BILL REQ. #: S-3266.1
|State of Washington||62nd Legislature||2012 Regular Session|
Read first time 01/09/12. Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Water & Rural Economic Development.
AN ACT Relating to maintaining and enhancing the viability of agriculture; amending RCW 36.70A.175 and 90.48.020; reenacting and amending RCW 36.70A.030 and 90.58.030; and creating a new section.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1 The legislature finds that a strong state
economy is critical to ensuring that the public welfare is maintained
in its highest state. The legislature further finds that agriculture
is a critical segment of a strong economy.
Therefore, the legislature declares that all necessary actions should be taken to ensure that the state provide an economic climate that fosters a strong, viable agricultural industry and promotes consistency in administration of state and federal wetlands programs in order to maximize the impacts on agricultural landowners to the fullest possible extent consistent with the important goals of protecting wetlands.
Sec. 2 RCW 36.70A.030 and 2009 c 565 s 22 are each reenacted and
amended to read as follows:
Unless the context clearly requires otherwise,)) The definitions
in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context
clearly requires otherwise.
(1) "Adopt a comprehensive land use plan" means to enact a new comprehensive land use plan or to update an existing comprehensive land use plan.
(2) "Agricultural land" means land primarily devoted to the commercial production of horticultural, viticultural, floricultural, dairy, apiary, vegetable, or animal products or of berries, grain, hay, straw, turf, seed, Christmas trees not subject to the excise tax imposed by RCW 84.33.100 through 84.33.140, finfish in upland hatcheries, or livestock, and that has long-term commercial significance for agricultural production.
(3) "City" means any city or town, including a code city.
(4) "Comprehensive land use plan," "comprehensive plan," or "plan" means a generalized coordinated land use policy statement of the governing body of a county or city that is adopted pursuant to this chapter.
(5) "Critical areas" include the following areas and ecosystems: (a) Wetlands; (b) areas with a critical recharging effect on aquifers used for potable water; (c) fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas; (d) frequently flooded areas; and (e) geologically hazardous areas.
(6) "Department" means the department of commerce.
(7) "Development regulations" or "regulation" means the controls placed on development or land use activities by a county or city, including, but not limited to, zoning ordinances, critical areas ordinances, shoreline master programs, official controls, planned unit development ordinances, subdivision ordinances, and binding site plan ordinances together with any amendments thereto. A development regulation does not include a decision to approve a project permit application, as defined in RCW 36.70B.020, even though the decision may be expressed in a resolution or ordinance of the legislative body of the county or city.
(8) "Forest land" means land primarily devoted to growing trees for long-term commercial timber production on land that can be economically and practically managed for such production, including Christmas trees subject to the excise tax imposed under RCW 84.33.100 through 84.33.140, and that has long-term commercial significance. In determining whether forest land is primarily devoted to growing trees for long-term commercial timber production on land that can be economically and practically managed for such production, the following factors shall be considered: (a) The proximity of the land to urban, suburban, and rural settlements; (b) surrounding parcel size and the compatibility and intensity of adjacent and nearby land uses; (c) long-term local economic conditions that affect the ability to manage for timber production; and (d) the availability of public facilities and services conducive to conversion of forest land to other uses.
(9) "Geologically hazardous areas" means areas that because of their susceptibility to erosion, sliding, earthquake, or other geological events, are not suited to the siting of commercial, residential, or industrial development consistent with public health or safety concerns.
(10) "Long-term commercial significance" includes the growing capacity, productivity, and soil composition of the land for long-term commercial production, in consideration with the land's proximity to population areas, and the possibility of more intense uses of the land.
(11) "Minerals" include gravel, sand, and valuable metallic substances.
(12) "Public facilities" include streets, roads, highways, sidewalks, street and road lighting systems, traffic signals, domestic water systems, storm and sanitary sewer systems, parks and recreational facilities, and schools.
(13) "Public services" include fire protection and suppression, law enforcement, public health, education, recreation, environmental protection, and other governmental services.
(14) "Recreational land" means land so designated under RCW 36.70A.1701 and that, immediately prior to this designation, was designated as agricultural land of long-term commercial significance under RCW 36.70A.170. Recreational land must have playing fields and supporting facilities existing before July 1, 2004, for sports played on grass playing fields.
