential development or use consistent with the specific use standards in subsection E9 of this Section, Residential Development.

v. Any use of public aquatic lands, except as related to single family residential use of the shoreline, including docks accessory to single family residential use.

vi. Publicly financed or subsidized flood control or shoreline stabilization shall not restrict public access to the shoreline and shall include provisions for new public access to the maximum extent feasible.

vii. Public access provided by shoreline street ends, public utilities, and rights-of-way shall not be diminished by any public or private development or use (RCW 35.79.035 and RCW 36.87.130).

c. Criteria for Modification of Public Access Requirements: The requirements for public access may be modified as a shoreline conditional use for any application in which the following criteria are demonstrated to be met in addition to the general criteria for a Shoreline Conditional Use Permit. In cases where a Substantial Development Permit is not required, use of this waiver or modification may take place only through a shoreline variance. It is the responsibility of the applicant to demonstrate that the criteria are met. As a condition of modification of access requirements, contribution to an off-site public access site shall be required.

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

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

iii. The cost of providing the access, or mitigating the impacts of public access, is unreasonably disproportionate to the total long-term development and operational cost over the life-span of the proposed development.

iv. Significant environmental impacts will result from the public access that cannot be mitigated.

v. Significant undue and unavoidable conflict between any access provisions and the proposed use and/or adjacent uses would occur and cannot be mitigated.

vi. Prior to determining that public access is not required, all reasonable alternatives must be pursued, including but not limited to:

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

(b) Designing separation of uses and activities (e.g., fences, terracing, use of one-way glazing, hedges, landscaping, etc.); and

(c) Providing for specific facilities for public visual access, including viewing platforms that may be physically separated from the water’s edge, but only if access adjacent to the water is precluded.

d. Design Criteria for Public Access Sites: Public access shall incorporate the following location and design criteria:

i. Walkways or Trails Required in Vegetated Open Space: Public access on sites where vegetated open space is provided along the shoreline shall consist of a public pedestrian walkway parallel to the OHWM of the property. The walkway shall be buffered from sensitive ecological features, may be set back from the water’s edge, and may provide limited and controlled access to sensitive features and the water’s edge where appropriate. Fencing may be provided to control damage to plants and other sensitive ecological features and where appropriate. Trails shall be constructed of permeable materials and limited to four feet (4') to six feet (6') in width to reduce impacts to ecologically sensitive resources.

ii. Access Requirements for Sites Without Vegetated Open Space: Public access on sites or portions of sites not including vegetated open space shall be not less than ten percent (10%) of the developed area within shoreline jurisdiction or three thousand (3,000) square feet, whichever is greater, on developments including non-water-dependent uses. For water-dependent uses, the amount and location may be varied in accordance with the criteria in subsection F3 of this Section. Public access facilities shall extend along the entire water frontage, unless such facilities interfere with the functions of water-dependent uses. The minimum width of public access facilities shall be ten feet (10') and shall be constructed of materials consistent with the design of the development; provided, that facilities addressed in the Renton Trails and Bicycle Master Plan shall be developed in accordance with the standards of that plan. (Ord. 5976, 8-3-2020)

iii. Access Requirements for Over-Water Structures: Public access on over-water structures on public aquatic lands, except for docks serving a single family residence, shall be provided and may include common use of walkway areas. Moorage facilities serving five (5) or more vessels shall provide a publicly accessible area of at least ten feet (10') at or near the end of the structure. Public marinas serving twenty (20) or more vessels may restrict access to specific moorage areas for security purposes as long as an area of at least ten percent (10%) of the over-water structure is available for public access and an area of at least twenty (20) square feet is provided at or near the end of the structure. Public access areas may be used in common by other users, but may not include adjacent moorage that obstructs public access to the edge of the water or obstructs views of the water.

iv. Resolution of Different Standards: Where City trail or transportation plans and development standards specify dimensions that differ from those in subsections D4di, D4dii, or D4diii of this Section, the standard that best serves public access, while recognizing constraints of protection and enhancement of ecological functions, shall prevail.

v. Access Requirements Determined by Reach: A coordinated program for public access for specified shoreline reaches is established in the Comprehensive Plan, Shoreline Management Element, Policy SH-31 Table of Public Access Objectives by Reach and in subsection D4f of this Section, Table of Public Access Requirements by Reach:

(a) The City shall utilize the reach policies for public access as guidance in applying these provisions to individual development sites.

(b) The City shall utilize the reach policies for public access as guidance in planning and implementing public projects.

vi. Fund for Off-Site Public Access: The City shall provide a fund for off-site public access and may assess charges to new development that do not meet all or part of their public access requirements. Such a fund and charges may be part of or coordinated with park impact fees. Off-site public access shall be developed in accordance with the reach policies for public access.

e. Public Access Development Standards: Public access facilities shall incorporate the following design and other features:

i. Relation to Other Facilities:

(a) Preferred Location: Public access shall be located adjacent to other public areas, accesses, and connecting trails, connected to the nearest public street, and include provisions for handicapped and physically impaired persons, where feasible.

(b) Parking Requirements: Where public access is within four hundred feet (400') of a public street, on-street public parking shall be provided, where feasible. For private developments required to provide more than twenty (20) parking spaces, public parking may be required in addition to the required parking for the development at a ratio of one space per one thousand (1,000) square feet of public access area up to three (3) spaces and at one space per five thousand (5,000) square feet of public access area for more than three (3) spaces. Parking for public access shall include the parking spaces nearest to the public access area and may include handicapped parking if the public access area is handicapped accessible.

(c) Planned Trails to Be Provided: Where public trails are indicated on the City’s transportation, park, or other plans, construction of trails shall be provided within shoreline and non-shoreline areas of a site.

ii. Design:

(a) General: Design of public access shall provide the general public with opportunity to reach, touch, and enjoy the water’s edge and to view the water and the shoreline from adjacent locations and shall be as close horizontally and vertically to the shoreline’s edge as feasible; provided, that public access does not adversely affect sensitive ecological features or lead to an unmitigated reduction in ecological functions.

(b) Privacy: Design shall minimize intrusions on privacy of adjacent use by avoiding locations adjacent to residential windows and/or outdoor private residential open spaces or by screening or other separation techniques.

iii. Use and Maintenance:

(a) Public Access Required for Occupancy: Required public access sites shall be fully developed and available for public use at the time of occupancy of the use or activity or in accordance with other provisions for guaranteeing installation through a monetary performance assurance.

(b) Maintenance of Public Access Required: Public access facilities shall be maintained over the life of the use or development. Future actions by successors in interest or other parties shall not diminish the usefulness or value of required public access areas and associated improvements.

(c) Public Access Must Be Legally Recorded: Public access provisions on private land 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 prior to the time of building occupancy or plat recordation, whichever comes first.

(d) Maintenance Responsibility: Maintenance of the public access facility shall be the responsibility of the owner unless otherwise accepted by a public or nonprofit agency through a formal recorded agreement.

(e) Hours of Access: Public access facilities shall be available to the public twenty four (24) hours per day unless an alternate arrangement is granted though the initial shoreline permitting process for the project. Changes in access hours proposed after initial permit approval shall be processed as a shoreline conditional use.

(f) Signage Required: The standard State-approved logo or other approved signs that indicate the public’s right of access and hours of access shall be installed and maintained by the owner. Such signs shall be posted in conspicuous locations at public access sites and at the nearest connection to an off-site public right-of-way.

f. Public Access Requirements by Reach: The following table identifies the performance standards for public access within the shoreline, and shall be applied if required by the use regulations or development standards of the Shoreline Master Program.

 

SHORELINE REACH

Public Access

Lake Washington

Lake Washington Reach A and B

Public access shall be provided when lots are subdivided or new nonresidential development occurs consistent with standards of this Section.

Lake Washington Reach C

The potential for provision of public access from new development will occur after cleanup of the Superfund site with multi-use development, which shall include shoreline access across the entire property, with controlled access to the water’s edge, consistent with requirements for vegetation conservation and ecological restoration and provisions for water-dependent use, consistent with standards of this Section. Provision of public access from future redevelopment of the Seahawks and Barbee Mill site shall include a continuous public access trail parallel to the shoreline with controlled public access balanced with provisions for ecological restoration, as well as to shared or commercial docks, consistent with standards of this Section.

Lake Washington Reach D and E

Public access shall be provided when lots are subdivided or new nonresidential development occurs consistent with standards of this Section.

Lake Washington Reach F and G

Public access is one element of park functions that should be continued and incorporated in future plans and balanced with goals for recreation and improving ecologic functions.

Lake Washington Reach H

Public access should continue in the future as part of multi-use development of the balance of the property consistent with standards of this Section. Development should include supporting water-oriented uses and amenities such as seating and landscaping.

Lake Washington Reach I

Public access is currently not feasible on the three acres of upland State-owned aquatic lands managed by DNR. In the future, if the Boeing site is redeveloped, public access should be provided parallel to the shoreline along the entire property, consistent with standards of this Section, together with goals for ecological restoration and water-dependent and water-oriented use.

Lake Washington Reach J

Public access to the Lake Waterfront is provided from the lawn area of the Will Rogers, Wiley Post Memorial Sea Plane Base and should be maintained if such access is not in conflict with the aeronautical use of the property.

Lake Washington Reach K

If redevelopment of non-single-family use occurs, public access shall consist of a public pedestrian walkway parallel to the shoreline along the entire property frontage with controlled access to the water’s edge, consistent with standards of this Section and requirements for vegetation conservation and ecological restoration. Public access shall be provided when lots are subdivided consistent with standards of this Section.

May Creek

May Creek A

If development occurs adjacent to the streamside, open space standards for vegetation conservation and public access shall be met consistent with standards of this Section.

May Creek B

At the time of redevelopment, public access should be provided consistent with standards of this Section from a trail parallel to the water along the entire property with controlled public access to the water consistent with standards of this Section, and goals of preservation and enhancement of ecological functions.

May Creek C and D

At the time of development of private lands, public access should be provided consistent with standards of this Section from a trail parallel to the water consistent with trails on public land. All trail development should be set back from the water’s edge with controlled public access to the water and consistent with standards of this Section and goals of preservation and enhancement of ecological functions.

Cedar River

Cedar River A

Public physical access from a trail parallel to the water should be provided if the Renton Municipal Airport redevelops in the future, balanced with goals of ecological restoration.

Cedar River B

Public access should generally be provided within the corridor of public lands adjacent to the river; however, adjacent private parcels not separated by public streets should provide active open space and other facilities to provide gathering places to enjoy the shoreline environment, together with water-oriented uses. Revisions to the existing trail to relocate further from the water’s edge to allow revegetation should be considered in the future as part of public park and river maintenance plans.

Cedar River C

Public/community access along the waterfront should be provided as private lands on the north side of the river redevelop, considered along with the goal of restoration of ecological functions. Public or community access shall be provided when residential development occurs consistent with standards of the Shoreline Master Program.

Cedar River D

The primary goal for management of this reach should be ecological enhancement. Additional public access to the water’s edge may be provided if consistent with ecological functions. Public access shall be provided when residential lots are subdivided consistent with standards of this Section.

Green River Reach A

Public physical access from a trail parallel to the water should be provided as private lands redevelop. Public agency actions to improve public access should include acquisition of trail rights to connect the trail system to the Green River Trail and Fort Dent Park. Expansion of public access in the Black River Riparian Forest should occur only if consistent with ecological functions.

Black River/Springbrook A

Public physical access from a trail parallel to the water should be provided as private lands redevelop. Expansion of public access in the Black River Riparian Forest should occur only if consistent with ecological functions. A trail system is present on the west side of the stream adjacent to the sewage treatment plant and should be retained and possibly enhanced to connect to the Lake to Sound Trail.

Springbrook B

Enhancement of the trail system on the WSDOT right-of-way that crosses under I-405 should be implemented as part of future highway improvements or other public agency actions.

Springbrook C

If future development occurs in this area, a continuous trail system connecting to the existing trail system to the south should be planned, consistent with protection of ecological values of wetlands and streamside vegetation.

Lake Desire

Lake Desire

If the existing boat launch area is altered in the future, public access other than boating facilities should include a viewing area. There is currently no formal public access to the water at the Natural Area at the south end of the lake or the County designated Natural Area at the north end of the lake. Interpretive access should be implemented consistent with standards of this Section and goals for preservation and restoration of ecological values. Public access shall be provided when lots are subdivided or new nonresidential development occurs consistent with standards of this Section.

5. Building and Development Location – Shoreline Orientation:

a. General: Shoreline developments shall locate the water-dependent, water-related, and water-enjoyment portions of their developments along the shoreline. Development and use shall be designed in a manner that directs land alteration away from the most sensitive portions of the site to maximize vegetation conservation; minimize impervious surfaces and runoff; protect riparian, nearshore and wetland habitats; protect wildlife and habitats; protect archaeological, historic and cultural resources; minimize risk to persons and property; and preserve aesthetic values.

b. Design and Performance Standards:

i. Reserved.

ii. Reserved.

iii. Minimization of Site Alteration: Development shall minimize site alteration in sites with substantial unaltered natural features by applying the following criteria:

(a) Vehicle and pedestrian circulation systems shall be designed to limit clearing, grading, and alteration of topography and natural features.

(b) Impervious surfacing for parking lot/space areas shall be limited through the use of under-building parking or permeable surfaces where feasible.

(c) Utilities shall share roadway and driveway corridors and rights-of-way wherever feasible.

(d) Development shall be located and designed to avoid the need for structural shoreline stabilization over the life of the development. Exceptions may be made for the limited instances where stabilization is necessary to protect allowed uses, particularly water-dependent uses, where no alternative locations are available and no net loss of ecological functions will result.

iv. Location for Accessory Development: Accessory development or use that does not require a shoreline location shall be located outside of shoreline jurisdiction unless such development is required to serve approved water-oriented uses and/or developments or unless otherwise allowed in a High Intensity designation. When sited within shoreline jurisdiction, uses and/or developments such as parking, service buildings or areas, access roads, utilities, signs and storage of materials shall be located inland away from the land/water interface and landward of water-oriented developments and/or other approved uses unless a location closer to the water is reasonably necessary.

v. Navigation and Recreation to Be Preserved: Shoreline uses shall not deprive other uses of reasonable access to navigable waters. Existing water-related recreation shall be preserved. (Ord. 5976, 8-3-2020)

6. Archaeological, Historical, and Cultural Resources:

a. Detailed Cultural Assessments May Be Required: The City will work with tribal, State, Federal, and other local governments as appropriate to identify significant local historical, cultural, and archaeological sites in observance of applicable State and Federal laws protecting such information from general public disclosure. Detailed cultural assessments may be required in areas with undocumented resources based on the probability of the presence of cultural resources.

b. Coordination Encouraged: Owners of property containing identified or probable historical, cultural, or archaeological sites are encouraged to coordinate well in advance of application for development to assure that appropriate agencies such as the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, affected tribes, and historic preservation groups have ample time to assess the site and identify the potential for cultural resources.

c. Detailed Cultural Assessments Required: Upon receipt of application for a development in an area of known or probable cultural resources, the City shall require a site assessment by a qualified professional archaeologist or historic preservation professional and ensure review by qualified parties including the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, affected tribes, and historic preservation groups.

d. Work to Stop Upon Discovery: If historical, cultural, or archaeological sites or artifacts are discovered in the process of development, work on that portion of the site shall be stopped immediately, the site secured, and the find reported as soon as possible to the Administrator. Upon notification of such find, the property owner shall notify the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation and affected tribes. The Administrator shall provide for a site investigation by a qualified professional and may provide for avoidance, or conservation of the resources, in coordination with appropriate agencies. (Ord. 5976, 8-3-2020)

e. Access for Educational Purposes Encouraged: Land owners are encouraged to provide access to qualified professionals and the general public if appropriate for the purpose of public education related to a cultural resource identified on a property.

7. Standards for Density, Setbacks, and Height:

a. Shoreline Bulk Standards: This table establishes the minimum required dimensional requirements for development including all structures and substantial alteration of natural topography. Additional standards may be established in subsection E of this Section, Use Regulations, and subsection F of this Section, Shoreline Modification.

 

Table 4-3-090D7a – Shoreline Bulk Standards 

 

Natural

Urban
Conservancy

Shoreline Single
Family13

High Intensity13

High Intensity
Isolated

Aquatic

Setbacks and Buffers

 

Structure Setback1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Front Yard, Side Yard, and Rear Yard Setbacks

Governed by underlying zoning in chapter 4-2 RMC except in cases where specific shoreline performance standards provide otherwise. A zoning variance from the front and side yard standards may be granted administratively if needed to meet the established shoreline buffer or setback from OHWM, as specified in this Section and if the variance criteria of RMC 4-9-250 are met.

