Resource Ordinance (current)

Resource Ordinance (current)
MASON COUNTY
RESOURCE ORDINANCE
SECTION
TITLE
PAGE
17.01.010
17.01.020
17.01.040
17.01.050
17.01.060
17.01.061
17.01.062
17.01.064
17.01.066
17.01.068
17.01.070
17.01.080
17.01.090
17.01.100
17.01.102
17.01.104
17.01.110
17.01.120
17.01.130
17.01.140
17.01.150
17.01.160
17.01.170
17.01.180
17.01.190
17.01.200
17.01.210
17.01.220
17.01.230
17.01.240
AUTHORITY.......................................................................................................... 2
PURPOSE ............................................................................................................. 2
ESTABLISHMENT OF DESIGNATED LANDS ..................................................... 2
RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER REGULATIONS . . . .............................................. 5
LONG-TERM COMMERCIAL FOREST LANDS ................................................... 7
AGRICULTURAL RESOURCE LANDS ..............................................................11
INHOLDING LANDS............................................................................................ 13
AGRICULTURE & FOREST MANAGEMENT NON-DESIGNATED LANDS ...... 15
MINERAL RESOURCE LANDS .......................................................................... 16
ADDITIONAL RESOURCE LAND PROVISIONS ............................................... 20
WETLANDS ........................................................................................................ 21
CRITICAL AQUIFER RECHARGE AREAS ........................................................ 37
FREQUENTLY FLOODED AREAS . . . .............................................................. 48
LANDSLIDE HAZARD AREAS............................................................................ 49
SEISMIC HAZARD AREAS................................................................................. 59
EROSION HAZARD AREAS ............................................................................... 61
FISH AND WILDLIFE HABITAT CONSERVATION AREAS … .......................... 63
DEVELOPMENT REVIEW PROCESS ............................................................... 89
GENERAL EXEMPTIONS................................................................................... 95
NON CONFORMING USES……...…………………………… ……. ……............96
VARIANCES FROM STANDARDS .................................................................... 97
TEMPORARY USES .......................................................................................... 98
EMERGENCY ACTIONS .................................................................................... 99
APPEALS .......................................................................................................... 100
JUDICIAL REVIEW ........................................................................................... 100
ENFORCEMENT............................................................................................... 100
RESTORATION ................................................................................................ 101
SEVERABILITY ................................................................................................. 102
EVALUATION.................................................................................................... 102
DEFINITIONS................................................................................................... 103
J:\GMSHARE\Current Regulations\Res Ord June 16, 2009.doc
Mason County Resource Ordinance
1
Revised June 16, 2009
MASON COUNTY
RESOURCE ORDINANCE
17.01.010
AUTHORITY
This Chapter shall be known as the Mason County Resource Ordinance and is hereby adopted under the authority of
Chapters 36.32, 36.70, 36.70A, 39.34, 58.17, 76.09, 84.33, 84.34, and 90.58 RCW. It shall become effective as
provided by law.
17.01.020
PURPOSE
The purpose of the Resource Ordinance is to protect Mason County's natural resource lands and critical areas while
the County develops its comprehensive plan and associated regulations. The regulations established in this Chapter,
adopted by Ordinance No. 77-93, seek to:
Establish uniform processes to be used by Mason County for the review of land use and development proposals within
critical areas and resource lands.
Conserve resource lands for productive economic use by identifying and designating resource lands where the
principal and preferred land use is commercial resource management, and by protecting the same from incompatible
land uses.
Protect the identified critical areas in their natural functions, along with air and water quality, to sustain the County's
quality of life.
Encourage creative development techniques and land use practices which will help to accomplish these goals.
This ordinance fulfills the goals of the State Growth Management Act (RCW 36.70A et al) and the State Environment
Policy Act (RCW 43.21).
17.01.040
A.
ESTABLISHMENT OF DESIGNATED LANDS
DESIGNATION AUTHORITY
Under authority of 36.70 and 36.70A RCW, portions of Mason County are hereby designated as critical
areas and/or resource lands as are necessary to protect the natural environment, protect public and
private property, maintain and enhance natural resource based industries, and enhance the health, safety
and welfare of the public.
B.
SCOPE OF AUTHORITY
1.
Within the designated resource lands and critical areas established by this Chapter, all buildings
or structures which shall be erected, reconstructed, altered, enlarged or relocated; all lots or
parcels which shall be created, used or developed; all grading or land clearing which shall be
engaged in, and all other land uses, shall be in compliance with this Chapter. All development
and uses which are not "Permit Required", or "Conditional Uses" must meet the terms of this
Chapter, and any applicable regulations listed in Section 17.01.050. This Chapter establishes
standards and review processes for all proposed uses which shall be followed prior to
commencement of those uses.
2.
Areas in Mason County in one or more critical areas or resource lands, may be subject to
regulations pursuant to this Chapter. When an area is designated under more than one critical
area or resource land, all applicable sections of this Chapter shall be met; provided any and all
permit processing shall occur concurrently. In case of conflict, the more protective provision shall
prevail.
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Revised June 16, 2009
C.
BOUNDARIES OF DESIGNATED LANDS
1.
Designated resource lands and critical areas are bounded and defined, in part, as shown on the
following official maps of Mason County, which together with all explanatory materials contained
thereon, are hereby made a part of this Chapter. These maps will automatically be updated as
new data becomes available.
a.
"Mason County Long-Term Commercial Forest and Inholdings as shown on the
Development Areas Map 1"
b.
“Water Type Reference Maps of Mason County”, Washington Department of Natural
Resources.
c.
"Mason County Soil Survey Map", United States Department of Agriculture; Series 1951,
No. 9.
d.
"Mason County Critical Aquifer Recharge Areas Map"
e.
"The Flood Insurance Study for Mason County", U.S. Federal Emergency Management
Agency
f.
"National Wetlands Inventory", U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and all Mason County
Maps referencing wetlands.
g.
The approximate location and extent of critical fish and wildlife habitat areas as displayed in
the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) Priority Habitat and Species
(PHS) Program database.
h.
Kelp and eelgrass beds, identified by the Department of Natural Resources Aquatic Lands
Division and the Department of Ecology, including but not limited to locations of kelp and
eelgrass beds compiled in the Puget Sound Environmental Atlas.
i.
Herring and smelt spawning times and locations outlined in WAC 220-110-240 through
220-110-260 and the Puget Sound Environmental Atlas.
j.
Other maps adopted in specific sections of the Resource Ordinance.
Each map shall state the source or sources of scientific and other methodologies used in the
determination of boundaries, and all maps shall be individually stored and available for review at
the Mason County Department of Community Development, except for the Priority Habitat and
Species Program data, which is available to the public from the WDFW.
2.
The actual presence or absence of lands which meet the designation criteria for a specific critical
area or resource land shall govern the treatment of a specific development proposal. When
classification criteria contain both map references and non-map criteria to be reviewed on-site, the
non-map criteria shall take precedence. When, through project review, lands or waters are
discovered which are required by the text of this Chapter to be designated in another classification
than that shown on the map, the text designation shall take precedence over mapping, and any
development therein or thereon shall comply with this Chapter. The property owner or the County
may initiate a reclassification procedure pursuant to Section 17.01.130 of this Chapter, wherein
any official map shall also be amended to conform to the redesignation.
3.
Interpretation of Boundaries
The following rules shall be used to determine the precise location of any designation boundary
shown on any official critical area or resource land map of Mason County:
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Revised June 16, 2009
4.
a.
Boundaries shown as following or approximately following the limits of any city shall be
construed as following such limits.
b.
Boundaries shown as following or approximately following roads or streets shall be
construed to follow the centerline of such roads or streets.
c.
Boundaries which follow or approximately follow platted lot lines or assessor's parcel
boundary lines shall be construed as following such lines.
d.
Boundaries shown as following or approximately following section lines, half-section lines,
or quarter-section lines shall be construed as following such lines.
e.
Boundaries shown as following or approximately following shorelines of any lakes or
Puget Sound shall be construed to follow the ordinary high water lines of such bodies of
water, and, in the event of change in the ordinary high water line, shall be construed as
moving with the actual ordinary high water line.
f.
Boundaries shown as following or approximately following the centerline of streams,
rivers, or other continuously flowing water courses shall be construed as following the
channel centerline of such water courses taken midway between the ordinary high water
marks of such channel, and, in the event of a natural change in the location of such
streams, rivers, or other water courses, the designation boundary shall be construed as
moving with the channel centerline.
g.
Boundaries shown as separated from, and parallel or approximately parallel with, any of
the features listed in paragraphs a through f above shall be construed to be parallel with
such features and at such distances therefrom as are shown on the map.
Interpretation of Parcel Sizes
The following rules shall be used to interpret parcel or property sizes for determinations in
classifications, designations, and regulations of this Chapter:
5.
a.
Parcels legally described as 1/256th of a section shall be equivalent to 2.5 acres (1.08
hectares).
b.
Parcels legally described as 1/128th of a section shall be equivalent to 5 acres (2.15
hectares).
c.
Parcels legally described as 1/64th of a section shall be equivalent to 10 acres (4.03
hectares).
d.
Parcels legally described as 1/32nd of a section shall be equivalent to 20 acres (8.06
hectares).
e.
Parcels legally described as 1/16th of a section shall be equivalent to 40 acres (16.12
hectares).
f.
Parcels legally described as 1/8th of a section shall be equivalent to 80 acres (32.24
hectares).
g.
Property legally described as 1 section shall be equivalent to 640 acres (257.92 hectares).
Preferential Right To Manage Resources - "Right to Forestry", "Right to Farm", "Right to Mine"
Description of Preferential Rights
a.
No resource use or any of its component activities shall be or become a nuisance, private
Mason County Resource Ordinance
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Revised June 16, 2009
or public, by any changed conditions in or about the locality thereof after the same has
been in operation for more than five years, when such operation was not a nuisance at
the time the operation began; provided that the provisions of this subsection shall not
apply whenever a nuisance results from the negligent or improper operation of any such
operation or its component activities, and the property owner follows the standards of this
Chapter.
17.01.050
A.
b.
A resource operation shall not be found to be a public or private nuisance if the operation
conforms to local, state, and federal law and best management practices.
c.
A farm or forest operation shall not be restricted to time of day or days of the week, but
shall be conducted according to best management practices pursuant to State law.
d.
A farm or forest operation shall be free from excessive or arbitrary regulation.
RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER REGULATIONS
GENERAL PROVISION
No permit granted pursuant to this Chapter shall remove an applicant's obligation to comply in all respects with
the applicable provisions of any other Federal, State, or local law or regulation, including, but not limited to, the
acquisition of any other required permit or approval.
B.
STATE ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT
This Chapter is a officially adopted land use policy of Mason County and shall be a basis for analyzing
development proposals pursuant to 43.21c RCW. The areas described on adopted critical area maps,
pursuant to Section 17.01.040.C.1, are declared sensitive areas under provisions of WAC 197-11-908.
C.
MASON COUNTY POLICIES AND REGULATIONS
1.
The following adopted County policies and regulations shall be enforced consistent with the terms of
this Chapter:
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
f.
g.
h.
i.
Uniform Building Code
Uniform Fire Code
Mason County Health Code
Mason County Environmental Policy Ordinance
Mason County Mobile Home and Recreational Vehicle Ordinance
Mason County 6-year Transportation Improvement Program
Title 16, Mason County Subdivision Ordinance including Large Lot Requirements
Parking Standards Ordinance
Other adopted ordinances by Mason County
Where this Chapter is found inconsistent with any of the above documents, the more applicable terms
shall prevail. All county application forms, review procedures, or standards that are inconsistent with
this Chapter shall be amended within three months of adoption of this Chapter; except where to do so
would require approval by State authorities, or extended local public review, in which case, no time
limit is established.
2.
Responsibilities of Mason County Departments of Building, Health and Public Works.
For all development applications under the purview of the Mason County Building Official, Health
Director, and/or Public Works Director, and in the course of their respective standard site inspection
programs, a site inspection shall be performed to determine whether the site has lands, waters or
shorelands that are likely to meet the designation criteria for one or more County Resource Lands or
Mason County Resource Ordinance
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Critical Areas. If a site is found likely to contain such lands, the Building Official, Health Director and/or
Public Works Director shall notify the Director of Community Development of that interpretation and
any permit under their authority shall not be approved until:
D.
a.
The Director of Community Development finds that the site does not contain any lands,
shorelands, or waters subject to regulations under this Chapter; or
b.
The Director of Community Development finds that the site does contain lands, shorelands,
or waters subject to regulations under this Chapter and the proposed development is in
compliance with all regulatory and procedural requirements of this Chapter.
SHORELINE MASTER PROGRAM AND FLOOD DAMAGE PREVENTION REGULATIONS
All policies and regulations of this Chapter are compatible and consistent with the following adopted County
policies and regulations:
1.
Mason County Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance (MCFDPO)
2.
Mason County Shoreline Master Program (MCSMP)
While there are no inherent conflicts between this Chapter and the MCFDPO, and the MCSMP, there may be
sections that overlap as in the case of Section 17.01.100 Landslide Hazard Areas. Where such Sections
overlap, the more applicable policy or regulation between either of the above documents and this Chapter
shall prevail.
All activities and developments that are subject to approval under provisions of this Chapter that also require
approval of the MCFDPO, shall be processed under provisions of the MCFDPO and shall meet all the
standards of this Chapter. Granting of approval of the MCFDPO shall constitute compliance with this Chapter.
All activities and developments that are subject to approval under provisions of this Chapter that also require
approval of the MCSMP, shall be processed concurrently with provisions of the MCSMP and shall meet all the
requirements of this Chapter.
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Revised June 16, 2009
17.01.060
LONG-TERM COMMERCIAL FOREST LANDS
The purpose of this Section is to maintain and enhance natural resource based industries, to encourage the
conservation of commercial forest lands, to have no net loss of forest lands, and to discourage incompatible land use.
A.
CLASSIFICATION
The following criteria, as they existed on January 31, 1992, shall be used in classifying Long-Term
Commercial Forest Lands:
B.
1.
Property tax classification: Property is enrolled, as of January 31, 1992 in the Open Space - Timber
or Designated Forest or Classified Forest property tax classification program pursuant to Chapter
84.33 or 84.34 RCW, or is owned by a state or local governmental body with long-term forest
management as its primary use; and
2.
Minimum block size is 5000 acres (2015 hectares) which shall consists of a minimum parcel size of
80 acres within said block, and which can be in multiple ownerships; and
3.
In any one block, no more than 5% is used for non-resource use; and
4.
The property is greater than 2 miles (3220 meters) from the city limits of Shelton or outside any
designated urban growth boundaries in Mason County, when so established by the County; and
5.
50% or more of an ownership parcel shall have a Douglas Fir Site Index of 118 (Land Grade 2) or
better pursuant to WAC 458-40-530. In addition, those property owners who have more than 4000
acres of property within Mason County that meet that criterion, shall also include all properties with a
Douglas Fir Site Index of 99 (Land Grade 3) or better pursuant to WAC 458-40-530; and
6.
Greater than 50% of the linear frontage of the perimeter of any parcel meeting classification criteria 1
- 6 above shall abut parcels that are greater than five (5) acres (2.15 hectares).
7.
In addition, the property that is equal to or greater than 40 acres in size, or is a Government Lot; and
is contiguous with property under the same ownership that meet classification criteria 1 - 7 above.
8.
In addition, property that is composed of one or more parcels 40 acres (16.12 hectares) or greater in
size that borders United States Forest Service property on more than one side, irrespective of its
consistency with classification criteria 1 - 8 above.
DESIGNATION
Lands of Mason County meeting the classification criteria for Long-Term Commercial Forest Land, and so
specified on the official Mason County Map, available at the Mason County Planning Department, titled,
"Mason County Long-Term Commercial Forest Lands and In-holding Lands, 1991" or as thereafter amended,
are hereby designated, under RCW 36.70A.060 and RCW 36.70A.170, as conservation areas for forest
resource lands of long-term commercial significance.
Exempted from this designation are the lands described in 17.01.062 Inholding Lands, in 17.01.062 A
and B.
C.
LAND USES
Uses and activities determined by the Director to have the potential to cause an impact on the purpose of the
Long-term Commercial Forest designated area, shall be considered an Unspecified Conditional Use, and is
appealable to the Board of Commissioners. Unspecified uses and activities may not be incompatible with
long-term resource uses of surrounding properties.
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Revised June 16, 2009
1.
2.
D.
Mason Environmental Permit Required Uses
a.
"Class IV - General Forest Practices" under the authority of the "1992 Washington State
Forest Practices Act Rules and Regulations", WAC 222-12-030, or as thereafter amended;
which involve conversion to a Permit Required Use.
b.
Saw mills, shake and shingle mills, plywood mills and the production of green veneer, particle
board plants and other products from wood residues, chippers, pole yards, log sorting and
storage, buildings for debarking, drying kilns and equipment, accessory uses including but
not limited to scaling and weighing stations, temporary crew quarters, storage and
maintenance facilities, residue storage and disposal areas and other uses involved in the
harvesting and commercial production of forest products.
c.
Forestry, environmental and natural resource facilities.
d.
Public and semi-public structures including but not limited to fire stations, utility substations,
and energy transmission facilities equal to or greater than 235 KV.
e.
All other accessory structures and uses that are customarily associated with and secondary
to the primary permitted uses.
f.
Publicly developed low intensity recreational facilities including but not limited to parks,
campgrounds, and boat launches.
g.
Other uses and activities determined by the Director to be potentially incompatible uses, and
requiring a similar level of County review as other Permit required uses.
Mason Conditional Environmental Permit Required Uses
a.
"Class IV - General Forest Practices" under authority of the "1992 Washington State Forest
Practices Act Rules and Regulations", WAC 222-12-030, or as thereafter amended; which
involve conversion to a Conditional Use.
b.
State correction work camps to supply labor for forest management related work projects and
for forest fire control.
c.
Aircraft landing fields.
d.
Sludge application.
e.
Unspecified Conditional Uses: Uses and activities not specifically Exempt, Permit Required,
or Conditional, but are determined by the Director to have the potential to cause an impact on
the intent of the Long-term Commercial Forest designated area, shall be considered an
Unspecified Conditional Use, and is appealable to the Board of Commissioners. Unspecified
Conditional Uses may not be incompatible with the long-term resource use on surrounding
properties.
DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS
1.
Lot Size/Density
The minimum lot size for any new subdivision, short subdivision or large lot segregation of property
shall be 80 acres. Exceptions to this minimum lot size may occur for non-residential Permit Required
and Conditional Uses and facilities; provided that the County finds that there will be no impact on
surrounding resource uses and further provided that a restrictive covenant be placed on said property
by the property owner, to be held by the County, prohibiting future residential use. Limitations on
density and uses are designed to provide timber resource protection and to ensure compatible uses.
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Revised June 16, 2009
E.
PREFERENTIAL RIGHT TO MANAGE RESOURCES AND RESOURCE USE NOTICES
1.
For land owners who have land designated as Long-Term Commercial Forest, provisions of "Right to
Forestry" provided under Section 17.01.040.C.5 shall fully apply.
2.
Resource Use Notices
a.
For properties Designated Long-Term Commercial Forest Land upon application of the
property owner or owners pursuant to Section 17.01.130 of this Chapter:
Within two (2) weeks of redesignation to Long-Term Commercial Forest Land, the property
owner(s) of said land shall submit to the County, for recording with the County Auditor, a
written notice of the designation. This notice shall be in a form authorized by the Director and
shall include:
(1)
The legal description of the property subject to the designation.
(2)
The sixteenth (1/16) section or sections in which lie:
(3)
(a)
the designated property; and
(b)
any other property within 500 feet of the boundary of the designated
property.
The following statement:
"NOTIFICATION
This notification is to inform property owners that the property described herein is
designated as or within 500 feet of land designated for commercial forestry, mining,
or agriculture. Mason County has established designated Long-Term Commercial
Forest Land that sets as a priority the use of these lands for commercial forest
management, mining, and agriculture. Residents of this property may be subject to
inconvenience or discomfort associated with the uses, including, but not limited to,
occasional dust, noise, and odor from commercial thinning, clear cutting, slash
burning, blowdowns, surface mining, and/or chemical applications. Residents of
adjacent property within 500 feet of said lands, should be prepared to accept such
inconvenience or discomfort from normal and necessary operations."
The forest owner shall execute and acknowledge the notice, and pay the fee
for recording the notice to the County.
b.
For properties Designated Long-Term Commercial Forest Land pursuant to Section
17.01.060.B of this Chapter:
Within two (2) months of the effective date of this Chapter, the Director shall submit to the
County Auditor for recording, a written notice of all County initiated and Designated LongTerm Commercial Forest Lands. This notice shall be in a form similar to "a" above.
The Director shall execute and acknowledge the notice, and no affected property owner shall
be charged a fee for recording the notice.
c.
For all properties within 500 feet of designated Long-Term Commercial Forest Land:
All new plats, short subdivisions, large lot subdivisions, and building permits issued by Mason
County for development activities on any property designated as Long-Term Commercial
Forest Land, or within 500 feet thereof, shall contain a notice as specified in "a.(3)" above.
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d.
It shall be the responsibility of any property owner who contemplates placement of any
structure requiring a building permit within 50 feet of any designated Long-Term Commercial
Forest Land property to notify the Forest Land owner of their intent to do so.
Notice shall be made by written letter, sent by certified U.S. mail, with return receipt, to notify
the owner of the adjacent Long-Term Commercial Forest Land. Enclosed with the letter shall
be a copy of the proposed plot plan showing approximate placement of said structure..
Notice must be mailed before any construction begins.
A copy of the Certified notice shall be attached to the building permit application by the
applicant and the County Building Director shall not issue the permit until at least 15 days,
after the date of the mailing of the Certified notice, or upon affirmative response from the
Long-Term Commercial Forest owner.
The requirement to notify shall in no way be a requirement upon the property owner to place
any specific setback upon the proposed structure, but shall be a period of time to allow time
for the Long-Term Forest land owner to explain the possible benefits to the property owner as
to a larger buffer between the proposed structure and the Long-Term Commercial Forest
Lands.
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17.01.061
AGRICULTURAL RESOURCE LANDS
The purpose of this Section is to maintain and enhance natural resource based industries, to encourage the
conservation of commercial agricultural lands, and to discourage incompatible land use.
A.
CLASSIFICATION
The following criteria shall be used in identifying lands appropriate for Agricultural Resource Lands:
1.
The property has an existing commercial agricultural use (as of the date of designation) or where the
property was used for agricultural purposes as of January 1991, where identified by property tax
classification in the Open Space - Agriculture property tax classification program pursuant to Chapter
84.34 RCW or where agricultural use has been identified as the principal use of the property, are
presumed to meet this criteria; and
2.
The property has a minimum parcel size of ten (10) acres; and
3.
The parcel has Prime Farmland Soils; or
4.
The property is surrounded by lands qualifying under classification criteria 1 to 3 above; or
5.
The property is an upland fin-fish hatchery.
Provided that, property owners may apply to have their land designated as Agricultural Resource Lands upon
a showing that the property is eligible for and participates in the Open Space - Agricultural property tax
classification program pursuant to Chapter 84.34 and upon a showing that either that the property has Prime
Farmland Soils or that, in some other fashion, the agricultural use has long-term commercial significance.
Such applications shall be reviewed by the county as provided for in the annual amendment process for the
county comprehensive plan and development regulations.
B.
DESIGNATION
Lands of Mason County which have been identified as meeting the classification criteria for Agricultural
Resource Lands, and are so specified on the official Mason County Map, available at the Mason County
Planning Department, titled, "Mason County Agricultural Resource Lands" or as thereafter amended, are
hereby designated as Agricultural Resource Lands.
C
LAND USES
Development and land uses and activities allowed in the Agricultural Resource Lands or on adjacent
lands are as specified in the Mason County Development Regulations and other applicable ordinances,
codes and regulations.
Accessory uses that support, promote, or sustain agricultural operations and production, are allowed and
shall comply with the following standards:
(i) Accessory uses shall be located, designed, and operated so as not to interfere with natural resource
land uses and shall be accessory to the growing of crops or raising of animals;
(ii) Accessory commercial or retail uses shall predominately produce, store, or sell regionally produced
agricultural products from one or more producers, products derived from regional agricultural production,
agriculturally related experiences, or products produced on-site. Accessory commercial and retail uses
shall offer for sale predominantly products or services produced on-site; and
(iii) Accessory uses may operate out of existing or new buildings with parking and other supportive uses
consistent with the size and scale of existing agricultural buildings on the site but shall not otherwise
convert agricultural land to nonagricultural uses.
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Accessory uses may include compatible commercial or retail uses including, but not limited to, the
following:
(i) Storage and refrigeration of regional agricultural products;
(ii) Production, sales, and marketing of value-added agricultural products derived from regional sources;
(iii) Supplemental sources of on-farm income that support and sustain on-farm agricultural operations and
production;
(iv) Support services that facilitate the production, marketing, and distribution of agricultural products; and
(v) Off-farm and on-farm sales and marketing of predominately regional agricultural products and
experiences, locally made art and arts and crafts, and ancillary retail sales or service activities.
D.
DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS.
a)
Development Standards for Proposed Land Uses.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
b)
E.
Front yard setback: 25 feet
Side and rear yard setbacks: Side and rear yard setbacks for the residential dwelling is
20 feet, for accessory buildings shall be 20 feet, for accessory structures used for
agricultural purposes or home occupations shall be 50 feet, and for buildings of nonresidential land uses shall be 50 feet.
Floor Area Ratio: 1:20, except for fire stations.
Size: 5,000 sq. feet maximum (or up to 7,500 sq. feet with a special use permit) for
non-agricultural and accessory buildings except for dwellings and agricultural
buildings.
Height: 35 feet except for agricultural buildings, cell towers, antennas, or water tanks.
Proposed land uses shall meet the review standards for land uses established in the Mason
County Development Regulations, including Section 1.03.020 (Matrix of Permitted Uses) and
Section 1.03.021 (Home Occupation and Cottage Industries).
PREFERENTIAL RIGHT TO MANAGE RESOURCES AND RESOURCE USE NOTICES
1.
For land owners who have land designated as agricultural resource lands, provisions of "Right to
Farm" provided under Section 17.01.040.C.5 shall fully apply.
2.
All plats, short plats, large lot subdivision, development permits, and building permits issued for
activities on, or within 500 feet of lands designated as agricultural resource lands shall contain the
following notification: “This property is within or near designated agricultural resource lands on which
a variety of commercial activities may occur at times and that are not compatible with residential
development. Residents of this property may be subject to inconvenience or discomfort associated
with these activities including, but not limited to: dust, odor, noise, and chemical applications.”
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17.01.062
INHOLDING LANDS
The purpose of this Section is to mitigate potential incompatible land uses between the Long-Term Commercial Forest
Lands and the neighboring Inholding Lands.
A.
CLASSIFICATION
The following criteria, as they exist at the time of adoption of this Chapter, shall be used in determining Inholding Lands:
1.
Lands that as a block are surrounded on all sides by designated Long-Term Commercial Forest
Lands; or in the case of properties abutting another County on at least one side, lands that are
surrounded in Mason County by properties designated Long-Term Commercial Forest Lands; and
maximum block size is less than 640 acres (257.92 hectares) in size; and lands that do not meet the
classification criteria for Long-Term Commercial Forest Lands.
2.
Lands which meet the criteria for long-term commercial forest lands pursuant to Section 17.01.060.A
of this Chapter and are within 400 feet of the Cloquallum/Lake Communities border as of the effective
date of this Chapter. Said border to be that defined on the official Map of "Mason County Long-Term
Commercial Forest Lands and Inholding Lands.
The intent of this classification is to mitigate potential incompatible land uses
between the Long-Term Commercial Forest Land and the neighboring Inholding
Lands.
B.
DESIGNATION
Lands of Mason County meeting the classification criteria for In-holding Lands, and so specified on the official
Mason County Map, available at the Mason County Planning Department, titled, "Mason County Long-Term
Commercial Forest Lands and In-holding Lands, 1991" or as thereafter amended, are hereby designated,
under RCW 36.70A.060 and RCW 36.70A.170, as crucial areas for the conservation of forest resource lands
of long-term commercial significance.
The 400 foot strip described in 17.01.062.A.2, shall not be designated as Long-Term Commercial
Forest Land.
C.
LAND USES
Permit Required and Conditional Uses within Inholding Lands are the same as for designated Long-Term
Commercial Forest Lands, with the exception that mining and related activities are Conditional Uses if the
County has authority to make such determination pursuant to the State Surface Mining Act, RCW 78.44 or as
thereafter amended.
Land uses in the 400 foot strip designated in 17.01.062.B shall be the same as Inholding Lands.
D.
DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS
The following development standards for Inholding Lands shall apply to the lands designated in
17.01.062.B.
1.
Lot Size/Density
The minimum lot area for any new subdivision, short subdivision or large lot segregation of property
shall be five (5) acres (2.15 hectares). Exceptions to this minimum lot size may occur for nonresidential Permit Required and Conditional Uses and facilities; provided that the County Approval
Authority finds that there will be no impact on surrounding resource uses and further provided that a
restrictive covenant be placed on said property, to be held by the County, prohibiting future residential
use.
Mason County Resource Ordinance
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Revised June 16, 2009
Average residential densities for any new subdivision or short subdivision of property may be
increased up to one (1) unit per two and one half (2.5) acres (1.08 hectares); provided all of the
following conditions can be met:
a.
The property to be divided is at least twenty (20) acres (8.06 hectares) in size; and
b.
Each residential lot created is no more than one (1) acre (0.40 hectares) in size; and
c.
All identified residential building sites are located outside any one hundred-year (100-year)
floodplains, geologically hazardous areas, or other critical areas; and
d.
The County Approval Authority finds that the design of said subdivision or short subdivision
minimizes impact on surrounding resource uses; and
e.
A natural resource management and/or conservation easement; to be held by the County,
recognized non-profit Land Trust or similar institution; be placed on the non-residential
portion of the subdivision or short subdivision restricting the use of said property to uses
consistent with natural resource management and/or conservation, and prohibiting future
residential use; or
A natural resource management and/or conservation restriction is placed on the face of the
plat accomplishing the same purpose as an easement.
No less than 50% of the subdivided property shall be maintained in this manner.
2.
Each parcel currently below 5 acres in size may be developed for an individual single-family
residence.
3.
For lots 5 acres to 9.99 acres in size, the original owner at the time this plan is adopted may divide
their property into two parcels, the smallest of which is not less than 2.5 acres in size.
a)
Other Development Standards.
4.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
b)
5.
Front yard setback: 25 feet
Side and rear yard setbacks: Side and rear yard setbacks for the residential dwelling is
20 feet, for accessory buildings shall be 20 feet, for accessory structures used for
agricultural purposes or home occupations shall be 50 feet, and for buildings of nonresidential land uses shall be 50 feet.
Floor Area Ratio: 1:20, except for fire stations.
Size: 3,000 sq. feet maximum for non-agricultural and accessory buildings except
for dwellings and agricultural buildings.
Height: 35 feet except for agricultural buildings, cell towers, antennas, or water tanks.
Water supply. In-holding properties shall meet all Water Supply standards as required under
Section 17.01.068.
Preferential Right to Manage Resources
For land owners who have designated In-holding Lands , provisions of "Right to Forestry" and "Right
to Farm" under Section 17.01.040.C.5, and Resources Use Notices provided under Section
17.01.060.D, shall fully apply.
6.
New clustered development in the inholding lands shall cluster residential lots consistent with the
comprehensive plan, which requires that the open space created by the cluster be placed adjacent to
the LTCF land.
Mason County Resource Ordinance
14
Revised June 16, 2009
17.01.064
A.
AGRICULTURE AND FOREST MANAGEMENT NON-DESIGNATED LANDS
PURPOSE
This Section provides for nuisance protections for certain agricultural and forest management uses.
1.
Agricultural Objective
This Section does not include any designation for agricultural lands. However the County recognizes
that many valuable agricultural operations do exist in the county where they are an integral part of the
rural economy and rural character, but which have not been designated as agricultural resource
lands. These operations should be provided protection from the impacts of incompatible land use.
This Section's objective is to preserve agricultural land, not through designation and regulation, but
through protection from nuisance suits.
2.
Forest Management Objective
This Section recognizes that commercial forest management is an integral part to the rural economy
and lifestyle and provides nuisance protections for forest management uses in all but the existing and
planned urban areas.
B.
CLASSIFICATION
1.
The following criterion shall be used in determining those Agricultural Lands in Mason County
qualifying for protection under provisions of this Section:
a.
2
The following criterion shall be used in determining those Forest Management Lands in Mason
County qualifying for protection under provisions of this Section:
a.
3
C.
The property is enrolled in the Open Space Agriculture property tax classification program
pursuant to Chapter 84.33 RCW.
The property is enrolled in the Open Space Timber or Designated Forest or Classified Forest
property tax classification programs, pursuant to Chapters 84.33 RCW or 84.34 RCW.
Agriculture Lands and/or Forest Lands meeting the classification criteria of 17.01.064.B.1 or B.2 shall
be given the protections of Subsection C below. However, no separate Agricultural Land or other
Forest Land designation shall be used due to a need for flexibility to meet changing land uses,
agricultural practices, forest practices and markets.
PROTECTION - "Right to Farm", "Right to Forestry"
Right to Farm and Forest protections, as specified in Section 17.01.040.C.5, are provided to all properties
meeting the classification criteria of this Section.
Mason County Resource Ordinance
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Revised June 16, 2009
17.01.066
MINERAL RESOURCE LANDS
The purpose of this Section is to identify and designate commercial mineral lands, to establish guidelines for their
development and to discourage incompatible land use.
A.
CLASSIFICATION
The following criteria shall be used in determining Mineral Resource Lands of long-term commercial
significance within Mason County:
4
5
B.
Class 1a -
Mineral deposits which could meet the immediate and future needs of the regional
community. These deposits shall be of significant size (greater than 25 acres) and
readily accessible to water traffic on the Puget Sound.
Class 1b -
Mineral deposits which could meet the long-term future and immediate needs of the
regional community. These deposits shall be of significant size (greater than 25
acres) and accessible to rail or truck haul routes.
