4-9-250 VARIANCES, WAIVERS, MODIFICATIONS, AND ALTERNATES:

A. PURPOSES:

1. Variances: A grant of relief from the requirements of this Title which permits construction in a manner that otherwise is prohibited by this Title.

2. Waivers: (Reserved)

3. Modifications: To modify a Code requirement when there are practical difficulties involved in carrying out the provisions of this Title when a special individual reason makes the strict letter of this Code impractical. (Ord. 4346, 3-9-1992)

4. Alternates: To allow the use of any material or method of construction not specifically prescribed by this Title. (Ord. 4346, 3-9-1992; Ord. 5137, 4-25-2005)

B. VARIANCE PROCEDURES:

1. Authority and Applicability for Administrative Variances: The Community and Economic Development Administrator shall have the authority to grant variances from the following development standards when no other permit or approval requires Hearing Examiner review: (Ord. 5676, 12-3-2012)

a. Residential Land Uses: Lot width, lot depth, setbacks, allowed projections into setbacks, building height, and lot coverage. Lot width, lot depth, and setback variations do not require a variance if the request is part of a stream daylighting proposal and meets criteria in RMC 4-3-050L; and

b. Commercial and Industrial Land Uses: Lot width, lot depth, setbacks, allowed projections into setbacks, building height, and lot coverage, screening of surface-mounted equipment, and screening of roof-mounted equipment.

c. Proposals Located Within Critical Areas:

i. Wellhead Protection Areas: If an applicant feels that the strict application of aquifer protection regulations would deny all reasonable use of the property or would deny installation of public transportation or utility facilities determined by the public agency proposing these facilities to be in the best interest of the public health, safety and welfare, the applicant of a development proposal may apply for a variance.

ii. Flood Hazards: Variances from the flood hazard requirements of RMC 4-3-050, Critical Areas Regulations.

iii. Steep Slopes Forty Percent (40%) or Greater and Very High Landslide Hazards: Variances from the geologic hazard requirements of RMC 4-3-050, Critical Areas Regulations.

iv. Wetlands:

(a) Creation/restoration/enhancement ratios: Categories I and II.

(b) Buffer width reductions not otherwise authorized by RMC 4-3-050 for Category IV.

(c) A new or expanded single family residence on an existing, legal lot, having a regulated Category IV wetland.

(d) Buffer width reductions not otherwise authorized by RMC 4-3-050 for Category I or II.

v. Streams and Lakes:

(a) A new or expanded single family residence on a pre-existing platted lot where there is not enough developable area elsewhere on the site to accommodate building pads and provide practical off-street parking, providing reasonable use of the property.

(b) Buffer width reductions not otherwise authorized by RMC 4-3-050, Streams and Lakes, for Types F, Np, and Ns.

(c) Activities proposing to vary from stream regulations not listed elsewhere in RMC 4-9-250B1a, and authorized to be requested as variances in RMC 4-3-050.

vi. General: Public/quasi-public utility or agency proposing to alter wellhead protection, geologic hazard, habitat or wetlands regulations not listed above.

d. Proposals to Vary from the Drainage Standards: If an applicant feels that the application of the regulations in the Surface Water Design Manual would deny all reasonable use of the property, the applicant of a development proposal may apply for a variance. (Ord. 4835, 3-27-2000; Ord. 4851, 8-7-2000; Ord. 5157, 9-26-2005; Ord. 5450, 3-2-2009; Ord. 5519, 12-14-2009; Ord. 5526, 2-1-2010; Ord. 5757, 6-1-2015; Ord. 5790, 4-25-2016; Ord. 5906, 12-10-2018)

2. Filing of Application: A property owner, or his duly authorized agent, may file an application for a variance which application shall set forth fully the grounds therefor and the facts deemed to justify the granting of such variance.

3. Submittal Requirements and Application Fees: Shall be as listed in RMC 4-8-120C, Land Use Applications, and 4-1-170, Land Use Review Fees.

4. Public Notice and Comment Period: Notice of the application shall be given pursuant to RMC 4-8-090, Public Notice Requirements.

