Southeast Mason County Subarea Plan

Southeast Mason County Subarea Plan
RESOLUTION NO. 137-93
A RESOLUTION ADOPTING THE SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN.
IN THE MATIER OF:
Adopting the Southeast Mason County Subarea Plan, which presents background information and goals
relevant to land use planning in the Totten and little Skookum Inlet watersheds; this Subarea Plan
establishes a set of guidelines to allow compatible development and protest known resources and critical
values within the watershed; and
WHEREAS, the Mason County Board of Commissioners did adopt the Mason County Comprehensive Plan
in November 1970;
WHEREAS, the Totten-Little Skookum Watershed Management Committee recommended in the Totten-Little
Skookum Watershed Action Plan, adopted in 1991, that land use planning should be completed in the Totten
and Little Skookum Inlet watershed within Mason County; and
WHEREAS, members of the Totten-Little Skookum Resource Committee (since 1987) and the Southeast
Mason County Subarea Plan Review Committee (since 1992) have volunteered their time in public meetings
to develop a citizen-based land use plan for their watershed and to involve many of the residents in the
review of the Subarea Plan; and
WHEREAS, the Mason County Planning Commission held public hearings in November and December 1992
and reviewed the contents of the Southeast Mason County Subarea Plan; and
WHEREAS, the Mason County Board of Commissioners held public hearings on April 20, August 31, and
October 19, 1993 to receive comments and finalize the text of the Southeast Mason County Subarea Plan;
and on December 21 , 1993, the Mason County Board of Commissioners made final text changes and
passed a motion to adopt the southeast Mason County Subarea Plan;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT:
The Mason County Board of Commissioners hereby adopts the Southeast Mason County Subarea Plan
(Attachment A which is incorporated as part of this resolution) which sets forth goals and policies for land
use planning and future development in this portion of Mason County. The 1970 Mason County
Comprehensive Plan is amended to include the elements of this Subarea Plan.
DATED this 21st day of December, 1993.
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
MASON COUNTY, WASHINGT9N
,
I
I
/
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VLv~t--
ATIEST:
Chief Prosecuting Attorney
Michael Clift
c:
Community Development
Health Services/Water Quality
._-.: :.__
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:-_:..:_-"~-.-==--Gtura E. Porter, Commissioner
Southeast Mason County Subarea Plan
PLANNING IN THE TOTTEN-LITTLE SKOOKUM INLETS WATERSHED
MASON COUNTY, WASHINGTON
prepared by: Totten/Little Skookum Resource Committee
and
Southeast Mason County Subarea Plan
Review Committee
ADOPTED
December 20, 1993
Southeast Mason
PLANNING IN THE TOTTEN-LITTLE SKOOKUM INLETS WATERSHED
MASON COUNTY, WASHINGTON
prepared by: Totten/Little Skookum Resource Committee
and
Southeast Mason County Subarea Plan
Review Committee
ADOPTED
December 20, 1993
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I.
the
II.
Coordination
Plans.
Mason
2)
Growth
Efforts
3} Totten-Little
Watershed
4) North Mason Subarea Water Quali
Plan
5) Mason
Parksu Recreation and
Space Plan
6} Mason
Six-Year Road Plan, 1992-1997
7)
Shorel
Master
8)
to Land
III. The Rationale for the Subarea Plan.
1) Phys
of the Watersheds
a) soils
b)
c) resource lands
d) wetland areas
e)
c hazards
f) water quali
3) Socioc
IV.
The Forces
t Af
t
VI.
4
5
5
6
6
7
7
8
9
9
10
12
15
15
16
16
Plan Development.
a) population
b) housing
c) economy
d) existing land use
V.
1
2
18
18
19
19
Land Use Elements: Goals and Policies.
1) General Goals and Associated Policies.
2) Specif
Goals and Assoc
Policies
A) Agriculture
B) Aquaculture
C) Forestry
D) Residential
E) Commercial and Industrial
G) Transportation and Circulation
H) Natural Systems
I) Stormwater and Surface Water
J) On-site Sewage Disposal and Treatment
K) Clearing and Grading
20
21
21
23
24
26
27
28
30
31
32
Plan
33
Definition of Terms
Open Space
South Mason
35
Densi
Sub-Area
Conversion Chart
37
38
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Authorization and Purpose
Land use planning in the State Washington is based upon guidelines established
Revised Code of Washington (RCW). Provisions of the chapter on Planning Commissions
(RCW 35.63) and the Planning Enabling Act (RCW 36.70) authorize county governments to
regulate land uses after establishing a Planning Commission
adopting a Comprehensive
Land Use Plan. The Comprehensive Plan is a legal
composed
text
accompanying maps, which when adopted by the local government body will guide public
and private land use decisions within the plan area. While this document serves as a
cooperative means of planning for physical development and promoting general welfare,
plan does not have independent regulatory control. Such standards are
contained
within subsequent zoning, subdivision, and other
use ordinances.
State law allows for dividing the community into several "subareas", so a county-wide
comprehensive plan need not be attempted
at once. Subarea planning provides for the
preparation of land use documents for the smaller geographic area and implementation
the adoption of zoning and other official controls. When adopted, zoning is required to be
uniform within the same district and is generally based on different land use designations
(permitted and conditional uses), performance criteria (setbacks, height restrictions, and site
alterations), and development densities ( 1
per 5 acres, 4 units
acre, etc.).
Therefore, while planning is not mandatory for county governments, an adopted plan is a
prerequisite to the zoning ordinance.
Currently, Mason County is in the process of updating its Comprehensive
the North Mason Subarea Water Quality Plan was adopted in October 1990.
exception of the area along the shoreline, Mason County has no zoning ordinances
to areas within the planning area.
The purpose of this plan is to guide decision-makers to protect
enhance
resources, while allowing compatible development. This plan does not seek to stop area
development, but to set guidelines for reasonable and responsible growth the planning
area. A good land use plan can help to ensure that new uses of
are '-'V''"~-'uuv'""'
existing uses. New developments should not adversely impact neighboring areas or uses.
The goals and policies outlined
attempt to
those
area
found to be desirable by the residents.
The subarea plan is not the final step. It is a means for making
This plan must be implemented by regulatory ordinance or
Existing ordinances may be amended to incorporate the goals
plan should not remain static; it should change as the
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
use decisions.
'"'"''·'"'"'·" effective.
plan. The
strong
1
community involvement, the Subarea Plan should be reviewed on a periodic basis to examine
and evaluate its compatibility with the existing conditions and community attitudes.
Land Use Planning and Public Participation in the Subarea
In 1987 a concerned group of residents of the Totten/Little Skookum area formed in response
to a proposal to log and develop several acres of land in a particularly sensitive area of the
watershed. Residents were concerned about the impacts to water quality from stormwater
runoff and on-site sewage disposal systems that would follow the logging and subsequent
residential development of this land.
The developer decided to log but not develop the property as residential, and the community
group, now known as the Totten/Little Skookum Resource Committee, recognized the
important role they had played in bringing the environmental concerns to the attention of the
public, the developer and the local officials. They realized that with no land use plan for the
area, the same circumstances could, and would, arise again. Rather than wait for this to
happen, they began to work toward the development of a land use plan for the area.
In 1988, several students of the program " Habitats: Marine, Terrestrial, and Human " at
The Evergreen State College prepared a background study about the area around Little
Skookum Inlet, at the request of the Totten/Skookum Resource Committee and the Mason
County Planning Department. The study team examined the possible environmental impacts
of both existing and potential land uses. The findings and recommendations were intended
for the development of a land use plan for the area. They are embodied in a document
entitled Environmental Report to the Little Skookum/Totten Resource Committee for the
Little Skookum/Totten Sub-area Plan. This report should be viewed as a resource document
for valuable historic information about the human settlement, land use, local economy, and
the timber and shellfish industries of the subarea.
After The Environmental Report was completed, the Resource Committee decided to develop
goals and policies for future land use and development, which would be adopted by the
County Commissioners as a Subarea Plan and become part of the Mason County Comprehensive Plan. Further, they agreed to work with the county agencies to write and adopt
implementing ordinances, such as Revised Article Vll of Platting and Subdivisions Standards
ordinance, and to incorporate policies into existing ordinances when possible.
The committee also hoped to expand the base of the community planning effort by involving
as many residents as possible in the process. In February -March 1989, the Totten/Little
Skookum Resource Committee distributed the multiple-choice questionnaire to all residents in
the Southeast Mason County Subarea in order to fmd out more about area residents and what
were their perceptions of area growth. The 177 of 1050 surveys were returned and
analyzed, and a discussion of the results occurred at a meeting in April 1989; tally results
from the survey are in Appendix A.
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
2
General perceptions
area residents. People
next to
and desirable place to live. Water resources are a
these resources are threatened by anticipated vv.,uuun.J•u
development. Many residents believe
help accommodate necessary growth and preserve
From June to early September 1989, several public meetings were held by
Resource
Committee to discuss ways to develop and fund a subarea
the watershed. At that
time, the Mason County Planning Department
no financial or manpower resources to
assist the Little Skookum Inlet Resource Committee this work. The Resource "-''-''"""'"''"""'"'
chose to hire an individual July 1989 to assist them
the
use
expense monies for this effort were donated or raised locally.
In September 1989, a community dinner was held at the Little Skookllm Community Hall, at
which information was provided regarding the background work that had been completed,
questionnaire tabulation results, and the Committee's plans for writing a Land Use Plan.
Over 200 members of the community gathered to learn about
planning activities. The
public comments and recommendations were voted on and unanimously adopted at
meeting, and incorporated into the committee's land use plan.
during
Sixteen work sessions were held from October 1989 to September
other residents reviewed existing ordinances, set
members of the Resource Committee
overall land use goals and policies for the planning area,
examined densities and
development standards to protect water quality and rural character.
important meeting
a
occurred at the end of May 1990, where the fifty people in attendance agreed
development density of one dwelling
per five acres should be used the subarea plan.
Two particular concerns brought up in these work sessions were on-site sewage disposal and
development standards for roads. Speakers from Mason County Environmental Health
the Planning Commission provided necessary information on these topics. Subcommittees
were formed and members began to work closely to develop road standards
revise the
County Subdivision Ordinance. The Resource Committee plans to continue to work closely
Commission to update
with the Department of Community Development and the
these important ordinances. The Committee believes these are two of the most
tools available for controlling development
growth
area.
Other members of the Resource Committee have been
other
activities
within the county, such as the Totten-Little Skookum Watershed Management Committee and
the Mason County Growth Management Advisory '-''-''""'a"',"'"'·
A final version of the Southeast Mason County Land Use
was completed
the
Totten/Little Skookum Resource Committee November 1990
was ready for review by
the Mason County Department
Community Development
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
3
This version was used as a basis for the draft Subarea Plan. Mason County received
Centennial Clean Water Fund grant monies to facilitate the completion of the Subarea Plan,
as recommended in the Totten-Little Skookum Watershed Action Plan. The draft Subarea
Plan integrates the background information and stated policies of the Land Use Plan and
Environmental Report, with additional current data and clear land use goals for the planning
area.
In April 1992, both the final Land Use Plan and the draft Subarea Plan were referred to the
Mason County Planning Commission for their review. Based upon public testimony, the
Planning Commission passed a motion to have the Department of Community Development
prepare a final version of the Subarea Plan, based upon the review of residents from the
watershed. To accomplish this public review, the Southeast Mason County Subarea Plan
Review Committee, composed of local residents from varying interests, was appointed by the
Mason County Board of Commissioners. The eleven member Review Committee met from
July to September 1992 to review, edit, and approve sections of the Subarea Plan.
