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(s) identified in 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., subdivision, building, site development, well or septic permits). 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 Application
Pierce County Code, Title 18H-Forest Practices, provides one path to removing a six-year development moratorium—the Single-Family Dwelling Exception (SFDE). An approved SFDE application allows development of a single-family residence, accessory structures, driveway, well and septic system on an undivided area up to two acres in size.

A 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 Areas 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 Areas 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 Application


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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