 

Vegetation Conservation Buffer for Single Family Residential Uses1

100 ft.

100 ft.

Varies based on lot depth. If the lot depth is:

more than 170 ft. – 50 ft.

more than 150 ft. to 170 ft. – 35 ft.

more than 130 ft. to 150 ft. – 20 ft.

100 ft. to 130 ft. – 15 ft.

less than 100 ft. – 10 ft.2,3,4,5,9

None

 

 

Vegetation Conservation Buffer for All Other Uses1

100 ft.

100 ft.

100 ft.2,5,9

100 ft.2,4,5,9

None

 

Building Height – Maximum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Water

Not allowed

Not allowed

35 ft.6

35 ft.6

 

35 ft.6

 

Within 100 ft. of OHWM

Not allowed

Not allowed

35 ft.7

35 ft.8

Governed by underlying zoning in chapter 4-2 RMC

 

 

More Than 100 ft. from OHWM

15 ft.

35 ft.

35 ft.7

35 ft.8

Governed by underlying zoning in chapter 4-2 RMC

 

 

Accessory Building

15 ft.

15 ft.

15 ft.

Same as above

Governed by underlying zoning in chapter 4-2 RMC

 

Coverage Standards

 

Impervious Area within the Vegetation Conservation Setback

Not allowed

5%10

5%10

5%10

Governed by underlying zoning in chapter 4-2 RMC

 

 

Impervious Area Landward of the Buffer and within 100 ft. of OHWM – Maximum

Not allowed

10%11

50%11

50%11

Governed by underlying zoning in chapter 4-2 RMC

 

 

Lot Coverage for Buildings Landward of the Buffer and within 100 ft. of OHWM – Maximum

5%12

5%12

25%12

None12

Governed by underlying zoning in chapter 4-2 RMC

 

 

Lot Coverage for Buildings More Than 100 ft. from OHWM – Maximum

5%

15%

35%

Governed by underlying zoning in chapter 4-2 RMC9

Governed by underlying zoning in chapter 4-2 RMC

 

Table Notes:

1.    Architectural features of buildings, such as eaves or balconies, and other building elements above the first floor may project a maximum of five feet (5') into the building setback. These projections are allowed within the buffer when the building setback is zero feet (0') from the buffer. The Administrator may allow other projections in the building setback listed in RMC 4-2-110E4 where not otherwise specifically addressed in the SMP and not conflicting with the purpose of the building setback.

2.    For water-dependent uses, the buffer and associated building setback shall be the maximum determined by the specific needs of the water-dependent use and shall not apply to a structure housing any other use.

3.    Alternative Buffer Widths and Setbacks for Single Family Lots:

    Setbacks: If the buffer is less than one hundred feet (100') from the OHWM the building setback is established as the common line setback or fifteen feet (15') landward from the minimum buffer, whichever is greater. The common line setback is calculated by measuring the closest point of the primary structure to the OHWM on each of the abutting properties and averaging the two (2) primary building setbacks. If a dwelling unit does not exist on an abutting property then the setback of the abutting property without a dwelling unit, for the purposes of determining an average setback, shall be equal to thirty percent (30%) of the parcel depth.

    Buffers: If there is an existing buffer greater than the minimum required it shall be maintained to its present extent, or no greater than one hundred feet (100') from the OHWM, whichever is closer to the OHWM. If the present buffer is regulated to one hundred feet (100'), the required building setback shall be zero feet (0').

4.    Buildings related to water-oriented uses may be established closer to OHWM only in cases where the buffer is modified in accordance with subsection F1 of this Section, Vegetation Conservation provided that in no case shall buildings be located closer than fifty feet (50') from OHWM.

5.    When a buffer is one hundred feet (100'), the required building setback shall be zero feet (0'). Where the buffer is reduced per subsection F1 of this Section, the Administrator shall require a building setback to ensure that buildings are not located within one hundred feet (100') of the OHWM in the Natural and Urban Conservancy Environments. In the High Intensity Environment, the required building setback may be reduced to within seventy five feet (75') of the OHWM in accordance with subsection F1 of this Section. In the Single Family Environment the buffer and setback is subject to Table Note 3 Alternative Vegetated Buffer Widths and Setbacks for Existing Single Family Lots.

6.    Additional height may be allowed if essential to the function of a water-dependent use.

7.    If the maximum allowed height in the underlying zoning is less than the maximum allowed height in the shoreline overlay, a non-shoreline variance from the standard in chapter 4-2 RMC, Zoning Districts – Uses and Standards, must be obtained from the Administrator to allow any height over the amount allowed in the underlying zone.

8.     Additional height may be allowed if essential to the function of a water-dependent use. Height up to that established in chapter 4-2 RMC, Zoning Districts – Uses and Standards, may be allowed for non-water-dependent uses in the following reaches:

Lake Washington Reaches C, H, I, and J; Cedar River Reaches A, B, and C; Black River Reach A; May Creek Reach B; and Springbrook Creek Reaches B, C, and D:

a.    For buildings landward of one hundred feet (100') from OHWM, the maximum building height shall be defined by a maximum allowable building height envelope that shall:

i.    Begin along a line lying parallel to and one hundred feet (100') from OHWM at a height of either thirty five feet (35') or one-half (1/2) the maximum height allowed in the underlying zone, whichever is greater; and

ii.    Have an upward, landward transition at a slope of one vertical to one horizontal from the beginning height either (a) until the line at which the maximum height allowed in the underlying zoning in chapter 4-2 RMC is reached (from which line the height envelope shall extend landward at the maximum height allowed in the underlying zoning), or (b) to the end of shoreline jurisdiction, whichever comes first.

b.    For buildings allowed waterward of one hundred feet (100') from OHWM through a modified setback and buffer, the maximum building height shall be as follows:

i.    Between the modified setback and buffer line and the line lying parallel to and one hundred feet (100') from OHWM, the maximum building height shall be defined by a maximum allowable building height envelope that shall:

(a)    Begin at a height of thirty five feet (35') along the line of the modified setback and buffer; and

(b)    Have an upward, landward transition at a slope of one vertical to one horizontal from the beginning height either until the line at which the maximum height allowed in the underlying zoning in chapter 4-2 RMC is reached (from which line the height envelope shall extend landward at the maximum height allowed in the underlying zoning) or to the line lying parallel to and one hundred feet (100') from OHWM, whichever comes first; and

ii.    Landward of one hundred feet (100') from OHWM, the applicant shall have the option of choosing the maximum building height defined by either:

(a)    Using the maximum allowable building height envelope described in Table Note 8.a, above; or

(b)    Having the maximum allowable building height envelope described in Table Note 8.b.i, above, continue an upward, landward transition at a slope of one vertical to one horizontal from the envelope’s height along a line lying parallel to and one hundred feet (100') from OHWM either until the line at which the maximum height allowed in the underlying zoning in chapter 4-2 RMC is reached (from which line the height envelope shall extend landward at the maximum height allowed in the underlying zoning), or to the end of shoreline jurisdiction, whichever comes first.

9.    For short plats of no more than four (4) lots approved in the Shoreline Single Family or High Intensity shoreline designations, use of the minimum buffer and setback by lot depth is allowed.

10.    No building coverage is allowed in buffers. Up to five percent (5%) impervious surface is allowed in buffers for access to the shoreline, or a pathway up to six feet (6') wide that is located to minimize impervious surface coverage, whichever is greater. In addition, for projects that provide public access and the opportunity for substantial numbers of people to enjoy the shoreline, up to twenty five percent (25%) impervious surface is allowed within the buffer; provided, that no more than five percent (5%) impervious surface is allowed closer than twenty five feet (25') from the OHWM or a pathway up to six feet (6') wide, whichever is greater. The Administrator may approve public access within the first twenty five feet (25’) from the OHWM where such area already exceeds twenty five percent (25%) impervious area consistent with RMC 4-10-095.

11.    In cases where the buffer is less than one hundred feet (100') from the OHWM, the area landward of the buffer and within one hundred feet (100') of the OHWM is permitted a maximum of fifty percent (50%) impervious surface, unless a different standard is stated below:

Lake Washington Reaches H and I – Up to seventy five percent (75%) impervious surface, except as consistent with a Master Site Plan approved prior to the adoption of this Section.

Lake Washington Reach J – No limit is provided for the Renton Municipal Airport.

Cedar River Reach A – No limit is provided for the Renton Municipal Airport.

Cedar River Reach B and C – No limit to impervious surface.

Cedar River Reach D – No more than five percent (5%) impervious surface.

Springbrook Creek Reaches B through D – No more than sixty five percent (65%) impervious surface.

12.    If the setback falls within one hundred feet (100') from OHWM, the area landward of the setback and within one hundred feet (100') of the OHWM shall be permitted the following lot coverage:

Lake Washington High Intensity Overlay District – Up to fifty percent (50%) building coverage, except as consistent with a Master Site Plan approved prior to the adoption of this Section.

Cedar River Reach A – Up to twenty percent (20%) for the Renton Municipal Airport.

Cedar River Reach B – No limit on building coverage.

Cedar River Reach C – Up to sixty five percent (65%) building coverage, or up to seventy five percent (75%) if parking is provided within a building or parking garage (parking stall may not be located within one hundred feet (100') of OHWM).

Cedar River Reach D – No more than five percent (5%) building coverage.

Green River A – Up to fifty percent (50%) building coverage.

Springbrook Creek Reach A – No more than five percent (5%) building coverage.

Springbrook Creek Reaches B through D – Up to fifty percent (50%) building coverage.

13.    Fences may be permitted in the Single Family and High Intensity designations as follows:

a.    Fences along a property line aligned roughly perpendicular to the shoreline shall be located landward of the prescribed buffer and shall be no more than four feet (4') high when separating two residential lots and no more than six feet (6') high when separating a residential lot from public lands, including right-of-ways. For nonconforming sites where maintained lawn, landscaping, or active use area exists waterward of the prescribed buffer, fences perpendicular to the shoreline may be located waterward of the prescribed buffer but shall be no closer than fifteen feet (15') to the OHWM.

b.    Fences aligned roughly parallel to the shoreline shall be located landward of the prescribed buffer and shall be no more than four feet (4') high. For nonconforming sites where maintained lawn, landscaping, or active use area exists waterward of the prescribed buffer, fences parallel to the shoreline may be located waterward of the prescribed buffer but shall be no closer than fifteen feet (15') to the OHWM.

c.    The opaque portions of a fence (e.g., boards or slats) must not cover more than sixty percent (60%) of the fence; at least forty percent (40%) of the fence must be open. Chain link fences shall not permitted in buffers of rivers or streams; where allowed, chain link fencing shall be vinyl coated.

d.    No trees shall be removed in order to install the fence.

e.    No fences may be erected in critical areas or their buffers except in conformance with RMC 4-3-050.

f.    All fences shall be located outside the flood hazard area.

(Ord. 5976, 8-3-2020)

b. City-Wide Development Standards: Table 4-3-090D7a replaces the standards of the underlying zone in chapter 4-2 RMC for those specific standards enumerated. All other standards of the Renton development regulations, flood control regulations, subdivision regulations, health regulations, and other adopted regulatory provisions apply within shoreline jurisdiction. In the event the provisions of the Shoreline Master Program conflict with provisions of other City regulations, the more restrictive shall prevail.

c. Measurement:

i. Horizontal measurement shall be measured outward on a plane and in the direction that results in the greatest dimension from property lines, or from other features specified.

ii. Height is measured consistent with the definition of “building height” in RMC 4-11-020.

d. Uses and Improvements Exempt from Buffers and Setbacks: The following uses and improvements are allowed within buffers and setbacks subject to the shoreline bulk or coverage standards provided, they are constructed and maintained in a manner that minimizes adverse impacts on shoreline ecological functions; and provided further, that they comply with all the applicable regulations in RMC Title IV:

i. Water-Dependent Development: Those portions of approved water-dependent development that require a location waterward of the OHWM of streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, marine shorelines, associated wetlands, and/or within their associated buffers.

ii. Underground Utilities: Underground utilities, including stormwater outfalls and conveyance pipes.

iii. Modifications Necessary for Agency Compliance: Modifications to existing development that are necessary to comply with environmental requirements of any agency, when otherwise consistent with the Shoreline Master Program; provided, that the Administrator determines that:

(a) The facility cannot meet the dimensional standard and accomplish the purpose for which it is intended;

(b) The facility is located, designed, and constructed to meet specified dimensional standards to the maximum extent feasible; and

(c) The modification is in conformance with the provisions for nonconforming development and uses.

iv. Necessary Access: Roads, railways, and other essential public facilities that must cross shorelines and are necessary to access approved water-dependent development subject to development standards in subsection E of this Section, Use Regulations.

v. Stairs and Walkways: Stairs and walkways not greater than five feet (5') in width or eighteen inches (18') in height above grade, except for railings.

vi. Essential Public Facilities: An essential public facility or public utility where the Administrator determines that:

(a) The facility cannot meet the dimensional standard and accomplish the purpose for which it is intended; and

(b) The facility is located, designed, and constructed to meet specified dimensional standards to the maximum extent feasible.

vii. Shared Moorage: Shared moorages shall not be subject to side yard setbacks when located on or adjacent to a property line shared in common by the project proponents and where appropriate easements or other legal instruments have been executed providing for ingress and egress to the facility.

viii. Flood Storage: Approved compensating flood storage areas. (Ord. 5976, 8-3-2020)

8. Private Property Rights: Regulation of private property to implement any program goals such as public access and protection of ecological functions must be consistent with all relevant constitutional and other legal limitations. These include, but are not limited to, property rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Washington State Constitution, applicable Federal and State case law, and State statutes, such as RCW 34.05.328, 43.21C.060, and 82.02.020. The Administrator shall have the authority to make findings concerning public access regarding nexus and proportionality on any shoreline permit. (Ord. 5976, 8-3-2020)

9. Treaty Rights: Rights reserved or otherwise held by Indian Tribes pursuant to treaties, executive orders, or statutes, including right to hunt, fish, gather, and the right to reserved water, shall not be impaired or limited by any action taken or authorized by the City under its Shoreline Master Program, and all rights shall be accommodated.

4-3-090E USE REGULATIONS:

1. Shoreline Use Table: Uses specified in the table below are subject to the use and development standards elsewhere in this Section and the policies of the Shoreline Master Program. Uses not specified in this table may be allowed through a Shoreline Conditional Use permit if allowed in the underlying zoning. All development within shoreline jurisdiction, even if a permitted use in the table below, is subject to a Shoreline Substantial Development permit or Shoreline Exemption as required in RMC 4-9-190B3.

 

Table 4-3-090E1 Shoreline Use Table: 

KEY: X = Prohibited, P = Permitted, AD = Administrative Conditional Use Permit, H = Hearing Examiner Conditional Use Permit

 

Natural

Urban Conservancy

Single Family Residential

Aquatic

High Intensity

High Intensity Isolated

RESOURCE

Aquaculture

P1

P1

X

P

P

X

Mining

X

X

X

X

X

X

Preservation and Enhancement of Natural Features or Ecological Processes

P1

P

P

P8

Except for the land uses specified in this table, land uses allowed in the underlying zoning in RMC 4-2-060 are allowed in this overlay district, subject to the preference for water-oriented uses. Land uses in the underlying zoning that require an administrative (AD) or Hearing Examiner (H) conditional use permit in the underlying zoning require the corresponding Shoreline Conditional Use Permit.

Except for the land uses specifically prohibited in this table, land uses allowed in the underlying zoning in RMC 4-2-060 are allowed in this overlay district.

Low Intensity Scientific, Cultural, Historic, or Educational Use

P1

P

P

P8

Fish and Wildlife Resource Enhancement

P1

P

P

P8

RESIDENTIAL

Detached Dwellings

X

P4

P5

X

Except for the land uses specified in this table, land uses allowed in the underlying zoning in RMC 4-2-060 are allowed in this overlay district, subject to the preference for water-oriented uses. Land uses in the underlying zoning that require an administrative (AD) or Hearing Examiner (H) conditional use permit in the underlying zoning require the corresponding Shoreline Conditional Use Permit.

Except for the land uses specifically prohibited in this table, land uses allowed in the underlying zoning in RMC 4-2-060 are allowed in this overlay district.

Attached Dwellings

X

X

X

X

Accessory Dwelling Units

X

AD

AD

X

Group Homes I

X

X

X

X

Group Homes II (for six or fewer residents)

X

X

P

X

Group Homes II (for seven or more residents)

X

X

H

X

Adult Family Home

X

X

As allowed in underlying zoning.

