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A. Habitats and species of local importance are those identified by the City, including but not limited to those habitats and species that, due to their population status or sensitivity to habitat manipulation, warrant protection. Habitats may include a seasonal range or habitat element with which a species has a primary association, and which, if altered, may reduce the likelihood that the species will maintain and reproduce over the long term.

B. The City shall accept and consider nomination for habitat areas and species to be designated as locally important on an annual basis.

C. Habitats and species to be designated shall exhibit at least one of the criteria in subsections C.1 through C.3 and shall meet criteria C.4 and C.5.

1. Local populations of native species are in danger of extirpation based on existing trends, including:

a. Local populations of native species that are likely to become endangered; or

b. Local populations of native species that are vulnerable or declining; or

2. The species or habitat has recreation, commercial, game, tribal, or other special value; or

3. Long-term persistence of a species is dependent on the protection, maintenance, and/or restoration of the nominated habitat; and

4. Protection by other county, state, or federal policies, laws, regulations, or non-regulatory tools is not adequate to prevent degradation of the species or habitat in the City; and

5. Without protection, there is a likelihood that the species or habitat will be diminished over the long term.

D. Areas nominated to protect a particular habitat or species must represent high-quality native habitat or habitat that either has a high potential to recover to a suitable condition and is of limited availability or provides landscape connectivity which contributes to the designated species or habitat’s preservation.

E. Habitats and species may be nominated for designation by any resident of Snohomish.

F. The petition to nominate an area or a species to this category shall contain all of the following:

1. A completed SEPA environmental checklist;

2. A written statement using best available science to show that nomination criteria are met;

3. A written proposal including specific and relevant protection regulations that meet the goals of this Chapter. Management strategies must be supported by the best available science, and where restoration of habitat is proposed, a specific plan for restoration must be provided;

4. Demonstration of relevant, feasible, management strategies that are effective and within the scope of this Chapter;

5. Provision of species habitat location(s) on a map that works in concert with other City maps;

6. A financial report identifying the cost of implementing a mitigation or protection plan and the financial impact of the requested designation upon affected properties;

7. Documentation of public notice methods that the petitioner(s) have used. Examples of reasonable methods are:

a. Posting the property.

b. Publishing a paid advertisement in a newspaper or newsletter of circulation in the general area of the proposal, where interested persons may review information on the proposal. Information in the notice must contain a description of the proposal, general location of the affected area and where comments on the proposal may be sent.

c. Notification to public or private groups in the affected area that may have an interest in the petition.

d. News media articles that have been published concerning the proposal.

e. Notices placed at public buildings or bulletin boards in the affected area.

f. Mailing of informational flyers to property owners within the affected area; and

8. Signatures of all petitioners.

G. The City Planner shall determine whether the nomination proposal is complete, and if complete, shall evaluate it according to the characteristics enumerated in subsection C and make a recommendation to the Planning Commission based on those findings.

H. The Planning Commission shall hold a public hearing for proposals found to be complete and make a recommendation to the City Council based on the characteristics enumerated in subsection C.

I. Following the recommendation of the Planning Commission, the City Council may hold an additional public hearing and shall determine whether to designate a Habitat or Species of Local Importance.

J. Approved nominations will be subject to the provisions of this Title.