Land Disturbing Activity Permits

In Snohomish County, applicants proposing agricultural and development activities that cause significant soil disturbance may need to obtain a land disturbing activity permit for clearing, grading, and creation of impervious surface that complies with drainage regulations before the work begins. The purpose of this regulation is to protect adjacent waterways and properties from potentially harmful runoff impacts such as erosion or sediment that could result from improper grading work.

Normal, ongoing farming activities such as plowing are typically exempt from the drainage review and land disturbing activity requirements, under 'The Right to Farm' provision of County Code, and land disturbing activity and drainage review exemptions. The Right to Farm provisions are included in the drainage review and land disturbing activity permit exemptions in SCC 30.63A.200 and 30.63B.070.

Frequently, land disturbing activity permit applications are required in conjunction with a residential or commercial building permit application.

Shoreline Permits

Most of Snohomish County's prime farmlands lie within jurisdiction of the state's Shorelines Management Act. The county's Shorelines Management Master Program implements this law through regulation of agricultural and development activities along "waters of the state" including larger lakes, river deltas, floodplains; and, associated wetlands.

There are several types of shorelines permits depending on the type of activity being proposed. Some agricultural activities are exempt from Shorelines permit requirements.

Flood Hazard Zone Permits

Agricultural properties located within designated flood hazard areas are required to obtain permits to ensure that proposed agricultural activities and land uses meet standards required by the National Flood Insurance Program.