Class 2
Mineral deposits within existing permitted surface mining operations operating under
authority of Chapter 78.44 RCW.
-
DESIGNATION
1.
Mineral Lands of Mason County meeting the classification criteria for Class 1a & 1b Mineral Resource
of long-term commercial significance, and so specified on the official Mason County map, available at
the Mason County Planning Department titled "Mason County Long-Term Commercial Mineral Lands,
1992" or as thereafter amended, are hereby designated, under RCW 36.70A.060 and RCW
36.70A.170, as conservation areas for mineral lands of long-term commercial significance.
2.
Lands of Mason County meeting the classification criteria for Class 2 are eligible for designation as
Mineral Lands of long-term commercial significance. Those property owners who wish to "opt in' to
this designation may do so pursuant to Section 17.01.130.C within 60 days of the effective date of this
Chapter. This designation shall continue for as long as a state operating permit exists.
Designation of Mineral Lands of Long-Term Commercial Significance does not mean that such lands are
exempt from the normal environmental review process of the County or State agencies. Areas not now
identified as Class 1a or Class 1b but where a qualified geologist or mining engineer can now or in the future,
demonstrate the probability for occurrence of a mineral deposit, may be so designated upon approval of
Mason County.
C.
LAND USES
Prior to full utilization of a Class 1a or 1b designated Mineral Resource Land's mineral resource potential,
subdivisions, short subdivisions or large lot segregation shall be prohibited. Exceptions may be made through
a resource redesignation or through the variance procedure.
1.
Conditional Uses
a.
Mineral processing facilities including rock crushing, asphalt and concrete batch plants.
b.
Public and semi-public structures including but not limited to fire stations, utility substations,
pump stations, and waste water treatment facilities.
c.
"Class IV - General Forest Practices" under authority of the "1992 Washington State Forest
Practices Act Rules and Regulations", WAC 222-12-030, or as thereafter amended; which
involve conversion to a Conditional Use in designated Mineral Resource Lands.
d.
Any industrial or commercial development.
Mason County Resource Ordinance
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Revised June 16, 2009
D.
DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS
All Mining operations shall conform to the following standards. Variances for these standards and nonconforming uses may be appropriate when an operation is located in isolated areas or contains unusual
topographical conditions.
6
Setbacks/Screening
a.
2.
Within Mineral Resource Lands
(4)
A fifty (50) foot (15.25 meter) setback from all property lines, other than for access
purposes onto public rights-of-way, shall be maintained for areas of direct cut or fill
connected with resource extraction operations. For mining operations, setbacks
may be increased when necessary to protect lateral support of abutting properties or
public rights of way.
(5)
A twenty five (25) foot (7.63 meter) screen on all property lines, consisting of site
obscuring vegetation, or other methods to conceal the mine as approved by Mason
County shall be maintained.
(6)
A fifty (50) foot (15.25 meter) setback of all direct extraction operation areas shall be
maintained from public utility lines.
Fencing
Prior to the commencement of surface mining, a fence shall be constructed and maintained enclosing
the area authorized by the surface mining permit if public safety is in question. Fences shall be at
least six (6) feet in height and constructed of woven wire. Gates, the same height as the fence, shall
be installed at all points of vehicular or pedestrian ingress and egress, and shall be kept locked when
not in regular use.
3.
Road Access
For surface mining operations, access on any public right of way shall be surfaced in accordance with
County Engineering Division or State Department of Highways development standards as
appropriate.
4.
Road Use
In order to assure maintenance and development of adequate County roadways, owners of surface
mining operations may be required to enter into a haul route agreement with the County Engineer
upon adoption and implementation of a Haul Route Agreement Program.
5.
Traffic Safety
The County Engineer may require the installation of traffic control and warning signs at intersections
of private access roads with publicly maintained roads.
6.
7.
Noise/Bright Lights
a.
No development or activity shall exceed the maximum Environmental Noise Levels
established by WAC 173-60, and Mason County Title 9, Chapter 9.36.
b.
Bright lights are allowed outside of normal operating hours only for short-term mining
operations necessary to facilitate emergency repairs.
Surface Mining Operation within Critical Aquifer Recharge Areas
The purpose of this Section is to protect Critical Aquifer Recharge Areas as required by RCW
36.70A.060(2).
Mason County Resource Ordinance
17
Revised June 16, 2009
Any surface mining operation within a Critical Aquifer Recharge Area (as designated in Section
17.01.080) shall meet the following standards:
8.
a.
Fuel tanks and oil drums shall be double containment construction and protected by bermed
areas having adequate capacity to accommodate, contain, and allow the removal of chemical
spills. Fuel nozzles shall not contain locking devices. Fuel storage shall be above ground.
Fueling of mobile equipment shall be located at least twenty feet above the seasonal high
ground water level or within lined and bermed areas with adequate capacity to accommodate,
contain,, and allow the removal of chemical spills.
b.
All operations shall maintain a fuels/hazardous waste management plan maintained by the
operator and available on the site at all times.
c.
Fencing, or some comparable deterrent, shall be installed to prevent unauthorized dumping
of any materials within surface mining operations.
d.
Surface mines shall not use any noxious, toxic, flammable, compactable, or combustible
materials not specifically authorized by Mason County Department of Health for backfill or
reclamation. Non-contaminated process water used for gravel washing shall be routed to
settling ponds to minimize off-site discharges. A general permit from the Department of
Ecology for process and storm water discharge may substitute for these requirements.
e.
On-site truck and equipment wash run-off shall be routed to a retention facilities equipped
with an oil-water separator prior to its release to settling ponds.
f.
Use of chemicals, petroleum or hazardous products, and disposal of such products, in
concrete or asphalt plant operations within Critical Aquifer Recharge Areas shall meet all the
standards set forth in WAC 90.48 and WAC 173.303.
Public Safety
Owners of surface mines shall ensure that their operation(s) will not be hazardous to neighboring
uses. Blasting activities shall be conducted so that ground vibrations and fly-rock to off mine site uses
are monitored and minimized.
9.
Waiver Clause
Mason County may waive some or all of the restrictions outlined above following a written Finding of
Fact and favorable findings under SEPA.
E.
PREFERENTIAL RIGHT TO MANAGE RESOURCES AND RESOURCE USE NOTICE
1.
For those land owners of Mineral Resource Lands who choose to use their property for resource
management, the provision of "Right to Mine" provided under Section 17.01.040.C.5 shall fully apply.
2.
Mining Use Notices
a.
For properties designated Mineral Resource Land upon application of the property owner or
owners pursuant to Section 17.01.130.B of this Chapter
Within two (2) weeks of redesignation to Mineral Resource Land, pursuant to Section
17.01.130.B, the property owner(s) of said land shall submit to the County, for recording with
the County Auditor, a written notice of the designation. This notice shall be in a form
authorized by the Director and shall include:
(1)
The legal description of the property subject to the designation.
Mason County Resource Ordinance
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Revised June 16, 2009
(2)
The sixteenth (1/16) section or sections in which lie:
(a)
(b)
(3)
the designated property, and
any other property within 500 feet of the boundary of the designated
property.
The following statement:
"NOTIFICATION
This notification is to inform property owners that the property described herein is designated
as or within 500 feet of land designated for mining. Mining, operations may be carried out
now or in the future. Mason County has established designated Mineral Resource Land that
sets as a priority the use of these lands for mining. The normal and usual practices
associated with said operations when performed in accordance with County, State and
Federal law, shall not be subject to legal action as a public nuisance. A variety of commercial
activities may occur on Mineral Resource Land that is not compatible with residential
development for certain periods of limited duration. On Mineral Resource Land, an
application might be made for mining related activities, including mining, extraction, washing,
crushing, stockpiling, blasting, transporting, and recycling f minerals."
The mineral right owner/operator shall execute and acknowledge the notice, and pay the fee
to the County for recording the notice.
b.
For properties designated Mineral Resource Land pursuant to Section 17.01.066.B.1 of this
Chapter.
Within four (4) months of the effective date of this Chapter, the Director shall submit to the
County Auditor for recording, a written notice of all Designated Mineral Resource Lands. This
notice shall be in a form similar to " E.2.a" above.
The Director shall execute and acknowledge the notice, and no affected property owner shall
be charged a fee for recording the notice.
c.
For all properties within 500 feet of designated Mineral Resource Lands.
All plats, short subdivisions, large lot subdivisions, development permits and building permits
issued by Mason County after the effective date of this Chapter for development activities on
property designated as Mineral Resource Land, or within 500 feet thereof, shall contain a
notice as specified in " E.2.a.(3)" above.
Mason County Resource Ordinance
19
Revised June 16, 2009
17.01.068
ADDITIONAL RESOURCE LAND PROVISIONS
The following provisions apply to non-resource uses within designated Long-Term Commercial Forest, Inholding and
Mineral Resource Lands:
A.
ROADWAY STANDARDS
7
8
B.
Permanent vehicular access for non-resource uses shall meet the following standards:
a.
Permanent legal access which has been granted by resource property owner(s) or public
rights-of-way can be accessed directly; and
b.
Strict adherence to the standards of the Uniform Fire Code as determined by the County Fire
Marshal; and
c.
Maximum roadway grade serving two or more non-resource properties shall not exceed
twelve percent (12%); and
d.
For rights-of-way serving two or more non-resource properties, a maintenance agreement is
recorded with the County Auditor identifying owners responsible for maintaining said rights-ofway to the above standards.
The County Engineer may impose additional roadway development standards if he/she determines
they are necessary for public health and safety.
WATER SUPPLY STANDARDS
9
When residential or other structural uses are intended to be supplied with potable water from off-site
sources, written permission shall be obtained from the property owners supplying the water prior to
plat approval or building permit issuance, as applicable.
10
New residential or recreational domestic water supplies shall be certified by the County or State of
Washington as appropriate, and shall not be located within one hundred (100) feet (30.5 meters) of
adjacent property without written consent or easement of the adjacent property owner.
11
Domestic water supplies shall be in compliance with State and County health codes.
Mason County Resource Ordinance
20
Revised June 16, 2009
17.01.070
WETLANDS
The purpose of this section is to avoid, or in appropriate circumstances, minimize, rectify, reduce or compensate
for impacts arising from land development and other activities affecting wetlands; to maintain and enhance the
biological and physical functions and values of wetlands with respect to water quality maintenance; stormwater
and floodwater storage and conveyance; fish and wildlife habitat; primary productivity, recreation, education and
historic and cultural preservation. When avoiding impacts is not reasonable, mitigation shall be implemented to
achieve a no net loss of wetlands in terms of acreage, function and value.
A.
CLASSIFICATION
The following shall be classified as wetland areas:
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.
However, wetlands may include those artificial wetlands intentionally created from non-wetland areas
created to mitigate conversion of wetlands, if permitted by the county.
B.
DESIGNATIONS
The following lands, shorelands and waters of Mason County are hereby designated under RCW
36.70A.060 and RCW 36.70A.170, as critical areas requiring immediate protection from incompatible land
uses: Wetlands and their buffer as specified by Section 17.01.070.E.
In making a determination regarding a wetland, Washington State Wetland Identification and Delineation
Manual (Ecology #96-94), or as amended hereafter, shall serve as the technical resource guide on
determining if an area possesses hydrophytic vegetation, hydric soils, and/or wetland hydrology.
1.
The following are designated as regulated wetlands under this Chapter:
a.
All areas described in Section 17.01.070.A.;
b.
Ponds less than twenty acres;
c.
Wetlands created as mitigation, and those modified for approved land use activities,
including their submerged aquatic beds.
2.
The following are designated as non-regulated wetlands:
Artificial man made wetlands intentionally created from non-wetland sites, including, but not
limited to, irrigation and drainage ditches, grass-lined swales, canals, detention facilities,
wastewater treatment facilities, farm ponds, and landscape amenities or those wetlands created
after July 1, 1990, that were unintentionally created as a result of the construction of a road, street
or highway.
a.
Exempt wetlands that are isolated and less than 1,000 square feet in area where it has
been shown by the applicant that they are not associated with a riparian corridor, they are not part
of a wetland mosaic and do not contain habitat identified as essential for local populations of
priority species identified by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
b.
No measures to avoid impacts for Category III and IV wetlands between 1,000 and 4,000
square feet are required if they meet all the following criteria:
(1) Wetland is not associated with a riparian corridor, and
(2) Wetland is not part of a wetland mosaic, and
(3) Wetland does not score 20 points or greater for habitat in the 2004 Western Washington
Rating System, and
(4) Wetland does not contain habitat identified as essential for local populations of priority
species identified by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Mason County Resource Ordinance
21
Revised June 16, 2009
c.
Impacts allowed under this provision to these wetlands will be fully mitigated as required
in mitigation section.
3.
C.
PROCEDURES
1.
D.
Owners and applicants with non-regulated wetlands are strongly urged to cooperate voluntarily in
this plan of wetland protection, using the guidelines in this ordinance and in materials provided by
the Department of Community Development.
Responsibilities for the determination of wetland boundaries:
a.
Formal determination of wetland boundaries is the responsibility of the County. The
responsibility to provide all necessary and accurate data to the County for its
determination rests with the applicant. This information will include a field delineation by a
qualified wetland professional applying the Washington State Wetland Identification and
Delineation Manual (Ecology #96-94), or as amended hereafter. When, in the opinion of
the Director, sufficient information exists from the County's wetland inventory, or other
sources, the requirement for a full or partial delineation may be waived. For instance, in
some cases, the applicant may only be required to determine the wetland boundary, or
portion thereof, of the wetland system. The Director shall determine when a permit
application is required and what additional information may be necessary. Wetland
delineations shall be performed in accordance with the procedures as specified in the
Washington State Wetland Identification and Delineation Manual (Ecology #96-94), or as
amended hereafter. Evidence documenting the results of any boundary survey, or other
submitted data, may be required by the Director.
b.
Mason County, at a fee, when requested by the applicant, or the affected party, may
perform the delineation in lieu of direct action by the applicant. Mason County may use
hydrology, soils, plant species, and other data, and consult with biologists, hydrologists,
soil scientists, or other experts, as needed, to perform the delineation. The County shall
make a good faith effort to provide this service, consistent with budgetary constraints and
available in-house expertise, for smaller projects and especially for those property owners
with lesser financial capabilities.
c.
Where Mason County performs a wetland boundary determination at the request of the
applicant, it shall be considered a final determination unless contested.
d.
Where the applicant has provided a determination of the wetland boundary, the Director
shall verify the accuracy of, and may render adjustments to, the boundary delineation.
e.
In the event the boundary delineation is contested by the applicant or affected party, the
Department of Ecology, or a mutually agreed upon party, shall settle the dispute.
LAND USES
1.
Mason Environmental Permit Required Uses and Activities
A Mason Environmental Permit shall be obtained from the County, using the administrative review
process in this Chapter, prior to undertaking, in a regulated wetland or its buffer, for the following
activities.
a.
In all regulated wetlands, the removal, excavation, grading, dredging, dumping,
discharging, or filling of any material; or the draining or flooding of the site, except where
undertaken for maintenance (but not construction) of drainage ditches or for emergency
repair;
b.
The construction of stormwater management facilities; or
c.
The driving of pilings;
d.
The placing of obstructions;
e.
The construction, reconstruction, demolition, or expansion of any structure;
f.
The destruction or alteration of wetlands and wetland buffer through clearing, harvesting,
shading, intentional burning, or planting of vegetation that would alter the character of a
designated wetland or buffer, provided that this subsection shall not apply to the following
activities undertaken in a manner which minimizes impacts:
Mason County Resource Ordinance
22
Revised June 16, 2009
(1)
g.
2.
The harvesting or normal maintenance of vegetation in a manner that is not
injurious to the natural reproduction of such vegetation;
(2)
The removal or eradication of noxious weeds so designated in Chapter 17.10
RCW or other exotic, nuisance plants;
(3)
Site investigative work necessary for land use application submittals such as
surveys, soil logs and percolation tests;
(4)
The construction or trails which shall be unpaved when located in the buffers and
elevated when located in wetlands, which are not intended for motorized use, and
which are no wider than three (3) feet, unless additional width is necessary for
safety along a precipice, steep hillside, or other hazardous area. See section
17.01.070.E.6.c. for additional details on regulated (but permitted) trail activity.
(5)
Emergency services or repairs for health and welfare; or
(6)
Activities of a mosquito control district.
Activities that result in a significant change of water temperature, a significant change of
physical or chemical characteristics of wetland’s water sources, including quantity, or the
introduction of pollutants.
Activities Permitted without a Mason Environmental Permit
The following uses shall be allowed, in addition to those defined in General Exemptions (see
Section 17.01.130), within a wetland or wetland buffer to the extent that they are not prohibited by
the Shorelines Management ACT of 1971 (Chapter 90.58 RCW), Federal Water Pollution Control
Act (Clean Water ACT), State Water Pollution Control Act (Chapter 90.48 RCW), State Hydraulic
Code (RCW 75.20.100 - .140), Forest Practices Act (Chapter 76.09 RCW and Chapter 222-16
WAC) or any other applicable ordinance or law and provided they are conducted using best
management practices, except where such activities result in the conversion of a regulated
wetland or wetland buffer to a use to which it was not previously subjected and provided further
that forest practices and conversions from forest land shall be governed by Chapter 76.09 RCW
and its rules:
a.
Conservation or preservation of soil, water, vegetation, fish, shellfish, and other wildlife;
b.
Outdoor recreational activities that do not have a significant adverse impact on the
wetland and its related buffer;
c.
The harvesting of wild crops in a manner that is not injurious to natural reproduction of
such crops and provided the harvesting does not require tilling of soil, planting of crops, or
alteration of the wetland by changing existing topography, water conditions or water
resources;
d.
Existing and ongoing agricultural activities, including farming, horticulture, aquaculture,
irrigation, ranching or grazing of animals. Activities on areas lying fallow as part of a
conventional rotational cycle are part of an ongoing operation. Activities which bring an
area into agricultural use are not part of an ongoing operation. An operation ceases to be
ongoing when the area in which it was conducted has been converted to another use or
has lain idle for more than five years unless that idle land is registered in a federal or state
soils conservation program. Forest practices are not included in this definition.
e.
The maintenance (but not construction) of drainage ditches;
f.
Education, scientific research, and use of nature trails;
g.
Site investigative work necessary for land use application submittals such as surveys, soil
logs, percolation tests and other related activities. In every case, wetland impacts shall be
minimized and disturbed areas shall be immediately restored; and
h.
The following uses are allowed within wetlands and/or wetland buffer, provided that any
required permits or approvals are obtained and further provided that wetland impacts are
minimized and that disturbed areas are immediately restored:
(1)
Normal maintenance, repair, or operation of existing serviceable structures,
facilities, or improved areas. Maintenance and repair does not include any
modification that changes the character, scope, or size of the original structure,
facility, or improved area and does not include the construction of a maintenance
road; and
(2)
Minor modification of existing serviceable structures within a buffer zone where
modification does not adversely impact wetland functions.
Mason County Resource Ordinance
23
Revised June 16, 2009
(3)
i.
E.
Repair or reconstruction of damaged or destroyed structures within two years of
the damage or destruction.
The felling of danger trees within buffers provided the following conditions are met:
(1)
When it is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Mason County Director of
Community Development or his or her designee (“Department”) that an imminent
threat exists to public health or safety, or the safety of private or public property.
Landowner shall provide to the Department a written statement describing tree
location, danger it poses, and proposed mitigation.
(2)
Should the imminent threat not be apparent to the Department (as danger trees
are defined in Section 17.01.240), the Department may require the landowner
submit a report from a professional forester or certified arborist.
(3)
Before a danger tree may be felled or removed, with the exception of an
emergency pursuant to Section 17.01.170, the landowner shall obtain written
approval from the Department. This approval shall be processed promptly and
may not be unreasonably withheld. If the Department fails to respond to a danger
tree removal request within 10 business days, the landowner’s request shall be
conclusively allowed.
(4)
Trees felled as danger trees shall be counted in the allowed amounts under
Section 8.52.170(F)(4).
(5)
Mitigation as approved by the Department to include:
i.
the planting within the critical area or its buffer a total of six new native
trees, each a minimum three years old. Should a report be submitted
under subsection 5(b), it shall contain recommendations for suitable
replacement trees.
ii.
felled trees shall be left within the critical area or buffer unless a
submitted report warrants its removal to avoid spreading disease or
pests;
iii.
the trunk of the cut tree may be segmented, but should be left in as large
of segments as possible to provide habitat;
iv.
the branches from the cut tree may be removed to control fire hazard;
and
v.
additional mitigation may be required if three or more trees are to be
felled on one property within a 10 year period.
DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS
1.
Wetlands Rating System
A four-tier wetlands rating system is hereby adopted as the rating system for Mason County.
Wetland buffer widths, wetland activities, and replacement ratios shall be based on this rating
system.
Procedures for applying the wetland rating system are set forth in the Washington State Wetland
Rating System for Western Washington, revised 2004, or as amended hereafter, Washington
State Department of Ecology.
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a.
Wetlands shall be categorized as follows:
Table 17.01.070 A
1)
Category I Wetlands. Category I wetlands are those regulated wetlands that include but
are not limited to rare, unique wetland types that are more sensitive to disturbance than most
wetlands and that contain ecological attributes that are impossible to replace within a human
lifetime. Category I wetlands score 70 points or more out of 100 on the wetlands ratings
systems.
2)
Category II Wetlands. Category II wetlands are those regulated wetlands that score
between 51-69 points out of 100 on the wetlands ratings system.
3)
Category III Wetlands. Category III wetlands are those regulated wetlands that score
between 30-50 points on the wetlands ratings system.*
4)
Category IV Wetlands. Category IV wetlands are those regulated wetlands that score
less than 30 points out of 100 on the wetlands ratings system.*
5)
Wetlands intentionally created from non-wetland areas to mitigate conversion of other
wetlands.
6)
Mosaic wetlands as defined in 17.01.240.
*Non-Regulated Wetlands. Isolated wetlands under 1,000 square feet which are not associated
with a riparian corridor, not part of a wetland mosaic, and not essential habitat of a priority species
as identified by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Please refer to Appendix A or the Department of Ecology publication
for more information.
2.
Wetland Buffers
a.
Buffer Widths.
Wetland buffers shall be required for all regulated wetlands. Any wetland created, restored, or
enhanced as compensation for approved wetland alterations shall also include a buffer required
for the category of the created, restored, or enhanced wetland. The buffer widths are established
by adjusting a base width for the category of wetland at the site for the habitat value as scored by
the wetland rating system and for the land use intensity of the proposed activity. All buffers shall
be measured horizontally from the wetland boundary as surveyed in the field.
The width of the wetland buffer shall be determined by the following process:
1)
The wetland is categorized according to wetland ratings system category as shown in
Table 17.01.070 A;
2)
Table 17.01.070 B rates examples of different land uses for intensity of impacts to
wetlands.
3)
The width of the buffer is determined based on the habitat value scored by the wetland
on the wetland rating system and on the land use intensity of the proposed use as shown in
Tables 17.01.070 C, D, E, or F.
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Table 17.01.070 B. Ratings of impact from land uses
Rating of impact from
proposed changes in land
use
Examples of land uses that cause the impact based on common
zoning categories
Commercial, Urban, Industrial, Institutional, Retail Sales, Residential
subdivisions with more than 1 unit/acre, New agriculture (high-intensity
processing such as dairies, nurseries and green houses, raising and
harvesting crops requiring annual tilling, raising and maintaining
animals), New transportation corridors, High intensity recreation (golf
courses, ball fields), hobby farms.
High
Moderate
Single-family residential lots, residential subdivisions with 1 unit/acre or
less, Moderate-Intensity Open Space (parks), New agriculture
(moderate- intensity such as orchards and hay fields), Transportation
enhancement projects.
Forestry, Open space (low-intensity such as passive recreation and
natural resources preservation, minor transportation improvements).
Low
Table 17.01.070 C: Width of buffer required to protect Category IV wetlands.
Category IV Wetland Characteristics
Buffer Width by impact of land use
Score for functions < 30 points
Low -25 feet
Moderate - 40 feet
High - 50 feet
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Table 17.01.070 D: Width of buffers required to protect Category III wetlands. Wetlands
scoring between 30 and 50 points on the wetlands rating system.
Category III Wetland Characteristics
Buffer Width by impact of land use
Moderate level of function for habitat
(score for habitat is 20 - 28 pts.)
Low - 75 feet
Moderate - 110 feet
High -. 150 feet
Category III wetlands not meeting above criteria
(score for habitat is less than 20 pts.)
Low -40 feet
Moderate - 60 feet
High - 80 feet
Table 17.01.070 E: Width of Buffers required to protect Category II wetlands. Wetlands
scoring between 51 and 69 points on the wetlands rating system.
Buffer Width by impact of land use
(apply most protective)
Category II Wetland Characteristics
High level of function for habitat
(score for habitat is 29-36 pts.)
Low - 150 feet
Moderate -.200 feet
High - 225 feet
Moderate level of function for habitat
(score for habitat is 20-28 pts.)
Low -.75 feet
Moderate -110 feet
High - 150 feet
High level of function for water quality
improvement and low for habitat
(score water quality is 24-32 pts
Low 75 feet
Moderate - 90 feet
and habitat is less than 20)
High - 100 feet
Estuarine
Low - 75 feet
Moderate 110 feet
High - 150 feet
Category II wetlands not meeting above criteria
Low - 50 feet
Moderate - 75 feet
High - 100 feet
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Table 17.01.070 F: Width of Buffers required to protect Category I wetlands. Wetlands
scoring over 70 points on the wetlands rating system.
Buffer Width by impact of land use
(apply most protective)
Category I Wetland Characteristics
Natural Heritage Wetlands and Bogs
Low -125 feet
Moderate - 190 feet
High - 250 feet
Forested
Buffer size to be based on score for habitat
functions or water quality functions see below.
Estuarine and Wetlands in Coastal Lagoons
Low - 100 feet
Moderate - 200 feet
High - 250 feet
High level of function for habitat
(score for habitat is 29-36 pts.)
Low - 150 feet
Moderate - 225 feet
High - 250 feet
Moderate level of function for habitat
(score for habitat is 20-28 pts.)
Low - 75 feet
Moderate - 110 feet
High - 200 feet
High level of function for water quality
improvement (WQI) (score is 24-32)
and low for habitat (score for habitat is less than
20 points)
Low 50 feet
Moderate - 75 feet
High - 100 feet
Category I wetlands not meeting any of the
above criteria
Low 50 feet
Moderate -75 feet
High -100 feet
b.
Increased Wetland Buffer Width
The Administrator shall require increased standard buffer widths or may require other conditions
be placed on the development on a case-by-case basis when necessary to protect wetland
functions and values based on local conditions. This determination shall be supported by
appropriate documentation showing that it is reasonably related to protection of the functions and
values of the regulated wetland. Such determination shall be attached as a permit condition and
shall demonstrate that:
a)
A larger buffer is necessary to maintain viable populations or critical habitat of threatened
or endangered species living within the subject wetland(s) boundaries; or
b)
The adjacent land is susceptible to severe erosion and erosion control measures
otherwise required will not effectively prevent adverse wetland impacts; or
c)
There are other nearby wetlands or critical areas and adjustments to the buffers would
prevent fragmentation of the habitat or is otherwise necessary to preserve the structure,
function and value of the wetland, or
d)
The buffer is poorly vegetated due to lack of vegetation or invasive or non-native species
being the dominant cover. Conditions would include enhancement of the area, a larger buffer,
or both.
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c.
Wetland Buffer Width Averaging.
The boundary of the buffer may be modified by averaging buffer widths. If buffer averaging is
used, the following conditions must be met:
a.
The total area contained in the buffer after averaging shall be no less than that contained
within the buffer prior to averaging. In other words, mitigation for buffer impacts will be on
a minimum of a 1: 1 ratio; and
b.
Buffer averaging will incorporate site conditions to provide measures to increase the
functions and values of the wetland buffer beyond what is currently in place; and
c.
In no instance shall the buffer width be reduced to less than 75 percent of the required
width for each of the wetland categories.
d.
Wetland Buffer Reduction.
The width of the buffer may be reduced for proposed land uses with high-intensity impacts under
the following conditions:
a.
b.
For wetlands that score moderate or high for habitat (20 points or more for the habitat
functions), the width of the buffer may be reduced to that required for moderate-intensity
impacts provided that:
(1) A relatively undisturbed, vegetated area corridor at least 100-feet wide is protected
between the wetland and any other Priority Habitats as defined by the Washington
State Department of Fish and Wildlife. Protection of the corridor shall be assured by a
conservation easement.
(2) Measures to minimize the impacts of the land use shall be applied. Examples of
these measures are shown in Table X.
For wetlands that score less than 20 points for habitat, the buffer width can be reduced to
that required for moderate-impact land uses provided that measures to minimize the
impacts of the land use shall be applied. Examples of these measures are shown in Table
X.
e.
Wetland Buffer Conditions.
Except as otherwise specified, wetland buffers shall be retained in their natural condition. Where
buffer disturbance has occurred during construction, revegetation of the buffer with native plant
species may be required.
3.
Permitted Uses In A Wetland Buffer.
Regulated activities shall not be allowed within a buffer except as follows:
a.
Activities that are permissible within a wetland shall be permissible within a wetland buffer; and
b.
Stormwater management facilities (bioswales and dispersal trenches) only when required to
allow a reasonable use of the property. Encroachment into the buffer shall be the minimum
necessary and will be permitted only within the outer twenty-five (25) feet or outer twenty-five
percent (25%) of the buffer, whichever is more restrictive.
c.
Other passive activities such as recreational trails and tot lots are also permitted within the outer
twenty-five percent (25%) of the buffer.
d.
Selective commercial timber cutting will be limited to the outer twenty-five percent (25%) of Category
I and II wetland buffers and fifty percent (50%) of Category III and IV wetland buffers. No more than
thirty percent (30%) of the merchantable trees may be harvested in this area on a one-time-only
basis as associated with a land use conversion application. The thirty percent (30%) harvest must
be representative and maintain an intact forest community character. The percentage and species
distribution of all trees must be consistent before and after the selective timber harvest.
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TABLE X Examples of measures to reduce impacts to wetlands.
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4.
F.
Building Setback Lines
A building setback line of fifteen (15) feet is required from the edge of any wetland buffer. Minor
structural intrusions into the area of the building setback may be allowed if the Administrator
determined that such intrusions will not negatively impact the wetland.
MITIGATION FOR WETLAND IMPACTS
As a condition of any permit allowing alteration of wetlands and/or wetland buffers, the County shall
require that the applicant engage in the restoration, creation or enhancement of wetlands and their buffers
in order to offset the impacts resulting from the applicant's actions. If wetland or wetland buffer impacts
are proposed, a sequence of review must be considered. First, the applicant must consider avoiding the
wetland or wetland buffer. If the applicant can not avoid the wetland or wetland buffer, they must consider
reducing (or minimizing) the impact. Impacts which can not be avoided must be mitigated as provided in
this ordinance. Mitigation for buffers shall be on a minimum 1:1 ratio. Approval of the mitigation plan shall
be signified by a notarized memorandum of agreement signed by the applicant and Director of the
Department of Community Development or designee, and recorded with the Mason County Auditor. The
agreement shall refer to all requirements for the mitigation project. The County may suspend or revoke a
permit if it finds that the applicant has not complied with the conditions or limitations set forth in the permit
or has exceeded the scope of work set for in the permit. The overall goal of any compensatory project
shall be no net loss of wetland function and acreage.
1.
Wetland mitigation ratios are illustrated in the following Table 17.-01.070 H.
2.
Wetland Restoration, Creation and Enhancement (see details in 17.01.200 I)
3.
The department may increase or decrease the ratios based on one or more of the following:
a. Replacement ratios may be increased under the following circumstances:
(1) Uncertainty exists as to the probable success of the proposed restoration or creation;
(2) A significant period of time will elapse between impact and establishment of wetland
functions at the mitigation site;
(3) Proposed compensation will result in a lower category wetland or reduced functions
relative to the wetland being impacted; or
(4) The impact was an unauthorized impact.
b. Replacement ratios may be decreased under the following circumstances:
(1) Documentation by the applicant provides more certainty that the proposed compensation
actions will be successful. For example, demonstrated prior success with similar
compensation actions as those proposed, and/or extensive hydrologic data to support
the proposed water regime;
(2) Documentation by the applicant demonstrates that the proposed compensation actions
will provide functions and values that are significantly greater than the wetland being
impacted; or
(3) The proposed mitigation actions are conducted in advance of the impact and are shown
to be successful.
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Table 17.01.070 H: Wetland Mitigation Replacement Ratios Table
1:1
Reestablishment
Re-establishment
Wetland Category
or
Rehabilitation
or Creation
Creation (R/C) and
Enhancement (E)
Enhancement
Only
All Category IV
1.5:1
3:1
1:1 R/C and 2:1 E
6:1
All Category III
2:1
4:1
1:1 R/C and 2:1 E
8:1
Category II
Estuarine
Case-by-case
4:1 rehabilitation of
an estuarine
wetland
Case-by-case
Case-by-case
3:1
8:1
1:1 R/C and 4:1 E
12:1
Category I
Forested
6:1
12:1
1:1 R/C and 10:1 E
24:1
Category I
other
4:1
8:1
1:1 R/C and 6:1 E
16:1
Category I
Natural Heritage
site
Case-by-case
6:1 rehabilitation of
a Natural Heritage
site
Case-by-case
Case-by-case
Category I
Coastal
Lagoon
Case-by-case
6:1 rehabilitation of
a coastal lagoon
Case-by-case
Case-by-case
Category I
Bog
Case-by-case
6:1 rehabilitation of
a bog
Case-by-case
Case-by-case
Category I
Estuarine
Case-by-case
6:1 rehabilitation of
an estuarine
wetland
Case-by-case
Case-by-case
All other
Category II
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G.
4.
