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Title 17E
Chapter 17E.020
Section 17E.020.050
 

Title 17E Environmental Standards

Chapter 17E.020 Fish and Wildlife Conservation Areas

Section 17E.020.050 Regulated Activities

No regulated activity shall be undertaken in a fish and wildlife habitat conservation area or associated buffer without first completing a critical areas checklist.

  1. Regulated Uses and Activities in Fish and Wildlife Habitat Conservation Areas.

    1. For the purposes of this chapter, the City of Spokane may restrict the regulated uses and activities that lie within a priority habitat, by definition, or within one-quarter mile of a point location (den or nest site) of a priority species through the application of the performance standards contained in SMC 17E.020.050(B).

    2. In cases where differences in regulations occur because of overlapping priority habitats or buffer areas, the regulation that provides the greatest degree of protection shall apply.

    3. The City shall not approve any permit or otherwise issue any authorization to alter the condition of any land, water or vegetation, or to construct of alter any structure or improvement in, over, or on a potential fish and wildlife habitat conservation area or associated buffer, without first ensuring compliance with the requirements of this chapter, including, but not limited to, those permits listed at chapter 17G.060 SMC and as follows:

      1. Water well pump house, wildlife blind, nesting structure, all clearing and grading, including fifty cubic yards or less of earth materials.

    Note:  Other uses and activities not listed are assumed to be subject to this chapter unless otherwise determined by the director.
     

  2. Performance Standards for Regulated Uses and Activities.
    Any action taken pursuant to this chapter shall result in equivalent or greater functions and values of the critical areas associated with the proposed action, as determined by the best available science. All actions and developments shall be designed and constructed in accordance with mitigation sequencing to avoid, minimize and restore all adverse impacts before restoration and compensation of impacts will be allowed. No activity or use shall be allowed that results in a net loss of the functions or values of critical areas.

    1. A habitat management plan (HMP) (as described in SMC 17E.020.090 of this chapter), if required, will be used by the City of Spokane to evaluate the impact of a use or activity on a priority habitat or species and may require mitigating measures to protect fish and wildlife based on the management plan recommendations.

    2. In addition to a habitat management plan, when required, the following performance standards apply specifically to riparian habitats:

      1. Except as otherwise specified, riparian areas shall be retained in their natural condition to provide necessary ecological function. Riparian vegetation in riparian habitat areas shall not be removed, unless vegetation removal is conducted as part of an approved habitat management plan.

      2. Roads within riparian habitat areas shall be allowed only when there is no alternative route, shall be kept to a minimum, and shall not run parallel to the water body. Crossings, where necessary, shall cross riparian areas at as near right angles as possible. Water crossings shall be designed and installed as to allow passage of fish and wildlife using the stream corridor. If no alternative exists to placement of a roadway within a riparian area, mitigation will be required. Mitigation measures shall be specified in a habitat management plan and may include, but are not limited to:

        1. fencing of riparian habitat area to protect remaining vegetation;

        2. enhancement of remaining riparian habitat area through planting of native vegetation;

        3. placement of facilities so as to minimize the impacts. Water crossings must be approved by the Washington State department of fish and wildlife (RCW 77.55.021) for a hydraulic project approval (HPA) according to WAC 75-20-100 or as amended.

      3. Equestrian/pedestrian/bike trails are not permitted within the designated riparian habitat area (RHA) as detailed in subsection (e) of this section, unless trail planning is conducted in conjunction with an approved habitat management plan.

      4. Off-road motorized vehicle use in riparian habitat areas is prohibited.

      5. As recommended by the Washington State department of fish and wildlife (WDFW), water type classifications, riparian habitat areas (RHA) widths (except as otherwise permitted by this chapter) within the City limits are described as follows:

     

    Table 17E.020-2

    Stream Type of Classifications

    RHA Widths
    (feet)

    Type ”S” Streams – Shorelines of the State or Shorelines of Statewide Significance

    250

    Type “F” Streams – Fish-bearing Streams 5 to 20 Feet Bank-fill Width

    250

    Type “F” Streams – Fish-bearing Streams Less Than 5 Feet Bank-full Width

    150

    Type “Np” Streams – Non-fish Perennial

    150

    Type ”Ns” Streams – Non-fish Seasonal

    150

    Type U Streams – Unknown

    --

    1. Riparian habitats widths, as described throughout this chapter, shall be measured from the ordinary high water mark (OHWM). Based on general field inventory and observations of previously or currently developed, denuded or degraded shorelines, the City has developed the following classifications for riparian habitat zone segments for the Spokane River & Latah Creek. These zones reflect patterns of urban development prior to adoption of the Growth Management Act (RCW 36.70A) and may exhibit significantly compromised riparian habitat. The imposition of BAS recommended riparian habitat areas would not be feasible in these areas. RHA in these areas may be evaluated by a qualified biologist to determine if improvement in function and value has been achieved and, if so, will be protected according to BAS standards.