(15) "Rural character" refers to the patterns of land use and development established by a county in the rural element of its comprehensive plan:
(a) In which open space, the natural landscape, and vegetation predominate over the built environment;
(b) That foster traditional rural lifestyles, rural-based economies, and opportunities to both live and work in rural areas;
(c) That provide visual landscapes that are traditionally found in rural areas and communities;
(d) That are compatible with the use of the land by wildlife and for fish and wildlife habitat;
(e) That reduce the inappropriate conversion of undeveloped land into sprawling, low-density development;
(f) That generally do not require the extension of urban governmental services; and
(g) That are consistent with the protection of natural surface water flows and groundwater and surface water recharge and discharge areas.
(16) "Rural development" refers to development outside the urban growth area and outside agricultural, forest, and mineral resource lands designated pursuant to RCW 36.70A.170. Rural development can consist of a variety of uses and residential densities, including clustered residential development, at levels that are consistent with the preservation of rural character and the requirements of the rural element. Rural development does not refer to agriculture or forestry activities that may be conducted in rural areas.
(17) "Rural governmental services" or "rural services" include those public services and public facilities historically and typically delivered at an intensity usually found in rural areas, and may include domestic water systems, fire and police protection services, transportation and public transit services, and other public utilities associated with rural development and normally not associated with urban areas. Rural services do not include storm or sanitary sewers, except as otherwise authorized by RCW 36.70A.110(4).
(18) "Urban governmental services" or "urban services" include those public services and public facilities at an intensity historically and typically provided in cities, specifically including storm and sanitary sewer systems, domestic water systems, street cleaning services, fire and police protection services, public transit services, and other public utilities associated with urban areas and normally not associated with rural areas.
(19) "Urban growth" refers to growth that makes intensive use of land for the location of buildings, structures, and impermeable surfaces to such a degree as to be incompatible with the primary use of land for the production of food, other agricultural products, or fiber, or the extraction of mineral resources, rural uses, rural development, and natural resource lands designated pursuant to RCW 36.70A.170. A pattern of more intensive rural development, as provided in RCW 36.70A.070(5)(d), is not urban growth. When allowed to spread over wide areas, urban growth typically requires urban governmental services. "Characterized by urban growth" refers to land having urban growth located on it, or to land located in relationship to an area with urban growth on it as to be appropriate for urban growth.
(20) "Urban growth areas" means those areas designated by a county pursuant to RCW 36.70A.110.
(21) "Wetland" or "wetlands" means areas that are inundated or saturated by surface water or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas. Wetlands do not include those artificial wetlands intentionally created from nonwetland sites, including, but not limited to, irrigation and drainage ditches, grass-lined swales, canals, detention facilities, wastewater treatment facilities, farm ponds, wetlands converted to agricultural use prior to December 23, 1985, in accordance with the federal food security act of 1985 (99 Stat. 1354; P.L. 99-198), and landscape amenities, or those wetlands created after July 1, 1990, that were unintentionally created as a result of the construction of a road, street, or highway. Wetlands may include those artificial wetlands intentionally created from nonwetland areas created to mitigate conversion of wetlands.
Sec. 3 RCW 36.70A.175 and 1995 c 382 s 12 are each amended to
read as follows:
Wetlands regulated under development regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter shall be delineated in accordance with the manual adopted by the department pursuant to RCW 90.58.380 and do not include wetlands converted to agricultural use prior to December 23, 1985, in accordance with the federal food security act of 1985 (99 Stat. 1354; P.L. 99-198).
Sec. 4 RCW 90.48.020 and 2002 c 161 s 4 are each amended to read
Whenever the word "person" is used in this chapter, it shall be
construed to)) The definitions in this section apply throughout this
chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(1) "Person" includes any political subdivision, government agency, municipality, industry, public or private corporation, copartnership, association, firm, individual or any other entity whatsoever.
