BOARD OF MASON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS' PROCEEDINGS
August 29, 2000
Chairperson John A. Bolender called the special meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. Commissioners Cynthia D. Olsen and Mary Jo Cady were in attendance.
B U S I N E S S
HEARING - AMENDMENTS TO GEOLOGICALLY HAZARDOUS AREAS
Bob Fink, Planning, presented the staff report. The Planning Commission recommended draft amendments dated August 14, 2000 to the Mason County Resource Ordinance regulations which apply to Geologically Hazardous Areas. These are sections 17.01.100 Landslide Hazard Areas; 17.01.102 Seismic Hazard Areas and 17.01.104 Erosion Hazard Areas. The amendments are intended to address the issues in the March 22, 2000 order of the Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board.
Staff also recommends the following additional amendments:
Add to subsection A.1. the following new text:
f. Any area with a slope of forty percent or steeper and with a vertical relief of ten or more feet except areas composed of consolidated rock. A slope is delineated by establishing its toe and top and measured by averaging the inclination over at least ten feet of vertical relief.
In subsection 17.01.100E.7. (page 12) amend the language "Hazards must be overcome in such a manner as to prevent harm to public health, safety, and property and to minimize any environmental impact." to "Hazards must be overcome in such a manner as to prevent harm to property and public health and safety, and to assure no significant adverse environmental impact."
Comments were received from the Department of Fish & Wildlife and Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development dated August 28, 2000 and there is previous letter from Department of Ecology.
Cmmr. Bolender referred to Page 6, Drainage, 3b. He believes this is asking for assurance that could not be obtained.
Martin McCabe, URS Consultant, responded that an engineer would have to determine that additional water would not adversely affect the slope.
Cmmr. Bolender suggested amending the language 3b. ...utilizing buried pipe or french drain, are prohibited unless a licensed civil engineer specifies appropriate mitigation measures.
Mr. McCabe agreed with the suggestion, the intent is to have somebody evaluate it and determine what the potential implications are and to prevent them through some method of mitigation.
Page 5, c. Danger trees shall be identified... . Cmmr. Bolender suggested adding a geologic engineer to this section since a consulting forester or arborist would not have the knowledge to give a complete recommendation with regard to the stability of the slope.
Mr. McCabe agreed there could be a situation where the health of the tree isn't the issue as much as the slope stability.
Page 9, Applicability, Cmmr. Bolender asked about the purpose of the 50 foot buffer.
Mr. McCabe responded that sometimes it is hard to identify where the hazard area ends. There is a certain distance away from the hazard area that contributes to the degree of danger the hazard area presents.
Cmmr. Bolender stated if that is what the buffer is intended to do, what is the purpose of the additional 300 feet. This leads him to believe that the underlying buffer is insufficient.
The buffer area was discussed.
Mr. McCabe responded that 50 feet is the narrowest of buffers, typically 100 feet is average, 300 feet would be conservative.
Cmmr. Cady suggested 200 feet. This would trigger an analysis of what could happen and there are some very unstable steep slopes in the county.
Cmmr. Cady referred to Page 5 d., remove the word "temporary".
Wes Johnson, Skokomish Valley, asked if there is a provision for removing healthy trees before a slide occurs.
Cmmr. Bolender responded that if property is in a landslide hazard area, a geotechnical report would be required prior to removing any trees.
A Forest Practice designation would be exempt from the Resource Ordinance, it would be controlled by the Department of Natural Resource regulations.
Cmmr. Cady/Olsen moved and seconded to adopt the Geologically Landslide Hazard Areas as amended in the August 14, 2000 copy with the following changes; the two changes recommended in the August 29, 2000 staff report, add Section f. Any area with a slope of forty percent or steeper and with a vertical relief of ten or more feet except areas composed of consolidated rock. A slope is delineated by establishing its toe and top and measured by averaging the inclination over at least ten feet of vertical relief. The second change is on page 12, Administrative Determination, "Hazards must be overcome in such a manner as to prevent harm to property and public health and safety and to assure no significant adverse environmental impact."; Page 5, c. add wording to include a geologist; Page 5, d. remove the word "temporary"; Page 6, Drainage b. amend as follows ...prohibited unless a licensed civil engineer specifies appropriate mitigation measures. Delete sub (1) and (2); Page 9, Change references of 300 feet to 200 feet and adopt findings of fact for the Chair's signature that reflect the changes.
Cmmr. Bolender suggested changing Category c on Page 9 to 100 feet.
There was discussion on the above amendment. It was determined that the 50 foot buffer would start at the top of the slope, even if it's eroded away underneath.
Mr. McCabe stated his opinion is that 100 feet would be satisfactory.
Cmmr. Olsen stressed that it is important to determine where the top of the slope begins and then it would be 100 from there.
Cmmr. Cady noted that there would actually be the 50 foot buffer and then 100 feet from there.
Cmmr. Cady/Olsen moved and seconded to amend Page 9, Category c from 150 feet to 100 feet acknowledging this is from the 50 foot buffer. Amendment carried unanimously. B-aye; O-aye; C-aye.
Amended motion carried unanimously. B-aye; O-aye; C-aye.
The special meeting adjourned at 10:49 a.m.
Rebecca S. Rogers, Clerk of the Board
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
MASON COUNTY, WASHINGTON
John A. Bolender, Chairperson
Cynthia D. Olsen, Commissioner
Mary Jo Cady, Commissioner