     

    Table 17E.020-3

    SPOKANE RIVER & LATAH CREEK RIPARIAN ZONE SEGMENTS

    Zone
    Number

    Upstream Limit

    Downstream Limit

    1

    Eastern City Limits Greene Street Bridge

    2

    Greene Street Bridge Confluence With Latah Creek

    3

    Confluence With Latah Creek T.J. Meenach Bridge

    4

    T.J. Meenach Bridge Western City Limit

    5

    Latah Creek – Inland Empire Bridge Confluence With Spokane River

    6

    Latah Creek – Southern City Limits Inland Empire Bridge
    These zones have been designated for the purpose of this chapter and may be modified or superseded, as appropriate, upon completion of site-specific inventory and associated analysis and studies to determine the site-specific riparian habitat and buffer zones.

     

    Table 17E.020-4

    Zone
    Number

    Upstream Limit

    Downstream Limit

    RHA Width

    Restrictions

    1

    Eastern City Limits Greene Street Bridge Outer edge of 100-year floodplain, the channel migration zone, or 250 feet, whichever is greater No improvements of any kind or vegetation removal within 250 feet of the OHWM (unless invasive vegetation removal is called for in a HMP) *

    2(1)

    Greene Street Bridge Confluence With Latah Creek Outer edge of 100-year floodplain or 130 feet, whichever is greater No improvements of any kind or vegetation removal within 130 feet of the OHWM (unless invasive vegetation removal is called for in a HMP) *

    3

    Confluence With Latah Creek T.J. Meenach Bridge Outer edge of 100-year floodplain, the channel migration zone, or 250 feet, whichever is greater No improvements of any kind or vegetation removal within 250 feet of the OHWM (unless invasive vegetation removal is called for in a HMP) *

    4

    T.J. Meenach Bridge Western City Limit Outer edge of 100-year floodplain, the channel migration zone, or 250 feet, whichever is greater No improvements of any kind or vegetation removal within 250 feet of the OHWM (unless invasive vegetation removal is called for in a HMP) *

    5(1)

    Latah Creek - Inland Empire Bridge Confluence With Spokane River Outer edge of 100-year floodplain or 130 feet, whichever is greater No improvements of any kind or vegetation removal within 130 feet of the OHWM (unless invasive vegetation removal is called for in a HMP) *

    6

    Latah Creek - Southern City Limits Inland Empire Bridge Outer edge of 100-year floodplain, the channel migration zone, or 250 feet, whichever is greater No improvements of any kind or vegetation removal within 250 feet of the OHWM (unless invasive vegetation removal is called for in a HMP) *

    * Vegetation may be removed if deemed necessary to protect public health and safety.

    (1) Riparian Segment Zones 2 and 5 shall extend to the outer edge of the one hundred year floodplain or consist of the width of one hundred thirty feet, whichever is greater, unless it is determined by the director that an approved habitat management plan shows the site potential tree height (SPTH) to be less than one hundred thirty feet. Under this provision no improvements of any kind or vegetation removal (unless invasive vegetation removal is called for in the habitat management plan) will be allowed within one hundred thirty feet or the site potential tree height, unless for public health and safety.

    1. Riparian segment zones 2 and 5 (Table 17E.020-4) for Spokane River and Latah Creek riparian habitat areas (RHA) shall extend to the outer edge of the one hundred year floodplain or consist of the width of one hundred thirty feet, whichever is greater, unless it is determined by the director that an approved habitat management plan shows the site potential tree height (SPTH) to be less than one hundred thirty feet. Under this provision no improvements of any kind or vegetation removal (unless invasive vegetation removal is called for in the habitat management plan) will be allowed within one hundred thirty feet or the site potential tree height, unless for public health and safety.

    2. Riparian segment zones 1, 3, 4 and 6 (Table 17E.020-4) for Spokane River and Latah Creek riparian habitat areas (RHA) shall extend to the outer edge of the one hundred year floodplain, the channel migration zone or consist of two hundred fifty feet, whichever is greater. Under this provision no improvements of any kind or vegetation removal (unless invasive vegetation removal is called for in the habitat management plan) will be allowed within two hundred fifty feet of the ordinary high water mark, the one hundred year floodplain, or the channel migration zone; unless for public health and safety.

    3. The director has the authority to increase the RHA widths, described in subsection B(2)(g) and (h) of this section. This determination shall be supported by the habitat management plan, appropriate environmental documentation, or as required by the shoreline master program or other regulatory provisions or as amended, whichever is most restrictive, showing that the increased riparian area is related to the protection of fish and/or wildlife using the stream or riparian area.

    4. Development may be permitted in a RHA if the proposed development is on the landward side of an existing and dedicated public street, not including alleys, running parallel to the river or stream. Streets shall not be approved to create developable lots in the RHA under this provision. Development will only be permitted subject to an approved habitat management plan.

    5. Riparian segment zone 2 and 5 (Table 17E.020-4) for the Spokane River and Latah Creek RHA may be permitted to be developed, but no closer than the setback prescribed for that particular shoreline of that specific site as described in the City's SMP or as amended, or fifty feet, whichever is greater, and the director determines that the approved HMP is more beneficial to terrestrial and aquatic habitat than the setback alone, and an approved HMP verifies and confirms the following conditions:

      1. Historical and previous use of the property and shoreline area have disturbed, denuded, decimated, destroyed or contaminated the natural, native and environmental ecosystems, flora and geology to such a significant degree that there currently exists very minimal quality or value for aquatic or fauna habitat.

