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City of Sammamish Proposed Critical Areas Regulations Public Comment Summary & Staff Response November 7, 2005 Please note that comments will be regularly added to this comment tracking table as review of the proposed critical areas regulations continues – check the date for the most current edition of the table. Staff Recommendation for Public City Council Comment Public Comment Staff Response Code Amendment (if Recommendation Number applicable) 1 Lake buffers and restoration Staff notes this citizen’s support for the No further changes identified. recently proposed prescriptive lake buffer and incentives & disincentives: Please retain the recently associated buffer reduction incentives in proposed prescriptive lake 21A.50.351 Lakes and ponds – Development buffer with reduction standards. incentives. This option provides greater certainty for lakeshore property owners and provides incentives for restoration of the nearshore edge along lakes. The City should avoid disincentivizing restoration, especially along lakes. This recent proposal allows reduced requirements for areas that have been voluntarily restored. Staff notes this citizen’s support for recently 2 Lakes & wetlands located No further changes identified. waterward of the OHWM: proposed revisions to 21A.50.290(2) which Please retain recently state: proposed provisions that do Wetlands located entirely waterward of the not include added regulation ordinary ...

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City of Sammamish
Proposed Critical Areas Regulations
Public Comment Summary & Staff Response
November 7, 2005
Please note that comments will be regularly added to this comment tracking table as review of the proposed critical areas regulations
continues – check the date for the most current edition of the table.
Public
Comment
Number
Public Comment
Staff Response
Staff Recommendation for
Code Amendment (if
applicable)
City Council
Recommendation
1
Lake buffers and restoration
incentives & disincentives:
Please retain the recently
proposed prescriptive lake
buffer with reduction
incentives.
This option
provides greater certainty for
lakeshore property owners and
provides incentives for
restoration of the nearshore
edge along lakes. The City
should avoid disincentivizing
restoration, especially along
lakes.
This recent proposal
allows reduced requirements
for areas that have been
voluntarily restored.
Staff notes this citizen’s support for the
recently proposed prescriptive lake buffer and
associated buffer reduction incentives in
21A.50.351 Lakes and ponds – Development
standards.
No further changes identified.
2
Lakes & wetlands located
waterward of the OHWM:
Please retain recently
proposed provisions that do
not include added regulation
of wetlands located waterward
of a lake’s Ordinary High
Water Mark (OHWM).
The
City should encourage
restoration of lake shore
wetland areas.
Citizens would
Staff notes this citizen’s support for recently
proposed revisions to 21A.50.290(2) which
state:
Wetlands located entirely waterward of the
ordinary high water mark of a lake or pond
shall be regulated by the buffer and
development standards provided for lakes
and ponds in SMC 21A.50.350 and 352, and
by the adopted shoreline master program.
No further changes identified.
November 7, 2005
Page 1 of 5
City of Sammamish
Proposed Critical Areas Regulations
Public Comment Summary & Staff Response
November 7, 2005
not voluntarily restore these
areas if an added wetland
buffer could be required.
3
Wetland buffers & science:
The Trossachs development
had to conduct monitoring of
the effectiveness of a 100-foot
buffer required adjacent to a
bog wetland.
Monitoring
findings suggest that a 100-
foot buffer is sufficient for
protecting a bog.
The City
proposes a 215-foot buffer for
bogs.
Yet, the Trossachs
monitoring findings should
constitute local BAS that
shows only a 100-foot buffer
is needed to protect bogs.
The Trossachs report is a report of an
individual instance, not a compilation of
science representative of the protection
needed for bogs.
Published science, including
that provided by Ecology, suggests that larger
buffers are generally required to protect bogs.
In addition to the water quality functions
described in the Trossachs report, bogs may
include other functions, such as habitat, that
need larger buffers for protection.
No further changes identified.
4
Wetland buffers & science:
The City of Issaquah is
proposing that Class 1
wetlands buffers stay at 100
feet, that Class 2 wetland
buffers go from 50 feet to 75
feet, that Class 3 wetland
buffers go from 25 feet to 50
feet and that Class 4 wetland
buffers stay at 25 feet.