Off-Site Compensatory Mitigation.
a. Considerations for determining whether off-site mitigation is preferable include, but are not
limited to:
(1) On-site conditions do not favor successful establishment of the required vegetation type,
or lack the proper soil conditions, or hydrology;
(2) On-site compensation would result in an aquatic habitat that is isolated from other natural
habitats or severely impaired by the effects of the adjacent development;
(3) Off-site location is crucial to one or more species that is threatened, endangered, or
otherwise of concern, and the on-site location is not;
(4) Off-site location is crucial to larger ecosystem functions, such as providing corridors
between habitats, and the on-site location is not; and
(5) Off-site compensation has a greater likelihood of success or will provide greater functional
benefits.
b. When determining whether off-site mitigation is preferable, the value of the site-specific
wetland functions at the project site, such as flood control, nutrient retention, sediment
filtering, and rare or unique habitats or species, should be fully considered.
c. When conditions do not favor on-site compensation, off-site compensatory mitigation should
be located as close to the impact site as possible, at least within the same watershed, while
still replacing lost functions.
5.
Monitoring Requirements.
Mason County shall require monitoring reports on an annual basis for a minimum of five years and up
to ten years, or until the department determines that the mitigation project has achieved success. The
wetlands mitigation plan shall provide specific criteria for monitoring the mitigation project. Criteria
shall be project-specific and use best available science to aid the department in evaluating whether or
not the project has achieved success.
PERMIT REVIEW
The basic concern in the permitting process is to avoid and minimize wetland impacts. Permits are issued
when the applicant can demonstrate that the activity is both unavoidable and necessary. The applicant must
state the purpose of the proposed project, and demonstrate the requirement for a wetland location or access
across wetlands, and the reason it cannot be located at other sites, or at another location on-site.
APPENDIX A
The following is from:
Hruby, T. 2004. Washington State wetland rating system for western Washington – Revised. Washington State
Department of Ecology Publication # 04-06-025. Pages 6 to 10.
3. RATIONALE FOR THE CATEGORIES
This rating system is designed to differentiate between wetlands based on their sensitivity to disturbance, rarity,
the functions they provide, and whether we can replace them or not. The emphasis is on identifying those
wetlands:
• where our ability to replace them is low,
• that are sensitive to adjacent disturbance,
• that are rare in the landscape,
• that perform many functions well,
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• that are important in maintaining biodiversity.
The following description summarizes the rationale for including different wetland types in each category. As a
general principle, it is important to note that wetlands of all categories have valuable functions in the landscape,
and all are worthy of inclusion in programs for wetland protection.
3.1 CATEGORY I
Category I wetlands are those that 1) represent a unique or rare wetland type; or 2) are more sensitive to
disturbance than most wetlands; or 3) are relatively undisturbed and contain ecological attributes that are
impossible to replace within a human lifetime; or 4) provide a high level of functions. We cannot afford the risk of
any degradation to these wetlands because their functions and values are too difficult to replace. Generally, these
wetlands are not common and make up a small percentage of the wetlands in the region. Of the 122 wetlands
used to field test the current rating system only 24 (20%) were rated as a Category I. In western Washington the
following types of wetlands are Category I.
Estuarine Wetlands - Relatively undisturbed estuarine wetlands larger than 1 acre are Category I wetlands
because they are relatively rare and provide unique natural resources that are considered to be valuable to
society. These wetlands need a high level of protection to maintain their functions and the values society derives
from them. Furthermore, the questions used to characterize how well a freshwater wetland functions cannot be
used for estuarine wetlands. No rapid methods have been developed to date to characterize how well estuarine
wetlands function.
Estuaries, the areas where freshwater and salt water mix, are among the most highly productive and complex
ecosystems where tremendous quantities of sediments, nutrients and organic matter are exchanged between
terrestrial, freshwater and marine communities. This availability of resources benefits an enormous variety of
plants and animals. Fish, shellfish and birds and plants are the most visible. However, there is also a huge variety
of other life forms in an estuarine wetland: for example, many kinds of diatoms, algae and invertebrates are found
there.
Estuarine systems have substantial economic value as well as environmental value. All Washington State
estuaries have been modified to some degree, bearing the brunt of development pressures through filling,
drainage, port development and disposal of urban and industrial wastes. The over-harvest of certain selected
economic species has also modified the natural functioning of estuarine systems. Many Puget Sound estuaries
such as the Duwamish, Puyallup, Snohomish and Skagit have been extensively modified. Up to 99% of some
estuarine wetland areas in the state have been lost.
Estuaries, of which estuarine wetlands are a part, are a “priority habitat” as defined by the state department of Fish
and Wildlife. Estuaries have a high fish and wildlife density and species richness, important breeding habitat,
important fish and wildlife seasonal ranges and movement corridors, limited availability, and high vulnerability to
alteration of their habitat (Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW),
http://www.wa.gov/wdfw/hab/phslist.htm, accessed October 15, 2003).
Natural Heritage Wetlands – Wetlands that are identified by scientists of the Washington Natural Heritage
Program/DNR as high quality, relatively undisturbed wetlands, or wetlands that support State listed threatened or
endangered plants are Category I wetlands.
High quality, relatively undisturbed examples of wetlands are uncommon in western Washington. By categorizing
these wetlands as Category I, we are trying to provide a high level of protection to the undisturbed character of
these remaining high quality wetlands. Examples of undisturbed wetlands help us to understand natural wetland
processes.
Furthermore, the presence of rare plants in a wetland indicates unique habitats that might otherwise not be
identified through the rating system. Rare plant populations are also sensitive to disturbance, particularly activities
that result in the spread of invasive species.
The Washington Natural Heritage Program of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has identified
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important natural plant communities and species that are very sensitive to disturbance or threatened by human
activities, and maintains a database of these sites.
"These natural systems and species will survive in Washington only if we give them special attention and
protection. By focusing on species at risk and maintaining the diversity of natural ecosystems and native species,
we can help assure our state's continued environmental and economic health.” (DNR
http://www.wa.gov/dnr/htdocs/fr/nhp/wanhp.html , accessed October 1, 2002)
Bogs - Bogs are Category I wetlands because they are sensitive to disturbance and impossible to re-create
through compensatory mitigation.
Bogs are low nutrient, acidic wetlands that have organic soils. The chemistry of bogs is such that changes to the
water regime or water quality of the wetland can easily alter its ecosystem. The plants and animals that grow in
bogs are specifically adapted to such conditions and do not tolerate changes well. Immediate changes in the
composition of the plant community often occur after the water regime changes. Minor changes in the water
regime or nutrient levels in these systems can have major adverse impacts on the plant and animal communities
(e.g. Grigal and Brooks, 1997).
In addition to being sensitive to disturbance, bogs are not easy to re-create through compensatory mitigation.
Researchers in northern Europe and Canada have found that restoring bogs is difficult, specifically in regard to
plant communities (Bolscher 1995, Grosvermier et al. 1995, Schouwenaars 1995, Schrautzer et al. 1996), water
regime (Grootjans and van Diggelen 1995, Schouwenaars 1995) and/or water chemistry (Wind-Mulder and Vitt
2000). In fact, restoration may be impossible because of changes to the biotic and abiotic properties preclude the
re-establishment of bogs (Shouwenaars 1995, Schrautzer et al. 1996). Furthermore, bogs form extremely slowly,
with organic soils forming at a rate of about one inch per 40 years in western Washington (Rigg 1958).
Nutrient poor wetlands, such as bogs, have a higher species richness, many more rare species, and a greater
range of plant communities than nutrient rich wetlands (review in Adamus and Brandt 1990). They are, therefore,
more important than would be accounted for using a simple assessment of wetland functions (Moore et al. 1989).
Mature and Old-growth Forested Wetlands – Mature and old-growth forested wetlands over 1 acre in size are
“rated” as Category I because these wetlands cannot be easily replaced through compensatory mitigation. A
mature forest may require a century or more to develop, and the full range of functions performed by these
wetlands may take even longer (see review in Sheldon et al. 2004, in press).
These forested wetlands are also important because they represent a second “priority habitat” as defined by the
state department of Fish and Wildlife. “Priority habitats are those habitat types or elements with unique or
significant value to a diverse assemblage of species.” (Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife
(WDFW), http://www.wa.gov/wdfw/hab/phslist.htm, accessed October 15, 2002). NOTE: All wetlands are
categorized as a priority habitat by the WDFW. Mature and forested wetlands, therefore, represent two priority
habitats that coincide.
Wetlands in Coastal Lagoons – Coastal lagoons are shallow bodies of water, like a pond, partly or completely
separated from the sea by a barrier beach. They may, or may not, be connected to the sea by an inlet, but they all
receive periodic influxes of salt water. This can be either through storm surges overtopping the barrier beach, or
by flow through the porous sediments of the beach.
Wetlands in coastal lagoons are placed into Category I because they probably cannot be reproduced through
compensatory mitigation, and because they are relatively rare in the landscape. No information was found on any
attempts to create or restore coastal lagoons in Washington that would suggest this type of compensatory
mitigation is possible. Any impacts to lagoons will, therefore, probably result in a net loss of their functions and
values.
In addition, coastal lagoons and their associated wetlands are proving to be very important habitat for salmonids.
Unpublished reports of ongoing research in the Puget Sound (Hirschi et al. 2003, Beamer et al. 2003) suggests
coastal lagoons are heavily used by juvenile salmonids.
Wetlands That Perform Many Functions Very Well - Wetlands scoring 70 points or more (out of 100) on the
questions related to functions are Category I wetlands.
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Not all wetlands function equally well, especially across the suite of functions performed. The field questionnaire
was developed to provide a method by which wetlands can be categorized based on their relative performance of
different functions. Wetlands scoring 70
points or more were judged to have the highest levels of function. Wetlands that provide high levels of all three
types of functions (improving water quality, hydrologic functions, and habitat) are also relatively rare. Of the 122
wetlands used to calibrate the rating system in western Washington, only 18 (15%) scored 70 points or higher
based on their functions.
The questionnaire on wetland functions is based on the six-year effort to develop detailed methods for assessing
wetland functions both in eastern and western Washington. These methods currently represent the “best available
science” in rapid assessments of wetland functions.
3.2 CATEGORY II
Category II wetlands are difficult, though not impossible, to replace, and provide high levels of some functions.
These wetlands occur more commonly than Category I wetlands, but still need a relatively high level of protection.
Category II wetlands in western Washington include:
Estuarine Wetlands - Any estuarine wetland smaller than an acre, or those that are disturbed and larger than 1
acre are category II wetlands. Although disturbed, these wetlands still provide unique natural resources that are
considered to be valuable to society. Furthermore, the questions used to characterize how well a wetland functions
cannot be used for estuarine wetlands.
Interdunal Wetlands - Interdunal wetlands greater than 1 acre are Category II because they provide critical
habitat in this ecosystem (Wiedemann 1984). This resource is important but constitutes only a small part of the
total dune system (Wiedemann 1984). No methods have been developed to characterize how well interdunal
wetlands function, so these wetlands cannot be rated by a score.
Interdunal wetlands form in the “deflation plains” and “swales” that are geomorphic features in areas of coastal
dunes. These dune forms are the result of the interaction between sand, wind, water and plants. The dune system
immediately behind the ocean beach (the primary dune system) is very dynamic and can change from storm to
storm (Wiedemann 1984). For the purpose of rating, any wetlands that are located to the west of the 1889 line
(western boundary of upland ownership) are considered to be interdunal.
Wetlands That Perform Functions Well - Wetlands scoring between 51-69 points (out of 100) on the questions
related to the functions present are Category II wetlands. Wetlands scoring 51-69 points were judged to perform
most functions relatively well, or performed one group of functions very well and the other two moderately well.
3.3 CATEGORY III
Category III wetlands are 1) wetlands with a moderate level of functions (scores between 30 -50 points) and 2)
interdunal wetlands between 0.1 and 1 acre in size. Wetlands scoring between 30 -50 points generally have been
disturbed in some ways, and are often less diverse or more isolated from other natural resources in the landscape
than Category II wetlands.
3.4 CATEGORY IV
Category IV wetlands have the lowest levels of functions (scores less than 30 points) and are often heavily
disturbed. These are wetlands that we should be able to replace, and in some cases be able to improve. However,
experience has shown that replacement cannot be guaranteed in any specific case. These wetlands may provide
some important functions, and also need to be protected.
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17.01.080 CRITICAL AQUIFER RECHARGE AREAS
In order to protect the public health and safety, prevent the degradation of ground water aquifers used for potable
water, and to provide for regulations that prevent and control risks to the degradation of ground water aquifers, the
following standards for Mason County are described in Section 17.01.080. Critical Aquifer Recharge Areas are those
areas which are determined to have an important recharging effect on aquifers used as a source for potable water and
vulnerable to contamination from recharge. Critical Aquifer Recharge Areas are areas of special concern and are
subject to the Mason County Health Codes.
Contents:
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
F.
G.
H.
I.
J.
K.
L.
M.
N.
O.
P.
Classification of Aquifer Recharge Areas
Designation
Pre-existing Uses
Prohibited Uses and Activities
Uses Requiring an Environmental Permit
Subdivision Standards
On-site Septic System Standards
Well Head Protection Area - Notice
Standards for an Environmental Permit for the Critical Aquifer Recharge Area
BMP Monitoring and Inspection
Map Amendments
Reclassification of Specific Land Use Activity
Reports
Public Education/Notice
Protection of Private Wells
Secondary Containment and Recycling of Hazardous Materials
A.
Classification of Aquifer Recharge Areas
1.
Classes. Critical Aquifer Recharge Areas are classified as either Class I (Extremely Susceptible),
Class II (Highly Susceptible), Class III (Moderately Susceptible ), or Class IV (Low Susceptibility), as
described below.
2.
Methodology. The aquifer classification system and maps were developed by a qualified geologist in
consultation with the Washington Department of Natural Resources and considering data from the
following sources;
Mineral Resources of the Southern Hood Canal Area, Washington; Mackey Smith and R. J. Carson;
Department of Geology and Earth Resources - Geologic Map GM-21; 1976.
Geology and Related Water Occurrence, Southeastern Mason County, Washington; Dee Molenaar
and John B. Noble; Water Supply Bulletin No. 29, Department of Water Resources, State of
Washington; 1970.
Geologic Map of the South Half of the Shelton and South Half of the Copalis Beach Quadrangles
Washington; Robert L. Logan; Washington Division of Geology an Earth Resources; Open file Report
87-9; 1987.
Geologic Map of North Central Mason County; R. J. Carson; Department of Geology and Earth
Resources; Open File Report 76-2; 1976.
Soil Conservation Maps for Mason County Washington; various.
Topographic maps for Mason County; various.
Water Well records.
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
f.
g.
Interpretation of these data sources was performed by Geologist Gordon Adams. An explanation of
that interpretation is included in a letter from Gordon Adams dated March 29, 1999.
Mason County Resource Ordinance
37
Revised June 16, 2009
2. Standards of Classification.
a. Class I (Extremely Susceptible). Areas designated as Class I demonstrate hydrogeologic characteristics
that allow for an extremely high susceptibility of an underground source of drinking water. These areas are
identified as recessional outwash of thickness’ greater than 25 feet. Recessional outwashes are a
geological formation predominantly composed of underground source of drinking water unconsolidated
sands and gravels. These formations exhibit horizontal permeabilities greater than 30 feet per day
(horizontal permeabilities are generally 10 times less than vertical permeabilities). Potential contaminants
entering an underground source of drinking water can be expected to travel one mile in six months or
less.
b. Class II (Highly Susceptible). Areas designated as Class II demonstrate hydrogeologic characteristics
that allow for a high susceptibility of an underground source of drinking water. These areas are identified
as recessional outwash and alluvium 25 feet or less in thickness. These geologic formations are
composed of unconsolidated sands and gravels interlain with discontinuous layers of hardpan and silty
clays. Depth to water is generally 25 to 125 feet below land surface. These formations exhibit horizontal
permeabilities in the range of 30 to 15 feet per day. Potential contaminants entering an underground
source of drinking water can be expected to travel one mile in a time frame greater than six months and
up to one year.
c.
Class III (Moderately Susceptible). Areas designated as Class III demonstrate hydrogeologic
characteristics that allow for a moderate susceptibility of an underground source of drinking water. These
areas are identified as advance outwash. The geologic formations consist of discontinuous layers of
clayey gravel and sand and layers of silt and clay, which are more continuous and have been compacted
into hardpan. Depth to water is greater than 125 feet below land surface. These formations exhibit
horizontal permeabilities in the range of 15 to 3 feet per day. Potential contaminants entering an
underground source of drinking water can be expect to travel one mile in a time frame greater than one
year and up to five years. Class III areas include those well head protection areas, not otherwise
designated as a Class I, II, or III critical recharge area, and recorded with the Mason County Department
of Community Development.
d. Class IV (Low Susceptibility).Areas designated as Class IV demonstrate hydrogeologic characteristics that
allow for a low susceptibility of an underground source of drinking water. These areas are identified as
advance outwash found in the southwest part of Mason County along the Satsop drainage.
B.
Designation
The lands and fresh waters of Mason County meeting the Critical Aquifer Recharge Areas Classification, plus
300 feet beyond the mapped boundary of all Class I, II or III areas, are hereby designated under RCW
Chapter 36.70A as Critical Area Protection Zones requiring protection for public health.
C.
Pre-existing Uses
Uses legally existing as of the date of adoption of this ordinance and which are listed under Sections D. (Prohibited
Uses and Activities) or E. (Uses Requiring an Environmental Permit) are defined to be pre-existing uses. Pre-existing
uses may continue operation pursuant to the following provisions and procedures. The purpose of these provisions is
to assure that pre-existing uses that represent a threat to the aquifer are brought into compliance with the provisions of
this chapter over time and to the highest degree possible. These provisions shall not be construed to mean that a preexisting business must cease operations even if the type of business operates as a prohibited use per section D.
below. The following procedures and requirements are hereby established;
Upon identification of a legal pre-existing use, the county shall contact the operator and/or owner in order to develop a
compliance plan and time line for bringing the pre-existing use into compliance to the highest degree practicable and
which provides an acceptable low level of risk to the aquifer.
1. The County will negotiate with the owner/operator to identify a reasonable time frame and necessary steps
to bring the use into compliance with this chapter.
Mason County Resource Ordinance
38
Revised June 16, 2009
2. Technical assistance will be offered the owner/operator by state and\or local personnel to enable the
owner/operator to bring the operation into compliance.
3. The County will require that a written compliance plan be developed and agreed to by the owner/operator
setting forth the compliance steps that will be taken and the agreed time frame under which these steps
will be completed.
4. The compliance plan shall be agreed to in a reasonable time as defined by the Director on a case-by-case
basis.
5. Such compliance plan will take the form of a contract between the County and the owner/operator.
6. No expansion of any non-conforming aspect of the use or business activity will be permitted.
7. Failure to meet the terms of the contract, including time frames agreed to, shall constitute a breach of
contract subject to all applicable law. If legal action on the part of the County becomes necessary to
enforce the contract, the owner/operator shall be liable for all legal expenses.
D.
Prohibited Uses
The following uses or activities are considered high impact uses due to the probability and/or potential
magnitude of their adverse effects on groundwater and shall be prohibited in Class I, Class II and Class III
Critical Aquifer Recharge Areas.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
E.
Landfill
Wood preserving, not fully contained operations
Electroplating
Dry cleaners excluding drop-off only operations where there is no on-site cleaning using hazardous
materials
Class V injection wells, but limited to subclasses 5F01, 5D03, 5D04, 5W09, 5W10, 5W11, 5W31,
5X13, 5X14, 5X15, 5W20, 5X28, and 5N24.
Surface mining operations within designated urban growth areas, or within Class I, II, or III areas
contiguous with the urban growth areas.
Radioactive disposal sites
Outdoor auto wrecking operations
Hazardous waste transfer and treatment
Land spreading disposal sites where disposal is above agronomic rates (as in WAC 173-304)
Feedlots
Dumping of chemicals into a on-site septic system of a type or quantity that exceeds the systems
designed capacity to treat.
Hazardous waste storage facilities unless accessory to an otherwise permitted use and approved
under State hazardous waste permit.
Uses Requiring an Environmental Permit
The following activities are allowed in Class I, Class II and Class III Aquifer Recharge Areas after issuance of
a Permit per subsection I. below. This requirement is not intended to apply to schools, colleges, hospitals and
other public institutions where the activities are incidental or accessory to the principal activity. This
requirement is not intended to apply to a home occupation or cottage industry, where the amounts of
hazardous materials use are below the thresholds established and regulated in the Uniform Fire Code. Permit
review shall be by the Administrative Review process specified in section 17.01.120.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
Chemical Manufacturing
Chemical mixing and remanufacture
Above and below ground storage tanks ad pipes used to contain regulated substances (see section
17.01.240)
Facilities that conduct biological research
Boat repair shops
Chemical research facilities
Gasoline service stations
Pipelines (petroleum and chemical transfer)
Printing and publishing operations that use printing liquids
Mason County Resource Ordinance
39
Revised June 16, 2009
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
Below ground transformers and capacitors
Sawmills producing over 10,000 board feet per day
Solid Waste handling and processing facilities
Vehicle repair, recycling, and auto wrecking activities
Mortuary
Furniture stripping
Motor vehicle service garages
Chemical processing of photographic film
Creosote and asphalt manufacturing and treatment facilities
Golf courses or ranges
Medium quantity generators (of dangerous, acutely hazardous, an toxic extremely hazardous waste)
Large quantity generators (of dangerous, acutely hazardous, and toxic extremely hazardous waste)
Activities reclassified as eligible for a Permit after County approval of a request to reclassify per
subsection L.
23. Fully contained wood preserving operations.
24. Surface mining operations permitted under general permit by the Washington State Department of
Ecology and not otherwise prohibited per Subsection D.
F.
Subdivision Standards and Evaluation Requirements.
1.
Subdivision, short subdivisions and other divisions of land in areas of special concern shall be evaluated
for their impact on groundwater quality as follows:
a. In urban growth areas, land divisions may be allowed which create lots less than one acre in size
which rely on individual on-site septic systems. Such approvals shall be conditioned so that the total
development allowed within the area to be divided shall not exceed an average density of one
dwelling unit per acre, or an equivalent waste-water volume, until such development is served by
public sewer.
b. In urban growth areas, land divisions may be allowed which create lots less than one acre in size
which rely on a community on-site septic systems. Such approvals shall be conditioned so that the
total development allowed within the area to be divided shall not exceed an average density of one
dwelling unit per acre, or an equivalent waste-water volume, until such development is served by
public sewer. In addition, said system shall be evaluated to assure that it does not have localized
effects that might have a significant adverse impact on wells or surface water bodies. Information for
the evaluation shall be provided by the applicant in the form of a Site Evaluation Report as specified
in subsection M.2.
c.
2.
G.
Outside of urban growth areas, subdivisions which provide for clusters of residential development
where the density of the cluster of residential lots exceed one lot per acre, or where development will
rely on a community on-site septic system, shall be evaluated to assure that they do not have
localized effects that might have a significant adverse impact on wells or surface water bodies.
Information for the evaluation shall be provided by the applicant in the form of a Site Evaluation
Report as specified in subsection M.2.
Approval of a permit for 1. b. or c. above shall be based on a review of the report and a determination
that there are no probable significant adverse impacts to wells, springs, surface water bodies, or off-site
ground water quality.
On-site Septic System Standards
1.
The proper operation and maintenance of community or on-site septic systems is required in the critical
aquifer recharge areas. The standards and procedures to be met to assure this are as set forth in the
“Mason County On-Site Sewage Operation and Maintenance Program” and any subsequent
implementing regulations. Participation in this program is mandatory for existing and new septic systems
in the critical aquifer recharge areas.
Mason County Resource Ordinance
40
Revised June 16, 2009
2.
New construction
a. New construction which relies on on-site septic systems shall not be allowed to exceed a density of
one dwelling unit per acre, or an equivalent waste-water volume, except for the development of one
dwelling on lots existing or vested by December 5, 1996, where the on-site septic system can comply
with all Environmental Health Department standards. For the purposes of this section, the sewage
flow of one single family dwelling equals one unit volume of sewage equals 450 gallons per day. An
exception to this may be made where a sewage treatment system or plant is used that processes the
effluent so that the total of contaminants is equivalent to or less than that which would be produced
by one dwelling unit per acre in suitable soils using individual on-site septic systems. The intensity of
non-residential development that is allowed in compliance with this standard shall be calculated from
Table 1. Alternative calculations for activities not included in Table 1 may be proposed, but the
calculation method and conclusions must be approved by the County Environmental Health
Department.
b. Where such development relies on a new on-site sewage treatment plant or other new on-site
community septic system, said plant or system shall not have localized affects that might have a
significant adverse impact on wells or surface water bodies. Information for the evaluation shall be
provided by the applicant in the form of a Site Evaluation Report as specified in subsection M.2.
Approval of a permit shall be based on a review of the report and a determination that there are no
probable significant adverse impacts to wells, springs, surface water bodies, or off-site ground water
quality.
3.
H.
All new development within the designated urban growth areas, except for single-family residences built
prior to the opportunity to connect to a public sewer system, shall be required to connect to existing
public sewer systems, or to proposed public sewer systems as soon as connection is available.
Well Head Protection Area - Notice
Within well head protection areas, in addition to any other notice requirements, notice shall be provided to the
manager of said area for any applications for an Environmental Permit for the Critical Aquifer Recharge Area
or for any long subdivisions.
I.
Standards for an Environmental Permit for the Critical Aquifer Recharge Area
To receive an Environmental Permit to operate in the Critical Aquifer Recharge Area an applicant must;
J.
1.
Implement Best Management Practices (BMP), implement the Washington State Department of
Ecology’s Storm Water, Water Quality, Hazardous Waste, Wetland, and Solid Waste Program BMP and
BMP from the Departments of Health, Agriculture, Transportation, and State Conservation District Office,
or
2.
Demonstrate through a Best Management Practices Report pursuant to subsection M.1. below, how they
will integrate other necessary and appropriate mitigating measures in the design, installation, and
management of the proposed facility or use, and
3.
Provide a written agreement to the County providing that all employees at the site will be notified that the
operation lies above an aquifer recharge area and providing annual training regarding all measures set
forth by the BMP established in subsection I. 1 or 2 above.
BMP Monitoring and Inspection.
To assure that Best Management Practices are implemented and maintained over time, the following
procedures and requirements are hereby established:
Mason County Resource Ordinance
41
Revised June 16, 2009
K.
1.
The county will maintain a data-base identifying all pre-existing prohibited uses or uses requiring a permit
under the provisions of this section. Information for this purpose will be gathered from applicants for
development permits and by consultation with appropriate state agencies. During pre-application
meetings or on application, the county will require applicants to identify if they are required to have a
hazardous waste identification number by the Washington State Department of Ecology and whether
they generate any hazardous waste as defined under WAC 173-303.
2.
Inspection and monitoring procedures.
As a condition of approval, regular inspections for compliance will be required as appropriate to the
activity, but not less than once in two years. The first inspection shall be made within 3 months of the
issuance of the certificate of occupancy for the project.
Map Amendments
Applicants may seek to have the Aquifer Recharge Map amended as it pertains to the parcel or parcels for
which they are applying. The application will be for a conditional environmental permit. This may be granted
after the applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the county that site conditions meet the standards of
classification per subsection C. for the Aquifer Area Class sought.
Such demonstration shall be accomplished by providing a Map Amendment Report per subsection M.2. to the
county. The County shall evaluate the Report and make a written determination as to whether the map will be
amended. Approval of the map amendment requires that, based on the best available science, the site does
not qualify as a critical aquifer recharge area, or qualifies as a different class designation from its current
designation, as applied by the County pursuant to the Growth Management Act.
The report shall be reviewed by the County in conjunction with the underlying permit process, if any exists.
The review process shall be a public review as specified in subsection 17.01.120 E. 2. b. The County may
consult with the Mason County Health Department, State of Washington Department of Health, independent
reviewer, or any other parties it sees fit. The County will review the report with consideration of the level of
science that currently exists and was employed to make the map designation being challenged. The applicant
will not be required to provide information and/or analysis in excess of that required to convince the County
that a map change is warranted.
In addition, the County will re-assess all Map Amendment Reports and all other pertinent information received
on a periodic basis and consider other appropriate map amendments on the basis of this increased
information.
L.
Reclassification of Specific Land Use Activity
Applicants may seek to have the use for which they are applying able to receive a Aquifer Areas Protection
Permit per subsection E. This may be granted after the applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the
County, that the use proposed applies new technologies and/or procedures, not traditional to the industry, that
reduce the threat to the aquifer beyond that posed by the traditional technologies and/or procedures to a
degree that the County determines will justify the reclassification.
Such demonstration shall be accomplished by providing an Activity Reclassification Report per subsection M.
3. to the County. The County shall evaluate the Report and make a written determination as to whether the
individual proposed land use will be recategorized. Review of the application shall be a public review as
provided in section 17.01.120 2. b. Reclassification of a land use shall apply only to the particular use for which
the reclassification is sought and shall not be applied to all or any similar uses.
In addition, the County will re-assess all Reports received pursuant to this chapter and all other pertinent
information received on a periodic basis and consider the other changes in the categorization of land uses in
this chapter on the basis of this increased information.
Mason County Resource Ordinance
42
Revised June 16, 2009
M.
Reports
1.
Best Management Practices (BMP) Report - criteria. The following criteria shall apply when preparing a
Best Management Practices (BMP) report:
a. The report shall be prepared by, or done under the direction of and designed by, a qualified person
with demonstrated expertise in the industry or field as demonstrated by a statement of qualifications
and at least three references from parties familiar with common business practices in the subject
field or known expertise in the field.
b. The report will identify appropriate Best Management Practices by specifying all known and available
reasonable technologies and how they will be employed to prevent degradation of groundwater. All
necessary technical data, drawings, calculations, and other information to describe application of the
BMP must be supplied.
c.
The report will identify how the applicant will satisfy the requirements of the Dangerous Waste
Regulations, chapter 173-303 WAC in the event that hazardous material is released into the ground
or ground water.
d. The report will be reviewed by the Department of Community Development or a consultant hired by
the County, at the applicant’s expense, for this review. The County may consult with the Mason
County Environmental Health Department; State of Washington Departments of Health or Ecology,
independent reviewer, or any other parties it sees fit.
2.
Map Amendment Report/ Site Evaluation Report - criteria. the following criteria shall apply when
preparing a Map Amendment Report/ Site Evaluation Report:
a. A qualified groundwater professional will make a determination whether the proposed map
amendment or project application will have adverse impacts on groundwater based on the
requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Wellhead Protection Program, pursuant to
Public Water Supplies, Chapter 246-290 WAC; Water Quality Standards for ground waters of the
state of Washington, Chapter 173-200 WAC; and Dangerous Waste regulations, Chapter 173-303
WAC. Those chapters of Washington Administrative Code are hereby adopted, as written or
hereafter amended, as part of this chapter by reference. They are available at County offices.
b. Map Amendment Report/ Site Evaluation Reports shall include the following:
i.
Identification of features of the proposed development plan (e.g., on-site septic systems and
other on-site activities) that may adversely impact ground water quality underlying or down
gradient of the project or project area.
ii.
Drawing in an appropriate scale showing location of abandoned and active wells, springs, and
surface water bodies within 1,000 feet of the project limits.
iii.
A description of the geologic and hydrologic characteristics of the subject property sufficient to
justify the map amendment sought. This information may include any or all of the following:
(a)
Lithologic characteristics and stratigraphic relationships;
(b)
Aquifer characteristics including recharge and discharge areas, depth to ground water,
static water flow patterns, and estimated groundwater flow velocity;
(c)
Contaminant rate and transport including probable migration pathways and travel time
of a potential contaminant release from a site through the unsaturated zone to the
aquifer(s) and through the aquifers(s), and how contaminant(s) may be attenuated
within the unsaturated zone and the aquifer(s);
Mason County Resource Ordinance
43
Revised June 16, 2009
(d)
(e)
(f)
(g)
3.
Appropriate hydro geologic cross sections which depict lithology, stratigraphy, aquifer,
units, potential or probable contaminant pathways from a chemical release, and rate of
groundwater flow; and
Existing groundwater quality, proposal for a groundwater monitoring plan to detect
changes and indicate the corrective actions that will be taken if monitoring results
indicate contaminants from the site have entered the underlying aquifer(s).
Existing soils types and characteristics
A discussion of the probable geologic history of the site and its impact on aquifer
formation, soils conditions, and aquifer susceptibility.
Activity Reclassification Report - preparation and review criteria. The following criteria shall apply when
preparing an Activity Reclassification Report:
a. The report shall be prepared by, or done under the direction of and signed by, a qualified person with
demonstrated expertise in the industry or field as demonstrated by a statement of qualifications and
at least three references from parties familiar with common business practices in the subject field or
known expertise in the field.
b. The report shall contain a complete description of the activity for which reclassification is being
sought. This description shall include all necessary technical data for the County to assess potential
threat to the aquifer from an unmitigated operation, including chemicals and substances used,
byproducts produced, etc.
c.
The report shall present Best Management Practices and/or mitigation techniques adequate to
insure, to the satisfaction of the County, that the activity or land use for which reclassification is
sought will present no greater threat to groundwater quality than other uses listed in this ordinance in
the category being sought. The burden is on the applicant to make this showing sufficient in the
eyes of the County to reclassify the use. The report will include all technical data necessary, design
drawings, specifications for equipment used, performance data on equipment or structures, and any
evidence or testimony of successful operation of same or similar facilities and practices in other
locations.
d. The report will demonstrate to the satisfaction of the County that reclassification of a land use will
have no adverse impacts on groundwater based on the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act
and the Wellhead Protection Program, pursuant to Public Water Supplies, Chapter 246-290 WAC;
Water Quality Standards for Ground Waters of the State of Washington, Chapter 173-200 WAC: and
Dangerous Waste Regulations, Chapter 173-303 WAC. Those chapters of Washington
Administrative Code are hereby adopted, as written or hereafter amended, as part of this chapter by
reference. They are available at Department of Community Development offices.
e. The report will be reviewed by the Department of Community Development. The County may consult
with the Mason County Health Department; State of Washington Departments of Health or Ecology,
independent reviewer, or any other parties it sees fit.
N.
Public Education/Notice
1.
The household or commercial use of herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers not in conformance with the
manufacturers instructions/label directions is a violation of state and/or federal regulation. Improper
disposal of oil based paints, paint thinners and other hazardous materials is a violation of the Mason
County Solid Waste Regulation and of state and/or federal regulation. The county encourages proper use
of such materials and shall provide educational information to the public through its sponsorship of the
Washington State Cooperative Extension Service, the Mason Conservation District, or through the
provision of informational materials in its offices.