      2. The proposed development includes a shoreline and ecosystems enhancement plan and program, certified by a qualified biologist or WDFW, that the shoreline and the area between the OHWM and the reduced RHA boundary, will be significantly improved for use as a riparian habitat compared to the existing conditions. Enhancement plans and programs will include, but are not limited to:

        1. clean-up and/or removal of trash, foreign debris, noxious or invasive vegetation or toxic materials or soils;

        2. stabilization of eroded or unnaturally disturbed river bank with materials that are native to that particular section of shoreline;

        3. installation and/or reintroduction of sufficient or additional flora that is native to that particular section of shoreline;

        4. reduction or elimination of erosion to the riverbank and adverse impacts to riparian ecosystems caused by stormwater run-off from unnatural surfaces;

        5. the proposed use(s) and/or improvements, outside of the RHA, will create significantly less adverse environmental impacts than the previous or current uses;

        6. an RHA management and maintenance plan, approved by a qualified biologist or WDFW and guaranteed by the owner, that the enhanced RHA will be protected and maintained as specified in the HMP.

    6. Riparian segment zone 3 (Table 17E.020-4) for the Spokane River and Latah Creek RHA may be permitted to be developed in a RHA, but no closer than the site potential tree height for that section of shoreline or the setback prescribed for that particular shoreline of that specific site as described in the city's SMP or as amended, or fifty feet, whichever is greater, and the director determines that the approved HMP is more beneficial to terrestrial and aquatic habitat than the setback alone, and an approved HMP verifies and confirms the following conditions:

      1. Historical and previous use of the property and shoreline area have disturbed, denuded, decimated, destroyed or contaminated the natural, native and environmental ecosystems, flora and geology to such a significant degree that there currently exist very minimal quality or value for aquatic or fauna habitat.

      2. The proposed development includes a shoreline and ecosystems enhancement plan and program, certified by a qualified biologist or WDFW, that the shoreline and the area between the OHWM and the reduced RHA boundary, will be significantly improved for use as a riparian habitat compared to the existing conditions. Enhancement plans and programs will include, but are not limited to:

        1. clean-up and/or removal of trash, foreign debris, noxious or invasive vegetation or toxic materials or soils;

        2. stabilization of eroded or unnaturally disturbed river bank with materials that are native to that particular section of shoreline;

        3. installation and/or reintroduction of sufficient or additional flora that is native to that particular section of shoreline;

        4. reduction or elimination of erosion to the riverbank and adverse impacts to riparian ecosystems caused by stormwater run-off from unnatural surfaces;

        5. the proposed use(s) and/or improvements, outside of the RHA, will create significantly less adverse environmental impacts than the previous or current uses;

        6. the proposed use(s) and/or improvements, outside of the RHA, will reclaim property that has been mined and such reclaimed property will be improved by re-creation of areas conducive to wildlife habitat along with development;

        7. an RHA management and maintenance plan, approved by a qualified biologist or WDFW and guaranteed by the Owner, that the enhanced RHA will be protected and maintained as specified in the HMP.

    7. Latah Creek riparian zone segment 6 may allow buffer averaging if it can be shown through a HMP that the averaging will not negatively affect the riparian habitat. Buffer averaging shall comply with the following criteria:

      1. Averaging shall not allow development any closer than one hundred thirty feet from the OHWM or the site potential tree height, but in no instance less than fifty feet from the OHWM, as determined for the project area.

      2. The area that the buffer is reduced should be those areas already impacted by development. New development using buffer averaging will be clustered within existing development or be developed within the most disturbed portion of the site if there is no existing development as determined through a HMP.

      3. The area to be increased shall be adjacent to the RHA, on either side of the stream, and suitable for riparian habitat. Measurement of the increased buffer area shall begin two hundred fifty feet from the OHWM.

      4. Buffers will only be averaged within individual parcels or along parcels of common ownership that are immediately adjacent. Multiple parcels cannot be combined into a single parcel.

      5. Buffer averaging will require a habitat management plan prepared by a qualified biologist that is subsequently reviewed by WDFW staff. Enhancement and/or preservation plans will include, but are not limited to:

        1. clean-up and/or removal of trash, foreign debris, noxious or invasive vegetation or toxic materials;

        2. stabilization of eroded or unnaturally disturbed riverbank with materials that are native to that particular section of the shoreline;

        3. installation and/or reintroduction of sufficient native flora as to significantly enhance the function of that stretch of streamside habitat for wildlife use.

    1. Wetland habitat performance standards shall be according to the provisions of the Spokane Wetlands Protections Code (chapter 17E.070 SMC). All development proposals shall follow the Bald Eagle Protection Rules (RCW 77.12.655 and WAC 232-12-292), or as amended, when the proposal is likely to have a direct impact on the habitat of the bald eagle.

Date Passed: Monday, December 3, 2007

Effective Date: Sunday, January 6, 2008

ORD C34147 Section 6