Over 50 public participation meetings were held concerning planning in this portion of
Mason County, and as a result, area residents support the concept of a subarea plan for
several reasons. Through the plan, recommendations on the suitability and compatibility of
land uses can be made, such as whether residential developments should be proposed next to
forest lands. Goals which address the impacts of numerous subdivisions on traffic volumes
and water quality, or on the rural character of the subarea can be proposed through a plan.
Likewise, the subarea plan can help guide residential and economic expansion to infill within
existing areas or to develop in other designated rural service centers. Elements which
address clearing and grading can tie concerns about land stability with the vegetation removal
and surface alterations which occur during construction activities.
ll.
COORDINATION WITH OTHER EXISTING COUNTY PLANS
Several other Mason County program plans and implementing ordinances are currently in
effect and deal specifically with topics that impact land use activities in the county. The
subarea plan can work in conjunction with these plans and ordinances to accomplish the
objectives and goals of each plan or code.
1) MASON COUNTY COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
Adopted in 1970, the county Comprehensive Plan gathered together current economic, social,
and physical information about the county, presented the anticipated population growth
figures and expected development, and proposed infrastructure needs in response to this
growth from 1970 to 1990. The Land Use element stated goals, objectives, and policies in
response to concerns which accompanied the expected growth in the county. The Roads and
Community Facilities elements explained the provision of services for the increasing
population and development anticipated in the county.
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
4
Several goals and policies stated
Comprehensive
include
the use of open space and greenbelts in
agricultural lands; preservation and pn)tec~ucm
shorelines of Puget Sound; discouraging the mixing of
uses;
control or elimination of damage to properties areas subject to flooding.
population and residential development growth have far exceeded expectations.
addition,
environmental concerns by the public and local, state, and federal government must now be
addressed, and new local regulations must now be applied when considering current
anticipated growth in Mason County.
2) GROWTH MANAGEMENT ACT PLANNING EFFORTS
In 199!., Mason County started on comprehensive land use planning through the State of
Washington Growth Management Act. The Mason County Board of Commissioners and the
Mason County Planning Department are working together with many local citizens to tailor
new policies for the anticipated growth in population and development
county.
The county's Growth Management Advisory Committee will develop strategic goals for a
county Comprehensive Plan by 1993 and implementing regulations by 1994.
The Southeast Mason County Subarea Plan incorporates information about current conditions
in the county and formulates clear goals and workable policies to address future growth
the area. These goals and policies not
echo citizen concerns the planning area,
also reflect the critical issues brought up so far through the Growth Management Advisory
Committee. The Subarea Plan is the first on-the-ground document to put into practice area
land use planning based upon current conditions Mason County.
3)
TOTTEN-LITTLE SKOOKUM WATERSHED ACTION PLAN
In late 1987, Mason and Thurston County Board of Commissioners appointed citizen
members to the Totten-Little Skookum Watershed Management Committee. The committee
met throughout 1988 and 1989 to develop a watershed action plan which identified
causes of nonpoint source pollution and action recommendations to resolve actual and
potential pollution problems in the watershed. The Totten-Little Skookum
watershed is
an Early Action Watershed, which was nominated for immediate watershed planning due to
the high degree of uses sensitive to water quality, including significant commercial shellfish
production and shellfish beds threatened by possible decertification. The dual county
was developed through considerable public
and agency cooperation
was approved
by the Washington Department of Ecology in December
The Totten-Little Skookum Watershed Implementation Council,
by each county's
watershed,
Board of Commissioners in December 1991, represents various interests
such as general public, aquaculture, agriculture, and forestry. The Implementation Council
monitors the accomplishment of watershed action
recommendations and supports all
efforts which maintain or enhance water quality in this valuable watershed.
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
5
The Southeast Mason County Subarea Plan is an important recommendation set forth in the
watershed action plan: to complete subarea planning and zoning in this portion of Mason
County. The Plan's goals and policies are guided by citizen concerns to improve area water
quality and maintain low density rural lifestyle. These goals and policies will be
implemented by ordinances that establish watershed land use regulations which protect
valuable water quality beneficial uses and control the causes of nonpoint source pollution.
4)
NORTH MASON SUBAREA WATER QUALITY PROTECTION PLAN
The Mason County Board of Commissioners adopted the North Mason Subarea Water
Quality Protection Plan in October 1990. This plan amends the county Comprehensive Plan
in the North Mason Subarea by including water quality concerns and protecting the health,
safety, and general welfare of the citizens, property, andeconomy in Mason County. For
different land uses and resource values, many goals and policies were written to address the
impacts to water quality values by certain land use or development proposals.
Many of the concerns, goals, and policies of this subarea plan were integrated into the
Southeast Mason County Subarea Plan. These elements meshed well with many points and
policies included in the Totten-Little Skookum Resource Committee's Land Use Plan.
Resource values and land uses are discussed separately in the Subarea Plan, including Natural
Systems, On-Site Sewage Disposal, Surface and Stormwater, and Clearing and Grading.
5) MASON COUNTY PARKS, RECREATION, AND OPEN SPACE PLAN
This program plan was updated in March 1991 and serves a guide to provide a diverse array
of park and recreation opportunities to its citizens and visitors. The plan also serves as a
tool to evaluate the current needs of county citizens as well as anticipated demands resulting
from future population growth. Expansion of existing facilities and acquisition of new lands
or infrastructure were recommendations made in this plan.
Recreation and open space attributes will be important considerations in planning growth in
the subarea. Residents want to maintain the rural character of the area, as well as the
aesthetics of forest cover and views of the Puget Sound. As the population expands, the
provision for public shoreline access along the Totten and Little Skookum Inlets will be
necessary to fulfill the fishing, boating, and other recreational needs of county citizens.
6) MASON COUNTY SIX YEAR ROAD PLAN, 1992-1997
This road plan details a program of road improvements throughout Mason County to upgrade
the condition and increase the safety of selected travel routes. Information on the new
dimensions of alignments, anticipated surface improvements, length of each project, and
associated costs is stated in the plan. All anticipated road projects in the Southeast Mason
County subarea involve Lynch Road. In each year from 1992 to 1994, a two-mile portion of
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
6
Lynch Read
be widened each
funding from the county budget
The Resource Committee's
Use
concerns
area's
adequate right-of-way, watercourses, topography,
maintenance of
character. The evaluation of the planned widening of Lynch Road will certainly need to
address these concerns and assess how this road widening will improve access within the
subarea and affect the rate of residential development These concerns are stated
Subarea Plan under Transportation and Circulation goals and policies.
7)
MASON COUNTY SHORELINE MASTER
In August 1975, the Mason County Board of Commissioners adopted the county Shoreline
Master Program. The Master Program is a set of goals, policies,
regulations for the
management of marine and freshwater shorelines in Mason County; there are 35 miles of
shoreline in the subarea. Its intent is to foster any reasonable
appropriate land uses
along marine waters, streams and rivers, lakes and reservoirs,
associated wetlands. The
regulations guide land uses which protect private property rights
are consistent with
public interest. Portions of the Shoreline Master Program were revised in March 1988.
The Shoreline Master Program functions through the use of shoreline environment
designations (Urban, Rural, Conservancy, and Natural). The Program defines the shoreline
management area as the lands within 200 feet of the Ordinary High 'Vater Mark along a
marine or freshwater shore or along a designated creek or river.
each designation,
conditional use, or are
uses are allowed outright, by Substantial Development Permit or
prohibited. The criteria used for land use evaluation are written as policies and regulations
for all development activities. Currently, this is the only planning program in Mason County
where land is classified to regulate suitable land uses.
comprehensive planning
through the Growth Management Act may consider land use designations or classifications.
The Southeast Mason County Subarea Plan recognizes the regulatory nature of the Shoreline
Master Program and will provide guidance to land use
development proposals areas
beyond 200 feet upland of the Shorelines of Statewide Significance the subarea. Some of
the goals and policies in the Subarea
recognize the
values of the shoreline and
stream areas and emphasize the need to maintain or improve water quality for
existing
water quality beneficial uses (aquaculture, fisheries, domestic, recreation,
aesthetics)
the Totten-Little Skookum Inlet watershed.
8)
ORDINANCES APPROPRIATE TO LAND
Several existing ordinances provide guidance to development proposals in Mason
The predicted population and economic growth in the subarea is expected to cause an
increase in development requests, largely for residential uses.
Subarea
can provide
a framework to review these requests
will work concert
existing
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
7
The Mason County Board of Commissioners adopted an Environmental Policy Ordinance in
October 1984. This ordinance establishes the environmental review policies and procedures
taken by different county departments; many of the procedures are cross-referenced with
portions of the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). Land use and development
proposals are reviewed to determine whether the action requires an environmental checklist
evaluation, how the proposal complies with existing regulations, and whether specific
conditions should be included in approving the proposed action. The Southeast Mason
County Subarea Plan will include development standards which will be considered in land
use decisions made in this portion of Mason County.
The Mason County Platting Ordinance (County Code- Title 16) describes the process and
the requirements for creating plats and subdivisions in the county. This ordinance will
continue to affect the pattern of land division and road networks in the Totten-Little Skookum
watershed, two key concerns voiced by area residents.
The Mason County Building and Health Codes provide detailed requirements to be evaluated
with every building site request. Land use applications need to comply with the Uniform
Building Code, Chapter 70, grading standards, as well as with the Mason County Parking
Ordinance. The development standards in these ordinances provide guidance for the
evaluation of use proposals, so that safety and impacts to surrounding properties are fairly
assessed. Certain aspects of these ordinances are addressed in the policies of the Subarea
Plan, especially in the following sections: Residential Development, Natural Systems,
Surface Water and Stormwater, and On-Site Sewage Disposal.
Residential development in the form of mobile home and/or recreational vehicle parks is
likely to occur within the planning area. The Mason County Mobile Home and Recreational
Vehicle Park Ordinance was passed in 1991 to standardize the review process for requests of
this development type. If such land uses are proposed in the subarea, the standards of this
new ordinance will be applied to provide for public safety and general welfare at the
proposed park location.
ill.
THE RATIONALE FOR THE SUBAREA PLAN
Several physical aspects and socio-economic conditions in Mason County and in the
watershed justify the need for land use planning in the subarea. Existing soil properties,
vegetation cover, land uses, and environmentally sensitive areas will affect the suitability of
proposed construction and land uses in the watershed. The growth in population and the
changes in both the economy and the timber and service industries have lead to the rapid
development of South Puget Sound. These factors have put pressure on the County to make
decisions without noting overall changes in the subarea. These pressures make it very
important for orderly growth to be guided by a widely accepted subarea plan.
