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DPA-RuralForest

Summary

The purpose of the rural forest demonstration project is to test techniques to maintain long-term forest uses in areas with a predominant parcel size of significantly less than eighty acres which are located in proximity to residential development.

Story

Description

Demonstration project overlay - Rural forest demonstration project

Development Condition Text

Demonstration project overlay - Rural forest demonstration project.

A. The purpose of the rural forest demonstration project is to test techniques to maintain long-term forest uses in areas with a predominant parcel size of significantly less than eighty acres which are located in proximity to residential development. The demonstration project will also provide information and data to assist in the development of King County Comprehensive Plan policies to guide application and refinement of forest protection regulations.

B. Rural Forest demonstration project - designation of project area. The rural forest demonstration project will be implemented on the five hundred ten acre site located east of the Rattlesnake Mountain Scenic Area, as shown in attachment A of this ordinance.

C. Scope of demonstration project - The rural forest demonstration project shall include:

1. Preparation of a forest management plan for the entire demonstration project site. The forest management plan shall be developed jointly by the department of natural resources and the property owner with input from the Washington state Department of Natural Resources, local tribes and citizens, and shall be approved by the director of the department of natural resources. The forest management plan shall include:

a. An inventory of existing conditions - current tree species and respective size ranges, understory composition, sensitive areas, natural and human induced disturbance regimes and history of ecosystem changes.

b. Objectives for forest management including water quality protection, habitat enhancement, maintenance of scenic areas, surface water management and minimal impacts to neighbors.

c. A reforestation element consistent with these management objectives including establishment of stream buffers of one hundred eighty-three feet for Class II streams with salmonids and one hundred feet for Class III streams.

d. An operation and maintenance element including anticipated harvest activities.

2. Creation of a dedicated fund of the Uplands Snoqualmie Valley Homeowners Association the proceeds of which may be expended solely to implement and monitor the forest management plan. The net proceeds of any harvest of forest products from the common tracts of the Uplands Snoqualmie Valley shall be deposited in such fund to the extent necessary to bring the aggregate amount of money in such fund to an amount reasonably anticipated to be needed to pay the cost of implementing and monitoring the forest management plan for the current and next two calendar years.

3. Creation of a Stewardship Committee of the Uplands Snoqualmie Valley Homeowners Association to implement the forest management plan. The Stewardship Committee shall, in consultation with King County and Washington state Department of Natural Resources: ensure sufficient funding is available for implementation of the forest management plan, hire qualified forester(s) to implement the forest management plan and hire qualified staff to monitor implementation of the forest management plan and prepare required reports. King County and the Washington state Department of Natural Resources shall annually inspect the property for compliance with the forest management plan consistent with the terms of the conservation easement and King County shall offer training to the members of the Stewardship Committee on forestry techniques and issues.

4. Application and review of a formal subdivision of forty-one lots, exclusive of common tracts, on the five hundred ten acre site. The subdivision and infrastructure shall be designed to integrate with the forest landscape, including pavement widths no wider than needed to meet safety considerations. A goal of the demonstration project is to test the marketability of these forest lots in a timely manner; to that end, it is a goal of King County to render a decision on the subdivision application within six months of submittal of the application. A priority review process shall be implemented as permitted by K.C.C. 21A.55.010. The department of development and environmental services shall assign a permit coordinator and a project review team to complete review of all aspects of the application, and shall negotiate appropriate fees for the review process with the applicant. Neither the designation of the site as a demonstration project nor approval of the forest management plan constitute approval of the subdivision application or in any way limit King County discretion in SEPA review or application of regulations to the subdivision application.

5. Dedication or conveyance, upon final plat approval, to King County or a qualified nonprofit conservation organization of a conservation easement in perpetuity upon the demonstration project site that prohibits any future subdivision activity; prohibits all development of the site other than residential development of no more than forty-one lots; restricts such residential development and associated lawn, landscaped areas, driveways and fenced areas to an area not to exceed two acres within each lot; restricts the uses of the remaining nonresidential portion of the site to open space and forest practices and incidental uses necessary for the residential use on the forty-one lots such as for roads, access drives (not including on-site driveways) utilities and storm detention; provides for the dedicated fund as described in Subsection C.2 of this ordinance; requires the owner to exercise its reasonable best efforts to implement the forest management plan and provides for enforcement of the terms of the conservation easement first through nonbinding mediation. Adoption of this demonstration project shall be subject to Council review of the conservation easement, a copy of which shall be provided to the Council by August 20, 1998.

6. An inventory of properties within King County with similar characteristics to the rural forest demonstration project site and an analysis of the potential effects of development of those properties under the same requirements as the demonstration project.

D. Scope of authority to modify or waive standards. Application to modify or waive development standards of K.C.C. Title 21A for this individual development proposal shall be administratively approved by the director of the department of development and environmental services and shall be consistent with an approved forest management plan developed for the entire five hundred ten acre site.

