Public Comment Summary Table10-20-05
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Public Comment Summary Table10-20-05

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City of Sammamish Proposed Critical Areas Regulations Public Comment Summary & Staff Response – In Process October 20, 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 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 Creek Park beta test is irregardless of the corridor waiver, the Parks Department not fair because the City would not be relieved of all of fish and wildlife habitat was exempted from requirements. In accordance with the general habitat wildlife corridor requirements, Parks would still need to complete a requirements. wildlife study and mitigate wildlife impacts. 3 Critical area study Mapping and existing data sources allow applicants to Additional wording could be requirements: How show some critical areas that may be located on off-site added to SMC 21A.50.120 (2) to does an applicant private properties, while it is understood that site ...

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City of Sammamish Proposed Critical Areas Regulations Public Comment Summary & Staff Response – In Process October 20, 2005 Comment Staff Response Staff Recommendation for Planning Commission Code Amendment (if Recommendation applicable) ADMINISTRATION AND GENERAL PROVISIONSBAS:Is BAS really No further changes identifiedBest available science is a term from the Growth 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. Beta tests:The Ebright The Ebright Creek Park beta test identified that No further changes identifiedCreek Park beta test is irregardless of the corridor waiver, the Parks Department not fair because the City would not be relieved of all of fish and wildlife habitat was exempted from requirements. In accordance with the general habitat wildlife corridor requirements, Parks would still need to complete a requirements.wildlife study and mitigate wildlife impacts. Critical area studyAdditional wording could beMapping and existing data sources allow applicants to requirements:How show some critical areas that may be located on offsite added to SMC 21A.50.120 (2) to does an applicant private properties, while it is understood that site state, “or when access to adjacent identify offsite critical investigations on neighboring properties may not be properties is restricted.”areas within 215’ of a possible. SMC 21A.50.120 would allow the director the project site without ability to waive or modify the critical areas study trespassing?requirements when appropriate. Study costs: What can Current regulations already require studies to be Suggest the following be be done to reduce the completed when a proposed development may affect a developed into code amendments: study cost burden to critical area. Proposed critical areas regulations may 1)Include language to allow citizens? trigger added study requirements for proposed development to use past studies developments associated with critical areas. Proposed from neighboring properties, if regulations [21A.50.120 (2) and (3) as well as 21A50.130 adequate. (2) and (3)] include provisions for study relief in some 2)Modify language which circumstances. Additional provisions could further currently identifies a 215 foot reduce study costs. study threshold to instead state
October 20, 2005
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Variance & waiver processes:Why is it recommended that the City remove the variance and waiver processes from the critical areas regulations?
Mitigation Monitoring: The City should modify proposed language to require just a 5 year monitoring period, instead of a monitoring period of no less than 5 years.
EXEMPTIONSPartial exemptions: Why is it recommended that the City reduce the partial exemption for expansion of existing,
October 20, 2005
City of Sammamish Proposed Critical Areas Regulations Public Comment Summary & Staff Response – In Process October 20, 2005 "within the distance equal to the largest potential required buffer" to avoid studies when clearly outside of buffers. There are two key reasons for removing the variance No further changes identifiedprocess for critical areas. First, the variance criteria do not ensure critical areas protection. Second, providing mitigation, waivers, exemptions, reasonable uses and variances creates a complex set of review processes. It is not clear whether or when an applicant should 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 allow use of the property, then the applicant can seek a reasonable use exception. Staff acknowledges that the wording could be more clear. The last sentence of SMC21A.50.145(7) could be revised to read: “The compensation project shall be monitored for a period necessary to establish that performance standards have been met. The monitoring period shall be five (5) years, provided that the director may approve a greater or lesser period when needed to ensure success or for minor mitigation;”
While exemptions seek to allow land use activities that are considered a necessary part of urban areas, when they allow impacts to critical areas they are inconsistent with the mandate to protect critical areas. Therefore, exemptions should be limited to the minimum necessary.