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
8
1) PHYSICAL CHARACTERIZATION OF THE WATERSHEDS:
The Evergreen State College's Environmental Report for the Totten/Little Skookum
Watersheds presented information about vegetation associations,
and environmentally sensitive areas in the subarea. Such
brings to light how
natural features constrain the locations of development and how residential and economic
growth may impact important resource values in these watersheds. These conflicts must be
carefully examined future land use decisions. This subarea plan provides the opportunity
to determine the objectives of land use planning in the subarea. The results of the returned
resident survey show that people feel strongly about resource protection. At this
it is
important to identify the locations of environmentally sensitive areas and to recognize the
capabilities of the land to withstand certain land uses. This
then becomes part
the decision-making process in evaluating future land use applications.
a) Soils in the Subarea
Knowledge of soil characteristics is important the determination of the suitability of many
land uses. The areas surrounding Little Skookum and Totten Inlets, as well as the rest of the
Puget Sound lowlands, were most recently shaped by the Fraser Glaciation. The present day
soils resulted from the processes that accompanied and followed this glacial event. The
physical properties of these soils, which are gravelly sandy loams, silty clay loams, and
gravelly silt loams, affect the suitability of certain land uses.
The building of houses, roads, and sewage disposal systems,
addition to intensive
...,...,~
and agricultural practices, stresses the natural ecosystems through site alterations,
may
cause soil erosion and may add sediments and nutrients into the system. Through the study
of area soils and the existing information on their physical properties, the assessment of land
use limitations for each soil type can be made.
H
...
1) Soil limitation classification
The Soil Conservation Service (SCS) Soil Survey for Mason County, published in 1960,
contains the descriptions of the physical characteristics of the different surface soils the
county and the maps depicting their locations. The SCS has developed new soil tables which
list the capacities of each soil for different land uses, however these tables have not been
published as part of the soil survey. In the capacity tables, a rating of low, moderate,
severe is given to the soil for each land use and the factor contributing to the rating is stated
(i.e., slope, wetness, water table depth, erosivity). The most
characteristic
determined the overall rating for that soil.
An example of soil limitation classification would be septic tank absorption
capacity.
The relevant soil physical characteristic to assess this capability is permeability,
property
of the soil to allow water to move downward through the soil profile. If permeability is low,
septic tank effluent will quickly overload the soil's capacity to adequately treat
contrast, if permeability is very
and surface pooling of effluent will result.
effluent may pass through the soil profile and may reach the groundwater.
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
9
situations pose hazards to water quality in areas of high rainfall such as the Totten and Little
Skookum Inlet watershed. Other characteristics used to evaluate septic tank and absorption
field suitability include soil type, depth to impervious layer, surface drainage, slope, and
proximity to the water table and watercourses.
2) Land use suitability evaluation
With the detailed information about soil properties at hand, a land manager can move ahead
to make decisions about which type and what density of land uses should be permitted.
Evaluating the suitability of land uses in a certain area involves determining the
appropriateness of each land use based upon the knowledge of specific soil properties.
Through better prepared soil surveys, the Soil Conservation Service has gained increased
understanding of the functions of soil properties and helped to make these land use decisions.
One important fact in the Environmental Report for the Totten/Little Skookum Inlet
Watersheds was that soils, which were formerly thought to be suitable or fairly suitable for
septic tank development, are now known to be highly susceptible to groundwater pollution
from septic tanks. Using the unpublished SCS tables of the septic tank suitability, an
updated map of soil limitations was made and can now be used as a basis for land use
decisions about site selection and restricting the use of certain on-site septic systems.
The SCS limitation classifications for different land uses, such as roads, buildings, and septic
tanks, do not include any recommendations, such as the specific number of houses or septic
tanks that can be built. Mason County Department of Health Services, Environmental Health
Division, enforces the Mason County Health Code, Article Vll, Platting and Subdivision
Standards, which detail the needed physical information to evaluate proposed water and onsite sewage waste systems on individual lots and in all land segregations. These standards
implement the requirements of Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 246-271, in which
soils information is correlated with development densities (minimum lot sizes). Through the
subarea plan, residents of the watershed and County officials can establish certain
development limitation policies and use these policies to develop an implementing ordinance
which details the physical criteria necessary for development proposals.
b) Vegetation in the Subarea
The type of dominant plant cover at a particular location in the Totten-Little Skookum Inlet
watersheds is determined by the inherent characteristics and the past history at the site. This
portion of the Puget Sound historically supported western hemlock-western red cedarDouglas fir forests on the lowland and highland slopes and shrub-grassland and riparian
forests in the floodplains. Logging, started over 140 years ago, has become the area's major
industry and has altered the then-existing vegetation associations. Many logged areas have
been replanted in Douglas fir and continue today as commercial forests.
Vegetative cover in the watershed functions in several ways to enhance slope stability.
Plants help to bind soil structure with a network of roots, protect soil surfaces from the
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
10
impact of rainfall and streamflows,
water from the root zone
storing it
absorbing
tissue.
1) Description of Vegetation Types
a) Coniferous Forest:
vegetation type covers a considerable portion of
subarea, usually on drier slopes and some
areas. Douglas-fir is the dominant
tree species. Salal, bracken fern, huckleberry, cascara, and hazelnut grow as understory plants and add to the diversity of physical structure
wildlife habitat.
b) Mixed Hardwood Forest: Both conifers and broad-leaved deciduous trees are
found in the vegetation type, and species composition depends upon soil conditions
and human disturbance since the areas were logged. Western red cedar, western
hemlock, big-leaved and vine maples, red alder, and willows are found
moist sites;
as the location becomes drier, Douglas-fir becomes more evident. Many of these
trees are short-lived and openings in the canopy occur enough to allow shrubs, ferns,
and salal to create a diverse understory.
c) Altered Forest: Several types of altered forest cover exist the subarea but all
have been either totally or partially cleared the past. Some areas have
commercially grown Douglas-fir trees which are maturing or recently have been
harvested and replanted. Other areas are private lands which have trees left standing
but contain areas where sites have been cleared for development. Many shrub and
tree species loc<J.ted in these areas are the same as those in coniferous and mixed
hardwood forests.
d) Agriculture: These areas of farming or pasture occur as small scattered parcels
throughout the east portion of the planning area and large parcels along Skookum
Creek in the west portion of the subarea. Vegetation consists primarily of grass and
forbs for livestock, but some row crops are grown for market or for livestock feed.
open meadows adjacent
In the past many of these areas were forested or were
to the creek.
e) Wetland and Riparian Areas: These sites of aquatic and water-loving vegetation
occur throughout the planning area; these locations may be along a creek, where some
flooding occurs during the year, or where the water table is at a shallow depth.
the tidelands, the marsh vegetation of sedges, rushes, pickleweed, saltgrass, and
cattails are subject to daily tides and higher saltwater exposure during storms.
Freshwater wet areas may support sedges, rushes, willows, alders, and cottonwoods
and may occur along streams or
areas where the water table is close to the
surface. These areas are highly productive, and many wildlife species use these areas
for food, shelter, and reproduction.
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
11
TABLE 1:
RESOURCE LANDS IN
THE TOTTEN-LITTLE SKOOKUM INLET WATERSHEDS
LAND
USE
Forest
Aquaculture
Agriculture
Mineral
ACRES
PERCENT OF
SUBAREA
19,385
1,550
1,391
152
76.19
6.09
5.47
0.60
(Source: Totten-Little Skookum Watershed Action Plan, 1991)
c) Resource Lands
The Totten-Little Skookum Watershed Action Plan describes in detail the many land uses in
the dual county watershed. Over 88 percent of the Mason County portion of the watershed
is utilized in four important resource land uses (Table 1). The remaining 12 percent of land
is in existing and vacant residential or commercial use along the inlet shorelines or major
road routes. The growth of residential use in the near future will occur at the expense of
existing undeveloped lots or converted resource lands.
Forest land: Historically, the Totten-Little Skookum Inlet watersheds were the site of
extensive logging and railroad activities connected with the timber mills in this region of
Puget Sound. The Puget Sound and Gray's Harbor Railroad, also known as the Blakely,
hauled trees to Totten Inlet at Kamilche Point, but also hauled people and freight to
Montesano. Many of these logs were milled at the Simmons Mill along Hammersley Inlet
and Willey's Mill along Oakland Bay.
Forest practices have progressed from these days of intensive logging. Trees are no longer
rafted down creeks or stored in the local inlets. Greater knowledge of land stewardship and
sustainable yield, as well as increased statewide forest management regulations, have
improved the existing site conditions for continued use as forest lands, and forest
management remains a valuable contributor to the regional economy.
Currently, much of the forest resource lands are owned by industrial timber and land
companies (Table 2) and are in various stages of forest management. Other forest lands are
small private woodlots which are not intensively managed for timber production. Within the
dual county Totten-Little Skookum Inlets watershed, 12 to 15 percent of the forest lands have
been harvested in the past 45 years, while in the Little Skookum Inlet watershed, 35 to 38
percent of the forest has been harvested in this period. As much as 77 percent of these
forest lands in the subarea are currently in the marketable age category and subject to
harvesting at a ten percent annual rate, depending upon market conditions (Puget Sound
Cooperative River Basin Team, 1988).
The greatest concern about forest management is the effects of sediment eroded from logged
areas and carried to the watercourses and shorelines in the subarea. The creation of new
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
12
--------------------------
- - -
--
TOTTEN
- - - - -
-
LITTLE SKOOKUM
-
lANDOWNER
ACRES
PERCENT
OF TOTAL
ACRES
PERCENT
OF TOTAL
Simpson Timber Company
WA. Dept. of Natural Resources
Port Blakely Tree Farms
McDonald Land Company
Taylor United
Arnold Stoehr
Others
7,632
4,485
130
2,262
445
190
936
47.5
27.9
0.8
14.0
2.8
1.2
5.8
7,394
512
3,496
1,243
480
390
20
54.6
3.8
25.8
9.2
3.5
2.9
0.2
16,080
100.0
13' 535
100.0
TOTAL
(Source: Puget Sound Cooperative River Basin Team, 1988)
logging roads
existing roads expands the areas of erosion
the sources of sediment.
Totten-Little Skookum Inlet Watershed Action
harvesting rates
merchantable timber continues at
Plan, this concerns comes to focus
the near ten percent rate throughout the watershed (Totten-Little Skookum Watershed Action
Plan, 1991).
Pressure to convert forest
to undeveloped subdivision lots has spurred on by land
speculation, increasing population growth, and impending land use regulations. Such
use conversion is a threat to the continuation of viable forest management, especially a
various
commercial timber operation, which
on large blocks of land to permit
management activities (such as logging, road building, or pesticide application) to take place
without adjacent landowner complaint. Subdivision of large parcels adjacent to commercial
forest lands brings together conflicting land uses; eventually forest management becomes
more difficult, and increased
makes use conversion more attractive to forest
land owners.
Aquaculturallands: Puget Sound is one of the most productive shellfish growing areas
the United States and the State of Washington has recently become the nation's
oyster production. Shellfish production is the second largest industry Mason
making the Totten-Little Skookum
vital to this industry (Totten-Little Skookum
Watershed
resources
these inlets
~.""'
clams, mussels and geoducks.
people of the south Puget Sound have
depended on shellfish
start
settlements in
initially with native shellfish
u • ._, .....
Commercial aquaculture
clams, and mussels grown
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
13
amounts change to 61 percent in Puget Sound/Straits of Juan De Fuca and 60 percent of
statewide production. In 1987, as much as 70 percent of south Puget Sound oyster
production occurred in the Totten-Little Skookum Inlets (Totten-Little Skookum Watershed
Action Plan, 1991).
