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City of Sammamish Proposed Critical Areas Regulations Public Comment Summar & Staff Response – In Process October 24, 2005  Item # Comment Staff Response Staff Recommendation for Planning Commission Code Amendment (if Recommendation applicable)  ADMINISTRATION AND GENERAL PROVISIONS  1   BAS: Is BAS really Best available science is a term from the Growth No further changes identified  No further changes. science?    Management Act and criteria for determining BAS is provided in WAC 365-195-905. Characteristics of a valid scientific process include peer review, methodology, logical conclusions and reasonable inferences, quantitative analysis, context, references, and having been prepared by a qualified scientific expert.  2   Beta tests: The Ebright The Ebright Creek Park beta test identified that No further changes identified  No further changes.  Creek Park beta test is irregardless of the corridor waiver, the Parks not fair because the City Department would not be relieved of all of fish and was exempted from wildlife habitat requirements. In accordance with the wildlife corridor general habitat requirements, Parks would still need to requirements.  complete a wildlife study and mitigate wildlife impacts.  3   Critical area study Mapping and existing data sources allow applicants to Additional wording could be Modify SMC 21A.50.120 (2) requirements: How show some critical areas that may be located on off- added to SMC 21A.50.120 (2) to include: does an applicant site private properties, while it is understood that site to state, “or when access to ; or (d) critical areas are identify off-site critical investigations on neighboring properties may not be adjacent properties is located off-site and access areas within 215’ of a possible. SMC 21A.50.120 would allow the director restricted.”  to applicable off-site project site without the ability to waive or modify the critical areas study property is restricted.  trespassing?   requirements when appropriate. 4   Study costs : What can Current regulations already require studies to be Suggest the following be Modify 21A.50.120 to include: be done to reduce the completed when a proposed development may affect a developed into code (5) A development study cost burden to critical area. Proposed critical areas regulations may amendments: proposal may be allowed to citizens? trigger added study requirements for proposed 1)  Include language to allow utilize past studies from developments associated with critical areas. Proposed development to use past studies neighboring properties, if regulations [21A.50.120 (2) and (3) as well as from neighboring properties, if confirmed that the study 21A50.130 (2) and (3)] include provisions for study adequate. findings remain accurate
October 20, 2005
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City of Sammamish Proposed Critical Areas Regulations Public Comment Summar & Staff Response – In Process October 24, 2005  relief in some circumstances. Additional provisions 2)  Modify language which and applicable to proposed could further reduce study costs. currently identifies a 215 foot development. study threshold to instead state "within the distance equal to Modify 21A50.130 (1) (a) to the largest potential required read: buffer" to avoid studies when Identification and clearly outside of buffers. characterization of all critical areas and buffers within the distance equal to the largest potential required buffer that can be reasonably ascertained from the subject property.  Modify 21A.50.110 (2) (a) to read: Confirm whether critical areas or buffers have been mapped or identified within the distance equal to the largest potential required buffer applicable to the development proposal area;        5   Variance & waiver There are two key reasons for removing the variance No further changes identified  No further changes. processes: Why is it process for critical areas. First, the variance criteria do recommended that the not ensure critical areas protection. Second, providing City remove the variance mitigation, waivers, exemptions, reasonable uses and and waiver processes variances creates a complex set of review processes. from the critical areas It is not clear whether or when an applicant should regulations?  apply for a variance or a reasonable use, or both? The proposed code simplifies the review framework and improves clarity. If not exempt, an applicant can seek to apply the options in the code for averaging, reduction and mitigation. If none of those options
October 20, 2005
