City of Seattle
Stormwater, Grading and Drainage Control Code
This document is downloadable in WordPerfect format.
ORDINANCE 116425 Effective February 11, 1993
ORDINANCE 117432 Effective January 19, 1995
ORDINANCE 117697 Effective August 13, 1995
ORDINANCE 117789 Effective October 1, 1995
TITLE, PURPOSE, SCOPE AND AUTHORITY
This Subtitle shall be known as the "Stormwater, Grading and Drainage Control Code," and may be cited as such.
A. The provisions of this Subtitle shall be liberally construed to accomplish its remedial purposes, which are:
1. Protect, to the greatest extent practicable, life, property and the environment from loss, injury and damage by pollution, erosion, flooding, landslides, strong ground motion, soil liquefaction, accelerated soil creep, settlement and subsidence, and other potential hazards, whether from natural causes or from human activity;
2. Protect the public interest in drainage and related functions of drainage basins, watercourses and shoreline areas;
3. Protect surface waters and receiving waters from pollution, mechanical damage, excessive flows and other conditions in their drainage basins which will increase the rate of downcutting, streambank erosion, and/or the degree of turbidity, siltation and other forms of pollution, or which will reduce their low flows or low levels to levels which degrade the environment, reduce recharging of groundwater, or endanger aquatic and benthic life within these surface waters and receiving waters of the State;
4. Meet the requirements of state and federal law and the City=s municipal stormwater NPDES permit; and
5. Fulfill the responsibilities of the City as trustee of the environment for future generations.
B. It is expressly the purpose of this Subtitle to provide for and promote the health, safety and welfare of the general public. This Subtitle is not intended to create or otherwise establish or designate any particular class or group of persons who will or should be especially protected or benefited by its terms.
This Subtitle applies to:
A. All grading and drainage and erosion control, whether or not a permit is required; and
B. All new development and redevelopment, whether or not a permit is required; and
C. All new and existing discharges directly or indirectly to a public drainage control system; and
D. All new and existing land uses.
22.800.050 POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS LOCATIONS
A. Any site on a list, register, or data base compiled by the United States Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") or the Washington State Department of Ecology ("DOE") for investigation, clean up, or other action regarding contamination under any federal or state environmental law shall be a potentially hazardous location under this Subtitle. When EPA or DOE removes the site from the list, register or data base, or when the owner otherwise establishes contamination does not pose a present or potential threat to human health or the environment, the site will no longer be considered a potentially hazardous location.
B. The following property may also be designated by the Director of the Department of Construction and Land Use as potentially hazardous locations:
1. Existing and abandoned solid waste disposal sites;
2. Hazardous waste treatment, storage, or disposal facilities, all as defined by the federal Solid Waste Disposal Act, 42 U.S.C. 6901, et seq.
22.800.060 COMPLIANCE WITH OTHER LAWS
A. The requirements of this Subtitle are minimum requirements. They do not replace, repeal, abrogate, supersede or affect any other more stringent requirements, rules, regulations, covenants, standards, or restrictions. Where this Subtitle imposes requirements which are more protective of human health or the environment than those set forth elsewhere, the provisions of this Subtitle shall prevail.
B. Approvals and permits granted under this Subtitle are not waivers of the requirements of any other laws, nor do they indicate compliance with any other laws. Compliance is still required with all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, including rules promulgated under authority of this Subtitle.
22.800.070 CITY PROJECTS
A. Compliance. City agencies shall comply with all the requirements of this Subtitle except they shall not be required to obtain permits and approvals under this Subtitle for work performed within a public right-of-way and for work performed for the operation and maintenance of park lands under the control or jurisdiction of the Department of Parks and Recreation. Where the work occurs in a public right-of-way, it shall comply with Seattle Municipal Code Title 15, Street and Sidewalk Use, including the applicable requirements to obtain permits or approvals. Where appropriate as set forth in Subsection 22.804.040C of this code, a soils report and analysis by an experienced geotechnical/civil engineer shall be prepared for City projects.
1. When the City conducts projects for which review and approval is required under Section 22.802.015 or 22.804.030, the work shall be inspected by the City agency conducting the project or supervising the contract for the project. The inspector for the City agency shall be responsible for insuring that the grading and drainage control is done in a manner consistent with the requirements of this Subtitle.
2. Where a soils analysis and report has been prepared as required under Subsection A of this section, the grading shall also be inspected by the geotechnical/civil engineer who prepared the report.
3. A City agency need not provide an inspector from its own agency provided either:
a. the work is inspected by an appropriate inspector from another City agency; or
b. the work is inspected by the licensed civil or geotechnical/civil engineer who prepared the plans and specifications for the work; or
c. a permit or approval is obtained from the Director of Construction and Land Use, and the work is inspected by the Director.
C. Certification of Compliance. City agencies shall meet the same standards as non-City projects, and shall certify that each individual project meets those standards.
A. 1. The Director of Construction and Land Use shall have authority regarding the provisions of this Subtitle pertaining to grading, review of drainage control plans, and review of erosion control plans, and shall have inspection and enforcement authority pertaining to temporary erosion/sediment control measures.
2. The Director of Seattle Public Utilities shall have authority regarding all other provisions of this Subtitle pertaining to stormwater, drainage, and erosion control, including inspection and enforcement authority.
B. The Directors of Construction and Land Use and Seattle Public Utilities are authorized to take actions necessary to implement the provisions and purposes of this Subtitle in their respective spheres of authority, including, but not limited to: promulgating and amending rules and regulations, pursuant to the Administrative Code, Chapter 3.02 of the Seattle Municipal Code, which may include prescribing best management practices ("BMPs"); establishing and conducting inspection programs; establishing and conducting or, as set forth in Section 22.802.012, requiring responsible parties to conduct, monitoring programs, which may include sampling of discharges to or from drainage control facilities, the public drainage control system, or surface water; taking enforcement action; abating nuisances; promulgating guidance and policy documents; and reviewing and approving or disapproving required submittals and applications for approvals and permits.
C. The Director of Seattle Public Utilities is authorized to develop drainage basin plans for managing surface water, drainage water, and erosion within individual subbasins. Compliance with an adopted drainage basin plan may, when approved by the Director of Seattle Public Utilities, modify requirements of this Subtitle, provided the level of protection for human health, safety and welfare, the environment, and public or private property will equal or exceed that which would otherwise be achieved.
22.800.090 CITY NOT LIABLE
A. Nothing contained in this Subtitle is intended to be nor shall be construed to create or form the basis for any liability on the part of the City, or its officers, employees or agents for any injury or damage resulting from the failure of responsible parties to comply with the provisions of this Subtitle, or by reason or in consequence of any inspection, notice, order, certificate, permission or approval authorized or issued or done in connection with the implementation or enforcement of this Subtitle, or by reason of any action or inaction on the part of the City related in any manner to the enforcement of this Subtitle by its officers, employees or agents.
B. The Director or any employee charged with the enforcement of this Subtitle, acting in good faith and without malice on behalf of the City, shall not be personally liable for any damage that may accrue to persons or property as a result of any act required by the City, or by reason of any act or omission in the discharge of these duties. Any suit brought against the Director of Construction and Land Use, Director of Seattle Public Utilities or other employee because of an act or omission performed in the enforcement of any provisions of this Subtitle, shall be defended by the City.
C. Nothing in this Subtitle shall impose any liability on the City or any of its officers or employees for clean up or any harm relating to sites containing hazardous materials, wastes or contaminated soil.
For the purpose of this Subtitle, the words listed in this Chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. Terms relating to pollutants and to hazardous wastes, materials, and substances, where not defined in this Subtitle, shall be as defined in Washington Administrative Code Chapters 173-303, 173-304 and 173-340, the Seattle Building Code or the Seattle Fire Code, including future amendments to those codes. Words used in the singular include the plural, and words used in the plural include the singular.
ABANDONED SOLID WASTE DISPOSAL SITE means a site which is no longer in use and where solid waste was disposed with or without a permit.
AGENCY means any governmental entity or its subdivision.
AGENCY WITH JURISDICTION means those agencies with statutory authority to approve, condition or deny permits, such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Washington State Department of Ecology or the Seattle/King County Department of Public Health.
APPROVED means approved by either the Director of Construction and Land Use or the Director of Seattle Public Utilities.
AS-GRADED means the surface condition existing after completion of grading.
BACKFILLING means returning a site to its original or approved contours after earth materials were removed for construction purposes.
BASIN PLAN means a plan to manage the quality and quantity of stormwater in a watershed, including watershed action plans.
BENCH means a relatively level step excavated into earth material on which fill is to be placed.
BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICE (BMP) means a physical, chemical, structural or managerial practice or device that prevents, reduces, or treats contamination of water or which prevents or reduces soil erosion. When the Directors develop rules and/or manuals prescribing best management practices for particular purposes, whether or not those rules and/or manuals are adopted by ordinance, BMPs prescribed in the rules and/or manuals shall be the BMPs required for compliance with this Subtitle.