The aquacultural resource lands for shellfish culture in the Totten-Little Skookum Inlets in
Mason County include 18 tideland commercial shellfish growers as well as 11 upland
commercial facilities. These shellfish operations generate over 20 million dollars in
economic value, make a considerable contribution to economic diversity for Mason and
Thurston Counties, and supply the needs of the general public for shellfish. In addition, the
native tribes gather clams and oysters for ceremony, food and commerce, as they have
historically and much of the tidelands along the shoreline are leased or owned by private
owners, who also harvest the shellfish resources.
Agricultural lands: Much of the agricultural lands is along Skookum Creek, the mouth of
Kennedy and Schneider Creeks, and the Little Skookum Inlet. The lands are used for
pasturing cattle and horses, as part of scattered, small-scale, non-food crop farming
operations (livestock grazing and hay growing).
Since there are no large commercial farms
the subarea, several surveys of rural
agricultural land use have been done to indicate the number of livestock kept on agricultural
lands. These estimates show between 280 cattle and 110 horses (Mason County Conservation District's inventory) to 320 cattle and 330 horses (Puget Sound Cooperative River Basin
Team, 1988) in the watershed. As much as 80 percent of the cattle are on four farms which
are well managed; on the other hand, 80 percent of the horses are kept at dispersed
locations, each with two or more animals. The Conservation District states that over eight
tons of wastes from each horse are deposited at each holding site. In combination with
vegetation overgrazing and soil compaction, such animal keeping practices can lead to
nonpoint pollution in the watercourses located in the grazing areas.
The soils in the planning area contribute to the rapid surface runoff of rainfall rather than
percolation into the soil. Sedimentation caused by this runoff can destroy fish habitat and
spawning areas. Soil and organic contaminants can enter area streams through percolation
and inftltration of groundwater and/or surface water runoff through animal holding areas.
Fecal contamination of this runoff can cause the growth of bacteria and can transmit diseases
to humans through drinking water and shellfish consumption. High levels of contamination
can cause the growth of pathogenic organisms
shellfish
lead to the closure of shellfish
harvest in portions of Totten and Little Skookum Inlets.
Mineral Extraction: There are eleven mineral extraction sites in the Skookum Creek
watershed and two sites in the Totten Inlet area of Mason County. Several of these sites are
located adjacent to watercourses which flow directly into Puget Sound. These operation
involve considerable surface disruption in order to remove marketable materials from each
site. Sediment-laden surface runoff from these exposed areas may impact area streams and
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
14
the estuaries of the Inlet by depositing these transported materials and chemicals in these
fragile wetland areas.
d) Wetland Areas in the Subarea
As part of the Environmental Report, the identification and mapping of wetland areas in the
subarea was refmed using the U.S. Fish and Wildlife National Wetland Inventory maps,
further soils evaluation, and site verification for better mapping accuracy. The results of
their effort showed that 330 wetland acres (282 in freshwater, 48 in salt marsh areas) lie in
the lower Little Skookum Inlet area and 167 freshwater wetland acres occur in the upper
Skookum Creek watershed. It is estimated that 15 acres of freshwater and 40 acres of salt
marsh wetland lie in the Kennedy Creek corridor within Mason County.
These freshwater and saltwater wetland areas serve many important functions. They have the
ability to maintain or enhance water quality of stream and tidal flows by filtering out
sediments, absorbing excess nutrients, and chemically reducing transported pollutants.
Wetlands are capable of slowing and storing high stormwater flows and serve to reduce
shoreline erosion from wind and tidal action. They contribute to groundwater exchange by
recharging aquifers and storing exposed water table flows. Wetlands serve as the location of
many fish and wildlife habitats by providing water, food, shelter, and sites for reproduction.
Humans benefit from the shoreline and water-based recreational activities and aesthetics that
wetlands can provide. For these reasons, the wetlands of the planning area are recognized as
Critical Areas and require careful management and protection.
e) Geologic Hazards
There are certain landform features and soil properties which pose safety and property
damage problems to land uses in the subarea. These geologic hazards include landsliding,
surface erosion, seismic, and flooding events. When development is proposed these areas
of known hazard, either the proposal has to be moved to alternate site or some means of
protection must be used to avoid serious impacts.
Landsliding is the mass movement of soil due to the nature of the soil composition or the
orientation of the land feature. Site conditions can affect the stability of the site; soil
moisture, vegetation cover, angle of the surface, or disruption of the land surface can trigger
the mass movement event. Windstorms, slope surface water runoff, and streamflow are
agents of surface erosion and can contribute greatly to the movement of soil material from
one location to another, with or without human disturbance.
Seismic hazards from earthquakes or ground failures are known to occur throughout the
Puget Sound region. The geology of the area, including faults, uplifting, and past glaciation,
has determined the nature of these hazards, and locational mapping of these hazards has
helped to provide information for planning purposes. Certain risks are taken in developing
these areas, but structural measures taken in construction can reduce damage in future lowintensity seismic events.
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
The lands in the subarea which are within or adjacent to stream and river floodplains, lakes,
or ponds may be exposed to flooding hazards when rainfall and/or runoff are high. These
include the lands adjacent to Skookum and Kennedy Creeks, Fawn Lake, ponds, freshwater
and salt marsh wetlands, and low areas along the inlet shoreline. Many of these lands are
producth e agricultural lands or are desirable building sites due to their flat topography and
location next to waterbodies. In the past, development did not adequately consider the
danger of flooding damage; with current county ordinances, this risk is addressed at the time
that a proposed development is reviewed.
f) Water Quality Monitoring in the Totten and Little Skookum Inlets:
The Mason County Office of Water Quality is currently implementing some of the
recommendations of the 1991 Totten-Little Skookum Watershed Action Plan. Ambient
monitoring of both fresh and marine water quality in the Little Skookum watershed has been
carried out. A water quality database is being developed which includes information from
both Mason and Thurston Counties, the Conservation District, and the Squaxin Indian Tribe.
A Remedial Action Plan has been developed to trace on-site system failures and agricultural
sources of non-point pollution. Land owners who have agricultural pollution sources will be
requested to work with the Mason County Conservation District to develop farm plans and
implement Best Management Practices. Septic system failures will be referred to the Mason
County Department of Environmental Health.
The Remedial Action Plan will include a Storm Event Survey of Skookum Creek, workshops
to infonn land owners of the Action Plan, and surveys of suspected sites of pollution. The
Office of Water Quality has developed an enforcement-action referral and tracking system to
monitor progress of remedial actions on a site-by-site basis.
2) SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONDITIONS:
The availability of land and the easy access to both Olympia and Shelton contribute to the
fact that the subarea will absorb an increased share of anticipated growth of the South Puget
Sound region. The question is whether the area becomes a bedroom community reliant on
services from elsewhere or a better balanced rural residential area with adequate retail
services and a self-sufficient business economy. This inevitable residential growth will pit
existing property owners' expectations of the subarea remaining rural against new residents'
need for additional services and demand for residential, business, and employment facilities.
Equally important to consider is the fact that if the shellfish industry, a major employer, is to
survive in the area, it will be necessary to control the rate and distribution of area growth.
Economic conditions in Mason County have fluctuated during the past several years. This
variability is evident from unemployment figures since 1980. The sharp decline in the
timber industry in the early 1980's was the primary factor in Mason County's employment.
Diversification and development of other industries and services have been key factors in the
recovery. The rate of recovery in Mason County has been slower than in the rest of the
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
16
state, with wages only 81 percent of the state average and unemployment in the County is
one percent above state average.
a) Population Growth
An important factor that must be considered in Mason County's economy is population
growth. Since 1980, Mason County's population has increased by 23 percent, making it the
ninth fastest growing County in Washington. During the same period, the population of
incorporated Shelton has actually decreased by about 1 percent. All growth has been
occurring in the unincorporated areas of Mason County, playing an important role in the
County's current employment characteristics and emphasizing the need to plan development
throughout the County.
b) Employment Trends
Unemployment in Mason County has fluctuated sharply since 1980, when it was at a low of
7. 6 percent. The troubles in the timber industry hit the area hard and unemployment jumped
to 14.7 percent by 1982. Recovery has been slow since then and it appears the
unemployment rate has stabilized. In 1985, unemployment dropped to 8.4 percent
has
fluctuated since then but has decreased to 6.2 percent.
c) Economic Diversification
In the early 1980's, the crash in the lumber market, loss of jobs, and increased competition
created a near depression in Mason County and other Pacific Northwest timber dependent
areas. More jobs in other employment areas, such as retail, government positions, and other
manufacturing jobs have compensated for these losses. This fact is important because the
Washington State Employment Security Department indicates that the lack of industrial
diversity is the primary reason for the economic hardships suffered by smaller regions.
Areas which have an economy driven by a resource such as timber can be very sensitive to
fluctuations in the business cycle.
Expansion of other activities can only lead to a stronger economic base in Mason County.
The two lumber mills within the Little Skookum/Totten area have taken different approaches
to compete in today's market. One mill has modified production to sell in a specialized
market. The other plans to continue to maximize output through expansion during the next
five years. Both have recently hired additional employees. The growth employment
these companies contrasts with the decline in the lumber industry for Mason County.
The other prominent industry in the area is shellfish production. This industry has
experienced a steady increase in demand and production, and there is no reason to expect any
change in this trend for the future. However, increasing water pollution is the most serious
threat to the continued success of the shellfish industry. If pollution is not controlled in
Little Skookum and Totten Inlets, the shellfish industries in the area will not be able to
maintain current levels of production.
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
17
IV. FORCES THAT AFFECT SUBAREA PLAN DEVELOPMENT
It is difficult to determine what lies ahead for this portion of Mason County. It is impossible
to ignore the fact that the population has increased by nearly 23 percent in the past 10 years
and similar growth is expected in the near future. The construction of residential housing in
unincorporated Mason County may occur to accommodate this migration of new people into
the south Puget Sound region.
1) POPULATION
As mentioned previously, the population of Mason County has surged upward 23 percent,
from 31,184 to 38,341, during the 1980-1990 decade. This 7157 person increase was only
70 percent of the 10,266 person surge that occurred during the seventies, when Mason
County population grew 49 percent from 20,918 to 31,184. In 1970, 69 percent of the
county population lived outside of Shelton, the only incorporated city in Mason County; by
1990, this percent increased to 80 percent. Since Shelton did not increase in population
during the decade of the eighties, nearly all of the growth which took place occurred within
the unincorporated areas of Mason County.
According to the Washington Office of Financial Management, Mason County's population is
expected to increase significantly in the next twenty years. An estimated 16 percent increase
(6350 people) to a county total of 44,688 is expected during the nineties and an additional14
percent increase (6650 people) to 51,335 is anticipated from the years 2000 to 2010. Based
upon these predictions, Mason County population would have increased 65 percent in the
thirty years from 1980 to 2010.
2) HOUSING
Mason County has experienced a considerable increase in residential development from 1980
to 1990 (Table 3). A near 33 percent increase in the number of dwelling units occurred in
the rural areas of the county. This surge is expected to decrease to between 15 to 20 percent
TABLE 3. TRENDS IN HOUSING UNITS WITHIN MASON COUNTY.
County
City
Total
1980
1990
change
2000
change
2010
14,539
19,246
32.37%
22,792
18.42%-
26,410
16.0%-
3,088
3,046
-1.36%-
3,200
5.00%-
3,456
8.0%-
17,627
22,292
26.47%
25,992
16.60%-
29,866
14.9%-
change
note: Figures above are derived as follows Totals are from Bureau of Census (1980), Washington State Office of
Financial Management (1990), and rates of increase similar to
population increases.