Wherever the words)) (2) "Waters of the state" (( shall be used in
this chapter, they shall be construed to)) includes lakes, rivers,
ponds, streams, inland waters, underground waters, salt waters, and all
other surface waters and watercourses within the jurisdiction of the
state of Washington, but shall not be construed to include wetlands
converted to agricultural use prior to December 23, 1985, in accordance
with the federal food security act of 1985 (99 Stat. 1354; P.L. 99-198).
Whenever the word "pollution" is used in this chapter, it shall
be construed to)) (3) "Pollution" means such contamination, or other
alteration of the physical, chemical or biological properties, of any
waters of the state, including change in temperature, taste, color,
turbidity, or odor of the waters, or such discharge of any liquid,
gaseous, solid, radioactive, or other substance into any waters of the
state as will or is likely to create a nuisance or render such waters
harmful, detrimental or injurious to the public health, safety or
welfare, or to domestic, commercial, industrial, agricultural,
recreational, or other legitimate beneficial uses, or to livestock,
wild animals, birds, fish or other aquatic life.
Wherever the word "department" is used in this chapter it shall))
(4) "Department" means the department of ecology.
Whenever the word "director" is used in this chapter it shall))
(5) "Director" means the director of ecology.
Whenever the words)) (6) "Aquatic noxious weed" (( are used in
this chapter, they have)) has the same meaning (( prescribed)) as
defined under RCW 17.26.020.
Whenever the words)) (7) "General sewer plan" (( are used in this
chapter they shall be construed to)) includes all sewerage general
plans, sewer general comprehensive plans, plans for a system of
sewerage, and other plans for sewer systems adopted by a local
government entity including but not limited to cities, towns, public
utility districts, and water-sewer districts.
Sec. 5 RCW 90.58.030 and 2010 c 107 s 3 are each reenacted and
amended to read as follows:
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires,
the following definitions and concepts apply:)) The definitions in this
section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly
(a) "Department" means the department of ecology;
(b) "Director" means the director of the department of ecology;
(c) "Hearings board" means the shorelines hearings board established by this chapter;
(d) "Local government" means any county, incorporated city, or town which contains within its boundaries any lands or waters subject to this chapter;
(e) "Person" means an individual, partnership, corporation, association, organization, cooperative, public or municipal corporation, or agency of the state or local governmental unit however designated.
(a) "Extreme low tide" means the lowest line on the land reached by a receding tide;
(b) "Floodway" means the area, as identified in a master program, that either: (i) Has been established in federal emergency management agency flood insurance rate maps or floodway maps; or (ii) consists of those portions of a river valley lying streamward from the outer limits of a watercourse upon which flood waters are carried during periods of flooding that occur with reasonable regularity, although not necessarily annually, said floodway being identified, under normal condition, by changes in surface soil conditions or changes in types or quality of vegetative ground cover condition, topography, or other indicators of flooding that occurs with reasonable regularity, although not necessarily annually. Regardless of the method used to identify the floodway, the floodway shall not include those lands that can reasonably be expected to be protected from flood waters by flood control devices maintained by or maintained under license from the federal government, the state, or a political subdivision of the state;
(c) "Ordinary high water mark" on all lakes, streams, and tidal water is that mark that will be found by examining the bed and banks and ascertaining where the presence and action of waters are so common and usual, and so long continued in all ordinary years, as to mark upon the soil a character distinct from that of the abutting upland, in respect to vegetation as that condition exists on June 1, 1971, as it may naturally change thereafter, or as it may change thereafter in accordance with permits issued by a local government or the department: PROVIDED, That in any area where the ordinary high water mark cannot be found, the ordinary high water mark adjoining salt water shall be the line of mean higher high tide and the ordinary high water mark adjoining freshwater shall be the line of mean high water;
(d) "Shorelands" or "shoreland areas" means those lands extending landward for two hundred feet in all directions as measured on a horizontal plane from the ordinary high water mark; floodways and contiguous floodplain areas landward two hundred feet from such floodways; and all wetlands and river deltas associated with the streams, lakes, and tidal waters which are subject to the provisions of this chapter; the same to be designated as to location by the department of ecology.
(i) Any county or city may determine that portion of a one-hundred-year-flood plain to be included in its master program as long as such portion includes, as a minimum, the floodway and the adjacent land extending landward two hundred feet therefrom.