X

CIVIC USES

K-12 Educational Institution (public or private)

X

X

P

X

Except for the land uses specified in this table, land uses allowed in the underlying zoning in RMC 4-2-060 are allowed in this overlay district, subject to the preference for water-oriented uses. Land uses in the underlying zoning that require an administrative (AD) or Hearing Examiner (H) conditional use permit in the underlying zoning require the corresponding Shoreline Conditional Use Permit.

Except for the land uses specifically prohibited in this table, land uses allowed in the underlying zoning in RMC 4-2-060 are allowed in this overlay district.

Roads (not providing direct access to permitted or conditional uses)

X

X

H

X

COMMERCIAL USES

Home Occupations

X

P

AD

X

Except for the land uses specified in this table, land uses allowed in the underlying zoning in RMC 4-2-060 are allowed in this overlay district, subject to the preference for water-oriented uses. Land uses in the underlying zoning that require an administrative (AD) or Hearing Examiner (H) conditional use permit in the underlying zoning require the corresponding Shoreline Conditional Use Permit.

Except for the land uses specifically prohibited in this table, land uses allowed in the underlying zoning in RMC 4-2-060 are allowed in this overlay district.

Adult Day Care I

X

X

AD

X

Adult Day Care II

X

X

H

X

RECREATION

Parks, Neighborhood

H1

H6

P

P8

Except for the land uses specified in this table, land uses allowed in the underlying zoning in RMC 4-2-060 are allowed in this overlay district, subject to the preference for water-oriented uses. Land uses in the underlying zoning that require an administrative (AD) or Hearing Examiner (H) conditional use permit in the underlying zoning require the corresponding Shoreline Conditional Use Permit.

Except for the land uses specifically prohibited in this table, land uses allowed in the underlying zoning in RMC 4-2-060 are allowed in this overlay district.

Parks, Regional/Community

H1

H6

AD6

P8

Passive Recreation

H1

P

P

P8

Public Hiking and Bicycle Trails, Over Land

H1

P1

P

X

Active Recreation

X

P2

P

P8

Boat Launches

X

P

X

P8

Mooring Piles

X

P

P

P8

Boat Moorage

X

P

P

P8

Boat Lifts

X

X

P7

P8

Boat Houses

X

X

X

X

Golf Courses

X

H2

H

X

Marinas

X

X

AD6

P8

Expansion of Existing Over-Water Trails

H10

AD10

AD10

AD10

AD10

X

INDUSTRIAL

Industrial Use

X

X

X

H8

Except for the land uses specified in this table, land uses allowed in the underlying zoning in RMC 4-2-060 are allowed in this overlay district, subject to the preference for water-oriented uses. Land uses in the underlying zoning that require an administrative (AD) or Hearing Examiner (H) conditional use permit in the underlying zoning require the corresponding Shoreline Conditional Use Permit.

Except for the land uses specifically prohibited in this table, land uses allowed in the underlying zoning in RMC 4-2-060 are allowed in this overlay district.

UTILITIES

Structures for Floodway Management, Including Drainage or Storage and Pumping Facilities

H1

P

P

P8

Except for the land uses specified in this table, land uses allowed in the underlying zoning in RMC 4-2-060 are allowed in this overlay district, subject to the preference for water-oriented uses. Land uses in the underlying zoning that require an administrative (AD) or Hearing Examiner (H) conditional use permit in the underlying zoning require the corresponding Shoreline Conditional Use Permit.

Except for the land uses specifically prohibited in this table, land uses allowed in the underlying zoning in RMC 4-2-060 are allowed in this overlay district.

Local Service Utilities

X

P3

P3

P8

Major Service Utilities

X

H6

H6

H6

P3

P8

ACCESSORY USES

Parking Areas

X

P3

P3

X

Except for the land uses specified in this table, land uses allowed in the underlying zoning in RMC 4-2-060 are allowed in this overlay district, subject to the preference for water-oriented uses. Land uses in the underlying zoning that require an administrative (AD) or Hearing Examiner (H) conditional use permit in the underlying zoning require the corresponding Shoreline Conditional Use Permit.

Except for the land uses specifically prohibited in this table, land uses allowed in the underlying zoning in RMC 4-2-060 are allowed in this overlay district.

Roads

X

P3

P3

X

Bed and Breakfast House

X

X

AD

X

Sea Plane Moorage

X

X

P

P8

Helipads

X

X

P

P8

Table Notes:

1.    Provided that the use does not degrade the ecological functions or natural character of the shoreline area.

2.    Use is allowed, but structures shall not be placed within the shoreline jurisdiction.

3.    Allowed only to serve approved or conditional uses, but should be located outside of shoreline jurisdiction if feasible.

4.    Limited to existing lots, or clustered subdivisions that retain sensitive areas.

5.    Includes uses customarily incidental to and subordinate to the primary use, and located on the same lot.

6.    Existing use is permitted, but new use is subject to a Shoreline Conditional Use Permit.

7.    Allowed as accessory to a residential dock; provided, that all lifts are placed as far waterward as feasible and safe; and platform lifts are fully grated.

8.    Only allowed if the use is water-dependent.

9.    Reserved.

10.    No new over-water trails shall be allowed unless it is part of the expansion of an existing over-water trail or over-water trail system. Such expansions shall be considered a conditional use if allowed in the Public Access Requirements by Reach Table at subsection D4f of this Section and if impacts are limited.

(Ord. 5976, 8-3-2020)

2. Aquaculture:

a. No Net Loss Required: Aquaculture shall not be permitted in areas where it would result in a net loss of ecological functions and shall be designed and located so as not to spread disease to native aquatic life, or establish new non-native species which cause significant ecological impacts.

b. Aesthetics: Aquaculture facilities shall not significantly impact the aesthetic qualities of the shoreline.

c. Structure Requirements: All structures over or in the water shall meet the following restrictions:

i. They shall be securely fastened to the shore.

ii. They shall be designed for a minimum of interference with the natural systems of the waterway including, for example, water flow and quality, fish circulation, and aquatic plant life.

iii. They should not prohibit or restrict other human uses of the water, such as swimming and/or boating.

iv. They shall be set back appropriate distances from other shoreline uses, if potential conflicts exist.

3. Boat Launching Ramps:

a. Boat Launching Ramps Shall Be Public: Any new boat launching ramp shall be public, except those related to a marina, water-dependent use, or providing for hand launching of small boats with no provisions for vehicles or motorized facilities.

b. No Net Loss Required: Choice of sites for boat launching ramps shall ensure no net loss of ecological functions through assessment of the shoreline conditions and impacts of alteration of those conditions, as well as the disturbance resulting from the volume of boat users.

c. Consideration of Impacts on Adjacent Uses: Launch ramps locations shall consider impacts on adjacent uses including:

i. Traffic generation and the adequacy of public streets to service.

ii. Impacts on adjacent uses, including noise, light, and glare.

iii. Hours of operation may be restricted to assure compatibility.

iv. Potential impacts on aquatic habitat, including impacts of disturbance by boats using the facility.

d. Water and Shore Characteristics:

i. Water depth shall be deep enough off the shore to allow use by boats without maintenance dredging.

ii. Water currents and movement and normal wave action shall be suitable for ramp activity.

e. Topography: The proposed area shall not present major geological or topographical obstacles to construction or operation of the ramp. Site adaptation such as dredging shall be minimized.

f. Design to Ensure Minimal Impact: The ramp shall be designed so as to allow for ease of access to the water with minimal impact on the shoreline and water surface.

g. Surface Materials: The surface of the ramp may be concrete, precast concrete, or other hard permanent substance. Loose materials, such as gravel or cinders, will not be used. The material chosen shall be appropriate considering the following conditions:

i. Soil characteristics;

ii. Erosion;

iii. Water currents;

iv. Waterfront conditions;

v. Usage of the ramp;

vi. Durability; and

vii. Avoidance of contamination of the water.

h. Shore Facilities Required:

i. Adequate on-shore parking and maneuvering areas shall be provided based on projected demand. Provision shall be made to limit use to available parking to prevent spillover outside designated parking areas.

ii. Engineering design and site location approval shall be obtained from the appropriate City department.

4. Commercial and Community Services:

a. Use Preference and Priorities: New commercial and community services developments are subject to the following:

i. Water-Dependent Uses: Water-dependent commercial and community service uses shall be given preference over water-related and water-enjoyment commercial and community service uses. Prior to approval of water-dependent uses, the Administrator shall review a proposal for design, layout, and operation of the use and shall make specific findings that the use qualifies as a water-dependent use. Water-dependent commercial and community service uses shall provide public access in a manner that will not interfere with the water-dependent aspects of the use. The portion of a site not required for water-oriented use may include multiple use, approved non-water-oriented uses, ecological restoration, and public access. All uses shall provide public access in accordance with subsection D4f of this Section, Table of Public Access Requirements by Reach. On Lake Washington, multiple use development that incorporates water-dependent use within one hundred feet (100') of the OHWM may not include non-water-oriented uses at the ground level.

ii. Water-Related Uses: Water-related commercial and community service uses shall not be approved if they displace existing water-dependent uses. Prior to approval of a water-related commercial or community service use, review of the design, layout, and operation of the use shall confirm that the use has a functional requirement for a waterfront location, or the use provides a necessary service supportive of the water-dependent uses, and/or the proximity of the use to its customers makes its services less expensive and/or more convenient. On Lake Washington, allowed water-related commercial and community service uses shall be evaluated in terms of whether the use facilitates a State-wide interest, including increasing public access and public recreational opportunities in the shoreline.

iii. Water-Enjoyment Uses: Water-enjoyment commercial and community service uses shall not be approved if they displace existing water-dependent or water-related uses or if they occupy space designated for water-dependent or water-related use identified in a substantial development permit or other approval. Prior to approval of water-enjoyment uses, review of the design, layout, and operation of the use shall confirm that the use facilitates public access to the shoreline as, or the use provides for, aesthetic enjoyment of the shoreline for a substantial number of people as a primary characteristic of the use. The ground floor of the use must be ordinarily open to the general public and the shoreline-oriented space within the project must be devoted to the specific aspects of the use that foster shoreline enjoyment. On Lake Washington, allowed water-enjoyment commercial uses shall be evaluated in terms of whether the use facilitates a State-wide interest, including increasing public access and public recreational opportunities in the shoreline.

iv. Non-Water-Oriented Uses: Non-water-oriented commercial and community service uses may be permitted where:

(a) Located on a site physically separated from the shoreline by another private property in separate ownership or a public right-of-way such that access for water-oriented use is precluded; provided, that such conditions were lawfully established prior to the effective date of the Shoreline Master Program, or established with the approval of the City; or

(b) Proposed on a site where navigability is severely limited (i.e., all shoreline rivers and creeks), the commercial or community service use provides a significant public benefit such as providing public access and/or ecological restoration; or

(c) The use is part of a multiple use project that provides significant public benefit with respect to the objectives of the Shoreline Management Act such as:

(1) Restoration of ecological functions in both aquatic and upland environments that provide native vegetation buffers according to the standards for the specific reach as specified in subsection F1 of this Section, Vegetation Conservation, and in accordance with the Restoration Element of this plan or other plans and policies including the WRIA 8 Salmon Restoration Plans; or

(2) The balance of the water frontage not devoted to ecological restoration and associated buffers shall be provided as public access. Community access may be allowed subject to the provisions of subsection E9 of this Section, Residential Development. (Ord. 5976, 8-3-2020)

b. Over-Water Structures: Over-water structures are allowed only for those portions of water-dependent commercial uses that require over-water facilities or for public recreation and public access facilities. Non-water-dependent commercial uses shall not be allowed over water except in limited instances where they are appurtenant to and necessary in support of water-dependent uses.

c. Setbacks: Public access adjacent to the water may be located within the required setback, subject to the standards for impervious surface in subsection D7a of this Section, Setbacks, for non-water-oriented commercial buildings and shall be located no closer than one hundred feet (100') from the OHWM; provided, this requirement may be modified in accordance with subsection F1 of this Section, Vegetation Conservation.

d. Scenic and Aesthetic Qualities: All new or expanded commercial and community services developments shall take into consideration the scenic and aesthetic qualities of the shoreline and compatibility with adjacent uses as provided in subsection D3 of this Section, Use Compatibility and Aesthetic Effects and subsection D5 of this Section, Building and Development Location – Shoreline Orientation.

5. Industrial Use:

a. Use Preferences and Priorities: Industrial developments shall be permitted subject to the following:

i. Water-Dependent Uses: New industrial uses in new structures within the required setback of the shoreline must be water-dependent.

ii. Existing Non-Water-Dependent Uses: Existing non-water-dependent uses may be retained and expanded, subject to provisions for nonconforming uses activities and sites; provided, that expansion of structures within the required setback between the building and the water shall be prohibited unless it is demonstrated that the impacts of the expansion can be mitigated through on-site measures such as buffer enhancement or low impact stormwater development. Changes in use are limited to existing structures.

iii. Water-Related Uses: Water-related industrial uses may not be approved if they displace existing water-dependent uses. Prior to approval of a water-related industrial use, review of the design, layout, and operation of the use shall confirm that the use has a functional requirement for a waterfront location, or the use provides a necessary service supportive of the water-dependent uses, and/or the proximity of the use to its customers makes its services less expensive and/or more convenient. Allowed water-related commercial uses shall be evaluated in terms of whether the use facilitates a public interest, including increasing public access and public recreational opportunities in the shoreline.

iv. Non-Water-Oriented Uses: Non-water-oriented industrial uses may be permitted where:

(a) Located on a site physically separated from the shoreline by another private property in separate ownership or a public right-of-way such that access for water-oriented use is precluded; provided, that such conditions were lawfully established prior to the effective date of the Shoreline Master Program; or

(b) On a site that abuts the water’s edge where navigability is severely limited (i.e., all shoreline rivers and creeks) and where the use provides significant public benefit with respect to the objectives of the Shoreline Management Act by:

(1) Restoration of ecological functions in both aquatic and upland environments that provide native vegetation buffers according to the standards for the specific reach as specified in subsection F1 of this Section, Vegetation Conservation, and in accordance with the Restoration Element of this plan and other plans and policies including the WRIA 8 and 9 Salmon Restoration Plans; or

(2) The balance of the water frontage not devoted to ecological restoration and associated buffers shall be provided as public access in accordance with subsection D4 of this Section, Public Access. (Ord. 5976, 8-3-2020)

b. Clustering of Non-Water-Oriented Uses: Any new use of facility or expansion of existing facilities shall minimize and cluster those water-dependent and water-related portions of the development along the shoreline and place inland all facilities which are not water-dependent.

c. Over-Water Structures: Over-water structures are allowed only for those portions of water-dependent industrial uses that require over-water facilities. Any over-water structure is water-dependent, is limited to the smallest reasonable dimensions, and is subject to shoreline conditional use approval.

d. Materials Storage: New industrial development may not introduce exterior storage of materials outside of buildings within shoreline jurisdiction, except by approval of a Shoreline Conditional Use Permit subject to the additional criteria that exterior storage is essential to the use.

e. No Discharge Allowed: Each industrial use shall demonstrate that no spill or discharge to surface waters will result from the use or shall demonstrate in the permit application a specific program to contain and clean up spills or discharges of pollutants associated with the industrial use and activity.

f. Offshore Log Storage: Offshore log storage shall only be allowed only to serve a processing use and shall be located where water depth is sufficient without dredging, where water circulation is adequate to disperse polluting wastes and where they will not provide habitat for salmonid predators.

g. Scenic and Aesthetic Qualities: New or expanded industrial developments shall take into consideration the scenic and aesthetic qualities of the shoreline and compatibility with adjacent uses as provided in subsection D3 of this Section, Use Compatibility and Aesthetic Effects, and subsection D5 of this Section, Building and Development Location – Shoreline Orientation.