1. NON-STRUCTURAL BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES are those which require modified or additional operational or behavioral practices, such as sweeping a parking lot or having spill response equipment on-site.
2. STRUCTURAL BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES are those which require the construction of a structure or other physical modification on the site.
BUILDING PERMIT means a document issued by the City of Seattle Department of Construction and Land Use giving permission for construction or other specified activity in accordance with the Seattle Building Code (Chapter 22.100 SMC).
CAUSE OR CONTRIBUTE TO A VIOLATION means and includes acts or omissions that create a violation, that increase the duration, extent or severity of a violation, and that aid or abet a violation.
CIVIL ENGINEER, LICENSED means a person who is a licensed by the State of Washington to practice civil engineering.
COMBINED SEWER - see PUBLIC COMBINED SEWER
COMPACTION means the densification of a fill by mechanical means.
CONTAMINATE means the addition of sediment, any other pollutant or waste, or any illicit discharge.
CUT means the changing of a grade by excavation.
DAMAGES means monetary compensation for harm, loss, costs, or expenses incurred by the City, including but not limited to: costs of abating violations of this Subtitle or public nuisances; fines or penalties the City incurs as a result of a violation of this Subtitle; and costs to repair or clean the public drainage control system as a result of a violation. For the purposes of this Subtitle, it does not include compensation to any person other than the City.
DESIGN STORM means a rainfall event used in the analysis and design of drainage facilities.
DESIGNATED RECEIVING WATERS means the Duwamish River, Puget Sound, Lake Washington, Lake Union, and the Lake Washington Ship Canal, and other receiving waters designated by the Director of Seattle Public Utilities as having the capacity to receive drainage discharges.
DETENTION means and refers to temporary storage of drainage water.
DEVELOPMENT - see NEW DEVELOPMENT and REDEVELOPMENT.
DEVELOPMENTAL COVERAGE means all areas within a site planned to be developed or redeveloped including, but not limited to, rooftops, driveways, carports, accessory buildings, parking areas, areas in which soils, slopes and vegetation have been altered, and roadways and other pervious and impervious surfaces.
DIRECTOR means the Director of the Department authorized to take a particular action, and the Director=s designees, who may be employees of that department or another City department.
DIRECTOR OF CONSTRUCTION AND LAND USE means the Director of the Department of Construction and Land Use of the City of Seattle and/or the designee of the Director of Construction and Land Use, who may be employees of that department or another City department.
DIRECTOR OF SEATTLE PUBLIC UTILITIES means the Director of Seattle Public Utilities of the City of Seattle and/or the designee of the Director of Seattle Public Utilities, who may be employees of that department or another City department.
DISCHARGE POINT means the location to which drainage water from a specific site is released.
DISCHARGE RATE means the rate at which drainage water is released from a specific site. The discharge rate is expressed as volume per unit of time, such as cubic feet per second.
DRAINAGE BASIN means the tributary area through which drainage water is collected, regulated, transported, and discharged to receiving waters.
DRAINAGE CONTROL means the management of drainage water. Drainage control is accomplished through the collection, conveyance, and discharge of drainage water, controlling the rate of discharge from a site, or separating, treating or preventing the introduction of pollutants.
DRAINAGE CONTROL FACILITY means any facility, including best management practices, installed or constructed for the purpose of controlling the flow, quantity, and/or quality of drainage water.
DRAINAGE CONTROL PLAN means a plan for collecting, controlling, transporting and disposing of drainage water falling upon, entering, flowing within, and exiting the site, including designs for drainage control facilities.
DRAINAGE CONTROL SYSTEM means a system intended to collect, convey and control release of only drainage water. The system may serve public or private property. It includes constructed and/or natural components such as ditches, culverts, streams and drainage control facilities.
DRAINAGE WATER means stormwater, snow melt, surface water, surface and irrigation runoff, water from footing drains and other drains approved by the Director of Seattle Public Utilities or installed in compliance with this Subtitle and rules which may be adopted hereunder. Other water which is not an illicit discharge as defined in Subsection 22.802.012C shall be considered drainage water if it drains from the exterior of a building or structure, a pervious or impervious surface, or undeveloped land, or by surface or shallow subsurface flow.
DREDGING means the excavation of earth materials from land covered by water. The term shall include dredging which maintains an established water depth.
EARTH MATERIAL means any rock, natural soil or resedimented soil, or any combination thereof, and does not include any solid waste as defined by RCW 70.95.
ENVIRONMENTALLY CRITICAL AREA means an area designated in Chapter 25.09 of the Seattle Municipal Code.
EROSION means the wearing away of the ground surface as a result of mass wasting or of the movement of wind, water and/or ice.
EXCAVATION means the mechanical removal of earth material.
EXISTING GRADE means the natural surface contour of a site, including minor adjustments to the surface of the site in preparation for construction.
EXPLORATORY EXCAVATION means borings, or small pits, hand dug or excavated by mechanical equipment. Exploratory excavation does not include preloading of the site.
FILL means earth material deposited, placed, pushed, pulled or transported to a place other than the place from which it is excavated.
FINISHED GRADE means the grade upon completion of the fill or excavation.
FISH AND WILDLIFE HABITAT CONSERVATION AREAS is as defined in the Seattle Environmentally Critical Areas Ordinance, Seattle Municipal Code, Chapter 25.09.
FLOOD-PRONE AREA is as defined in SMC 25.09, Environmentally Critical Areas.
GARBAGE means putrescible waste.
GEOTECHNICAL/CIVIL ENGINEER, EXPERIENCED means a professional civil engineer licensed by the State of Washington who has at least four years of professional experience as a geotechnical engineer, including experience with landslide evaluation.
GRADE means the ground surface contour. (See also EXISTING GRADE and FINISHED GRADE).
GRADING means excavation, fill, in-place ground modification, or any combination thereof, including the establishment of a grade following demolition of a structure.
GRADING APPROVAL means an approved component of a building permit relating to grading, as required by this Subtitle.
ILLICIT DISCHARGE means the discharges defined by Section 22.802.012.
IMPERVIOUS SURFACE means any surface from which most water runs off including, but not limited to, paved streets, graveled or paved areas such as driveways, parking areas, packed earth material, oiled macadam or other treated surfaces, walkways, roof surfaces, patios and formal planters.
IN-PLACE GROUND MODIFICATION means activity occurring at or below the surface which is designed to alter the engineering parameters and physical characteristics of soil or rock, including but not limited to, in situ consolidation, solidification, void space reduction and infilling.
INSPECTOR means the City inspector, inspection agency, or licensed civil engineer performing the inspection work required by this Subtitle.
LAND-DISTURBING ACTIVITY means any activity that results in a change in the existing soil cover (both vegetative and nonvegetative) or the existing topography. Land-disturbing activities include, but are not limited to clearing, grading, filling and excavation.
LARGE PROJECT means a project exceeding 9,000 square feet of developmental coverage.
MASTER USE PERMIT means a document issued by the Department of Construction and Land Use giving permission for development or use of land or street right-of-way in accordance with the Land Use Code (Title 23 Seattle Municipal Code).
MUNICIPAL STORMWATER NPDES PERMIT means the permit issued to the City under the federal Clean Water Act for public drainage control systems within the City limits.
NPDES means National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, the national program for controlling discharges under the federal Clean Water Act.
NPDES PERMIT means an authorization, license or equivalent control document issued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency or the Washington State Department of Ecology to implement the requirements of the NPDES program.
NEW DEVELOPMENT means any of the following activities:
1. Structural development, including construction of a new building or other structure;
2. Expansion or alteration of an existing structure that results in an increase in the footprint of the building or structure;
3. Land-disturbing activities;
4. Creation or expansion of impervious surface;
6. Subdivision and short subdivision of land as defined in RCW 58.17.020;
7. Class IV gener1al forest practices, as defined in WAC 22-16-050 that are conversions from timber land to other uses.
No other forest practices or commercial agriculture are considered new development.
NONDESIGNATED RECEIVING WATERS means all creeks, streams and lakes in the City of Seattle not designated as receiving waters, including Green Lake, Haller Lake, and Bitter Lake and all the creeks and streams.
OWNER means any person having title to and/or responsibility for, a building or property, including a lessee, guardian, receiver or trustee, and the owner=s duly authorized agent.
PERSON means an individual, firm, partnership, corporation, municipal corporation, and government, and the individual=s or entity=s heirs, successors and assigns.
PLAN means, for the purposes of this Subtitle, and unless a different meaning is set forth or clearly required, a graphic or schematic representation, with accompanying notes, schedules, specifications and other related documents.
PLOT PLAN means a scaled map of a site and adjacent public rights-of-way showing locations and dimensions of various existing and proposed features, such as buildings, curbs, driveways, sidewalks, trees, grades and drainage patterns.