(ii) Any city or county may also include in its master program land necessary for buffers for critical areas, as defined in chapter 36.70A RCW, that occur within shorelines of the state, provided that forest practices regulated under chapter 76.09 RCW, except conversions to nonforest land use, on lands subject to the provisions of this subsection (2)(d)(ii) are not subject to additional regulations under this chapter;
(e) "Shorelines" means all of the water areas of the state, including reservoirs, and their associated shorelands, together with the lands underlying them; except (i) shorelines of statewide significance; (ii) shorelines on segments of streams upstream of a point where the mean annual flow is twenty cubic feet per second or less and the wetlands associated with such upstream segments; and (iii) shorelines on lakes less than twenty acres in size and wetlands associated with such small lakes;
(f) "Shorelines of statewide significance" means the following shorelines of the state:
(i) The area between the ordinary high water mark and the western boundary of the state from Cape Disappointment on the south to Cape Flattery on the north, including harbors, bays, estuaries, and inlets;
(ii) Those areas of Puget Sound and adjacent salt waters and the Strait of Juan de Fuca between the ordinary high water mark and the line of extreme low tide as follows:
(A) Nisqually Delta -- from DeWolf Bight to Tatsolo Point,
(B) Birch Bay -- from Point Whitehorn to Birch Point,
(C) Hood Canal -- from Tala Point to Foulweather Bluff,
(D) Skagit Bay and adjacent area -- from Brown Point to Yokeko Point, and
(E) Padilla Bay -- from March Point to William Point;
(iii) Those areas of Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca and adjacent salt waters north to the Canadian line and lying seaward from the line of extreme low tide;
(iv) Those lakes, whether natural, artificial, or a combination thereof, with a surface acreage of one thousand acres or more measured at the ordinary high water mark;
(v) Those natural rivers or segments thereof as follows:
(A) Any west of the crest of the Cascade range downstream of a point where the mean annual flow is measured at one thousand cubic feet per second or more,
(B) Any east of the crest of the Cascade range downstream of a point where the annual flow is measured at two hundred cubic feet per second or more, or those portions of rivers east of the crest of the Cascade range downstream from the first three hundred square miles of drainage area, whichever is longer;
(vi) Those shorelands associated with (i), (ii), (iv), and (v) of this subsection (2)(f);
(g) "Shorelines of the state" are the total of all "shorelines" and "shorelines of statewide significance" within the state;
(h) "Wetlands" means areas that are inundated or saturated by surface water or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas. Wetlands do not include those artificial wetlands intentionally created from nonwetland sites, including, but not limited to, irrigation and drainage ditches, grass-lined swales, canals, detention facilities, wastewater treatment facilities, farm ponds, wetlands converted to an agricultural use prior to December 23, 1985, in accordance with the federal food security act of 1985 (99 Stat. 1354; P.L. 99-198), and landscape amenities, or those wetlands created after July 1, 1990, that were unintentionally created as a result of the construction of a road, street, or highway. Wetlands may include those artificial wetlands intentionally created from nonwetland areas to mitigate the conversion of wetlands.