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City of Sammamish Proposed Critical Areas Regulations Public Comment Summar & Staff Response – In Process October 24, 2005  allow use of the property, then the applicant can seek a reasonable use exception. 6   Mitigation Monitoring: Staff acknowledges that the wording could be more The last sentence of SMC Modify SMC 21A.50.145(7) The City should modify clear. 21A.50.145(7) could be revised to read: proposed language to to read: The compensation project require just a 5 year “The compensation project shall be monitored for a monitoring period, shall be monitored for a period necessary to instead of a monitoring period necessary to establish that performance period of no less than 5 establish that performance standards have been met. years.  standards have been met. The monitoring period The monitoring period shall be five (5) years, shall be five (5) years, provided that the director provided that the director may approve a greater may approve a greater or period when needed to lesser period when needed ensure mitigation success to ensure success or for or lesser period for minor minor mitigation;”  mitigation;   EXEMPTIONS  7   Partial exemptions: While exemptions seek to allow land use activities that No further changes identified  In 21A.50.060 (1) (a) and (b) Why is it recommended are considered a necessary part of urban areas, when retain previous 1,000 square that the City reduce the they allow impacts to critical areas they are foot partial exemption and partial exemption for inconsistent with the mandate to protect critical areas. previous references to “in expansion of existing, Therefore, exemptions should be limited to the existence before November 27, non-conforming minimum necessary. 700 square feet is sufficient to 1990” and “over that existing residential structures allow construction of a two-car garage attached to an before November 27, 1990.” from 1,000 square feet to existing house. There is no justification to support 700 square feet?  1,000 square feet of expansion. 8   Minor development:  Please see Hypothetical Scenario #2 provided to the No further changes identified No further changes. The City should consider Planning Commission on October 13, 2005. The whether full review and proposed code treats minor development, when study requirements proposed in a critical area or buffer, similar to the should apply to minor current code. A limited expansion of a single family development. residence is allowed, if it is no closer to the critical  area.  Any changes to allow minor development in critical October 20, 2005 Page 3 of 15
City of Sammamish Proposed Critical Areas Regulations Public Comment Summar & Staff Response – In Process October 24, 2005  areas or buffers would need to be justified by demonstrating that the project does not result in a significant impact to the critical area or by including mitigation.   REASONABLE USE  9   Reasonable use: The “Reasonable use” is a legal term that evolves with case No further changes identified  Discuss options for including term “reasonable use” law based on what the courts find to be “reasonable.” more specific language with should be more clearly What is reasonable can vary depending on surrounding City Attorney.  defined. uses, property characteristic, etc. It would be  problematic to establish a precise standard applicable in all instances. 10   Reasonable use: The The reasonable use process is not intended to be a No further changes identified  No further changes. reasonable use process is general development permit. It is intended to provide not a viable process for a “steam valve” to allow reasonable use of property development projects.  only after all other options, such as buffer averaging and reduction, have been considered. General development should be processed through the various development regulations. The reasonable use process is necessary for those exceptional instances where meeting the state requirement to protect critical areas cannot be achieved within the constitutional limits on property regulation.   GEOLOGIC HAZARD AREAS 11   Erosion & landslide SMC 21A.50.260(6) prohibits point discharges in No further changes identified. Modify SMC 21A.50.260(6) hazard areas: The City erosion hazard areas or onto or upstream from SMC 21A.50.260(6) (and the to include the word “and” after should not adopt landslide hazard areas except in specific circumstances current code in SMC (a).  proposed 21A.50.260 where flow matches predevelopment conditions or 21A.50.280(5)) provide three (6), because it would infiltration is used that does not increase the risk of options for consideration allow stormwater landsliding. This is the same as allowed in SMC appropriately separated by “or.” discharges in erosion 21A.50.280(5) of the existing code. Changing “or” to “and” would hazard areas and onto or require an applicant to conduct upstream from landslide all three of the competing hazard areas in some options, making the section
October 20, 2005
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City of Sammamish Proposed Critical Areas Regulations Public Comment Summar & Staff Response – In Process October 24, 2005  unlikely to ever be implemented.  