PRELOADING means the temporary stockpiling of earth material over a site for the purpose of consolidating the existing soils.
PUBLIC COMBINED SEWER means a publicly owned and maintained sewage system which carries drainage water and sewage and flows to a publicly owned treatment works.
PUBLIC DRAINAGE CONTROL SYSTEM means a drainage control system owned or used by the City of Seattle serving City streets and adjacent property.
PUBLIC PLACE means and includes streets, avenues, ways, boulevards, drives, places, alleys, sidewalks, and planting (parking) strips, squares, triangles and right-of-way for public use and the space above or beneath its surface, whether or not opened or improved.
PUBLIC STORM DRAIN means the part of a public drainage control system which is wholly or partially piped, is owned or operated by a public entity, and is designed to carry only drainage water.
RECEIVING WATERS means the waters ultimately receiving drainage water, including the Duwamish River, Puget Sound, Lake Washington, Lake Union, and the Lake Washington Ship Canal, including associated bays, but not including tributary streams, creeks and lakes. See also DESIGNATED RECEIVING WATERS and NONDESIGNATED RECEIVING WATERS.
REDEVELOPMENT means any of the following activities:
1. Replacement or alteration of a building or structure that does not result in an increase in the footprint of the building or structure;
2. Replacement, alteration, or upgrade of an impervious surface that is not part of a routine maintenance activity, and does not result in expansion of the impervious surface.
RESPONSIBLE PARTY means all of the following persons:
1. owners and occupants of property within the City of Seattle; and,
2. any person causing or contributing to a violation of the provisions of this Subtitle.
RIPARIAN CORRIDOR is as defined in Seattle Environmentally Critical Areas Ordinance, Seattle Municipal Code Chapter 25.09.
SANITARY SEWER is as defined in the Side Sewer Ordinance, Seattle Municipal Code Section 21.16.030.
SERVE or SERVICE, when used regarding a document, means the procedures set forth in Section 22.808.030.
SERVICE DRAIN means a privately owned and maintained drainage control facility or system which carries only drainage water. Service drains include, but are not limited to conveyance pipes, catch basin connections, downspout connections, pipes, and subsurface drain connections.
SHORELINE DISTRICT means all land regulated by the Shorelines Management Act of 1971 (RCW Chapter 90.58) or City ordinances implementing it, as defined in the Land Use Code, Title 23 of the Seattle Municipal Code.
SIDE SEWER is as defined in the Side Sewer Ordinance, Seattle Municipal Code Section 21.16.030.
SITE means any lot, parcel of land, street or highway right-of-way, or contiguous combination thereof, where a permit for new development, redevelopment, land-disturbing activity, or grading has been issued or where any such work is proposed or performed.
SLOPE means an inclined ground surface. In this subtitle, the inclination of a slope is expressed as a ratio of horizontal distance to vertical distance.
SMALL PROJECT means a project with 9,000 square feet or less of developmental coverage.
SOIL means naturally deposited non-rock earth materials.
SOLID WASTE means solid waste as defined by SMC Section 21.36.016.
STANDARD DESIGN is a design approved by the Seattle Seattle Public Utilities Department for drainage and erosion control for a typical site.
STORM DRAIN - see PUBLIC STORM DRAIN and SERVICE DRAIN.
STORMWATER means water originating from rainfall and other precipitation, and from footing drains and other subsurface drains approved by the Director of Seattle Public Utilities or installed in compliance with rules which may be adopted hereunder.
TERRACE means a relatively level step constructed in the face of a graded slope surface for drainage and maintenance purposes.
TOPSOIL means the weathered surface soil, usually including the organic layer, in which plants have most of their roots.
UNCONTAMINATED means, for the purposes of this Subtitle, not containing sediment or other pollutants or contaminants above natural background levels when referring to surface or groundwater; and not containing pollutants or contaminants in levels greater than City-supplied drinking water when referring to potable water.
WATERCOURSE means the route, constructed or formed by humans or by natural processes, generally consisting of a channel with bed, banks or sides, in which surface waters flow, including lakes, bogs, streams, creeks, and intermittent artificial components (including ditches and culverts) but not including receiving waters.
WETLAND is as defined in Seattle Environmentally Critical Areas Ordinance, Seattle Municipal Code Chapter 25.09.
STORMWATER, DRAINAGE, AND EROSION CONTROL
A. General. All new and existing discharges subject to this Subtitle as set forth in Section 22.800.030, all land uses and all new development, redevelopment, and grading shall comply with all requirements of this Subtitle unless explicitly exempted by this Subtitle or by the Director exercising authority granted under this Subtitle.
B. Exemptions. The following land uses are exempt from the provisions of this Subtitle.
1. Commercial agriculture, including only those activities conducted on lands defined in RCW 84.34.020(2), and production of crops or livestock for wholesale trade.
2. Forest practices regulated under Title 222 Washington Administrative Code, except for Class IV general forest practices, as defined in WAC 222-16-050, that are conversions from timber land to other uses; and
3. Development undertaken by the Washington State Department of Transportation in state highway right-of-way that complies with standards found in Chapter 173-270 Washington Administrative Code, the Puget Sound Highway Runoff Program.
22.802.012 PROHIBITED DISCHARGES
A. Stormwater Discharges to Sanitary and Combined Sewers. In consultation with the local sewage treatment agency, the Director of Seattle Public Utilities may approve discharges of stormwater to a public combined sewer or sanitary sewer if other methods of controlling pollutants in the discharge are not adequate or reasonable, the discharging party certifies that the discharge will not harm the environment and will not overburden or otherwise harm the public combined sewer or sanitary sewer systems. The Director of Seattle Public Utilities shall condition approval of such a discharge on compliance with local pretreatment regulations.
B. Discharges Prohibited to Public Drainage Control Systems. It is unlawful to make illicit discharges, as defined in Subsection C below, either directly or indirectly to a public drainage control system.
C. Illicit Discharges Defined.
1. Except as provided in Subsection D below, all discharges which are not composed entirely of stormwater are illicit discharges. See Section 22.808.020 for defenses available to responsible parties.
2. The following is a partial list, provided for informational purposes only, of common substances which are illicit discharges when allowed to enter a public drainage control system:
Solid waste; human and animal waste; antifreeze, oil, gasoline, grease and all other automotive and petroleum products; flammable or explosive materials; metals in excess of naturally occurring amounts, whether in liquid or solid form; chemicals not normally found in uncontaminated water; solvents and degreasers; painting products; drain cleaners; commercial and household cleaning materials; pesticides; herbicides; fertilizers; acids; alkalis; ink; steam-cleaning waste; laundry waste; soap; detergent; ammonia; chlorine; chlorinated swimming pool or hot tub water; domestic or sanitary sewage; animal carcasses; food and food waste; yard waste; dirt; sand; and gravel.
D. Permissible Discharges. Discharges from the sources listed below shall only be illicit discharges if the Director of Seattle Public Utilities determines that the type of discharge, whether singly or in combination with others, is causing or contributing to a violation of the City=s NPDES stormwater permit or is causing or contributing to a water quality problem, such as those which contain more contamination than typical discharges in the City, or which contain a type of contamination that is more toxic or is otherwise a more serious problem than typical discharges in the City:
Potable water sources; washing of potable water storage reservoirs; flushing of potable water lines; natural uncontaminated surface water; natural uncontaminated groundwater; air conditioning condensation; natural springs; uncontaminated water from crawl space pumps; runoff from lawn watering; irrigation runoff; runoff from residential car washing by individuals; flows from riparian habitats and wetlands; heat; discharges in compliance with an NPDES permit; and discharges from approved footing drains and other subsurface drains or, where approval is not required, installed in compliance with this Subtitle and rules promulgated pursuant to this Subtitle.
E. Exemption. Discharges resulting from public firefighting activities, but not from activities not related to firefighting such as the maintenance or cleaning of firefighting equipment, are exempt from regulation under this Section.
F. Testing for Illicit Discharges. When the Director of Seattle Public Utilities has reason to believe that any discharge is an illicit discharge, the Director of Seattle Public Utilities may sample and analyze the discharge and recover the costs from a responsible party in an enforcement proceeding. When the discharge is likely to contain illicit discharges on a recurring basis, the Director of Seattle Public Utilities may conduct, or may require the responsible party to conduct, ongoing monitoring at the responsible party=s expense.
22.802.013 REQUIREMENTS FOR EXISTING DISCHARGES AND LANDUSES
1. For all existing discharges directly or indirectly to a public drainage control system, responsible parties shall implement and maintain nonstructural best management practices as specified in rules promulgated jointly by the Director of Seattle Public Utilities and the Director of Construction and Land Use. Nonstructural best management practices shall include, but not be limited to, maintenance and housekeeping practices such as cleaning of catch basins and detention facilities, sweeping of parking lots, storing oil barrels and other contaminant sources out of the rain, covering material stockpiles, and proper use and storage of hazardous materials.