5. Decision Criteria: Except for variances from critical areas regulations, a determination shall be made in writing that the conditions specified below have been found to exist: (Amd. Ord. 4835, 3-27-2000)

a. That the applicant suffers practical difficulties and unnecessary hardship and the variance is necessary because of special circumstances applicable to subject property, including size, shape, topography, location or surroundings of the subject property, and the strict application of the Zoning Code is found to deprive subject property owner of rights and privileges enjoyed by other property owners in the vicinity and under identical zone classification;

b. That the granting of the variance will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to the property or improvements in the vicinity and zone in which subject property is situated;

c. That approval shall not constitute a grant of special privilege inconsistent with the limitation upon uses of other properties in the vicinity and zone in which the subject property is situated;

d. That the approval is a minimum variance that will accomplish the desired purpose. (Amd. Ord. 4835, 3-27-2000; Ord. 5675, 12-3-2012)

6. Special Review Criteria – Reasonable Use Variance – Critical Areas Regulations Only: For variance requests related to the critical areas regulations not subject to subsections B7 to B12 of this Section, a reasonable use variance may be granted if all of the following criteria are met: (Ord. 5676, 12-3-2012)

a. That the granting of the variance will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to the property or improvements in the vicinity and zone in which subject property is situated;

b. There is no reasonable use of the property left if the requested variance is not granted;

c. The variance granted is the minimum amount necessary to accommodate the proposal objectives;

d. The need for the variance is not the result of actions of the applicant or property owner; and

e. The proposed variance 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 subsection F of this Section are followed. (Ord. 4835, 3-27-2000; Amd. Ord. 4851, 8-21-2000)

7. Special Review Criteria for Variances from the Wellhead Protection Regulations: Except for public or quasi-public utility or agency proposals which are subject to subsection B11 of this Section, the following criteria shall be considered, in addition to those criteria in subsections B5 and B6 of this Section, for variances from aquifer protection regulations:

a. That the proposed activities will not cause significant degradation of groundwater or surface water quality; and

b. That the applicant has taken deliberate measures to minimize aquifer impacts, including but not limited to the following:

i. Limiting the degree or magnitude of the hazardous material and activity; and

ii. Limiting the implementation of the hazardous material and activity; and

iii. Using appropriate and best available technology; and

iv. Taking affirmative steps to avoid or reduce impacts; and

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

d. The proposed variance 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 subsection F of this Section are followed. (Ord. 4835, 3-27-2000; Amd. Ord. 4851, 8-21-2000; Ord. 5519, 12-14-2009; Ord. 5757, 6-1-2015)

8. Special Review Criteria for Variances from Flood Hazard Requirements in the Critical Areas Regulations: In lieu of the variance criteria of subsection B5 of this Section, the following directives and criteria shall be utilized in the review of variance applications related to the flood hazard requirements of the critical areas regulations: (Ord. 5519, 12-14-2009)

a. Purpose and Intent: Variances, as interpreted in the national flood insurance program, are based on the general zoning law principle that they pertain to a physical piece of property; they are not personal in nature and do not pertain to the structure, its inhabitants, economic or financial circumstances. They primarily address small lots in densely populated residential neighborhoods. As such, variances from the flood elevations should be quite rare.

b. Review Criteria: In passing upon such an application for a variance, the following review criteria shall be considered: (Ord. 5519, 12-14-2009)

i. Consider all technical evaluations, all relevant factors, standards specified in other sections of this Section; and:

(a) The danger that materials may be swept onto other lands to the injury of others;

(b) The danger to life and property due to flooding or erosion damage;

(c) The susceptibility of the proposed facility and its contents to flood damage and the effect of such damage on the individual owner;

(d) The importance of the services provided by the proposed facility to the community;

(e) The necessity to the facility of a waterfront location, where applicable;

(f) The availability of alternative locations for the proposed use which are not subject to flooding or erosion damage;

(g) The compatibility of the proposed use with existing and anticipated development;

(h) The relationship of the proposed use to the comprehensive plan and flood plain management program for that area;

(i) The safety of access to the property in times of flood for ordinary and emergency vehicles;

(j) The expected heights, velocity, duration, rate of rise, and sediment transport of the flood waters and the effects of wave action, if applicable, expected at the site; and

(k) The costs of providing governmental services during and after flood conditions, including maintenance and repair of public utilities and facilities such as sewer, gas, electrical, and water systems, and streets and bridges.