County and City are the divisions of Total, with City increasing at
stated rates and remaining housing increases occurring in County.
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
18
for the 1990-2000 decade. Portions of the county next to Kitsap and Thurston Counties are
where most of this development is likely to occur, and these areas are attractive to property
buyers who work in adjacent counties and want to live in Mason County. This fact is a great
concern to current property owners in the Totten-Little Skookum watershed who view
potential residential growth as a threat to the rural character of the area.
3) ECONOMY
The Mason County economy has undergone considerable changes as the area population has
grown and the timber harvest and processing industries have decreased. The Washington
State Employment Security Department has projected that with the predicted population
growth, the biggest increases in employment for the next five years will be in retail and
service businesses. Also expected to grow significantly are construction and other growthdriven indu3tries, such as finance, real estate, transportation, and public utilities. Less
reliance on resource industries, such as timber harvest and processing, will continue but
diversification to other wood products may lessen the impacts to lower employment in the
timber industry; Skookum Lumber is an example of this adjustment in operation to meet new
markets. Currently most residents in the subarea rely on employment opportunities outside
of the subarea. Increases in aquaculture operations could certainly benefit employment the
subarea and the county without seriously impacting water quality and rural lifestyle along the
Totten and Little Skookum Inlets.
4) EXISTING LAND USE
Forest land management on private lands is the dominant land use throughout Mason County;
this is especially true in the Totten-Little Skookum watershed (Table 4). More than 90
percent of the land use west of Highway 101 is commercial forestry. Large blocks of forest
lands lie east of Highway 101, between Kamilche Point and Bloomfield Roads and north of
Lynch Road from Taylor Towne and Phillips Road. In addition to the commercial forest
TABLE 4:
CURRENT LAND USES WITHIN
THE TOTTEN-LITTLE SKOOKUM INLET WATERSHEDS
ACRES
LAND USE
Forest
Undeveloped
Aquaculture
Agriculture
Suburban Residential
Mineral
Commercial
Industrial
TOTAL
PERCENT OF
SUBAREA
19,385
1,714
1,550
1,391
1,155
152
55
41
76.19
6.74
6.09
5.47
4.54
0.60
0.22
0.16
25,443
100.00
(Source: Totten-Little Skookum Watershed Action Plan, I 991)
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
lands, many undeveloped lots, now vacant and not taxed for forestry or agriculture, are
located adjacent to lands having forest and residential land uses; these lands are expected to
be developed for residential land uses before other adjacent lands are converted to this use.
As shown in Table 4, suburban residential land uses accounts for less than 5 percent of the
subarea. Many of these residences are in subdivisions such as Totten Shores, Bay East, and
Fawn Lake; but many others are on lots averaging 1.5 acres in size. These residences are
connected by good access roads, such as Lynch, Kamilche Point, and Bloomfield Roads and
Old Olympic Highway.
Along both inlets the tidelands below the ordinary high water mark are leased or owned
outright. These lands are those under continuous aquacultural land use and serve a very
important role in the local, regional, and state economy. Much of the land use adjacent to
these tidelands is suburban residential; these residential land uses could subject the tidelands
to nonpoint source pollution and affect the ability to harvest shellfish cultured here.
V.
LAND USE ELEMENTS: GOALS AND POLICIES
1) General Goals of the Subarea:
A.
To achieve a balance between careful land development, maintenance of valuable
natural resources, and preservation of a low density rural lifestyle in the subarea.
B.
To avoid incompatible land uses and ensure that the future development shall be
compatible with existing land uses.
C.
To ensure that subdivisions and associated infrastructure (particularly in residential
subdivisions) are designed and constructed to meet existing as well as future needs for
adequate water, sewer, and traffic safety.
D.
To support sustainable utilization and enjoyment of the forest, water, and shellfish
resources in the planning area.
E.
To minimize pollution of air, streams, ponds, marine and ground water during and
after land clearing and development.
F.
To promote a balanced circulation and transportation system, which is consistent with
preserving the rural character of the subarea.
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
20
2) Specific Goals of the Subarea:
AGRICULTURAL LAND USE
Statement: Agriculture is an important part of the rural life in the subarea. This land use
varies from the raising and harvest of food crops, hay, timber, and Christmas trees to the
pasturing of horses and cattle; to some residents these activities represent the primary means
of livelihood, while to others such activities are recreational in nature.
Goal A:
Encourage existing and new agriculture, both commercial and recreational, to
use available tax and economic incentives and land use protection techniques.
Specific Policies:
Al:
Owners of those lands which qualify are encouraged to enroll in the Open Space Agriculture property tax classification program, pursuant to R.C.W" Chapter 84.33.
A2:
Lands that meet the designation criteria for agricultural lands, as detailed in the
Mason County Interim Resource Ordinance, as adopted, will be provided protection
against nuisance claims as detailed in the Ordinance.
Goal B:
Alleviate the threat to water quality from various farming and
pasturage
land uses by implementing management practices which control fecal coliform
pollution, sedimentation, and chemical runoff
Specific Policies:
Bl.
Property owners of these agricultural land uses are encouraged to work
the
Mason County Conservation District to get the technical assistance suitable for
property, including locally accepted Best Management Practices.
B2.
Site specific farm management plans should be developed cooperation with the
Mason County Conservation District and should include the use of Best Management
Practices applicable to the farm operation.
B.
AQUACULTURAL LAND USE
Statement: The Totten and Little Skookum Inlets are recognized for their high shellfish
production and their value to the regional economy. Nonpoint pollution from land uses
the area watershed has had a negative impact on these areas. Appropriate steps need to be
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
undertaken to protect or enhance the good water quality that is necessary for these
commercial and recreational activities.
Goal A:
Preserve existing aquacultural lands for commercial and recreational uses and
protect these lands from further degradation and decertification.
Specific Policies:
Al:
Land uses and proposed development along the shoreline or on adjacent uplands of
the watershed should minimize any increases in stormwater runoff and nonpoint
pollution which degrade water quality for aquacultural uses.
A2:
Provide protection against nuisance claims for aquacultural uses in case new
development changes the character of the areas surrounding those aquacultural uses.
Goal B:
Support efforts to enhance shellfish and fish habitat and increase the
aquacultural resources in the subarea.
Specific Policies:
Bl:
Activities which enhance habitat or increase fish, shellfish, and aquatic resources
should be encouraged as an important part of the economy and lifestyle of the area.
Goal C:
Avoid adverse impacts to water quality when considering land use activities
adjacent to or upland of aquacultural areas.
Specific Policies:
Cl:
Pollution discharges into waters where shellfish are cultured or harvested, or into
streams which flow into these shellfish areas should be prohibited or brought into
compliance.
C2:
Aquaculture activities should be accomplished with minimum adverse impacts to area
water quality and with the best available aquacultural management practices.
C3:
Forestry, open space, and low-density residential development should be the preferred
land uses adjacent to productive aquacultural areas.
C4:
Establishment of a watershed/shellfish protection district should be considered in
order to focus all efforts on improving water quality and lessening impacts which
degrade aquacultural areas; protection district funding should come out of assessments
that have been raised within the watershed.
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
22
C.
FOREST LAND USE
As
largest
use in
current
forest HAU'""'-.S'""'"'''"
activities will continue to be an important economic element in the watershed
affected by new and existing land uses adjacent to these resource lands. Conversion
lands to other land uses may influence the continued viability of forest management
and may adversely affect area water quality.
Goal A:
Recognize and support the management of the current acreage of forest
in the subarea.
Specific Policies:
Al:
Incentives should be made available by Mason County to encourage continued
land ownership.
A2:
If land conversions from forest to other land uses occur, continued access
management activities should remain as an important. consideration
transportation routes in the subarea.
the
v~u ........ "'
A3:
Provide protection against nuisance claims for forestry uses if new development
changes the character of the areas surrounding those forestry uses.
A4:
La.qdowners adjacent to forest land uses should be made aware that forest
be managed to the property lines of the forest lands.
A5:
Promote citizen awareness and the understanding of forest practices in
through public education efforts.
Goal B:
Encourage forest management activities that comply with the Washington
Forest Practice Act.
Specific Policies:
Bl:
Forest management activities should remain in compliance with state
to minimize the physical
water
impacts to adjacent properties
watershed.
B2:
Recommendations
the Timber/Fish/Wildlife cooperative
integrated future forest management activities
Practice Act.
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
D.
RESIDENTIAL LAND USE
Statement: ·The anticipated population growth (nearly 4000 people by 1995) in the county is
predicted to occur outside of Shelton. Since the Olympia area and state government
worksites are less than 20 miles away, much of the growth may occur in this subarea. The
increased number of residences will impact the rural character of the subarea and may have a
cumulative negative impact on area water quality and other resources.
Goal A:
Ensure that site suitability and use of open space or greenbelts are considered
in the evaluation of residential development and the determination of land use
density, to improve water quality and maintain rural character of the subarea.
Specific Policies:
Al:
The physical capabilities of development sites and the potential impact on surrounding
properties should determine the site suitability of proposed developments in the
subarea. To attain this policy, the following density standards are recommended:
a.
Each parcel currently below 5 acres in size may be developed for an individual
single-family residence.
b.
For parcels 5 acres to 10 acres in size which were legally created prior to the
adoption of this Plan, parcel owners shall have the right to divide this property
into lots, the smallest of which is not less than 2.5 acres in size.
c.
For parcels greater than 10 acres in size, one of the following options shall
apply:
1) land may be divided to a density of one single-family residence per 2.5
acres by using the following density bonus strategy:
For every single-family residential lot planned into an "Open Space
Development", one additional single-family residential lot may be
added to the development, provided that at least 50% of the total land
base is designated as open space. (see open space development chart in
appendix for example densities per acreage.)
The designated open space parcel may be used for agriculture, forestry,
passive recreation, stormwater detention areas, community water
systems, on-site sewage disposal systems, and critical areas (i.e.
wetlands, steep slopes, wildlife habitat, etc).
The acreage not allocated to each individual lot shall be managed as
open space by the original owner or through an open space maintenance
agreement with individual lot owners (an example of a model open
space agreement is in the Appendix). The following two statements
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
24
should be placed on the face of the plat at the time of recording of the
open space development:
a) an open space maintenance agreement does exist, and
b) the rights to development of this acreage, other than the allowed
open space uses previously mentioned, are no longer available on
this parcel or parcels of land.
2) one single-family residence per 5 acres may be created using conventional
land segregation methods.
A2:
Innovative techniques in site planning, such as the creation of open space and
common areas and the use of clustering of individual lots and buildings, should be
used in the design of all land division proposals in the subarea.
A3:
Incentives to help design development proposals, such as density bonus, conservation
easements, and community-held open space, should be encouraged, but permitted only
in locations where land capability will allow denser development.
A4:
Planned Residential Developments (PRD's) should be encouraged so that
developments are planned in a manner which best preserves rural character, protects
critical areas and adjacent property owners, and provides necessary facilities.
A5:
Residential development should be discouraged adjacent to existing industrial areas or
those areas designated for future industrial use within the subarea.
A6:
When a local entity (county or state) takes land by eminent domain or negotiation for
a project of public purposes and reduces the size of affected properties, those affected
parcels should have the rights afforded to them that were available prior to the
eminent domain or negotiation action.
A7:
The evaluation of land division proposals in the subarea should consider the impacts
to existing and planned infrastructure, such as sewage disposal, water supply, traffic
and circulation, and fire safety.