2. If the Director of Seattle Public Utilities determines that discharges from a drainage control facility are causing or contributing to a water quality problem, such as discharges that violate the City=s municipal stormwater NPDES permit or that cannot be adequately addressed by nonstructural best management practices, including, but not limited to, areas with recurrent spills such as discharges from vehicle maintenance shops or gas stations, then the Director of Seattle Public Utilities may require the responsible party to undertake more stringent or additional best management practices. These best management practices may include structural best management practices, or other action necessary to cease causing or contributing to the water quality problem or the violation of the City=s permit. Structural best management practices include but shall not be limited to constructed facilities such as detention tanks, wet ponds, oil/water separators, grassed swales, roofing and berming of container storage areas, and revised piping systems.
B. Spill Prevention Required.
1. All commercial and industrial responsible parties shall take measures to prevent spills or other accidental introduction of illicit discharges into a public drainage control system. Such measures shall include:
a. Establishment and implementation of plans and procedures to prevent spills and other accidental releases of materials that may contaminate stormwater;
b. Implementation of procedures for immediate containment and other appropriate action regarding spills and other accidental releases to prevent contamination of stormwater; and
c. Provision of necessary containment and response equipment on-site, and training of personnel regarding the procedures and equipment to be used.
2. The provisions of this Subsection may be satisfied by a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan prepared in compliance with an NPDES industrial stormwater permit for the site.
3. The responsible parties shall make the plans and procedures required by this Subsection available to the Director of Seattle Public Utilities when requested.
C. Release Reporting Requirements. A responsible party must, at the earliest possible time, but in any case within 24 hours of discovery, report to the Director of Seattle Public Utilities, a spill, release, dumping, or other situation that has contributed or is likely to contribute pollutants to a public drainage control system. This reporting requirement is in addition to, and not instead of, any other reporting requirements under federal, state or local laws.
D. Natural Drainage Patterns. Natural drainage patterns shall be maintained.
E. Obstruction of Watercourses. Watercourses shall not be obstructed.
22.802.015 STORMWATER, DRAINAGE, AND EROSION CONTROL REQUIREMENTS
A. When Compliance is Required.
1. New Development. All new development, regardless of type, and regardless of whether or not a permit is required, must comply with the minimum requirements set forth in Subsection C below. Projects exceeding 9,000 square feet of developmental coverage shall also comply with the requirements for large projects set forth in Subsection D below. Only those projects meeting the review thresholds set forth in Subsection B must prepare and submit the required plans.
2. Redevelopment. The portion of the site being redeveloped shall at least comply with the minimum requirements set forth in Subsection C below. Projects exceeding 9,000 square feet of developmental coverage must also comply with the additional requirements set forth in Subsection D below. Compliance is required regardless of the type of redevelopment, and regardless of whether or not a permit is required. However, only those projects meeting the review thresholds set forth in Subsection B below must prepare and submit the required plans.
3. Approval of Exceptions Required. Exceptions to the requirements of this Subtitle may not be used on any projects, including those that are below the threshold sizes specified in Subsection B, unless allowed by rule promulgated jointly by the Director of Seattle Public Utilities and the Director of Construction and Land Use or approved by the Director of Construction and Land Use. Approval shall be obtained prior to initiating land disturbing activities or new development or redevelopment. Approvals must be obtained for exceptions to any and all requirements of this Subtitle, including but not limited to the requirement that natural drainage patterns be maintained and the requirement that watercourses not be obstructed.
B. Thresholds for Drainage Control Review. The City may, by interagency agreement signed by both the Director of Seattle Public Utilities and the Director of Construction and Land Use, waive the drainage and erosion control permit and document requirements for property owned by public entities, when discharges from the property do not enter the public drainage control system or the public combined sewer system. Whether or not they are required to obtain permits or submit documents, public entities are subject to the substantive requirements of this Subtitle, unless exceptions are granted as set forth in Section 22.808.010. Except as provided in this Subsection, drainage control review and approval shall be required as provided below:
1. Where an application for either a master use permit or building permit includes the cumulative addition of 750 square feet or more of developmental coverage after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this Subtitle;
2. Where an application for a grading permit or approval is required;
3. Where a street use permit is required and the permit is for the cumulative addition of 750 square feet or more of developmental coverage after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this Subtitle;
4. Where a City public works project or construction contract, including contracts for day labor and other public works purchasing agreements, is for the cumulative addition of 750 square feet or more of developmental coverage to the site after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this Subtitle, except for projects in a City-owned right-of-way and except for work performed for the operation and maintenance of park lands under the control or jurisdiction of the Department of Parks and Recreation;
5. Where any permit approval or contract includes any new or additional developmental coverage on a site deemed a potentially hazardous location, as specified in Section 22.800.050;
6. Whenever an exception to a requirement set forth in this Subtitle or in a rule promulgated under this Subtitle is desired, whether or not review and approval would otherwise be required, including but not limited to alteration of natural drainage patterns or the obstruction of watercourses.
C. Minimum Requirements for All Projects. All projects must comply with the requirements of this subsection. Projects with more than 9,000 square feet of developmental coverage shall also comply with the requirements of Subsection D below. The Director of Construction and Land Use may also require projects with 9,000 square feet or less of developmental coverage to comply with the requirements set forth in Subsection D when necessary to accomplish the purposes of this Subtitle. In making this determination, the Director of Construction and Land Use may consider, but not be limited to, the following attributes of the site: location within an Environmentally Critical Area; proximity and tributary to an Environmentally Critical Area; proximity and tributary to an area with known erosion or flooding problems.
1. Discharge Point. The discharge point for drainage water from each site shall be selected as set forth in rules promulgated jointly by the Director of Seattle Public Utilities and the Director of Construction and Land specifying criteria, guidelines and standards for determining drainage discharge points to meet the purposes of this Subtitle. The criteria shall include, but not be limited to, preservation of natural drainage patterns and whether the capacity of the drainage control system is adequate for the additional volume. For those projects meeting the review threshold, the proposed discharge point shall be identified in the drainage control plan required by paragraph C4 below, for review and approval or disapproval by the Director of Construction and Land Use.
2. Discharge Rate. To the extent practical, the peak drainage water discharge rate from pervious and impervious surfaces on the site shall not exceed 0.2 cubic feet per second per acre under design storm conditions. The Director of Construction and Land Use and the Director of Seattle Public Utilities may jointly promulgate rules modifying the discharge rate requirement for projects which will result in less than 2,000 square feet of new impervious surface. The Director of Construction and Land Use and the Director of Seattle Public Utilities may jointly promulgate rules allowing exceptions to the permissible peak discharge rate for property which discharges water directly to a designated receiving water or directly to a public storm drain which the Director of Seattle Public Utilities determines has sufficient capacity to carry existing and anticipated loads from the point of connection to a receiving water. The design storm used to determine detention volume necessary to obtain the required discharge rate shall be a storm with a statistical probability of occurrence of one in 25 in any given year. If the project is within an environmentally critical area, the design storm requirements of SMC Chapter 25.09, Regulations for Environmentally Critical Areas, shall be applied. The Director of Seattle Public Utilities and the Director of Construction and Land Use shall jointly adopt rules specifying the methods of calculation to determine the discharge rate. Where laws or regulations of the federal government or the State of Washington impose a more stringent requirement, the more stringent requirement shall apply.
3. Control Measures. During new development, redevelopment and land-disturbing activities, best management practices, as further specified in rules promulgated jointly by the Director of Seattle Public Utilities and the Director of Construction and Land Use, shall be used to accomplish the following:
a. Control erosion and the transport of sediment from the site through measures such as mulching, matting, covering, silt fences, sediment traps and catch basins, settling ponds and protective berms;
b. Permanently stabilize exposed soils that are not being actively worked, through such methods as the installation of permanent vegetative cover and installation of slope protective materials; and
c. Control the introduction of contaminants and pollutants into, and reduce and treat contaminants in drainage water, drainage control facilities, surface water and groundwater, and the public drainage control system by methods such as covering of material stockpiles; proper disposal of hazardous materials; regular cleaning of catch basins, gravel truck loading and heavy equipment areas; spill control for fueling operations; sweeping; and maintaining erosion control protective features described above.
4. Drainage Control Plan. For those projects meeting the review thresholds set forth in Subsection B above and which are less than 9,000 square feet, the applicant shall submit a drainage control plan as set forth in rules promulgated jointly by the Director of Seattle Public Utilities and the Director of Construction and Land Use. Standard designs for drainage control facilities as set forth in the rules may be used. Projects exceeding 9,000 square feet must submit a comprehensive drainage control plan as set forth in Subsection D below. The Director of Construction and Land Use may impose additional requirements, including a comprehensive drainage control plan prepared by a licensed civil engineer, when the project has complex or unusual drainage, or when additional requirements are otherwise necessary to accomplish the purposes of this Subtitle.
