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Farm Management Plans

Farm Management Plans

Document Code No.: PUT 8-21 (PR)
Department/Issuing Agency: Department of Natural Resources and Department of Development and Environmental Services
Effective Date: February 24, 2005
Approved: /s/ Pam Bissonnette
Type of Action: New

Signed document (PDF, 12.0 MB)

1.0 SUBJECT TITLE: Farm Management Plans


2.1 The purpose of this administrative rule is to implement K.C.C. chapters 21A.24 (Critical Areas), 16.82 (Clearing and Grading), and 9.04 (Stormwater Management), by describing how landowners may obtain and use King Conservation District (KCD) approved Farm Management Plans to meet compliance as allowed by these codes. The intent is to protect critical areas by allowing agricultural landowners to undertake a specified set of activities using the proven standards, best management practices and planning systems developed by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The goal of the federally designed NRCS system is parallel to that of the Critical Areas Ordinance: to sustain the five resource systems on any property - soil, water, air, plant and animal - while also providing viability for agricultural operations. These practices are tailored to northwest Washington and applied by the local staff at the NRCS and KCD to meet the site characteristics and needs of the landowner. The NRCS practices include those that protect wetlands, wildlife and aquatic areas; those that enhance these resources; and those that manage drainage, groundwater and soils for sustainability, based on site slope, soils, precipitation and irrigation.


3.1 Rural landowners who are:

1. predominantly engaged in the practice of agriculture as determined through discussions between the landowner and staff of the King Conservation District or King County and including a site visit if needed, or

2. developing a property for multiple use that includes a Farm Management Component of a Rural Stewardship Plan (PUT- 8-20 PR)

3.2 Applicants for PBRS current use taxation farm and agricultural conservation land category.

3.3 Department of Development and Environmental Services, or its successor.

900 Oakesdale Avenue SW
Renton, WA 98055-1219

3.4 Water and Land Resources Division, or its successor.

201 South Jackson Street, Suite 600
Seattle, WA 98104

3.5 King Conservation District

935 Powell Avenue SW
Renton, WA 98055


4.1. R.C.W. 36.70A - Growth Management - Planning by selected counties and cities

4.2. R.C.W. 90.64 - Dairy Nutrient Management

4.3. W.A.C. 365.190 - Minimum guidelines to classify forest, mineral lands and critical areas

4.4. W.A.C. 365.195 - Growth management - Procedural criteria for adopting comprehensive plans and development regulations

4.5. K.C.C. 21A.24 - Critical Areas

4.6. K.C.C. 16.82 - Clearing and Grading

4.7. K.C.C. 2.98 - Rules of County Agencies

4.8. K.C.C. 9 - Surface Water Management

4.9. K.C.C 20.36 - Open Space, Agriculture and Timberlands Current Use Assessment

4.10. King County Rural Stewardship Plan Public Rule (PUT 8-20 PR)

4.11. King County Forest Stewardship Plans Public Rule (PUT 8-19 PR)

4.12. King County Comprehensive Plan

4.13. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Field Office Technical Guide (FOTG)


5.1 Best Management Practice. A practice determined appropriate for existing or proposed farm site conditions and related agricultural activities, and that is consistent with the NRCS Field Office Technical Guide or with specific practices that have been mutually developed by the KCD and the County as documented in the Best Management Practices Supplement to this rule.

5.2 Dairy Nutrient Management Plan. A Farm Management Plan developed according to R.C.W. Chapter 90.64 guidance for dairy nutrient management.

5.3 DDES. Department of Development and Environmental Services. The County department, or its successor, that issues permits through which development activities are conditioned to meet county development regulations and standards.

5.4 Farm Management Plan. A long-term plan developed under the conservation planning process of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and including the standards in the Field Office Technical Guide as adapted for the Pacific Northwest Region and used by the King Conservation District. In order to be used for purposes of this rule, the plan shall contain the elements described in K.C.C. 21A.24.51.E (Section 138 E Ordinance 15051) and include an overall plan for the entire site including existing and anticipated agricultural uses and appropriate best management practices assembled from one or more of the following NRCS planning elements:

a. livestock management system;

b. horticultural management system;

c. site development plan (agricultural construction plan, for purposes of this rule);

d. agricultural drainage system;

e. fish and wildlife system; and

f. dairy nutrient management plan.

The plan may also include best management practices as agreed upon by the KCD, WLRD, and DDES such as those for installing field access roads, livestock bridges, manure lagoons, livestock flood sanctuaries, covered manure compost bins, and maintaining agricultural ditches with salmonids.

5.5 Field Office Technical Guide (FOTG). Guide developed and maintained by the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, or its successor, and where applicable, the modified FOTG adapted to Northwest Washington pursuant to the Agriculture, Fish and Water statewide process.