Mason County Resource Ordinance
44
Revised June 16, 2009
2.
Notification:
a. Title Notification
The owner of any site within a designated Critical Aquifer Recharge Area as identified in the Mason
County Critical Aquifer Recharge Areas Map, on which a development proposal is submitted, shall
record a notice with the Mason County Auditor. The notice shall indicate in the public record the
presence of a critical aquifer recharge area, the application of this Chapter to the site, and that
limitations on regulated activities may exist. Only one such notice is required to be made on any
individual property or lot. The notice shall be as set forth below.
"Notice: This site lies within a critical aquifer recharge area as defined by Chapter 8, Mason County
Code.
The
site
was
the
subject
of
a
development
proposal
for
application
number
filed on
(date). Restrictions on use or alteration of the site may exist
due to natural conditions of the site and resulting regulation. Review of such application provides
information on the location of a critical aquifer recharge area and the restrictions on the site. A copy
of the plan showing the aquifer recharge area is attached hereto.
b. Plat Notification
For all proposed short subdivision and subdivision proposals within Critical Aquifer Recharge Areas,
the applicant shall include a note on the face of the plat. The note shall be as set forth below:
"Notice: This site lies within a critical aquifer recharge area as defined by Chapter 8, Mason County
Code.
The
site
was
the
subject
of
a
development
proposal
for
application
number
Filed on
(date). Restrictions on use or alteration of the site may exist due to
natural conditions of the site and resulting regulation.
The note shall be recorded as part of final plat approval of any short subdivision or subdivision.
c.
O.
Evidence of recording of these notices must be provided to the County.
Protection of Private Wells
Generators of hazardous materials are hereby defined as a known or suspected source of contamination per state law.
No small, medium, or large quantity generators of hazardous materials shall be permitted to locate within 100 feet of
any water well per the provisions of WAC 173-160-171 or its successors. This requirement applies to all portions of the
County.
P.
Secondary Containment of Recycling of Hazardous Materials
The following practices and procedures shall be observed throughout the County:
1.
Moderate risk waste and petroleum products, including but not limited to oil and grease, shall be
disposed of by recycling or use of a hazardous waste management facility operating under interim status
or with a permit issued by EPA or an authorized state. No person shall intentionally or negligently dump
or deposit or permit the dumping or depositing of any such waste in any other manner, including onto the
surface of the ground, into surface water, or into ground water.
2.
Moderate risk waste, petroleum products, and hazardous materials shall be kept in containers and shall
be stored in such a manner and location that if a container is ruptured, the contents will not discharge,
flow, be washed or fall into surface water or ground water. This is not intended to supersede any
regulations as stated in the Fire Code.
Mason County Resource Ordinance
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Revised June 16, 2009
TABLE 1
TYPE OF FACILITY
DESIGN UNITS
FLOW (GPD)
Airports
per employee; add per passenger
10; 4.0
Banquet rooms
per seat
5
Barber and beauty shops
per chair
100
Bowling alleys (bar and food)
per lane
125
Bowling alleys (bar only)
per lane
75
Campgrounds with no laundry, no wet sewer
hookups or dump station
per camp site
50
Campgrounds/RV park, with toilets
per camp site
75
Campgrounds/RV park, showers, toilets,
laundry, sewer hookup
per camp site
100
Church - food service, 4-hour
per person
5
Church - no food, 4-hour
per person
3
Community College
per student & faculty, 12-hours
15
Country club - includes food, showers, lounge
per member; add per non-member
50; 25
Day Care Centers, 12-hour
per person
20
Dentist office
per dentist; add per wet chair
250; 200
Doctor office
per doctor
250
Doctor office, in medical center
per 1000 sq ft, 12-hours
500
a. Ordinary restaurant
per seat
50
b. 24-hour restaurant
per seat
75
c. Bar and cocktail lounge
per seat
30
d. Drive-in restaurant
per car space
75
e. Bar only, no food
per seat
10
f. Coffee shop, 6 hour operation
per seat
6
Hospital
per bed
300
Hospital - mental
per bed and per employee
172 and 11
Hotels and motels, rooms only
per room
130
Food Service and Bars
Mason County Resource Ordinance
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Revised June 16, 2009
TYPE OF FACILITY
DESIGN UNITS
FLOW (GPD)
Industrial building, excl. cafeteria and process waste
per employee/ 8 hour shift
17
Industrial, add for Cafeteria
per employee
13
Laundries, self serve, 16-hour
per machine
400
Meeting rooms
per seat
Mobile home parks
per space
300
Nursing home/rest home
per bed
200
Office building
per worker
20
Parks - toilets
per person
10
Parks - toilets & showers
per person
20
Prison
per resident; add per employee
159; 16
Resort camps, cottages
per room
100
Rooming house
per resident
50
Schools, no food or showers
per student
10
Schools, add for cafeterias
per student
5
Schools, add for showers
per student
5
Schools, boarding
per student
75
Service station - pumps
per island; add per employee
500; 25
Service stations - repair
for first bay; add each additional bay
1000; 500
Shopping centers, 12-hour
per 1000 sq. ft floor space
300
Stadiums, race tracks, ball parks
per seat
3
a. Private toilets, for employees only
per employee
20
b. Public toilets
per toilet room
400
3
Stores, without food service
Theaters
a. Indoor, auditoriums, 12-hour
per seat
5
b. Outdoor, drive-ins, 4-hour
per space
5
Sources: WA DOE, Criteria for Sewage Works Design; State of Florida, Dept. of Environmental Regulation, Technical
Information Memorandum 6.2.1; WA DOE, Large On-Site Sewage Guidelines; US EPA, Design Manual, Onsite Wastewater
Treatment and Disposal Systems.
Mason County Resource Ordinance
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Revised June 16, 2009
17.01.090 FREQUENTLY FLOODED AREAS
The purpose of this Section is to prevent the potential for further aggravation of flooding problems and to guide
development in areas vulnerable to flooding.
A.
CLASSIFICATION
The following shall be classified Frequently Flooded Areas:
Frequently Flooded Areas are identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as those areas within
the 100 year floodplain in a report entitled “The Flood Insurance Study for Mason County” dated May 17, 1988,
and revised December 8, 1998, with accompanying Flood Insurance Rate Maps, and any subsequent
amendments thereto, and should be utilized as a guide to development.
The Skokomish River and floodplain as shown in the Comprehensive Flood Hazard Management Plan for the
Skokomish River, February 1997.
B.
DESIGNATION
Lands of Mason County meeting the classification criterion for Frequently Flooded Areas are hereby
designated, under RCW 36.70A.060 and RCW 36.70A.170, as Frequently Flooded Areas requiring immediate
protection from incompatible land uses.
C.
LAND USE
1.
Land uses in Frequently Flooded Areas shall be in compliance with the applicable provisions and
requirements of all ordinances as referenced in Section 17.01.050, or as amended and updated.
2.
The following uses within Frequently Flooded Areas are subject to conditional use permits:
a. Radio and transmission towers, resource based industries, schools, trailer-mix concrete plants,
sawmills, marinas, fire stations, fuel storage tanks, and commercial outdoor recreation.
b. Other uses and activities determined by the Director and the Health Director that are likely to pose a
threat to public health, safety, and general welfare if located within a frequently flooded area.
D.
DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS
Mason County Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance provides specific regulations and permit requirements for
development conducted within the frequently flooded areas of Mason County.
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Revised June 16, 2009
17.01.100
LANDSLIDE HAZARD AREAS
The purpose of the Landslide Hazard Section is to identify areas that present potential dangers to public
health and safety, to prevent the acceleration of natural geological hazards, to address off site
environmental impacts, and to minimize the risk to the property owner or adjacent property owners from
development activities.
Except for the exceptions listed below, development in or near landslide hazard areas requires a permit
and the professional preparation of a geotechnical report or geological assessment to determine under
what conditions the development may proceed at a reasonable risk. All development applications are
reviewed to determine if they are likely to be in or near a landslide hazard area.
•
Landslide hazard areas in Mason County are defined in A.
•
The designation of landslide hazard areas is done in B.
•
Activities exempt from these requirements are described in C.1. and others are listed in section
17.01.130 of the Resource Ordinance.
•
Activities requiring permits are described in C.2.
•
Standard requirements for certain activities are contained in D.
•
When a geotechnical report or geological assessment is required is determined in E 1 and 2.
•
The standards for a geotechnical report and geological assessment are contained in E. 3, 4, 5,
and 6.
•
The general review standard for approval of a permit is in E.7.
•
Notice of the risks inherent in development in a landslide hazard area is required for the applicant
and future property owners in F.
A.
CLASSIFICATION
1.
The following shall be classified as Landslide Hazard Areas:
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
f.
2.
Areas with any indications of earth movement such as debris slides, earthflows,
slumps and rock falls (see figure F.100).
Areas with artificial oversteepened or unengineered slopes, i.e. cuts or fills.
Areas with slopes containing soft or potentially liquefiable soils.
Areas oversteepened or otherwise unstable as a result of stream incision, stream
bank erosion, and undercutting by wave action.
Slopes greater than 15% (8.5 degrees) and having the following:
I.
Hillsides intersecting geologic contacts with a relatively permeable
sediment overlying a relatively impermeable sediment or bedrock (e.g.
sand overlying clay); and
ii.
Springs or groundwater seepage.
Any area with a slope of forty percent or steeper and with a vertical relief of ten or
more feet except areas composed of consolidated rock. A slope is delineated by
establishing its toe and top and measured by averaging the inclination over at
least ten feet of vertical relief.
The following information may be used as a guide by the County to indicate areas that
have a higher likelihood of meeting the classification criteria above:
a.
b.
The areas identified on the Mason County Soil Survey Map as having slopes
greater than 15%.
The areas identified on the Coastal Zone Atlas, Volume 9, of Mason County,
Washington as:
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c.
d.
B.
DESIGNATION
1.
Lands of Mason County classified as Landslide Hazard Areas are hereby designated,
under RCW 36.70A.060 and RCW 36.70A.170, as critical areas requiring immediate
protection from incompatible land uses.
2.
Upon an application for development on either mapped or unmapped lands, the Director
shall determine if a potential landslide hazard exists on a particular site based on:
a.
b.
c.
d.
C.
I.
Unstable - "U"
ii.
Unstable Old Slides - "UOS"
iii.
Unstable Recent Slides - "URS"
iv.
Intermediate Slopes - “I”
v.
Modified Slopes - “M”
The areas identified as Class 2, 3, 4, or 5 of the maps: "Relative Slope Stability of
the Southern Hood Canal Area, Washington", by M. Smith and R.J. Carson,
Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Division of Earth
Resources, 1977; “The Geological Map of North Central Mason County,
Washington”, by R.J. Carson, 1976, U.S. Geologic Survey OFR 76-2;
Areas mapped as landslide deposits (Map Unit Qls) on the: Geologic map of the
Longbranch 7.5-minute quadrangle, Thurston, Pierce, and Mason Counties,
Washington, by R. L. Logan, T. J. Walsh, and Michael Polenz. 1 sheet, scale
1:24,000, 2003; Geologic map of the Squaxin Island 7.5-minute quadrangle,
Mason and Thurston Counties, Washington, by R. L. Logan, Michael Polenz, T. J.
Walsh, and H. W. Schasse. 1 sheet, scale 1:24,000, 2003; Geologic map of the
Shelton 7.5-minute quadrangle, Mason and Thurston Counties, Washington, by
H. W. Schasse, R. L. Logan, Michael Polenz, and T. J. Walsh. 1 sheet, scale
1:24,000, 2003; and Geologic map of the Summit Lake 7.5-minute quadrangle,
Thurston and Mason Counties, Washington, by R. L. Logan and T. J. Walsh. 42 x
36 in. color sheet, scale 1:24,000, 2004.
Information supplied by the applicant in the form of a geotechnical report or
geological assessment,
Actual physical observation of the site,
Existing County Hazard Area maps identified in subsection A, or
Other means determined to be appropriate.
LAND USES
1.
Exempt Uses
a.
The growing and harvesting of timber, forest products and associated
management activities in accordance with the Washington Forest Practices Act of
1974, as amended, and regulations adopted pursuant thereto; including, but not
limited to, road construction and maintenance; aerial operations; applications of
fertilizers and pesticides; helispots; and other uses specific to growing and
harvesting timber forest products and management activities, except those Forest
Practices designated as "Class IV -General Forest Practices" under the authority
of the "Washington State Forest Practices Act Rules and Regulations", WAC
222-16-030;
b.
Those activities and uses conducted pursuant to the Washington State Surface
Mining Act, RCW 78.44 and its Rules and Regulations, where State law
specifically exempts local authority;
c.
Existing and ongoing agriculture, aquaculture, floriculture, horticulture, general
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farming, dairy operating under best management practices (BMP) of the
Washington State Department of Ecology’s Storm Water, Water Quality,
Hazardous Waste, Wetland, and Solid Waste Program and BMP from the
Departments of Health, Agriculture, Transportation, and State Conservation
District Office.
2.
Permit Required Uses
Permits are required for all new construction, grading, land clearing, and other uses
subject to Section 17.01.050, and any Class IV Conversion Permit pursuant to the State
Forest Practices Act which involves conversion to a Permit Required Use, and are within
a Landslide Hazard Area or its buffer. Permit Required Use in or within 300 feet of a
landslide hazard areas requires a Special Report, see Section 17.01.100.E.
D.
DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS
Any land use on Landslide Hazard Areas or their buffers shall conform to the following standards:
1.
Grading
a.
b.
c.
2.
No grading shall be performed in landslide hazard areas prior to obtaining a
grading permit subject to approval, by the Director, based on recommendations
contained in the geotechnical report with slope stability, drainage, erosion control
and grading recommendations.
Clearing during grading shall be limited to the area of the approved development.
No fill, dead vegetation (slash/stumps), or other foreign material shall be placed
within a Landslide Hazard Area or its associated buffers; with the exception of
engineered compacted fill for construction of buttresses for landslide stabilization
which shall be in accordance with recommendations specified in a Geotechnical
Report.
Land Clearing
a.
Within this section, “Land Clearing” is defined as the cutting or harvesting of trees
or the removing or cutting of vegetation so as to expose the soil and which is not
otherwise exempt from this section.
b.
Land Clearing in Landslide Hazard Areas or their buffers is permitted when it is
consistent with the recommendation and plans contained in the Geotechnical
Report and development approval.
c.
If there is no Geotechnical Report for the site, land clearing is not permitted:
however removal of danger trees, selected removal for viewing purposes of trees
less than 6 inches dbh (diameter at breast height) and trimming or pruning of
existing trees and vegetation is allowed with the qualifications cited herein.
Danger trees shall be identified with the recommendation of a member of the
Association of Consulting Foresters of America, an arborist certified by the
International Society of Arboriculture, or with the recommendation of a person
qualified to prepare a geotechnical report if removing trees for slope stabilization
purposes. Removal of trees less than 6 inches dbh shall be limited to less than 2
percent of the total number of trees of that size or larger in the hazard area.
Removal of multiple trees in a concentrated area, i.e. within a distance of 25 feet
of each other, shall be accompanied by replacement by deep rooting native
Mason County Resource Ordinance
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Revised June 16, 2009
shrubs or other vegetation that serve similar moisture and erosion protective
functions to that provided by the removed trees. Trimming and pruning shall be
accomplished in accordance with pruning standards of the International Society of
Arboriculture, as published in “ANSI A300-95" or subsequent updated versions in
order to minimize the potential for long term damage to the trees.
3.
d.
Removal of selected trees and ground cover is allowed without a permit for the
purpose of surveying and geotechnical exploration activities that do not involve
grading, provided that re-vegetation of the disturbed areas occurs immediately
afterward.
e.
Land clearing for which a permit has been obtained shall not be allowed during
the wet season, i.e. from October 15 through May 1, unless special provisions for
wet season erosion and landslide protection have been addressed in the
Geotechnical Report and approved by the Director.
Drainage
a.
b.
c.
4.
Surface drainage, including downspouts and runoff from paved or unpaved
surfaces up slope, shall not be directed onto or within 50 feet above or onto the
face of a Landslide Hazard Area or its associated buffer. If drainage must be
discharged from the top of a Landslide Hazard Area to below its toe, it shall be
collected above the top and directed to below the toe by tight line drain and
provided with an energy dissipating device at the toe.
Stormwater retention and detention systems, including percolation systems
utilizing buried pipe or French drain, are prohibited unless a licensed civil
engineer certifies appropriate mitigation measures.
Erosion shall be controlled as provided in the Mason County Stormwater
Management Ordinance and in accordance with the recommendations provided
in any geotechnical report or geological assessment prepared for the site.
Sewage Collection/Treatment Systems
Sewage collection and treatment systems shall be located outside of the Landslide
Hazard Areas and associated buffers, unless an approved geotechnical report specifies
appropriate mitigation measures. See Section 17.01.100.E.
5.
Subdivision Design and Lot Size
For the purpose of determining lot sizes under Title 16 of the Mason County Code, and
other county regulatory requirements, the Director shall review available information and
required Geotechnical Reports or Geological Assessments under Section 17.01.100.E,
and make a decision on a case-by-case basis based on the reports. To avoid impacts to
anadromous fisheries and fish habitat, land divisions, (short plats, subdivisions, and large
lot divisions) shall not be approved unless:
a.
b.
No improvements or construction shall be within fish and wildlife habitat
conservation areas, wetlands, or their buffers, provided that necessary water or
wetland crossings or encroachments approved pursuant to other sections of the
Mason County Resource Ordinance or other county regulations may be permitted
for roads and utilities.
All lots must have designated building areas on which structures may be safely
located without the requirement for bulkheading, bank protection or other
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structures that encroach on fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas, wetlands,
or their buffers. Future buildings are to be limited to such designated areas.
The number, size, or configuration of lots may be changed as a condition of approval to
meet this requirement.
6.
Buffers
a.
b.
c.
7.
A 50 foot (15.25 meter) buffer of undisturbed, natural vegetation is required around
the Landslide Hazard Area or as recommended by the geotechnical engineer.
Based on the results of the Geotechnical Report or Geological Assessment, the
Director may increase the buffer.
An application may be made to reduce the buffer for the purpose of constructing
a single family residence on a lot existing or vested by December 6, 1996. Notice
of application for the reduction of the buffer shall be made as provided in Section
15.07.010 of the Mason County Development Code (which specifies how notice is
sent to adjacent property owners and posted on the site). The Director shall
approve such a reduction only on finding that the approval is conditioned as
necessary to be consistent with the recommendations contained within the
Geotechnical Report or Geological Assessment (described in Sections
17.01.100.E.) and on finding that impacts to anadromous fish or their habitat or to
fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas shall be avoided or mitigated as
detailed in an approved Habitat Management Plan (described in Section
17.01.110.)
Bulkheads and Bank Protection
Bulkheads and bank protections, along with related fill, constructed for landslide
stabilization measures approved under the Shoreline Master Program or the Fish and
Wildlife Habitat Conservation Area regulations, shall be consistent with recommendations
specified in a Geotechnical Report.
8.
Residential Densities and Floor Area Ratios
The landslide hazard area and its buffer shall be counted in calculating the number of
dwelling units (determined by the size of the site and residential density allowed) or the
area of non-residential building (determined by the size of the site and the floor area ratio
allowed) that may be built on the site; provided that:
a.
the development is outside of the landslide hazard area or its buffer, and
b.
the development is able to comply with all county regulations without encroaching
on the landslide hazard area or its buffer.
Clustering of residential development away from landslide hazard area and its buffer may
receive a density bonus if performed meeting the design requirements contained in
Chapter 16.22, Mason County Code.
E.
SPECIAL REPORTS
1.
Applicability
Every application for development within a Landslide Hazard Area or its buffer or within 250
feet of the buffer (that is – within 300 feet of the landslide hazard area) shall meet the
standards of Section 17.01.100.D and shall require a professionally prepared special report:
Mason County Resource Ordinance
53
Revised June 16, 2009
either a Geological Assessment or a Geotechnical Report, or both. The intent of the
Geological Assessment is to confirm that the proposed development is outside of the
landslide hazard area and its associated buffers and setbacks. The intent of the Geotechnical
Report is to specify how the hazards are to be mitigated when development is proposed
within the landslide hazard area itself or its buffers or setbacks. The type of report that is
required is specified below:
Category a.
Development proposed within 300 feet of areas slopes greater than 40
percent (21.8 degrees) will require a Geotechnical Report.
Category b.
Development proposed within 200 feet of areas with any visible signs of
earth movement such as debris slides, earthflows, slumps and rockfalls,
or areas of previously mapped or recorded landslides will require a
Geotechnical Report. If the proposed development is 200 feet or more
from these areas, but not more than 300 feet from them, then a
Geological Assessment is required and a Geotechnical Report may be
required based on findings of the assessment.
Category c.
Development proposed within 100 feet of areas of oversteepened or
otherwise potentially unstable slopes as a result of stream incision,
stream bank erosion, and undercutting by wave action will require a
Geotechnical Report. If the proposed development is 100 feet or more
from these areas, but not more than 300 feet from them, then a
Geological Assessment is required and a Geotechnical Report may be
required based on findings of the assessment.
Category d.
Development proposed within 300 feet of areas with slopes between 15
percent (8.5 degrees) and 40 percent (21.8 degrees) will require a
Geological Assessment, and may further require a Geotechnical Report
upon analysis of the following factors by the Director:
(1)
Lot size and use;
(2)
Overall height of slope and maximum any planned cut or fill (requires a
grading plan from the applicant);
(3)
Soil types and history of sliding in the vicinity;
(4)
Groundwater conditions, including depth to water and quantity of surface
seepage;
(5)
Approximate depth to hard or dense competent soil, e.g. glacial till or
outwash sand;
(6)
Impervious surfaces and drainage schemes (requires
development/grading plan from the applicant);
(7)
Wastewater treatment (requires on-site sewage disposal system
approval from Mason County Department of Health);
(8)
Potential off-site impacts, including adjacent properties, roadways, etc.
(requires environmental statement from the applicant, dependant on
scope of project).
2.
Waiver of Geotechnical Report
The Director may waive the requirement for the Geotechnical Report for Category c and d
sites upon a written finding in the Geological Assessment that the potential for landslide
activity is low and that the proposed development would not cause significant adverse
impacts, or that there is adequate geological information available on the area proposed
for development to determine the impacts of the proposed development and appropriate
mitigating measures.
3.
Qualifications of Preparer
Mason County Resource Ordinance
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Revised June 16, 2009
The Geologic Assessment shall be prepared at the discretion of the Director by either a licensed
civil engineer with specialized knowledge of geotechnical/geological engineering or a licensed
geologist or engineering geologist with special knowledge of the local conditions. The
Geotechnical Report shall be prepared at the discretion of the Director by a licensed civil engineer
with specialized knowledge of geotechnical/geological engineering or a licensed engineering
geologist. The preparer shall be licensed in the State of Washington.
4.
Content of the Geological Assessment
A Geological Assessment shall include but not be limited to the following:
(1)
A discussion of geologic conditions in the general vicinity of the proposed development, with
geologic unit designation consistent with terminology used in the Coastal Zone Atlas
(Washington Department of Natural Resources, 1980) or in applicable U.S. Geologic Survey
maps (e.g. Geological Map of North Central Mason County, by R.J. Carson, 1976, U.S.
Geologic Survey OFR 76-2). Also to be used as applicable are: Geologic map of the
Longbranch 7.5-minute quadrangle, Thurston, Pierce, and Mason Counties, Washington, by
R. L. Logan, T. J. Walsh, and Michael Polenz. 1 sheet, scale 1:24,000, 2003; Geologic map
of the Squaxin Island 7.5-minute quadrangle, Mason and Thurston Counties, Washington, by
R. L. Logan, Michael Polenz, T. J. Walsh, and H. W. Schasse. 1 sheet, scale 1:24,000, 2003;
Geologic map of the Shelton 7.5-minute quadrangle, Mason and Thurston Counties,
Washington, by H. W. Schasse, R. L. Logan, Michael Polenz, and T. J. Walsh. 1 sheet, scale
1:24,000, 2003; and the Geologic map of the Summit Lake 7.5-minute quadrangle, Thurston
and Mason Counties, Washington, by R. L. Logan and T. J. Walsh. 42 x 36 in. color sheet,
scale 1:24,000, 2004. Use of Soil Conservation Service soil layer terminology is considered
inappropriate for this assessment.
(2)
A discussion of the ground water conditions at the site, including the estimated depth to
water and the quantity of surface seepage and the upslope geomorphology and location
of upland waterbodies and wetlands.
(3)
The approximate depth to hard or dense competent soil, e.g. glacial till or outwash sand.
(4)
A discussion of any geomorphic expression of past slope instability (presence of
hummocky ground or ground cracks, terraced topography indicative of landslide block
movement, bowed or arched trees indicating downslope movement, etc.).
(5)
A discussion of the history of landslide activity in the vicinity, as available in the Coastal
Zone Atlas, the map of “Relative Slope Stability of the Southern Hood Canal Area,
Washington” by M. Smith and R.J. Carson, 1977; Geologic map of the Longbranch 7.5minute quadrangle, Thurston, Pierce, and Mason Counties, Washington, by R. L. Logan,
T. J. Walsh, and Michael Polenz. 1 sheet, scale 1:24,000, 2003; Geologic map of the
Squaxin Island 7.5-minute quadrangle, Mason and Thurston Counties, Washington, by R.
L. Logan, Michael Polenz, T. J. Walsh, and H. W. Schasse. 1 sheet, scale 1:24,000,
2003; Geologic map of the Shelton 7.5-minute quadrangle, Mason and Thurston
Counties, Washington, by H. W. Schasse, R. L. Logan, Michael Polenz, and T. J. Walsh.
1 sheet, scale 1:24,000, 2003; and the Geologic map of the Summit Lake 7.5-minute
quadrangle, Thurston and Mason Counties, Washington, by R. L. Logan and T. J. Walsh.
42 x 36 in. color sheet, scale 1:24,000, 2004; and the landslide records on file with the
Mason County Department of Community Development.
(6)
An opinion on whether the proposed development is within the landslide hazard area or its
associated buffer or setback.
(7)
A recommendation by the preparer whether a Geotechnical Report should be required to
further evaluate site conditions and the proposed development of the subject property.
(8)
If the presence of a hazard is determined within 300 feet of the proposed development,
then the area of the proposed development, the boundaries of the hazard, and associated
buffers and setbacks shall be delineated (top, both sides, and toe) on a geologic map/ site
Mason County Resource Ordinance
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Revised June 16, 2009
(9)
5.
map.
A site map drawn to scale showing the property boundaries, scale, north arrow, and the
location and nature of existing and proposed development on the site.
Content of a Geotechnical Report
A Geotechnical Report shall include but not be limited to the following:
(1)
A discussion of general geologic conditions, specific soil types, ground water conditions,
the upslope geomorphology and location of upland waterbodies and wetlands, and history
of landslide activity in the vicinity.
(2)
A site plan which identifies the important development and geologic features.
(3)
Locations and logs of exploratory holes or probes.
(4)
The area of the proposed development, the boundaries of the hazard, and associated
buffers and setbacks shall be delineated (top, both sides, and toe) on a geologic map of
the site.
(5)
A minimum of one cross section at a scale which adequately depicts the subsurface
profile, and which incorporates the details of proposed grade changes.
(6)
A description and results of slope stability analyses performed for both static and seismic
loading conditions. Analysis should examine worst case failures. The analysis should
include the Simplified Bishop’s Method of Circles. The minimum static safety factor is 1.5,
the minimum seismic safety factor is 1.1. and the quasi-static analysis coeffients should
be a value of 0.15.
(7)
Appropriate restrictions on placement of drainage features, septic drain fields and
compacted fills and footings, including recommended buffers and setbacks from the
landslide hazard areas.
(8)
Recommendations for the preparation of a detailed clearing and grading plan which
specifically identifies vegetation to be removed, a schedule for vegetation removal and
replanting, and the method of vegetation removal.
(9)
Recommendations for the preparation of a detailed temporary erosion control plan which
identifies the specific mitigating measures to be implemented during construction to
protect the slope from erosion, landslides and harmful construction methods.
(10)
An analysis of both on-site and off-site impacts of the proposed development.
(11)
Specifications of final development conditions such as, vegetative management,
drainage, erosion control, and buffer widths.
(12)
Recommendations for the preparation of structural mitigation or details of other proposed
mitigation.
(13)
A site map drawn to scale showing the property boundaries, scale, north arrow, and the
location and nature of existing and proposed development on the site.
6.
Applicable Standards
Geological Assessments and Geotechnical Reports shall be prepared using terminology, descriptions,
evaluation methods and mitigation approaches that reflect the current standard of care for
practitioners in the field of geologic hazards. Professionals performing geological assessments and
geotechnical reports should consider information in, but not limited to the following publications and
sources: Turner, A.K. and Schuster, R.L. (1996; “Landslides, Investigation and Mitigation”,
Transportation Research Board Special Report 247, National Academy Press, Washington DC.) for
classification, analysis and conceptual mitigation of landslides; Washington Department of Ecology
(1993; “Slope Stabilization and Erosion Control Using Vegetation, A Manual of Practice For Coastal
Property Owners”, Publication No. 93-30, Olympia, WA; and “Vegetation Management: A Guide For
Puget Sound Bluff Property Owners”, Publication No. 93-31, Olympia, WA) for vegetation
management and it use in slope stabilization and erosion protection; and Washington Department of
Ecology (1995; “Surface Water and Groundwater on Coastal Bluffs”, Publication No. 95-107,
Olympia, WA) for water and drainage management and its use in slope stabilization and erosion
protection.
7.
Administrative Determination
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Revised June 16, 2009
Any area in which the Geotechnical report or geological assessment indicates the presence of
landslide hazards shall not be subjected to development unless the report demonstrates
conclusively that the risks posed by the landslide hazards can be mitigated through geotechnical
design recommendations, and that the development meets all standards in Section 17.01.100.D.
Hazards must be mitigated in such a manner as to prevent harm to property and public health and
safety, and to assure no significant adverse environmental impact. Impacts to anadromous fish or
their habitat or to fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas shall be avoided or mitigated as
detailed in an approved Habitat Management Plan, as described in Section 17.01.110. The
Director may submit either the Geologic Assessment or the Geotechnical Report to an outside
agency with geotechnical expertise or to a geotechnical consultant for third party peer review prior
to issuing a ruling on the project.
F.
APPLICANT HOLD HARMLESS STATEMENT
The property owner shall be required to acknowledge in writing the risks inherent in developing in a
geologic hazard area, to accept the responsibility of any adverse affects which may occur to the subject
property or other properties as a result of the development, and to agree to convey the knowledge of this
risk to persons purchasing the site by filing the notice on the property title.
Mason County Resource Ordinance
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Revised June 16, 2009
Mason County Resource Ordinance
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Revised June 16, 2009
17.01.102
SEISMIC HAZARD AREAS
The purpose of the Seismic Hazard Section is to identify areas that present potential dangers to public health and
safety, and to prevent the acceleration of manmade and natural geological hazards, and to neutralize the risk to
the property owner or adjacent properties from development activities. Types of Seismic Hazards include:
Surface Faulting; Ground Shaking; Earthquake-related ground failure and landslides; Lateral Spreading;
Liquefaction; Lurch Cracks; Rockfalls; Differential Settlement; Regional Uplift; Seiches; and/or Tsunamis. These
are defined under Seismic Hazard Areas in Section 17.01.240.
A.
CLASSIFICATION
The following shall be classified as Seismic Hazard Areas:
1.
B.
Areas susceptible to ground failure including the following:
a.
Areas with geologic faults;
b.
Deep road fills and areas of poorly compacted artificial fill;
c.
Areas with artificially steepened slopes (i.e. old gravel pits);
d.
Postglacial stream, lake or beach sediments;
e.
River deltas;
f.
Areas designated as potential Landslide Hazard Areas;
g.
Bluff areas; and
h.
Areas underlain by potentially liquefiable soils.
2.
The following criteria may be used as a guide by the County to indicate areas that have a higher
likelihood of meeting the classification criteria above:
a.
Areas identified on the Coastal Zone Atlas of Washington, Volume 9, Mason County as Af, Qa1,
Qa2, Qvc, Qls, Qos and Qp.
b.
Areas identified on the Mason County Soil Survey Map as having slopes greater than 15 percent.
c.
Faults identified on "Map Showing Known or Suspected Faults With Quaternary Displacement in
the Pacific Northwest", A.M. Rogers, T.J. Walsh, W.J. Kockelman and G.R. Priest, US Geologic
Survey, 1996; or described in "Active Faulting Investigations on the Canyon River Fault, Southern
Olympic Range, Washington", T.J. Walsh and K.G. Neal, U.S. Geologic Survey, 1997.
d.
Areas underlain by potentially liquefiable soils as shown “Liquefaction Susceptibility Map of Mason
County, Washington” by Stephen P. Palmer, Sammantha L. Magsino, James L. Poelstra, Eric L.
Bilderback, Derek S. Folger, and Rebecca A. Niggemann, September 2004.
DESIGNATION
Lands of Mason County meeting the criteria for Seismic Hazard Areas are hereby designated, under RCW
36.70A.060 and RCW 36.70A.170, as critical areas.
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C.
LAND USES
All uses and activities within Seismic Hazard Areas are subject to the development standards of this
Section.
D.
DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS
1.
Development in Seismic Hazard Areas must be in compliance with Section 17.01.050.
2.
Development within Landslide Hazard Areas must be in compliance with Section 17.01.100.
3.
Location of Buildings and Facilities
Upon application for a Building Permit, if the Director finds that the proposed development is
within a Seismic Hazard Area, the County shall notify the applicant and indicate that the potential
effects of seismic activity shall be considered and that Geologic Assessment or Geotechnical
Report which addresses the seismic hazard shall be required. Requirements of the Geologic
Assessment and Geotechnical Report and the preparer shall be as detailed in Section 17.01.100
E.
a.
The Geologic Assessment or Geotechnical Report shall include a description of the
geology of the site, conclusions and recommendations regarding the effect of geological
conditions on the proposed development, and opinions and recommendations for
compensating for the seismic hazards present.
b.
