Buffers And Setbacks

by Alan Beam, Director

Buffers and Setbacks

Current Kitsap County Shoreline Management Master Program Title 22 http://www.codepublishing.com/wa/kitsapcounty/

Natural Systems

22.20.010 Definition and enumeration.

Natural systems are physical features or phenomena of nature which are sensitive, in varying degrees, to man’s disruptive activity. Specific types of shoreline natural systems include the following:

1.    Biological wetlands including bogs, marshes, and swamps;

2.    Critical species habitats;

3.    Estuaries;

4.    Lakes, streams, and creeks;

5.    Spits,  bars, and berms;

6.    Longshore drift zones;

7.    Kelp beds and eelgrass beds;

8.    Smelt and candlefish spawning beds;

9.    Shore processes; and

10.    Hood Canal.

Natural systems must be protected from disruptions caused by man. Whenever these natural systems are known to exist in or along the shorelines of the county, appropriate environment designations, as necessary to protect them, are assigned. Should an area along the shorelines not given a designation be found to be a natural system by the definition stated above, it shall be incumbent upon the administrator to apply the natural systems policies as if the area had been  given a designation. The remaining portions of the shoreline areas are assigned separate environment designations as otherwise appropriate, or as necessary to supplement the adjacent natural systems environment designations.

To implement the review of development proposals involving natural systems, the administrator shall coordinate review under the Kitsap County Critical Areas Ordinance (Title 19 of this code) and shall prepare findings and conclusions regarding the potential impacts the proposal may have on the natural system. The proposed use or activity will not unreasonably interfere with natural systems.

22.20.030 Specific policies.

The following policies apply to all natural systems:

1.    Wetlands including bogs, marshes, swamps, and estuaries should be left undisturbed. They may be modified only when it is beneficial to wildlife or aquatic life. Impacts to wetlands should be avoided, minimized, and mitigated.

2.    Existing canopy and ground cover vegetation should be retained to protect water quality and maintain the character of the ecosystem.

3.    Critical habitats, whether for flora or fauna, should not be disturbed.

4.    Significant habitats, whether for flora or fauna, should be protected.

5.    Buffer zones along shorelines, lakes and streams should be required to prevent erosion, protect water quality, and maintain the character of the environment.

22.28.230 Residential development.

4.    General Regulations.

a.    Adequate distance between the ordinary high water mark and residential development shall be maintained to protect water quality, protect natural systems, and insure the integrity of the shoreline environment.

b.    Residential development shall be consistent with the purpose and intent of the applicable environment designation.

c.    Setback and buffer requirements for residential development shall be based on the minimum criteria set forth within the Critical Areas Ordinance (Title 19 of this code) in addition to the site specific critical areas requirements.

d.    The placement of residential development on property shall be designed so as to make the installation of shore protection structures unnecessary.

e.    Sewage disposal and water systems shall be in compliance with state and local health regulations.

f.    Septic systems shall not occur within one hundred feet of a biological wetland.

g.    Surface water drainage shall comply with the Kitsap County Storm Water Management Ordinance (Chapters 12.04 through 12.32 of this code).

22.28.050 Agricultural practices.

1.    Definition. Activities related to vegetation and soil management, such as tilling of soil, control of weeds, control of plant diseases and insect pests, soil maintenance and fertilization as well as animal husbandry.

4.    General Regulations.

a.    A buffer of native vegetation, at least one hundred feet in width, shall be permanently maintained between cultivated areas and the ordinary high water mark or biological wetland area.

b.    A buffer of native vegetation at least one hundred feet in width shall be permanently maintained between confined animal feeding operations, animal waste and/or retention and storage ponds, feed lot wastes, stock piles or manure solids, or confinement lots, and the ordinary high water mark or biological wetlands. A fence shall be used to separate water bodies from livestock pastures.

Proposed Kitsap County Shoreline Masterplan Buffers and Setbacks

The county has not published their proposed revisions to the Buffers and Set back rules under the Shoreline Master plan Update. The only formal indication of county intent is  included in the Final Draft of the Inventory and Characterization Report

http://www.kitsapshoreline.org/DraftDocuments.html

2.6 Shoreline Master Program Jurisdiction

The SMP Jurisdiction is comprised of the geographic area where the Shoreline Management Act (SMA) applies. The approved SMP becomes the official delineation of the SMA Jurisdiction. Some 20 acre + lakes have been added as they were missing from the previous SMP jurisdiction list. Once final approval and adoption takes place, the maps and descriptions of this SMP Update will replace the listots of water baodies in WAC 173-18, 20 and 22.In accordance.

Federal lands are generally included within the shoreline jurisdiction, unless the land is used exclusively by the federal government. The federal lands in Kitsap County have exclusive federal jurisdiction, given the statutes provided in RCW 36.34. The SMA does not include any reference to tribal lands or Indian reservations. The SMP does apply to any land within reservation boundaries owned in fee by a non-tribal member.

2) Critical area buffers option: Local governments may extend the shoreline jurisdiction to include “land necessary for buffers for critical areas that occur within shorelines of the state. (RCW 36.70A and RCW 90.58.030(2) (f) (ii)”. This option applies to critical areas that lie partly in and partly out of the shoreline jurisdiction. Kitsap County staff recommends that the SMP jurisdiction remain at the required minimum and that the CAO buffer requirements for the outlying areas be maintained in order to consistently continue to protect the critical areas pursuant to Kitsap County Title 19.