circumstances. The City should more strictly restrict runoff to predevelopment levels.  12   Erosion hazard areas: The code currently provides provisions to allow the No further changes identified No further changes. The City should allow director to approve wet season foundation work, foundation work to be provided that the applicant can demonstrate that such conducted in erosion work will not negatively impact the erosion hazard hazard areas outside of area or that the impacts will be fully mitigated specified seasonal restrictions.  13   Landslide hazard An option for mitigating landslide hazards is to allow No further changes identified  No further changes. areas: The City should engineered solutions such as regrading and retaining allow regrading of walls. However, scientists suggest that, “The least landslide hazard areas expensive and most effective landslide loss reduction when the intention is to measure is avoidance.” Allowing modification of make them non-landslide landslide hazards would require the city to hazard areas.  significantly increase its involvement in geotechnical design review and monitoring of situations that could have significant liability issues.  14   Seismic hazards: The The understanding of seismic faults is an evolving If the Planning Commission Retain the seismic hazard City should remove science. The general location of the Seattle fault zone feels that it is appropriate to definition in SMC “proximity to a fault has been mapped and is shown on maps included in wait until more information is 21A.15.1045 as currently line” from the seismic the Comprehensive Plan. However, it is likely that available about the Seattle fault, adopted.  hazard definition because more information will become available about the the addition proposed to the it is too difficult to Seattle and related faults over the next several years. seismic hazard definition in demonstrate that there is SMC 21A.15.1045 could be not a fault line in removed.  proximity of a proposed development.   CRITICAL AQUIFER RECHARGE AREAS  15   **CARAs: Water Staff will review and consider incorporation of minor Staff will review and consider Consider incorporation of districts have provided changes recommended by the districts when submitted incorporation of minor changes minor changes recommended minor suggestions to the to the City. recommended by the districts by the districts when submitted
October 20, 2005
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City of Sammamish Proposed Critical Areas Regulations Public Comment Summar & Staff Response – In Process October 24, 2005  wording in the CARA when submitted to the City. section.  
16   **CARA maps: Why do The CARA designation is to protect both groundwater No further changes identified CARA maps appear to quality and quantity. Areas close to wells (wellhead include both well head protection areas) and areas of high recharge both have protection areas and the potential to effect quality and quantity.  r echarge areas?  17   CARAs: How will the Feasibility of on-site infiltration will be considered for No further changes identified  City define feasible with each site based on review of geotechnical reports. If regards to CARA soil types do not support infiltration, then exploration infiltration requirements?  of other alternatives is appropriate.
 WETLANDS AND STREAMS  18   Wetland & stream Proposed wetland and stream buffers are based on the No further changes identified  buffers: Proposed best available science. Buffers are needed to remove wetland and stream sediment and pollution from surface water, provide buffers will make some nutrients, control temperature, and provide riparian properties habitat. Science clearly shows that larger buffers are undevelopable. The City more effective than smaller buffers (see BAS report). should consider smaller The buffer sizes proposed are consistent with those buffers. being adopted by other jurisdictions, and less than those recommended by the Washington Department of Ecology, which recommends buffers of 50 to 300 feet.  Regulations currently allow for buffer averaging and for some development in wetland buffers (such as sewers) when fully mitigated. Proposed regulations also include new incentive provisions to allow buffer reduction in some circumstances. When reduction and averaging opportunities are not sufficient to allow development, applicants may seek a reasonable use
October 20, 2005
to the City.
No further changes.