6. Marinas:

a. Applicability: The standards specified for marinas shall be applied to all development as described below:

i. Joint use single family docks serving four (4) or more residences.

ii. Any dock allowed for multi-family uses.

iii. Docks serving all other multiple use facilities including large boat launches and mooring buoy fields.

b. Lake Washington: Marinas on Lake Washington shall be permitted only when:

i. Detailed analysis of ecological conditions demonstrate that they will not result in a net loss of ecological functions and specifically will not interfere with natural geomorphic processes including delta formation, or adversely affect native and anadromous fish.

ii. Future dredging is not required to accommodate navigability.

iii. Adequate on-site parking is available commensurate with the size and character of moorage facilities provided in accordance with the parking standards in RMC 4-4-080F. Parking areas not associated with loading areas shall be sited as far as feasible from the water’s edge and outside of buffers described in subsection F1 of this Section, Vegetation Conservation. (Ord. 5976, 8-3-2020)

iv. Adequate water area is available commensurate with the actual moorage facilities provided.

v. The location of the moorage facilities is adequately served by public roads.

c. Location Criteria:

i. Marinas shall not be located near beaches commonly used for swimming unless no alternative location exists, and mitigation is provided to minimize impacts to such areas and protect the public health, safety, and welfare.

ii. Marinas and accessory uses shall be located only where adequate utility services are available, or where they can be provided concurrent with the development.

iii. Marinas, launch ramps, and accessory uses shall be designed so that lawfully existing or planned public shoreline access is not unnecessarily blocked, obstructed, nor made dangerous.

d. Design Requirements:

i. Marinas shall be designed to result in no net loss of ecological functions.

ii. Marinas and boat launches shall provide public access for as many water-dependent recreational uses as possible, commensurate with the scale of the proposal. Features for such access could include, but are not limited to: docks and piers, pedestrian bridges to offshore structures, fishing platforms, artificial pocket beaches, and underwater diving and viewing platforms.

iii. Dry upland boat storage is preferred for permanent moorage in order to protect shoreline ecological functions, efficiently use shoreline space, and minimize consumption of public water surface areas unless:

(a) No suitable upland locations exist for such facilities; or

(b) It is demonstrated that wet moorage would result in fewer impacts to ecological functions; or

(c) It is demonstrated that wet moorage would enhance public use of the shoreline.

iv. Marinas, launch ramps, and accessory uses shall be located and designed with the minimum necessary shoreline stabilization.

v. Public access shall be required in accordance with subsection D4 of this Section, Public Access.

vi. Piers and docks shall meet standards in subsection E7 of this Section, Piers and Docks.

vii. New covered moorage for boat storage is prohibited. Covered over-water structures may be permitted only where vessel construction or repair work is to be the primary activity and covered work areas are demonstrated to be the minimum necessary over-water structures. When feasible any covered over-water structures shall incorporate windows, skylights, or other materials to allow sufficient light to reach the water’s surface.

e. Operation Requirements:

i. Marinas and other commercial boating activities shall be equipped with facilities to manage wastes, including:

(a) Marinas with a capacity of one hundred (100) or more boats, or further than one mile from such facilities, shall provide pump-out, holding, and/or treatment facilities for sewage contained on boats or vessels.

(b) Discharge of solid waste or sewage into a water body is prohibited. Marinas and boat launch ramps shall have adequate restroom and sewage disposal facilities in compliance with applicable health regulations.

(c) Garbage or litter receptacles shall be provided and maintained by the operator at locations convenient to users.

(d) Disposal or discarding of fish or shellfish cleaning wastes, scrap fish, viscera, or unused bait into water or in other than designated garbage receptacles near a marina or launch ramp is prohibited.

(e) Public notice of all regulations pertaining to handling and disposal of waste, sewage, fuel, oil or toxic materials shall be reviewed and approved and posted where all users may easily read them.

ii. Fail safe facilities and procedures for receiving, storing, dispensing, and disposing of oil or hazardous products, as well as a spill response plan for oil and other products, shall be required of new marinas and expansion or substantial alteration of existing marinas. Handling of fuels, chemicals, or other toxic materials must be in compliance with all applicable Federal and State water quality laws as well as health, safety, and engineering requirements. Rules for spill prevention and response, including reporting requirements, shall be posted on site.

7. Piers and Docks:

a. General Criteria for Use and Approval of All New or Expanded Piers and Docks:

i. Piers and docks shall be designed to minimize interference with the public use and enjoyment of the water surface and shoreline, nor create a hazard to navigation.

ii. The dock or pier shall not result in the unreasonable interference with the use of adjacent docks and/or piers.

iii. The use of floating docks in lieu of other types of docks is to be encouraged in those areas where scenic values are high and where substantial conflicts with recreational boaters and fishermen will not be created.

iv. The expansion of existing piers and docks is preferred over the construction of new.

v. The responsibility rests on the applicant to affirmatively demonstrate the need for the proposed pier or dock in his/her application for a permit, except for a dock accessory to a single family residence on an existing lot.

vi.  All piers and docks shall result in no net loss of ecological functions. Docks, piers, and mooring buoys, including those accessory to single family residences, shall avoid, or if that is not possible, minimize and mitigate adverse impacts to shoreline ecological functions such that no net loss of ecological functions results.

vii. Over-water construction not required for moorage purposes is regulated as a recreation use.

viii. New or expanded piers and docks allowed for water-dependent uses shall be consistent with the following criteria:

(a) Water-dependent uses shall specify the specific need for over-water location and shall be restricted to the minimum size necessary to meet the needs of the proposed water-dependent use.

(b) Water-related, water-enjoyment and multiple uses may be allowed as part of a dock or pier to serve as water-dependent use structures where they are clearly auxiliary to and in support of water-dependent uses, provided the minimum size requirement needed to meet the water-dependent use is not violated.

(c) Public access is required over all docks utilizing public aquatic lands that serve water-dependent uses, water-enjoyment uses and multiple uses, provided it does not preclude the water-dependent use.

(d) The dock or pier length shall not extend beyond a length necessary to provide reasonable and safe moorage.

b. Additional Criteria for New or Expanded Residential Docks:

i. Single Family Docks:

(a) Single Family Joint Use Docks: A pier or dock which is constructed for private recreation moorage associated with a single family residence, for private joint use by two or more single family waterfront property owners, or a community pier or dock in new waterfront single family subdivision, is considered a water-dependent use; provided, that it is designed and used only as a facility to access watercraft owned by the occupants, and to incidental use by temporary guests. No fees or other compensation may be charged for use by nonresidents of piers or docks accessory to residences.

(b) Individual Single Family Docks: The approval of a new dock or pier or a modification or extension of an existing dock or pier shall include a finding that the following criteria have been met:

(1) A new dock providing for private recreational moorage for an individual lot may not be permitted in subdivisions approved on or before January 28, 1993, unless shared moorage is not available, and there is no homeowners association or other corporate entity capable of developing shared moorage.

(2) A new dock shall not be allowed for an individual lot in cases where a joint use dock has been constructed to serve the subject lot.

(3) Prior to approval of a new dock for private recreational moorage for an individual lot, the owner should demonstrate that adjacent owners have been contacted and they have declined to develop or utilize a shared dock. Such information should be provided in the project narrative at the time of permit submittal.

(4) A new dock should be approved only in cases where use of a mooring buoy is demonstrated to be impractical for reducing over-water coverage.

ii. Multi-Family Docks: Multi-family residential use is not considered a water-dependent use under the Shoreline Management Act and moorage for multi-family residential use shall be provided only when the following criteria are met:

(a) The dock provides a public benefit of shoreline ecological enhancement in the form of buffer enhancement in accordance with subsection F1 of this Section, Vegetation Conservation, and/or public access in accordance with subsection D4 of this Section, Public Access; (Ord. 5976, 8-3-2020)

(b) Moorage at the proposed dock shall be limited to residents of the apartments, condominiums, or similar developments for which the dock was built;

(c) Multi-family moorage serving more than four (4) vessels meets the criteria for the approval of marinas in subsection E6 of this Section, Marinas.

iii. Shared Docks Required for New Development: Shared moorage shall be provided for all new residential developments of more than two (2) single family dwelling units. New subdivisions shall contain a restriction on the face of the plat prohibiting individual docks. A site for shared moorage shall be owned in undivided interest by property owners within the subdivision. Shared moorage facilities shall be available to property owners in the subdivision for community access and may be required to provide public access depending on the scale of the facility. If shared moorage is provided, the applicant/proponent shall file at the time of plat recordation a legally enforceable joint use agreement. Approval shall be subject to the following criteria:

(a) Shared moorage to serve new development shall be limited to the amount of moorage needed to serve lots with water frontage. Shared moorage use by upland property owners shall be reviewed as a marina.

(b) As few shared docks as possible shall be developed. Development of more than one dock shall include documentation that a single dock would not accommodate the need or that adverse impacts on ecological functions would result from the size of dock required.

(c) The size of a dock must consider the use of mooring buoys for some or all moorage needs and the use of all or part of the dock to allow tender access to mooring buoys.

(d) Public access shall be provided over all shared docks utilizing public aquatic lands that accommodate five (5) or more vessels.

c. Design Criteria – General:

i. Pier Type: All piers and docks shall be built of open pile construction except that floating docks may be permitted where there is no danger of significant damage to an ecosystem, where scenic values are high and where one or more of the following conditions exist:

(a) Extreme water depth, beyond the range of normal length piling.

(b) A soft bottom condition, providing little support for piling.

(c) Bottom conditions that render it not feasible to install piling.

ii. Construction and Maintenance: All piers and docks shall be constructed and maintained in a safe and sound condition.

iii. Approach: Approaches to piers and docks shall consist of ramps or other structures that span the entire foreshore to the point of intersection with stable upland soils. Limited fill or excavation may be allowed landward of the OHWM to match the upland with the elevation of the pier or dock.

iv. Materials: Applicants for the new construction or extension of piers and docks or the repair and maintenance of existing docks shall use materials that will not adversely affect water quality or aquatic plants and animals over the long term. Materials used for submerged portions of a pier or dock, decking, and other components that may come in contact with water shall be approved by applicable State agencies for use in water to avoid discharge of pollutants from wave splash, rain or runoff. Wood treated with creosote, pentachlorophenol or other similarly toxic materials is prohibited. Pilings shall be constructed of untreated materials, such as untreated wood, approved plastic composites, concrete or steel.

v. Pilings: Pile spacing shall be the maximum feasible to minimize shading and avoid a “wall” effect that would block or baffle wave patterns, currents, littoral drift, or movement of aquatic life forms, or result in structure damage from driftwood impact or entrapment. The first piling set shall be spaced at the maximum distance feasible to minimize shading and shall be no less than eighteen feet (18'). Pilings beyond the first set of piles shall minimize the size of the piles and maximize the spacing between pilings to the extent allowed by site-specific engineering or design considerations.

vi. Minimization of Nearshore Impacts: In order to minimize impacts on nearshore areas and avoid reduction in ambient light level:

(a) The width of piers, docks, and floats shall be the minimum necessary to serve the proposed use.

(b) Ramps shall span as much of the nearshore as feasible.

(c) Dock surfaces shall be designed to allow light penetration.

(d) Lights shall avoid illuminating the water surface. Lighting facilities shall be limited to the minimum extent necessary to locate the pier or dock at night for docks serving residential uses. Lighting to serve water-dependent uses shall be the minimum required to accommodate the use and may not be used when the water-dependent aspects of the use are not in operation.

vii. Covered Moorage: Covered moorage is not allowed on any moorage facility unless translucent materials are used that allow light penetration through the canopy, or through the roof of legal, pre-existing boat houses. Temporary vessel covers must be attached to the vessel. New boat houses are not allowed.

viii.  Seaplane Moorage: Seaplane moorage may be accommodated at any dock that meets the standards of the Shoreline Master Program.

ix. Other Agency Requirements: If deviation from the design standards specified in subsection E7 of this Section, Piers and Docks, is approved by another agency with permitting authority, such as the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, it shall be approved with a variance, subject to all conditions and requirements of those permitting agencies.

d. Design Standards:

 

Single Family

Joint Use and Community Docks

Commercial and Industrial Docks – Water-Dependent Uses

Non-Water-Dependent Uses

WHEN ALLOWED

 

Maximum of one pier or dock per developed waterfront lot or ownership.

A joint use dock may be constructed for two (2) or more contiguous waterfront properties and may be located on a side property line, or straddling a side property line, common to both properties or be provided with an access easement for all lots served.1

Joint use docks or piers serving more than four (4) residences shall be regulated as marinas.

Water-dependent commercial and industrial uses may develop docks and piers to the extent that they are required for water-dependent use. Public access shall be provided in accordance with subsection D4 of this Section, Public Access.

Docks are not allowed unless they provide public access or public water recreation use. Such docks and piers are subject to the performance standards for over-water structures for recreation in subsection E8 of this Section, Recreation.

LENGTH – MAXIMUM

Docks and Piers

Minimum needed to provide moorage for a single family residence, a maximum of one ell and two (2) fingers. Maximum: 80 ft. from OHWM.2

Minimum needed to provide moorage for the single family residences or community being served. Maximum: 80 ft. from OHWM.2

Minimum needed to serve specific vessels or other water-dependent uses specified in the application. Maximum: 120 ft. from OHWM.2

Facilities adjacent to a designated harbor area: The dock or pier may extend to the lesser of:

a) The general standard, above; or

b) The inner harbor line or such point beyond the inner harbor line as is allowed by formal authorization by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) or other agency with jurisdiction.

Docks are not allowed unless they provide public access or public water recreation use. Such docks and piers are subject to the performance standards for over-water structures for recreation in subsection E8 of this Section, Recreation.

Ells and Fingers

26 ft.

26 ft.

Minimum needed to serve specific vessels or other water-dependent uses specified in the application.

 

Floats

20 ft.

20 ft.

Minimum needed to serve specific vessels or other water-dependent uses specified in the application.

 

WIDTH

Docks and Piers

4 ft.4

6 ft.

Maximum walkway: 8 ft., but 12 ft. if vehicular access is required for the approved use.3

Docks are not allowed unless they provide public access or public water recreation use. Such docks and piers are subject to the performance standards for over-water structures for recreation in subsection E8 of this Section, Recreation.

Ells and Floats

6 ft.

6 ft.

Minimum needed to serve specific vessels or other water-dependent uses specified in the application.

 

Fingers

2 ft.

2 ft.

Minimum needed to serve specific vessels or other water-dependent uses specified in the application.

 

Ramp Connecting a Pier/Dock to a Float

3 ft. for walkway, 4 ft. total

3 ft. for walkway, 4 ft. total

Minimum needed to serve specific vessels or other water-dependent uses specified in the application.

 

PILINGS – MAXIMUMS

Mooring Piles

Two (2) piles, up to 12 in. in diameter, installed within 24 ft. of a dock or pier and out of the nearshore area.

Four (4) piles, up to 12 in. in diameter, installed within 24 ft. of a dock or pier and out of the nearshore area.

Minimum needed to serve specific vessels or other water-dependent uses specified in the application.

Docks are not allowed unless they provide public access or public water recreation use. Such docks and piers are subject to the performance standards for over-water structures for recreation in subsection E8 of this Section, Recreation.

SETBACKS – MINIMUMS

Side Setback

No portion of a pier or dock may lie closer than 5 ft. to an adjacent property line and may not interfere with navigation.

No portion of a pier or dock may lie closer than 5 ft. to an adjacent property line and may not interfere with navigation.

No portion of a pier or dock may lie closer than 30 ft. to an adjacent property line.

Docks are not allowed unless they provide public access or public water recreation use. Such docks and piers are subject to the performance standards for over-water structures for recreation in subsection E8 of this Section, Recreation.

Table Notes:

1.    A joint use ownership agreement or covenant shall be executed and recorded with the King County Recorder’s Office prior to the issuance of permits. A copy of the recorded agreement shall be provided to the City. Such documents shall specify ownership rights and maintenance provisions, including: specifying the parcels to which the agreement shall apply; providing that the dock shall be owned jointly by the participating parcels and that the ownership shall run with the land; providing for easements to access the dock from each lot served and provide for access for maintenance; providing apportionment of construction and maintenance expenses; and providing a means for resolution of disputes, including arbitration and filing of liens and assessments.

2.    Maximum length is eighty feet (80') unless a depth of ten feet (10') cannot be obtained. In such circumstances the dock may be extended until the water depth reaches a point of ten feet (10') in depth at ordinary low water.

3.    Additional width may be allowed to accommodate public access in addition to the water-dependent use.

4.    That portion of a pier or dock beyond thirty feet (30') from OHWM may be up to six feet (6') wide, without a variance, if approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife; or a pier or dock may be six feet (6') wide, waterward from land, without a variance, if the property owner qualifies for State disabled accommodations.

(Ord. 5976, 8-3-2020)

e. Maintenance and Repair of Docks: Existing docks or piers that do not comply with these regulations may be repaired in accordance with the criteria below.

i. When the repair and/or replacement of the surface area exceeds thirty percent (30%) of the surface area of the dock/pier, light penetrating materials must be used for all replacement decking. For floating docks, light penetrating materials shall be used where feasible, and as long as the structural integrity of the dock is maintained.

ii. When the repair involves replacement of the surfacing materials only, there is no requirement to bring the dock/pier into conformance with dimensional standards of this Section.

iii. When the repair/replacement involves the replacement of more than fifty percent (50%) of the pilings, or more, the entire structure shall be replaced in compliance with these regulations. For floating docks, when the repair/replacement involves replacement of more than fifty percent (50%) of the total supporting structure (including floats, pilings, or cross-bars), the entire structure shall be replaced in compliance with these regulations.

iv. When the existing dock/pier is moved or expanded or the shape reconfigured, the entire structure shall be replaced in compliance with these regulations.

f. Buoy and Float Regulations:

i. Buoys Preferred: The use of buoys for moorage is preferable to piers, docks, or floats and buoys may be sited under a shoreline exemption instead of a Substantial Development Permit, provided they do not exceed the cost threshold.

ii. Floats: Floats shall be allowed under the following conditions:

(a) The float is served by a dock attached to the shore for use of only a tender. The dock shall be the minimum length to allow access to a tender and may not exceed a length of forty feet (40').

