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.070
Section 17E.070.050

Title 17E Environmental Standards

Chapter 17E.070 Wetlands Protection

Section 17E.070.050 Unregulated Activities
  1. The following activities are exempt from the requirement to obtain a permit and are allowed within a wetland or wetland buffer to the extent that they are not prohibited by other local, State, or federal law, do not degrade a wetland or wetland buffer, and are reviewed by the City prior to any action:

    1. Conservation or preservation of soil, water, vegetation, fish, shellfish and other wildlife including the planting of native wetland vegetation;

    2. activities having minimal adverse impacts on wetland buffers and no adverse impact on wetlands, including low-intensity, passive recreation activities such as short-term scientific or education activities and sport fishing or hunting;

    3. repair and maintenance of existing drainage ditches which are part of a nonconforming wetland use, provided no expansion or introduction of new adverse impact to the wetland takes place. Maintenance of existing drainage ditches should be limited to removing sediment to the depth recorded during the last authorized maintenance activity.  The use of current best management practices is especially encouraged to improve agricultural practices in and near wetlands;

    4. placement of navigation aids and boundary markers;

    5. placement of boat mooring buoys;

    6. site investigative work necessary for land use application submittal such as surveys, soil logs and other related activities.  Disturbance shall be minimized to the greatest extent possible.Examples of minimal impact methods include, but are not limited to, hand dug test pits or hand borings. All subsurface exploration methods shall be approved in advance by the director.  In every case, wetland impacts shall be minimized and disturbed areas shall be immediately restored; and

    7. The following activities are not subject to the provisions of this chapter provided they do not expand further into the critical area, do not alter or increase the impacts to the critical area or buffer, do not directly impact endangered species and do not increase risk to life or property. Whenever possible, maintenance activities will be confined to late summer and fall.

      1. Operation, maintenance or repair of public rights-of-way, legally existing roads, structures or facilities and associated rights-of-way used to provide transportation, electricity, gas, water, telephone, telecommunication, sanitary sewer, stormwater treatment and other public utility;

      2. Operation, maintenance or repair activities that do not require construction permits;

      3. Vegetation management performed in accordance with best management practices as part of the ongoing maintenance of structures, infrastructure, or utilities, provided that such management activities are not the result of an expansion of the structure or utility.

  2. Forest practices and conversions shall be governed by chapter 76.09 RCW and rules promulgated thereunder.  This permit exemption does not apply where such activities result in the conversion of a wetland or wetland buffer to a use requiring a permit under this chapter.

Date Passed: Monday, June 19, 2017

Effective Date: Sunday, July 30, 2017

ORD C35508 Section 5