The activities listed below are allowed in wetlands. Generally, these activities will not require submission of a critical area report, except where such activities result in a loss of the functions and values of a wetland or wetland buffer. These activities include:
A. Existing and ongoing agricultural activities; provided, that they implement applicable best management practices (BMPs) contained in the latest editions of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Field Office Technical Guide (FOTG); or develop a farm conservation plan in coordination with the local conservation district. BMPs and/or farm plans shall address potential impacts to wetlands from livestock, nutrient and farm chemicals, soil erosion and sediment control and agricultural drainage infrastructure. BMPs and/or farm plans shall ensure that ongoing agricultural activities minimize their effects on water quality, riparian ecology, salmonid populations, and wildlife habitat.
B. Those activities and uses conducted pursuant to the Washington State Forest Practices Act and its rules and regulations, WAC 222-12-030, where state law specifically exempts local authority, except those developments requiring local approval for Class 4 – General Forest Practice Permits (conversions) as defined in Chapter 76.09 RCW and Chapter 222-12 WAC.
C. Conservation or preservation of soil, water, vegetation, fish, shellfish, and/or other wildlife that does not entail changing the structure or functions of the existing wetland.
D. The harvesting of wild crops in a manner that is not injurious to natural reproduction of such crops and provided the harvesting does not require tilling of soil, planting of crops, chemical applications, or alteration of the wetland by changing existing topography, water conditions, or water sources.
E. Drilling for utilities/utility corridors under a wetland, with entrance/exit portals located completely outside of the wetland buffer; provided, that the drilling does not interrupt the ground water connection to the wetland or percolation of surface water down through the soil column as shown by specific studies prepared by a hydrologist or similar qualified specialist.
F. Enhancement of a wetland through the removal of nonnative invasive plant species. Removal of invasive plant species shall be restricted to removal by hand or by means that cause minimal ground disturbance and will not allow the accidental removal of desirable plants unless permits from the appropriate regulatory agencies have been obtained for approved biological or chemical treatments. All removed plant material shall be taken away from the site and appropriately disposed of. Plants that appear on the Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board list of noxious weeds must be handled and disposed of according to a noxious weed control plan appropriate to that species. Revegetation with appropriate native species at natural densities is allowed in conjunction with removal of invasive plant species.
G. Educational and scientific research activities by a reputable organization and as approved by the Planning Director.
H. Normal and routine maintenance and repair of any existing public or private facilities within an existing right-of-way or easement; provided, that the maintenance or repair does not expand the footprint of the facility or right-of-way.
I. Stormwater management facilities. Stormwater LID (low impact development) BMPs (best management practices) as part of new development or redevelopment may be placed within a wetland unless there are wetland features that would render LID BMPs infeasible. A site-specific characterization shall be required to determine if an LID BMP is feasible at the project site. A wetland can be physically or hydrologically altered to meet the requirements of an LID facility, runoff treatment or flow control BMP if all of the following criteria are met:
1. The wetland is classified as a Category III or a Category IV wetland with a habitat score of three (3) to five (5) points; and
2. There will be “no net loss” of functions and values of the wetland; and
3. The wetland does not contain a breeding population of any native amphibian species; and
4. The hydrologic functions of the wetland can be improved as outlined in questions 3, 4, 5 of Chart 4 and questions 2, 3, 4 of Chart 5 in the Selecting Wetland Mitigation Sites Using a Watershed Approach (Western Washington) (Ecology Publication No. 09-06-32, December 2009); or the wetland is part of a priority restoration plan that achieves restoration goals identified in the City of Snohomish Shoreline Master Program or other local or regional watershed plan; and
5. The wetland lies in the natural routing of the runoff, and the discharge follows the natural routing; and
6. All regulations regarding stormwater and wetland management are followed, including but not limited to local and state wetland and stormwater codes, manuals, and permits; and
7. Modifications that alter the structure of a wetland or its soils shall require appropriate permits. Existing functions and values that are lost shall be compensated/replaced pursuant to a plan approved by the Planning Director.
J. Walkways and trails; provided, that those pathways are:
1. Necessary to connect existing trails outside of the wetland or necessary to accommodate a new trail in the buffer area that must be diverted due to terrain or dense vegetation;
2. Limited to crossings that have no adverse impact on water quality;
3. Located to avoid removal of significant trees;
4. Limited to pervious surfaces no more than five (5) feet in width for pedestrian use only. Raised boardwalks utilizing nontreated pilings may be acceptable but shall be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. (Ord. 2368, 2019)