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.070.100

Title 17E Environmental Standards

Chapter 17E.070 Wetlands Protection

Section 17E.070.100 Wetlands Rating System
  1. Wetlands shall be rated according to the Washington State Department of Ecology wetland rating system found in the Washington State Wetlands Rating System for Eastern Washington 2014 as revised. These rating system documents contain the definitions and methods for determining if the criteria in subsections B through E below are met.  In using the rating system the City will not consider aspen-dominated forested wetlands larger than one-fourth acre to be Category I Wetlands unless they also meet one or more of the other criteria for a Category I Wetland.

  2. Category I Wetlands.

    1. These wetlands are not common and make up a small percentage of wetlands in the region. Category I wetlands are those that exhibit these primary characteristics:

      1. Represent a unique or rare wetland type;

      2. Are more sensitive to disturbance than most wetlands;

      3. Are relatively undisturbed and contain ecological attributes that are impossible to replace within a human lifetime; and

      4. Provide a high level of function.

    2. In Eastern Washington, Category I Wetlands include but are not limited to the following examples:

      1. Alkali wetlands;

      2. Wetlands of High Conservation Value (formerly called Natural Heritage Wetlands);

      3. Bogs and Calcareous Fens;

      4. Mature and old-growth forested wetlands over one-fourth acre with slow growing trees; and       

      5. Wetlands that perform functions at high levels (scores of twenty-two points or more).

  3. Category II Wetlands. Category II wetlands are difficult, although not impossible, to replace and provide high levels of some functions.  These wetlands occur more commonly than Category I wetlands, but still need a relatively high level of protection.  Category II wetlands include:

    1. forested wetlands in the floodplains of rivers;

    2. mature and old-growth forested wetlands over one-fourth acre with fast growing trees;

    3. vernal pools; and

    4. wetlands that perform functions well (scores between nineteen and twenty-one points).

  4. Category III Wetlands. Category III wetlands generally have been disturbed in some ways, and are often smaller, less diverse and/or more isolated from other natural resources in the landscape than Category II wetlands and may not need as much protection as Category I and II Wetlands. Category III wetlands are:

    1. vernal pools that are isolated; and

    2. wetlands with a moderate level of function (between sixteen and eighteen points).

  5. Category IV Wetlands. Category IV wetlands have the lowest levels of function (less than sixteen points) and are often heavily disturbed.  These are wetlands that may be replaced and in some cases improved.  These wetlands may provide some important function, and also need to be protected. Category IV wetlands are comprised of one vegetative class other than the forested wetland class. 

Date Passed: Monday, June 19, 2017

Effective Date: Sunday, July 30, 2017

ORD C35508 Section 9