(b) Floats shall be anchored to allow clear passage on all sides by small watercraft.

(c) Floats shall not exceed a maximum of one hundred (100) square feet in size. A float proposed for joint use between adjacent property owners may not exceed one hundred and fifty (150) square feet per residence. Floats for public use shall be sized in order to provide for the specific intended use and shall be limited to the minimum size necessary.

(d) A single family residence may only have one float.

(e) Floats shall not be located a distance of more than eighty feet (80') beyond the OHWM, except public recreation floats.

g. Variance to Dock and Pier Dimensions:

i. Requests for greater dock and pier dimensions than those specified above may be submitted as a shoreline variance application, unless otherwise specified.

ii. Any greater dimension than those listed above may be allowed subject to findings that a variance request complies with:

(a) The general criteria for shoreline variance approval in RMC 4-9-190I4.

(b) The additional criteria that the allowed dock or pier cannot reasonably provide the purpose for which it is intended without specific dimensions to serve specific aspects of a water-dependent use.

(c) Meets the general criteria for all new and expanded piers and docks in subsection E7a of this Section.

8. Recreation:

a. When Allowed: Recreation activities are allowed when:

i. There is no net loss of ecological functions, including on- and off-site mitigation.

ii. Water-related and water-enjoyment uses do not displace water-dependent uses and are consistent with existing water-related and water-enjoyment uses.

iii. The level of human activity involved in passive or active recreation shall be appropriate to the ecological features and shoreline environment.

iv. State-owned shorelines shall be recognized as particularly adapted to providing wilderness beaches, ecological study areas, and other recreational uses for the public in accordance with RCW 90.58.100(4).

b. Location Relative to the Shoreline: Activities provided by recreational facilities must bear a substantial relationship to the shoreline, or provide physical or visual access to the shoreline.

i. Water-dependent recreation such as fishing, swimming, boating, and wading should be located on the shoreline.

ii. Water-related recreation such as picnicking, hiking, and walking should be located near the shoreline.

iii. Non-water-related recreation facilities shall be located inland. Recreational facilities with large grass areas, such as golf courses and playing fields, and facilities with extensive impervious surfaces shall observe vegetation management standards providing for native vegetation buffer areas along the shoreline.

c. Over-Water Structures: Over-water structures for recreation use shall be allowed only when:

i. They allow opportunities for substantial numbers of people to enjoy the shorelines of the State.

ii. They are not located in or adjacent to areas of exceptional ecological sensitivity, especially aquatic and wildlife habitat areas.

iii. They are integrated with other public access features, particularly when they provide limited opportunities to approach the water’s edge in areas where public access is set back to protect sensitive ecological features at the water’s edge.

iv. No net loss of ecological functions will result.

d. Public Recreation: Public recreation uses shall be permitted within the shoreline only when the following criteria are considered:

i. The natural character of the shoreline is preserved and the resources and ecology of the shoreline are protected.

ii. Accessibility to the water’s edge is provided consistent with public safety needs and in consideration of natural features.

iii. Recreational development shall be of such variety as to satisfy the diversity of demands of the local community.

iv. Water-related and water-enjoyment uses do not displace water-dependent uses and uses are consistent with existing water-related and water-enjoyment uses.

v. Recreational development is located and designed to minimize detrimental impact on the adjoining property.

vi. The development provides parking and other necessary facilities to handle the designed public use.

vii. Effects on private property are consistent with all relevant constitutional and other legal limitations on regulation or acquisition of private property.

viii. Public parks and other public lands shall be managed in a manner that provides a balance between providing opportunities for recreation and restoration and enhancement of the shoreline. Major park development shall be approved only after a master planning process that provides for a balance of these elements.

e. Private Recreation:

i. Private recreation uses and facilities that exclude the public from public aquatic lands are prohibited. Private recreation uses that utilize public aquatic lands shall provide public access in accordance with criteria in subsection D4 of this Section, Public Access.

ii. Private recreational uses open to the public shall be permitted only when the following standards are met:

(a) There is no net loss of ecological functions, including on- and off-site.

(b) There is reasonable public access provided to the shoreline at no fee for sites providing recreational uses that are fee supported, including access along the water’s edge where appropriate. In the case of Lake Washington, significant public access shall be provided in accordance with public access criteria in subsection D4 of this Section, Public Access.

(c) The proposed facility will have no significant detrimental effects on adjacent parcels and uses.

(d) Adequate, screened, and landscaped parking facilities that are separated from pedestrian paths are provided.

(e) Recreational uses are encouraged in multiple use commercial development.

9. Residential Development:

a. Single Family Priority Use and Other Residential Uses: Single family residences are a priority on the shoreline under the Shoreline Management Act (RCW 90.58.020). All other residential uses are subject to the preference for water-oriented use and must provide for meeting the requirements for ecological restoration and/or public access.

b. General Criteria: Residential developments shall be allowed only when:

i. Density and other characteristics of the development are consistent with the Renton Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Code.

ii. Residential structures shall provide setbacks and buffers as provided in subsection D7a of this Section, Shoreline Bulk Standards, or as modified under subsection F1 of this Section, Vegetation Conservation.

c. Public Access Required: Unless deemed inappropriate due to health, safety, or environmental concerns, new single family residential developments, including subdivision of land for ten (10) or more parcels, shall provide public access in accordance with subsection D4 of this Section, Public Access. Unless deemed inappropriate due to health, safety or environmental concerns, new multi-family developments shall provide a significant public benefit such as providing public access and/or ecological restoration along the water’s edge. For such proposed development, a community access plan may be used to satisfy the public access requirement if the following written findings are made by the Administrator:

i. The community access plan allows for a substantial number of people to enjoy the shoreline; and

ii. The balance of the waterfront not devoted to public and/or community access shall be devoted to ecological restoration. (Ord. 5976, 8-3-2020)

d. Shoreline Stabilization Prohibited: New residential development shall not require new shoreline stabilization. Developable portions of lots shall not be subject to flooding or require structural flood hazard reduction measures within a channel migration zone or floodway to support intended development during the life of the development or use. Prior to approval, geotechnical analysis of the site and shoreline characteristics shall demonstrate that new shoreline stabilization is unlikely to be necessary for each new lot to support intended development during the life of the development or use.

e. Critical Areas: New residential development shall include provisions for critical areas including avoidance, setbacks from steep slopes, bluffs, landslide hazard areas, seismic hazard areas, riparian and marine shoreline erosion areas, and shall meet all applicable development standards. Setbacks from hazards shall be sufficient to protect structures during the life of the structure (one hundred (100) years).

f. Vegetation Conservation: All new residential lots shall meet vegetation conservation provisions in subsection F1 of this Section, Vegetation Conservation, including the full required buffer area together with replanting and control of invasive species within buffers to ensure establishment and continuation of a vegetation community characteristic of a native climax community. Each lot must be able to support intended development without encroachment on vegetation conservation areas, except for public trains and other uses allowed within such areas. Areas within vegetation conservation areas shall be placed in common or public ownership when feasible.

g. New Private Docks Restricted: All new subdivisions shall record a prohibition on new private docks on the face of the plat. An area reserved for shared moorage may be designated if it meets all requirements of the Shoreline Master Program including demonstration that public and private marinas and other boating facilities are not sufficient to meet the moorage needs of the subdivision.

h.     Floating Residences Prohibited: Floating residences are prohibited.

10. Transportation:

a. General Standards: New and expanded transportation facilities shall be designed to achieve no net loss of ecological functions within the shoreline. To the maximum extent feasible the following standards shall be applied to all transportation projects and facilities:

i. Facilities shall be located outside of the shoreline jurisdiction and as far from the land/water interface as possible. Expansion of existing transportation facilities shall include analysis of system options that assess the potential for alternative routes outside shoreline jurisdiction or set back further from the land/water interface.

ii. Facilities shall be located and designed to avoid significant natural, historical, archaeological, or cultural sites, and mitigate unavoidable impacts.

iii. Facilities shall be designed and maintained to prevent soil erosion, to permit natural movement of groundwater, and not adversely affect water quality or aquatic plants and animals over the life of the facility.

iv. All debris and other waste materials from construction shall be disposed of in such a way as to prevent their entry by erosion into any water body and shall be specified in submittal materials.

v. Facilities shall avoid the need for shoreline protection.

vi. Facilities shall allow passage of flood waters, fish passage, and wildlife movement by using bridges with the longest span feasible or when bridges are not feasible, culverts and other features that provide for these functions.

vii. Facilities shall be designed to accommodate as many compatible uses as feasible, including, but not limited to: utilities, viewpoint, public access, or trails.

b. Roads:

i. New public or private roads and driveways shall be located inland from the land/water interface, preferably out of the shoreline, unless:

(a) Perpendicular water crossings are required for access to authorized uses consistent with the Shoreline Master Program; or

(b) Facilities are primarily oriented to pedestrian and nonmotorized use and provide an opportunity for a substantial number of people to enjoy shoreline areas, and are consistent with policies and regulations for ecological protection.

ii. Road locations shall be planned to fit the topography, where possible, in order that minimum alteration of existing natural conditions will be necessary.

iii. RCW 36.87.130 prohibits vacation of any right-of-way that abuts freshwater except for port, recreational, educational or industrial purposes. Therefore, development, abandonment, or alteration of undeveloped road ends within Shoreline Master Program jurisdiction is prohibited unless an alternate use is approved in accordance with the Shoreline Master Program.

c. Railroads: New or expanded railroads shall be located inland from the land/water interface and out of the shoreline where feasible. Expansion of the number of rails on an existing right-of-way shall be accompanied by meeting the vegetation conservation provisions for moderate expansion of nonconforming uses in RMC 4-10-095, Shoreline Master Program, Nonconforming Uses, Activities, Structures and Sites. (Ord. 5976, 8-3-2020)

d. Trails:

i. Trails that provide public access on or near the water shall be located, designed, and maintained in a manner that protects the existing environment and shoreline ecological functions. Preservation or improvement of the natural amenities shall be a basic consideration in the design of shoreline trails.

ii. The location and design of trails shall create the minimum impact on adjacent property owners including privacy and noise.

iii. Over-water structures may be provided for trails in cases where:

(a) Key trail links for local or regional trails must cross streams, wetlands, or other water bodies.

(b) For interpretive facilities.

(c) To protect sensitive riparian and wetland areas from the adverse impacts of at grade trails, including soil compaction, erosion potential and impedance of surface and groundwater movement.

iv. Trail width and surface materials shall be appropriate for the context with narrow soft surface trails in areas of high ecological sensitivity where the physical impacts of the trail and the number of users should be minimized with wider hard-surfaced trails with higher use located in less ecologically sensitive areas.

e. Parking:

i. When Allowed: Parking facilities in shorelines are not a preferred use and shall be allowed only as necessary to serve an authorized primary use.

ii. Public Parking:

(a) In order to encourage public use of the shoreline, public parking is to be provided at frequent locations on public streets, at shoreline viewpoints, and at trailheads.

(b) Public parking facilities shall be located as far as feasible from the shoreline unless parking areas close to the water are essential to serve approved recreation and public access. In general, only disabled parking should be located near the land/water interface with most other parking located within walking distance and outside of buffers. (Ord. 5976, 8-3-2020)

(c) Public parking facilities shall be designed and landscaped to minimize adverse impact upon the shoreline and adjacent lands and upon the water view.

iii. Private Parking:

(a) Private parking facilities should be located away from the shoreline unless parking areas close to the water are essential to serve approved uses and/or developments. When sited within shoreline jurisdiction, parking shall be located inland away from the land/water interface and landward of water-oriented developments and/or other approved uses.

(b) Surface parking areas shall be located and designed to minimize visual impacts as viewed from the shoreline and from views of the shoreline from upland properties.

(c) Parking structures shall be located outside of buffers and behind or within the first row of buildings between the water and the developed portions of a site and designed such that the frontage visible from the shoreline accommodates other uses and parked cars are not visible from that frontage. (Ord. 5976, 8-3-2020)

(d) Parking lot design, landscaping and lighting shall be governed by the provisions of chapter 4-4 RMC and the provisions of the Shoreline Master Program.

f. Aviation:

i. Prohibited Near Natural or Urban Conservancy Areas: Aviation facilities are prohibited within two hundred feet (200') of a Natural or Urban Conservancy Shoreline Overlay District.

ii. Airports:

(a) A new airport shall not be allowed to locate within the shoreline; however, an airport already located within a shoreline shall be permitted.

(b) Upgrades of facilities to meet FAA requirements or improvements in technology shall be permitted.

(c) Facilities to serve seaplanes may be included as an accessory use in any existing airport.

(d) Helipads may be included as an accessory use in any existing airport.

(e) Aviation-related manufacturing shall be permitted in an airport.

(f) New or upgraded airport facilities shall be designed and operated such that:

(1) All facilities that are non-water-dependent shall be located outside of shoreline jurisdiction, if feasible. When sited within shoreline jurisdiction, uses and/or developments such as parking, hangars, service buildings or areas, access roads, utilities, signs, and storage of materials shall be located as far from the land/water interface as feasible. The minimum setback shall be twenty feet (20') from the OHWM of the shoreline and shall be designed and spaced to allow viewing of airport activities from the area along the water’s edge.

(2) New or upgraded airport facilities shall minimize impacts on shoreline ecological functions, including control of pollutant discharge. The standards for water quality and criteria for application shall be those in current stormwater control regulations.

(3) New facilities dispensing fuel or facilities associated with use of hazardous materials shall require a Shoreline Conditional Use Permit.

iii. Seaplanes:

(a) Private:

(1) Operation of a single private seaplane on waters where FAA has designated a seaplane landing area is not regulated by the Shoreline Master Program.

(2) Moorage of a seaplane is addressed in subsection E7 of this Section, Piers and Docks.

(b) Commercial: New commercial seaplane facilities, including docks and storage area bases, may be allowed in industrial areas provided such bases are not contiguous to residential areas and provided they meet standards in subsection E7 of this Section, Piers and Docks.

iv. Helicopter Landing Facilities:

(a) Private: Establishment of a helipad on a single family residential lot is allowed subject to the standards of RMC 4-2-080A111. Conditions shall be imposed to mitigate impacts within the shoreline.

(b) Commercial: New commercial heliports, including those accessory to allowed uses, are allowed by Shoreline Conditional Use Permit, subject to the standards of the Shoreline Master Program.

v. New Seaplane Facilities and Heliports – Criteria for Approval:

(a) Review shall include consideration of location approval in terms of compatibility with affected uses including short- and long-term noise impacts, impacts on habitat areas of endangered or threatened species, environmentally critical and sensitive habitats, and migration routes:

(1) On adjacent parcels; and

(2) On over-flight areas.

(b) Conditions shall be imposed to mitigate impacts within the shoreline and also non-shoreline over flight and related impacts.