5. Memorandum of Drainage Control. The owner(s) of the site shall sign a "memorandum of drainage control" that has been prepared by the Director of Seattle Public Utilities. Completion of the memorandum shall be a condition precedent to issuance of any permit or approval for which a drainage control plan is required. The memorandum shall not be required when the drainage control facility will be owned and operated by the City. A memorandum of drainage control shall include:
a. The legal description of the site;
b. A summary of the terms of the drainage control plan, including any known limitations of the drainage control facilities, and an agreement by the owners to implement those terms;
c. An agreement that the owner(s) shall inform future purchasers and other successors and assignees of the existence of the drainage control facilities and other elements of the drainage control plan, the limitations of the drainage control facilities, and of the requirements for continued inspection and maintenance of the drainage control facilities;
d. The side sewer permit number and the date and name of the permit or approval for which the drainage control plan is required;
e. Permission for the City to enter the property for inspection, monitoring, correction, and abatement purposes;
f. An acknowledgment by the owner(s) that the City is not responsible for the adequacy or performance of the drainage control plan, and a waiver of any and all claims against the City for any harm, loss, or damage related to the plan, or to drainage or erosion on the property, except for claims arising from the City=s sole negligence; and
g. The owner(s)= signatures acknowledged by a notary public.
The applicant shall file the memorandum of drainage control with the King County Department of Records and Elections so as to become part of the King County real property records. The applicant shall give the Director of Seattle Public Utilities proof of filing of the memorandum.
6. Flood-Prone Areas. Sites within flood prone areas must employ measures to minimize the potential for flooding on the site and for the project to increase the risk of floods on adjacent or nearby properties. Flood control measures shall include those set forth in other titles of the Seattle Municipal Code and rules promulgated thereunder, including but not limited to, SMC Chapter 25.06 (Floodplain Development) and Chapter 25.09 (Environmentally Critical Areas), and in rules promulgated jointly by the Director of Seattle Public Utilities and the Director of Construction and Land Use to meet the purposes of this subsection.
7. Natural Drainage Patterns. Natural drainage patterns shall be maintained.
8. Obstruction of Watercourses. Watercourses shall not be obstructed.
D. Additional Requirements for Large Projects. All projects exceeding 9,000 square feet of developmental coverage and those small projects identified by the Director according to Subsection C above must comply with the requirements set forth in this subsection. These requirements are in addition to the requirements set forth in Subsection C above. When the Directors develop rules prescribing best management practices for particular purposes, whether or not those rules are adopted by ordinance, BMPs prescribed in the rules shall be the BMPs required for compliance with this Subsection. Best management practices shall include, but not be limited to: maintenance and housekeeping practices such as proper storage of oil barrels and other contaminant sources, covering material stockpiles, proper use and storage of hazardous materials, as well as constructed facilities such as detention tanks, wet ponds, extended detention dry ponds, infiltration, vegetated streambank stabilization, structural stabilization, catch basins, oil/water separators, grassed swales, and constructed wetlands.
1. In addition to detaining a 25-year storm to a release rate of 0.2 cubic feet per second per acre, the peak drainage water discharge rate from projects of more than 9,000 square feet of developmental coverage shall not exceed 0.15 cubic feet per second per acre in a two-year storm;
2. Control the sources of sediment and other contaminants and pollutants that could enter drainage water, including the selection, design and maintenance of temporary and permanent best management practices;
3. Minimize streambank erosion and effects on water quality in streams, including the selection, design and maintenance of temporary and permanent best management practices, where stormwater is discharged directly to a stream or to a conveyance system that discharges to a stream;
4. Minimize the introduction of sediment, heat and other pollutants and contaminants into wetlands, including the selection, design and maintenance of temporary and permanent best management practices, where stormwater discharges directly to a wetland or to a conveyance system that discharges into a wetland;
5. Analyze impacts to off-site water quality resulting from the project. The analysis shall comply with this Subsection and rules promulgated pursuant to this Subsection. The analysis shall provide for mitigation of all surface water quality or sediment quality impacts. The impacts to be evaluated and mitigated shall include at least the following:
a. Amount of sedimentation;
b. Streambank erosion;
c. Discharges to groundwater contributing to recharge zones;
d. Violations of state or federal surface water, groundwater, or sediment quality standards; and
e. Spills and other accidental illicit discharges;
6. A schedule shall be provided for inspection and maintenance of proposed temporary and permanent drainage control facilities and other best management practices. The schedule shall meet the requirements of this Subtitle and rules promulgated under this Subtitle.
7. In addition to the requirements described above, for land-disturbing activities and demolition of structures, an erosion/sediment control plan designed to comply with the requirements and purposes of this Subtitle and rules promulgated hereunder shall be submitted and implemented. The erosion/sediment control plan shall be designed to accomplish the following:
a. Stabilization of exposed soils and sediment trapping;
b. Delineation of limits on clearing and easements;
c. Protection of adjacent property;
d. Appropriate timing and stabilization of sediment trapping measures;
e. Minimization of erosion on cut-and-fill slopes;
f. Control of off-site erosion;
g. Stabilization of temporary conveyance channels and outlets;
h. Protection of storm drain inlets;
i. Minimization of transport of sediment by construction vehicles;
j. Appropriate timing for removal of temporary best management practices;
k. Control of discharges from construction site dewatering devices to minimize contamination of drainage water; and
l. Inspection and maintenance of best management practices for erosion/sediment control to insure functioning at design capacity.
8. Comprehensive Drainage Control Plan. A comprehensive drainage control plan to comply with the requirements of this Subtitle and rules promulgated hereunder and to accomplish the purposes of this Subtitle shall be submitted with the permit application. It shall be prepared by a licensed civil engineer in accordance with standards adopted by the Director of Construction and Land Use.
E. Basin Plans. The Director of Construction and Land Use may determine that, for a particular project, compliance with a drainage basin plan satisfies Subsections D1 through D4 above. The basin plan must have been adopted by rule or ordinance and must provide a level of protection for surface water and groundwater that equals or exceeds that which would otherwise be achieved.
22.802.020 SCOPE OF DRAINAGE CONTROL REVIEW AND APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS
A. Scope of Review. Where drainage review and approval are required by Section 22.802.015, the scope of this review shall at least include the following.
1. Master Use Permit Applications. Master use permit applications shall contain sufficient information to allow the Director of Construction and Land Use to determine the effects of stormwater on- and off-site, including the propriety of a proposed discharge point, compliance with requirements for permanent drainage control facilities, compliance with the requirements to maintain natural drainage patterns and not obstruct watercourses, compliance with applicable flood control requirements, and whether improvements to the public drainage control system shall be required. These determinations shall be part of approved master use permit conditions, and shall be used as a basis for further drainage planning for building permits and other permits listed below.
2. Applications for Building and Other Permits. The Director of Construction and Land Use shall review any application for a building permit or other permit listed in Section 22.802.015, other than master use permit applications, for compliance with Section 22.802.015 and to determine whether improvements to the public drainage control system shall be required.
3. Projects Exceeding 9,000 Square Feet. For projects exceeding 9,000 square feet of developmental coverage, in addition to the review criteria set forth above, the Director of Construction and Land Use shall review the comprehensive drainage control plan for compliance with applicable requirements.
4. Exceptions. Requests for exceptions to requirements shall be reviewed as set forth in Section 22.808.010.
B. Application and Approval Requirements.
1. Drainage control plans for projects subject to review under Subsection 22.802.015 shall be reviewed by the Director of Construction and Land Use. The Director of Construction and Land Use may approve those plans which comply with the provisions of this Subtitle and rules promulgated hereunder, and may place conditions upon the approval in order to assure compliance with the provisions of this Subtitle. Submission of the required drainage control application information shall be a condition precedent to the processing of any of the above-listed permits. Approval of drainage control shall be a condition precedent to issuance of any of the above-listed permits.
2. The Director of Construction and Land Use may disapprove plans which do not comply with the provisions of this Subtitle and rules promulgated hereunder. Disapproved plans shall be returned to the applicant, who may correct and resubmit the plans.
C. Submittal Requirements
1. Applications shall be prepared and submitted in accordance with provisions of this Section, with Chapter 21.16 (Side Sewers) and with associated rules and regulations adopted jointly by the Director of Construction and Land Use and the Director of Seattle Public Utilities.
2. The Director of Construction and Land Use may require additional information necessary to adequately evaluate applications for compliance with the requirements and purposes of this Subtitle and other laws and regulations, including SMC Chapter 25.09, Regulations for Environmentally Critical Areas. The Director of Construction and Land Use may also require appropriate information about adjoining properties which may be related to, or affected by, the drainage control proposal in order to evaluate effects on the adjacent property. This additional information may be required as a precondition for permit application review and approval.
