City of Spokane

Spokane Municipal Code

***Note: Many local criminal codes can now be located under Chapter 10.60 SMC while others are now cited under the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), which was incorporated into the municipal code in 2022. (See SMC 10.58.010). Code Enforcement, including Noise Control and Animal Regulations are located in Chapters 10.62 through 10.74.

Title 17E
Chapter 17E.020
Section 17E.020.070

Title 17E Environmental Standards

Chapter 17E.020 Fish and Wildlife Conservation Areas

Section 17E.020.070 Exemptions
  1. When the director determines that the criteria in subsection A of this section are met, those activities are exempt from the provisions of this chapter, except SMC 17E.020.020, SMC 17E.020.030, SMC 17E.020.040 and SMC 17E.020.130.

    1. Existing and ongoing agricultural activities, including construction of structures that support agricultural activities, are exempt from this chapter. For purposes of this exemption, the activities are not considered existing and/or ongoing when either of the following conditions occurs:

      1. The area on which they were conducted has been converted to a nonagricultural use; or

      2. The area has lain idle more than five years, unless the idle land is registered in a federal or state soils conservation program.

    2. Operation, maintenance or repair of public rights-of-way, legally existing roads, structures or facilities and associated right-of-way used in the service of the public to provide transportation, electricity, gas, water, telephone, telegraph, telecommunication, sanitary sewer, stormwater treatment and other public utility services are exempt from this chapter. Operation, maintenance or repair activities that do not require construction permits, if the activity does not further alter or increase impact to, or encroach further within, the critical area or buffer and there is no increased risk to life or property as a result of the proposed operation, maintenance or repair. Operation and vegetation management performed in accordance with best management practices that is part of ongoing maintenance of structures, infrastructure, or utilities, provided that such management actions are part of a regular ongoing maintenance, do not expand further into the critical area, are not the result of an expansion of the structure or utility, and do not directly impact endangered species. These ongoing activities are not subject to new or additional mitigation when they do not expand further into the critical area, are not the result of an expansion of the structure or utility, or do not directly impact endangered species. Whenever possible, maintenance activities will be confined to late summer and fall.

    3. Expansions of sanitary sewer treatment plants are exempt from the requirements of this chapter subject to an approved habitat management plan.

    4. Work directly related to ending a condition that (a) is an immediate threat to the public health, safety and welfare, or creates an immediate risk of damage to public or private property, and (b) requires remedial or preventive action in a timeframe too short to allow compliance with the application provisions of this chapter is exempt from those provisions, provided that the work is the minimum work necessary to end the condition and the work is consistent with the development standards of this chapter to the extent practicable. In any case in which an emergency action is undertaken, the director shall be notified within one working day of the emergency action. An emergency hydraulic project approval (HPA from WDFW is required if work is to take place within waters of the state. Once the director determines that the condition no longer meets these criteria, restoration and/or mitigation activities must be initiated within one year of the date of the emergency, all work is subject to the provisions of this chapter, including but not limited to its application requirements, its development standards, and any requirements for technical reports and reviews for work that was exempt at the time it was performed.

    5. Reconstruction, remodeling or maintenance of existing structures is exempt from this chapter, provided that the new construction or related activity does not further intrude into the fish and wildlife habitat conservation area or associated buffer and appropriate protection, including fencing, is provided for these areas for the duration of such activity.

    6. Routine maintenance of existing landscaping within a resident's lot boundaries, including mowing, provided that the activity does not intrude into the fish and wildlife habitat conservation area or associated buffer, pruning, removal of diseased trees or other diseased vegetation, replacement of individual plants when necessary to maintain a unified landscape theme, and vegetation removal within thirty feet of existing structure.

    7. Other activities as listed:

      1. Designation of open space or natural area.

      2. Passive recreation.

      3. Scientific research.

      4. Conservation practices.

      5. Wild crop harvest; and

      6. Noxious weed control.
  2. All exempt activities shall be undertaken using best management practices; the applicant shall maintain records documenting compliance with subsection B of this section.
  3. Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve the property owner of requirements imposed by the State Environmental Policy Act.

Date Passed: Monday, December 3, 2007

Effective Date: Sunday, January 6, 2008

ORD C34147 Section 6