11. Utilities:

a. Criteria for All Utilities:

i. Local utility services needed to serve water-dependent and other permitted uses in the shoreline are subject to standards for ecological protection and visual compatibility.

ii. Major utility systems shall be located outside of shoreline jurisdiction, to the extent feasible, except for elements that are water-dependent and crossings of water bodies and other elements of shorelands by linear facilities.

iii. New public or private utilities shall be located inland from the land/water interface, preferably out of shoreline jurisdiction, unless:

(a) Perpendicular water crossings are unavoidable; or

(b) Utilities are necessary for authorized shoreline uses consistent with the Shoreline Master Program.

iv. Linear facilities consisting of pipelines, cables and other facilities on land running roughly parallel to the shoreline shall be located as far from the water’s edge as feasible and preferably outside of shoreline jurisdiction.

v. Linear facilities consisting of pipelines, sewers, cables and other facilities on aquatic lands running roughly parallel to the shoreline that may require periodic maintenance that would disrupt shoreline ecological functions shall be discouraged except where no other feasible alternative exists. When permitted, provisions shall assure that the facilities do not result in a net loss of shoreline ecological functions or significant impacts to other shoreline resources and values.

vi. Utilities shall be located in existing rights-of-way and corridors, whenever reasonably feasible.

vii. Local service utilities serving new development shall be located underground, wherever reasonably feasible.

viii. Utility crossings of water bodies shall be attached to bridges or located in other existing facilities, if reasonably feasible. If new installations are required to cross water bodies or wetlands they should avoid disturbing banks and streambeds and shall be designed to avoid the need for shoreline stabilization. Crossings shall be tunneled or bored where reasonably feasible. Installations shall be deep enough to avoid failures or need for protection due to exposure due to streambed mobilization, aggregation or lateral migration. Underwater utilities shall be placed in a sleeve if reasonably feasible to avoid the need for excavation in the event of the need for maintenance or replacement.

ix. In areas where utility installations would be anticipated to significantly alter natural groundwater flows, a barrier or conduit to impede changes to natural flow characteristics shall be provided.

x. Excavated materials from construction of utilities shall be disposed of outside of the buffer except if utilized for ecological restoration and shall be specified in submittal materials. (Ord. 5976, 8-3-2020)

xi. Utilities shall be located and designed to avoid natural, historic, archaeological or cultural resources to the maximum extent feasible and mitigate adverse impacts where unavoidable.

xii. Utilities shall be located, designed, constructed, and operated to result in no net loss of shoreline ecological functions with appropriate on- and off-site mitigation including compensatory mitigation.

xiii. All utility development shall be consistent with and coordinated with all local government and State planning, including comprehensive plans and single purpose plans to meet the needs of future populations in areas planned to accommodate growth.

xiv. Site planning and rights-of-way for utility development should provide for compatible multiple uses such as shore access, trails, and recreation or other appropriate use whenever possible. Utility right-of-way acquisition should be coordinated with transportation and recreation planning.

xv. Vegetation Conservation:

(a) Native vegetation shall be maintained whenever reasonably feasible.

(b) When utility projects are completed in the water or shoreland, the disturbed area shall be restored as nearly as possible to the original condition.

(c) All vegetation and screening shall be hardy enough to withstand the travel of service trucks and similar traffic in areas where such activity occurs.

xvi. A structure or other facility enclosing a telephone exchange, sewage pumping or other facility, an electrical substation, or other above ground public utility built in the shoreline area shall be:

(a) Housed in a building that shall conform architecturally with the surrounding buildings and area or with the type of building that will develop as provided by the zoning district and applicable design standards.

(b) An unhoused installation on the ground or a housed installation that does not conform with the standards above shall be sight-screened in accordance with RMC 4-4-095 with evergreen trees, shrubs, and landscaping materials planted in sufficient depth to form an effective and actual sight barrier within five (5) years.

(c) An unhoused installation of a potentially hazardous nature, such as an electrical distribution substation, shall be enclosed with an eight (8) foot high open wire fence, or masonry wall. Such installations shall be sight-screened in accordance with RMC 4-4-095 with evergreen trees, shrubs, and landscaping materials planted in sufficient depth to form an effective and actual sight barrier, except at entrance gate(s), within five (5) years.

b. Special Considerations for Pipelines:

i. Installation and operation of pipelines shall protect the natural conditions of adjacent water courses and shorelines.

ii. Water quality is not to be degraded to the detriment of aquatic life nor shall water quality standards be violated.

iii. Petro-chemical or toxic material pipelines shall have automatically controlled shutoff valves at each side of the water crossing.

iv. All petro-chemical or toxic material pipelines shall be constructed in accordance with the regulations of the Washington State Transportation Commission and subject to review by the City Public Works Department.

c. Major Utilities – Specifications:

i. Electrical Installations:

(a) Overhead High Voltage Power Lines:

(1) Overhead electrical transmission lines of fifty five (55) kV and greater voltage within the shoreline shall be relocated to a route outside of the shoreline, where feasible when:

•    

Such facilities are upgraded to a higher voltage.

•    

Additional lines are placed within the corridor.

(2) The support structures for new overhead power lines shall be designed to avoid or minimize impacts to shoreline areas.

(b) Underwater electrical transmission lines shall be located and designed to:

(1) Utilize existing transportation or utility corridors where feasible.

(2) Avoid adverse impacts to navigation.

(3) Be posted with warning signs.

(c) Electrical Distribution Substations: Electrical distribution substations shall be:

(1) Located outside of the shoreline, where feasible, and may be located within a shoreland location only when the applicant proves no other site out of the shoreland area exists.

(2) Located as far as feasible from the land/water interface.

(3) Screened as required by in the criteria for all utilities, above.

ii. Communications: This Section applies to telephone exchanges including radar transmission installations, receiving antennas for cable television and/or radio, wireless communication facilities and any other facility for the transmission of communication signals.

(a) Communications installations may be permitted in the shoreline area only when there exists no feasible site out of the shoreline and water area.

(b) All structures shall meet the screening requirements in the criteria for all utilities, above.

(c) If approved within the shoreline, such installations shall reduce aesthetic impacts by locations as far as possible from residential, recreational, and commercial activities.

(d) Cellular communication facilities may be located in the shoreline only when mounted on buildings and screened by architectural features compatible with the design of the building.

iii. Pipeline Utilities: All pipeline utilities shall be underground. When underground projects are completed on the bank of a water body or in the shoreland or a shoreline, the disturbed area shall be restored to the original configuration. Underground utility installations shall be permitted only when the finished installation shall not impair the appearance of such areas.

iv. Public Access: All utility companies shall be asked to provide pedestrian public access to utility owned shorelines when such areas are not potentially hazardous to the public. Where utility rights-of-way are located near recreational or public use areas, utility companies shall be encouraged to provide said rights-of-way as parking or other public use areas for the adjacent public use area. As a condition of location of new utilities within the shoreline, the City may require provision of pedestrian public access.

v. All-Inclusive Utility Corridor: When it is necessary for more than one major utility to go along the same general route, the common use of a single utility right-of-way is strongly encouraged. It would be desirable to include railroad lines within this right-of-way also.

d. Local Service Utilities, Specifications:

i. Electrical Distribution: New electrical distribution lines within the shoreline shall be placed underground; provided, that distribution lines that cross water or other critical areas may be allowed to be placed above ground if:

(a) There is no feasible alternative route.

(b) Underground installation would substantially disrupt ecological functions and processes of water bodies and wetlands; horizontal drilling or similar technology that does not disturb the surface is not feasible.

(c) Visual impacts are minimized to the extent feasible.

(d) If overhead facilities prevent native trees and other vegetation to be maintained in a buffer, compensatory mitigation shall be provided on- or off-site. (Ord. 5976, 8-3-2020)

ii. Water Lines:

(a) New water lines shall not cross water, wetlands or other critical areas unless there is no reasonably feasible alternative route.

(b) Sizes and specifications shall be determined by the Public Works Department in accordance with American Water Works Association (AWWA) guidelines.

iii. Sanitary Sewer:

(a) The use of outhouses or privies is prohibited. Self-contained outhouses may be allowed for temporary, seasonal, or special events.

(b) All uses shall hook to the municipal sewer system. There shall be no septic tanks or other on-site sewage disposal systems.

(c) Sewage trunk lines, interceptors, pump stations, treatment plants, and other components that are not water-dependent shall be located away from shorelines unless:

(1) Alternative locations, including alternative technology, are demonstrated to be infeasible.

(2) The facilities do not result in a net loss of shoreline ecological functions.

(3) The facilities do not result in significant impacts to other shoreline resources and values such as parks and recreation facilities, public access and archaeological, historic, and cultural resources, and aesthetic resources.

(d) Storm drainage and pollutant drainage shall not enter the sanitary sewer system.

(e) During construction phases, commercial sanitary chemical toilets may be allowed only until proper plumbing facilities are completed.

(f) All sanitary sewer pipe sizes and materials shall be approved by the Public Works Department.

iv. Stormwater Management:

(a) The City will work with private property owners and other jurisdictions to maintain, enhance and restore natural drainage systems to protect water quality, reduce flooding, reduce public costs and prevent associated environmental degradation to contribute to the goal of no net loss of shoreline ecological functions.

(b) All new development shall meet current stormwater management requirements for detention and treatment.

(c) Individual single family residences may be subject to water quality management requirements to ensure the quality of adjacent water bodies.

(d) Stormwater ponds, basins and vaults shall be located as far from the water’s edge as feasible and may not be located within buffers.

(e) The location design and construction of stormwater outfalls shall limit impacts on receiving waters and comply with all appropriate local, State, and Federal requirements. Infiltration of stormwater shall be preferred, where reasonably feasible.

(f) Stormwater management may include a low impact development stormwater conveyance system in the buffer, if the system is designed to mimic the function and appearance of a natural shoreline system and complies with all other requirements and standards of subsection F1 of this Section, Vegetation Conservation. (Ord. 5976, 8-3-2020)

v. Solid Waste Facilities:

(a) Facilities for processing, storage, and disposal of solid waste are not normally water-dependent. Components that are not water-dependent shall not be permitted on shorelines.

(b) Disposal of solid waste on shorelines or in water bodies has the potential for severe adverse effects upon ecological functions, property values, public health, natural resources, and local aesthetic values and shall not be permitted.

(c) Temporary storage of solid waste in suitable receptacles is permitted as an accessory use to a primary permitted use, or for litter control.

4-3-090F SHORELINE MODIFICATION:

1. Vegetation Conservation:

a. Standard Vegetation Conservation Buffer Width: Except as otherwise specified in the Shoreline Master Program, water bodies defined as shorelines shall have a minimum one hundred foot (100') buffer measured from the OHWM of the regulated shoreline of the State. Where streams enter or exit pipes, the buffer shall be measured perpendicular to the OHWM from the end of the pipe along the open channel section of the stream.

b. Vegetation Conservation Buffer Widths by Reach: The Administrator may apply the following buffers provided for in Table 4-3-090F1l, Vegetation Conservation Standards by Reach, as an alternative to the standard buffer for sites for development that implement water-oriented use and public access as provided in the table for each reach.

c. Alternative Vegetated Buffer Widths and Setbacks for Existing Single Family Lots:

i. Reserved.

ii. Setback Modifications for Site Improvements: Existing single family residences on existing single family lots subject to the building setback standards in Table 4-3-090D7a may further reduce their building setback than stated in Table 4-3-090D7a by making one or more of the site improvements listed below, provided that the building setback shall not be reduced to less than five feet (5') from the minimum buffer. The reduced setback and site improvement shall be recorded in a covenant approved by the City Attorney. The site improvement shall be maintained by the property owner.

(a) The building setback shall be reduced by five feet (5') for every two hundred fifty (250) square feet of existing impervious surface removed from lands within the building setback or minimum buffer.

(b) The building setback shall be reduced for properties that agree to limit future impervious coverage to a standard lower than the standard in subsection D7a of this Section, Shoreline Bulk Standards. The reductions shall be five feet (5') for every two hundred fifty (250) square feet of future impervious surface coverage that is limited, and recorded as a maximum impervious coverage standard (in percent), rounded down to the nearest whole number.

(c) Properties that replace existing rigid shoreline stabilization with preferred alternatives under subsection F4aiii of this Section, Shoreline Stabilization Alternatives Hierarchy, shall qualify for a setback reduction that correlates with the degree in improvement in ecological function and value that is expected to result from the change, as reported in a standard stream/lake study.

(d) Properties that propose projects to improve habitat functions and values shall qualify for a setback reduction that correlates with the degree in improvement in ecological function and value that is expected to result from the project, as reported in a standard stream/lake study.

iii. Modifications for Narrow Lots: For single family residential lots with a lot width of less than sixty feet (60'), the buffer may be reduced by ten percent (10%), but shall be no less than fifteen feet (15').

d. Reduction of Vegetated Buffer or Setback Width:

i. Administrator May Reduce: Based upon an applicant’s request, the Administrator may approve a reduction in the standard buffer or setback where the applicant can demonstrate compliance with criteria in the subsections below. Buffer enhancement shall be required where appropriate to site conditions, habitat sensitivity, and proposed land development characteristics.

ii. Water-Dependent Uses:

(a) Areas approved for water-dependent use or public access may be excluded from the buffer if approval is granted through review of a Substantial Development Permit, Conditional Use Permit, or variance; provided, that the area excluded is the minimum needed to provide for the water-dependent use or public access.

(b) Access to private docks through a buffer may be provided by a corridor up to six feet (6') wide.

iii. Vegetation Conservation Standard Table Applied: Buffers specified for areas enumerated in Table 4-3-090F1l, Vegetation Conservation Standards by Reach, shall be applied in accordance with those provisions.

iv. Buffer and Setback Reduction Standards: Except for single family residential uses in the High Intensity and Single Family Environments, based upon an applicant’s request, and the acceptance of a standard stream or lake study, the Administrator may approve a reduction in the standard buffer or setback by up to fifty percent (50%) if within the High Intensity Overlay or by up to twenty five percent (25%) in all other shoreline overlays, where the applicant can demonstrate compliance with applicable criteria in the subsections below:

(a) The proposal will reduce non-native invasive species to less than five percent (5%) and result in extensive native vegetation in the remaining area of the reduced buffer.

(b) The proposed project, with width reduction, will result in no net loss of ecological functions as consistent with subsection D2a of this Section, No Net Loss of Ecological Functions; and

(c) Reduction of the buffer or setback shall not create the need for rigid shoreline stabilization as described in subsections F4aiii(d) and (e) of this Section, Shoreline Stabilization Alternatives Hierarchy; and

(d) The reduction shall not create any significant unmitigated adverse impacts to other property in the vicinity.

(e) Review Procedures:

(1) Buffer reductions in the High Intensity Overlay shall be processed as part of a Substantial Development Permit. Buffer reductions in all other shoreline overlays shall be processed through a Shoreline Conditional Use Permit, pursuant to RMC 4-9-190I, Variances and Conditional Uses.

(2) Written findings shall be required to demonstrate that the buffer reduction substantially implements the criteria of this Section.

v. Buffer Reductions for the Conversion on Nonconforming Uses: Based upon an applicant’s request and the City’s acceptance of a supplemental stream or lake study, the Administrator may approve a reduction in the standard buffer if an existing nonconforming site is not redeveloped but the proposal includes removal of existing over-water structures, removal or reconstruction of shoreline protection structures, or other restoration of shorelines or buffer areas in a manner that meets the standards of the Shoreline Master Program and results in a vegetated buffer a minimum ten feet (10') from existing buildings or impervious surface (e.g., such as parking areas and driveways in current use to serve the nonconforming buildings or uses).

e. Increased Buffer Widths: Buffers may be increased by the Administrator if the criteria below are met.

i. Areas of High Blow-Down Potential: Where the stream/lake area is in an area of high blow-down potential as determined by a qualified professional, the buffer width may be expanded up to an additional fifty feet (50') on the windward side, when determined appropriate to site circumstances and ecological function by the Administrator.

ii. Buffers Falling Within Protected Slopes or Very High Landslide Areas: When the required stream/lake buffer falls within a protected slope or very high landslide hazard area or buffer, the stream/lake buffer width shall extend to the boundary of the protected slope or the very high landslide hazard buffer.

f. Averaging of Buffer Width:

i. Authority: Based upon an applicant’s request, and the acceptance of a standard stream or lake study, the Administrator may approve buffer width averaging except where specific buffers in Table 4-3-090F1l, Vegetation Conservation Standards by Reach, are stated.

ii. Criteria for Approval: Buffer width averaging may be allowed only where the applicant demonstrates all of the following:

(a) The water body and associated riparian area contain variations in ecological sensitivity or there are existing physical improvements in or near the water body and associated riparian area;

(b) Buffer width averaging will result in no net loss of stream/lake/riparian ecological function;

(c) The total area contained within the buffer after averaging is no less than that contained within the required standard buffer width prior to averaging;

(d) In no instance shall the buffer width be reduced to less than fifty feet (50');

(e) The proposed buffer standard is based on consideration of the best available science as described in WAC 365-195-905, or where there is an absence of valid scientific information. The steps in RMC 4-9-250F shall be followed.

g. Buffer Enhancement: Buffer enhancement as a separate action may be proposed on any property and may be implemented without full compliance with the standards of this Section; provided, that the project includes a buffer enhancement plan using native vegetation and provides documentation that the enhanced buffer area will maintain or improve the functional attributes of the buffer.

h. Exemption Criteria: As determined by the Administrator, for development proposed on sites separated from the shoreline by intervening, and lawfully created, public roads, railroads, other off-site substantial existing improvements, or an intervening parcel under separate ownership, the requirements of this Code for a buffer may be waived. For the purposes of this Section, the intervening lots/parcels, roads, or other substantial improvements shall be found to:

i. Separate the subject upland property from the water body due to their height or width; and

ii. Substantially prevent or impair delivery of most ecological functions from the subject upland property to the water body.