3. Where an applicant simultaneously applies for more than one of the permits listed in Subsection A above for the same property, the application shall comply with the requirements for the permit which are the most detailed and complete.
22.802.040 DRAINAGE CONTROL PLAN REGISTRY.
The Director of Seattle Public Utilities shall maintain an official registry and permanent file of all approved drainage control plans. Each plan shall be cataloged in the registry according to the property address, legal description of the property, and the side sewer permit number of the permit or approval for which the plan is required. Where a drainage control plan covers more than one property, the approved plan shall be cataloged for each property covered by the plan.
22.802.060 INSTALLATION OF DRAINAGE CONTROL FACILITIES
A. All privately owned and operated drainage control facilities or systems, whether or not they discharge to a public drainage control system, shall be considered side sewers and shall be subject to Title 21 of the Seattle Municipal Code, the Seattle Public Utilities Department Director=s Rules promulgated under that Title, and the design and installation specifications and permit requirements of the Seattle Public Utilities Department and the Department of Construction and Land Use for side sewer and drainage control systems.
B. Side sewer permits and inspections shall be required for construction, capping, alterations, or repairs of privately owned and operated drainage control systems as provided in Chapter 21.16 of the Seattle Municipal Code. When the work is ready for inspection, the permittee shall notify the Director of Seattle Public Utilities. If the work is not in accordance with plans approved under this Subtitle and in accordance with Chapter 21.16, Seattle Public Utilities Department and Department of Construction and Land Use Director=s Rules, and Seattle Public Utilities Department and Department of Construction and Land Use design and installation specifications, the Seattle Public Utilities Department, after consulting with the Department of Construction and Land Use, may order the work stopped by written notice to the persons engaged in performing the work or causing the work to be done, and may require modifications as provided in this Subtitle and Chapter 21.16.
22.802.070 MODIFICATIONS OF DRAINAGE CONTROL FACILITIES DURING CONSTRUCTION
A. During construction the Director of Seattle Public Utilities may require, or the applicant may request, that the construction of drainage control facilities and associated project designs be modified if physical conditions are discovered on the site which are inconsistent with the assumptions upon which the approval was based, including but not limited to unexpected soil and/or water conditions, weather generated problems, or changes in the design of the improved areas. Modifications shall be submitted to the Director of Construction and Land Use for approval prior to implementation.
B. Any such modifications made during the construction of drainage control facilities shall be recorded on the final approved drainage control plan, a revised copy of which shall be filed by the Director of Seattle Public Utilities.
22.802.090 MAINTENANCE AND INSPECTION
A. Responsibility for Maintenance and Inspection. Drainage control facilities required by this Subtitle and by rules adopted hereunder, shall be maintained by the owner or other responsible party. The owner or responsible party shall inspect permanent drainage control facilities at least annually, and shall inspect temporary drainage control facilities and other temporary best management practices or facilities on a schedule sufficient for the facilities to function at design capacity. The Director of Seattle Public Utilities may require the responsible party to conduct more frequent inspection and/or maintenance when necessary to insure functioning at design capacity.
B. Inspection by City. The Director of Seattle Public Utilities may establish inspection programs to insure compliance with the requirements of this Subtitle and accomplishment of its purposes. Inspection programs may be established on any reasonable basis, including but not limited to: routine inspections; random inspections; inspections based upon complaints or other notice of possible violations; inspection of drainage basins or areas identified as higher than typical sources of sediment or other contaminants or pollutants; inspections of businesses or industries of a type associated with higher than usual discharges of contaminants or pollutants or with discharges of a type which are more likely than the typical discharge to cause violations of state or federal water or sediment quality standards or the City=s NPDES stormwater permit; and joint inspections with other agencies inspecting under environmental or safety laws. Inspections may include, but are not limited to: reviewing maintenance and repair records; sampling discharges, surface water, groundwater, and material or water in drainage control facilities; and evaluating the condition of drainage control facilities and other best management practices.
C. Entry for Inspection and Abatement Purposes.
1. New Installations and Connections. When any new drainage control facility is installed on private property, and when any new connection is made between private property and a public drainage control system, sanitary sewer or combined sewer, the property owner shall execute a permission form provided by the Director of Seattle Public Utilities. The property owner shall grant the City the right to enter the property at reasonable times and in a reasonable manner pursuant to an inspection program established pursuant to Subsection B above, and to enter the property when the City has a reasonable basis to believe that a violation of this Subtitle is occurring or has occurred, and to enter when necessary for abatement of a public nuisance or correction of a violation of this Subtitle.
2. Existing Land Uses and Discharges. Owners of property with existing discharges or land uses subject to this Subtitle who are not installing a new drainage control facility or making a new connection between private property and a public drainage control system, sanitary sewer or combined sewer, shall have the option to execute a permission form for the purposes described above when provided with the form by the Director of Seattle Public Utilities.
D. Disposal of Waste from Maintenance Activities. Disposal of waste from maintenance of drainage and stormwater control facilities shall be conducted in accordance with federal, state and local regulations, including the Minimum Functional Standards for Solid Waste Handling, Chapter 173-304 WAC, guidelines for disposal of waste materials, and, where appropriate, Dangerous Waste Regulations, Chapter 173-303 WAC, including any subsequent amendments to these provisions.
E. Records of Installation and Maintenance Activities. When a new drainage control facility is installed, the party having the facility installed shall obtain a copy of the as-built plans from the Director of Seattle Public Utilities. Responsible parties shall make records of the installation and of all maintenance and repair, and shall retain the records for at least ten years. These records shall be made available to the Director of Seattle Public Utilities during inspection of the facility and at other reasonable times upon request of the Director of Seattle Public Utilities.
All grading shall comply with this Subtitle and with federal, state and local laws and regulations, even where no permit or approval is required.
22.804.020 GRADING IN AREAS OF SPECIAL FLOOD HAZARD
In addition to requirements for grading approval or permit set forth in this Subtitle, any grading in areas of special flood hazard, as identified in the report entitled "Flood Insurance Study for King County, Washington and Incorporated Areas" and the accompanying Flood Insurance Rate Maps that are filed with the City Clerk in C.F. 296948, or located in a flood-prone area, is subject to additional standards and requirements, including floodplain development approval or a Floodplain Development License, as set forth in Chapter 25.06, the Seattle Floodplain Development Ordinance, of the Seattle Municipal Code, and any applicable requirements of Chapter 25.09, the Environmentally Critical Areas Ordinance.
22.804.030 GRADING PERMIT OR APPROVAL REQUIRED
A. Grading Permit Required. A grading permit shall be required for all grading activities as specified below. Actions exempt from a grading permit are specified in Subsection C.
1. Special Sites. A permit shall be required for any site located in one of the following areas if the combined volume of excavation, fill, dredging, or other movement of earth materials is more than 25 cubic yards:
a. Shoreline Districts, except a permit shall be required for any grading within 10 feet of the line of mean higher high tide adjoining saltwater or the line of mean high water adjoining fresh water and for any grading of lands covered by water; or
b. Environmentally Critical Areas (except Liquefaction-prone and Abandoned Landfills).
Grading may be prohibited in certain Environmentally Critical Areas. For additional requirements see Regulations for Environmentally Critical Areas, SMC 25.09.
2. Potentially Hazardous Locations. A permit shall be required for any site identified under the provisions of Section 22.800.050 for any volume of excavation, fill, dredging or other movement of earth materials.
3. Grading Near Public Places. A permit shall be required for all grading activities in excess of four feet (4=), measured vertically, on private property within any area between the vertical prolongation of the margin of a public place, and a one hundred percent (100%) slope line (forty-five degrees (45�) from a horizontal line) from the existing elevation of the margin of a public place to the proposed elevation of the private property.
4. General Sites. For sites not included in Subsections A-1 and A-2 above, a permit shall be required where the grade at any location is changed more than three feet and either:
a. The cumulative volume of excavation, fill, dredging or other movement of earth materials is more than 100 cubic yards over the lifetime of the site; or
b. The grading will result in a slope steeper than three horizontal to one vertical.
5. In-Place Ground Modification. A permit shall be required for any site where in-place ground modification will take place. The Director of Construction and Land Use may waive the requirement for a permit when the Director determines the in-place ground modification will be insignificant in amount or type.
6. Temporary Stockpiles. A grading permit or approval shall be required for temporary stockpiles which meet the thresholds of Subsections A-1, A-2 and A-4 above and are not located on sites for which a valid grading permit or grading approval has been issued.
B. Grading Approvals Required.
1. A grading approval shall be required for grading activities located on any site where a concurrent building permit is requested except that no approval is required for grading activities where the combined volume is less than the amounts specified for each site in Subsection A above.
2. Where a grading approval is required and issued as a component of a building permit, no separate grading permit shall be required. This provision shall apply to grading which is incidental to construction, the temporary stockpiling of earth materials during construction and grading needed for other site improvements. Where there will be construction or placement of a building within the lifetime of the permit, the grading approval shall be a component of the building permit.
