Skip to main content
This section is included in your selections.

[The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:]

“Buffer” or “wetland buffer” shall mean those standard buffer widths as shown on attached Table 18.01-1.

Table 18.01-1. Table Wetland Buffer Requirements

Wetland Category

Standard Buffer Width

Category I: Based on total score

75 ft

Category I: Forested

75 ft

Category I: Bogs

190 ft

Category I: Alkali

150 ft

Category I: Natural Heritage Wetlands

190 ft

Category II: Based on total score

75 ft

Category II: Vernal Pool

150 ft

Category II: Forested

75 ft

Category III: (all)

60 ft

Category IV: (all)

40 ft

“Critical areas” include the following areas and ecosystems:

1. Wetlands;

2. Areas with a critical recharging effect on aquifers used for potable water;

3. Fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas;

4. Frequently flooded areas; and

5. Geologically hazardous areas.

“Fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas” include:

1. Areas with which endangered, threatened, and sensitive species have primary association;

2. Habitats and species of local importance;

3. Naturally occurring ponds under twenty acres and their submerged aquatic beds that provide fish and wildlife habitat;

4. Waters of the state;

5. State natural area preserves and natural resource conservation areas.

“Frequently flooded areas” include those flooded areas in the 100-year floodplain designations of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Flood Insurance Program and other frequently flooded areas.

“Geologically hazardous area” means an area that is not suited to commercial, residential, or industrial development because of its susceptibility to erosion, sliding, earthquakes, or other geological events hazardous to public health or safety.

“Qualified professional” means a person with experience and training in the pertinent scientific discipline, and who is a qualified scientific expert with expertise appropriate for the relevant critical area subject in accordance with WAC 365-195-905. A qualified professional must have obtained a B.S. or B.A. or equivalent degree in biology, engineering, environmental studies, fisheries, geomorphology, or related field, and have at least five years related work experience.

a. A qualified professional for wetlands must be a professional wetland scientist with at least two years of full time work experience as a wetlands professional, including delineating wetlands using the state or federal manuals, preparing wetlands reports, conducting function assessments, and developing and implementing mitigation plans.

b. A qualified professional for habitat must have a degree in biology or a related degree and professional experience related to the subject species.

c. A qualified professional for a geological hazard must be a professional engineer or geologist, licensed in the State of Washington.

d. A qualified professional for critical aquifer recharge areas means a hydrogeologist, geologist, engineer, or other scientist with experience in preparing hydrogeologic assessments.

“Qualified scientific expert” has the expertise appropriate to the relevant critical areas and is determined by the person’s professional credentials and/or certification, any advanced degrees earned in the pertinent scientific discipline from a recognized university, the number of years experience in the pertinent scientific discipline, formal training in the specific area of expertise, and field and/or laboratory experience with evidence of the ability to produce peer-reviewed publications or other professional literature. No one factor is determinative in deciding whether a person is a qualified scientific expert.

“Wetland or wetlands” means an area that is 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 other similar areas. Wetlands do not include those artificial 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. Wetlands may include those artificial wetlands intentionally created from non-wetland areas created to mitigate the conversion of wetlands.

(Ord. 1335 § 1, 2010)