New Dock Construction Permits
The recent and proposed changes to permits for dock construction may limit the length, width and over water surface area of all new docks. The maximum width for a new pier is 4'; and some cities are requiring existing docks be reduced to 4’ wide for the first 30’ from the beach. The length of the dock may be limited irrespective of the water depth at your residence. The ell at the end of the dock may be limited to 6' in width, and the overall length may be restricted to 26'.
New dock construction will probably require a Biological Evaluation and does require conservation measures and mitigation, such as the planting of trees and shrubs along the shoreline to provide nutrients and shade for the juvenile salmon that travel along the shoreline. This may include 10 feet of plantings on either side of the OHWL or for the entire length of property. If the pier is shared, all co-owners must install plantings. Performance bonds, not to exceed a term of five years, may be required to ensure compliance with the conditions.
Where new piers or docks are allowed, the new codes may require joint use or community dock facilities when feasible, rather than allowing individual docks for each residence.
Piers and docks, including those for single-family residences, shall be designed to minimize and mitigate the ecological impacts to critical resources at the project site. Some cities require that we have a professional prove that the mitigation for the dock or bulkhead will result in “No Net Loss of Ecological Functions.”
Pier and dock construction shall be restricted to the minimum size necessary to meet the needs of the proposed water-dependent use. Water-related and water-enjoyment uses may be allowed as part of mixed-use development on over-water structures where they are clearly auxiliary to and in support of water-dependent uses, provided the minimum size requirement needed to meet the water-dependent use is not violated.