The following siting criteria shall apply to all wetland mitigation site construction within the city of Auburn, the purpose of which is to mitigate the impacts of a project that is not located within the city of Auburn. Off-site wetland mitigation construction that is associated with a project that is located within the city of Auburn shall be reviewed concurrently with that proposal and will not be subject to the following:
A. Definitions. “Wetland mitigation site construction,” for the purposes of this section, means the construction of new wetlands on existing nonwetland property and/or the enhancement of existing wetlands.
B. Siting Criteria. Wetland mitigation site construction may be allowed within any zone within the city of Auburn subject to all of the following criteria. At a minimum the proponent of wetland mitigation site construction shall apply for and receive from the city of Auburn a grading permit before said construction begins.
1. The wetland mitigation site must be linked to and be compatible with a comparable naturally occurring ecosystem, e.g., another wetland, river, stream, etc. The constructed wetland mitigation site cannot be an isolated mitigation site.
2. Only a public agency may propose a wetland mitigation site pursuant to this section. Before starting construction the public agency proposing the wetland construction must have an approved budget that has sufficient financial capability to construct the wetland mitigation project. The public agency must also provide the city a written commitment to complete the project, to the city’s satisfaction, once construction starts.
3. The project, outside of Auburn, that is creating the need for the wetland mitigation shall be a public project of a regional or statewide significance and shall be a benefit to the general public. The proponent shall demonstrate to the city’s satisfaction that it is impractical to mitigate wetland impacts in the jurisdiction and/or drainage basin where the wetland impact occurs.
4. There must not be a loss of buildable upland property such that it would be a financial burden to other properties in the area, or the city, with regard to funding capital improvement projects. This would include, but not be limited to, the participation or potential participation in local improvement districts (LIDs), the financial participation in city of Auburn capital improvement projects, or system development charges. Financial contributions may be used to offset the loss of the financial participation and shall require a separate legal binding contract to be executed between the city and the public agency.
5. There must not be a loss of buildable upland property that would diminish the city’s ability to meet its responsibilities with regard to the Growth Management Act or comprehensive plan.