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(1) Applicants required to provide shoreline public access shall provide physical or visual access, consistent with the City of Pasco’s public access plan and other agencies’ management plans when applicable, unless specifically exempted in this section. Examples of physical and visual access are listed below:

(a) Visual Access. Visual public access may consist of view corridors, viewpoints, or other means of visual approach to public waters.

(b) Physical Access. Physical public access may consist of a dedication of land or easement and a physical improvement in the form of a walkway, trail, bikeway, park, boat or canoe and kayak launching ramp, dock area, view platform, or other area serving as a means of physical approach to public waters.

(2) Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, new uses shall provide for safe and convenient public access to and along the shoreline where any of the following conditions are present:

(a) The development is proposed by a public entity or on public lands;

(b) The nature of the proposed use, activity, or development will likely result in an increased demand for public access to the shoreline;

(c) The proposed use, activity, or development is not a water-oriented or other preferred shoreline use, activity, or development under the SMA, such as a nonwater-oriented commercial or recreational use;

(d) The proposed use, activity, or development may block or discourage the use of customary and established public access paths, walkways, trails, or corridors;

(e) The proposed use, activity, or development will interfere with the public use, activity, and enjoyment of shoreline areas or water bodies subject to the public trust doctrine;

(f) The proposed use, activity, or development includes key areas for public access recommended in the City’s public access plan and/or shoreline restoration plan; or

(g) The proposed activity is a publicly financed shoreline erosion-control measure (when feasible).

(3) An applicant shall not be required to provide public access where one or more of the following conditions apply; provided, that such exceptions shall not be used to prevent implementing the City’s public access plan and other agencies’ management plans. In determining the infeasibility, undesirability, or incompatibility of public access in a given situation, the City shall consider alternative methods of providing public access, such as off-site improvements, viewing platforms, separation of uses through site planning and design, and restricting hours of public access:

(a) The proposed use, activity, or development only involves the construction of four or fewer single-family or multifamily dwellings;

(b) The proposed use is within an area where public access is not proposed in the public access plan, and the use will not increase public access demand or reduce public access;

(c) The proposed use is an agricultural activity;

(d) The nature of the use, activity, or development or the characteristics of the site make public access requirements inappropriate due to health, safety (including consistency with Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design [CPTED] principles, where applicable), or environmental hazards; the proponent shall carry the burden of demonstrating by substantial evidence the existence of unavoidable or unmitigable threats or hazards to public health, safety, or the environment that would be created or exacerbated by public access upon the site;

(e) An existing, new, or expanded road or utility crossing through shoreline jurisdiction shall not create the need for public access if the development being accessed or served by the road or utility is located outside of shoreline jurisdiction;

(f) The proposed use, activity, or development has security requirements that are not feasible to address through the application of alternative design features for public access, such as off-site improvements, viewing platforms, and separation of uses through site planning and design;

(g) The economic cost of providing for public access at the site is unreasonably disproportionate to the total long-term economic value of the proposed use, activity, or development;

(h) Safe and convenient public access already exists in the general vicinity, and/or the public access plan shows adequate public access at the property;

(i) Public access has reasonable potential to threaten or harm the natural functions and native characteristics of the shoreline and/or is deemed detrimental to threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act; and

(j) The site is within or part of an overall development, a binding site plan, or a planned unit development, which has previously provided public access adequate to serve the project in full build-out through other application processes.

(4) Public access shall be located and designed to respect private property rights, be compatible with the shoreline environment, protect ecological functions and processes, protect aesthetic values of shoreline, and provide for public safety (including consistency with CPTED principles, where applicable).

(5) For any development where public access is not required, shared community access may be allowed if there is no existing or planned public access along the shoreline identified in the City and other agencies’ plan. Where provided, community access shall be subject to all applicable development standards of this section. Shared community access is not required when any of the conditions under subsection (3) of this section applies.

(6) General Performance Standards.

(a) Uses, activities, and developments shall not interfere with the regular and established public use.

(b) Shoreline substantial development or conditional uses shall minimize the impact on views of shoreline water bodies from public land or substantial numbers of residences.

(c) Proponents shall include within their shoreline applications an evaluation of a proposed use, activity, or development’s likely adverse impact on current public access and future demands for access to the site. Such evaluation shall consider potential alternatives and mitigation measures to further the policies of this SMP and the provisions of this section.

(d) Public access easements, trails, walkways, corridors, and other facilities may encroach upon any buffers or setbacks required in Chapter 29.25 PMC, Critical Areas, or under other provisions of this SMP; provided, that such encroachment does not conflict with other policies and regulations of this SMP, and no net loss of ecological function can be achieved. Any encroachment into a buffer or setback must be as close to the landward edge of the buffer as possible.

(e) Public access facilities shall accommodate persons with disabilities, unless determined infeasible by the Shoreline Administrator.

(7) Trails and Levees.

(a) Existing improved and primitive public trails shall be maintained and enhanced.

(b) Shoreline in private ownership should provide public access when feasible as follows:

(i) Easement for public access; and

(ii) Physical or visual public access when feasible and when mentioned in the City’s public access plan, or other agencies’ management plan.

(c) Where public access is to be provided by dedication of public access easements along the OHWM, the minimum width of such easements shall be 20 feet.

(d) The total width of trail, including shoulders, shall be 20 feet maximum or as required by Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations.

(e) Pervious pavings are encouraged for all trails and are required for trail shoulders.

(f) Trails should make use of an existing constructed grade, such as those formed by an abandoned rail grade, road, or utility when feasible.

(g) Trails shall be located, constructed, and maintained so as to avoid, to the maximum extent possible, removal and other impacts to perennial native vegetation consistent with a habitat management plan.

(h) Trails on private properties and not open for public use shall be up to five feet wide.

(8) Rights-of-Way, Easements, and Streets for Public Access.

(a) The City shall maintain public rights-of-way or easements as a means of retaining public access on the shoreline. Proposed use, activity, or developments shall maintain public access provided by public street ends, public utilities, and rights-of-way.

(b) The public easements required pursuant to this section, for the purpose of providing access across or through the site to the OHWM, shall be maintained by the property owner to provide for reasonable and safe public access to the OHWM.

(9) Where public access routes terminate, connections should be made with the nearest public street unless determined by the Shoreline Administrator to be infeasible. Public access facilities required for an approved or permitted use, activity, or development shall be completed prior to occupancy and use of the site or operation of the activity. Public access shall make adequate provisions, such as screening, buffer strips, fences, and signs, to prevent trespass upon adjacent properties and to protect the value and enjoyment of adjacent or nearby private properties and natural areas.

(10) Off-site public access may be permitted by the City where it results in an equal or greater public benefit than on-site public access, or when on-site limitations of security, environment, compatibility, or feasibility are present. Off-site public access may include, but is not limited to, adequate access on public lands in proximity to the site, opportunity to increase public lands and access with adjoining or proximate public area, enhancing a City-designated public property (e.g., existing public recreation site, existing public access, road abutting a body of water, or similar) in accordance with City standards, or other related measures.

(11) Signage.

(a) Signage to be approved by the Shoreline Administrator shall be conspicuously installed along public access easements, trails, walkways, corridors, and other facilities to indicate the public’s right of use and the hours of operation. Public access and interpretive displays may be provided for publicly funded restoration projects where significant ecological impacts are addressed. The proponent shall bear the responsibility for establishing and maintaining signs.

(b) The Shoreline Administrator may require the proponent to post signage restricting or controlling the public’s access to specific shoreline areas. The proponent shall bear the responsibility for establishing and maintaining such signage. [Ord. 4314 § 2, 2016; Code 1970 § 29.01.260.]