ii. Generally, the only condition under which a variance from the elevation standard may be issued is for new construction and substantial improvements to be erected on a lot of one-half (1/2) acre or less in size contiguous to and surrounded by lots with existing structures constructed below the base flood level, provided criteria in subsection B8b(i) of this Section have been fully considered. As the lot size increases, the technical justification required for issuing the variance increases.

iii. Variances may be issued for nonresidential buildings in very limited circumstances to allow a lesser degree of floodproofing than watertight or dry floodproofing, where it can be determined that such action will have low damage potential, complies with all other variance criteria except subsections B8b(ii), (iii) or (iv) of this Section, and otherwise complies with RMC 4-3-050I2a and I2b of the general standards.

iv. Variances may be issued for the reconstruction, rehabilitation, or restoration of structures listed in the National Register of Historic Places or the State Inventory of Historic Places, without regard to the procedures set forth in this Section.

v. Variances shall not be issued within a designated floodway if any increase in flood levels during the base flood discharge would result.

vi. Variances shall only be issued upon:

(a) A showing of good and sufficient cause;

(b) A determination that failure to grant the variance would result in exceptional hardship to the applicant;

(c) A determination that the granting of a variance will not result in increased flood heights, additional threats to public safety, extraordinary public expense, create nuisances, cause fraud on or victimization of the public or conflict with existing local laws or ordinances.

(d) A determination that the variance is the minimum necessary, considering the flood hazard, to afford relief.

c. Conditions of Approval: Upon consideration of the factors of subsection B8b of this Section, and the purposes of this Section, conditions may be attached to the granting of variances if deemed necessary to further the purposes of this Section. (Ord. 5519, 12-14-2009)

d. Notice Required upon Variance Approval: Any applicant to whom a variance is granted shall be given written notice that the structure will be permitted to be built with a lowest floor elevation below the base flood elevation and that the cost of flood insurance will be commensurate with the increased risk resulting from the reduced lowest floor elevation.

e. Records: The Administrator shall maintain the records of all variance actions and report any variances to the Federal Insurance Administration upon request. (Ord. 4835, 3-27-2000; Amd. Ord. 4851, 8-7-2000; Ord. 5450, 3-2-2009; Ord. 5676, 12-3-2012)

9. Special Review Criteria – Steep Slopes Forty Percent (40%) or Greater and Very High Landslide Hazards: For variance requests to alter steep slopes over forty percent (40%) or greater and very high landslide hazard areas and their associated setbacks, the following criteria shall apply:

a. The variance granted is the minimum amount necessary to accommodate the proposal; and

b. Alternative development concepts that comply with RMC 4-3-050 have been evaluated and that practical difficulties and unnecessary hardship would result from the strict application of the code; and

c. The proposal does not adversely impact geological hazards or other critical areas on adjacent properties; and

d. The need for the variance is not the result of actions of the applicant or property owner; and

e. The proposal does not create or increase a risk to the public health, safety, and welfare, or to public or private property; and

f. If the Administrator approves a variance under this subsection, the following conditions of approval, among others, may be imposed:

i. The recommendations of the geotechnical report are followed;

ii. Project plans shall be reviewed and sealed by a geotechnical engineer or the geotechnical engineer shall submit a sealed letter stating that they have reviewed the plans and in their opinion the plans and specifications meet the intent of the geotechnical report; and

iii. An appropriate number of site visits by the geotechnical engineer to establish proper methods, techniques, and adherence to plan drawings is demonstrated during and after construction.

10. Special Review Criteria – Single Family Residence on a Legal Lot with a Category IV Wetland; or Single Family Residence on a Legal Lot with a Type F, Np, or Ns Stream/Lake: In lieu of the criteria shown in subsection B6 of this Section, a variance may be granted from any wetland or stream requirement in the critical areas regulations for a single family residence to be located on an existing legal lot if all of the following criteria are met:

a. The proposal is the minimum necessary to accommodate the building footprint and access. In no case, however, shall the impervious surface exceed five thousand (5,000) square feet, including access. Otherwise the alteration shall be subject to the review criteria of subsection B6 of this Section; (Ord. 5519, 12-14-2009)

b. Access is located so as to have the least impact on the wetland and/or stream/lake and its buffer;

c. The proposal preserves the functions and values of the wetlands and/or stream/lake/riparian habitat to the maximum extent possible;

d. The proposal includes on-site mitigation to the maximum extent possible;

e. The proposal first develops noncritical area, then the critical area buffer, before the critical area itself is developed;

f. The proposed activities will not jeopardize the continued existence of endangered, threatened or sensitive species as listed by the Federal government or the State;

g. The inability to derive reasonable economic use of the property is not the result of actions segregating or dividing the property and creating the undevelopable condition after the effective date of this Section; and

h. The proposed variance 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 subsection F of this Section are followed. (Ord. 4835, 3-27-2000; Amd. Ord. 4851, 8-7-2000; Ord. 5757, 6-1-2015)