No further changes identified
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City of Sammamish Proposed Critical Areas Regulations Public Comment Summary & Staff Response – In Process October 20, 2005 nonconforming 700 square feet is sufficient to allow construction of a residential structures twocar garage attached to an existing house. There is no from 1,000 square feet to justification to support 1,000 square feet of expansion. 700 square feet?Minor development: Please see Hypothetical Scenario #2 provided to the No further changes identified The City should consider Planning Commission on October 13, 2005. The whether full review and proposed code treats minor development, when proposed study requirements in a critical area or buffer, similar to the current code. A should apply to minor limited expansion of a single family residence is allowed, development. if it is no closer to the critical area. Any changes to allow minor development in critical 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 USEReasonable use:No further changes identifieduse” is a legal term that evolves with case The “Reasonable term “reasonable use” law based on what the courts find to be “reasonable.” should be more clearly What is reasonable can vary depending on surrounding defined. uses, property characteristic, etc. It would be problematic  to establish a precise standard applicable in all instances. Reasonable use:No further changes identifiedreasonable use process is not intended to be a general The The reasonable use process is development permit. It is intended to provide a “steam not a viable process for valve” to allow reasonable use of property only after all development projects.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 Erosion & landslideNo further changes identifiedSMC 21A.50.260(6) prohibits point discharges in erosion
October 20, 2005
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hazard areas:The City should not adopt proposed 21A.50.260 (6), because it would allow stormwater discharges in erosion hazard areas and onto or upstream from landslide hazard areas in some circumstances. The City should more strictly restrict runoff to predevelopment levels.Erosion hazard areas: The City should allow foundation work to be conducted in erosion hazard areas outside of specified seasonal restrictions.Landslide hazard areas:The City should allow regrading of landslide hazard areas when the intention is to make them nonlandslide hazard areas.
Seismic hazards:The City should remove “proximity to a fault line” from the seismic hazard definition because it is too difficult to
October 20, 2005
City of Sammamish Proposed Critical Areas Regulations Public Comment Summary & Staff Response – In Process October 20, 2005 hazard areas or onto or upstream from landslide hazard areas except in specific circumstances where flow matches predevelopment conditions or infiltration is used that does not increase the risk of landsliding. This is the same as allowed in SMC 21A.50.280(5) of the existing code.
The code currently provides provisions to allow the director to approve wet season foundation work, provided that the applicant can demonstrate that such work will not negatively impact the erosion hazard area or that the impacts will be fully mitigated
An option for mitigating landslide hazards is to allow engineered solutions such as regrading and retaining walls. However, scientists suggest that, “The least expensive and most effective landslide loss reduction measure is avoidance.” Allowing modification of landslide hazards would require the city to significantly increase its involvement in geotechnical design review and monitoring of situations that could have significant liability issues. The understanding of seismic faults is an evolving science. The general location of the Seattle fault zone has been mapped and is shown on maps included in the Comprehensive Plan. However, it is likely that more information will become available about the Seattle and related faults over the next several years.
No further changes identified
No further changes identified
If the Planning Commission feels that it is appropriate to wait until more information is available about the Seattle fault, the addition proposed to the seismic hazard definition in SMC
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City of Sammamish Proposed Critical Areas Regulations Public Comment Summary & Staff Response – In Process October 20, 2005 demonstrate that there is 21A.15.1045 could be removed.not a fault line in proximity of a proposed development.CRITICAL AQUIFER RECHARGE AREAS**CARAs:Water Staff Staff will review and considerwill review and consider incorporation of minor districts have provided changes recommended by the districts when submitted to incorporation of minor changes minor suggestions to the the City. recommended by the districts wording in the CARA when submitted to the City.section. **CARA maps:The CARA designation is to protectWhy do bothgroundwater 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 the protection areas and potential to effect quality and quantity.recharge areas?CARAs:Feasibility of onsite infiltration will be considered for No further changes identifiedHow will the City define feasible with each site based on review of geotechnical reports. If soil regards to CARA types do not support infiltration, then exploration of other infiltration requirements?alternatives is appropriate. WETLANDS AND STREAMSWetland & streamNo further changes identifiedProposed wetland and stream buffers are based on the buffers:available science. Buffers are needed to removeProposed best 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 being buffers. 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
October 20, 2005
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Wetland & stream buffers:The City should clean up proposed stream and wetland development standards that address public roadways transecting buffers. Won’t City road standards potentially conflict with this?Wetland & stream buffers:The City should allow sewer utility corridors closer (within 20 or 30feet) to wetlands and streams than allowed in proposed code language. The City could require mitigation in these circumstances.
