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1. It shall be unlawful to violate the provisions of VMC Chapter 20.740. Any violation of this chapter shall constitute a public nuisance.
2. VMC Title 22 shall provide the enforcement provisions for VMC Chapter 20.740. VMC Title 22 may impose any of the remedies, requirements or corrective actions contained in this chapter. In lieu of or in addition to the enforcement provisions contained in VMC Title 22, the city may also seek injunctive or other relief from any court of competent jurisdiction.
3. The city shall deposit all monetary penalties collected pursuant to VMC Title 22 into the Critical Areas Restoration Fund. Accrued monies in the Critical Areas Restoration Fund shall be used to protect and restore critical areas within the City of Vancouver.
B. Requirement for Restoration Plan. In the event the city initiates enforcement action under VMC Title 22 or files a complaint in court, the city may require a restoration plan consistent with the requirements of this chapter. Such a plan shall be prepared by a qualified professional using the best available science and shall describe how the actions proposed meet the minimum requirements described in VMC 20.740.090(C). The planning official shall, at the violator’s expense, seek expert advice in determining whether the plan restores the affected area to its pre-existing condition or, where that is not possible, restores the functions of the affected area. Inadequate plans shall be returned to the applicant or violator for revision and re-submittal.
C. Minimum Performance Standards for Restoration.
1. For alterations to frequently flooded areas, wetlands, and fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas, the following minimum performance standards shall be met for the restoration of a critical area, provided that if the violator can demonstrate that greater functional and habitat values can be obtained, these standards may be modified:
a. The structure and functions of the critical area or buffer prior to violation shall be restored, including water quality and habitat functions;
b. The soil types and configuration prior to violation shall be replicated;
c. The critical area and buffers shall be replanted with native vegetation (a list of native species is available from the Planning Official). If the critical area or buffer is on a site that meets the criteria of VMC 20.740.030(C)(1)(f)(i), the vegetation for replanting must be not only native but also fire-resistant. A list of native, fire-resistant species is available from the Planning Official; and
d. Information demonstrating compliance with the requirements in VMC 20.740.050(F) Mitigation Plan Requirements shall be submitted to the planning official.
2. For alterations to frequently flooded and geologic hazard areas, the following minimum performance standards shall be met for the restoration of a critical area or buffer, provided that, if the violator can demonstrate that greater safety can be obtained, these standards may be modified:
a. The hazard shall be reduced to a level equal to, or less than, the pre-violation hazard;
b. The risk of personal injury resulting from the alteration shall be eliminated or minimized;
c. Drainage patterns shall be restored to those existing before the alteration; and
d. The hazard area and buffers shall be replanted consistent with pre-violation conditions with native vegetation sufficient to minimize the hazard. If the critical area or buffer is on a site that meets the criteria of VMC 20.740.030(C)(1)(f)(i), the vegetation for replanting must be not only native but also fire-resistant. A list of native, fire-resistant species is available from the Planning Official.
D. Site Investigations. The planning official is authorized to make site inspections and take such actions as are necessary to enforce this chapter. As a condition of the restoration plan, the applicant shall grant reasonable access to the property.
E. Noncompliance in Frequently Flooded Areas. No structure or land shall hereafter be constructed, located, extended, converted, or altered without full compliance with the terms of this chapter and other applicable regulations. Violations of the provisions of this chapter by failure to comply with any of its requirements (including violations of conditions and safeguards established in connection with conditions) shall constitute a misdemeanor. Any person who violates this chapter or fails to comply with any of its requirements shall upon conviction be subject to enforcement under subsection A of this section. Nothing herein contained shall prevent the city of Vancouver from taking such other lawful action as is necessary to prevent or remedy any violation. (Ord. M-4325 § 3, 2020; Ord. M-3844 § 2, 2007; Ord. M-3692 § 2, 2005)