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19.07.120 Exemptions.
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A. Activities listed as exempt in this section do not require review for compliance with this chapter, provided they are otherwise consistent with the provisions of other city, state, and federal laws and requirements.

B. An exemption does not give permission to degrade a critical area or ignore risk from natural hazards.

C. All temporary and permanent impacts to critical areas and buffers shall be mitigated.

D. The following activities are exempt from review and compliance with this chapter, provided all activities shall use reasonable methods to avoid and, if avoidance is not possible, minimize impacts to critical areas and buffers to the greatest extent feasible consistent with MICC 19.07.100, Mitigation sequencing:

1. Minor expansion of existing right-of-way improvements, including public streets, bike lanes, shoulders, trails, sidewalks, and open space, following consultation with the code official;

2. Minor expansion of public utility structures and conveyance systems and their associated facilities including service lines, pipes, mains, poles, equipment and appurtenances, both above and below ground, following consultation with the code official;

3. Site Investigative Work and Studies. Site investigative work and studies necessary for development proposals, including geotechnical tests, water quality studies, wildlife studies, surveys, soil logs, and critical area investigations within areas accessed by foot; provided the following criteria are met:

a. Impacts to critical areas and buffers shall be minimized; and

b. Disturbed areas shall be restored with native vegetation as soon as the investigative work is complete; and

4. Watercourse restoration and pipe extensions installed by a public agency, provided the steps in MICC 19.07.100, Mitigation sequencing, are addressed.

E. The following activities are exempt from city review and approval but must comply with the standards of this chapter:

1. Repair and Maintenance of Existing Right-of-Way Improvements. Repair, maintenance, reconstruction and replacement of existing right-of-way improvements, including public streets, bike lanes, shoulders, trails, sidewalks, and open space.

2. Repair and Maintenance of Existing Utility Facilities. Repair, maintenance, reconstruction and replacement of public utility structures and conveyance systems and their associated facilities, including but not limited to service lines, pipes, mains, poles, equipment and appurtenances, both above and below ground.

3. Noxious Weed Removal. Removal of noxious weeds, provided:

a. All disturbed soils are stabilized and revegetated with appropriate native vegetation; and

b. The area from which noxious weeds are removed is limited to 1,000 square feet.

4. Maintenance of Existing Landscaping. Landscape maintenance of legally established lawns and gardens including mowing, pruning, weeding, and planting; provided, that such activities are consistent with the following provisions:

a. Landscaping is not expanded any further into critical areas or buffers;

b. Erosion control measures are implemented when soils have been disturbed;

c. Groundcover voids that result from the removal of noxious weeds shall be revegetated with regional native plants;

d. Removal of noxious weeds and other restoration work shall be undertaken with hand labor, including handheld mechanical tools, unless the King County Noxious Weed Control Board best management practice specifically prescribes the use of riding mower, light mechanical cultivating equipment, or herbicide or biological control methods;

e. Herbicide use is in accordance with federal and state law; and

f. Landscaping does not include the removal of large or exceptional trees.

5. Survey and Boundary Markers. Placement or modification of survey and boundary markers.

6. Temporary alterations in response to emergencies that threaten the public health, safety, and welfare or that pose an imminent risk of damage to private property, provided the following criteria are met:

a. The person undertaking such an action shall notify the code official in writing within one business day following commencement of the emergency activity;

b. Within 15 calendar days of the commencement of the emergency activity, the person undertaking such an action shall submit a complete application for all necessary approvals to authorize the alterations made and proposed in response to the emergency. The code official may allow additional time up to 180 calendar days for submittal of a complete application if the applicant requests an extension for a specific period of time. The code official may grant additional time extensions beyond 180 calendar days when multiple property owners or litigation is involved and when requested by the applicant;

c. The person undertaking such an action shall mitigate all impacts caused by the alteration and associated restoration activities, including intentional or unintentional alterations to all critical areas and buffers; and

d. A qualified professional shall supervise all alterations made to critical areas.

7. Passive Outdoor Activities. When it can be demonstrated that there will be no undue adverse effect, the following activities may be allowed within critical areas and their buffers: educational activities, scientific research, and outdoor recreational activities, including but not limited to interpretive field trips, bird watching, and beach access including water recreation-related activities. This exemption does not authorize any construction. (Ord. 19C-05 § 1 (Exh. A)). (Ord. 19C-05 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019.)

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