AS:
In determining site suitability of shoreline development activities, potential short and
long term impacts to water quality should be considered, as well as any reasonable
alternative actions and/or mitigation measures.
A9:
The site design of developments should not adversely impact the current levels of
water quality and should avoid any risk of decertification of existing shellfish beds
(When a shellfish bed is decertified, commercial harvest of shellfish for human
consumption becomes illegal.)
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
25
AlO:
Accessory Living Quarters should be permitted for each primary residence provided
the Jand and the septic system are capable to support the additional use. Accessory
living quarters should be limited to 800 square feet in size, should only be used for
immediate family members, and should not be rented or leased.
All:
As recommended in the Totten-Little Skookum Watershed Action Plan, shorelines in
the subarea should be redesignated to Conservancy Shoreline Environment, to restrict
land divisions that create new lots each less than 200 feet wide.
E.
COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL LAND USES
Statement: The pressure for future commercial and industrial development may occur as
residential growth continues in the subarea. Residents are concerned about the location of
these land uses in the watershed, the physical impacts to the surrounding area, and how they
might affect the rural character and water quality of the subarea. The direction of this
commercial and industrial growth should expand in existing locations along main routes, such
as Highways U.S. 101 and S.R. 108 and the Burlington Northern Rail line servicing this
area.
Goal A:
Discourage commercial and industrial development that adversely impacts air
and water quality in the subarea.
Specific Policies:
Al :
Commercial and industrial development should be designed and located to minimize
adverse impacts by noise, lights, and visual obstruction of the proposed use.
A2:
Site development of commercial and industrial land uses should integrate stonnwater
retention standards in the preparation, construction, and operation of the land use.
A3:
The operation of commercial and industrial land uses should not discharge wastes
directly into the waters of the State.
A4:
Industries which threaten ground or surface water should be prohibited from locating
within the planning area if the business or use cannot ensure protection of these
resources.
Goal B:
Focus commercial and industrial enterprises in locations where existing
infrastructure can support such development proposals.
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
26
Specific Policies:
B 1:
Additional commercial and industrial development in the subarea should be located
adjacent to existing commercial and industrial locations in the narrow corridor along
Highway 101, north of the Highway 101 - 108 intersection.
B2:
New and future industries seeking to locate in the planning area should be low
impact, meet all performance standards for other permitted uses, and be clustered at
designated locations which are physically suitable for the proposed
uses.
B3:
Existing commercial and industrial developments should be allowed to continue and
expand, provided that such expansion results in no adverse environmental impacts and
there is adequate infrastructure to support such expansion.
B4:
Existing commercial or industrial uses should have a preferential right to continue and
not be subject to nuisance claims if operating under accepted industry and county
performance standards.
B5:
Existing commercial and industrial uses are encouraged to use setback landscaping
along their property lines. New commercial and industrial uses should be required to
provide setback landscaping between that use and adjacent land uses.
F.
TRANSPORTATION AND CIRCULATION
Statement: With the predicted increase in residential and economic development the
region, the need for planning adequate and safe traffic routes becomes very important. Not
only will main routes bear greater traffic volumes, the access roads to new developments will
affect overall safety and will have physical and visual impacts to the subarea lands.
Goal A:
Provide an adequate secondary transportation route system (arterial and
collector routes) to improve the vehicular access off the upgraded primary
highway routes of the county and to maintain safe travel on existing public
routes for all land uses in the subarea, while at the same time discourage new
public routes which would promote more intensive development, such as the
connection of Phillips Road with Binns-Swiger Loop Road.
Specific Policies:
Al:
Road alignments in proposed subdivisions should be evaluated for the following
criteria: impacts to area traffic patterns; location in respect to topography, soil
capabilities, watercourses, and critical areas; and adequacy of road right-of-way.
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
27
A2:
Road improvements should not be made unless public review and careful evaluation
merit the need to upgrade based upon increased use or new safety regulations.
A3:
The design of new road improvements should integrate the retention and/ or detention
of stormwater resulting from the impervious travel surfaces and drainage ditching in
the road alignments.
A4:
The improvement of shoulders along loop roads and old highway spurs should be
encouraged for pedestrian, bicycle, and recreational trail uses.
A5:
All new and existing roads which cross streams should be required to provide
adequate upstream and downstream passage for anadromous and resident fish.
G.
NATURAL SYSTEMS
Statement: Residential and economic growth the subarea will mean that future land uses
may be proposed at locations which have unsuitable soils and topography or contain one of
several recognized resource values (wetlands, aquifer, vegetation cover, wildlife habitat,
etc.). Any on-going forest, farm, and mineral management activities will continue, but
public concerns about on-site and off-site impacts to subarea resources will increase.
Goal A:
Encourage the protection of the subarea natural physical systems (air, water,
and land resources) by identifying the important areas which have recognized
resource values or are potentially hazardous to life and property and by
complying with the policies and standards of the implementing ordinance of
the Mason County Comprehensive Plan, as revised.
Specific Policies:
Al:
The unique
fragile sensitive areas of the subarea should be protected from
incompatible uses.
A2:
Critical areas should be delineated throughout the subarea. Residential, commercial,
and industrial development in such areas should be closely regulated and should
follow strict safety and development standards
are tailored to each type of
critical area.
A3:
The valuable natural functions of riparian areas in wetlands, shorelines and stream
corridors should be protected.
A4:
Wetlands and floodplains of the subarea should be maintained to store and transport
peak floodwater and to maintain or improve water quality in the vicinity.
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
28
A5:
Estuary and contiguous wetlands, as well as freshwater wetlands, should be protected
through the Mason County Shoreline Master Plan and other applicable ordinances.
A6:
In areas subject to flooding, priority land uses should be forestry, agriculture and
public recreation. New development in the floodplain or actions protecting existing
developments should not involve filling within the floodplain or increase flood hazards
onsite or downstream, and should be designed to avoid damage from future flooding.
A7:
Protection of endangered and threatened plant and wildlife species and game species
and their habitat should be considered in evaluating proposed land conversions.
A8:
An updated soil survey for the subarea should be completed to aid land use
decision-making. The survey should include the current descriptions of soil physical
properties and the limitations and suitability of each soil for numerous land uses.
Goal B:
Maintain and encourage existing forest, aquacultural, agricultural, and mineral
resource lands in the subarea and discourage land conversions to non-resource
land uses.
Specific Policies:
Bl:
The general public should be educated about the location of forest, aquacultural,
agricultural, and mineral resource lands and the intrinsic nature of these land uses.
B2:
Residential and non-resource commercial and industrial uses in the areas of resource
lands should be closely regulated and should follow development standards which do
not create conflicting land uses.
B3:
Forest, aquacultural, agricultural, and mineral resource lands and uses should be
protected from nuisance claims brought about by changing land use patterns.
B4:
In reviewing proposed land divisions and land use conversions, all efforts should be
made to discourage the fragmentation of resource lands into units which do not allow
for economically viable resource uses.
Goal C:
Within the subarea, encourage the use of current open space and greenbelt
areas, including wetlands, woodlands, and natural drainage corridors.
Specific Policies:
Cl:
AU land modifications in the subarea should protect stream corridors during and after
construction and during the operation of land use activities.
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
29
C2:
The use of greenbelts and common areas should be encouraged in proposals for
residential and commercial development.
C3:
Financial incentives should be provided to landowners who protect identified open
space areas.
Goal D:
Protect or enhance existing groundwater resources in the subarea by educating
the public about the importance of high quality and reliable water sources.
Specific Policies:
D 1:
The extent of areas critical to the protection of aquifer recharge areas should be
identified and the measures needed to assure their protection and supply should be
established.
D2:
Surface water in subarea marshes, ponds, wetlands, and lakes should be recognized as
visible indicators of the groundwater regime and should be protected from possible
conversion or contamination.
D3:
Sensitive aquifer recharge areas, as an identified critical area, should be restricted to
low intensity and compatible land uses.
D4:
Community water systems should be encouraged in unsewered areas, both to avoid
existing or future contamination problems.
D5:
Land uses which cause contamination to groundwater should be brought into
compliance with the goals of the Totten-Little Skookum Watershed Action Plan and
the current standards in use by the Mason County Department of Health Services.
H.
STORMWATER AND SURFACE WATER
Statement: Land cleared of vegetation or regraded in preparation for construction is subject
to erosion from rainfall, and this sediment-laden runoff causes damage to property and
impacts downstream water quality. Along with clearing and grading, area residents are also
concerned about the increased stormwater affecting the existing land uses downstream of the
areas cleared. Additionally, increased storm water runoff diminishes the infiltration to
groundwater, thus impacting area water supplies and streamflows .
Goal A.:
Ensure that adequate controlled surface water management and infiltration is
part of each development proposal.
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
30
Specific Policies:
Al:
Residential, recreational, and commercial
uses proposed in the planning area
should use stormwater management techniques to control runoff and sedimentation.
These techniques, such as on-site retention, detention, and infiltration, should protect
natural drainage ways and associated steep slopes, wetlands, floodplains, and erosion
areas, and should keep additional surface flows from running off the project site.
A2:
All land use requests, from single-family residences to subdivisions, or from
commercial to industrial uses, should be evaluated for drainage or stormwater impacts
and permitted only after meeting necessary development requirements.
A3:
All development proposals should incorporate measures to minimize impervious areas
and altered land surfaces in order to maintain
normal rates of surface water
infiltration and overland flows.
A4:
Stormwater management and surface drainage systems should be integrated into land
use proposals as major design elements which enhance water quality, open space,
wildlife, fisheries, recreation, and aesthetic values throughout the county.
I.
ON-SITE SEWAGE DISPOSAL AND TREATMENT
Statement: Most residents of the subarea rely on their on-site sewage systems for sewage
disposal and treatment. Malfunctioning systems have been shown to degrade both surface
and subsurface water quality in upland areas and in the streams and inlets of Puget Sound.
Since additional residential development is expected to compound these problems, county
residents are faced with designing and constructing new on-site sewage systems and
monitoring existing and new systems to control degrading water quality.
Goal A:
As stated in the Totten-Little Skookum Watershed Action Plan, encourage the
development of an overall program by Mason County Environmental Health
Department to provide current information about individual on-site sewage
systems and to improve the monitoring of existing and new on-site sewage
systems.
Specific Policies:
Al:
The database on each on-site sewage system in the subarea should be accessible to
system installers and pumpers and to county health and assessor staff, as well as to
the real estate Multiple Listing Service for disclosure in the sale of a residence.
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
31
A2:
Re-examination of the county on-site sewage system criteria should focus on the site
suitability of the proposed sewage system location; factors to consider include soil
physical properties, slope, depth to water table, proximity to surface water, lot size,
and number of bedrooms in the residence.
A3:
On-site sewage systems should be maintained in a condition that will ensure
longevity, protect public health, and prevent contamination of surface and ground
waters. Monitoring inspections and necessary maintenance, such as pumping the
system, should be required every five years or less, based upon the size or design of
the system or upon a county Environmental Health recommendation.
A4:
On-site sewage systems which do not meet minimum design standards should be
upgraded at times of opportunity, such as the sale of the residence, home remodeling,
and system repair.
A5:
A fmancial assistance program, such as revolving loan with a payback provision,
should be provided to aid area property owners in repairing or replacing their failing
on-site sewage systems.