11. Special Review Criteria – Public/Quasi-Public Utility or Agency Altering Wellhead Protection, Geologic Hazard, Habitat, Stream/Lake or Wetland Regulations: In lieu of the variance criteria of subsection B5 of this Section, applications by public/quasi-public utilities or agencies proposing to alter aquifer protection, geologic hazard, habitat, stream and lake or wetland regulations shall be reviewed for compliance with all of the following criteria:

a. Public policies have been evaluated and it has been determined by the Department Administrator that the public’s health, safety, and welfare is best served;

b. Each facility must conform to the Comprehensive Land Use Plan and with any adopted public programs and policies;

c. Each facility must serve established, identified public needs;

d. No practical alternative exists to meet the needs;

e. The proposed action takes affirmative and appropriate measures to minimize and compensate for unavoidable impacts;

f. The proposed activity results in no net loss of regulated wetland or stream/lake area, value, or function in the drainage basin where the wetland, stream or lake is located;

g. The proposed activities will not jeopardize the continued existence of endangered, threatened or sensitive species as listed by the Federal government or the State;

h. That the proposed activities will not cause significant degradation of groundwater or surface water quality;

i. The approval is the minimum variance necessary to accomplish the desired purpose; and (Ord. 5519, 12-14-2009; Ord. 5676, 12-3-2012)

j. The proposed variance 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 subsection F of this Section are followed. (Ord. 4835, 3-27-2000; Amd. Ord. 4851, 8-7-2000; Ord. 5757, 6-1-2015)

12. Special Review Criteria – Constructing Structures over Piped Streams: For variance requests involving the construction of structures over piped streams, the following criteria shall apply:

a. The proposal is the minimum necessary to accommodate the structure; and

b. There is no other reasonable alternative to avoid building over a piped stream; and

c. The existing pipe stream system that would have to be located under the structure is replaced with new pipe material to ensure long-term life of the pipe and meets structural requirements; and

d. The piped stream system is sized to convey the one hundred (100) year future land use condition runoff from the total upstream tributary area as determined from a hydrologic and hydraulic analysis performed in accordance with standards determined by the City and in accordance with other City’s standards; and

e. The piped stream that will be built over will need to be placed in a casing pipe sized to allow pipe skids and the potential need to increase the pipe size by a minimum of one pipe diameter. The casing pipe shall be a minimum of three pipe diameters larger than the diameter of the pipe that conveys the stream; and

f. To allow for maintenance, operation and replacement of the piped stream that has been built over, a flow bypass system shall be constructed and access manholes or other structures of sufficient size as determined by the City shall be required on both sides of the section of the piped stream that is built upon; and

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

13. Special Review Criteria: In lieu of the variance criteria of subsection B6 of this Section, applications proposing to alter the core and special requirements described in the Surface Water Design Manual shall be reviewed for compliance with all of the following criteria:

a. There are special physical circumstances or conditions affecting the property such that strict application of the criteria for producing a compensating or comparable result would deprive the applicant of all reasonable use of the parcel of land in question, and every effort has been made to find creative ways to meet the intent of the requirement for which the variance is sought;

b. Granting the variance for the individual property in question will not create a significant adverse impact to public health, welfare, water quality, and properties downstream or nearby;

c. The variance requires the best practicable alternative for achieving the spirit and intent of the requirement in question; and

d. In addition, the application must include the following information as required by the State Department of Ecology per the 2007 Phase II NPDES General Municipal Stormwater Permit:

i. The current (pre-project) use of the site.

ii. How application of the requirements in the Surface Water Design Manual for which a variance is being requested denies all reasonable use of site compared to the development review conditions and restrictions that would have been placed on the project prior to the adoption of the Surface Water Design Manual.