The County shall take the potential seismic effects into consideration when reviewing the
proposal under SEPA and may include an alternative site analysis and recommendations.
4.
Approval of development in Seismic Hazard Areas shall not be issued unless a Geological
Assessment or Geotechnical Report demonstrates conclusively that the hazards can be
overcome. Hazards must be mitigated in such a manner as to prevent harm to public health,
safety, and property and to minimize environmental impact. Impacts to anadromous fish or their
habitat or to fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas must be avoided or mitigated as detailed
in an approved Habitat Management Plan, as described in Section 17.01.110. The Director may
submit the Report to an outside agency with geotechnical expertise or to a geotechnical
consultant for third party peer review prior to issuing a ruling on the project at the applicant’s
expense.
5.
New developments within Seismic Hazard Areas shall be designed in accordance with applicable
provisions of the 2003 International Building Code (IBC) including consideration of the ground
motions associated with a 475 year return period seismic event for Seismic Zone 3 and the
liquefaction and soil strength loss that may occur during that event. Components of the new
development that are critical to health and safety, such as roadways and bridges, that may not be
directly addressed by the IBC shall be designed taking into consideration the same ground
motions and their possible effects as identified in the IBC for structures.
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17.01.104
EROSION HAZARD AREAS
The purpose of the Erosion Hazard Section is to identify areas that present potential dangers to public health and
safety, and to prevent the acceleration of natural geological hazards, and to neutralize the risk to the property
owner from development activities.
A.
CLASSIFICATION
The following shall be classified as Erosion Hazard Areas:
Areas in Mason County underlain by soils which are subject to severe erosion when disturbed. Such soils
include, but are not limited to, those for which potential for erosion is identified in the Soil Survey of Mason
County, USDA Soil Conservation Service, 1960, or any subsequent revisions or addition to this source.
These soils include, but are not limited to, any occurrence of River Wash ("Ra") or Coastal Beaches ("Cg")
and the following when they occur on slopes 15% or steeper:
a. Alderwood gravelly sandy loam ("Ac" and "Ad")
b. Cloquallum silt loam ("Cd")
c. Harstine gravelly sandy loam ("Hb")
d. Kitsap silt loam ("Kc")
B.
DESIGNATION
The lands of Mason County meeting the criteria for Erosion Hazard Areas and are classified as such are
hereby designated, under RCW 36.70A.060 and RCW 36.70A.170, as critical areas.
C.
LAND USES
All uses and activities within Erosion Hazard Areas are subject to the development standards of this
Section.
D.
DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS
Any land use on Erosion Hazard Areas shall conform to the following standards:
1.
Development in Erosion Hazard Areas must be in compliance with Section 17.01.050, and
standards and requirements in Section 17.01.100 of this Chapter.
2.
No land clearing or grading activities shall be performed in an Erosion Hazard Area prior to
obtaining a grading permit, subject to approval by the Director, based on the recommendations
contained in the Geotechnical Report.
3.
Upon application for a Building Permit, if the Director finds that the proposed development is
within an Erosion Hazard Area, the County shall require the applicant to submit a Soil Erosion and
Sediment Control Plan prepared by a professional engineer licensed in the State of Washington.
The Plan may be included as an attachment in the Geotechnical Report. The Soil Erosion and
Sediment Control Plan shall specifically and realistically identify temporary and permanent
measures of erosion control.
4.
Wet Season Operations: Clearing on an erosion hazard area shall be limited to the period
between May 1 – October 15. If wet season operations are sought, the applicant shall provide
erosion and sedimentation control plan prepared by a professional engineer licensed in the State
of Washington that specifically and realistically identifies methods of erosion control for wet
weather conditions.
5.
The Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Plan shall provide for protection of the development area
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and disturbed surfaces not involved in the immediate development operation using Best
Management Practices (BMP) such as sediment traps, check dams, stabilized construction
entrances, storm inlet protection, silt fencing, mulching or other effective means of soil protection.
6.
Runoff from activities subject to a development permit shall be properly controlled to prevent
erosion.
7.
Continued Responsibility: It shall be the responsibility of the property owner and the permittee to
ensure that accelerated erosion does not occur during and after the project construction .
Additional measures, beyond those specified in an approved Soil Erosion and Sediment Control
Plan, may be required by the Director as deemed necessary to control erosion after project
completion.
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17.01.110 FISH AND WILDLIFE HABITAT CONSERVATION AREAS
A.
PURPOSE.
Fish and wildlife habitat conservation means land management for maintaining species in suitable
habitats within their natural geographic distribution so that isolated populations are not created.
This does not mean maintaining all individuals of all species at all times, but it does mean
intergovernmental cooperation and coordination is critically important in a region. In some cases,
it is sufficient to assure that a species will usually be found in certain regions across the state. The
provisions for the protection of habitat contained in this section can not succeed in their purpose of
supporting viable populations of fish and wildlife species unless other agencies and the public also
act to protect the species. In the case of anadromous fish, the Statewide Salmon Recovery
Strategy identifies that it will take a balanced approach to addressing the factors of decline that are
within human control, including harvest, hatchery, habitat, and hydropower. The underlying
assumption within this section is that impacts to anadromous fish or their habitat or to fish and
wildlife conservation areas shall be avoided or mitigated as detailed in an approved Habitat
Management Plan as described in Section 17.01.110.J. The intent of this Section is to:
1.
Protect critical habitat features to support genetically viable populations of fish and wildlife
species and allow for commercial and non-commercial uses;
2.
Protect the biological, physical, and chemical components of water quality for the benefit
of aquatic and terrestrial resources, as well as human consumptive uses;
3.
Ensure that natural stream and marine shoreline functions such as flow patterns,
production of sediment and large woody debris are maintained with minimal interference
or impact to private property;
4.
Protect habitat for federal or state listed endangered, threatened or sensitive fish and
wildlife.
5.
Encourage non-regulatory methods of habitat retention whenever practical, through
education, and the Open Space Tax Program.
6.
To supplement the Shorelines Master Plan for Mason County to preserve and protect
critical fish and wildlife habitat pursuant to (WAC 365-190-080(5)). It is the intent that this
ordinance will compliment and supplement the Shorelines Master Plan.
7.
To implement the Mason County Comprehensive Plan and to achieve these purposes
consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.
B.
FISH AND WILDLIFE HABITAT CONSERVATION AREA CATEGORIES.
Fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas include both aquatic and terrestrial areas within Mason
County. The approximate location and extent of critical fish and wildlife habitat areas are
displayed in the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife's (WDFW) Priority Habitat and Species
(PHS) Program database. Mason County will also use other available information for these critical
fish and wildlife habitat areas, including tribal and federal databases and local knowledge. The
following categories shall be used in classifying critical areas to be regulated under this ordinance:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Commercial and recreational shellfish areas.
Kelp and eelgrass beds; herring, sand lance, and smelt spawning areas.
Naturally occurring lakes and ponds under twenty acres and their submerged aquatic beds
that provide fish or wildlife habitat.
Streams.
Saltwater Shorelines, and Lakes 20 Acres and Greater in Surface Area.
Lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers planted with game fish by a governmental or tribal
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entity.
State Department of Natural Resources natural area preserves and natural resource
conservation areas.
Areas with which Federal or State endangered, threatened and sensitive species of fish
and wildlife have a primary association. Those species known to be found in Mason
County are listed in Table 1. Protection of species habitats is determined by the State or
Federal listing, and their actual presence near the site subject to review. Other listed and
protected species may be found in Mason County, which are not in Table 1.
Other areas that contain habitats and species of local importance (which include juvenile
salmonid migration areas) as listed in Table 1 below. Species of local importance may
include, but are not limited to, State Candidate and Monitor species.
7.
8.
8.
Table 1. Species of Importance that may occur in Mason County
Species
Scientific
Scientific Name
State Status
Federal Status
Bull Trout
Salvelinus confluentis
Candidate
Threatened
Puget Sound Chinook
Onchorynchus tshawytscha
Candidate
Threatened
Hood Canal Summer
Chum
Onchorynchus keta
Candidate
Threatened
Dolly Varden
Salvelinus malma
none
none
Western Pond Turtle
Clemmys maramorata
Endangered
Species of
Concern
Cascade Frog
Rana cascadae
none
Species of
Concern
Fish
Amphibians
Van Dyke's salamander Plethodon vandykei
Species of Concern Species of
Concern
Tailed Frog
Ascaphus truei
Monitor
Species of
Concern
Olympic Torrent
salamander
Ryacotriton olympicus
Monitor
none
Mollusks
Newcomb's littorine snail Algamorda newcombiana
Species of Concern Species of
Concern
Birds
Marbled Murrelet
Brachyramphus marmoratus
Threatened
Threatened
Bald Eagle
Haliaetus leucocephalus
Threatened
Threatened
Northern Spotted Owl
Stridex occidentalis
Endangered
Threatened
Northern Goshawk
Accipiter gentilis
Candidate
Species of
Concern
Peregrine Falcon
Falco peregrinus
Endangered
Species of
Concern
Pileated Woodpecker
Drycopus pileatus
Candidate
none
Common Loon
Gavia immer
Sensitive
none
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Harlequin Duck
Histrionicus histrionicus
none
Species of
Concern
Brandt's Cormorant
Phalacrocorax penicillatus
Candidate
none
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Contopus boreaus
none
Species of
Concern
Golden Eagle
Aquilla chrysaetos
Candidate
none
Great Blue Heron
Ardea herodias
Monitor
None
Merlin
Falco columbarius
Candidate
None
Purple Martin
Progne subis
Candidate
None
Western Bluebird
Sialia mexicana
Monitor
None
Vaux's Swift
Chateura vauxi
Candidate
None
Gray Wolf
Canis lupis
Endangered
Endangered
Pacific Fisher
Martes pennanti
Endangered
Species of
Concern
Candidate
Species of
Concern
Mammals
Townsend's big-eared bat Plecotus townsendii
Shelton pocket gopher
Thomomys
Candidate
None
Merriam's Shrew
Sorex merriami
Candidate
None
Roosevelt elk
Cervus elaphus roosevelti
none
None
Pygmy Shrew
Sorex hoyi
Monitor
None
Table 2. Priority Species not Federally or State listed and not governed by this ordinance.
Species
Scientific Name
State Status
Federal
Federal Status
Blue Grouse
Dendragapus obscurus
None
None
Band-tailed Pigeon
Colmba fasciata
None
None
Wood Duck
Aix sponsa
None
None
Hooded Merganser
Lophodytes cucullatus
None
None
Mountain Quail
Oreortyx pictus
None
None
C.
DESIGNATION
The areas classified in Section B above as Fish and Wildlife Habitat Conservation Areas (FWHCA)
are hereby designated under RCW 36.70A.060 and RCW 36.70A.170, as critical areas requiring
proper land management to protect their value and functions.
D.
ESTABLISHMENT OF BUFFERS ON FISH & WILDLIFE HABITAT CONSERVATION
AREAS
1.
Fish and Wildlife Habitat Conservation Areas shall have Buffers and Building Setbacks
established. The standard buffer and setback requirements are shown in Table 3.
a.
Buffers or setbacks shall be maintained along the perimeter of Fish and Wildlife
Habitat Conservation Areas Buffer distances associated with streams shall be
measured horizontally from the ordinary high water mark (OHWM) or channel
migration zone (CMZ), whichever is greater. All other buffer distances shall be
measured horizontally from the established FWHCA perimeter.
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b.
Buffers shall be retained in their natural condition, except as provided elsewhere
in this ordinance.
c.
Building Setback Lines: A building setback line of fifteen (15) feet is required from
the edge of any buffer area, except for Type 1 saltwater and lake excluding Conservancy
Shorelines.
2.
The following are special provisions for buffers and setbacks on lots created prior to
December 5, 1996, and which are located on saltwater or on a freshwater lake 20 acres or
larger in size. As stated in the Table 3, there shall be a standard 100 foot buffer for a total
of 100 feet as measured from the ordinary high water mark (OHWM). Provided, however,
that in the following circumstances, these special provisions apply instead of the standard
buffer and setback requirement.
a. Special provision for view protection on subject lots.
Applications for single-family residential construction and meeting the following
conditions shall have buffers and setbacks as described below:
1)
Where existing residences are on both sides of and within 150 feet of the lot line
of the subject lot, and no more than 200 feet from the shoreline OHWM, the
setback on the subject lot is determined by an imaginary common line drawn
across the subject lot which connects the shore-side roof lines of the first adjacent
existing residences. (See Figure 1). The common line set back may be more or
less than 100 feet from the OHWM, provided, however, that:
(a) the buffer shall not be less than 20 feet in width from the OHWM and a
minimum setback from the edge of the buffer is 15 feet; and
(b) there shall be a maximum buffer of 100 feet from the OHWM with the balance
of the setback established by the common line to be a building setback area.
(c) if the resulting buffer is less than 100 feet, it will be enhanced for wildlife
function which will include at a minimum planting with native vegetation.
(d) if the resulting buffer is less than 100 feet, the development of site outside the
buffer shall also use best management practices such as those in Appendix C
to limit impacts to the resource.
2)
Where an existing residence is on one side of and within 150 feet of the lot line of
the subject lot, and no more than 200 feet from the shoreline OHWM, the setback
on the subject lot is determined by an imaginary common line drawn from the
shore-side roof line of the existing residence and across the subject lot to a point
which is 100 feet from the OHWM along the far lot line of the subject lot. (See
Figure 2). The common line set back may be more or less than 100 feet from the
OHWM, provided, however, that:
(a) the buffer shall not be less than 20 feet in width from the OHWM and a
minimum setback from the edge of the buffer is 15 feet; and
(b) there shall be a maximum buffer of 100 feet from the OHWM with the
balance of the setback established by the common line to be a building
setback area.
(c) If the resulting buffer is less than 100 feet, it will be enhanced for wildlife
function which will include at a minimum planting with native vegetation.
(d) If the resulting buffer is less than 100 feet, the development of site outside the
buffer shall also use best management practices such as those in Appendix C
to limit impacts to the resource.
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Revised June 16, 2009
3)
As used in this section, a “residence” refers to the principal dwelling/ residential
structure and does not include outbuildings or other structures.
4)
When applying 1) above, if the shoreline has a high degree of curvature, the
Administrator may use the average set back from OHWM of the two existing
residences rather than the imaginary line between the rooflines in order to
establish the common line setback. When applying 2) above, if the shoreline has
a high degree of curvature, the Administrator may use the average of the set back
from OHWM of the existing residence and the 100 foot setback, rather than the
imaginary line between the roofline and the 100 foot setback, in order to establish
the common line setback.
b. Special provision for water-dependent uses on existing lots.
Applications for development defined as water-dependent uses shall provide the
standard 100 foot buffer along as much of the shoreline as possible while making
the minimum necessary adjustments to the buffer to provide for the waterdependent use, as determined by the Director. Such development shall meet the
requirements of other applicable regulations, including other Resource Ordinance
sections and the Mason County Shoreline Master Program.
Table 3. Fish & Wildlife Habitat Conservation Area Development Standards.
Habitat Type
Buffer
Type S Stream
150 feet
15 feet
Type F Stream
150 feet
15 feet
Type SP Stream
200 feet
15 feet
Type Np Stream
100 feet
15 feet
Type Ns Stream
75 feet
15 feet
Saltwater and Lakes over 20 acres 100 feet
excluding Conservancy Shorelines
0 feet
Conservancy Shorelines*,
100 feet
Saltwater and Lakes over 20 acres
15 feet
**
Building Setback from Buffer
*Conservancy Shorelines are those shorelines designated as Conservancy Shoreline Environment
in the Mason County Shoreline Master Program.
Please see the Definitions section under “Stream” for further explanation.
S = shoreline of the state, F = fish habitat, Np = non-fish habitat with perennial (all year) water,
Ns = non-fish habitat with dry periods or seasonal water flow. **SP stream is proposed for
consideration if any specific streams are identified that are significant in terms of anadromous
fish and recommended to be protected by a larger buffer.
3.
Provision for Decreasing Buffer:
For major new development, Mason County may decrease the buffer after consultation
with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Skokomish Tribe, the
Quinault Tribe and/or the Squaxin Island Tribe, after review and approval of a Habitat
Management Plan, and after a public hearing. Mitigation must be adequate to preserve or
enhance the functions and values of the critical area. This means that a finding must be
made that the net effect of the proposal equal or better than applying the standard buffers.
If enhancement is part of the mitigation plan, then a greater level of enhancement is
required to offset the time lost while the enhancement matures.
4.
Provision for Increasing Buffer:
Mason County may increase the buffer width on a case-by-case basis, after a public
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Revised June 16, 2009
hearing, as provided in subsection 17.01.120.L., when a larger buffer is necessary to
protect the structure, function and value of Fish & Wildlife Habitat Conservation Areas.
The buffer shall be increased or other protections shall be provided in order to prevent a
significant adverse environmental impact by a proposed project on those functions and
values. This determination shall be supported by appropriate documentation to be
obtained in consultation with the state of Washington and the Skokomish Tribe, Quinault
Tribe and/or the Squaxin Island Tribe. Such determination shall be attached as a permit
condition and shall demonstrate that:
a.
A larger buffer is necessary to maintain viable populations or critical habitat of
endangered, threatened, or sensitive species; or
b.
The adjacent land is susceptible to severe erosion and erosion control measures
will not effectively prevent adverse impacts to the FWHCA; or
c.
If the FWHCA contains variations in sensitivity, increasing the vegetation area
widths will only be done as necessary to preserve the structure, function and
value of the FWHCA.
d.
If the increase in buffer is based on the upland area feeding substantial material
to the net-shore drift system, as identified in the Mason County Shoreline
Inventory Report, June 12, 1995, that the larger buffer is necessary in
maintenance of that system and the functions and values of the FWHCA. The
increase shall approximate the bluff erosion distance having occurred over the
past 50 years, based on best available information.
5.
Lakes and ponds under 20 Acres that are not regulated as wetlands and that do not have
critical habitat for listed species of local importance shall have buffers of 35 feet with an
additional 15 foot building setback.
E.
STEWARDSHIP OPTIONS AND INCENTIVES
The purpose of this subsection is to encourage property owners to protect critical areas and their
buffers and to reduce the burden on property owners from the application of the Resource
Ordinance regulations. Options given below may be used individually, or they may be combined
for greatest effect and benefit.
1.
Open Space Bonus: Any property owner, except on land designated as Long-Term
Commercial Forest Lands, Agricultural Resource Lands or Mineral Resource Lands, may
apply for a performance subdivision as provided in Chapter 16.22, Mason County Code.
Approval of such a subdivision provides for a development density bonus - that is, it allows
more lots for development - in exchange for the protection of critical areas and meeting
other design requirements.
2.
Open Space Tax Assessment and Public Benefit Ratings System: Any property owner
may apply for current use property tax assessment for lands which are fish and wildlife
habitat conservation areas or their buffers pursuant to RCW 84.34. The county is
developing an Open Space Plan and system of evaluating the public benefit rating and an
assessed valuation schedule to provide incentives for property owners to conserve
important open space lands.
a.
The land proposed for current use tax assessment shall be in a separate tract or a
conservation easement.
b.
Any person who owns an identified critical area or its associated buffer may place
a conservation easement over that portion of the property. A conservation
easement is a legal agreement a property owner makes to restrict the type and
amount of development that may occur on a parcel. Each easement is tailored to
the particular property and to the interest of the individual owner. The property
owner grants an easement to an appropriate governmental agency or non-profit
land trust. It provides significant property and federal income tax benefits to the
property owner. The purpose of the easement shall be to preserve, protect,
maintain, restore and limit future use of the property affected. The terms of the
conservation easement may include prohibitions or restrictions on access and
shall be approved by the property owner and the county.
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3.
Density Credit: On lands containing FWHCAs or their buffers, the county shall allow a
transfer of density for residential uses from the portion of the property containing the
critical areas or buffers to that portion of the property that does not contain critical areas or
buffers - that is, the property could be developed with the same number of lots it would
have if critical areas were not present - provided that such transfer does not create any
adverse impacts to the critical area that can not be adequately mitigated and provided that
all other development regulations can be met.
4.
Tax Re-assessment: The owner of any property that has been affected by a permit decision by
the county may request an immediate re-assessment by the Mason County Assessors Office, as
provided by RCW Chapter 84.
5.
Conservation Futures: If approved by a vote of the people of Mason County, Mason County shall
use conservation futures revenue to compensate affected property owners for the impact of
protecting fish and wildlife through the purchase of conservation easements on impacted land or
the impacted land.
6.
Education: The county encourages proper stewardship on land to provide benefits to fish and
wildlife. The county shall provide educational information to the public through its sponsorship of
the Washington State Cooperative Extension Service, the Mason Conservation District, or
through the provision of informational materials in its offices.
7.
Best Management Practices: Where not otherwise required, Mason County encourages the use
of best management practices that are part of site preparation, development construction, and
use activities after construction: erosion and sediment control measures; maintain existing
vegetation and minimize site clearing; use native plants in landscaping rather than lawn areas;
control runoff to small ponds and buffer vegetation; and minimize use of fertilizers and chemicals
in property maintenance (pest, weed, and moss control; sealants, oils, and fuels).
8.
Enhancement: Mason County encourages property owners to enhance critical areas and
buffers which have been degraded by past land clearing and site modification activities or
replaced by noxious vegetation. The county has established a Noxious Weed Board to
assist with this process. Critical area enhancement projects shall require staff review and
needed approvals. Mason County shall waive review fees for enhancement projects that
meet either of the below criteria:
(a)
Sponsored Projects. Enhancement projects sponsored by Mason County,
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Mason Conservation District, U.S. Natural
Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington Department
of Natural Resources, or other public agency approved by the Administrator which are
consistent with the Comprehensive Plan, Resource Ordinance, and other plans adopted
by the Board of County Commissioners.
(b)
Vegetation Planting/Removal. Planting of native vegetation or removal of non-native
species for the enhancement of the critical area; provided, that such activities are performed
using hand tools and are limited to the area being enhanced; provided further, that watering of
newly planted vegetation is limited to the first three years. Watering of newly planted vegetation
on landslide hazard areas shall require approval of a geotechnical report, mitigation plan or
restoration plan in accordance with this chapter. Allowable hand tools include gas and electricpowered equipment which is typically moved by hand, including equipment such as chain saws,
hedge trimmers, and lawn mowers.
F.
ACTIVITIES WHICH DO NOT REQUIRE A MASON ENVIRONMENTAL PERMIT
The following uses shall be allowed, within a FWHCA or its buffer to the extent that they are not prohibited
by any other applicable law or ordinance, provided they are conducted so as to minimize any impact on
the values and functions of the FWHCA, and provided they are consistent with any county approved
Resource Ordinance Special Study (such as a Habitat Management Plan or Geotechnical Report) or any
state or Federally approved management plan for an endangered, threatened, or sensitive species.
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1.
a. The remodel, repair, or change of use of an existing building shall be approved within
its existing footprint, plus or minus ten percent as long as the modification does not
increase any intrusion into the FWHCA or its buffer.
b. Reconstruction of structures destroyed by fire or other means shall be approved,
provided that the planned reconstruction occurs within the previous structural footprint
and completed application is made within two years of the destruction. The ten
percent expansion set forth in 1a. may also be applied.
c. To further reduce the impacts of existing development, the footprint of existing
structures approved by permit within the FWHCA or its buffer may be combined into
one footprint area equal to or lesser than the original area, provided that:
(1) the combined footprint proposed shall be located in the site of legally established
residences and garages most distant from or less intrusive to the FWHCA or
buffer, and the other structures nearer to the FWHCA shall be removed from the
FWHCA or buffer; and
(2) the square footage area of the structure in the combined footprint may not be
increased more than 20 percent of the total square footage area of the original
structures. The ten percent expansion of footprint set forth in 1a. does not apply.
For the purpose of this section, footprint does not include uncovered decks and patios.
2.
Maintenance and use of existing landscaped areas within the buffer area. An existing
landscaped area is one which is defined by mowed grass, flower beds, orchard trees, nonnative shrubs, and non-native trees. Maintenance and use includes mowing, weeding,
trimming, replacement of vegetation types, placing landscape walls no more than 2 feet in
height, excavating or placing top soil or compost not exceeding 6 inches in depth or 10
cubic yards in total, placing play equipment (swings, slides, temporary plastic aboveground pools, but not including tree houses or other play houses), and picnic tables and
chairs. Maintenance does not include the removal of native trees over 6 inches in
diameter at 4 foot height. Exposure of more than 200 square feet of soil at any one time
requires stormwater precautions so that no contaminated run off reaches the river,
wetland, stream, or lake. If such maintenance or use in the buffer area is abandoned or
discontinued for greater than three (3) years, activities must conform to the provisions of
Section 17.01.110.G.1.
3.
All new and existing agricultural activities within any FWHCA and or its buffer complying
with a current conservation plan that conforms with the standards and specifications of the
Natural Resources Conservation Service and is submitted to and approved by the
Administrator; or operating in conformity with a permit of a state agency, except as
required by subsection 17.01.110 G.1.j. below.
4.
Buffer alterations for view corridors are allowed with emphasis placed on limbing and with
selective timber removal minimized to the extent possible. Proposed alterations shall be
the minimum to afford views within the buffer and shall minimize shrub vegetation removal
and ground disturbance while maintaining the large mature trees. Under this provision, no
more than 10 percent of trees in the buffer less than six inches in diameter at breast height
may be cut without specific authorization from Mason County, which may allow removal up
to 20 percent. View corridor improvement actions which include the cutting of trees larger
than six inches in diameter at breast height will require Mason County approval prior to
cutting, replacement with native tree and/or shrub plant species, and are limited to 15
percent of such trees in the buffer. The cutting down of more than 15 percent of such trees
requires a Mason Environmental Permit from Mason County.
5.
The felling of danger trees within buffers provided the following conditions are met:
a.
When it is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Mason County Director of
Community Development or his or her designee (“Department”) that an imminent
threat exists to public health or safety, or the safety of private or public property.
Landowner shall provide to the Department a written statement describing tree
location, danger it poses, and proposed mitigation.
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b.
Should the imminent threat not be apparent to the Department (as danger trees
are defined in Section 17.01.240), the Department may require the landowner
submit a report from a professional forester or certified arborist.
c.
Before a danger tree may be felled or removed, with the exception of an
emergency pursuant to Section 17.01.170, the landowner shall obtain written
approval from the Department. This approval shall be processed promptly and
may not be unreasonably withheld. If the Department fails to respond to a danger
tree removal request within 10 business days, the landowner’s request shall be
conclusively allowed.
d.
Trees felled as danger trees shall be counted in the allowed amounts under
Section 8.52.170(F)(4).
e.
Mitigation as approved by the Department to include:
i.
the planting within the critical area or its buffer a total of six new native
trees, each a minimum three years old. Should a report be submitted
under subsection 5(b), it shall contain recommendations for suitable
replacement trees.
ii.
felled trees shall be left within the critical area or buffer unless a submitted
report warrants its removal to avoid spreading disease or pests;
iii.
the trunk of the cut tree may be segmented, but should be left in as large
of segments as possible to provide habitat;
iv.
the branches from the cut tree may be removed to control fire hazard; and
v.
additional mitigation may be required if three or more trees are to be felled
on one property within a 10 year period.
6.
The removal from buffer areas of noxious weeds designated in Chapter 17.10 RCW and
the enhancement of a buffer by planting indigenous vegetation (see also Section
17.01.110.E.8).
7.
The construction of trails associated with residential use which shall be unpaved when
located in the buffer areas and elevated when located in wetlands, which are not intended
for motorized use, and which are no wider than three (3) feet, unless additional width is
necessary for safety along a precipice, steep hillside, or other hazardous area.
8.
A habitat enhancement project that has minimum County review and is subject to the
review and approval by a governmental agency, tribal agency, or fish and wildlife habitat
enhancement group utilizing the process stated in R.C.W. 77.55.290.
9.
Harvesting of Wild Crops: Harvesting wild crops which do not significantly affect the
viability of the wild crop, the function of the Fish and Wildlife Habitat or regulated buffer
(does not include tilling of soil or alteration of the Fish and Wildlife Habitat Conservation
Area).
10.
Any of the General Exemptions authorized by Section 17.01.130.
G.
DEVELOPMENT AND ACTIVITIES REQUIRING A MASON ENVIRONMENTAL PERMIT
IN FISH & WILDLIFE HABITAT CONSERVATION AREAS OR THEIR BUFFERS
A Mason Environmental Permit shall be obtained from the County, using the administrative review
process in this Chapter, before undertaking the following activities in FWHCAs or their buffers.
When a major new development is proposed within 1/4 mile of a listed species point location (den
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or nest site), as identified through the WDFW PHS data base, tribal and other local fish and wildlife
databases or knowledge, a preliminary review by a qualified fish and wildlife professional shall be
provided to the county which shall determine if a FWHCA or its buffer is within the area of the
development.
1.
A Habitat Management Plan (HMP) shall be prepared for these activities:
a.
The removal, excavation, grading, dumping, discharging or filling of any material
unless part of a project which has been permitted pursuant to this section or for
which no permit is required.
b.
c.
The destruction or alteration of FWHCA's or their buffers through clearing,
harvesting, shading, intentional burning, vegetation removal (terrestrial,
freshwater, or marine), or planting of vegetation that would alter the character of
the FWHCA or buffer, unless part of a project which has been permitted pursuant
to this section or for which no permit is required.
New Construction and Major New Development:
1.
2.
3.
New residential construction and major new development is not permitted
within FWHCA or its buffer, except for the activities listed in this
subsection G, or as approved through a variance or reasonable use
exception as provided in subsection K.
Appurtenant structures not needing building permits, associated with
residential development and located in the FWHCA or buffer may be
permitted. A proposal shall meet the additional review standards of the
Mason County Shoreline Master Program, Resource Ordinance, and
other development ordinances.
Saltwater Activities: Accessory uses to existing or new development,
such as a saltwater pier, dock, or float; boat ramp, boat lift, stairways, and
stair-towers will need to meet the additional review standards of the
Mason County Shoreline Master Program, Resource Ordinance, and
other development ordinances. All activities in tidal/saltwater submerged
lands shall avoid impacts to eelgrass and kelp beds to the maximum
extent. If eel grass or kelp is known or suspected in the vicinity, then an
aquatic vegetation survey is required to identify the location of eelgrass or
kelp. Unavoidable impacts to these sensitive marine areas shall be
addressed in a Habitat Management Plan that presents an acceptable
mitigation program. Appendix B has best management practices for docks
and floats.
The design and siting of these projects should not adversely impact water quality
of receiving waters such as wetlands, streams, rivers, Hood Canal or Puget
Sound. In addition, project design should meet or exceed any storm water design
requirements to avoid any risk of decertification of shellfish beds or impacts to
baitfish (herring, smelt, sand lance, candlefish ,etc.) spawning areas.
d.
Stream Relocation: Stream relocations are discouraged except for the purpose of
fisheries restoration and require a Habitat Management Plan. Stream relocation
shall only be permitted when adhering to the following minimum performance
standards and when consistent with Washington State Department of Fish and
Wildlife Hydraulic Project Approval.
i.
The channel, bank and buffer areas shall be replanted with native
vegetation that replicates a natural, undisturbed riparian condition; and,
ii.
For those shorelands and waters designated as Frequently Flooded Areas
pursuant to Section 17.01.090, a professional engineer licensed in the
State of Washington shall provide information demonstrating that the
equivalent base flood storage volume and function will be maintained.
iii.
Relocated stream channels shall be designed to meet or exceed the
functions and values of the stream to be relocated as determined by the
monitoring in the Habitat Management Plan.
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e.
Bank Stabilization: A stream channel and bank, bluff, and shoreline may be
stabilized when naturally occurring earth movement threatens existing legal
structures (structure is defined for this purpose as those requiring a Building
Permit pursuant to the International Building Code), public improvements, unique
natural resources, public health, safety or welfare, or the only feasible access to
property, and, in the case of streams, when such stabilization results in
maintenance of fish habitat, flood control and improved water quality. Bluff, bank
and shoreline stabilization shall follow the standards of the Mason County
Shoreline Master Program, Landslide Hazard Areas, and any floodplain
management plan adopted by the Board of Commissioners.
Mason County may require that bank stabilization be designed by a professional
engineer licensed in the State of Washington with demonstrated expertise in
hydraulic actions of shorelines. For bank stabilization projects within FWHCAs,
emphasis shall be placed on bioengineering solutions (techniques used alone or
in combination such as beach nourishment, coarse beach fill, gravel berms, or
vegetation rather than hard surfaces such as concrete armoring) unless proved by
the applicant to be infeasible. Bank stabilization projects may also require a
Hydraulic Project Approval from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
and will be determined after consultation with WDFW.
f.
Gravel Mining: Gravel mining is discouraged within FWHCAs or their buffers, and
it shall not be permitted if it causes significant adverse environmental impact, but
it may be allowed following the review and approval of a Habitat Management
Plan, including a detailed mining and reclamation plan (required by the
Washington Department of Natural Resources).
g.
Conservation: Any conservation, preservation, or enhancement projects to protect
functions and values of the critical area system, including activities and mitigation
allowed pursuant to the mitigation priorities identified in Section I (see also Section
17.01.110.E.8).
h.
Outdoor Recreation, Education and Trails: Activities and improvements which do not
significantly affect the function of the Fish and Wildlife habitat or regulated buffer
(including viewing structures, outdoor scientific or interpretive facilities, trails, hunting
blinds, etc.) may be permitted in FWHCA or their buffers.
i.
Trails and other facilities shall, to the extent feasible, be placed on existing
road grades, utility corridors, or other such previously disturbed areas;
ii.
Trails and other facilities shall be planned to minimize removal of trees,
shrubs, snags and important wildlife habitat;
iii.
Viewing platforms, interpretive centers, benches and access to them, shall
be designed and located to minimize of impacts to wildlife, fish, or their
habitat and/or critical characteristics of the affected conservation area.
iv.
Trails, in general, shall be set back from streams so that there will be
minimal impact to the stream from trail use or maintenance. Trails shall be
constructed with pervious surfaces when feasible and trails within FWHCAs
are not intended to be used by motorized vehicles.
i.