A6:
The Mason County Shoreline Master Program should be revised to prohibit any direct
outfalls from sewage treatment plants or any other point source discharges into
smface waters of the subarea, and to maintain the 100-foot shoreline setback for
ou-site sewage systems currently in effect.
J.
CLEARING AND GRADING
Statement: Land alterations are expected to occur when new residential, recreational, and
economic development takes place in the subarea. Such activities may impact the water
quality in area streams and the Puget Sound inlets.
Goal A:
Enforce the performance standards of U.B.C. Chapter 70 (Excavation and
Grading) or a county-wide Clearing and Grading Ordinance, when adopted, in
the evaluation of new land use activities and development proposals in the
subarea.
Specific Policies:
Al:
Activities which involve vegetation removal and surface alterations, except those
actions covered by state forest practice rules, should be regulated by an established
permit and review process and should be consistent with the Natural Systems and
Stormwater goals and policies contained in this Subarea Plan.
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
32
Goals and Policies:
Goal A:
Ensure that the Southeast Mason County Subarea Plan is implemented through
effective development standards and is subject to periodic review to allow for
revisions as needed.
Specific Policies:
Al:
To implement the goals and policies of the Southeast Mason County Subarea Plan,
Department of Community Development should work closely with area residents to
establish and adopt an understandable development guide that sets forth the evaluation
standards and criteria, and a fair application review process.
A2:
All capital improvement programs proposed for the subarea, including the six-year
road plan and sewer projects, should be coordinated with the goals and policies of the
Subarea Plan.
A3:
The Department of Community Development and citizens of the subarea should keep
open lines of discussion about the effectiveness of the Subarea Plan and meet at fiveyear intervals to make plan revisions as needed.
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
34
A2:
Site preparation by clearing and/or grading, development, and other upland activities
should be undertaken using methods which minimize increased runoff to adjacent
properties and degradation to area water quality.
A3:
Appropriate erosion control practices should be required in approving proposed site
preparation and development activities; such techniques include natural vegetation
buffers, proper sloping, detention or retention ponds, silt curtains, hydroseeding, and
slope surface protection materials.
VI.
PLAN IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY
The guidelines for development which have been detailed in the previous sections provide
insight about the important considerations to be taken by the public and by the county as
residential growth is anticipated in the southern part of Mason County. For these guidelines
to be effective, the residents of the subarea and the Mason County Department of
Community Development must prepare an implementing ordinance.
A subarea plan implementing ordinance would put these plan policies into action by using
development standards. The ordinance would be prepared through a similar process as the
Subarea Plan itself. Citizens and Department of Community Development staff would
assemble the ordinance text. Public review and comment would take place before the Mason
County Planning Commission and the Board of County Commissioners. The final ordinance
would be adopted by the Board of County Commissioners following their complete review.
Once the ordinance is completed, the Department of Community Development would use the
ordinance standards and criteria for the evaluation of land uses and developments proposed in
the Southeast Mason County subarea. This application review process using these criteria
would be confined to proposals occurring in the subarea. Department of Community
Development may recommend special conditions on certain projects in accordance with the
standards detailed in the implementing ordinance.
Another aspect of plan implementation is the inclusion of new public concerns to update the
goals and policies of the Subarea Plan, if the trends in development merit changes in the
Subarea Plan. The Plan is not a static document and can only be based upon current
conditions and predictions of what may occur. If new growth is greater than expected or
causes unanticipated impacts, certain elements of the Subarea Plan may need re-examination.
The Subarea Plan should be reviewed at five-year intervals to monitor whether new
development has changed conditions in the subarea and to include new issues brought up by
public comments.
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
33
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Aquifer An underground bed or stratum of earth, gravel, or porous stone that contains
enough quantity to yield usable amounts of water to wells and springs.
Aquifer Recharge Area Ground above an aquifer where water moves into the aquifer.
Best Management Practices A method designed to prevent or reduce the amount of pollution
generated by nonpoint sources to a level compatible with water quality goals.
Conventional Land Segregation Method Typical division of land into set lot sizes, regardless
of land features and sensitive or critical areas; such segregation is often done without
provisions for open space, clustering, or buffers.
Development The construction, reconstruction, conversion, structural alteration, relocation
or enlargement of any structure, and any mining, excavation, landfill or other land
disturbance.
Enhanc~
Those efforts undertaken to improve habitat or increase fish, shellfish and other
aquatic resources for general public benefit.
Floodplain Land area susceptible to inundation by stream derived waters with a one percent
chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year (100 year floodplain).
Groundwater Water below the surface that occupies the free space in soil, sand, gravel or
rock.
Open Space an area of land essentially unimproved and set aside or designated for private
use by the original owner or for use by the owners of lands adjoining such open space; no
construction of structures is allowed except for facilities appurtenant to community water and
on-site sewage disposal systems.
Open Space Development A development designed in such a manner that designates at least
50% of the original land base as open space for the purpose of preserving rural character
the Southeast Mason County Subarea. The designated open space may be utilized and
managed for such uses as agriculture, forestry, passive recreation, storm water detention
areas, community water systems, on-site sewage disposal systems, and critical areas (i.e
wetlands, steep slopes, wildlife habitat, etc.)
Qpen Space Maintenance Agreement As an element of an open space development, this legal
document is recorded with the deeds of the property designated as open space and with those
properties adjoining; such agreement shall restrict the use of that property to uses consistent
with natural resource management and/ or conservation and sha U remove the rights to develop
the subject property for other than resource or conservation e<;es.
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUf,AREA PLAN
35
Riparian Area Land along a natural stream, river, or freshwater and marine shoreline.
Riparian vegetation includes all plant life associated with these lands.
Sensitive Aquifer Recharge Areas Those aquifers which have been identified as being
susceptible to contamination or having low water bearing capabilities.
Sensitive or Critical Areas Those lands which are subject to natural hazards; support unique,
fragile or valuable elements of the natural environment; or contain valuable cultural
resources. These can include: sensitive aquifer areas, 100-year floodplains, wetlands,
geologically hazardous areas, marine bluffs, shorelines, and fish bearing waters.
Shoreline Areas Those areas that are within the jurisdiction of the Shoreline Master Program
(within 200 feet of the ordinary high water mark).
Wetlands Those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a
frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do
support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions.
Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs and similar areas.
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
36
MODEL
OPEN SPACE AGREEl\tiENT
·whereas there has been created by survey open space to be used by associated lot owners for
the common use and individual enjoyment, therefore the following agreement is hereby
agreed to:
Maintenance Responsibility. The land has been surveyed and subdivided into lots and open
space, and the survey has been filed of record under Auditor's File No. __ . Each lot
owner hereby grants to all other lot owners within the survey an easement for ingress,
egress, and utilities over, under, and across the open space as shown on the survey.
Maintenance of all open space shown on the survey map shall be the responsibility of the
owners thereon. The lot owners shall form an association which when formed shall direct
the maintenance of the open space and expend such funds as may be necessary to meet the
maintenance standards as described below. Prior to the formation of the lot owners
association, each lot owner shall have an equal responsibility
maintenance of the said
a
open space. Said association's agreement shall include, but not be limited to, providing
to prorate
specific individual or entity as an open space manager who has the
assessments and the ability to collect for the same, with lien rights to enforce collection.
Each lot title shall include its prorated share of ownership of the open space and be assessed
its prorated share of property tax, etc.
Maintenance Standards. Maintenance of the open space shall include, but not be limited to,
the policing, cleanup, and use supervision as necessary to enable the lot owners to use the
open space for common usage and enjoyment.
Maintenance Fee. Each lot owner shall be liable for an equal prorata portion of the costs
necessary to maintain the open space. Said maintenance fee
be established by the
association, or if said association has not been formed, said fee
be established as the
equal prorata portion of the actual costs of maintenance work performed. In addition to
constituting a personal liability of each lot owner,
unpaid open space assessments shall
give rise to a lien being placed against delinquent owner's respective lot(s). The
management entity at the time the lien arises shall have the right to place a
against the
delinquent owner's lot which may be later foreclosed for the benefit of all lot owners by the
said management entity or the association, in the same manner and procedure as a
foreclosure of MECHANICS UEN as set forth in statutes C.W. 60.04.120 and 60.04.130.
The statutes are hereby incorporated by reference.
annually on or before April 1st of each
As previously stated, all assessments shall be
year, and if not paid by May 1st of that year, a
shall immediately be recorded against
those tracts of land whose owners have not paid. All unpaid assessments shall bear an
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
38
OPEN SPACE DEVELOPMENT
DENSITIES PER ACREAGE INFORMATIONAL CHART "'"'
**
PARCEL SIZE IN ACRES
NUMBER OF
RESIDENTIAL LOTS
(CONVENTIONAL)
RESIDENTIAL LOTS
WITH
OPEN SPACE BONUS
MINIMUM ACRES
OF OPEN SPACE
10
2
4
5
12.5
2
5
6.25
15
3
6
7.5
20
4
8
10
22.5
4
9
11.25
25
5
10
12.5
30
6
12
15
35
7
14
17.5
40
8
16
20
45
9
18
22.5
50
10
20
25
60
12
24
30
70
14
28
35
80
16
32
40
90
18
36
45
100
20
40
50
120
24
48
60
Minimum lot sizes are also subject to soil types, as determined by Environmental Health Pept..
SOUTHEAST MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
37
APPENDIX A:
LITTLE SKOOKUM INLET RESOURCE COMMITEE
P.O. BOX 1157
SHELTON, WA. 98584
DE'AR RESIDENTS:
We are a neighborhood planoin~ &roup interested in preseninz the rural
atmosphere in our community.
county b
your
input b vital for a planDed
ta.k~ the time to
quetionaire.
You can either told and ~end back the quesdooaire via maU or
it orr ·at either Taylor Towne erocery store or at the Squwn indian
resturaot.
Please try to return it by March 17th.
You are invited to meeting to discuss the
results on Thurs. April 13th
at Skookum Hall at 7:00 p...m.. SE .)480
Rd.
1989
SOUTH MASON COUNTY SUB-AREA SURVEY
1.
What neigl:lborhood do you live in or own
_ a . .Arc:ldia Pt.
_e.
· _ b . K.amilche Pt.
_ _c. Lynch Rd.
___g.
_ _d..
2.
Bloomfield Rd..
property
Taylor Towuc
Cole Rd..
K.amilche valley
Kamilche Pt. Rd.
What is your primary rel:uionship to this survey
Primary (full-time) residence
Absentee landowner
Absentee owner of business
Pan-time residence
_R!:!ident owner of bwin~s
_Dwelling owner
3.
Do you own or rent your dwelling?
_ _ _ Own/buying dwelling
_ _ _ RenC/lease dwelling
_ _ _ Have dweHing provided
4.
Where are the memben of your llousebold employed?
_ _ Home-based(se!f employed)
__Thunton county
_Mason county
_Kiuap county
_ _ retired
_ _ other
5.
What is the total number of people in household?
number
6.
Rate from 1 to 10, 1 being the most imporumt reason. 2 the second reason and so forth.
chose to live or vacation in this area?
_dose to work
_friends or family live near
___job opportunities
_ _ rural setting
_good schools
_
born here
_like particular dwelling
_price and/or availability of housing
_wanted acc:eu to water
_other (please· specify)
you
7. What do you .l.ik:. most about your neighborhood?
8. What do djs!ike most about your neighborhood?
9.