iii. The possible remaining uses of the site if the variance was not granted.

iv. The uses of the site that would have been allowed under development review conditions and restrictions that would have been placed on the project prior to the adoption of the Surface Water Design Manual.

v. A comparison of the estimated amount and percentage of value loss as a result of the requirements of this manual versus the estimated amount and percentage of value loss as a result of conditions and/or restrictions that would have been placed on the project prior to the adoption of the Surface Water Design Manual.

vi. The feasibility for the owner to alter the project to apply the requirements of this manual. (Ord. 5526, 2-1-2010)

14. Continuation of Public Hearing: If for any reason testimony in any manner set for public hearing, or being heard, cannot be completed on date set for such hearing, the person presiding at such public hearing or meeting may, before adjournment or recess of such matters under consideration, publicly announce the time and place to and at which said meeting will be continued, and no further notice of any kind shall be required. (Ord. 3463, 8-11-1980; Amd. Ord. 4648, 1-6-1997; Ord. 4835, 3-27-2000; Ord. 5526, 2-1-2010)

15. Decision Process:

a. The Administrator Shall Announce Findings and Decisions: Not more than thirty (30) days after the termination of the proceedings of the public hearing on any variance, the Administrator shall announce the Administrator’s findings and decision. If a variance is granted, the record shall show such conditions and limitations in writing as the Administrator may impose.

b. Notice of Decision of the Administrator: Following the rendering of a decision on a variance application, a copy of the written order by the Administrator shall be mailed to the applicant at the address shown on the application and filed with the Department of Community and Economic Development and to any other person who requests a copy thereof.

c. Reconsideration: (Reserved)

d. Record of Decision: Whenever a variance is approved by the Administrator, the Department shall forthwith make an appropriate record and shall inform the administrative department having jurisdiction over the matter. (Amd. Ord. 4835, 3-27-2000; Ord. 5157, 9-26-2005; Ord. 5450, 3-2-2009; Ord. 5526, 2-1-2010; Ord. 5676, 12-3-2012)

16. Conditions of Approval: Conditions may be placed upon the variance if deemed to be necessary and required. (Amd. Ord. 4835, 3-27-2000; Ord. 5526, 2-1-2010; Ord. 5676, 12-3-2012)

17. Finalization: (Reserved) (Ord. 5526, 2-1-2010)

18. Expiration of Variance Approval: Any variance granted, unless otherwise specified in writing, shall become null and void in the event that the applicant or owner of the subject property for which a variance has been requested has failed to commence construction or otherwise implement effectively the variance granted within a period of two (2) years after such variance has been issued. For proper cause shown, an applicant may petition for an extension of the two (2) year period during the variance application review process, specifying the reasons for the request. The time may be extended but shall not exceed one additional year in any event. (Amd. Ord. 4835, 3-27-2000; Ord. 4851, 8-7-2000; Ord. 5526, 2-1-2010; Ord. 5676, 12-3-2012)

19. Extension of Approval: For proper cause shown, an applicant may petition for an extension of the approved expiration period established per subsection B18 of this Section prior to the expiration of the time period, specifying the reasons for the request. The time limit may be extended, but such extension shall not exceed one additional year in any event. (Ord. 3463, 8-11-1980; Amd. Ord. 4648, 1-6-1997; Ord. 4835, 3-27-2000; Ord. 4851, 8-7-2000; Ord. 5137, 4-25-2005; Ord. 5526, 2-1-2010; Ord. 5676, 12-3-2012; Ord. 5867, 12-11-2017)

C. WAIVER PROCEDURES:

1. Authority for Waiver, General: (Reserved)

2. Authority for Waiver of Street Improvements: The Administrator may grant waiver of the installation of street improvements subject to the determination that there is reasonable justification for such waiver. (Ord. 5156, 9-26-2005; Ord. 5450, 3-2-2009; Ord. 5676, 12-3-2012)

3. Application and Fee: Any application for such a waiver shall specify in detail the reason for such requested waiver and may contain such evidence including photographs, maps, and surveys as may be pertinent thereto. The application fee shall be as specified in RMC 4-1-170, Land Use Review Fees.

