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Within critical areas, the city shall prohibit soil excavation, grading, removal of native vegetation species, draining, intentional burning, planting of invasive or nuisance vegetation, placement of structures and new construction on critical areas unless otherwise authorized in this chapter.

1. Applicability. These development standards apply to uses on critical areas and within buffers unless otherwise exempted in this chapter.

2. Performance Standards. In order to approve application for development on lands subject to this chapter, the Planning Director shall find that the following standards have been met:

a. All reasonable alternatives for locating the development activity in such a way so as to avoid critical areas have been considered and the development activity will be located in the least environmentally sensitive area as practicable and the purpose of this chapter is fulfilled.

b. The City has approved the vegetation removal methods and the removal of native plants has been avoided, to the extent practicable.

c. All adverse impacts to all affected critical areas and buffers are either avoided or fully mitigated.

d. The plan minimizes cuts and fills.

e. The Planning Director has reviewed and approved an erosion control plan, grading plan, and vegetation removal and replanting plan prior to construction activity.

f. All activities have received applicable state and federal permits, and comply with SEPA requirements if the “lead agency” makes a threshold determination of significance (DS), or a mitigated determination of non-significance (MDNS).

g. Compliance with this chapter does not constitute compliance with state and federal environmental standards. The applicant shall be responsible for demonstrating such compliance.

3. Review Process.

a. The review process shall be the type specified in Title 17 for each particular land use action unless otherwise specified in this chapter.

4. SEPA Review. On a case-by-case basis, the responsible official may issue a determination of non-significance (DNS) if:

a. The application for development review contains all requested information, including reports, maps and other documents relevant to the proposed activity; and

b. The proposed activity complies with all applicable development review and performance standards; and

c. Compliance with all applicable development standards and performance standards is made a binding condition of the land use approval.