Road/Street Expansion & Construction: Any private or public road or street
expansion or construction which is allowed in a Fish and Wildlife Habitat
Conservation Area or its buffer shall comply with the following minimum
development standards:
i.
No other reasonable or practicable alternative exists and the proposed
road or street serves multiple properties whenever possible;
ii.
Public and private roads should provide for other purposes, such as utility
crossings, pedestrian or bicycle easements, viewing points, etc.; and,
iii.
The road or street construction is the minimum necessary, as required by
the Department of Public Works and Fire Marshall, and shall comply with
the Department of Public Works' guidelines and Fire Code to provide
public safety and mitigated storm water impacts. Minimum necessary
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iv.
j.
provisions may include projected level of service requirements.
Construction time limits shall be determined in consultation with the
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in order to ensure species
and habitat protection.
Agricultural Restrictions: All new and existing agricultural activities within any
FWHCA or its buffer, unless exempted as provided in subsection 17.01.110.F.3.
2.
A Habitat Management Plan (HMP) will not be required the following activities which
comply with the development standards below, except as specified:
a.
Stream Crossings: All stream crossings should be discouraged and alternatives
should be explored. Any private or public road expansion or construction which is
proposed and must cross streams classified within this Ordinance, shall comply
with the following minimum development standards:
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
v.
vi.
b.
Bridges or arch/bottomless culverts shall be required for all Type S or F
streams (which have anadromous fish habitat). Fish passage shall be
provided, if necessary to address man-made obstructions on site. Other
alternatives may be allowed upon a showing that, for the site under
review, the alternatives would be less disruptive to the habitat or that the
necessary building foundations were not feasible. Submittal of a Habitat
Management Plan which demonstrates that the alternatives would not
result in significant impacts to the Fish and Wildlife Habitat Conservation
Area (FWHCA) may be required if the information necessary to determine
if the permit requirements contained in subsection I. 5. has been met. The
plan must demonstrate that salmon habitat will be replaced at a minimum
1:1 ratio.
Crossings shall not occur in salmonid spawning areas unless no other
reasonable crossing site exists. For new development proposals, if
existing crossings are determined to adversely impact salmon spawning
or passage areas, new or upgraded crossings shall be located as
determined necessary through coordination with the Washington State
Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Skokomish Tribe, the Quinault
Tribe and/or the Squaxin Island Tribe;
Bridge piers or abutments shall not be placed either within the floodway or
between the ordinary, high water marks unless no other reasonable
alternative placement exists;
All stream crossings shall be required to pass 100 year projected flood
flows, even in non-fish bearing Type Np or Ns streams. In addition,
crossings for Type S or F should allow for downstream transport of large
woody debris;
Crossings shall serve multiple properties whenever possible.
Where there is no reasonable alternative to providing a culvert, the culvert
shall be the minimum length necessary to accommodate the permitted
activity.
Land Divisions: In order to implement the purpose of this section and the County
Comprehensive Plan, to accommodate design innovation, creativity, and
flexibility, and to achieve a level of environmental protection that would not be
possible by typical lot-by-lot development, the use of the Performance Subdivision
process (Title 16 Mason County Subdivision Ordinance) is strongly encouraged.
Divisions of land (Subdivisions, Short Subdivisions, Large Lot Subdivisions) shall
comply with the following development standards:
i.
In order to avoid the creation of non-conforming lots, each new lot shall
contain at least one building site that meets the requirements of this
Ordinance, including buffer requirements for habitat conservation areas.
This site must also have access and a sewage disposal system location
that are suitable for development and do not adversely impact the
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ii.
iii.
iv.
c.
FWHCA.
After preliminary approval and prior to final land division approval, the
common boundary between a required buffer and the adjacent property
shall be identified using appropriate signs. In lieu of signs, alternative
methods of buffer identification may be approved when such methods
(fences or enhanced native planting) are determined by Mason County to
provide adequate identification to the buffer and the FWHCA.
Buffer areas shall be dedicated as permanent open space tracts,
functioning as FWHCA buffers.
If development is proposed within a FWHCA or its buffer, a HMP is
required.
Utilities: Placement of utilities within designated Fish and Wildlife Habitat
onservation Areas may be allowed pursuant to the following standards:
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
v.
Construction of utilities may be permitted in FWHCA's or their buffers,
only when no practicable or reasonable alternative location is available
and the utility corridor meets the requirements for installation,
replacement of vegetation and maintenance outlined below. Utilities are
encouraged to follow existing or permitted roads where possible.
Construction of wells, sewer lines, water lines, or on-site sewage systems
are not permitted in FWHCA's but may be permitted in a buffer area when
the applicant demonstrates it is necessary to meet State and/or local
health code requirements; there are no other practicable alternatives
available; and construction meets the requirement of this section. Joint
use of the sewer or water utility corridor by other utilities may be allowed.
Encroachment of more than 50 feet into the buffer will require a HMP.
New Utility Corridors shall not be allowed in FWHCA's with known
locations of federal or state listed endangered, threatened or sensitive
species, heron rookeries or nesting sites of raptors which are listed as
state candidate or state monitor, except in those circumstances where an
approved Habitat Management Plan is in place.
Utility corridor construction and maintenance shall protect the
environment of Fish and Wildlife Habitat Conservation Areas and their
buffers.
(1)
New utility corridors shall be aligned when possible to avoid
cutting trees greater than 12 inches in diameter at breast height
(four and one-half feet) measured on the uphill side.
(2)
New utility corridors shall be revegetated with appropriate native
vegetation at not less than pre-construction vegetation densities
or greater, immediately upon completion of construction or as
soon thereafter as possible due to seasonal growing constraints.
The utility shall ensure that such vegetation survives for a threeyear period;
Utility towers should be painted with brush, pad or roller and should not be
sandblasted or spray painted, nor shall lead base paints be used.
d.
Forest Practices, Class IV General : Timber harvesting with associated
development activity involving land conversions from Forest Use, or otherwise
meeting the DNR definition as a Class IV General application, shall comply with
the provisions of this Ordinance including the maintenance of buffers, where
required. If harvest or development is proposed within a FWHCA or its buffer, a
HMP is required.
e.
Mobile Home or RV Parks: new or expanded mobile home or RV parks shall comply
with the following development standards:
i.
Lots or spaces and other improved areas shall be outside of FWHCA and its
buffer. Roads, utilities, and trails may encroach on the buffer or FWHCA as
provided elsewhere in this section. The project as a whole shall not
adversely impact the FWHCA.
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ii.
iii.
iv.
f.
The common boundary between a required buffer and the adjacent property
shall be identified using signs or alternative methods determined Mason
County to provide adequate identification to the buffer and the FWHCA.
Buffer areas shall be designated as open space and preserved to the extent
possible.
If development is proposed within a FWHCA or its buffer, a HMP is
required.
1.
Freshwater Activities. Accessory uses to existing or new development,
such as a freshwater pier, dock, or float; boat ramp, boat lift; stairways; stairtowers; will need to meet the additional review standards of the Mason County
Shoreline Master Program, Resource Ordinance, and other development
ordinances.
2.
Park or community recreation development that is water dependent. In
areas maintained as existing developed use for the park or community recreation
land use, new development such as picnic or assembly structures is permitted
and are required to meet the additional review standards of the Mason County
Shoreline Master Program, Resource Ordinance, and other development
ordinances.
g.
Chemical Application or Storage: Chemical applications are not permitted within
FWHCAs unless expressly approved as part of a farm plan, forest practices
application or for the control of invasive or noxious plant species. In cases where
approved chemical applications occur as part of a forest practices application or
farm plan, proper reporting procedures shall be followed. Chemical application
consistent with state and Federal regulation does not require a Mason
Environmental Permit, but it does need to comply with the standards included
herein. Chemical storage shall not be permitted within a FWHCA or its buffer.
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H.
HABITATS AND SPECIES OF LOCAL IMPORTANCE -- LISTING & DELISTING
IMPORTANT HABITATS & SPECIES
1.
Locally significant species are those which are not state listed as threatened, endangered
or sensitive, but which live in Mason County, and the species is special importance to the
citizens of Mason County for cultural or historical reasons, or the county is a critically
significant portion of their range. Mason County is a critically significant portion of the
range of a species when any of the following conditions apply:
a.
The species would be extirpated from the state of Washington if it is extirpated
from Mason County; or
b.
The species' population would be divided into non-viable populations if it is
extirpated from Mason County, where the isolated populations are critical to the
survival of the species; or
c.
The species is listed as a state monitor or candidate species and Mason County is
a significant portion of the range of the species and significant reduction or
extirpation of the species from Mason County would result in changing the status
of the species to that of state endangered, threatened, or sensitive.
2.
Locally significant habitats are those habitats in which significant species live, or which is
of special importance to the citizens of Mason County because they have been
determined to contribute to the variety of habitats or diversity of species.
Regulations prepared to protect locally important habitat and species shall consider and,
where possible, support the economic development of Mason County and the use of
resource lands and resources industry, enhance the affordability of housing, and
otherwise promote the achievement of other goals in the Mason County Comprehensive
Plan.
The process for listing or delisting an important habitat or species in Mason County shall
be an amendment to this section of the Interim Resource Ordinance. This action may be
initiated by request of the State Department of Fish & Wildlife, the Skokomish Tribe, the
Quinault Tribe and/or the Squaxin Island Tribe, County staff, or interested citizens. Any
such request shall be in writing and shall include:
a.
The common and scientific names of for species under consideration;
b.
Habitat location on a map (scale 1:24,000);
c.
The reasons for the request, including:
(1)
declining or increasing population,
(2)
sensitivity to habitat manipulation.
d.
Habitat management recommendations, including potential uses and restrictions
of the habitat areas, seasonally sensitive areas, and other guidelines necessary
for the protection of the nominated species.
e.
Other supporting documentation, including an analysis which weighs the nonenvironmental impacts of the proposal, addressing economics and land use,
against the benefits of the proposed listing.
3.
4.
5.
The written request and supporting data may be evaluated by a qualified wildlife biologist
or equivalent professional selected by the County.
6.
In addition to the above, the County shall consider the following factors when evaluating
the request:
a.
The specificity and scientific validity of the information about the nominated
species needs and behaviors;
b.
The sufficiency of habitat areas currently available to sustain the species over
time; and
c.
The versatility of the proposed habitat area to sustain species other than the one
being nominated for local species of importance designation.
I.
APPLICATION REVIEW PROCESS
1.
Upon the receipt of an application for development, the Director shall determine whether
the requirements of this section apply. The Director may consult with affected Tribes or
state agencies in determining that the subject property is shown to be documented habitat
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for federal or state listed endangered, threatened or sensitive species.
2.
3.
4.
Boundaries: The procedures for formal determination of regulated Fish and Wildlife
Habitat Conservation Area boundaries are as follows:
a.
The FWHCA boundary for streams shall be the Ordinary High Water Mark
(OHWM) or channel migration zone (CMZ).
b.
The FWHCA boundary for marine shorelines and lakes greater than 20 acres shall
be the OHWM.
c.
The boundary of all other FWHCA’s may be determined using published
databases, resource agency personnel, consultation with the Skokomish Tribe,
Quinault and/or the Squaxin Island Tribe, and/or by a qualified environmental
professional based upon site specific assessment and species presence.
Permit information: When a Mason Environmental Permit is required under this section, it
is the applicant's responsibility to provide all necessary and accurate data to the County
for its review. This information will include a field delineation by a qualified professional
(biologist, hydrologist, soil scientist, and/or other expert as circumstances warrant).
Formal boundary determination is the responsibility of the County.
a.
When sufficient information exists from the County's natural resource inventory or
other sources, Mason County may waive the requirement of a field delineation,
provided a qualified professional has reviewed and approved such information as
reliable.
b.
When requested by the applicant, or an affected party, the County may perform
the data collection, at a fee, in lieu of direct action by the applicant.
c.
Where Mason County performs a formal determination at the request of the
applicant pursuant to subsection b above, it shall be considered a final
determination unless contested by the applicant or other affected party.
d.
Where the applicant has provided the information in support of a permit for a
formal determination by the County of the Fish and Wildlife Habitat Conservation
Area boundary, Mason County shall verify the accuracy of, and may render
adjustments to, the boundary determination in compliance with the provisions of
this ordinance.
When a Mason Environmental Permit is required, the permit shall be obtained from the
County using the administrative review process in this chapter prior to undertaking
regulated activities in a FWHCA or its buffer.
5.
In addition to any other requirements, permits shall only be granted if:
a.
The proposed activity avoids adverse impacts to regulated FWHCA, or takes
affirmative and appropriate measures to compensate for impacts. Mitigation
sequencing should follow the avoidance, reduction, and compensation analysis, in
that order of preference, and
b.
The proposed activity is consistent with an approved Habitat Management Plan, if
such a plan is prepared; or
c.
The proposed activity is approved as a variance or reasonable use exception
under this chapter, if applicable.
6.
FWHCA permits shall not be effective and no activity thereunder shall be allowed during
the time provided to file and process a permit appeal.
J.
HABITAT MANAGEMENT PLAN (HMP) REQUIREMENTS
The following describes the requirements of a Habitat Management Plan as discussed in this
ordinance.
A HMP shall consider measures to preserve and protect the wildlife habitat and shall consider
effects of land use intensity, buffers, setbacks, impervious surfaces, erosion control and retention
of natural vegetation on the functions and values of the FWHCA. This report shall identify how the
impacts from the proposed use or activity will be avoided or mitigated through habitat mitigation
which meets the purposes of this ordinance. The most recent publication of the Management
Recommendations for Washington's Priority Habitats and Species, as now or hereafter amended,
and consultation with a habitat biologist from the Washington State Department of Fish and
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Wildlife and with the Skokomish Tribe, the Quinault Tribe and/or the Squaxin Island Tribe and shall
be the basis for the report. In the case of bald eagles, an approved Bald Eagle Management Plan
by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife meets the requirements for a HMP. For
those projects requiring the preparation of a Biological Assessment (BA) or Biological Evaluation
(BE) as part of the application for a Corps of Engineers permit, the approved BA or BE meets the
requirements of a HMP, and the contents of the BA or BE meet the standards listed in J2.
Prior to submittal to the County, the Habitat Management Plan shall be reviewed and approved for
adequacy by a qualified fish and wildlife professional. It shall contain but not be limited to the
following information:
1.
A map(s) prepared at an easily readable scale, showing:
a.
The location of the proposed site;
b.
The relationship of the site to surrounding topographic and built features;
c.
The nature and density of the proposed use or activity;
d.
Proposed building locations and sizes;
e.
A legend which includes:
(1)
A complete and accurate legal description and total acreage of the parcel;
(2)
Title, scale, date, and north arrow;
(3)
Certification by a qualified biologist.
f.
Existing structures and landscape features including the name and location of all
water bodies.
g.
Location of listed species and their critical habitat areas.
2.
A report which contains:
a.
A description of the nature, density and intensity of the proposed use or activity in
sufficient detail to allow analysis of such land use change upon identified wildlife
habitat;
b.
An analysis of the effect of the proposed use or activity upon fish and wildlife
species and their habitats listed in this ordinance;
c.
A plan which explains how the applicant will avoid, minimize or mitigate adverse
impacts to fish and/or wildlife habitats created by the proposed use or activity.
This explanation must address the management goals, policies and
recommendations presented in this ordinance. While species and site specific
management practices will often be required, some general best management
practices have been developed in Appendix C and may be used in the plan. The
mitigation plan must take into account safety issues (including fire safety)
resulting from implementation. For instance, if harvest of trees is proposed, the
plan must account for the presence of snags being left or other features of the
plan. If merchantable timber or other trees can not be harvested safely with the
mitigation proposed, then the merchantable timber or other trees must be left as
part of the management plan. Monitoring of mitigation shall be required when
appropriate or necessary to ensure effectiveness. Mitigation measures within the
plan may include, but are not limited to:
(1)
Establishment of buffer areas;
(2)
Preservation of critically important plants and trees;
(3)
Limitation of access to habitat area;
(4)
Seasonal restriction of construction activities;
(5)
Clustering of development and preservation of open space;
(6)
Sign marking habitats or habitat buffer areas;
(7)
Title notice or plat dedication warning statements;
(8)
Conservation easements.
3.
Review comments by a habitat biologist from the Washington State Department of Fish
and Wildlife (WDFW) and the Skokomish Tribe, the Quinault Tribe and/or the Squaxin
Island Tribe shall be included in the HMP when available. If the HMP recommends
mitigation involving federally listed threatened or endangered species, migratory waterfowl
or wetlands, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shall receive a copy of the draft HMP and
their review comments shall be included in the final report.
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This is provided that the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, the
Skokomish Tribe, the Quinault Tribe and/or the Squaxin Island Tribe and, if required, the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service respond in writing to Mason County with review comments
or a request for additional information within 28 days from the date of issuance of a draft
habitat management plan. If review comments or a request for additional information is
not received in the prescribed time frame, the tribal, state and/or federal review comments
on the habitat management plan shall not be required for completion of the HMP. Mason
County shall have the authority to approve Habitat Management Plans or require
additional information.
K.
RELIEF FROM THE REQUIREMENTS IN THIS SECTION
Specific relief from the requirements of this section may be obtained on a case-by-case basis by
applying for a variance (Section 17.01.150) or a reasonable use exception (Section 17.01.120).
Mason County Resource Ordinance
80
Revised June 16, 2009
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Mason County Resource Ordinance
81
Revised June 16, 2009
Mason County Resource Ordinance
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Revised June 16, 2009
APPENDIX B –
Mason County Resource Ordinance
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Revised June 16, 2009
APPENDIX C
BEST MANAGEMENT
MANAGEMENT PRACTICES FOR HABITAT MANAGEMENT PLANS
DURING CONSTRUCTION
•
•
•
•
•
•
Perform any excavation and grading work during dry weather
Install silt fencing around the work area to prevent erosion and siltation of marine and
riverine waters.
Minimize amount of erodible soils at any given time to the maximum extent feasible.
Check all equipment daily for leaks. Refueling and lubrication of equipment should
occur offsite. Don’t store any fuel, lubricants, chemicals, or hazardous substances
overnight within the project area.
Do not apply any chemicals when there is a possibility of rain.
Comply with all permits and requirements of the government authority or agency,
Stream Buffer Protection
Existing trees and other native vegetation within the stream buffer should again be left undisturbed
in areas outside of the proposed construction zone. Any storage or stockpiling of construction
materials associated with construction or ensuing occupancy of the residence should take place
within a designated construction zone in order to limit impacts to the buffer. The banks and
channel of the stream should not be used for foot traffic since this would damage vegetation and
increase erosion along the stream channel. Logs that currently exist within the stream channel
should not be removed or disturbed and future downed woody debris should be encouraged.
Nurse Log Placement
Overstory trees at least 4 inches diameter at breast height removed from the reduced buffer should
be placed within the protected buffer to proved nurse log habitat. The logs could be segmented
into 10-15 foot pieces to facilitate transport but would best be left as long as possible. It is
recommended that these logs be placed randomly throughout the buffer to mimic natural
distribution.
Construction Phase Best Management Practices
An increase in the amount of impervious surface is a concern whenever new buildings are
constructed. Impermeable surfaces, such as roads, rooftops and drive ways, cause more rain to
run off at accelerated rates and less water to infiltrate back into the soil (Leedy and Adams 1984).
To prevent increased erosion and impacts to water quality, runoff from the building and other
impervious surfaces may require a storm water management plan that diverts this runoff away
from the ground surface and back into the ground. Other good examples of Low Impact
Development techniques are provided in the “Low Impact Development Technical Guidance
Manual for Puget Sound” prepared by Puget Sound Action Team and WSU Extension 2005.
Best Management Practices (BMPs) need to be adhered to throughout the construction phase.
• Appropriate erosion control devices, such as silt fencing, mulch berms, and erosion control
matting should again be used if needed during all aspects of the construction phase to mitigate
potential erosion and runoff into the stream.
• The most important goal during the construction phase is to consolidate the time period in
which heavy earthmoving machinery is used. Earthwork activities should be implemented
during the driest season of the year to minimize the risk of erosion-relate impacts to the
stream. Any work requiring use of this type of equipment (such as site grading, road building,
grubbing, cutting and filling) should also be implemented over short periods or events. This
should avoid continued and prolonged disturbance of the environment with heavy equipment,
as would be the case if the work occurred over multiple and/or unconsolidated events.
• Construction activities should be confined to discrete areas of the site to minimize disturbance
to native vegetation in the buffer.
• No construction debris or supplies should be placed in existing forested areas or anywhere
Mason County Resource Ordinance
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Revised June 16, 2009
•
along the stream bank.
Coinciding with, or immediately subsequent to the completion of the construction work, the
restoration and stabilization of bare ground should occur. Restoration and stabilization phases
include the application of a native seed mix and landscape stabilization of any cut and filled
areas. Native species of plants should be used in transition zones between the construction
area and undisturbed native vegetation.
Suggested BMP focus on reducing increases in impervious surfaces, preserving hydrologic
functions, and controlling potential adverse impacts to water quality.
•
•
•
•
Clearly mark clearing limits with orange construction fencing;
Install silt fencing at the clearing limits to prevent surface runoff, erosion , and water quality
degradation;
Cover or mulch bare areas to prevent surface erosion
Hydroseed disturbed areas with a slurry of native grass seed, mulch, and tackifier as soon as
possible following completion of construction and at a minimum before the onset of fall rains;
RE-VEGETATION AND PLANTING
PLANTING
Earthwork
•
No machinery earthwork will be necessary to implement this restoration plan; planting holes
for specified vegetation installation will be hand dug. No additional clearing or grading should
be required for site restoration.
Native Plantings
It is recommended that native plantings be installed within 10 foot wide restoration zones in linear
strips extending across the site parallel to the edge of the buffer to achieve the following densities:
Trees – 10’ on center
Shrubs – 5’ on center
Ferns – 4’ on center
The general plan calls for installing single trees, or clusters of three shrubs, on approximate 10foot centers. Each row will alternate between 5 trees + 3 shrub clusters or 4 trees + 4 shrub
clusters starting from the edge closest to the identified critical area proceeding to the edge of the
buffer. Specifically for stream ravine replanting, cedar will be the first type of tree installed within
the first row at the top of the ravine, and then incrementally changing one cedar tree to a fir through
the first six rows, with all fir trees thereafter or to the edge of the buffer whichever comes first.
Exact placement of installed materials will be up to the landscape installer, following the basic 10foot spacing pattern prescribed. Finally, a native ground cover planting or sword fern will be
randomly installed throughout the planting row on average four-foot centers. These densities have
been selected to provide a moderately dense, structurally diverse plant community within the
restoration area. Volunteer native vegetation can be counted towards the target densities of
restoration plants.
Typical native plant species that may be used with the restoration zone include:
Trees:
Western red cedar (Thuja plicata) – 2 gallon
Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) – 2 gallon
Western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) - 2 gallon
Grand fir (Abies grandis) – 2 gallon
Cascara (Rhamnus purshiana) – 2 gallon
Cottonwood (Populus balsamifera) – 2 gallon
Shrubs:
nootka rose (Rosa nutkana) – 1 gallon
salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis) – 1 gallon
salal (Gaultheria shallon) – 1 gallon
evergreen huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum) – 1 gallon
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Revised June 16, 2009
twinberry (Lonicera involucrate) – 1 gallon
snowberry (Symphorocarpus albus) – 1 gallon
elderberry (Sambucus racemosa) – 1 gallon
red osier dogwood (Cornus stolonifera) – 1 gallon
Ferns:
sword fern (Polystichum munitum) – 1 gallon
All planting should occur during winter dormancy. The optimum time for planting is during
February and March.
Installation
Installation of the prescribed vegetation will be performed by qualified landscapers familiar with
planting of native vegetation in natural settings. Installation will be performed only after home
construction on the property is completed to avoid damage to the plantings from construction
activities. All installed vegetation shall be marked with colored flagging to facilitate monitoring
inspections. A separate “as-built” plan will be provided by the landscaper if the planting pattern or
schedule deviates from that listed within this document.
Fertilizing
Artificial fertilizer may be applied to each planting hole in the form of “slow-release” tablets or
some other similar material. However, general broadcast fertilization MAY Not be used within the
landscape planting area.
Maintenance
Maintenance of the installations will be the responsibility of the landscape installer. Maintenance
is to include and weeding or watering necessary to ensure plant survival for up to one year after
the date of installation.
Habitat Conservation Measures
In general, proposed measures to protect habitat focus on promoting natural succession of native
plant communities and increasing structural diversity and complexity.
•
•
•
•
•
•
Minimize clearing and conversion of forest habitats to other uses, particularly within the stream
and lake buffers;
Retain larger conifers wherever possible; if trees are removed, use/retain large woody debris
(LWD) in native plant communities to be retained. Retained LWD can be installed vertically or
horizontally to provide habitat for woodpeckers, including pileated woodpecker.
Retain and/or salvage downed large woody debris and western red cedar stumps;
Thin dense, immature (sapling) red alder and underplant with native conifers to promote more
rapid natural succession to later serial phase forest types;
Enhance native plant communities by removing invasive and non-native species, such as
Himalayan blackberry, and planting native trees and shrubs;
Plant native shrubs and trees in the stream buffer, such as willows (Salix sp.), re-osier
dogwood (Cornus sericea); and black twinberry (Lonicera involucrata). These will increase
structural diversity and buffer functions, such as retention of organic matter and increasing
shade and thermal protection;
MONITORING THE SUCCESS
SUCCESS OF THE PLANTING
•
Monitoring of the installed vegetation will be performed annually for three years following
installation. Monitoring will entail inspection of each planted specimen for survival and vigor,
and will be performed in August or September of each monitoring year. In addition, two photo
points will be established that portray the planting area from each side of the property. A brief
letter report summarizing monitoring findings will be submitted to Mason County Planning by 1
October of each monitoring year.
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Contingency
•
If mortality of the installed vegetation exceeds 10% for trees, 20% for shrubs and ferns, all
dead materials will be replaced a 1:1 ratio. If mortality is related to an inappropriate species
for the site conditions, adjustments to the Plant Schedule may be made to replant with a
species more like to survive.
Monitoring of the site will begin the first fall following tree planting and maintained on a
seasonal basis. The information gathered will provide the following: 1) condition of
reintroduced plant species; 2) the use of the site by wildlife species; 3) any disturbance
caused by the development and its effect on protected zones and associated aquatic habitat;
4) any occurrence of exotic species within the restoration zones; 5) any corrective measures
that may be deemed necessary to provide desired conditions. This monitoring will be in effect
for the duration of three years. The information gathered will be provided in an annual report
and submitted to the Director of Mason County Department of Community Development.
ON-GOING HOMEOWNER RESPONSIBILITIES
RESPONSIBILITIES
Suggested BMP focus on reducing increases in impervious surfaces, preserving hydrologic
functions, and controlling potential adverse impacts to water quality.
• Infiltrate clean runoff from impervious surfaces such as roofs using infiltration trenches to
maximize groundwater recharge. Avoid using roofing materials, such as zinc-coated products,
that could contribute metals to surface waters;
• Properly maintain septic system to avoid septic system failure;
• Landscape with native plants and use mulch and drip irrigation to reduce water consumption,
conserve water, and reduce cumulative help maintain instream flows in downstream surface
waters;
• Use low flow toilets and shower heads to conserve water and reduce water consumption;
• Avoid use of herbicides and pesticides, which may adversely affect native flora and fauna, as
well as pest species;
• Use porous pavement or gravel instead of asphalt or concrete for the driveway to reduce
stormwater runoff; use biofiltration swales or infiltration trenches to promote removal of
pollutants and promote groundwater recharge.
Home Owners Best Management Practices
Residents living by the unique stream environments have a continuing responsibility for
maintaining the conditions that provide the function of the stream.
• Soil or yard waste must not be dumped anywhere within the buffer so that it may enter the
stream.
• Runoff from the building and other impervious surfaces should be directed to sub-surface
trenching that diverts runoff away from the ground surface and back into the ground, or
according to the stormwater management plan that has been approved for the site. The
erosion of soil or the forming of channels should be prevented. These efforts will prevent
increased erosion and impacts to water quality.
• The occupants of the residence should also promote landscaping with native species.
• Landscaping around the construction zone should be compatible and blend with the native
buffer.
• Bird boxes should be built or purchased and placed on the property to promote avian wildlife.
Bird boxes can be built and placed on snags or live trees according to the bird species
requirements that may be most likely to utilize habitat at the site. Guidance on bird boxes is
available from the Mason Conservation District.
Stream Buffer Protection
• Existing trees and other native vegetation within the stream buffer should again be left
undisturbed.
• Any storage or stockpiling of materials should take place outside of the buffer in order to limit
impacts to the buffer.
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Revised June 16, 2009
•
•
The banks and channel of the stream should not be used for foot traffic since this would
damage vegetation and increase erosion along the stream channel.
Logs that currently exist within the stream channel should not be removed or disturbed and
future downed woody debris should be encouraged.
Functions and values of the forested area between the proposed residence and the marine
shoreline should be maintained through the following measure.
• Do not remove overstory trees (view corridors can be established or maintained by limbing the
trees to the minimum extent necessary)
• Shoreline access should be limited to a 3-foot wide path, with stairs when necessary, to
concentrate all foot traffic through a single corridor.
• Species such as English Ivy and Himalayan blackberry should be removed and prevented
from further invading the site. This can be accomplished through persistent cuttings during the
growing season.
• Sites where invasive species are removed should be replanted using native species.
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17.01.120
A.
DEVELOPMENT REVIEW PROCESS
ADMINISTRATION
There is hereby established an administrative system designed to assign responsibilities
for implementation of the Resource Ordinance, and to prescribe an orderly process by
which to review proposals and permit applications, and to ensure that all persons affected
by this Chapter are treated in a fair and equitable manner.
B.
ADMINISTRATOR
1.
The Director of the Mason County Department of Community Development is
hereby vested with:
a.
b.
c.
2.
The duties and responsibilities of the Director shall include:
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
f.
g.
h.
i.
j.
k.
l.
m.
C.
Overall administrative responsibility for this Resource Ordinance;
Authority to grant statements of exemption from the Resource Ordinance;
and
Authority to determine compliance with RCW 43.21C, State
Environmental Policy Act.
Establishing the procedures and preparing forms deemed essential for the
administration of the Chapter.
Advising interested citizens and applicants of the policies, regulations, and
procedures of the Chapter.
Making administrative decisions and interpretations of the principles and
policies of this Chapter and the Growth Management Act.
Collecting fees.
Determining that all applications and necessary data are completed.
Grant or deny permits after considering all relevant information.
Making field inspections, as necessary.
Reviewing, insofar as possible, all provided and related data deemed
necessary for appropriate application needs.
Determining if a Permit, Conditional Use or Variance is required.
Submitting Variance Applications and Conditional Use Permit Applications
and making written recommendations and findings on such permits to the
Hearing Examiner. The Director shall assure that all relevant information
and testimony regarding the application is made available to the Hearing
Examiner during their review.
Assuring that proper notice is given to the appropriate persons and the
public of all hearings.
Informing the citizens of Mason County of the purposes, goals, policies,
and regulations of this Chapter and any changes or amendments thereto.
Investigate, develop, and propose amendments to this Chapter as
deemed necessary to more effectively and equitably achieve its goals and
policies.
ENVIRONMENTAL PERMIT
1.
Applicability
All developments and uses that are permit required or conditionally permitted
under the terms of this Chapter within designated Resource Lands and Critical
Areas shall be subject to review and approval by the County through the permit
process described by this Section.
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Revised June 16, 2009
2.
Approval Authority
a.
Administrative Review
All development listed as "Permit Required" in this Chapter shall be
processed through Administrative Review procedures. Decisions of the
Director shall be appealable to the Hearing Examiner pursuant to terms of
Title 15 Development Code Section 15.11.010 Appeals of Administrative
Decisions.
b.
Public Review
All development listed as "Conditional" in this Chapter shall be processed
through Administrative Review procedures; provided that Public Review
procedures shall be followed under the following conditions:
(1)
Any person, who would qualify as an aggrieved person if an
appeal was being requested, requests to the Director in writing
within ten (10) calendar days following posting of the public
notice, pursuant to Section 17.01.120.J, that a Public Review
procedure be conducted; or
(2)
The Director determines, based on the nature and complexity of
the project, that the Public Review procedure should be
conducted.
When Public Review procedures are followed, the final approval authority
shall be the Hearing Examiner.
c.
Shoreline Master Program Review
When a use, development or other activity that is subject to review under
this Chapter is also subject to review under the Mason County Shoreline
Master Program, the proposed use, development or activity shall be
processed concurrently with provisions of the Shoreline Master Program.
Administrative decisions under terms of this Chapter should generally, but
are not required to, precede a public hearing before the Hearing
Examiner. Permits issued under authority of the Shoreline Master
Program may, but are not required to, include any or all conditions
stipulated in the Mason Environmental Permit.
3.
Permit Name
a.
A permit required under one or more of the Permit Required Use
categories of this Chapter shall be known as a "Mason Environmental
Permit" (MEP).
b.
A permit required under one or more of the Conditional Use categories of
this Chapter shall be known as a "Mason Conditional Environmental
Permit" (MCEP).
c.
If a use is listed as a "Permit Required Use" for one or more critical areas
or resource lands, and a "Conditional Use" for one or more of the critical
areas or resource lands, it shall be considered a Conditional Use and
require an Mason Conditional Environmental Permit (MCEP) for County
approval. If a site is subject to permitting authority under more than one
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Revised June 16, 2009
designated critical area or resource land, all such permits shall be
processed concurrently.
4.
Pre-Application Consultations
Any person intending to apply for a permit under terms of this Chapter is strongly
encouraged, but not required, to meet with the County at the earliest possible
stage of project planning in order to discuss potential impacts of this Chapter on
the development proposal. Applicant will be encouraged to fill out a checklist to
determine the need for particular permits in critical areas. Efforts put into preapplication consultations and planning will help applicants create projects which
will be more quickly and easily processed. The County shall not charge a fee for
pre-application consultations.
5.
Permit Application Form
The Director shall establish, upon consultation with the County Engineer, Health
Official, Fire Marshal, and Building Official, a single Mason Environmental Permit
(MEP) and Mason Conditional Environmental Permit (MCEP) form, to be used for
all development proposals subject to review under authority of this Chapter. Such
form shall include requests for applicants to provide such information as to
facilitate compliance with the terms of this Chapter.