(3) Procedural terms:
(a) "Development" means a use consisting of the construction or exterior alteration of structures; dredging; drilling; dumping; filling; removal of any sand, gravel, or minerals; bulkheading; driving of piling; placing of obstructions; or any project of a permanent or temporary nature which interferes with the normal public use of the surface of the waters overlying lands subject to this chapter at any state of water level;
(b) "Guidelines" means those standards adopted to implement the policy of this chapter for regulation of use of the shorelines of the state prior to adoption of master programs. Such standards shall also provide criteria to local governments and the department in developing master programs;
(c) "Master program" shall mean the comprehensive use plan for a described area, and the use regulations together with maps, diagrams, charts, or other descriptive material and text, a statement of desired goals, and standards developed in accordance with the policies enunciated in RCW 90.58.020((
(d) "Comprehensive master program update" means a master program that fully achieves the procedural and substantive requirements of the department guidelines effective January 17, 2004, as now or hereafter amended;
(d))) (e) "State master program" is the cumulative total of all
master programs approved or adopted by the department of ecology;
(e))) (f) "Substantial development" shall mean any development of
which the total cost or fair market value exceeds five thousand
dollars, or any development which materially interferes with the normal
public use of the water or shorelines of the state. The dollar
threshold established in this subsection (3)(( (e))) (f) must be
adjusted for inflation by the office of financial management every five
years, beginning July 1, 2007, based upon changes in the consumer price
index during that time period. "Consumer price index" means, for any
calendar year, that year's annual average consumer price index,
Seattle, Washington area, for urban wage earners and clerical workers,
all items, compiled by the bureau of labor and statistics, United
States department of labor. The office of financial management must
calculate the new dollar threshold and transmit it to the office of the
code reviser for publication in the Washington State Register at least
one month before the new dollar threshold is to take effect. The
following shall not be considered substantial developments for the
purpose of this chapter:
(i) Normal maintenance or repair of existing structures or developments, including damage by accident, fire, or elements;
(ii) Construction of the normal protective bulkhead common to single-family residences;
(iii) Emergency construction necessary to protect property from damage by the elements;
(iv) Construction and practices normal or necessary for farming, irrigation, and ranching activities, including agricultural service roads and utilities on shorelands, and the construction and maintenance of irrigation structures including but not limited to head gates, pumping facilities, and irrigation channels. A feedlot of any size, all processing plants, other activities of a commercial nature, alteration of the contour of the shorelands by leveling or filling other than that which results from normal cultivation, shall not be considered normal or necessary farming or ranching activities. A feedlot shall be an enclosure or facility used or capable of being used for feeding livestock hay, grain, silage, or other livestock feed, but shall not include land for growing crops or vegetation for livestock feeding and/or grazing, nor shall it include normal livestock wintering operations;
(v) Construction or modification of navigational aids such as channel markers and anchor buoys;
(vi) Construction on shorelands by an owner, lessee, or contract purchaser of a single-family residence for his own use or for the use of his or her family, which residence does not exceed a height of thirty-five feet above average grade level and which meets all requirements of the state agency or local government having jurisdiction thereof, other than requirements imposed pursuant to this chapter;
(vii) Construction of a dock, including a community dock, designed for pleasure craft only, for the private noncommercial use of the owner, lessee, or contract purchaser of single and multiple-family residences. This exception applies if either: (A) In salt waters, the fair market value of the dock does not exceed two thousand five hundred dollars; or (B) in freshwaters, the fair market value of the dock does not exceed ten thousand dollars, but if subsequent construction having a fair market value exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars occurs within five years of completion of the prior construction, the subsequent construction shall be considered a substantial development for the purpose of this chapter;
(viii) Operation, maintenance, or construction of canals, waterways, drains, reservoirs, or other facilities that now exist or are hereafter created or developed as a part of an irrigation system for the primary purpose of making use of system waters, including return flow and artificially stored groundwater for the irrigation of lands;
(ix) The marking of property lines or corners on state owned lands, when such marking does not significantly interfere with normal public use of the surface of the water;
(x) Operation and maintenance of any system of dikes, ditches, drains, or other facilities existing on September 8, 1975, which were created, developed, or utilized primarily as a part of an agricultural drainage or diking system;
(xi) Site exploration and investigation activities that are prerequisite to preparation of an application for development authorization under this chapter, if:
(A) The activity does not interfere with the normal public use of the surface waters;
(B) The activity will have no significant adverse impact on the environment including, but not limited to, fish, wildlife, fish or wildlife habitat, water quality, and aesthetic values;
(C) The activity does not involve the installation of a structure, and upon completion of the activity the vegetation and land configuration of the site are restored to conditions existing before the activity;
(D) A private entity seeking development authorization under this section first posts a performance bond or provides other evidence of financial responsibility to the local jurisdiction to ensure that the site is restored to preexisting conditions; and
(E) The activity is not subject to the permit requirements of RCW 90.58.550;
(xii) The process of removing or controlling an aquatic noxious weed, as defined in RCW 17.26.020, through the use of an herbicide or other treatment methods applicable to weed control that are recommended by a final environmental impact statement published by the department of agriculture or the department jointly with other state agencies under chapter 43.21C RCW.