5.6 Forested. A site that has been cleared under a class I, II, III, IV-S, or IV-G forest practice permit or that exceeds 10,000 square feet with a uniform density of tree cover totaling more than ninety trees per acre and with an average stem diameter at least 4 inches at breast height, not including areas that are actively managed as agricultural crops for pulpwood, Christmas trees or ornamental nursery stock.

5.7 KCD. The King Conservation District (KCD) is a state authorized special purpose district. For purposes of this rule, the King Conservation District refers not only to the managers and staff of the district, but also to the local employees of the federal Natural Resource Conservation Service whose expertise, standards and work are reflected in the work of the District.

5.8 Rural Stewardship Plan. A long-term plan developed by an Applicant and approved by King County under K.C.C.21A.24.55 (ยง 139, Ord.15051)

5.9 WLRD. The Water and Land Resources Division a division of the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks or its successor. The King County Agriculture Program is located at WLRD.


6.1 The provisions of a farm plan apply when a landowner as defined above is proposing one or more of the following items:

1. Alterations to a critical area or its buffer, including:

a. building a residential structure within a grazed or tilled wed meadow.

b. building or expanding a non-residential agricultural structure within the buffer of a critical area or within a grazedor tilled wet meadow, wildlife habitat conservation area, critical aquifer recharge area, or coal mine, seismic, or flood hazard area;

c. construction of a farm field access road or livestock bridge that

i. requires grading, placement of fill, surface compaction or otherwise creates fill or impervious surfaces within the buffers of wetlands or aquatic areas or within a wildlife habitat conservation area, a grazed or tilled wet meadow, or a flood hazard area, or that

ii. requires grading or compacting for the maintenance of any existing farm field access road in any of these locations.

d. installation of a new drainage facility such as a tile, drain, or ditch;

e. maintenance of drain tiles that discharge into waterways used by salmonids if the maintenance includes

i. flushing the tiles or

ii. replacement or repair of a tile at its outlet to the waterway;

f. a livestock flood sanctuary or a livestock manure storage facility built to the standards in the Best Management Practices Supplement that will be constructed or within a grazed wet meadow, floodplain, or a critical area buffer and the structure will require a building permit;

2. An exception from a clearing and grading permit for

a. cumulative clearing of over 7,000 square feet of invasive vegetation anywhere in the county except in wetlands, streams, wildlife areas or their buffers or

b. cumulative clearing of under 7,000 square feet of invasive vegetation in wetland, aquatic or wildlife areas and their buffers if removal is not limited to hand labor;

c. maintenance of:

i. an agricultural drainage used by salmonids,

ii.a livestock watering pond, farm pond or fish pond

iii. a bridge or culvert

iv. a farm field access drive;

d. practices described in the Best Management Practices Supplement including

i. accepted designs and best management practices for livestock bridges

ii.small manure storage facilities that do not require a permit under K.C.C 16.82

3. Eligibility for the small site drainage review process at DDES for an agricultural project that will install over 2,000 square feet of any new impervious surface as defined by the King County Surface Water Design Manual and that meets one of the following criteria:

a. The project will result in no more than 10,000 of total impervious surface added on or after January 8, 2001 and no more than 70,000 square feet of pervious surface or 35% of the site whichever is greater (thresholds only apply to parcels zoned A or RA); or

b. The project will result in less than 4% total impervious surface and less than 15% new pervious surface (thresholds only apply to single parcel sites zoned RA, F or to multiple parcel sites zoned A), and all impervious surface area, except 10,000 square feet of it, must be set back from any down-slope site boundary, drainage system, or critical area, at least 100 feet for every 10,000 square feet of total impervious surface.

6.2 This Rule implements the animal and livestock provisions of K.C.C. Chapter 21A.30 if the landowner involved in livestock management is also intending to implement a new development activity and intends to use the provisions of a farm management plan instead of the standard requirements of the code.

6.3 A dairy nutrient management plan as required under R.C.W. Chapter 90.64, Dairy Nutrient Management, may be substituted for any livestock management system provided that:

1. Dairy activities are the primary activity on the site; and

2. The dairy meets the minimum standards set forth in K.C.C. Chapter 21A.30 with respect to exclusion of livestock from aquatic areas and wetlands.

6.4 This public rule does not apply to farm management plans developed by the King Conservation District that are not developed or submitted to the County to meet the requirements of K.C.C. Title 9 or K.C.C. Chapters 16.82 or 21A.24.


Action By: Landowners, Water and Land Resources Division; Department of Development and Environmental Services


7.1 Implement Farm Management Plans as described in Appendix 9.1 of this Public Rule.


8.1 Landowners are responsible for complying with Appendix 9.l of this Public Rule.

8.2 Water and Land Resources Division is responsible for complying with Appendix 9.l of this Public Rule

8.3 Department of Development and Environmental Services is responsible for complying with Appendix 9.l of this Public Rule


9.1 Farm Management Plans (PDF, 182 KB)