In addition, all application forms for Building Permits, Sanitary Waste Permits,
Shoreline Permits, Flood Plain Permits, and Subdivision Approvals including
Boundary Line Adjustments, Short Subdivisions and Large Lot Segregations shall
include adequate references to identify those properties subject to Resource Land
and Critical Area regulations that enables the County to determine whether a
Mason Environmental Permit (MEP) or Mason Conditional Environmental Permit
(MCEP) is also necessary.
6.
Administrative Determination of Applicability
Any person seeking to determine whether a proposed activity or an area is subject
to this chapter may request in writing, at a fee set by the Board, a formal
"Determination of Applicability" from the Director. Such a request for
determination shall contain plans, data, and other information as may be specified
by the Director.
7.
Permit Fees
Fees for a Mason Environmental Permit (MEP), Mason Conditional Environmental
Permit (MCEP), and other special studies review shall be set by Resolution of the
Board.
D.
SEPA COMPLIANCE
An application for a shall not be considered complete until it has complied with all
procedural requirements of Chapter 43.21c RCW, the State Environmental Policy Act
(SEPA), administrative regulations adopted to implement SEPA and the Mason County
Environmental Policy Ordinance, 99-84, or as hereafter amended.
E.
OLYMPIC REGION CLEAN AIR AGENCY COMPLIANCE
All Mason Environmental Permit (MEP) and Mason Conditional Environmental Permit
(MCEP) applications shall be forwarded for review to the Olympic Region Clean Air
Agency (ORCAA) unless the Director makes written findings that the proposed
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Revised June 16, 2009
development is unlikely to result in any direct or indirect impacts on air quality.
Development shall be consistent with all applicable ORCAA standards.
F.
G.
H.
SPECIAL STUDIES AND PLANS
1.
Developments lying within one or more designated critical areas may be required
by the Director to submit a Special Study or Plan that assures the proposed
development does not degrade the functions and values of those critical areas.
Those studies include:
a.
Wetland Delineation Report under Section 17.01.070
b.
Wetland Mitigation Plan under Section 17.01.070 and 17.01.200 I.
c.
Aquifer Recharge Area Report under Section 17.01.080
d.
Geological Report under Section 17.01.100
e.
Habitat Management Plan under Section 17.01.110
2.
Requirements for Special Plans can be found in each critical area section.
3.
An application for a Mason Environmental Permit (MEP) or Mason Conditional
Environmental Permit (MCEP) shall not be considered complete until it includes all
special studies or plans required by this Chapter.
ACCEPTANCE OF APPLICATIONS
1.
The original and nine (9) copies of a complete Mason Environmental Permit
(MEP) or Mason Conditional Environmental Permit (MCEP) application shall be
submitted to the Department of Community Development. Copies of the accepted
application shall be forwarded to the appropriate agencies for review.
2.
Upon acceptance of an application, notice of application shall be posted by the
applicant on the property or principal entry point to the property from the nearest
public right-of-way upon which the proposed development is located using a
stencil form provided by the County, on a waterproof sign. Said sign shall be
maintained by the applicant until action is taken on the application, when it shall be
promptly removed by the applicant. Said sign shall be located so that it is visible
from the abutting road. When more than one road abuts the property, then the
sign shall be visible from the road having the greatest traffic volume. Signs shall
be of a size determined by the Department of Community Development.
REVIEW BY AGENCIES
For all applications, within 21 calendar days of acceptance of a complete application:
1.
The Department of Community Development shall notify the Director that the
proposal does or does not conform to the goals and policies of RCW 36.70A, the
standards of this Chapter, and report on such other matters as may properly be
their responsibility.
2.
The Public Works Director shall notify the Director of Community Development
that the proposed roads, utilities, drainage facilities and other improvements can
or cannot conform to County development standards and state law under the
Public Works Director's authority.
3.
The Public Works Director shall also, in such manner deemed appropriate,
establish the adequacy of legal descriptions of the subject property.
4.
The Health Director shall notify the Director of Community Development that the
proposed method of waste disposal and proposed system of water supply can or
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Revised June 16, 2009
cannot conform to adopted development standards, including the County Health
Code and state law under the Health Director's authority.
5.
The County Fire Marshal shall notify the Director of Community Development that
the development can or cannot conform to adopted fire safety standards, including
the Uniform Fire Code and state law under the Fire Marshal's authority.
6.
The County Building Official shall notify the Director of Community Development
that the development can or cannot conform to adopted building safety standards,
including the Uniform Building Code and state law under the Building Official's
authority.
In addition to the above agencies, the Director of Community Development shall provide,
on a timely basis, a copy of the development proposal to all agencies of jurisdiction and
affected tribes, as required by Chapter 43.21c RCW, the State Environmental Policy Act
(SEPA). The Director shall also provide timely notice to the adjoining city of proposals
located in the urban growth area or within 1000 feet of its boundary. The Director shall
incorporate any comments received into the County decision making process.
I.
J.
ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
1.
Review of permits shall follow the provisions of Title 15 Development Code
Section 15.09 for type II decision review.
2.
Director's Findings
a.
The Director shall make findings based upon the review and
recommendations of County departments, other agencies, affected tribes,
and any public comments received. Such findings and conclusions shall
also set forth the manner by which the decision would carry out and
conform to the goals of RCW 36.70A, other adopted County policies,
objectives and regulations and this Chapter.
b.
A decision on the application may be to grant, deny, or grant with such
conditions, modifications and restrictions as the Director finds necessary
to ensure that the proposed development is compatible with the natural
environment, and is in compliance with the goals of RCW 36.70A, the
Shoreline Master Program, State Environmental Policy Act, the standards
of this Chapter, and other County codes and ordinances found applicable.
Examples of the kinds of conditions, modifications and restrictions which
may be imposed include, but are not limited to, additional setbacks,
screenings in the form of fencing or landscaping, storm drainage facilities,
restrictive covenants, easements, dedications of additional rights-of-way,
performance bonds and measures to mitigate identified adverse
environmental and socio-economic impacts associated with the proposed
action.
PUBLIC REVIEW
If a determination is made that a Public Review is necessary, pursuant to Section
17.01.120.C.2.b of this Chapter, then the provisions of Title 15 Development Code
Chapter 15.09 for type III decision review shall be followed.
Mason County Resource Ordinance
93
Revised June 16, 2009
K.
REASONABLE USE EXCEPTION
1.
If the application of this Chapter would deny all reasonable use of a site,
development may be allowed which is consistent with the general purposes of this
Chapter and the public interest.
2.
Nothing in this Chapter is intended to preclude all reasonable use of property. An
applicant for a development proposal may file a request for a reasonable use
exception which shall be considered by the Hearing Examiner at a public hearing.
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
f.
g.
L.
M.
A description of the areas of the site which are critical areas and/or
resource lands or within setbacks required under this Chapter;
A description of the amount of the site which is within setbacks required
by other County standards;
A description of the proposed development, including a site plan;
An analysis of the impact that the amount of development would have on
the resource lands or critical areas;
An analysis of whether any other reasonable use with less impact on the
resource lands or critical areas is possible;
A design of the proposal so that the amount of development proposed as
reasonable use will have the least impact practicable on the resource
lands and/or critical areas;
Other information as the Department determines is reasonably necessary
to evaluate the issue of reasonable use as it relates to the proposed
development.
The Hearing Examiner may approve the reasonable use exception, if the Hearing
Examiner determines the following criteria are met:
1.
There is no other reasonable use or feasible alternative to the proposed
development with less impact on the resource lands or critical areas; and
2.
The proposed development does not pose a threat to the public health, safety or
welfare on or off the site; and
3.
Any alteration of the resource lands and/or critical areas shall be the minimum
necessary to allow for reasonable use of the property; and
4.
The inability of the applicant to derive reasonable use of the property is not the
result of actions by the applicant in subdividing the property or adjusting a
boundary line thereby creating the undevelopable condition after the effective date
of the Chapter; and
5.
The proposal mitigates the impact on the resource lands and/or critical areas to
the maximum extent possible, while still allowing reasonable use of the site.
Except when application from this Chapter would deny all reasonable use of a site, an
applicant who seeks an exception from the regulations of the Chapter shall pursue a
variance as provided in Title 15 Development Code Section 15.09.057.
Mason County Resource Ordinance
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Revised June 16, 2009
17.01.130
GENERAL EXEMPTIONS
The following activities shall be exempt from the provisions of this ordinance:
A.
All policies, regulations, and procedures of this ordinance are null and void and have no
effect on those activities and uses conducted pursuant to the Washington State Forest
Practices Act and its rules and regulations, WAC 222-12-030, where state law specifically
exempts local authority, except those developments requiring local approval for Class 4
-General Forest Practice Permits (conversions) as defined in RCW 76.09 and WAC
222-12.
B.
Normal and routine maintenance and operation of existing irrigation and drainage actions,
farm ponds, fish ponds, manure lagoons, and livestock water ponds, provided that such
activities do not involve conversion of any wetland not being used for such activity to
another land use.
C.
Normal and routine maintenance or repair of existing utility structures or rights-of-way.
D.
Passive recreational uses, sport fishing or hunting, scientific or educational review, or
similar minimal impact, non-development activities.
E.
Site investigative work required by a county, state, or federal agency, or any other
applicant preparing a land use application submittal such as surveys, soil logs, percolation
tests, and other related activities, provided that impacts on environmentally critical areas
are minimized, and disturbed areas are restored to the preexisting level of function and
value within one (1) year after tests are concluded.
F.
Maintenance, operation, reconstruction of, or addition to, existing roads, streets, and
driveways, provided that reconstruction of, or addition to, any such facilities does not
extend outside the previously disturbed area.
For activities outside of the right of way or previously disturbed areas and following the
discussion of the proposed work with the Director or designee, maintenance of public
roads conducted using the best management practices contained in the “Regional Road
Maintenance ESA Program Guidelines” or similar programmatic guidelines endorsed by
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries.
G.
Any project currently under review by local, state or federal agencies prior to the official
effective date of the Mason County Resource Ordinance (as amended or adopted) are
exempt from this ordinance and will be grandfathered under previous Resource protection
measures; except for projects which are affected by the invalidity finding of the Western
Washington Growth Management Hearings Board dated September 6, 1996, and
subsequent dates.
H.
Installation, construction, replacement, operation or alteration of all electric facilities, lines,
equipment or appurtenances; water and sewer lines; and all natural gas, cable
communications and telephone facilities, lines, pipes, mains, equipment or appurtenances
within the previously improved area of public road right-of-way or authorized private road;
but not including the construction of substations.
I.
Construction and operation (including normal repair and maintenance) of fish hatcheries.
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17.01.140
A.
NONCONFORMING USES
PURPOSE
This section establishes the terms and conditions for continuing nonconforming uses,
structures and lots which were lawfully established prior to the effective date of this
Chapter.
B.
STANDARDS
1.
A legally established nonconforming lot, use or structure shall be deemed a legal
nonconforming lot, use or structure and may be continued, transferred or
conveyed and/or used as if conforming.
2.
A reduction in the setback and/or buffer requirements may be considered for a
nonconforming lot. A reduction of setback shall be approved only if:
a.
The reduction of setback and/or buffer is necessary in order to achieve
reasonable use of the land, and that it is the minimum reduction of
setback and/or buffer which accomplishes this purpose; and
b.
The proposed reduction of setback and/or buffer is compatible with the
character of surrounding permitted uses, and shall not adversely affect
efficient and safe traffic circulation; and
The burden of establishing the above-listed criteria for setback and/or buffer
reductions is upon the applicant.
3.
C.
The burden of establishing that any nonconforming lot, use or structure lawfully
existed as of the effective date of this Chapter shall, in all cases, rest with the
owner and not with the County.
USE OF NONCONFORMING LOT
Any permitted use authorized by this Chapter in one or more designated areas shall be
permitted on a legal nonconforming lot provided that it complies with all sections of this
Chapter other than tract or parcel size or conditions imposed pursuant to Subsection "D"
and other pertinent chapters of the Mason County Code and state law.
D.
1.
Adjustment of boundary lines to make legally established nonconforming lots
more nearly conforming is encouraged and may be made pursuant to Title 16 of
the Mason County Code.
2.
A conforming use or structure located on a legally established nonconforming lot
may be expanded, enlarged or extended as if it were on a conforming lot.
MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR OF NONCONFORMING STRUCTURE
Normal maintenance and incidental repair of legal nonconforming structures shall be
permitted, provided that it complies with all sections of this Chapter and other pertinent
chapters of the Mason County Code.
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E.
RECONSTRUCTION
Reconstruction, restoration or repair of a legal nonconforming structure damaged by fire,
flood, earthquake or other disaster shall be permitted; Provided that such reconstruction
shall not result in an expansion of the non-conforming structure.
F.
EXPANSION OF NONCONFORMING USE OR STRUCTURE
No legal nonconforming use or structure may be expanded, enlarged, or extended in any
way (including extension of hours of operation), unless such modification is in full
compliance with this Chapter or the terms and conditions of approved permits pursuant to
this Chapter.
G.
DISCONTINUANCE OF NONCONFORMING USE
All legal nonconforming uses shall be encouraged to convert to a conforming use
whenever possible and conformance shall be required when:
1.
The use is changed;
2.
The structure(s) within which the use is conducted is moved; or
3.
The use is terminated or discontinued for more than three (3) years.
17.01.150
A.
VARIANCES FROM STANDARDS
PURPOSE
The purpose of this section is to allow the County to consider requests to vary or adapt
certain numerical standards of this Chapter where the strict application of said standards
would deprive property owners of reasonable use of their property.
B.
APPLICABILITY
The provisions of this Section shall apply to:
1.
Setback requirements within designated critical areas and resource lands; except
wetland related setbacks.
2.
Buffer/vegetation area requirements within designated critical areas; except
wetland related vegetation areas.
3.
Tract or parcel size requirements of Section 17.01.060, .062 and .066; except that
when the following conditions are met, creation of non-conforming lots under the
terms of this Chapter are allowed outright; provided that all Mason County Code
Title 16 (Subdivisions) requirements are followed:
a.
The parcel to be divided was legally established prior to the effective date
of this Chapter; and
b.
The parcel contains two (2) dwelling units which were constructed prior to
the effective date of this Chapter; and
c.
No more than two lots are proposed to be created; and
d.
No lot proposed to be created shall be less than 1 acre (0.405 hectares) in
size; and
e.
Use of the lots to be created shall comply with all terms and conditions of
this Chapter, other than lot size, and shall comply with other pertinent
requirements of the Mason County Code.
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A variance from standards may be appropriate where a lot is exceptionally narrow or
shallow or contains unusual topographic conditions, but only when strict application would
result in hardship on the owner of such property.
C.
APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS
Application requirements shall be the same as for a Mason Environmental Permit in
Section 17.01.120, as well as the following:
D.
1.
A description of the specific modification from the terms of the Chapter required;
and
2.
A description of the reasons for the variance.
REVIEW PROCESS
The review process for variances from standards shall be the public review process set
forth in Section 17.01.120.
E.
REVIEW STANDARDS
See Mason County Code 15.09.057 for the review criteria.
In addition to the review criteria in Mason County Code 15.09.057, the minimum
reasonable use for a residence in a residentially zoned area shall be defined by the lesser
of a) 40% of the area of the lot, or b) 2,550 square feet.
1.
2.
17.01.160
Included in the total allowed area for a residence is a) the area of the first floor of the
residence, b) the area of any covered or uncovered decks or patios proposed,
except for the area of landings at entrances of a minimum size to meet building
code requirements, c) the area of roof overhangs greater than two feet, and d) the
area of any living space or decks on any floor other than the first floor that extend
beyond the walls of the first floor unless its area is already included in b) or c) above,
and d) the area of any accessory structure. The area should be the same as the
area covered by structures as seen in a birds-eye view of the site looking directly
down, with the exceptions of not counting the roof overhangs of not more than two
feet and of not counting the landings at entrances of a minimum size to meet
building code requirements.
This provision does not allow wetlands or fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas
or their buffers to be converted to lawn or residential landscaping.
TEMPORARY USES
The Director shall authorize by administrative decision temporary uses pursuant to the terms and
conditions of this section.
A.
PURPOSE
This section provides a process for authorizing certain uses or activities of a nonpermanent nature for a limited duration.
B.
APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS
The application shall contain those requirements the Director deems appropriate based on
the duration of the use and its potential for environmental impact.
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C.
REVIEW PROCESS
The review process for a "Certificate of Temporary Use" shall be subject to administrative
review consistent with Section 17.01.120; provided that the Director may waive any or all
of this review process for uses that do not pose a potential for environmental impact.
D.
DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS
Temporary uses shall be consistent with all standards set forth in this Chapter. For any
temporary use the County shall impose such other reasonable conditions as may be found
necessary to ensure that the activity or use is not incompatible with surrounding
conforming uses and will not result in a potential environmental impact.
E.
TIME LIMIT
Certificates of Temporary Use shall expire according to the terms set forth in the approval.
17.01.170
A.
EMERGENCY ACTIONS
EMERGENCY PERMIT
Notwithstanding other provisions of this Chapter or any other laws to the contrary, the
Director may issue a Emergency Permit if:
1.
The Director determines that an unacceptable threat to life or severe loss of
property will occur if an emergency permit is not granted; and
2.
The anticipated threat or loss may occur before a permit can be issued or
modified under the procedures otherwise required by this Chapter and other
applicable laws.
Any such permit granted shall incorporate, to the greatest extent practicable and feasible
but not inconsistent with the emergency situation, the standards and criteria required for
non-emergency activities under this Chapter and shall:
1.
Be limited in duration to the time required to complete the authorized emergency
activity, not to exceed calendar 90 days; and
2.
Require, within this 90 day period, the restoration of any critical area altered as a
result of the emergency activity, except that if more than the 90 days from the
issuance of the emergency permit is required to complete restoration, the
emergency permit may be extended to complete this restoration.
Issuance of an emergency permit by the Director does not preclude the necessity to obtain
necessary approvals from appropriate federal and state authorities.
Notice of the issuance of the emergency permit and request for public comments shall be
published at least once a week on the same day of the week for two consecutive weeks in
the Official Mason County Newspaper of Record no later than 10 calendar days after
issuance of the emergency permit.
The emergency permit may be terminated at any time without process upon a
determination by the Director that the action was not or is no longer necessary to protect
human health or the environment.
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B.
ENFORCEMENT
The County shall have authority to enforce this Section consistent with all provisions of
Section 17.01.200.
17.01.180
A.
B.
APPEALS
ADMINISTRATIVE INTERPRETATIONS
1.
Administrative decisions of the Director of Community Development shall be final
and conclusive, unless a written statement of appeal is filed using the appeal
procedures contained in Mason County Development Code Chapter 15.11.
Appeals. Said statement shall set forth any alleged errors and/or the basis for
appeal and shall be accompanied by a fee in an amount as set by resolution of the
Board; provided, that such appeal fee shall not be charged to a department of the
County or to other than the first appellant.
2.
The timely filing of an appeal shall stay the effective date of the decision until such
time as the appeal is heard and decided or is withdrawn. The burden of proof
regarding modification or reversal shall rest with the appellant.
DESIGNATIONS
1.
Within 15 calendar days following application for a land development permit
pursuant to this Chapter, the Director of Community Development shall make a
determination as to whether a designated resource land or critical area is affected
by said proposed development. Such designation shall be final and conclusive
unless a written statement of appeal is filed using the appeal procedures
contained in Development Code Chapter 15.11. Appeals. Said statement shall set
forth any alleged errors and/or the basis for appeal and shall be accompanied by a
fee as approved by resolution of the Board; provided, that such appeal fee shall
not be charged to a department of the County or to other than the first appellant.
2.
Appeals of designations shall be processed using the appeal procedures
contained in Development Code Chapter 15.11. Appeals.
17.01.190
JUDICIAL REVIEW
The action of the Hearing Examiner shall be final and conclusive unless an appeal is filed pursuant
Title 15 Development Code Chapter 15.11.
17.01.200
ENFORCEMENT
The Director is charged with enforcement of the provisions of this Chapter. Enforcement
procedures are set forth in Title 15 Development Code Chapter 15.13 Enforcement.
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17.01.210
RESTORATION
For property which contains designated wetlands, aquatic management areas, or
terrestrial habitat management areas or their vegetation areas which has been disturbed,
or landslide, seismic or erosion hazard areas on which a structure has been built or
located in violation of this Chapter, no permit or approval or development of the property
shall be authorized or granted for a period of up to three (3) years from completion of
restoration as determined by the Director. In the event of intentional or knowing violation
of this Chapter, the County may bring an action against the owner of the land or the
operator who committed the violation. This restoration section is also applicable to
Mitigation for Wetland Impacts (Section 17.01.070 F) as modified below.
1.
Restoration Plan.
a.
Where any designated wetlands, aquatic management areas, or terrestrial
management areas or their vegetation area which has been disturbed, or
subject to a permitted fill requiring mitigation, or landslide, seismic or
erosion hazard areas or their buffers has been disturbed or a structure
has been built, the applicant shall cause to be prepared, by a qualified
biologist, plant ecologist, geologist or similarly qualified professional, as
appropriate, a restoration plan which shall include as a minimum the
following:
(1)
Site plan 1 depicting site characteristics prior to disturbance; the
extent of disturbance, or permitted action requiring mitigation,
including an inventory of all vegetation cleared shall be shown;
and
(2)
Site plan 2 depicting the specific location of all proposed
restoration measures. Those measures shall include:
a. Measures necessary to restore the critical areas or their
buffers/vegetation area, including removal of fill, regrading to
original contours, if necessary, replacement of excavated
material, revegetation of all cleared areas with native trees and/or
plants and removal of structures; or
b. Location of the proposed mitigation action, ownership, and
methods to recreate, as nearly as possible, the original wetlands
or vegetation area in terms of acreage function, geographic
location and setting.
(3)
A schedule for restoration; and
(4)
A monitoring plan to evaluate periodically the success of the
restoration and provide for amendments to the plan which may
become necessary to achieve its purpose.
b.
In preparing and approving the restoration plan, the applicant and the
County, respectively, should consult with the Department of Wildlife,
Department of Natural Resources, Department of Fisheries, and the
Department of Ecology as appropriate.
c.
The restoration plan shall be prepared at the applicant's cost and shall be
approved by the Director. The Director may approve, reject or approve
the plan with conditions. All restoration shall be consistent with the
approved restoration plan.
2.
Monitoring. In any designated critical area where restoration has been required,
the applicant, at its own cost, shall provide for seasonal monitoring of the site by a
qualified biologist or other qualified professional, for a period of three years after
completion. The applicant shall submit an annual report to the Director which
discusses i) the condition of introduced or reintroduced plant species; ii) the
condition of open water areas or other water features; iii) use of the site by fish
and wildlife species; iv) any disturbances or alterations and their affects on the
restoration; v) additional or corrective measures which should be taken to ensure
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the success of the restoration; and vi) other information which the Director
considers necessary to assess the status of the restoration.
3.
17.01.220
Restoration bond. Prior to commencing restoration of a wetland, deep water
habitat, tributary stream or protected species habitat, or their vegetation area or a
steep or unstable slope, the applicant shall post with the Director a bond or other
security in an amount sufficient to cover the cost of conformance with the
conditions of the restoration plan, including corrective work necessary to provide
adequate drainage, stabilize and restore disturbed areas, and remove sources of
hazard associated with work which is not completed. After the Director
determines that restoration has been completed in compliance with approved
plans and the monitoring period has expired, the bond or other security shall be
released. The County may collect against the bond when work which is not
completed is found to be in violation of the conditions set forth in the restoration
plan and/or the Director determines that the site is in violation of the purposes of
this Chapter.
SEVERABILITY
If any provision of this Chapter or its application to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the
remainder of this Chapter and the application of such provision to other persons or circumstances
shall not be affected.
17.01.230
EVALUATION
This Chapter shall be formally evaluated on an annual basis by the County for its effectiveness and
administrative efficiency. By September 1, 1994 and annually thereafter the Director shall report to
the Board in writing an evaluation of this Chapter which shall include:
1.
A summary of all Mason Environmental and Conditional Environmental Permits
issued in the preceding year by type of critical area/resource land and geographic
location in the County.
2.
A list of written administrative interpretations of the Chapter, including
determinations of applicability pursuant to Section 17.01.120.D.6.
3.
A list of all applications for variation from standards pursuant to Section 17.01.140
4.
A list of all applications for variation from standards pursuant to Section 17.01.150
5.
A list of all administrative appeals pursuant to Section 17.01.180.
6.
Recommendations on any changes to this Chapter to accomplish, in the Director's
opinion, any of the following:
a.
Clarification of ambiguities,
b.
Correction of errors,
c.
Reduction in regulations placed on property owners that are not
necessary and effective in conservation of resource lands and protection
of critical areas,
d.
Streamlining development review procedures to reduce the administrative
burden on the County and/or the applicant.
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17.01.240
DEFINITIONS
Accessory Use or Structure: A subordinate or ancillary use, structure, building or portion of a
building located on the same parcel of land as the principal legally permitted use, structure or
building.
Aggrieved Person: The person appealing a decision of the County, who shows that he/she may
suffer specific injury and that the interests claimed are those intended to be protected by this
Chapter.
Agricultural Activities & Existing and Ongoing Agriculture: Those activities conducted on
lands defined in RCW 84.34.020(2), and those activities involved in the production of crops and/or
raising or keeping livestock, including the operation and maintenance of farm and stock ponds,
drainage ditches, operation and maintenance of ditches, irrigation systems including irrigation
laterals, canals, or irrigation drainage ditches, and normal operation, maintenance, and repair of
existing serviceable agricultural structures, facilities or improved areas, and the practice of
aquaculture. Activities which bring an area into agricultural use are not part of an ongoing
operation. An operation ceases to be ongoing when the area on which it is being conducted is
converted to a nonagricultural use or has lain idle for more than five (5) years, unless the idle land
is registered in a federal or state soils conservation program, or unless the activity is maintenance
of irrigation ditches, laterals, canals, or drainage ditches related to an existing and ongoing
agricultural activity.
Forest practices regulated under Chapter 76.09 RCW, Title 222 WAC are not included in this
definition.
Agricultural Lands: Lands primarily devoted to the production of horticultural, viticultural,
floricultural, dairy, apiary, vegetable, or animal products or of berries, grain, hay, straw, turf, seed,
Christmas trees not subject to the excise tax imposed by RCW 84.33.100 through 84.33.140, or
livestock.
Agriculture Practices: Any activity whether for commercial or recreational use directly pertaining
to production of food, fiber or livestock including but not limited to cultivation, harvest, grazing,
animal waste storage and disposal, fertilization, suppression or prevention of diseases and insects.
Anaerobic: Living or functioning in the absence of oxygen.
Annual Amendment Process: The process for amending the Mason County Comprehensive Plan
and development regulations, as adopted in the Mason County Development Code, Title 15.
Applicant: A person who files an application for permit under this Chapter and who is either the
owner of the land on which that proposed activity would be located, a contract vendee, a lessee of
the land, the person who would actually control and direct the proposed activity, or the authorized
agent of such a person.
Approval Authority: The approval authority for all administrative decisions under this Chapter is
the Director of Community Development. The approval authority for all decisions subject to public
review is the Board of County Commissioners.
Appurtenant Structure: A structure that is ordinarily connected to the use and enjoyment of a
single-family residence; normal appurtenant structures include, but are not limited to, a garage,
deck, storage shed, woodshed, pump house, upland retaining wall, and fence.
Aquaculture: Aquaculture involves the culture and farming of food fish, shellfish and other
aquatic animals and plants in lakes, streams, inlets, bays and estuaries. Methods of aquaculture
include, but are not limited to, fish pens, shellfish rafts, racks and longlines, seaweed floats; and
the culture of clams and oysters on tidelands and subtidal areas. Excluded from this definition are
related commercial or industrial uses such as wholesale and retail sales, or final processing and
freezing.
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Aquatic Management Areas: Aquatic areas and their associated uplands that are designated by
this Chapter for protection.
Aquifer: a groundwater-bearing geologic formation or formations that contain enough saturated
permeable material to yield significant quantities of water to wells or springs (source: Chapter 173100 WAC).
Aquifer Recharge Areas: Areas where water infiltrates the soil, and percolates through it and
surface rocks, to the groundwater table.
Base Flood: A flood having a one percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given
year.
Best Management Practices: those physical, structural, and managerial practices, and
prohibitions of practices, that when used singly, or in combination, can prevent pollution to
groundwater and surface water. (source: Stormwater Program Guidance Manual for the Puget
Sound Basin, Volumes I and 2, #92-32 and 92-33, WDOE, 1992).
Block: A parcel or set of contiguous parcels that collectively meet all classification criteria for any
officially designated resource land pursuant to this Chapter.
Board (or Board of County Commissioners): The Mason County Board of Commissioners.
Bog: A unique type of wetland dominated by mosses that form organic peat. Bogs form in areas
where the climate allows the accumulation of peat to exceed its decomposition. Bog hydrology is
dominated by precipitation rather than surface inflow. The plant community is specialized to
survive in the nutrient-poor and highly acidic conditions typical of bog systems.
Building Official: The Building Official of Mason County.
Buffer: An area of land used or designated for the purpose of insulating or separating a structure
or land use from a critical area or resource land in such a manner as to reduce or mitigate any
adverse impacts of the developed area. Permitted development and activities within buffers
depend on the type of critical area or resource land the buffer is protecting.
Channel Migration Zone (CMZ): A Channel Migration Zone is defined by the lateral extent of
active channel movement along a stream reach over the past 100 years. Evidence of active
movement over the 100 year time frame can be inferred from aerial photos or from specific
channel and valley bottom characteristics. Also, the time span typically represents the time it takes
to grow mature trees that can provide functional large woody debris to streams. A CMZ is not
typically present if the valley width is generally less than two bankfull widths, is confined by
terraces, no current or historical aerial photographic evidence exists of significant channel
movement, and there is no field evidence of secondary channels with recent scour from stream
flow or progressive bank erosion at meander bends.
Chapter: Unless otherwise stated, the terms "Chapter" or "this Chapter" refer to Chapter 17.01 of
the Mason County Code.
Class V Injection Well: a drywell used for collection of stormwater (source: Federal Register,
Monday, August 28, 1995, Volume 60, No. 166, Part IV, Environmental Protection Agency -40
CFR, Part 144 and 146, Table 1, Categories of Class V Injection Wells, page 44653). A Class I
injection well is a well used for injection of industrial, commercial, or municipal waste fluids. A
Class II injection well is a well used in natural gas and oil exploration or production. A Class III
injection well is a well used for extraction of minerals. A Class IV injection well is a well used for
injection of dangerous waste or radioactive waste fluids. Class V wells are commonly known as
drywells.
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Clearing or Land Clearing: The removal or disturbance of trees, shrubs and other vegetation,
from a designated critical area or its buffer/vegetation area by physical, mechanical, chemical, or
any other means, to the extent that the Director determines such removal or disturbance may
constitute a safety hazard or otherwise pose a probable adverse impact on the functions or values
of that critical area or buffer/vegetation area; Provided that removal or disturbance of vegetation
from artificially landscaped areas existing at the time of adoption of this Chapter shall not
constitute clearing.
Commercial and recreational shellfish areas: All public and private tidelands or bedlands
suitable for shellfish harvest, including commercial and recreational shellfish areas, and including
any shellfish protection districts established pursuant to chapter 90.72 RCW
Conditional Uses: Those uses requiring a Mason Conditional Environmental Permit (MCEP) and
that may, due to their complexity or greater potential for impact, go through a public review process
subject to the terms of this Chapter.
Conservation Futures: As provided in section 84.34.220 RCW, conservation futures are the
rights in perpetuity to future development which may be acquired by the county on any open space
land, farm and agricultural land, and timberland which are so designated under the provisions of
chapter 84.34 RCW and taxed at current use assessment as provided by that chapter. Revenue
for this purpose is provided by an optional levy on assessed valuation of all taxable property within
the county.
Contaminant(s): Hazardous substance(s) which, if released in sufficient quantity, would impair a
component of the environment as a useful resource.
Critical Aquifer Recharge Areas: Aquifer recharge areas that are designated by this Chapter for
protection.
Critical Areas: Critical Areas shall include Designated Wetlands, Aquifer Recharge Areas,
Frequently Flooded Areas, Landslide Hazard Areas, Seismic Hazard Areas, Erosion Hazard
Areas, and Aquatic and Terrestrial Management Areas, as defined by this Chapter.
Critical Facility: A facility to which the existence of a geologic hazard or the chance of flooding
would present even a slight threat. Critical facilities include, but are not limited to, public buildings;
schools; hospitals; jails; police, fire, and emergency response installations; nursing homes; and
installations which produce, use, or store hazardous materials and/or hazardous waste.
Danger Tree: A tree with a high probability of falling due to a debilitating disease, a structural
defect, a root mass more than 50% exposed, or having been exposed to wind throw within the past
10 years, and where there is a residence or residential accessory structure within a tree lengh of
the base of the trunk, or where the top of a bluff or steep slope is endangered. Where not
immediately apparent to the review authority, the danger tree determination shall be made after
review of a report prepared by an arborist or forester.
Dangerous Waste: solid waste designated in Chapter 173-303-070 through 130 WAC as
dangerous or extremely hazardous waste... the word “dangerous waste” will refer to the full
universe of wastes regulated by Chapter 173-303 (including dangerous and extremely hazardous
waste).
Director or Director of Community Development: The Director of the Mason County
Department of Community Development.
Emergent Wetland: A regulated wetland with at least thirty percent (30%) of the surface area
covered by erect, rooted, herbaceous vegetation as the uppermost vegetative strata.
Engineer: A person who is licensed in the State of Washington in a particular field in question.
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Erosion Control: On-site and off-site control measures that are needed to control conveyance
and/or deposition of earth, turbidity or pollutants after development, construction, or restoration.
Erosion Hazard Areas: Areas susceptible to erosion that are designated by this Chapter for
protection.
Exotic: Any species of plants or animals that are not native to the watershed.
Extraordinary Hardship: The strict application of this ordinance and/or programs adopted to
implement this ordinance by the Administrator would cause or create severe financial loss,
unreasonable safety risk or health harm to the party seeking exception, waiver or variance under
this ordinance.
