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By Lorilyn C. Lirio

Olympia’s site plan review board approved a “reasonable use exception” for the construction of a single-family residence in the landslide and creek hazard buffer zone at 1203 Bowman Avenue NW on Wednesday October 26.

Olympia Associate Planner Jackson Ewing said the SCJ Alliance is proposing to build a single-family residence on a lot that is congested with watercourse buffers and affected by landslide hazard buffers.

Ewing explained that the “reasonable use exception” is the city’s process for developing a parcel with codes and regulations. Environmental regulations would restrict development on the plot.

“But the audition examiner will be the determining factor in the project,” Ewing clarified.

“The applicant has worked on mitigation sequencing to try to avoid impact as best as possible, mitigate impacts and propose minimal economic use of the parcel,” Ewing said.

The committee recommended approval to the audition reviewer based on the candidate’s work.

The recommendation includes terms and conditions that are forwarded to the audition reviewer, who will adjudicate on the project.

Ewing said the hearing reviewer can add or remove conditions as he sees fit.

Some of the conditions relate to critical areas:

  • All mitigation measures described in the watercourse mitigation plan, as well as the geotechnical report, must be followed during construction and after construction
  • Split rail fencing is required along the designated mitigation zone. Signage for critical areas should be placed every 50 feet along the fence. A required fence must be indicated on the building plans submitted for the building permit.
  • The owner must file a Critical Area Notice with the Thurston County Auditor. The city must approve this notice to register the critical areas affecting the parcel and note it on the title.
  • A mitigation monitoring report prepared by a qualified biologist will be required annually for a period of five years. The monitoring report should document the milestones, successes, issues and contingencies of the mitigation project.
  • There will be a development disclaimer in accordance with CAM 18.32.645. The pledge waives the right of the owners to assert any claim against the city for any loss or damage related to the development adjacent to a geologically hazardous area.