C. Exemptions. The following grading activities shall be exempt from a grading permit, but must still comply with the provisions of this Subtitle:
1. Activity conducted under a street use permit which specifically authorizes the grading work to be performed;
2. Excavations and filling of cemetery graves;
3. Exploratory excavations which comply with the requirements of Section 22.804.050;
4. Operation of sewage treatment plant sludge settling ponds;
5. Operation of surface mines for the extraction of mineral and earth materials subject to the regulations and under a permit of the State of Washington;
6. Stockpiling and handling of earth material when the earth material is consumed or produced in a process which is the principal use of the site and which complies with the requirements of Section 22.804.050;
7. Maintenance or reconstruction of active tracks and yards of a railroad in interstate commerce within its existing right-of-way;
8. Maintenance or reconstruction of the facilities of parks and playgrounds including work required for the protection, repair, replacement or reconstruction of any existing paths, trails, sidewalks, public improvement or public or private utility, and the stockpiling of material for maintenance activities;
9. Excavation and filling of post holes;
10.On-site work required for construction, repair, repaving, replacement or reconstruction of an existing road, street or utility installation in a public right-of-way;
11. Trenching and backfilling for the installation, reconstruction or repair of utilities on property other than a public right-of-way;
12.Grading done in performance of work authorized by the City for public works projects (See also Section 22.800.070);
13.Public works and other publicly funded activities on property owned by public entities, when discharges from the property do not enter the public drainage control system or the public combined sewer system, and the project will not undercut or otherwise endanger adjacent property, and the Director has waived the permit requirements by interagency agreement;
14.Underground storage tank removal and replacement that is subject to regulation by a state or federal agency, except where excavation meets the criteria of Section 22.804.030 A (3), Grading Near Public Places.
D. Compliance Required for All Grading. Any grading activity, whether or not it requires a grading permit or approval, shall comply with the provisions of this Subtitle.
22.804.040 GRADING PERMIT OR APPROVAL: APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS
A. General. Application for a grading permit or approval shall be made to the Director of Construction and Land Use by the owner of the property to be graded. All applications shall contain the submittal information detailed in this Section.
B. Plans Required.
1. Projects Requiring Plans. The information listed in Subsection B2 below shall be provided on plans submitted with each application for a grading permit or approval. However, when the only grading included in an application is for an approved drainage control plan or is for excavation and replacement of earth material within an area four feet or less from the footing lines of a building or structure, the only information required is the location of temporary stockpiles.
2. Information to Be Submitted on Plans. The following information shall be submitted with applications for projects requiring plans.
a. A general vicinity map and legal description of the site;
b. A plot plan showing: location of existing buildings and structures, easements, utilities and other surface and above-ground improvements on the property where the work is to be performed; the approximate location of all buildings, structures and other improvements on adjacent land; the location of existing and planned temporary and permanent drainage control facilities, existing and proposed drainage discharge points, watercourses, drainage patterns, environmentally critical areas, and areas of standing water; the approximate location, type and size of trees and other vegetation on the site; designation of trees and vegetation to be removed, and the minimum distance between tree trunks and the nearest excavation and/or fill; and areas where equipment traffic will be permitted and excluded;
c. The latest available topographic map, including cross-sections of the site and adjacent property, showing the present and proposed contours of the land at not more than two-foot contour intervals, and the location and amount of all temporary stockpiles and excavations. On steeper sites, the Director of Construction and Land Use may authorize plans to show a contour interval greater than two feet but in no case more than a five-foot interval. The information relating to adjacent properties may be approximated;
d. A drainage control plan as set forth in Section 22.802.015, except when the grading is limited to the area providing for vehicular and pedestrian access to the building or to the temporary stockpiling of excavated material.
3. Number Required. A minimum of three sets of plans shall be submitted with each application for a grading permit. The number of plan sets required for grading approval applications shall be the same as required for the specific permit application. Additional sets may be required by the Director.
4. Clarity of Plans. Plans shall be drawn to a clearly indicated and commonly accepted scale upon substantial paper such as blueprint quality or standard drafting paper. Tissue paper, posterboard or cardboard will not be accepted. The plans shall be of microfilm quality and limited to a minimum size of 18 inches by 18 inches and a maximum size of 41 inches by 54 inches.
5. Preparation by Civil Engineer. The grading plans shall be prepared by, or under the direction of, a licensed civil engineer for all applications where the total amount of materials graded is more than 2,500 cubic yards. The Director of Construction and Land Use may require that grading plans for lesser quantities be prepared by or under the direction of a licensed civil engineer for sites such as, but not limited to, those in geologic hazard zones and areas with known erosion problems.
6. Stamping by Geotechnical/Civil Engineer. When required by the Director of Construction and Land Use in accordance with the provisions of this Subtitle, the grading plans shall be reviewed and stamped by the geotechnical/civil engineer who performed the site analysis and report to indicate that the plans conform to the conclusions and recommendations of the report.
C. Information Required.
1. Required with Application. The following information shall be submitted with grading plans at the time of application:
a. The disposal site for any excavated materials to be removed from the site. If the disposal site is located within the City limits and is not an approved disposal site, an application for a grading permit for the disposal site shall be submitted at the same time as the application for grading permit or approval at the excavation site. In the event that the applicant is unable to specify the disposal site at the time of application, the applicant shall request, in writing, a postponement of the identification of the disposal site. The request shall include a commitment that the applicant will specify a disposal site acceptable to the Director of Construction and Land Use prior to any excavation;
b. Where placement of a fill is proposed, a description of the composition of fill material and its structural qualities;
c. Where any portion of the grading will encroach on an adjacent property, proof of ownership and an easement or authorization in accordance with Section 22.804.100;
d. The immediate and long-term intended use of the property;
e. Identification of past industrial or manufacturing uses or hazardous materials treatment, disposal or storage that have occurred on the site;
f. Where a site is located in an area identified pursuant to Section 22.800.050, a copy of all applicable permit or approval applications, and/or permits and approvals from the appropriate regulatory agencies;
g. When required by Section 22.802.015, an erosion/sediment control plan;
h. Where the site is located in an area of potential landslide, a draft covenant complying with the requirements of Section 22.808.130.
2. Required after Initial Screening. The Director of Construction and Land Use may require the following information after the initial screening of a grading application:
a. A description of methods to be used to minimize sediment or other pollution from leaving the site during and after construction and to protect cleared areas and cut and fill slopes from erosion;
b. A time schedule of operations, including but not limited to, implementation of the requirements of 22.802.015, clearing, minimization of grading of unprotected soil surfaces, restoration of topsoil and vegetative cover, and construction of improvements;
c. A survey of boundaries and topography of the site and the grades of adjacent public rights-of-way prepared by a surveyor licensed by the State of Washington;
d. A soils analysis complying with the following:
(1) When Required. A soils analysis and report may be required when an application for a grading permit or approval is made for property located:
(A) In areas described in Section 22.800.050;
(B) In areas where there is a potential for landslide;
(C) In areas where grading may result in instability of the site or adjoining property;
(D) In areas where soils may not be suitable for the use intended;
(E) In areas where the Director determines pollutants are likely to be present; or
(F) In any area where the Director determines that the information which would be supplied by a soils analysis and report is necessary for the review of the application.
(2) Contents. The soils analysis and report shall include:
(A) Data regarding the nature, distribution and strength of existing soils and subsurface conditions;
(B) History of the site including history of landslides, known excavations and fills, and location of utilities;
(C) Where appropriate as indicated by information provided under Subsection B above, analytical testing of soils to determine the concentration of pollutants;
(D) Conclusions and recommendations for clearing the site, of the adequacy of the site for proposed immediate and long-term intended use, foundation, retaining and structural designs, grading methods, and construction and post-construction monitoring; and
(E) Other information as determined necessary by the Director to adequately evaluate compliance with the requirements of this Subtitle and accomplishment of its purposes, such as an assessment of contamination when past industrial or chemical use have been present on the site.
(3) Preparation. The soils analysis and report shall be prepared by an experienced geotechnical/civil engineer or other equally qualified person approved by the Director. The Director may require that the plans and specifications be stamped and signed by the geotechnical/civil engineer to indicate that the grading and proposed structure comply with the conclusions and recommendations of the reports.
(4) Minimal Risk. In geologic hazard areas as identified in SMC Chapter 25.09, Regulations for Environmentally Critical Areas, the geotechnical/civil engineer who prepared the soils analysis and report may be required to submit a letter stating that the plans and specifications conform to the recommendations of the soils analysis and report. The letter shall also state that, so long as conditions stated in the soils report are satisfied, areas disturbed by construction will be stabilized, the risk of damage to the proposed development or to adjacent properties from soil instability will be minimal, and the proposed grading and development will not increase the potential for soil movement.
e. Site Analysis. For properties located in any of the areas identified in Subsection d, an analysis and report of the following site factors. The analysis and report shall be prepared by a licensed civil engineer or other person approved by the Director.