Wetland buffer averaging and reduction:It should be clarified that wetland buffer averaging can not be combined with wetland buffer reduction.
October 20, 2005
City of Sammamish Proposed Critical Areas Regulations Public Comment Summary & Staff Response – In Process October 20, 2005 some circumstances. When reduction and averaging opportunities are not sufficient to allow development, applicants may seek a reasonable use exception. The proposed subsection (SMC 21A.50.290.1.a) would No further changes identifiedlimit the extent of buffers when transected by a road. Expansion of a road into the remaining buffer would be subject to the wetland and stream development standards and mitigation requirements as they are today.
The restriction on sewer corridors in wetland buffers is in the current code.
Staff recognizes the concern expressed regarding the possibility of using the incentive options to reduce a buffer and then using averaging to reduce the buffer width further to an unacceptable level. Under the proposed code, however, this would not be allowed. (SMC 21A.50.290.5 and .7) While, averaging and reduction options might be used together, such as when averaging provides only limited reduction, neither code
To provide greater flexibility, SMC 21A.50.300(6) regarding sewer utility corridors could be revised with a new (c) that states: (c) The corridor alignment including, but not limited to, any allowed maintenance roads follows a pathbeyond a distance equal to 75 percent of the buffer widthfurthestfrom the wetland edgeas feasible; To clarify the intent, the following language could be added to the buffer averaging section: “Buffer averaging may be used in conjunction with buffer reduction options in this section, provided the
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Buffers:Has the City compared proposed wetland and stream buffers to neighboring jurisdictions?Buffers & science:Is there scientific evidence that supports wider buffers being needed for salmon protection?
Stormwater detention in wetlands:Stormwater detention should not be allowed in wetlands. Isolated wetlands:The City should revise the proposed isolated wetland definition to include 5,000 square feet instead of 1,000 square feet. Wouldn’t this be more consistent with Army Corps regulatory thresholds for wetlands?
October 20, 2005
City of Sammamish Proposed Critical Areas Regulations Public Comment Summary & Staff Response – In Process October 20, 2005 section allows the buffer width to be reduced in any total combined reduction location to less than 50% of the standard required buffer. does not reduce the buffer to less than 50% of standard buffer width at any location.” Yes, see comparison tables provided for the Citizen No further changes identifiedAdvisory Committee (CAC) meetings.
In the last decade, a great amount of new information has been compiled relating to salmon protection, including the WRIA 8 Chinook Salmon Conservation Plan, the Draft Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Plan, and the Statewide Strategy to Recover Salmon. For links to science about salmon recovery go to: http://dnr.metrokc.gov/topics/salmon/SALtopic.htmThe 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. Staff agrees that this should not be included in 21A.50.290 Wetlands – Development standards.
The size limit on the isolated wetland exemption is in SMC 21A.50.320 (1,000 SF) and is not proposed to be changed. Size is not a necessary part of the isolated wetlands definition.
No further changes identified
Staff suggests revision of 21A.50.300 (7) (b).
Staff suggests revision of the definition as follows: 21A.15.1410 Wetland, isolated. “Wetland, isolated” means a wetlandthat has a total size less than 1,000 square feet excluding buffers, whichthatis hydrologically isolated
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Wetland mitigation banks:Why is wetland mitigation bank language proposed? If wetland mitigation always fails, why would we support this?
Stream salmonid use: Proposed definitions state that stream salmonid use will be partially determined by City capital improvement plans. How will applicants find this information?LAKESRestoration incentives & disincentives:The City should provide incentives for restoration of the nearshore edge along lakes. The City should avoid disincentivizing
October 20, 2005
City of Sammamish Proposed Critical Areas Regulations Public Comment Summary & Staff Response – In Process October 20, 2005 from other wetlands or streams, does not have permanent open water, and is determined to be of low function. (Ord. O2003132 § 10) Mitigation banks require multiagency coordination, are No further changes identifiedvery difficult to accomplish, and consequently it is unlikely that one would occur in the city. Nonetheless, it is worthwhile to provide the framework to allow for future opportunities. Wetland banks assure mitigation will succeed because the 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. City will maintain documents on hand and on the City’s No further changes identifiedweb site.
Wetland and stream buffer enhancement incentives are provided in proposed buffer reduction code sections (21A.50.290 (7) and 21A.50.330 (6). In addition, please see lake buffer comments herein.
