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If the administrator determines that the site of a proposed development potentially includes, or is adjacent to, critical area(s), a critical areas report may be required. The purpose of the critical areas report is to inform the administrator of the degree of impact that can be expected from the development and to establish the need for mitigation. The applicant shall avoid all impacts that degrade the functions and values of critical areas. If alteration is unavoidable, all adverse impacts to critical areas and buffers resulting from the proposal shall be mitigated in accordance with an approved critical areas report and SEPA documents. When mitigation is required, as detailed in ECMC 16.10.080, the applicant shall submit for approval a mitigation plan as part of the critical areas report. When required, the expense of preparing the critical areas report shall be borne by the applicant. The content, format and extent of the critical areas report shall be approved by the administrator.

(1) The requirement for critical areas reports may be waived by city staff if there is substantial evidence that:

(a) There will be no alteration of the critical area(s) and/or the required buffer(s);

(b) The proposal will not impact the critical area(s) in a manner contrary to the purpose, intent and requirements of this chapter and the comprehensive plan; and

(c) The minimum standards of this chapter will be met.

(2) No critical area report is required for proposals that are exempt from the provisions of this chapter as set forth under this article.

(3) Critical area reports shall be completed by a qualified professional, approved by the administrator, who is knowledgeable about the specific critical area(s) in question.

(4) At a minimum, a required critical areas report shall contain the following information:

(a) Applicant’s name and contact information, permits being sought, and description of the proposal;

(b) A copy of the site plan for the development proposal, drawn to scale and showing:

(i) Identified critical areas, buffers, and the development proposal with dimensions;

(ii) Limits of any areas to be cleared; and

(iii) A description of the proposed stormwater management plan for the development and consideration of impacts to drainage alterations;

(c) The names and qualifications of the persons preparing the report and documentation of any fieldwork performed on the site;

(d) Identification and characterization of all critical areas, wetlands, water bodies, and buffers adjacent to the proposed project area. Delineation of wetlands shall be accomplished using the approved federal wetland delineation manual and applicable regional supplements;

(e) An assessment of the probable cumulative impacts to critical areas resulting from the proposed development of the site;

(f) An analysis of site development alternatives;

(g) A description of reasonable efforts made to apply mitigation sequencing to avoid, minimize, and mitigate impacts to critical areas;

(h) A mitigation plan, as needed, in accordance with the mitigation requirements of this chapter, including, but not limited to:

(i) The impacts of any proposed development within or adjacent to a critical area or buffer on the critical area; and

(ii) The impacts of any proposed alteration of a critical area or buffer on the development proposal, other properties and the environment;

(i) A discussion of the performance standards applicable to the critical area and proposed activity;

(j) Financial guarantees to ensure compliance; and

(k) Any additional information required for specific critical areas as listed in subsequent sections of this chapter.

(5) The administrator may request any other information reasonably deemed necessary to understand impacts to critical areas. (Ord. 563 § 1, 2019; Ord. 456 § 1, 2012; Ord. 367 § 2, 2005)