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(All islands, Subreach [SR] 1d)

(1) Purpose. The purpose of the natural shoreline designation is to protect those shoreline areas that are relatively free of human influence or that include intact or minimally degraded shoreline ecological functions less tolerant of human use. These systems require that only very low-intensity uses be allowed in order to maintain the ecological functions and ecosystem-wide processes. Consistent with the policies of the designation, restoration of degraded shorelines within this environment is appropriate.

(2) Designation Criteria. The following criteria should be considered in assigning a natural environment designation:

(a) The shoreline ecological functions are substantially intact and have a high opportunity for preservation and low opportunity for restoration;

(b) The shoreline is generally in public or conservancy ownership or under covenant, easement, or a conservation tax program;

(c) The shoreline contains little or no development or is planned for development that would have minimal adverse impacts to ecological functions or risk to human safety;

(d) The shoreline has high potential for low-impact, passive, or public recreation; and

(e) The shoreline is considered to represent ecosystems and geologic types that have high scientific and educational value.

(3) Management Policies. In addition to other applicable policies and regulations, the following management policies shall apply:

(a) Any use beyond existing uses that would substantially degrade shoreline ecological functions or natural character of the shoreline area should not be allowed;

(b) Scientific, historic, cultural, educational research, and low-impact, passive recreational uses are allowed in addition to existing uses, while meeting no net loss of ecological function requirements;

(c) Single-family residential development may be allowed as a conditional use if the density and intensity of such use is limited as necessary to protect ecological functions and is consistent with the purpose of the environment;

(d) Vegetation should remain undisturbed except for removal of noxious vegetation and invasive species through ongoing management activities or as part of a development proposal. Proposed subdivision or lot line adjustments, new development, or significant vegetation removal that would reduce the capability of vegetation to perform normal ecological functions should not be allowed;

(e) Uses that would deplete physical or biological resources or impair views to or from the shoreline over time should be prohibited;

(f) Only physical alterations that serve to support an existing use, protect a significant or unique physical, biological, or visual shoreline feature that might otherwise be degraded or destroyed, or those alterations that are the minimum necessary to support a permitted use should be allowed; and

(g) Only the following types of signs should be considered for location in the shorelines: interpretive, directional, navigational, regulatory, and public. [Ord. 4314 § 2, 2016; Code 1970 § 29.01.120.]