i. Vegetation Management: Vegetation adjacent to water bodies in the shoreline shall be managed to provide the maximum ecological functions feasible, in accordance with these standards:

i. Streams and lakes with buffer areas that are largely undisturbed native vegetation shall be retained except where the buffer is to be enhanced or where alteration is allowed in conformance with this Section for a specific development proposal.

ii. In the absence of a development proposal, existing, lawfully established landscaping and gardens within a buffer may be maintained in their existing condition including but not limited to mowing lawns, weeding, removal of noxious and invasive species, harvesting and replanting of garden crops, pruning and replacement planting of ornamental vegetation or indigenous native species to maintain the condition and appearance of such areas as they existed prior to adoption of this Code, provided this does not apply to areas previously established as native growth protection areas, mitigation sites, or other areas protected via conservation easements or similar restrictive covenants.

iii. Removal of noxious weeds and/or invasive species may be allowed without permit review in any buffer area; provided, that removal consists of physical uprooting or chemical treatment of individual plants or shallow excavation of no more than one thousand (1,000) square feet of dense infestations.

iv. Removal or pruning of dangerous trees located in a buffer requires a routine vegetation management permit.

v. New development or redevelopment of nonconforming uses shall develop and implement a vegetation management plan that complies with the standards of this Code. Unless otherwise provided, a vegetation management plan shall preserve, enhance or establish native vegetation within the buffer. If a low impact development stormwater system is proposed in accordance with subsection E11div(f) of this Section, it must be included in the vegetation management plan. When required, vegetation management plans shall be prepared by a qualified professional; provided, that the Administrator may establish prescriptive standards for vegetation conservation and management as an alternative to requiring a specific plan for a development. Vegetation management plans shall describe actions that will be implemented to ensure that buffer areas provide ecological functions equivalent to a dense native vegetation community to the extent possible. Required vegetation shall be maintained over the life of the use and/or development. For private development a conservation easement or similar recorded legal restriction shall be recorded to ensure preservation of the vegetation conservation and management area.

vi. The Administrator may approve, in cases of redevelopment or alteration of existing single family residential lots, a vegetation management plan that does not include large native trees, if such trees would block more than thirty percent (30%) of existing water views allowed from the existing residence on a lot. Native vegetation consisting of groundcover, shrubs and small trees shall be provided to provide as many of the vegetation functions feasible. This provision shall not apply to new lots created by subdivision or other means.

j. Documentation:

i. Provisions of subsection F1 of this Section, Vegetation Conservation, as they pertain to existing single family residences and lots, determinations and evidence shall be included in the application file.

ii. For all development requiring a Shoreline Substantial Development Permit, findings and determinations regarding the application of increased or reduced buffer width shall be included as specific findings in the permit.

k. Off-Site Vegetation Conservation Fund: The City shall provide a fund for off-site provision of areas for vegetation conservation. The Administrator shall assess charges to new development that has been granted a shoreline variance because the buffer requirement under subsection D7a of this Section, Shoreline Bulk Standards, or as modified under subsection F1 of this Section, Vegetation Conservation, cannot be met on-site. The Administrator shall also assess charges to existing development subject to major alteration in which on-site shoreline stabilization mitigation, if required, is infeasible according to RMC 4-10-095F, Partial and Full Compliance, Alteration of an Existing Structure or Site. Credit shall be given for areas of buffer on the shoreline provided by development. Expenditures from such a fund for provision of areas where the functions of shoreline vegetation conservation would be provided shall be in accordance with the restoration plan or other watershed and aquatic habitat conservation plans and shall be spent within the WRIA in which the assessed property is located.

l.  Vegetation Conservation Buffer Standards by Reach: The following table identifies the performance standards for maintenance and restoration of the buffer and shall be applied if required by the use regulations or development standards of the Shoreline Master Program.

Table 4-3-090F1l – Vegetation Conservation Standards by Reach 

SHORELINE REACH

Vegetation Conservation Objectives

Lake Washington

Lake Washington Reach A and B

This developed primarily single family area provides primarily lawn and ornamental vegetation at the shoreline. Opportunities to limit ongoing adverse impacts shall be implemented through providing for native vegetation in buffers adjacent to the water based on the standards related to lot depth together with replacement of shoreline armoring with soft shoreline protection incorporating vegetation.

Lake Washington Reach C

If areas redevelop, the full one hundred foot (100') buffer of native vegetation shall be provided, except where water-dependent uses are located. Buffer averaging, pursuant to subsection F1f of this Section, may be used if consistent with a NOAA Natural Resources Damage Settlement and approved by the U.S. EPA and the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Lake Washington Reach D and E

This developed primarily single family area provides primarily lawn and ornamental vegetation at the shoreline. Opportunities to limit ongoing adverse impacts shall be implemented through providing for native vegetation in buffers adjacent to the water based on the standards related to lot depth together with replacement of shoreline armoring with soft shoreline protection incorporating vegetation.

Lake Washington Reach F

Enhancement of native riparian vegetation shall be implemented as part of park management, balanced with opportunities to provide public visual and physical access to the shoreline. The City may fund shoreline enhancement through fees paid for off-site mitigation from development elsewhere on Lake Washington.

Lake Washington Reach G

Enhancement of native riparian vegetation shall be implemented as part of park management, while recognizing that this portion of the park is oriented primarily to opportunities to provide public visual and physical access to the shoreline including over-water structures, supporting concessions, boat launch and public beach facilities.

Lake Washington Reach H

Buffers for vegetation management are not required in this reach. This site has an approved Master Site Plan that includes significant public access. Opportunities for public access along the waterfront and the development of water-oriented uses are the designated priorities for this reach.

Lake Washington Reach I

The area of vegetation on public aquatic lands should be enhanced in the short term. Upon redevelopment, vegetation buffers shall be extended into the site adjacent to vegetated areas along the shoreline. Vegetation restoration shall be balanced with public access and water-oriented use on the balance of the site. Public access shall not impact any restored lands on this site.

Lake Washington Reach J

Enhanced riparian vegetation shall be provided in a manner consistent with maintaining aviation safety as part of airport management.

Lake Washington Reach K

Redevelopment of multi-family sites shall provide vegetation buffers at the full standard, with possible employment of provisions for averaging or reduction. Single family development in this reach provides primarily lawn and ornamental vegetation at the shoreline. Opportunities to limit ongoing adverse impacts shall be implemented through providing for native vegetation in buffers adjacent to the water based on the standards related to lot depth together with replacement of shoreline armoring with soft shoreline protection incorporating vegetation.

May Creek

May Creek A

This developed as a residential area and opportunities to limit impacts shall be implemented through providing for native vegetation in buffers adjacent to the water based on the standards related to lot depth together shoreline protection incorporating vegetation.

May Creek B

Full standard native vegetation buffers shall be provided with development of this property.

May Creek C and D

Full standard native vegetation buffers shall be provided on this reach with existing private lots, subject to buffer standards related to lot depth, together with replacement of shoreline armoring with soft shoreline protection incorporating vegetation.

Cedar River

Cedar River A

Enhancement of native riparian vegetation shall be implemented as part of park management, balanced with needs of flood control levees and opportunities to provide public visual and physical access to the shoreline.

Cedar River B

Enhancement of native riparian vegetation shall be implemented as part of flood control management programs that may be integrated with opportunities to provide public visual and physical access to the shoreline. Vegetation management and public access should be addressed in a comprehensive management plan prior to issuance of shoreline permits for additional flood management activities. This developed single family area shall implement vegetation management based on the standards related to lot depth together with replacement of shoreline armoring with soft shoreline protection incorporating vegetation as provided for alteration of nonconforming uses, structures, and sites.

Cedar River C

Enhancement of native riparian vegetation shall be implemented as part of management of public parks. Full standard native vegetation buffers should be maintained on the public open space on the south side of the river, subject to existing trail corridors and other provisions for public access. Enhancement of native riparian vegetation within the standard or modified buffers shall be provided upon redevelopment of the north shore, except in areas where public/community access is provided. The vegetation conservation buffer may be designed to incorporate floodplain management features including floodplain compensatory storage.

Cedar River D

Full standard native vegetation buffers shall be provided on this reach with existing private lots subject to buffer standards related to lot depth together with replacement of shoreline armoring with soft shoreline protection incorporating vegetation.

Green River

Green River Reach A

Full standard native vegetation buffers shall be provided with redevelopment of this property in this reach, balanced with provisions for public access. Vegetation conservation within railroad rights-of-way shall not be required within areas necessary for railway operation. Vegetation preservation and enhancement should be encouraged in areas of railroad right-of-way not devoted to transportation uses. Expansion of railroad facilities may require specific vegetation preservation and enhancement programs, consistent with the standards of the Shoreline Master Program.

Black River/Springbrook Creek

Black River/Springbrook A

Public open space that exceeds buffer standards should be maintained and native vegetation enhanced. Full standard buffers should be provided upon redevelopment of adjacent land, recognizing the constraints of existing transportation and public facilities.

Springbrook B

Full standard buffers should be provided upon redevelopment of adjacent land, recognizing the constraints of existing transportation and public facilities.

Springbrook C and D

Vegetation enhancement should be implemented within the drainage district channels in conjunction with management plans including adjustments to channel dimensions to assure continued flood capacity with the additional hydraulic roughness provided by vegetation. Full standard vegetated buffers should be provided upon redevelopment of adjacent land presuming revegetation of the stream channel. Vegetation management should retain a continuous trail system that may be relocated further from the stream edge.

Lake Desire

Lake Desire

This developed primarily single family area provides primarily lawn and ornamental vegetation at the shoreline. Opportunities to limit ongoing adverse impacts should be implemented through providing for native vegetation in buffers adjacent to the water based on the standards related to lot depth together with replacement of shoreline armoring with soft shoreline protection incorporating vegetation. Shoreline vegetation enhancement should take place at the WDFW boat launching site balancing values of riparian vegetation with public access. Existing shoreline vegetation in the publicly owned natural areas should be preserved with some accommodation for interpretive access to the water as a part of park management plans, subject to the primary objective of protecting ecological functions.

(Ord. 5976, 8-3-2020)

2. Landfill and Excavation:

a. General Provisions: Landfill and excavation shall only be permitted in conjunction with an approved use or development and allowed with assurance of no net loss of shoreline ecological functions. Excavation below the OHWM is considered “dredging” and is addressed in a separate section.

b. Criteria for Allowing Landfills and Excavations Below Ordinary High Water Mark: Landfills and excavations shall generally be prohibited below the OHWM, except for the following activities, and in conjunction with documentation of no net loss of ecological functions as documented in appropriate technical studies:

i. Beach or aquatic substrate replenishment in conjunction with an approved ecological restoration activity;

ii. Replenishing sand on public and private community beaches;

iii. Alteration, maintenance and/or repair of existing transportation facilities and utilities currently located within shoreline jurisdiction, when alternatives or less impacting approaches are not feasible;

iv. Construction of facilities for public water-dependent uses or public access; when alternatives or less impacting approaches are not feasible; and provided, that filling and/or excavation are limited to the minimum needed to accommodate the facility;

v. Activities incidental to the construction or repair of approved shoreline protection facilities, or the repair of existing shoreline protection facilities;

vi. Approved flood control projects;

vii. In conjunction with a stream restoration program including vegetation restoration; and

viii. Activities that are part of a remedial action plan approved by the Department of Ecology pursuant to the Model Toxics Control Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), or otherwise authorized by the Department of Ecology, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, or other agency with jurisdiction, after review of the proposed fill for compliance with the policies and standards of the Shoreline Master Program.

c. Review Standards: All landfills and excavations shall be evaluated in terms of all of the following standards:

i. The overall value to the public of the results of the fill or excavation site as opposed to the value of the shoreline in its existing state as well as evaluation of alternatives to fill that would achieve some or all of the objectives of the proposal.

ii. Effects on ecological functions including, but not limited to, functions of the substrate of streams and lakes and effects on aquatic organisms, including the food chain, effects on vegetation functions, effects on local currents and erosion and deposition patterns, effects on surface and subsurface drainage, and effects on flood waters.

iii. Whether shoreline stabilization will be necessary to protect materials placed or removed and whether such stabilization meets the policies and standards of the Shoreline Master Program.

iv. Whether the landfill or excavation will adversely alter the normal flow of flood water, including obstructions of flood overflow channels or swales, after taking into account any compensating flood storage provided by the proposal.

v. Whether public or tribal rights to the use and enjoyment of the shoreline and its resources and amenities are impaired.

d. Performance Standards: Performance standards for fill and excavation include:

i. Disturbed areas shall be immediately stabilized and revegetated to avoid or minimize erosion and sedimentation impacts, both during initial work and over time. Natural and self-sustaining control methods are preferred over structures.

ii. Landfills and excavation shall be designed to blend physically and visually with existing topography.

e. Shoreline Conditional Use Required: All fill and excavation waterward of the OHWM not associated with ecological restoration, flood control or approved shoreline stabilization shall require a Shoreline Conditional Use Permit.

3. Dredging:

a. General: Dredging and dredge material disposal, when permitted, shall be done in a manner which avoids or minimizes significant ecological impacts. Impacts which cannot be avoided should be mitigated in a manner that assures no net loss of shoreline ecological functions.

b. Dredging Limited: Dredging is permitted only in cases where the proposal, including any necessary mitigation, will result in no net loss of shoreline ecological functions and is limited to the following:

i. Establishing, expanding, relocating or reconfiguring navigation channels and basins where necessary to assure safe and efficient accommodation of existing navigational uses. Maintenance dredging of established navigation channels and basins shall be restricted to maintaining previously dredged and/or existing authorized location, depth, and width.

ii. For flood control purposes, when part of a publicly adopted flood control plan.

iii. For restoration or enhancement of shoreline ecological functions benefiting water quality and/or fish and wildlife habitat and approved by applicable local, State and Federal agencies.

iv. For development of approved water-dependent uses provided there are no feasible alternatives.

v. Dredging may be permitted where necessary for the development and maintenance of public shoreline parks and of private shorelines to which the public is provided access. Dredging may be permitted where additional public access is provided.

vi. Maintenance dredging for access to existing legally established boat moorage slips including public and commercial moorage and moorage accessory to single family residences; provided, that dredging shall be limited to maintaining the previously dredged and/or existing authorized location, depth, and width. Dredging shall be disallowed to maintain depths of existing private moorage where it results in a net loss of ecological functions.

vii. Minor trenching to allow the installation of necessary underground pipes or cables if no alternative, including boring, is feasible, and:

(a) Impacts to fish and wildlife habitat are avoided to the maximum extent possible.

(b) The utility installation shall not increase or decrease the natural rate, extent, or opportunity of channel migration.

(c) Appropriate best management practices are employed to prevent water quality impacts or other environmental degradation.

viii. Dredging is performed pursuant to a remedial action plan approved under authority of the Model Toxics Control Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), or pursuant to other authorization by the Department of Ecology, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, or other agency with jurisdiction, after review of the proposed materials for compliance with the policies and standards of the Shoreline Master Program.

ix. Dredging is necessary to correct problems of material distribution and water quality, when such problems are adversely affecting aquatic life or recreational areas.

c.  Dredging Prohibited: Dredging shall be prohibited in the following cases:

i. Dredging shall not be performed within the deltas of the Cedar River and May Creek except for purposes of ecological restoration, for public flood control projects, for water-dependent public facilities, or for limited maintenance dredging in conformance with this Section.

ii. Dredging is prohibited solely for the purpose of obtaining fill or construction material. Dredging which is not directly related to those purposes permitted in subsection F3b of this Section is prohibited.

iii. Dredging for new moorage is prohibited.

iv. Dredging may not be performed to maintain facilities established for water-dependent uses in cases where the primary use is discontinued unless the facility meets all standards for a new water-dependent use.

v. Dredging of public aquatic lands is prohibited unless approval is granted from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.

d. Review Criteria:

i. New development, including the development of associate piers and docks, should be sited and designed to avoid or, if that is not possible, to minimize the need for new and maintenance dredging. Where alternatives such as the utilization of shallow access to mooring buoys is feasible, such measures shall be used.

ii. All proposed dredging operations shall be designed by an appropriate State-licensed professional engineer. A stamped engineering report and an assessment of potential impacts on ecological functions shall be prepared by qualified consultants and shall be submitted to the Renton Planning Division as part of the application for a shoreline permit.

iii. The responsibility rests solely with the applicant to demonstrate the necessity of the proposed dredging operation.

iv. The responsibility rests solely with the applicant to demonstrate that:

(a) There will be no net loss of ecological functions including but not limited to adverse effect on aquatic species including fish migration.

