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The following activities are exempt from the tree, vegetation, and soil plan and tree removal permit requirements, unless located within a critical area or buffer. In emergencies only, shall any heritage tree be removed without first obtaining a tree removal permit pursuant to this Chapter.

A. Commercial nurseries or tree farms. Removal of trees that are being grown to be sold as Christmas or landscape trees.

B. Emergencies. Removal of trees necessary to protect public safety or private or public property from imminent danger, unless otherwise determined by the Planning Official.

C. Harvesting with a Class II or III forest practices permit. Removal of trees as allowed with a Class II or III forest practices permit issued by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.

D. Residential parcels. Removal of trees on lots which: 1) have an existing single family residence, 2) are under one acre in size, and 3) which cannot be further divided in accordance with the parcel’s underlying zoning district and Chapter 20.320 VMC, governing short subdivisions and subdivisions, respectively. Such exemption shall not apply to lots subject to prior approved tree, vegetation, and soil plan.

E. Undeveloped property. Removal of up to a total of six trees from an undeveloped parcel within any consecutive 36-month period, if the parcel is intended to remain undeveloped for a period of six years. Such intent shall be recorded in a covenant. A copy of the covenant shall be provided to the Planning Official. Removal of trees on parcels of less than one acre in size shall be limited in proportion to six trees per acre (i.e., on a half acre parcel can remove 3 trees).

F. Minor development. A tree, vegetation, and soil plan is not required for any site disturbance less than 500 square feet and where no tree will be removed or adjacent tree(s) impacted. (Ord. M-4179 § 80, 10/17/2016; Ord. M-3847 § 9, 11/19/2007; Ord. M-3701 § 21, 05/02/2005; Ord. M-3643, 01/26/2004)