The
City of Sammamish is
proposing that Class 1 buffers
range from 125 to 215 feet,
It is unclear whether Issaquah’s proposed
buffers are fully consistent with their review
of BAS that suggests that wetland buffer
functions require distances that range from 50
to 300 feet.
Recent Hearings Board decisions indicate that
the GMA requirement to plan for housing (as
well as transportation, capital facilities, and
other land uses) does not alleviate the city’s
requirement to designate and protect critical
areas.
No further changes identified.
November 7, 2005
Page 2 of 5
City of Sammamish
Proposed Critical Areas Regulations
Public Comment Summary & Staff Response
November 7, 2005
that Class 2 buffers range from
75 to 150 feet, that Class 3
wetland buffers range from 50
to 75 feet, and that Class 4
wetlands have a 50 foot
buffer.
With a jurisdiction so
close to Sammamish
proposing smaller buffers, the
building industry has a right to
question your proposed
ordinance.
The
WEAN
decision tells local
jurisdictions that they can
ignore BAS if the need for
housing and economic
development is properly
documented by a given city or
county in their CAO.
WEAN
is the case that the City
Council must view before they
pass their CAO.
The City of Auburn decided to
produce a pro-housing CAO
and no state agency
challenged their ordinance.
5
*Overlay districts:
Expressed
concern regarding overlay
interpretation and applicable
mapping.
Encourage
arranging for Derek Booth, an
expert on this topic, to speak
to Council.
Staff has been corresponding by email with
Derek Booth and other King County staff
(Lorin Reinelt and Tina Miller) originally
involved in developing overlay mapping and
standards for King County.
Staff has also
supplied proposed code provisions for their
review and comment.
They have provided
emailed comments in response to comments
Staff has arranged
for Mr.
Booth to attend a special
meeting of the Council on
November 9th.
November 7, 2005
Page 3 of 5
City of Sammamish
Proposed Critical Areas Regulations
Public Comment Summary & Staff Response
November 7, 2005
supplied directly to them from the public.
6
Lakes:
Lake Sammamish and
Pine and Beaver Lakes should
be treated differently.
Lake
Sammamish is utilized by
salmonid species and so
should have a different buffer
requirement than Pine Lake
and Beaver Lake, which are
reportedly not utilized by
natural populations of
salmonid species (
implies that
the buffer on Lake Sammamish
should be bigger than
required on Pine and Beaver
Lakes
).
Lake Sammamish properties
are more fully developed with
houses already located closer
to the lake than on properties
along Pine and Beaver Lakes
and so the buffer on Lake
Sammamish should be
different than on Pine and
Beaver Lakes (
implies that the
buffer on Pine and Beaver
lakes should be bigger than on
Lake Sammamish
).
The various lakes in Sammamish do have
unique individual characteristics.
However,
applying a variety of different buffers to
different lake shorelines could create an
overly complex regulatory approach.
The
original approach to require habitat studies for
all proposals along lake shorelines was
discussed during the Planning Commission
process, and due to concerns over uncertainty
and cost, the alternative approach of a
prescriptive buffer with reduction
opportunities was favored.
Additional
opportunities to discuss lakes and their
protection will occur with the update of the
shoreline master program in 2006-2007.
No further changes identified.
7
BAS:
Is BAS really science?
Does BAS always supply
consistent & clear answers?
Best available science is a term from the
Growth Management Act and criteria for
determining BAS is provided in WAC 365-
195-905.
Characteristics of a valid scientific
process include peer review, methodology,
No further changes identified
November 7, 2005
Page 4 of 5
City of Sammamish
Proposed Critical Areas Regulations
Public Comment Summary & Staff Response
November 7, 2005
logical conclusions and reasonable inferences,
quantitative analysis, context, references, and
having been prepared by a qualified scientific
expert.
While individual scientific reports can
report different results, the collection of
science provides a range.
The risk to the
critical area correlates to the degree of
protection provided within that range.
For example, buffers that are at the low end of
the range supported by science may be
effective is some instances, but have greater
risk of failure.
Larger buffers are less likely to
fail.
*
Overlay public comments have also been discussed in meetings between staff and concerned citizens on: June 27, July 28, and September 30.
November 7, 2005
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