4. Decision Criteria, General: (Reserved)

5. Decision Criteria for Waivers of Street Improvements: Reasonable justification shall include but not be limited to the following:

a. Required street improvements will alter an existing wetlands or stream, or have a negative impact on a shoreline’s area.

b. Existing steep topography would make required street improvements infeasible.

c. Required street improvements would have a negative impact on other properties, such as restricting available access.

d. There are no similar improvements in the vicinity and there is little likelihood that the improvements will be needed or required in the next ten (10) years.

e. In no case shall a waiver be granted unless it is shown that there will be no detrimental effect on the public health, safety or welfare if the improvements are not installed, and that the improvements are not needed for current or future development. (Ord. 5137, 4-25-2005)

D. MODIFICATION PROCEDURES:

1. Application Time and Decision Authority: Modification from standards, either in whole or in part, shall be subject to review and decision by the Planning/Building/Public Works Department upon submittal in writing of justification for such modification. (Amd. Ord. 4777, 4-19-1999)

2. Decision Criteria: Whenever there are practical difficulties involved in carrying out the provisions of this Title, the Department Administrator may grant modifications for individual cases provided he/she shall first find that a specific reason makes the strict letter of this Code impractical, that the intent and purpose of the governing land use designation of the Comprehensive Plan is met and that the modification is in conformity with the intent and purpose of this Code, and that such modification:

a. Substantially implements the policy direction of the policies and objectives of the Comprehensive Plan Land Use Element and the Community Design Element and the proposed modification is the minimum adjustment necessary to implement these policies and objectives;

b. Will meet the objectives and safety, function, appearance, environmental protection and maintainability intended by the Code requirements, based upon sound engineering judgment;

c. Will not be injurious to other property(ies) in the vicinity;

d. Conforms to the intent and purpose of the Code;

e. Can be shown to be justified and required for the use and situation intended; and

f. Will not create adverse impacts to other property(ies) in the vicinity. (Ord. 4517, 5-8-1995; Ord. 4802, 10-25-1999; Ord. 5100, 11-1-2004; Ord. 5137, 4-25-2005; Ord. 5369, 4-14-2008)

E. ALTERNATE PROCEDURES:

1. Authority: The provisions of this Title are not intended to prevent the use of any material or method of construction or aquifer protection not specifically prescribed by this Title, provided any alternate has been approved and its use authorized by the Public Works Administrator. (Ord. 5450, 3-2-2009)

2. Decision Criteria: The Administrator may approve any such alternate, provided he/she finds that the proposed design and/or methodology is satisfactory and complies with the provisions of this Title and that the material, method or work offered is, for the purpose intended, at least the equivalent of that prescribed in this Title in suitability, strength, effectiveness, durability, safety, maintainability and environmental protection. (Amd. Ord. 4851, 8-7-2000)

3. Substantiation: The Department Administrator shall require that sufficient evidence or proof be submitted to substantiate any claims that may be made regarding its use. (Amd. Ord. 4851, 8-7-2000)

4. Record of Decision: The details of any action granting approval of an alternate shall be written and entered in the files of the Code enforcement agency. (Ord. 4367, 9-14-1992; Ord. 5137, 4-25-2005)

F. ABSENCE OF VALID SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION:

Where there is an absence of valid scientific information or incomplete scientific information relating to a critical area leading to uncertainty about the risk to critical area function of permitting an alteration of or impact to the critical area, the decision shall be based upon the following:

1. A “precautionary or a no-risk approach” that appropriately limits development and land use activities until the uncertainty is sufficiently resolved, or determine that protection can be ensured by using an approach different from that derived from the best available science; provided, that the applicant demonstrates on the record how the alternative approach will protect the functions and values of the critical area; and

2. A required application of an effective adaptive management program that relies on scientific methods to evaluate how well regulatory and nonregulatory actions protect the critical area. An adaptive management program is a formal and deliberate scientific approach to taking action and obtaining information in the face of uncertainty. An adaptive management program shall:

a. Address funding for the research component of the adaptive management program;

b. Change course based on the results and interpretation of new information that resolves uncertainties; and

c. Commit to the appropriate timeframe and scale necessary to reliably evaluate regulatory and nonregulatory actions affecting protection of critical areas and anadromous fisheries. (Ord. 5137, 4-25-2005; Ord. 5676, 12-3-2012)