Critical Areas Ordinance Title 19

http://www.codepublishing.com/wa/kitsapcounty/

Definitions 19.150.170 Buffer.

“Buffer” means a non-clearing native vegetation area which is intended to protect the functions and values of critical areas.

(Ord. 351 (2005) § 17 (part), 2005)

19.150.172 Buffer, standard. “Standard buffer” means the buffer width established by each chapter of this title before any buffer adjustments are applied.

(Ord. 351 (2005) § 17 (part), 2005)

Chapter 19.200
WETLANDS

19.200.215 Wetland review procedures.

C.    Wetland Review Process for Single-family Dwellings.

1.    Expedited Approval. Applicants proposing a single-family dwelling may receive expedited approval by the department if they choose to adopt the largest buffer width from the appropriate wetland category. Expedited approval removes the
requirements of the wetland certification process for single-family dwellings (subsection (2), below) provided that the wetland delineation and/or wetland rating is not disputed. Administrative buffer reductions or variance will not apply.

2.    Wetland Certification Process for Single-family Dwellings (No Encroachment into a Regulated Wetland or its Standard Buffer).

a.    Prior to issuance of a building permit, site development permit, or on-site sewage system permit, the applicant may submit a single-family wetland certification form completed by a wetland specialist that certifies either:

(1)    No regulated wetlands are present within 250 feet of the project area; or

(2)    Wetlands are present within 250 feet of the project area, but all regulated activities associated with the dwelling (e.g., landscaped areas, septic facilities, outbuildings, etc.) will occur outside of the standard buffer of the identified
wetland.

b.    If regulated wetland buffers extend onto the site, the wetland specialist shall place permanent, clearly visible, wetland buffer signs at the edge of the buffer. A wetland buffer sign affidavit, signed by the wetland specialist, shall be submitted to the department as verification that the wetland buffer signs have been placed on the site.

c.    A survey will not be required.

d.    The single-family certification form may be used only to authorize single-family dwellings and associated home site features such as driveways, gardens, fences, wells, lawns, and on-site septic systems. It may not be used for new
agricultural activities, expansion of existing agricultural activities, forest practice activities, commercial projects, land divisions, buffer width modifications, or violations.

e.    The single-family certification process will be monitored by the department for accuracy, and enforcement actions will be initiated should encroachment into a regulated wetland or buffer occur.

f.    The applicant/property owner assumes responsibility for any and all errors of the single-family certification form and all associated mitigation imposed by the department.

g.    Single-family certification forms shall be filed with the Kitsap County auditor’s office.

19.200.220 Wetland buffer requirements.

For the purpose of this title, a regulated wetland and its buffer are subject to the regulatory provisions of this chapter.

A.    Determining Buffer Widths. Buffer widths shall be measured horizontally from a perpendicular line established at the wetland edge based on the base buffer width identified in Table 19.200.220(A) and adjustments made from considerations contained in Table 19.200.220(B), Land Use Impact Intensity, below, and as applied in Tables 19.200.220(C) through (F).

TABLE 19.200.220(A)
BASE BUFFER WIDTHS

Category of
Wetland
Base Buffer Width
Category I 200 feet
Category II 100 feet
Category III 50 feet
Category IV 30 feet

19.300.310 Fish and wildlife habitat conservation area categories.

A.    General. Fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas are those areas that support regulated fish or wildlife species or habitats, typically identified by known point locations of specific species (such as a nest or den) or by habitat areas
or both.

B.    Classification and Designation. The following categories shall be used in classifying and designating fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas:

1.    Streams. All streams which meet the criteria for Type S, F, Np or Ns waters as set forth in WAC 222-16-030 of the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Water Typing System, as now or hereafter amended, Table 19.300.310 (See also Chapter 19.800, Appendix “B”).

Table 19.300.310
DNR Water Typing System

Water Type

Current DNR Water Typing

Previous DNR Water Typing

Type S

Type 1

Type F

Type 2 and 3

Type Np

Type 4

Type Ns

Type 5

2.    Shorelines.

a.    Saltwater Shorelines, and Lakes 20 Acres and Greater in Surface Area. Those saltwater shorelines and lakes defined as shorelines of the state in the Shoreline Management Act of 1971 and the Kitsap County Shoreline Management Master
Program, as now or hereafter amended. Shorelines include Type S waters as set forth in WAC 222-16-030 (DNR Water Typing System) as now or hereafter amended; commercial and recreational shellfish areas; kelp and eelgrass beds; and forage fish spawning areas.

b.    Lakes Less Than 20 Acres in Surface Area. Those lakes which meet the criteria for Type F, Np, and Ns waters as set forth in WAC 222-16-030, as now or hereafter amended. This includes lakes and ponds less than twenty acres in surface area and their submerged aquatic beds, and lakes and ponds planted with game fish by a governmental or tribal authority.

19.300.310 Fish and wildlife habitat conservation area categories.

A.    General. Fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas are those areas that support regulated fish or wildlife species or habitats, typically identified by known point locations of specific species (such as a nest or den) or by habitat areas or both.

B.    Classification and Designation. The following categories shall be used in classifying and designating fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas:

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