Change the proposed language for 21A.50.280(1)(a)(i) to read: The applicant demonstrates that infiltration is not a reasonable alternative due to site specific soil and/or geologic conditions;   
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City of Sammamish Proposed Critical Areas Regulations Public Comment Summar & Staff Response – In Process October 24, 2005  exception. 19   Wetland & stream The proposed subsection (SMC 21A.50.290.1.a) No further changes identified   buffers: The City should would limit the extent of buffers when transected by a clean up proposed stream road. Expansion of a road into the remaining buffer and wetland would be subject to the wetland and stream development standards development standards and mitigation requirements as that address public they are today. roadways transecting buffers. Won’t City road standards potentially conflict with this?  20   Wetland & stream The restriction on sewer corridors in wetland buffers is To provide greater flexibility,  buffers: The City should in the current code. SMC 21A.50.300(6) regarding allow sewer utility sewer utility corridors could be corridors closer (within revised with a new (c) that 20 or 30-feet) to states: wetlands and streams (c) The corridor alignment than allowed in proposed including, but not limited code language. The to, any allowed City could require maintenance roads mitigation in these follows a path beyond a circumstances.    distance equal to 75 percent of the buffer widthfurthest from the wetland edge as feasible ;  21   Wetland buffer Staff recognizes the concern expressed regarding the To clarify the intent, the averaging and possibility of using the incentive options to reduce a following language could be reduction: It should be buffer and then using averaging to reduce the buffer added to the buffer averaging clarified that wetland width further to an unacceptable level. Under the section: buffer averaging can not proposed code, however, this would not be allowed. “Buffer averaging may be be combined with (SMC 21A.50.290.5 and .7) While, averaging and used in conjunction with wetland buffer reduction. reduction options might be used together, such as buffer reduction options in when averaging provides only limited reduction, this section, provided the neither code section allows the buffer width to be total combined reduction reduced in any location to less than 50% of the does not reduce the buffer
October 20, 2005
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City of Sammamish Proposed Critical Areas Regulations Public Comment Summar & Staff Response – In Process October 24, 2005  standard required buffer. to less than 50% of standard buffer width at any location.” 22   Buffers: Has the City Yes, see comparison tables provided for the Citizen No further changes identified   compared proposed Advisory Committee (CAC) meetings. wetland and stream buffers to neighboring jurisdictions?  23   Buffers & science: Is In the last decade, a great amount of new information No further changes identified   there scientific evidence has been compiled relating to salmon protection, that supports wider including the WRIA 8 Chinook Salmon Conservation buffers being needed for Plan, the Draft Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Plan, salmon protection?  and the Statewide Strategy to Recover Salmon. For links to science about salmon recovery go to:  The science consistently supports the protection of riparian areas to help protect water quality, control temperature, and provide woody material. As stated above, the science clearly shows that larger buffers are more effective than smaller buffers. 24   Stormwater detention Staff agrees that this should not be included in Staff suggests deletion of (b) in in wetlands: Stormwater 21A.50.290 Wetlands – Development standards. 21A.50.300 (7). detention should not be allowed in wetlands. 25   Isolated wetlands: The The size limit on the isolated wetland exemption is in Staff suggests revision of the  City should revise the SMC 21A.50.320 (1,000 SF) and is not proposed to be definition as follows: proposed isolated changed. Size is not a necessary part of the isolated wetland definition to wetlands definition. 21A.15.1410 Wetland, include 5,000 square feet isolated. instead of 1,000 square “Wetland, isolated” means feet. Wouldn’t this be a wetland that has a total more consistent with size less than 1,000 square Army Corps regulatory feet excluding buffers, thresholds for wetlands?  whichthat is hydrologically isolated from other wetlands or streams, does
October 20, 2005
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City of Sammamish Proposed Critical Areas Regulations Public Comment Summar & Staff Response – In Process October 24, 2005  not have permanent open water, and is determined to be of low function. (Ord. O2003-132 § 10)  26   Wetland mitigation Mitigation banks require multi-agency coordination, No further changes identified   banks: Why is wetland are very difficult to accomplish, and consequently it is mitigation bank language unlikely that one would occur in the city. proposed? If wetland Nonetheless, it is worthwhile to provide the mitigation always fails, framework to allow for future opportunities. Wetland why would we support banks assure mitigation will succeed because the this?  mitigation occurs before the impact and the bank has to be deemed successful before agencies approve it for use. Wetland banks can provide a useful tool in reasonable use or other situations, where there are no on site mitigation opportunities.  