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Article 5
Sec 7.05.006
Buffer Management and Maintenance

A. The stream buffer, including wetlands and floodplains but only to the extent they are within the buffer, shall be managed to enhance and maximize the unique value of these resources. Management includes specific limitations on alteration of the natural conditions of these resources. The following practices and activities are prohibited within streamside and middle zones of the stream buffer, except with approval by the City:

1. Clearing of existing vegetation
2. Soil disturbance by grading, stripping, or other practices
3. Filling or dumping
4. Drainage by ditching, underdrains, or other systems
5. Use, storage, or application of pesticides, except for spot spraying of noxious weeds or non-native species consistent with recommendations of the City.
6. Housing, grazing, or other maintenance of livestock
7. Storage or operation of motorized vehicles, except for maintenance and emergency use approved by the City.

B. The following structures, practices, and activities are permitted in the stream buffer, with specific design or maintenance features, subject to the review and approval of the City:

1. Crossings for roads, bridges and utilities:

a. The right-of-way should be the minimum width needed to allow for maintenance access and installation.
b. The angle of the crossing shall be as close as perpendicular to the stream or buffer as is practicable to minimize clearing requirements.
c. The minimum number of road crossings should be used within each subdivision, and no more than one crossing is allowed for every one thousand feet (1,000') of buffer.

2. Stream restoration projects, facilities, mitigation and activities approved by the City are permitted within the stream buffer, in accordance with the City's Riparian Corridor Management Plan.
3. Water quality monitoring and stream gauging are permitted within the stream buffer.
4. Individual trees within the stream buffer in danger of falling, causing damage to dwellings or other structures, or causing blockage of the stream, may be removed with approval of the City.
5. View Corridors shall be allowed through the stream buffer by permit if they comply with standards established by regulations or ordinances.

C. Timber cutting techniques may be undertaken within the stream buffer under the advice and guidance of the City if necessary to preserve the buffer from extensive pest infestation, disease infestation, or threat from fire.

D. Vegetation Control: The stream buffer will be subject to nuisance controls, however the streamside zone and middle zone are exempt from City Code provisions that require mowing.

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Sec 7.05.007
Ownership and Responsibility for Stream Buffers

A. The stream buffer areas must be established and recorded by the developer or property owner. Particular zones may be established and protected by different methods. One or more of the following methods shall be used to provide for the preservation of the buffer area in perpetuity:

1. A drainage or conservation easement; or
2. Inclusion in a development common area; or
3. Dedication to the City of Independence with the City's acceptance.
4. Inclusion in private ownership with restrictions.

B. Developments and projects must be designed so that all established stream buffers are accessible to facilitate inspection, construction, maintenance and other activities related to the stream and City infrastructure in the buffer area. Nothing contained in this paragraph shall establish an independent right of ownership.

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Sec 7.05.008
Violations

A. The City shall have the authority to issue orders to any person to immediately cease and desist violations of any provision of this Article, of any approved Buffer Plan or of any consent orders entered into with the City under this Section and to immediately correct said violations.

B. When any person is violating, or has violated, any provision of this Article, or of an approved Buffer Plan, the City may issue to that person a notice of violation.

1. A notice of violation shall be in writing, shall describe the nature of the violation, including a reference to the provision within this Article that has been violated, and shall set a reasonable time for correction of the violation.
2. A person receiving a notice of violation shall submit to the City an explanation of the violation and a plan for the correction thereof within ten (10) days after receipt of the notice, unless otherwise specified in the notice. The plan shall include specific actions which will be taken to remedy the violation. Submission of this plan shall not relieve said person of liability for any violations occurring before or after receipt of the notice of violation, nor other violations not addressed in the notice.
3. The City may enter into Consent Orders, assurances of voluntary compliance or other similar documents establishing an agreement with the any person. The agreement may include specific action to be taken by said person to correct the noncompliance within a specified time period.

C. The City may petition the Circuit Court for the issuance of a temporary or permanent injunction, as appropriate, which restrains or compels the specific performance of the Buffer Plan, order, or other requirements imposed by this Article.

D. Any person who violates any provision of this Article, or any order issued by the City hereunder, shall be subject to the following:

1. Stop work orders, or denial of applications for, or suspension or revocation of any license or permit issued by the City of Independence.
2. Prosecution in Municipal Court with fines of up to Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00). Each day that a violation continues shall be deemed a separate offence.
3. Recovery of the costs to restore and repair buffer areas.
4. Civil action for injunctive relief and recovery of costs, including legal fees.

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