Facility: All structures, appurtenances, and other improvements on or in the land.
Feedlot: an outdoor enclosure where livestock is confined or fed for the purpose of fattening for
market for more than 45 days a year and where no crops, forage, or post-harvest residues are
sustained during the normal growth season. This definition is not intended to apply where fewer
than five (5) livestock are kept on the site.
Floodplain: Any land area susceptible to the base flood.
Floodway: The channel of a river or other watercourse and the adjacent land areas that must be
reserved in order to discharge the base flood without cumulatively increasing the water surface
elevation more than one foot.
Footprint: The total area of the first floor of a structure, regardless of how the structure is
supported, or the total perimeter of any development other than a structure.
Forested Wetland: A regulated wetland with at least thirty percent (30%) of the surface area
covered by woody vegetation greater than twenty (20) feet in height.
Forest Lands: Lands primarily useful for growing trees, including Christmas trees subject to the
excise tax imposed under RCW 84.33.100 through 84.33.140, for commercial purposes, and that
has long-term commercial significance for growing trees commercially.
Forest Practices: Any activity conducted on or directly pertaining to forest land and related to
growing harvesting, or processing of timber including but not limited to: (1) road and trail
construction, (2) harvesting, (3) pre-commercial thinning, (4) reforestation, (5) fertilization, (6)
prevention and suppression of diseases and insects, (7) salvage of timber, (8) brush control, and
(9) slash and debris disposal.
Frequently Flooded Areas: Lands in the floodplain subject to a one percent or greater chance of
flooding in any given year, including floodplain related areas of avulsion risk. These areas include,
but are not limited to, streams, rivers, lakes, coastal areas, wetlands and the like.
Geologist: A person who has earned his/her livelihood primarily from the field of geology for at
least five years, and has received a degree in geology from an accredited 4 year institution of
higher education.
Government Lots: Those irregular tracts of land designated on the plats of the United States
Public Lands surveys.
Groundwater: water in a saturated zone or stratum beneath the surface of the land or below a
surface water body (source: Chapter 173-200-020 WAC).
Habitats and Species of Local Importance: Habitats of local importance include, a seasonal
range or habitat element with which a given species has a primary association, and which, if
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altered, may reduce the likelihood that the species will maintain and reproduce over the long term
[WAC 365-190-030(9)]; Species of local importance are those species that are of local concern
due to their population status or their sensitivity to habitat manipulation
Hazardous Materials or hazardous substance(s): such materials as flammable solids; corrosive
liquids; radioactive material; oxidizing material; highly toxic material; poisonous gases; reactive
material; unstable material; hyperbolic material; pyrophoric material as defined in Article 2 of the
Uniform Fire Code; and substances, or mixtures of substances, that are an irritant or strong
sensitizer or which generate pressure through exposure to heat, decomposition, or other means.
Hazardous substances shall also mean Hazardous waste as designated in Chapter 173-303
WAC as dangerous or extremely hazardous waste. Hazardous substances also means any
dangerous waste or extremely dangerous waste as defined in chapter 70.105.010(5) and (6)
RCW, or any dangerous or extremely dangerous waste as designated by rule under 70.105 RCW;
and hazardous substance as defined in Chapter 70.105.010(14) RCW or any hazardous
substance as defined by rules under chapter 70.105 RCW; and substance that, on the effective
date of this ordinance, is a hazardous substance under section 101(14) of the Federal Cleanup
Law, 42 U.S.C., Section 9601(14); petroleum products; and any substance or category of
substances including solid waste decomposition products, determined by WDOE’s director to
present a threat to human health or the environment if released into the environment. The term
hazardous substances does not include crude oil or any fraction thereof or petroleum provided that
such are contained in an underground storage tank from which there is no release of material and
provided that the tank is in compliance with all applicable Federal, State, and local law.
Health Director: The Director of the Mason County Health Department.
Hydric Soil: Soil that is saturated, flooded or ponded long enough during the growing season to
develop anaerobic conditions in the upper part. The presence of hydric soil shall be determined
following the methods described in the Washington State Wetland Identification and Delineation
Manual (Ecology #96-94), or as amended.
Hydrogeology: The science that deals with the hydrology of geologic formations.
Hydrophytic Vegetation: Macrophytic plant life growing in water or on a substrate that is at least
periodically deficient in oxygen as a result of excessive water content. The presence of
hydrophytic vegetation shall be determined following the methods described in the Washington
State Wetland Identification and Delineation Manual (Ecology #96-94), or as amended.
Impervious Surface: That hard surface area which either prevents or retards the entry of water
into the soil mantle, whereas it entered under natural conditions prior to development; and/or that
hard surface area which causes water to run off the surface in greater quantities or at an increased
rate of flow, from that present under natural conditions prior to development.
Inholding Lands: Blocks of land that are surrounded on all sides by designated Long-Term
Commercial Forest Lands and are crucial areas for conservation of those lands but are not directly
of long-term commercial significance for forestry.
Isolated Wetlands: Those wetlands which:
A.
Are outside of and not contiguous to any 100-year floodplain of a lake, river, or stream;
and
B.
Have no contiguous hydric soil or hydrophytic vegetation between the wetland and any
surface water.
C.
Have no surface water connection to a lake, river or stream.
Landfill: a disposal facility or part of a disposal facility at which solid and demolition waste is
permanently placed in or on the land that is not a land spreading disposal facility (source: Chapter
173-304 WAC). In addition, landfills means all continuous land and structures and other
improvements on the land used for the disposal of solid waste, pursuant to Chapter 173-351 WAC.
Landslide Hazard Areas: Areas susceptible to landslides that are designated by this Chapter for
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protection.
Large Quantity Generators: those businesses which generate more than 2,200 pounds of
dangerous waste per month. They accumulate more than 2,200 pounds of dangerous waste at
any time. They generate and accumulate ore than 2.2 pounds of acutely hazardous waste or toxic
extremely hazardous waste.
Long-Term: A period of time that exceeds 100 years for forest management uses and exceeds
20 years for all other land uses.
Long-Term Commercial Forest Lands: See Forest Lands definition.
Long-Term Commercial Significance: The growing capacity, productivity, and soil composition
of the land for long-term commercial production, in consideration with the land's proximity to
population areas, and the possibility of more intense uses of land.
Lot: A designated parcel, tract or area established by a plat or otherwise as permitted by law and
to be used, developed or built upon as a unit. A lot shall not include a segregation of land
established by the County Assessor and assigned numbers for assessment purposes only.
Major New Development: Major new development includes and is limited to all activities which
require subdivision, short subdivision, or large lot subdivision approval, mobile home park or RV
park approval, grading permit approval, or building permit approval, provided that this does not
include repair, remodel, or alteration of existing buildings which do not increase the footprint of the
building by more than 10%.
Mason Conditional Environmental Permit (MCEP): A County permit required for any proposed
development or use in an area designated by this Chapter as a critical area or resource land,
where the proposed development or use is listed as a Conditional Use in one or more designated
critical areas or resource lands.
Mason Environmental Permit (MEP): A County permit required for any proposed development
or use in an area designated by this Chapter as a critical area or resource land, where the
proposed development or use is listed as a Permit Required Use in one or more designated critical
areas or resource lands. Such permits shall, when possible, be processed concurrently with other
County permits, and are designed to minimize any additional steps or staff time.
Medium Quantity Generators: those businesses that generate more than 220 pounds, but less
than 2,200 pounds of dangerous waste per month. They are limited to the accumulation of less
than 2,200 pounds of waste at any time. They are limited to the generation of, and accumulation
of, less than 2.2 pounds of acutely hazardous waste or toxic extremely hazardous waste.
Mineral Resource Lands: Lands devoted primarily to the extraction of minerals, or that have
known or potential long-term commercial significance for extraction of minerals.
Mining: All or any part of the process involved in extraction of minerals from the earth by
removing mineral deposits for commercial use, including surface mining and sub-surface mining.
Mining shall not include extraction, excavation or grading conducted on site exclusively for
construction, road maintenance, forestry, or farming.
Mitigation: Actions necessary to replace project-induced wetland and wetland vegetation area
losses, including land acquisition, planning, construction plans, monitoring and contingency
actions. Replacing project-induced wetland losses or impacts, which includes, but is not limited to,
the following:
A.
Avoiding the impact altogether by not taking a certain action or parts of an action;
B.
Minimizing impacts by limiting the degree or magnitude of the action and its
implementation, by using appropriate technology; or by taking affirmative steps to avoid or
reduce impacts;
C.
Restoration: Actions performed to reestablish wetland functional characteristics and
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processes which have been lost by alterations, activities, or catastrophic events within an
area which no longer meets the definition of a wetland.
D.
Reducing or eliminating the impact over time by preservation and maintenance operations
during the life of the action;
E.
Creation: Actions performed to intentionally establish a wetland at a site where one did not
formerly exist.
F.
Enhancement: Actions performed to improve the condition of existing degraded wetlands
so that the functions they provide are of a higher quality.
G.
Monitoring the impact and the compensation project and taking appropriate corrective
measures.
Mitigation for individual actions may include a combination of the above measures.
Mitigation, compensatory: "Compensation” or “Compensatory mitigation" means a form of
mitigation that replaces project-induced wetland or habitat losses or impacts, and includes, but is
not limited to, restoration, enhancement, substitute resources, creation, and preservation.
"Substitute Resources" means actions performed to provide for an alternative environmentally
sensitive area. "Preservation" means actions taken to ensure the permanent protection of existing,
high-quality environmentally sensitive areas. Compensation also is not limited to mitigation at or
adjacent to the site on which a wetland has been impacted by a regulated activity.
Moderate Risk Waste: means those two types of hazardous wastes: 1) Hazardous waste
generated by households, called household hazardous waste; and 2) hazardous wast generated
by businesses in amounts less than the quantity exclusion limit established in chapter 173-303-071
through 173-303-103 WAC, which is most commonly 220 pounds per month or batch, called small
quantity generator waste.
Native Vegetation: Plant species which are indigenous to the area in question.
Naturally Occurring Lakes and Ponds: Naturally occurring ponds, not including ponds
deliberately designed and created from dry sites, such as canals, stormwater detention facilities,
waste water treatment facilities, farm ponds, and landscape amenities. However, naturally
occurring ponds may include those artificial ponds intentionally created from dry areas in order to
mitigate conversion of ponds, if permitted by a regulatory authority.
New Construction: Structures for which the “start of construction” commenced on or after the
effective date of this ordinance.
On-Site Sewage System Site Evaluation and Disposal Permit Application: An application to
place an on site sewage system on a property approved under the authority of the Mason County
Health Department. Also known as a County On-site System Permit.
Ordinary High Water Mark: On all lakes, streams, and tidal water is that mark that will be found
by examining the bed and banks and ascertaining where the presence and action of waters are so
common and usual, and so long continued in all ordinary years, as to mark upon the soil a
character distinct from that of the abutting upland, in respect to vegetation as that condition exists
on January 31, 1992, or as it may naturally change thereafter or as it may change thereafter in
accordance with permits issued by local government or the State PROVIDED THAT in any areas
where the ordinary high water mark cannot be found, the ordinary high water mark adjoining fresh
water shall be the line of mean high water.
Parcel: See definition for "lot".
Permit Required Uses: Those uses requiring a Mason Environmental Permit (MEP) under the
terms of this Chapter, unless otherwise stated.
Practicable Alternative: An alternative that is available and capable of being carried out after
taking into consideration cost, existing technology, and logistics in light of overall project purposes,
and having less impacts to designated wetlands. It may include an area not owned by the
applicant which could reasonably have been or be obtained, utilized, expanded, or managed in
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order to fulfill the basic purpose of the proposed activity.
Prime Farmland Soils: Those soils identified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural
Resources Conservation Service as Prime Farmland Soils.
Priority Habitat: A habitat type with unique or significant value to many species. An area
classified and mapped as priority habitat must have one or more of the following attributes:
Comparatively high fish and wildlife density;
Comparatively high fish and wildlife species diversity;
Important fish and wildlife breeding habitat;
Important fish and wildlife seasonal ranges;
Important fish and wildlife movement corridors;
Limited availability;
High vulnerability to habitat alteration;
Unique or dependent species.
Priority Habitat and Species Database: The database for the Washington State Department of
Fish and Wildlife's (WDFW) Priority Habitat and Species (PHS) Program which provides the
following three products:
Lists of the WDFW’s most important habitats and species;
Management recommendations for each priority habitat and species; and
Maps showing the geographic location of priority habitats and species.
Public Building: Any structure owned by a governmental entity that is designed for human
occupancy pursuant to the Uniform Building Code.
Public Works Director: The Director of the Mason County Department of Public Works.
Qualified Fish and Wildlife Professional: A person with experience and training in fish and
wildlife issues; who has experience analyzing fish and wildlife habitats and their functions and
values, impacts to the habitats, and mitigation; and who derives his/her livelihood from
employment as a wildlife biologist, habitat management consultant, or fisheries biologist, as
appropriate to the type of critical area under review. Qualifications include:
A.
Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts or equivalent degree in biology, environmental
studies, fisheries, wildlife or related field, and two years of related work experience; or
B.
Five years of related work experience.
Qualified Groundwater Professional: a hydrologist, geologist, engineer, or other scientist whom
meets all of the following criteria:
A.
Has received a baccalaureate degree or post graduate degree in the natural sciences or
engineering; and
B.
Has sufficient training and experience in groundwater hydrology and related fields as may
be demonstrated by state registration, professional certifications, or completion of
accredited university programs that enable that individual to make sound professional
judgements regarding groundwater vulnerability.
Qualified Wetland Professional: A person with experience and training in wetland issues, and
with experience in performing delineations, analyzing wetland functions and values, analyzing
wetland impacts, and recommending wetland mitigation and restoration. Qualifications include:
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A.
B.
C.
Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts or equivalent degree in biology, botany,
environmental studies, fisheries, soil science, wildlife or related field, and two years of
related work experience, including a minimum of one year experience delineating wetlands
using any Federal Manual for Identifying and Delineating Jurisdictional Wetlands and
preparing wetland reports. The Washington State Wetland Identification and Delineation
Manual (Ecology #96-94) will become the standard delineation methodology for wetlands
beginnning in 1997. Experience with this manual will be required when it is adopted.
Additional education may substitute for one year of related work experience; or
Four years of related work experience and training, with a minimum or two years
experience delineating wetlands using any Federal Manual for Identifying and Delineating
Jurisdictional Wetlands and preparing wetland reports; or
A person certified by the Society of Wetland Scientists as a Professional Wetlands
Scientist.
RCW: Revised Code of Washington.
Reasonable Use: A legal concept that has been articulated by federal and State of Washington
courts in regulatory taking cases.
Recreation: Activities such as hiking, canoeing, viewing, nature study, photography and fishing
that do not require extensive preparation of facilities. Activities that include, but are not limited to,
parks, playgrounds, athletic fields, campgrounds, and boat ramps, and may require land clearing,
earth modification, construction of permanent structures and other facilities.
Relatively undisturbed vegetated area: A relatively undisturbed vegetated area is one with a
native plant community appropriate for the ecoregion or with one that performs similar functions. If
the area is unvegetated, sparsely vegetated, or vegetated with invasive species that do not
perform needed functions, then it is not relatively undisturbed. Any heavily used paved or gravel
roads, residential areas, lawns, tilled fields, parking lots, or actively grazed pastures would
disqualify the area from being “relatively undisturbed.” Bridges crossing streams or rivers within the
buffer are considered as a “disturbance.” Infrequently used gravel or paved roads or vegetated
dikes in a relatively undisturbed buffer, however, can be ignored as a “disturbance.” Open water
that is not part of the wetland is considered part of the buffer. The open water can be considered
undisturbed unless there is heavy boat traffic there. (Adapted from: Hruby, T. 2004. Washington
State wetland rating system for western Washington – Revised. Washington State Department of
Ecology Publication # 04-06-025.)
Release: Any spilling, leaking, emitting, discharging, escaping, leaching or disposing of a
hazardous substance(s) from a facility or activity into or onto soil, air, water, groundwater, or other
materials.
Release Detection: A method or methods of determining whether a release or discharge of a
hazardous substance from a regulated facility into the environment has occurred.
Repair or Maintenance: An activity that restores the character, scope, size, and design of a
serviceable area, structure, or land use to its previously authorized and undamaged condition.
Activities that change the character, size, or scope of a project beyond the original design and
drain, dredge, fill, flood, or otherwise alter additional designated critical areas or have a significant
adverse impact on the critical areas are not included in this definition.
Residential Density: The permissible number of dwelling units that may be developed on a
specific amount of land area measured in number of dwelling units per acre.
Residential Development. The development of land, or the construction or placement of dwelling
units for residential occupancy or appurtenant structures and for accessory uses. This definition
shall not be construed to authorize any use under the variance criteria.
Resource Lands: Resource lands shall include agricultural lands, forest lands, and mineral
resource lands as defined by this Chapter.
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Scrub-Shrub Wetland: A regulated wetland with at least thirty percent (30%) of its surface area
covered by woody vegetation less than twenty (20) feet in height as the uppermost strata.
Seismic Hazard Areas: Areas particularly susceptible to damage from seismic activity that are
designated by this Chapter for protection. Types of Seismic Hazards include:
1.
Differential Settlement: The downward movement of soil caused by a shift in underlying
sediments which result in a depression in the soil surface.
2.
Earthquake: Ground failures that could affect an area and include landslides, lateral
spreading, liquefaction, lurch cracking, stream and canal bank failures, rockfalls, and
differential settlement of the ground surface not directly attributable to one of the
foregoing. Earthquakes can cause landslides due to the shaking of unstable rock and soil
resulting in a sliding of the surface even on gentle slopes.
3.
Ground Shaking: A complex surface wave motion produced by its passage of seismic
waves through the earth's outer crust.
4.
Lateral Spreading: The lateral movement of soil on top of liquefied granular or sandy soils
induced by strong seismic shaking.
5.
Liquefication: This can change certain granular soils into a kind of quicksand when
caused by strong seismic shaking.
6.
Lurch Cracks: Random cracks and fissures in the soil induced by strong seismic shaking.
7.
Regional Uplift/Settlement: A result of tectonic movements of the earth's crust during
large scale earthquake activity. Regional uplift on the order of 8 to 12 feet occurred along
the lower arm of Hood Canal, North Bay of Case Inlet some 800 to 1,000 years ago during
a great earthquake in the Puget Sound south of Seattle. Evidence is seen in old elevated
beach terraces in this area.
8.
Rockfalls: This can occur when nearly vertical rock slopes fail during strong seismic
shaking.
9.
Seiches: Earthquake induced water waves in a confined body of water caused by periodic
oscillations of the water in response to ground shaking.
10.
Surface Faulting: The fracturing of soil or rock on the earths surface. Surface faulting
could occur on mapped faults shown on geologic maps of the Mason County area.
11.
Tsunami: Catastrophic sea waves generated in large bodies of water by strong
earthquakes, underwater landslides or volcanic explosion. Tsunami waves travel at
speeds of up to 400 mph across the open ocean and can form waves reported up to 200
feet in height when encountering land with a long shallow ocean fronting shelf. Tsunamis,
averaging at least 20 feet in height, have been generated in Puget Sound as evidenced in
recent geologic studies.
Sensitive Species: Any wildlife species listed by the federal government or the State of
Washington as sensitive because it is vulnerable or declining and is likely to become endangered
or threatened in a significant portion of its range within the state without cooperative management
or removal of threats.
Serviceable: Presently useable.
SEPA: The State Environmental Policy Act, 43.21c RCW, and implementing State and County
administrative rules.
Setback: The distance from a lot, parcel, tract, critical area or resource land boundary, beyond
which the footprint or foundation of a structure shall not extend.
Site: Any lot, tract, parcel, large lot holding, either owned or leased, intended for development.
Slope: An inclined ground surface, the inclination of which is expressed as a ratio of vertical
distance to horizontal distance.
Small Quantity Generators: means those businesses that generate less than 220 pounds of
dangerous waste per month. They are limited to the accumulation of less than 2,200 pounds of
waste at any time. They are limited to that accumulation of less than 2.2 pounds of acutely
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hazardous waste or toxic extremely hazardous waste. (see WAC 173-303-070(8))
Solid waste: all putrescrible and non-putrescrible solid or semi-solid wastes including, but not
limited to, garbage, rubbish, ashes, industrial waste, swill, demolition and construction waste,
abandoned vehicles or parts thereof, and discarded commodities. This includes all liquid, solid,
and semi-solid, materials that are not the primary products of public, private, industrial,
commercial, mining, and agricultural operations. Solid waste includes, but is not limited to, sludge
from waste water treatment plants and seepage, septic tanks, wood waste, dangerous waste, and
problem wastes (source: Chapter 173-304-100 WAC).
Start of Construction: Includes substantial improvement, and means the date the building permit
was issued, provided the actual start of construction, repair, reconstruction, placement, or other
improvement was within 180 days of the permit date. The actual start means either the first
placement of permanent construction of a structure on a site, such as the pouring of slab or
footings, the installation of piles, the construction of columns, or any work beyond the stage of
excavation; or the placement of a manufactured home on a foundation. Permanent construction
does not include land preparation, such as clearing, grading and filling; nor does it include the
installation of streets and /or walkways, nor does it include excavation for a basement, footings,
piers, or foundation or the erection of temporary forms; nor does it include the installation on the
property of accessory buildings, such as garages or sheds not occupied as dwelling units or not
part of the main structure.
Streams: Those areas where surface waters flow sufficiently to produce a defined channel or
bed. A defined channel or bed is an area which demonstrates clear evidence of the passage of
water and includes, but is not limited to, bedrock channels, gravel beds, sand and silt beds and
defined channel swales. The channel or bed need not contain water year round. This definition is
not meant to include irrigation ditches, canals, storm or surface water runoff devices or other
entirely artificial watercourses, unless they are used by salmon or used to convey streams naturally
occurring prior to construction.
For regulatory purposes under this Chapter once streams are identified, the streams are typed
following the Washington State Department of Natural Resources Stream Typing System:
A. "Type S Streams" are those surface waters which meet the criteria of the Washington Department
of Natural Resources, WAC 222-16-030(1) as now or hereafter amended, as a Type S Water and
are inventoried as "Shorelines of the State" under the Shoreline Management Master Program for
Kitsap County, pursuant to RCW Chapter 90.58. Type S waters contain salmonid fish habitat..
B. "Type F Streams" are those surface waters, which meet the criteria of the Washington
Department of Natural Resources, WAC 222-16-030(2) as now or hereafter amended, as
Type F Water. Type F streams contain habitat for salmonid fish, game fish and other
anadromous fish.
C. "Type Np Streams" are those surface waters, which meet the criteria of the Washington
Department of Natural Resources, WAC 222-16-030(3) as now or hereafter amended, as
Type Np Water. Type Np waters do not contain fish habitat.
D. "Type Ns Streams" are those surface waters, which meet the criteria of the Washington
Department of Natural Resources, WAC 222-16-030(4) as now or hereafter amended, as a
Type Ns Water. These streams are areas of perennial or intermittent seepage, ponds, and
drainage ways having short periods of spring or storm runoff. Type Ns waters do not contain
fish. "Type Ns Water" means all segments of natural waters within the bankfull width of the
defined channels that are not Type S, F, or Np Waters. These are seasonal, nonfish habitat
streams in which surface flow is not present for at least some portion of a year of normal
rainfall and are not located downstream from any stream reach that is a Type Np Water. Ns
Waters must be physically connected by an above-ground channel system to Type S, F, or Np
Waters. (5) For purposes of this section: (d) “Natural waters” only excludes water
conveyance systems which are artificially constructed and actively maintained for irrigation.”
“Type SP Streams” In addition to the DNR stream typing system, the county has proposed to
identify specific streams of high value for anadromous fish for a higher level of habitat protection
when they have limiting factors that are dependent on buffer width.
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Surface Mining Operations: the mining of rock, stone, gravel, sand, earth and minerals, as
regulated by the Washington Department of Natural Resources pursuant to Chapter 78.44, RCW.
Structure: A walled or roofed building including a gas or liquid storage tank that is principally
above ground . (Note: This definition only applies to Section 17.01.090).
Substantial Damage: Damage of any origin sustained by a structure whereby the cost of
restoring the structure to its before damaged condition would equal or exceed 50 percent of the
market value of the structure before the damage occurred.
Substantial Improvement: Any repair, reconstruction, or improvement of a structure, the cost of
which equals or exceeds 50 percent of the market value of the structure either:
(1)
Before the improvement or repair is started, or
(2)
If the structure has been damaged and is being restored, before the damage occurred. For
the purposes of this definition “substantial improvement” is considered to occur when first
alteration of any wall, ceiling, floor, or other structural part of the building commences
whether or not that alteration affects the external dimension of the structure.
The term does not, however, include either:
(1)
Any project for improvement of a structure to comply with existing state or local health,
sanitary, or safety code specifications which are solely necessary to assure safe living
conditions, or
(2)
Any alteration of structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places or a State
Inventory of Historic Places.
Terrestrial Management Areas: Areas where the presence of animal species exists that have
been designated by this Chapter for protection.
Threatened or Endangered Species: All species of wildlife listed as "threatened" or
"endangered" by the Washington State Department of Wildlife.
Trail: A trail is a limited use path or beaten track, with minimum improvements.
Underground storage tanks (UST): or “Below ground storage tanks” are underground storage
tanks and connecting underground piping as defined in the rules adopted under Chapter 90.76
RCW; or any one or combination of tanks (including underground pipes connected thereto) that is
used to contain an accumulation of regulated substances, the volume of which (including the
volume of underground pipes connected thereto) is ten percent or more beneath the surface of the
ground. This term does not include any exempt UST systems specified in WAC 173-360-110(2).
(b) Exemptions. The following UST systems, including any piping connected thereto, are exempt
from the definition:
(i) Any UST system holding hazardous waste subject to Subtitle c of the Federal Solid
Waste Disposal Act, or a mixture of such hazardous waste and other regulated substances.
(ii) Any wastewater treatment tank system that is part of a wastewater treatment facility
regulated under Section 402 or 307(b) of the Clean Water Act,
(iii) Equipment or machinery that contains regulated substances for operational purposes
such as hydraulic lift tanks, and electrical equipment tanks.
(iv) Any UST system whose capacity is one hundred gallons or less.
(v) Any UST system that contains a de minimus concentration of regulated substances.
(vi) Any emergency spill or overflow containment UST system that is expeditiously
emptied after use.
(vii) Farm or residential UST systems of one thousand one hundred (1,100) gallons or less
capacity used for storing motor fuel for noncommercial purposes (i.e. not for resale).
(viii)
UST systems used for storage of heating oil for consumptive use on the
premises where stored; except that such systems which store in excess of one thousand one
hundred (1,100) gallons are subject to release reporting requirements of WAC 173-360-372.
(ix) Septic tanks.
(x) Any pipeline facility (including gathering lines) regulated under:
(A) The Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1968 (49 U.S.C. App. 1671, et seq.); or
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(B) The Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act of 1979 (49 U.S.C. App 2001, et Seq.);
or
(C) Which is an intrastate pipeline facility regulated under state laws comparable to
the provision of the law referred to in (x)(A) or (B) of this subsection.
(xi) Surface impoundments, pits, ponds, and lagoons.
(xii) Storm water or wastewater collection systems.
(xiii)
Flow-through processing tanks.
(xiv)
Liquid traps or associated gathering lines directly related to oil or gas
production and gathering operations.
(xv) Storage tanks situated in an underground area (such as a basement, cellar, vault,
mineworking drift, shaft, or tunnel) if the storage tank is situated upon or above the surface of the
floor.
Variance: A grant of relief from the specific requirements of this ordinance which permits use of
property in a manner that would otherwise be prohibited by this ordinance.
Vegetation Area: An area of land used or designated for the purpose of insulating or separating a
structure or land use from a critical area or resource land in such a manner as to reduce or
mitigate any adverse impacts of the developed area. Permitted development and activities within
vegetation areas depend on the type of critical area or resource land the vegetation area is
protecting.
WAC: Washington Administrative Code
Water-dependent: Requiring the use of surface water that would be essential to fulfill the purpose
of the proposed project; examples of uses would include aquaculture, marina, boat ramp, pier, and
floating dock, commercial loading, and ship building and repair.
Waters of the State: A classification system established in WAC 222-16-030, or as hereafter
amended.
Well head protection area: The area delineated by the well head protection plan for a Class A
public water system and approved by the Washington State Department of Health after June 1994,
in accordance to Chapter 246-290 WAC.
Wetland Management Area: Wetland areas and their associated uplands that are designated by
the Chapter for protection.
Wetland Edge: The boundary of a wetland as delineated based on the regulations contained in
this Chapter.
Wetland, Estuarine: Wetlands where salt tolerant plant species are dominant and the
water regime is influenced by tidal action. The wetlands are usually partially
enclosed by land with open, or partially obstructed access to open saline water. In
areas where freshwater wetlands grade into estuarine areas, the boundary of the
latter extends to an area where the salinity is less than 5 ppt (parts per thousand)
during the period of average annual low flow.
Wetland, Forested: A wetland class in the Cowardin classification where woody plants
taller than 20 feet form the dominant cover. Shrubs often form a second layer
beneath the forest canopy, with a layer of herbaceous plants growing beneath the
shrubs.
Wetland Hydrology: Permanent or periodic inundation, or soil saturation to the surface during the
growing season which typically creates anaerobic conditions in the soil that affects the types of
plants that can grow and the types of soils that can develop. The presence of wetland hydrology
shall be determined following the methods described in the Washington State Wetland
Identification and Delineation Manual (Ecology #96-94),
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Wetland, Natural Heritage: As defined by the Natural Heritage Program of the
Washington State Department of Natural Resources, these are wetlands that are either
high quality undisturbed wetlands or wetlands that support threatened, endangered, or sensitive plant
species.
Wetland Protection/Maintenance (Preservation) of: Removing a threat to, or preventing the decline
of, wetland conditions by an action in or near a wetland. This includes the purchase of land or
easements, repairing water control structures or fences, or structural protection such as repairing a
barrier island. This term also includes activities commonly associated with the term preservation.
Preservation does not result in a gain of wetland acres, may result in a gain in functions, and will be
used only in exceptional circumstances.
Wetland Restoration or Restoration of Wetlands: The manipulation of the physical, chemical, or
biological characteristics of a site with the goal of returning natural or historic functions to a former or
degraded wetland. For the purpose of tracking net gains in wetland acres, restoration is divided into:
• Re-establishment: The manipulation of the physical, chemical, or biological characteristics of a
site with the goal of returning natural or historic functions to a former wetland. Re-establishment
results in a gain in wetland acres (and functions). Activities could include removing fill material,
plugging ditches, or breaking drain tiles.
• Rehabilitation: The manipulation of the physical, chemical, or biological characteristics of a site
with the goal of repairing natural or historic functions of a degraded wetland. Rehabilitation results
in a gain in wetland function but does not result in a gain in wetland acres. Activities could involve
breaching a dike to reconnect wetlands to a floodplain or return tidal influence to a wetland.
Wetlands: Areas that are inundated or saturated by surface water 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. Wetlands do not include those artificial wetlands intentionally
created from non-wetland sites, including, but not limited to, irrigation and drainage ditches, grasslined swales, canals, detention facilities, waste water treatment facilities, farm ponds, and landscape
amenities or those wetlands created after July 1, 1990, that were unintentionally created as a result of
the construction of a road, street or highway. However, wetlands may include those artificial wetlands
intentionally created from non-wetland areas created to mitigate conversion of wetlands, if permitted by
the county or city.
Wetlands, Creation or Establishment of: The manipulation of the physical, chemical, or biological
characteristics present to develop a wetland on an upland or deepwater site where a wetland did not
previously exist. Establishment results in a gain in wetland acres. Activities typically involve excavation
of upland soils to elevations that will produce a wetland hydroperiod, create hydric soils, and support
the growth of hydrophytic plant species.
Wetlands, Cowardin classification: The first commonly used classification system for wetlands
developed in 1979 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Cowardin system
classifies wetlands based on water flow, substrate types, vegetation types, and dominant plant
species.
Wetlands Enhancement or the Enhancement of Wetlands: The manipulation of the physical,
chemical, or biological characteristics of a wetland site to heighten, intensify, or improve specific
function(s) or to change the growth stage or composition of the vegetation present. Enhancement is
undertaken for specified purposes such as water quality improvement, flood water retention, or wildlife
habitat. Enhancement results in a change in some wetland functions and can lead to a decline in other
wetland functions, but does not result in a gain in wetland acres. Activities typically consist of planting
vegetation, controlling non-native or invasive species, modifying site elevations or the proportion of
open water to influence hydroperiods, or some combination of these activities.
Wetlands, Isolated: Isolated wetlands are generally defined as those wetlands that have
no surface water connections to other aquatic resources. For the purposes of this ordinance,
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wetlands are not regulated as “isolated wetlands” if they are part of a mosaic wetlands. (See
“Wetlands, Mosaic” for additional information.)
Wetlands, Mosaic: “Wetlands, mosaic” or “mosaic wetlands” means groups of wetlands that should
be rated and regulated as an aggregate. Although each patch the wetlands that make up the mosaic is
separated from nearby wetlands by some upland area these wetlands are not regulated as “isolated
wetlands” as the term is used in this ordinance. That is, in determining whether a wetland falls into the
category of non-regulated wetlands (See Table 17.01.070) the area of the wetland is the area of the
mosaic wetland and not the area of an individual wetland component of the mosaic. Guidance for
determining when nearby wetlands compose a mosaic wetland is provided in the Washington State
wetland rating system for western Washington – Revised, Washington State Department of Ecology
Publication # 04-06-025. The patches of wetlands compose a mosaic when 1) the patches are less
than one acre in size, 2) the patches are separated from each other by 100 feet or less on average,
and 3) the area of the wetlands in the potential mosaic are greater than 50 percent of the total
combined area of wetland and upland. An illustration of this analysis of whether the potential mosaic
should be considered as a aggregate rather than as individual isolated wetlands is shown below. (The
illustration is from the DOE Publication referenced above.)
(Source: DOE Guidance Document Volumes 1 and 2)
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