New program assists property owners with minor environmental violations
DDES offers reduced fees and enhanced technical assistance
Property owners in unincorporated King County now have an easy, straightforward mechanism for correcting minor environmental violations on their property.
King County's Department of Development and Environmental Services (DDES) has launched a new program to reduce the burdens of time and expense for property owners who have inadvertently cleared into critical areas and caused minor environmental damage on their property.
DDES Code Enforcement and Permit Review processes are well-positioned to address code enforcement cases and permit applications relating to major clearing violations. Nevertheless, these processes can be expensive and time consuming.
This new program offers assistance to first-time violators who accidentally infringe into critical areas in only a minor way. An example of a small violation that could qualify for the new program is clearing less than 5,000 square feet of vegetation in a wetland buffer. These smaller violations usually can be easily corrected, and property owners now have a quicker and more efficient option available.
The Code Enforcement Cooperative Agreement Program allows property owners and DDES to partner and restore the damaged critical areas as quickly as possible.
Under the agreement, the property owner agrees to:
- Implement a DDES-approved restoration plan developed for the property.
- Conduct activities on the property in a manner consistent with the restoration plan and/or best management practices.
- Contact a DDES representative when deviation from the approved plan is required or proposed.
- Perform long-term stewardship of the critical areas on the parcel.
While DDES agrees to:
- Assist the property owner in obtaining a clearing and grading permit and/or preparing a restoration plan to bring the property into compliance with King County Code 21A.24 (Critical Areas Code) and King County Code 16.82 (Clearing and Grading Code).
- Reduce the normal permitting fees in exchange for property owner cooperation throughout the permit process.
- Provide the property owner with resource information, technical assistance, and other assistance to educate them about long-term stewardship of the property.
DDES staff developed the Code Enforcement Cooperative Agreement Program with the novice permit applicant in mind.
The program reduces the time and expense associated with bringing property into compliance with the critical areas codes when minor, inadvertent damage has occurred. The program is also aimed at speeding up restoration and mitigation and maintaining healthy environmental conditions throughout the region.
For additional information on the Code Enforcement Cooperative Agreement Program, please contact Pesha Klein, DDES Critical Areas Section Supervisor, at 206-296-7274; or Paula Adams, DDES Public Information and Records Officer 206-296-6600.