(b) There will be no adverse impact on recreational areas or public recreation enjoyment of the water.

v. Adjacent Bank Protection:

(a) When dredging bottom material of a body of water, the banks shall not be disturbed unless absolutely necessary. The responsibility rests with the applicant to propose and carry out practices to protect the banks.

(b) If it is absolutely necessary to disturb the adjacent banks for access to the dredging area, the responsibility rests with the applicant to propose and carry out a method of restoration of the disturbed area to a condition minimizing erosion and siltation.

vi. Avoidance of Adverse Effects: The responsibility rests with the applicant to demonstrate the proposed dredging will avoid conditions that may adversely affect adjacent properties including:

(a) Creating a nuisance to the public or nearby activity.

(b) Damaging property in or near the area.

(c) Causing substantial adverse effect to plant, animal, aquatic or human life in or near the area.

(d) Endangering public safety in or near the area.

vii. The applicant shall demonstrate control of contamination and pollution to water, air, and ground through specific operation and mitigation plans.

viii. Disposal of Dredge Material: The applicant shall demonstrate that the disposal of dredged material will not result in net loss of ecological functions or adverse impacts to properties adjacent to the disposal site.

(a) The applicant shall provide plans for the location and method of disposing of all dredged material.

(b) Dredged material shall not be deposited in a lake, stream, or marine water except if approved as habitat enhancement or other beneficial environmental mitigation as part of ecological restoration, a contamination remediation project approved by appropriate State and/or Federal agencies, or is approved in accordance with the Puget Sound Dredged Disposal Analysis evaluation procedures for managing in-water-disposal of dredged material by applicable agencies, which may include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers pursuant to Section 10 (Rivers and Harbors Act) and Section 404 (Clean Water Act) permits, and Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife hydraulic project approval.

(c) In no instance shall dredged material be stockpiled in a shoreland area that would result in the clearing of native vegetation. Temporary stockpiling of dredged material is limited to one hundred eighty (180) days.

(d) If the dredged material is contaminant or pollutant in nature, the applicant shall propose and carry out a method of disposal that complies with all regulatory requirements.

(e) Permanent land disposal shall demonstrate that:

(1) Shoreline ecological functions will be preserved, including protection of surface water and groundwater.

(2) Erosion, sedimentation, flood waters or runoff will not increase adverse impacts to shoreline ecological functions or property.

(3) Sites will be adequately screened from view of local residents or passersby on public rights-of-way.

(4) The site is not located within a channel migration zone.

e. Shoreline Conditional Use Required: Dredging shall require a shoreline conditional use unless associated with existing water-dependent uses, habitat enhancement, a remedial action plan approved under the authority of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) or the Model Toxics Control Act, or public recreation facilities or uses.

4. Shoreline Stabilization:

a. General Criteria for New or Expanded Shoreline Stabilization Structures:

i. Avoidance of Need for Stabilization: The need for future shoreline stabilization should be avoided to the extent feasible for new development. New development on steep slopes or bluffs shall be set back sufficiently to ensure that shoreline stabilization is unlikely to be necessary during the life of the structure, as demonstrated by a geotechnical analysis.

ii. Significant Impact to Other Properties Prohibited: The need for shoreline stabilization shall be considered in the determination of whether to approve new water-dependent uses. Development of new water-dependent uses that would require shoreline stabilization which causes significant impacts to adjacent or down-current properties and shoreline areas should not be allowed.

iii. Shoreline Stabilization Alternatives Hierarchy: Structural shoreline stabilization measures should be used only when more natural, flexible, nonstructural methods such as vegetative stabilization, beach nourishment and bioengineering have been determined infeasible. Alternatives for shoreline stabilization should be based on the following hierarchy of preference:

(a) No action (allow the shoreline to retreat naturally), increase building setbacks, and relocate structures.

(b) Flexible defense works constructed of natural materials including measures such as soft shore protection, bioengineering, including beach nourishment, protective berms, or vegetative stabilization.

(c) Flexible defense works, as described above, with rigid works, as described below, constructed as a protective measure at the buffer line.

(d) A combination of rigid works, as described below, and flexible defense works, as described above.

(e) Rigid works constructed of artificial materials such as riprap or concrete.

iv. Limited New Shoreline Stabilization Allowed: New structural stabilization measures shall not be allowed except when necessity is demonstrated in one of the following situations:

(a) To protect existing primary structures:

(1) New or enlarged structural shoreline stabilization measures for an existing primary structure, including residences, should not be allowed unless there is conclusive evidence, documented by a geotechnical analysis, that the structure is in danger from shoreline erosion caused by currents, or waves within three (3) years, or where waiting until the need is immediate would prevent the opportunity to use measures that avoid impacts on ecological functions. Normal sloughing, erosion of steep bluffs, or shoreline erosion itself, without a scientific or geotechnical analysis, is not demonstration of need. The geotechnical analysis should evaluate on-site drainage issues and address drainage problems away from the shoreline edge before considering structural shoreline stabilization if on-site drainage is a cause of shoreline instability at the site in question.

(2) The shoreline stabilization is evaluated by the hierarchy in subsection F4aiii of this Section.

(3) The shoreline stabilization structure will not result in a net loss of shoreline ecological functions.

(4) Measures to reduce shoreline erosion in a channel migration zone (CMZ) require a geomorphic assessment by a Washington-licensed geologist with engineering geology or hydrogeology specialty license plus experience in conducting fluvial geomorphic assessments. Erosion control measures are only allowed if it is demonstrated that: the erosion rate exceeds that which would normally occur in a natural condition; the measure does not interfere with fluvial hydrological and geomorphologic processes normally acting in natural conditions; and the measure includes appropriate mitigation of impacts to ecological functions associated with the stream.

(b) New Development: In support of new development when all six (6) of the conditions listed below apply and are documented by a geotechnical analysis:

(1) The erosion is not being caused by upland conditions, such as the loss of vegetation and drainage.

(2) 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.

(3) The need to protect primary structures from damage due to erosion is demonstrated through a geotechnical report. The damage must be caused by natural processes, such as currents and waves.

(4) The shoreline stabilization structure is evaluated by the hierarchy in subsection F4aiii of this Section.

(5) The shoreline stabilization structure together with any compensatory mitigation proposed by the applicant and/or required by regulatory agencies is not expected to result in a net loss of shoreline ecological functions.

(6) The proposed new development is not located in a channel migration zone (CMZ).

(c) Restoration and Remediation Projects: To protect projects for the restoration of ecological functions or hazardous substance remediation projects pursuant to chapter 70.105D RCW when both of the conditions below apply and are documented by a geotechnical analysis:

(1) The shoreline stabilization structure together with any compensatory mitigation proposed by the applicant and/or required by regulatory agencies is not expected to result in a net loss of shoreline ecological functions.

(2) The shoreline stabilization structure is evaluated by the hierarchy in subsection F4aiii of this Section.

(d) Protect Navigability: To protect the navigability of a designated harbor area when necessity is demonstrated in the following manner by a geotechnical report:

(1) Nonstructural measures, planting vegetation, or installing on-site drainage improvements, are not feasible or not sufficient.

(2) The shoreline stabilization structure together with any compensatory mitigation proposed by the applicant and/or required by regulatory agencies is not expected to result in a net loss of shoreline ecological functions.

(3) The shoreline stabilization structure is evaluated by the hierarchy in subsection F4aiii of this Section.

v. Content of Geotechnical Report: Geotechnical analysis pursuant to this Section that addresses the need to prevent potential damage to a primary structure shall address the necessity for shoreline stabilization by estimating time frames and rates of erosion and report on the urgency associated with the specific situation. The geotechnical analysis shall evaluate the need and effectiveness of both hard and soft armoring solutions in preventing potential damage to a primary structure. Consideration should be given to permit requirements of other agencies with jurisdiction.

vi. Stream Bank Protection Required: New or expanded shoreline stabilization on streams should assure that such structures do not unduly interfere with natural stream processes. The Administrator shall review the proposed design for consistency with State guidelines for stream bank protection as it relates to local physical conditions and meet all applicable criteria of the Shoreline Master Program, subject to the following:

(a) A geotechnical analysis of stream geomorphology both upstream and downstream shall be performed to assess the physical character and hydraulic energy potential of the specific stream reach and adjacent reaches upstream or down, and assure that the physical integrity of the stream corridor is maintained, that stream processes are not adversely affected, and that the revetment will not cause significant damage to other properties or valuable shoreline resources.

(b) Revetments or similar hard structures are prohibited on point and channel bars, and in salmon and trout spawning areas, except for the purpose of fish or wildlife habitat enhancement or restoration.

(c) Revetments or similar hard structures shall be placed landward of associated wetlands unless it can be demonstrated that placement waterward of such features would not adversely affect ecological functions.

(d) Revetments or similar structures shall not be developed on the inside bend of channel banks in a stream except to protect public works, railways and existing structures.

(e) Revetments shall be designed in accordance with WDFW stream bank protection guidelines.

(f) Groins, weirs and other in-water structures may be authorized only by Shoreline Conditional Use Permit, except for those structures installed to protect or restore ecological functions, such as woody debris installed in streams. A geotechnical analysis of stream geomorphology both upstream and downstream shall document that alternatives to in-water structures are not feasible. Documentation shall establish impacts on ecological functions that must be mitigated to achieve no net loss. (Ord. 5976, 8-3-2020)

b. Design Criteria for New or Expanded Shoreline Stabilization Structures: When any structural shoreline stabilization measures are demonstrated to be necessary, the following design criteria shall apply:

i. Professional Design Required: Shoreline stabilization measures shall be designed by a qualified professional. Certification by the design professional may be required to ensure that installation meets all design parameters.

ii. General Requirements: The size of stabilization measures shall be limited to the minimum necessary. Use measures shall be designed to assure no net loss of shoreline ecological functions. Soft approaches shall be used unless demonstrated not to be sufficient to protect primary structures, dwellings, and businesses or to meet resource agency permitting conditions.

iii. Restriction of Public Access Prohibited: Publicly financed or subsidized shoreline erosion control measures shall be ensured to not restrict appropriate public access to the shoreline except where such access is determined to be infeasible because of incompatible uses, safety, security, or harm to ecological functions. See public access provisions; WAC 173-26-221(4). Where feasible, ecological restoration and public access improvements shall be incorporated into the project.

iv. Restriction of Navigation Prohibited: Shoreline stabilization should not be permitted to unnecessarily interfere with public access to public shorelines, nor with other appropriate shoreline uses including, but not limited to, navigation, public or private recreation and Indian treaty rights.

v. Aesthetic Qualities to Be Maintained: Where possible, shoreline stabilization measures shall be designed so as not to detract from the aesthetic qualities of the shoreline.

vi. Public Access to Be Incorporated: Required restoration and/or public access should be incorporated into the location, design and maintenance of shoreline stabilization structures for public or quasi-public developments whenever safely compatible with the primary purpose. Shore stabilization on publicly owned shorelines should not be allowed to decrease long-term public use of the shoreline.

c. Existing Shoreline Stabilization Structures: Existing shoreline stabilization structures not in compliance with this Code may be retained, repaired, or replaced if they meet the applicable criteria below:

i. Repair of Existing Structures: An existing shoreline stabilization structure may be repaired as long as it serves to perform a shoreline stabilization function for a legally established land use, but shall be subject to the provisions below if the land use for which the shoreline stabilization structure was constructed is abandoned per RMC 4-10-060, Nonconforming Uses, or changed to a new use.

ii. Additions to Existing Structures: Additions to or increases in size of existing shoreline stabilization measures shall be considered new structures.

iii. Changes in Land Use: An existing shoreline stabilization structure established to serve a use that has been abandoned per RMC 4-10-060, Nonconforming Uses, discontinued, or changed to a new use may be retained or replaced with a similar structure if:

(a) There is a demonstrated need documented by a geotechnical analysis to protect principal uses or structures from erosion caused by currents or waves; and

(b) An evaluation of the existing shoreline stabilization structure in relation to the hierarchy of shoreline stabilization alternatives established in subsection F4aiii of this Section shows that a more preferred level of shoreline stabilization is infeasible. In the case of an existing shoreline stabilization structure composed of rigid materials, if alternatives (a) through (c) of the hierarchy in subsection F4aiii of this Section would be infeasible then the existing shoreline stabilization structures could be retained or replaced with a similar structure.

iv. Waterward Replacement Prohibited for Structures Protecting Residences: Replacement walls or bulkheads, if allowed, shall not encroach waterward of the ordinary high-water mark or existing structure unless the residence was occupied prior to January 1, 1992, and there are overriding safety or environmental concerns. In such cases, the replacement structure shall abut the existing shoreline stabilization structure.

v. Restoration and Maintenance of Soft Shorelines Allowed: Soft shoreline stabilization measures that provide restoration of shoreline ecological functions may be permitted waterward of the ordinary high-water mark. Replenishment of substrate materials to maintain the specifications of the permitted design may be allowed as maintenance.

vi. No Net Loss: Where a net loss of ecological functions associated with critical habitats would occur by leaving an existing structure that is being replaced, the structure shall be removed as part of the replacement measure.

5. Flood Control:

a. Permitted Flood Control Projects: Flood control works shall be permitted when it is demonstrated by engineering and scientific evaluations that:

i. They are necessary to protect health, safety and/or existing development;

ii. Nonstructural flood hazard reduction measures are infeasible; and

iii. Measures are consistent with an adopted comprehensive flood hazard management plan that evaluates cumulative impacts to the watershed system.

b. Prohibited Flood Control Projects: New or expanding development or uses in the shoreline, including subdivision of land, that would likely require new structural flood control works within a stream, channel migration zone, or floodway shall not be allowed.

c. Long-Term Compatibility: New or expanded flood control works and in-stream structures should be planned and designed to be compatible with appropriate multiple uses of stream resources over the long term, especially in shorelines of Statewide significance.

d. Criteria for Allowing Flood Control Projects: New flood control works should only be allowed in the shoreline if they are necessary to protect existing development and where nonstructural flood hazard reduction measures are infeasible.

e. Native Vegetation: Flood control works should incorporate native vegetation to the extent feasible to enhance ecological functions, create a more natural appearance, improve ecological functions, and provide more flexibility for long-term shoreline management.

f. Consideration of Alternatives: To minimize flood damages and to maintain natural resources associated with streams, overflow corridors and other alternatives to traditional bank levees, revetments and/or dams shall be considered. Setback levees and similar measures should be employed where they will result in lower flood peaks and velocities, and more effective conservation of resources than with high bank levees. On Cedar River Reach D, setting back existing levees to provide for enhanced natural stream processes may be pursued when adequate provisions are made for protecting existing public and private uses.

g. Public Access Required: Flood control works shall provide access to public shorelines whenever possible, unless it is demonstrated that public access would cause unavoidable public health and safety hazards, security problems, unmitigatable ecological impacts, unavoidable conflicts with proposed uses, or unreasonable cost. At a minimum, flood control works should not decrease public access or use potential of shorelines.

6. Stream Alteration:

a. Definition of Stream Alteration: Stream alteration is the relocation or change in the flow of a river, stream or creek.

b. Alterations to Be Minimized: Stream alteration shall be minimized, and when allowed should change natural stream processes as little as possible.

c. Allowed if No Feasible Alternative: Unless otherwise prohibited by subsection E10 of this Section, Transportation, and subsection E11 of this Section, Utilities, stream alteration may be allowed for transportation and utility crossings and in-stream structures only where there is no feasible alternative.

d. Allowed for Flood Hazard Reduction: Stream alteration may be permitted if it is part of a public flood hazard reduction program or a habitat enhancement project approved by appropriate State and/or Federal agencies.

e. Prohibited Alterations: Stream alteration solely for the purpose of enlarging the developable portion of a parcel of land or increasing the economic potential of a parcel of land is prohibited.

f. Detriment to Adjacent Parcels Prohibited: Stream alteration is prohibited if it would be significantly detrimental to adjacent parcels.

g. Applicant’s Responsibility: The applicant has the sole responsibility to demonstrate the necessity of the proposal and compliance with the criteria of the Shoreline Master Program.

h. Professional Design Required: All proposed stream alterations shall be designed by an appropriately State-licensed professional engineer. The design shall be submitted with a supplemental lake/stream study to the Planning Division as part of the application.

i. Impacts to Aquatic Life to Be Minimized: The design, timing and the methods employed will have minimal adverse effects on aquatic life, including minimizing erosion, sedimentation and other pollution during and after construction.

j. Flow Levels to Be Maintained: The project must be designed so that the low flow is maintained and fish escapement is provided for.

k. Conditional Use Permit Required in a Channel Migration Zone (CMZ): Stream alterations within a channel migration zone require a Shoreline Conditional Use Permit. (Ord. 5976, 8-3-2020; Ord. 5633, 10-24-2011)