(1) A description of the hydrology of the site and the drainage basin in which the development is located.
(2) The effect of grading upon surrounding properties, watercourses and the drainage basin, including impacts on water quality and fish habitat when a stream, lake or other body of water is affected. Where applicable, the analysis specified in 22.802.015D(5) may also be required.
f. A letter in a form acceptable to the Director from the owner of the site stating that the owner understands and accepts the risk of developing in an area with potentially unstable soils and that the owner will advise, in writing, any prospective purchasers of the site, structures or portions of a structure about the landslide potential of the site.
g. The Director may require additional information pertaining to the specific site and any other relevant information needed in order to assess potential hazards associated with the site and to determine whether a grading permit or approval should be issued.
22.804.05 GRADING REQUIREMENTS
A. Earth Movement. Grading shall not create or increase the likelihood of earth movement, including but not limited to, landslides, accelerated soil creep, settlement and subsidence, and hazards associated with strong ground motion and soil liquefaction of the site to be graded and adjoining properties.
B. Natural Features. Each grading proposal shall contain provisions for the preservation of drainage patterns and watercourses; for reasonable preservation of natural land and water features and other indigenous natural features of the site; and replacement, where necessary, of vegetation or other means to control runoff.
C. Watercourses. Grading shall not create or contribute to flooding, erosion, or increased turbidity, siltation or other forms of pollution in a watercourse, and shall comply with the requirements of Section 22.802.015.
D. Pollution Control. Grading shall be performed, and the completed work shall be in accordance with all applicable environmental laws, rules and regulations, and with the requirements of Section 22.802.015.
E. Conformance with Plans. Grading shall be performed in accordance with the plans approved by the Director of Construction and Land Use.
F. Slopes. Final graded slopes shall be no steeper than is safe for the intended use, and shall in no case be steeper than two horizontal to one vertical. For requirements for temporary slopes see Sections 22.804.050M and 22.804.100.
G. Surface Preparation. The ground surface shall be prepared to receive fill by removing vegetation, non-approved materials, topsoil and other unsuitable materials, including but not limited to mud, peat and other materials with insufficient strength to satisfy the design as determined by the Director.
H. Fills. Fills shall be located so that the base edge of the fill is located more than 12 feet horizontally from the top edge of an existing slope or a planned cut slope. A sloping fill shall not be placed on top of slopes which are steeper than one and one-half horizontal to one vertical.
I. Requirements For Fill Material. Materials used in fills shall comply with the following requirements:
1. Material used in filling shall be appropriate to the site and the intended use of that portion of the site.
2. Fill shall be composed of earth materials. Any rock or other similar irreducible material used in a fill shall be of a maximum diameter of 12 inches and shall compose not more than 20% of the total fill material.
3. Topsoil shall not be used as a fill material except that the upper 12 inches of a fill site may be covered with topsoil.
4. No frozen or thawing material shall be used in a fill.
5. No solid waste, hazardous waste or hazardous material may be used in a fill.
6. No organic material shall be used in a fill unless approved by the Director.
7. As necessary, the Director shall specify other characteristics of the fill material used, the degree of compaction, moisture content and the method of placement appropriate to the site and the intended use of that portion of the site and the requirements for water retention, drainage control and erosion control.
J. Terraces. The Director may require steps and terraces sufficient to control surface drainage and deposit of debris. Suitable access to the terraces shall be provided to permit proper cleaning and maintenance.
K. Subsurface Drainage. Cut and fill slopes shall be provided with subsurface drainage when needed to maintain slope stability.
L. Access. When an adjoining site relies on the site to be graded for pedestrian or vehicular access, the Director may require reasonable access to be maintained to the adjoining site.
M. Stockpiling of Earth Materials.
1. General. Stockpiling of any kind shall not adversely affect the lateral support or significantly increase the stresses in or pressure upon any adjacent or contiguous property. Stockpiling shall comply with the erosion control requirements for temporarily exposed soils set forth in Section 22.802.015 and rules promulgated under that Section.
2. Temporary Stockpiling During Construction or Grading. Temporary stockpiles of earth materials during construction or grading shall not exceed ten feet in height. Stockpiles shall have slopes no greater than one horizontal to one vertical.
3. Temporary Stockpiling During Dredging. Temporary stockpiles of earth materials excavated during dredging or maintenance dredging shall be subject to the approval of the Director of Construction and Land Use.
4. Stockpiling and Handling of Earth Materials in Processing. Earth materials consumed or produced in a process may be stockpiled and handled on a site provided the process is the principal use of the site.
5. Removal. Temporary stockpiles shall be removed prior to final inspection for a grading permit where no building permit is issued on the same site. Where grading is approved as a component of a building permit, temporary stockpiles shall be removed prior to issuance of a Final Certificate of Occupancy or approval for occupancy after a final inspection.
N. Exploratory Excavations. Exploratory excavations shall be under the direction of a licensed civil engineer or experienced geotechnical/civil engineer. No stockpiles of materials shall remain after completion of the exploratory activities. The grading shall comply with other requirements that may be established by the Director.
22.804.100 PROTECTION OF ADJOINING PROPERTY
A. General. The provisions of this Section shall apply to permanent and temporary protection of, and encroachment on, adjoining property except as specifically limited. Permanent encroachment of grading on adjoining property shall require a separate permit under Section 22.804.030 for the adjoining property.
B. Maximum Slopes. When the existing grade of a site is altered by filling, excavating, dredging or moving of earth materials, the owner shall protect all adjoining property during construction from encroachment or collapse by sloping the sides of the temporary grading at a slope which is safe and not more than one horizontal to one vertical. In addition, adjoining property shall be protected from encroachment or collapse by sloping the sides of the permanent grading at a slope not greater than two horizontal to one vertical. The Director may approve temporary or permanent slopes of greater steepness based on a design by an experienced geotechnical/civil engineer. In areas of known unsuitable soils, the Director may require slopes of lesser steepness to assure protection of adjoining property.
1. All grading shall occur entirely within the site unless encroachment on adjoining property is allowed by the Director of Construction and Land Use. Encroachment may be permitted where the applicant provides one of the following:
a. Proof of ownership; or
b. An easement, granted by the fee owner of the encroached-upon property, which authorizes the encroachment on the adjoining property; or
c. A letter signed by the owner of the adjoining property, which authorizes such temporary encroachments during construction on the adjoining property as temporary change of grade, temporary stockpiling or shoring tiebacks.
2. Where an application for grading permit or approval includes an easement authorizing permanent encroachment on adjoining property, the easement instrument shall be provided to the Director by the applicant prior to issuance of any grading permit or approval. The instrument shall specify the purpose for granting the encroachment. The instrument shall be recorded with the King County Department of Records and Elections.
3. Any instrument authorizing temporary encroachment may terminate only after the grading work is completed in accordance with Section 22.804.200.
D. Setbacks. The tops and toes of graded slopes shall be set back from property boundaries and structures as far as is necessary for safety and foundation support and to prevent damage resulting from drainage or other water runoff, erosion or excessive loading.
E. Screening. The Director shall require view-obscuring planting or ground cover on sites with cut or fill slopes more than four feet in height adjacent to lots zoned for or developed with residential uses.
22.804.110 EROSION CONTROL
A. Methods. Grading operations shall comply with the requirements set forth in Section 22.802.015, Subsections C (3) and D2, D3, D4 and D6 and rules promulgated thereunder. Devices or procedures for erosion control shall be initiated or installed prior to commencing grading operations when technically feasible, and in any case as soon thereafter as is technically feasible, and shall be maintained to function at design capacity.
B. Exposure. Grading operations shall be conducted so as to expose the smallest practical area of soil to erosion for the least possible time. Grading operations shall comply with requirements for exposed soils, including best management practices, promulgated pursuant to Section 22.802.015.
22.804.120 BOUNDARY LOCATION
The Director may also require sufficient staking of property lines, top and toe of the fill and all areas where equipment traffic is to be excluded. Stakes shall be at least two-inch by two-inch posts or one-half-inch pipes which are readily visible and durable. Stakes shall be maintained and visible during grading operations to enable the Director to determine property lines, the top and toe of the fill and excluded areas. A survey prepared by a land surveyor licensed by the State of Washington may be required.
The Director may, where unauthorized material has been deposited during grading operations at a permitted grading site, require fencing and a lockable gate of suitable materials to control access to the grading site until all grading activity is complete, or until a Certificate of Occupancy is issued, whichever occurs last. Failure of the Director to require a fence shall not relieve the owner of liability arising out of access to and use of the site.
22.804.140 GRADING APPLICATION: REFERRAL AND CONSULTATION