No further changes identified
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restoration, especially along lakes. The City should allow reduced requirements for areas that have been voluntarily restored. Lakes & science:Is there scientific evidence that lakes provide salmon habitat? Are we trying to create habitat in lakes that did not naturally occur?Lake buffers:The City should consider adopting a prescriptive buffer for lake protection and/or to provide lake shore property owners with more regulatory certainty. Lake buffers:The City should consider just establishing a buffer waterward of a lake’s OHWM and requiring restoration of this lake shoreline area.
Lakes:Why can’t the City just regulate lakes through the Shoreline Management Master Program?
October 20, 2005
City of Sammamish Proposed Critical Areas Regulations Public Comment Summary & Staff Response – In Process October 20, 2005
King County monitoring of salmon distribution recorded Chinook, coho, sockeye and kokanee in Lake Sammamish in 2004 and in past years (2005 distribution reports have not been released yet). For maps of King County salmon distribution go to: http://dnr.metrokc.gov/wlr/waterres/salmon/maps.htmStaff is considering an alternative approach that would require a prescriptive buffer from the OHWM of lakes with buffer reduction options such as vegetation preservation and restoration, etc.
A “buffer” established waterward of a lake’s OHWM would not provide buffer functions needed landward of the lake’s OHWM for removing sediment and pollution from surface water, providing nutrients, temperature control, and for providing shoreline habitat. Staff is considering an alternative approach that would require a prescriptive buffer landward from the OHWM of lakes with buffer reduction options such as vegetation preservation and restoration, etc. Lakes are regulated through the shoreline master program (SMP), which limits land uses and includes setbacks from the lake shore. At this time, the SMP does not include adequate protection of the lake habitat. While the city is required to update the SMP by 2009 and include
No further changes identified
Further staff review is underway
Further staff review is underway
No further changes identified
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King County/City regulatory status of Pine Lake and Beaver Lake:Comments have been made that the City has deviated from King County with regards to the regulatory status of Pine Lake and Beaver Lake.
WILDLIFE HABITAT Wildlife corridors:How will the City define wildlife corridors?
October 20, 2005
City of Sammamish Proposed Critical Areas Regulations Public Comment Summary & Staff Response – In Process October 20, 2005 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. The King County Sensitive Areas Map Folio (December, No further changes identified 1990) illustrates Pine Lake and Beaver Lake as Class 1 wetlands. However, according to staff with King County at the time,in order to be consistent with state guidance regarding differences between the definitions, and consequent regulation of lakes, shorelines and wetlands, it wasdetermined administratively that King Countywould regulate wetlands that occur along the shorelines of these lakes 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 directionprior 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 corridors are those areas along the wildlife habitat network shown in the Comprehensive Plan. The city expects to update the mapping of the wildlife habitat network based on new information.
No further changes identified
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OVERLAY DISTRICTS*Overlay districts:Overlay districts for erosion and wetlands should be retained in a separate section of the code without modification to ensure continued protection.*Overlay districts: Comments have been submitted with regards to overlay interpretation, applicable mapping, and proposed wording. Comments relate to: consistency for clearing limits between code sections; applicability of Wetland Management Area (WMA) standards to specific parcels and zones; the applicability and location of the no disturbance area in the Erosion Hazard near Sensitive Water Body (EHSWB); and the threshold for allowing development and the standards for development in the EHSWB.*Overlays:The City should review & revise
October 20, 2005
City of Sammamish Proposed Critical Areas Regulations Public Comment Summary & Staff Response – In Process October 20, 2005
Staff supports relocating the overlay district section to be part of the critical areas regulations and other format and organizational changes that help clarify the code. The regulations would continue to be applied to parcels based on the map of the overlay districts maintained by the department. Relocation of the specific requirements to 21A.50 has no effect on the substantive outcome; regulations protecting the overlays will apply to properties regardless of location of standards in the code.Staff supports overlay district changes presented in the staff memo and attached table dated September 29, 2005 that would expand the application of the overlays in some instances, provide for some discretion, and increase consistency with the zoning code. Further revisions to this memo are being considered by staff.
The memo, dated September 29, 2005 and revised on 10/20/05, was undertaken specifically to address this
No further changes identified
Further staff review is underway
No further changes identified
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