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Title 17E
Chapter 17E.060
Section 17E.060.400
 

Title 17E Environmental Standards

Chapter 17E.060 Shoreline Regulations

Article V. General Requirements for Shoreline Use and Modifications: Part IV. General Requirements for Shoreline Modifications

Section 17E.060.400 Shoreline Stabilization
  1. Definition.

Structural or non-structural modifications to the existing shoreline which are intended to reduce or prevent erosion of uplands or beaches. They are generally located parallel to the shoreline at or near the ordinary high-water mark.

  1. New uses or development shall be located and designed to avoid the need for future shoreline stabilization to the greatest extent feasible, including the following instances:
    1. Subdivision of land shall not be allowed where lots are created that will require shoreline stabilization in order for reasonable development to occur. An engineering/geotechnical analysis of the site and shoreline characteristics shall be required that provides evidence that shoreline stabilization measures will not be needed for the subdivision.
    1. New use or development on steep slopes or bluffs shall be set back sufficiently to ensure that shoreline stabilization is unlikely to be necessary during the life of the structure, as demonstrated by a geotechnical analysis; and
    1. New use or development that would require shoreline stabilization which causes significant impacts to adjacent or down-current properties and shoreline areas, as demonstrated by an engineering/geotechnical analysis, shall not be allowed.
  1. New structural stabilization measures shall not be allowed except when necessity is demonstrated in the following manner:
    1. Protection of Existing Primary Structures.
      1. New or enlarged structural stabilization shall not be allowed unless the applicant provides conclusive evidence, documented by an engineering/ geotechnical analysis that the structure is in danger from shoreline erosion. Normal sloughing, erosion of steep bluffs, or shoreline erosion itself, without the analysis, is not demonstration of need. The engineering/geotechnical analysis shall evaluate on-site drainage issues and address drainage problems away from the shoreline edge before considering structural shoreline stabilization; and
      1. The erosion control structure shall not result in a net loss of shoreline ecological functions.
    1. In support of water-dependent development when all of the conditions below apply:
      1. The erosion is not being caused by upland conditions, such as the loss of vegetation and drainage.
      1. Nonstructural measures, planting vegetation, or installing on-site drainage improvements are not feasible or not sufficient.
      1. The need to protect primary structures from damage due to erosion is demonstrated through an engineering/geotechnical report; and
      1. The erosion control structure shall not result in a net loss of shoreline ecological functions.
    1. In support of new non water-dependent development, including single-family residences, when all of the conditions below apply:
      1. The erosion is not being caused by upland conditions, such as the loss of vegetation and drainage.
      1. Nonstructural measures, such as placing the development farther from the shoreline, planting vegetation, or installing on-site drainage improvements are not feasible or not sufficient.
      1. The need to protect primary structures from damage due to erosion is demonstrated through an engineering/geotechnical report. The damage must be caused by natural processes, such as currents and waves; and
      1. The erosion control structure shall not result in a net loss of shoreline ecological functions.
    1. To protect projects for the restoration of ecological functions or hazardous substance remediation projects pursuant to chapter 70.105 RCW, Hazardous Waste Cleanup-Model Toxics Control Act, when all of the conditions below apply:
      1. Nonstructural measures, planting vegetation, or installing on-site drainage improvements are not feasible or not sufficient; and
      1. The erosion control structure shall not result in a net loss of shoreline ecological functions.
  1. When structural shoreline stabilization measures are demonstrated to be necessary, they shall meet the following requirements:
    1. Stabilization measures shall be limited to the minimum size necessary.
    1. Measures shall be designed to assure no net loss of shoreline ecological functions.
    1. Soft structural stabilization measures shall be preferred over hard structural measures as prioritized in WAC 173-26-231.
    1. Publicly financed or subsidized shoreline erosion control measures shall not restrict appropriate public access to the shoreline, except where such access is determined to be infeasible because of incompatible uses, safety, security, or harm to ecological functions. See public access provisions under SMC 17E.060.280. Where feasible, ecological restoration and public access improvements shall be incorporated into the project.
    1. New erosion control measures, including replacement structures, shall not result in adverse impacts to natural stream and river processes including sediment transport.
  1. An existing shoreline stabilization structure may be replaced with a similar structure if there is a demonstrated need to protect principal structures from erosion caused by currents or waves.
    1. Replacement of an existing stabilization structure shall be based on need, demonstrated by an engineering/geotechnical analysis report.
    1. Additions to or increases in size of existing shoreline stabilization measures shall be considered new structures.
    1. The replacement structures shall be designed, located, sized, and constructed to assure no net loss of ecological functions.
    1. Replacement walls or bulkheads shall not encroach waterward of the ordinary high-water mark or existing structure unless the residence was occupied prior to January 1, 1992, and there are overriding safety or environmental concerns. In such cases, the replacement structure shall abut the existing shoreline stabilization structure.
    1. Soft shoreline stabilization measures that provide restoration of shoreline ecological functions may be permitted waterward of the ordinary high water mark.
  1. An engineering/geotechnical report shall be required for all shoreline stabilization measures and shall:
    1. document the need to prevent potential damage to a primary structure; and
    1. address the necessity for shoreline stabilization by estimating time frames and rates of erosion and report on the urgency associated with the specific situation, as determined by:
      1. when a report confirms that there is a significant possibility that a stabilization structure will be damaged within three years as a result of shoreline erosion, hard armoring solutions may be authorized. The report must document that in the absence of such hard armoring measures, or where waiting until the need is immediate, the opportunity to use measures that avoid impacts on ecological functions would be lost; and
      1. when a report confirms that the need to prevent potential damage to a primary structure will occur beyond three years, erosion protection using soft armoring may be authorized.
  1. For erosion or mass wasting due to upland conditions, the following shall apply to designated geologically hazardous areas pursuant to WAC 173-26-221(2)(c)(ii):
    1. New developments shall conform to the minimum guidelines for geologically hazardous areas, WAC 365-190-080(4).
    1. New development or the creation of new lots that would cause foreseeable risk from geological conditions to people or improvements during the life of the development shall not be allowed.
    1. New development that would require structural shoreline stabilization over the life of the development shall not be allowed. Exceptions may be made for the limited instances where stabilization is necessary to protect allowed uses where no alternative locations are available and no net loss of ecological functions will result. The stabilization measures shall conform to WAC 173-26-231; and
    1. Where no alternatives, including relocation or reconstruction of existing structures, are found to be feasible and less expensive than the proposed stabilization measure, stabilization structures or measures to protect existing primary residential structures may be allowed in strict conformance with WAC 173-26-231 requirements and then only if no net loss of ecological functions will result.

Date Passed: Monday, June 21, 2010

Effective Date: Monday, July 26, 2010

ORD C34605 Section 5