27   Stream salmonid use: City will maintain documents on hand and on the No further changes identified   Proposed definitions City’s web site. state that stream salmonid use will be partially determined by City capital improvement plans. How will applicants find this information?   LAKES  28   Restoration incentives Wetland and stream buffer enhancement incentives are Please see lake and pond buffer & disincentives: The provided in proposed buffer reduction code sections alternative discussed in October City should provide (21A.50.290 (7) and 21A.50.330 (6). In addition, 25, 2005 staff memo. incentives for restoration please see lake and pond buffer alternative discussed of the nearshore edge in October 25, 2005 staff memo. along lakes. The City should avoid disincentivizing restoration, especially
October 20, 2005
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City of Sammamish Proposed Critical Areas Regulations Public Comment Summar & Staff Response – In Process October 24, 2005  
along lakes. The City should allow reduced requirements for areas that have been voluntarily restored.  29   Lakes & science: Is King County monitoring of salmon distribution No further changes identified   there scientific evidence recorded Chinook, coho, sockeye and kokanee in Lake that lakes provide Sammamish in 2004 and in past years (2005 salmon habitat? Are we distribution reports have not been released yet). For trying to create habitat in maps of King County salmon distribution go to: lakes that did not  naturally occur?     30   Lake buffers: The City Please see October 25, 2005 staff memo that discusses Please see lake and pond buffer should consider adopting an alternative approach that would require a alternative discussed in October a prescriptive buffer for prescriptive buffer from the OHWM of lakes and 25, 2005 staff memo. lake protection and/or to ponds with buffer reduction options such as vegetation provide lake shore preservation and restoration, etc. property owners with more regulatory certainty.   31   Lake buffers: The City A “buffer” established waterward of a lake’s OHWM Please see lake and pond buffer should consider just would not provide buffer functions needed landward alternative discussed in October establishing a buffer of the lake’s OHWM for removing sediment and 25, 2005 staff memo.  waterward of a lake’s pollution from surface water, providing nutrients, OHWM and requiring temperature control, and for providing shoreline restoration of this lake habitat. Please see October 25, 2005 staff memo that shoreline area.  discusses an alternative approach that would require a prescriptive buffer from the OHWM of lakes and ponds with buffer reduction options such as vegetation preservation and restoration, etc. 32   Lakes: Why can’t the Lakes are regulated through the shoreline master No further changes identified   City just regulate lakes program (SMP), which limits land uses and includes through the Shoreline setbacks from the lake shore. At this time, the SMP Management Master does not include adequate protection of the lake Program?  habitat. While the city is required to update the SMP
October 20, 2005
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City of Sammamish Proposed Critical Areas Regulations Public Comment Summar & Staff Response – In Process October 24, 2005  by 2009 and include regulations that ensure no-net-loss of ecological functions of the shoreline, the city is currently obligated to protect critical areas, including lake habitat, under the Growth Management Act.  33   King County/City The King County Sensitive Areas Map Folio No further changes identified regulatory status of (December, 1990) illustrates Pine Lake and Beaver Pine Lake and Beaver Lake as Class 1 wetlands. However, according to staff Lake: Comments have with King County at the time,  in order to be consistent been made that the City with state guidance regarding differences between the has deviated from King definitions, and consequent regulation of lakes, County with regards to shorelines and wetlands, it was  determined the regulatory status of administratively that King County  would regulate Pine Lake and Beaver wetlands that occur along the shorelines of these lakes Lake.  on a case by case basis. This resulted in some lake shore properties having no wetland restrictions at all, some properties having Class 3 wetland buffer restrictions, some properties having Class 2 wetland buffer restrictions, and some having Class 1 wetland buffer restrictions. The City’s current regulation of these lakes under the Shoreline Master Program is consistent with this previous County administrative direction  prior to the City’s incorporation. The City also regulates wetlands and streams that occur along shorelines under our current regulations. The proposed regulations regulate lakes and naturally-occurring ponds as critical areas. Please see illustrations provided.   WILDLIFE HABITAT 34   Wildlife corridors: How Wildlife habitat corridors are those areas along the No further changes identified   will the City define wildlife habitat network shown in the Comprehensive wildlife corridors?  Plan. The city expects to update the mapping of the wildlife habitat network based on new information.  
October 20, 2005
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