Wha.t do you consider to be the most pressing problem in your area?
!..AND USE AND HOUSING
10. What is the appro:ci.m..ue size of the property in tJlU area t.b1 you Uve or vacation on?
_1!2 ace or leu
_more th.an 1/2 aac but less thm 1 aac
_ l acre or more but less t.hm 2 ~
_ 2 or more ll.aeS but less t.hm 5 acres
_s or more ll.aeS but less than 10 acres
_10 or more aces (how I:!Wly7 ____)
11. What arc the uses of your land at this time?
_ _ agriculture
____;r:;aeational
_residential
_commercial
.........light industry
_forestry
.........~
.........mvc:nm.an
_other (plea.se specify)
12. Do you derive some i.n&::ome from the .use of your lmd1
_ ___,yes
_no
a. If yes.. is this income derived from:
_ _ forestry _agriculture
_aquaculture
_housing
_ _ business
_other (please specify)
13. Do you foresee a change in the primary use of your land in the
_ _ yes
_no
_don't lclow
nat
5 years?
14. If you plan to change the primary use of your land in the ne:a 5 years. what do you plan to do
with it?
___ fum
_subdivide __ develop light industrial
_build house
_develop commercial
_other (please specify)
lS. What.
____ industrial
16.
17. How do
18. Do you
or
vegetation
_appose
19. I! duplexes and
undeveloped
housing
2!'1. How do
uc:u?
in rural residemial
_ _ oppose
21. Would
_yes.
_yes~
___yes.
_.,no. none u all
somewhere in the sub·
_yes. for
_yes. for
_no
tm..ITIES
system do you have?
24. Do you think your sewage
___ yes
no
25. Has your septic system been pumped in the last five years?
___ yes
___ no _ _ maybe
__ don't lalow
26. Are you in favor of a septic:: system inspection?
___ yes
__ no _maybe
_don't lmow
27. What is the sow-ce of your water supply?
_ _ private well (l -9 · homes)
___private spring or creek
___ community well for 10 or more houses
_ _ other (please specify)
28. Is your water supply adequate for your household neeru?
_always enough
_ _u.mally enough
__usually not enough
_don't know
29. Is insufficient water rupply a problel;n in your area?
___ l'.lajor problem
_ _ minor problem
_ n o problem
_ _don't lmow
30. Have you ever had problems with d.rinld.ng
_ _major problem
WIW:.r quality?
what? _ _ _ _...;__ _ __
_minor problem
___ no problem
:n~
Is poor "ll'r.U.C' quality a prob!e.m in your area?
_major problem
_minor proble.m
_no problem
_don't lmow
32.
b poor salt water quality a problem in your ara7
_major problem
_minor problem
_no problem
_don't lmow
· 33.
Has the present lmd I.I.Se dfeaed your dom.estic: -nu:r supply/marine
_major problem
_no problem
34. Would yon
_yes
inu::remd in b«:nmmg
_maybe-
"~~'r.U.C'?
_ _ minor problem
_don't know
x:w:m: involved in a
~ p!mmmg
_dc:m't
_..]JiJ
mow
effort for your
~?
Do you have my additional co~ on rubjeas you believe were not ~y covered
the survey?
35.
I!' you
4
m
t 1 Wh1st are too
~of
uour land at th13 time?
12! Do uou derive !Orne i I'!Ctlme from Ute
131Do
~e
of
ur land?
JTH MASON CDUNTY SUB-AREA SURVEY
)ULTS
l7 !"W do I.JOU f~l about !tror:t:rer l~nd tee ii"!ana-Qement to protect vater QU81itl/?
92i~tronol u favor
58ifaY"Or
6iop~
4i:trongly ooo:o::e
!
7! oo opinion
i
~ hou::i I1:Q
117i~tronQll! favor
1Bi Do
i
;
l
i
;
I.)OU
think
oevelopmenb ~hould be required to
ret~i n e
buffer or _!l!tM~ ~tation around
36lfswr
4iop~
Sl!!trooq!_y_ ~£.~----··- ____ .
1 Oioo opinion
19! If duplexes etc .....-ere built :3hould buffer be left to qive ~me density ttS 'inole fa mil_!! hou:rlnq?
t 12013tro!!ll y_!awr
:
I
i
I
I
40~1~r
Zlop~
4!3tronql !l op~
11 i oo opinion
20H-Ia\r/ do IPI.I feel about ~man home-~ fa mil 1.1 i nd!13trie3 and/or b!13i ~ 1nJ:t!1:!1 r
i 21 i3tronQI y f8Wr
i
i
77~f~r
i
391oo~
14!:strollQIIJ oo~
!
3Zioo o!)1mcm
I
21 i'Would ij!)U lite to~ further develOI)R'Ient of reta'il bwi~ ~U'M'w'Mre in~'Ub-eres?
i
I
44-i ~ cnnviell!C::e :stcr~ in dboened 31'MI1 rmll a:nter,$
13i 9e', 3p~ out on ~Mjor 3t~b in the sre::a
t
8i~. anwhere
! 90loo none at an
6rother
f
22!Wouid- IPU favor i nd~ri15l zcni l"l!l to ef!C!lunqe i m.htrtrisl deveh:mment ~~hemin the ~ub-ere:a?
1 4i ~ ior 311 1ool..l3try
i
a
:
Z9! ~ for light i ndustrTJ
i 118too
Siother
I
dbtl038J ~~m di:J QOU ~?
231Wtm tuDe of
J 172f priwte :eotic tsnt
Of priwte ~POOl
!
1 ioutdoor privt;
i
f
I
¥
Dicommunitq ~r '~tern
uou thinlc r.,our ~ di3~1
24lDo
! 170i~
1 !oo
~~ptem
i3 ~UI!te?
7 i f'li;6 ube
Sioorl't ~OO"W
25
~ ~JQur ~otic st~tem ~n
1 08i 1,le:l
55ino
Zlmaube
~oon·t ~OCN
oumoe:d in the l~t five !Je8r:!l?
I
26 Are
'
~u
in i:wor of a ~otic 3ll'tem in:cection?
1 03i l)e3
zs;no
l
i
I
30ltrn~IJ0z
11 !don't t:OO'al
!27lWhat i3 the :ource of (,lOUr \later suoolu?
i
j
109!priV8le 'Yell ( 1-9ho~}
I
i 12ipri.,..,te 3Pri !'X1 or creek
•! ' 54!asmml!nit!J Yell for J0 or more hou:es
I !'
1!other
i28i!3 your 'Yater ~uppl!J ~uate for !JOUr tnsehold ~cb?
! i: 14-44ai'Y8113 enouqh
6~oon't kOO"w'
f !
j I
23i u:3ual y enouqh
!
Hu:3ually nat eoouoh
!'
i29il3 in::u.rfficient 'Water ~upplq 8 problem in uour area?
Slmeior oroblem
!
!
i i 11 5! oo problem
i
23irmoor problem
~
i
i 29!oon·t ki'XI'¥
f
i30itia've you ever ll8d problems "with drinking 'YS'ter QU81itq?
9~mejor !)roblem
!
!
126i oo oroblem
i
i
Z9iminor oroolem
i
i !
?;don ·t k!'XI'¥
!31 ils poor oyeter quahtu a problem 1n your area? -WIW
7!rr..ajor problem
t !
! i 1 021 no problem
! ! 26iminor problem
I
j
f
I
-
f
I
I
I
36ioon·t k:ncr.'
i
i3:ZH:r P'XJI" !::!It 'w'ster •llMiitQ a problem in oour ar.::? -toH
8i m8ior problem
i i
! •! 6 7! no problem
i i 23iminor problem
I i 69~don't k~
i 331 H8:s~~nt hmd u:se effected uour dome3tic wter 3UPPI q/meri m Yater?
~rmior problem
f :!
i i 11 ~no problem
i ! 13~rmnor problem
! 40!don ·t k:~
l34iWould you be tntere!lterl in becominq more inwlved in a citizen olanmna effort for t)Our area?
l ! 36!1}C:S
47imaube
j
60ina
I
i
i
16idan"t
~naw
.
UR NEISHBORHOOD?
fJN! RONMENT
SUPPORT fOR FOREST MANAGEMENT
i
MOCH BURACRACY
YtlUR NEJSHBORHOOD?
··--r .. ··· r
~DEVELOPMENT -POPUlATION
lDO;s RUHHI
·------
GROWTH
lllSE
lSPEEDERS
1GARBAGEIUTIER
NTER
1;SLASH BURHI
1~GRAVEl PIT
1!RY'S
1 LOG SORT YARD
1 GOY. INT'ERYEHTION
1 GROUNDWATER
1 HONPERt".ANEMT RESI
9.
W~_T
DO YOU
_Q)~IDER
THE HOST PRESSING PROBlEM IN YOUR
!.
NUMBER !
RESPONSES
30
19
12
8
8
6
6
4
4
4
COMMENT
!WATER QUALITY /POLLUTION
!DEVELOPMENT /TOO MLCH GROWTH
lLACK Of LAHD USE PLANHI HG
i lOGG1 ~;'CLEAR CUITI NG
!SPEEDERS ON roADS
!LITIER AND GARBAGE
ir::a:iS RUNNING LOSE
!AIR QUALITY
!COUNTY ROAD
ii1JUSES HOT MAINTAINED
#.ES
iEHPlOYMENT
3
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
1
; fiDHOHIC STRA nfiCATION
1
!SEWAGE
iSUBDI-,.'ISIONS
!TRAffiC
!LAW ENFORCEMENT
iHERBIClDE SPAAYIP\G
H.AC~ Qf RESPECT FOR EHVI ROHMENT
!DISRESPECT FOR OTHfR"S PROPERlY
!LACX: OF PUBLJC TRANSPORTATION
iORUG DEAUNG
iUJW DRIHIClNGWATER
1
;KJDS
1
1
!WATER SYSTEM
1
1
1
lLANO WASTE
i~~?~F
PICX: UP
;VANDALJSM
!TRESPASSERS
~flGHBORHOOD?
interest charge of two percent (2 %) per month beginning May 1st of each year of
delinquency and continue until said assessments, plus accrued interest and recording fees,
have been paid in full. On September 30th of each year, the management committee or
company shall submit to an attorney for foreclosing proceedings a list of those individuals
who have not paid their assessments. The defaulting lot owner shall pay the cost of
processing, researching the title, and all other costs, which shall become a lien on the
property.
Payment. The cost of any work shall be divided by the number of lots as shown on the
survey and each lot shall pay a lot's share for each lot that an owner owns on the date that
the work is done. If a lot owner fails to pay his share when due, said payment shall be a
lien on said owner's lot or lots and shall be collected in the same manner as a debt due an a
defaulted debt not secured by a mortgage.
Termination. The lot owner's responsibility and liability for open space maintenance shall
cease for those open spaces or portions thereof which are dedicated or conveyed for public
use and have been accepted by Mason County or any other public body for said pmposes.
SOUTHEAS: MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN
39
SOUTH MASON COUNTY SUBAREA PLAN SURVEY
RESULTS
QUESTION NO. 6
Rate the most important reason you chose to live or vacation in this area.
Ratings 1 to 10 are added together for total.
Rural Setting
1150
liked particular dwelling
602
VVanted access to water
568
Price/availability of housing
485
Close t(r work
' 469··
----------~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Friends/family .·live near
449
Job opportunity
236
Born here
223
Schools
168
Other
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