E. The application to modify or waive development standards for this development proposal shall be evaluated on the merits of the specific proposal. Approval or denial of a proposed modification or waiver shall not be construed as precedent setting for elsewhere in the county.

F. Modification or waivers approved pursuant to the rural forest demonstration project shall be in addition to those modifications or waivers which are currently allowed by K.C.C. Title 21A. The range of proposed modifications to development regulations that may be considered pursuant to the rural forest demonstration project shall only include the following zoning code regulations:

1. Development Standards - Landscaping and Water Use, K.C.C. 21A.16, limited to the following subsections:

a. Landscaping - street frontages, K.C.C. 21A.16.050;

b. Landscaping - interior lot lines, K.C.C. 21A.16.060; and

c. Landscaping - additional standards for required landscape areas, K.C.C. 21A.16.090.

2. Development Standards - Parking and Circulation , K.C.C. 21A.18, limited to the following subsections:

a. Pedestrian and bicycle circulation and access, K.C.C. 21A.18.100; and

b. Off-street parking plan design standards, K.C.C. 21A.18.110.

G. Modification or waiver review process

1. Requests for modifications or waivers may only be submitted in relation to a formal subdivision proposal.

2. Requests shall be:

a. submitted to the department of development and environmental services prior to or in conjunction with the subdivision application for preliminary approval of a formal subdivision on the project site; and

b. in writing, along with any supporting documentation. The supporting documentation must illustrate how the proposed modification meets the criteria of Subsection H of this ordinance.

3. Notice of application, review and approval of proposed modifications or waivers submitted in conjunction with a formal subdivision application shall be treated as a Type 2 land use decision. In approving a proposed modification or waiver, the director must conclude that the criteria for approval set forth in Subsection H have been met.

4. A preapplication meeting to determine the need for, and the likely scope of, a proposed modification(s) or waiver(s) shall be required prior to submittal of a modification request,

5. Administrative appeals of director approved modifications or waivers shall be combined with consideration of the underlying application for preliminary subdivision approval.

H. Rural forest demonstration project criteria for modification or waiver approval. The application must demonstrate how the proposed project, with modifications or waivers to the code, will be consistent with and implement the approved forest management plan. This shall be demonstrated by documenting that the development with modifications or waivers:

1. enhances the preservation of forestry for resource value, open space, scenic views and wildlife habitat;

2. reduces impacts on the natural environment or restores natural functions; and

3. supports the integration of forest uses and homesites.

I. Rural forest demonstration project - effective period. The forest management plan shall be developed and a decision on its approval or denial shall be reached no more than thirty days after designation of the site as a rural forest demonstration project. If the forest management plan is not approved thirty days after designation as a rural forest demonstration project, the executive shall propose restoring the site to its prior land use designations and zoning classifications as part of the 1999 amendments to the King County Comprehensive Plan. Regulatory modification or waiver applications authorized by this ordinance shall not be accepted by the department of development and environmental services after March 1, 1999. Modifications or waivers to the King County Code contained within an approved development proposal shall be valid as long as the underlying permit. The rural forest demonstration project shall continue for a period of five years from the final approval of the subdivision application, with reporting periods specific to measuring the goals of the forest management plan.

J. Rural forest demonstration project - reports. The director of the department of natural resources shall submit a report to the council following approval of the forest management plan evaluating the process used to prepare the forest management plan, an inventory of other properties which have similar characteristics to the demonstration project site, the applicability and potential effects of allowing these other properties to develop under the same requirements as the demonstration project and recommending any changes that should be made to county policy or regulations to maintain long term forestry in areas no longer managed for large-scale commercial forestry. In addition, a report shall be prepared annually by qualified staff retained by the Stewardship Committee of the Uplands Snoqualmie Valley Homeowners Association or subsequent management entity of the forest management plan and submitted to the Rural Forest Commission. The annual reporting shall commence six months following final approval of the subdivision. The first two annual reports shall describe the annual work program and budget for implementation of the forest management plan, progress made in implementing the work program, and success in marketing the homesites. Annual reports for the subsequent three years shall document the annual budget and continued progress in implementing the forest management plan, the level of involvement by homeowners in forest management and any problems in implementation generated by homeowners. The Rural Forest Commission shall review the annual reports and shall inform the director of the department of natural resources if it has found that necessary implementation measures of the forest management plan have not been followed. If so, and if the director of the department of natural resources determines it is necessary, the director shall request the Stewardship Committee of the Uplands Snoqualmie Valley Homeowners Association to take corrective action.

If satisfactory action is not taken, the director may invoke the enforcement mechanism of the conservation easement. The annual reports will also provide information for further consideration of changes to county policies or regulations for maintenance of long-term forestry.

Ordinance

13275

Effective Date

October 05, 1998

Changes

N/A

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