S-3482.1  _______________________________________________


                         SENATE BILL 6126



State of Washington      55th Legislature     1998 Regular Session


By Senators B. Sheldon, Wood, Snyder, T. Sheldon and Haugen


Read first time 01/12/98.  Referred to Committee on Natural Resources & Parks.

Requiring the department of fish and wildlife to issue a written explanation when modifying or denying a hydraulic permit for a marine bulkhead or rockwall.

    AN ACT Relating to construction projects in state waters; and amending RCW 75.20.160.




    Sec. 1.  RCW 75.20.160 and 1991 c 279 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:

    (1) In order to protect the property of marine waterfront shoreline owners it is necessary to facilitate issuance of hydraulic permits for bulkheads or rockwalls under certain conditions.

    (2) The department shall issue a hydraulic permit with or without conditions within forty-five days of receipt of ((a complete and accurate)) an application which authorizes commencement of construction, replacement, or repair of a marine beach front protective bulkhead or rockwall for single-family type residences or property under the following conditions:

    (a) The waterward face of a new bulkhead or rockwall shall be located only as far waterward as is necessary to excavate for footings or place base rock for the structure and under no conditions shall be located more than six feet waterward of the ordinary high water line;

    (b) Any bulkhead or rockwall to replace or repair an existing bulkhead or rockwall shall be placed along the same alignment as the bulkhead or rockwall it is replacing; however, the replaced or repaired bulkhead or rockwall may be placed waterward of and directly abutting the existing structure only in cases where removal of the existing bulkhead or rockwall would result in environmental degradation or removal problems related to geological, engineering, or safety considerations;

    (c) Construction of a new bulkhead or rockwall, or replacement or repair of an existing bulkhead or rockwall waterward of the existing structure shall not result in the permanent loss of critical food fish or shellfish habitats; and

    (d) Timing constraints shall be applied on a case-by-case basis for the protection of critical habitats, including but not limited to migration corridors, rearing and feeding areas, and spawning habitats, for the proper protection of fish life.

    (3) Any bulkhead or rockwall construction, replacement, or repair not meeting the conditions in this section shall be processed under this chapter in the same manner as any other application.

    (4) If an application for a hydraulic permit is conditioned, modified, or denied, the department shall issue a written explanation of the reasons why, the rationale behind the decision, and any suggested curative actions that the marine waterfront shoreline owner could take to obtain the hydraulic permit.  The written explanation shall be issued within forty-five days of receipt of an application.

    (5) Any person aggrieved by the approval, denial, conditioning, or modification of a hydraulic permit approval under this section may formally appeal the decision to the hydraulic appeals board pursuant to this chapter.


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