Single-Family Dwelling Exception Application

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Remove a Six-Year Development Moratorium


A six-year development moratorium is placed by Pierce County on the proposed harvest area for forest practices (logging) permits issued by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR). A development moratorium prohibits Pierce County from accepting development permit applications (e.g., building, site development, well or septic permits) on the land subject to the moratorium. The development moratorium lasts for a period of six years, or until a request to remove the moratorium is approved by the County, using the Single-Family Dwelling Exception application review process.
Single-Family Dwelling Exception
Pierce County Code, Title 18H-Forest Practices, provides one path to removing a six-year development moratorium. A Single-Family Dwelling Exception (SFDE) is used to allow development of a single-family residence, accessory structure, driveway, well or spetic system on an undivided area up to two acres in size.

An SFDE application submitted during the first three years of the six-year development moratorium (during the three-year life of a DNR forest practices permit) will be reviewed to determine if:
  1. Any Pierce County Critical Areas or Critical Area buffers (wetlands, wetland buffers, stream buffers, or active erosion/landslide hazard areas) were logged; and
  2. That a minimum of 190 seedlings per acre have been planted and survived a growing season, unless reforestation was not required by the DNR forest practices permit.
A determination of compliance or non-compliance will be made following submittal of the SFDE application. In the event a determination of non-compliance is made the SFDE application will be disapproved and the applicant will be required to wait until a minimum of three years have elapsed from the effective date of the associated DNR forest practices permit before a new SFDE application may be submitted.

A SFDE application submitted during the last three years of the six-year development moratorium (after the three-year life of a DNR forest practices permit) will be reviewed to determine if:
  1. Any Pierce County regulated Critical Areas or Critical Area buffers (wetlands, wetland buffers, stream buffers, or active erosion/landslide hazard areas) were logged; and
  2. That a minimum of 190 seedlings per acre have been planted and survived a growing season, unless reforestation was not required by the DNR forest practices permit.

Single-Family Dwelling Exception


A landowner may request a Single-Family Dwelling Exception to lift the development moratorium on an undivided area up to two acres in size for the purpose of constructing a single-family residence and associated accessory structures.
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