BEFORE THE LAND USE HEARINGS EXAMINER
CITY OF VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON
REGARDING THE APPLICATION FOR A CONDITIONAL USE ) FINAL ORDER
SHORELINE PERMIT AND A FLOOD PLAIN PERMIT TO )
INSTALL A NEW BREASTING DOLPHIN TO BE USED IN ) BREASTING DOLPHIN
CONJUNCTION WITH THE EXISTING DOCKING FACILITY AT ) PRJ2005-00195/SHL2005-
LAFARGE NORTH AMERICA, INC. WHEREIN THE UPLAND ) 00005
PORTIONS OF THE SITE ARE ZONED IH (HEAVY
INDUSTRIAL) IN THE CITY OF VANCOUVER, CLARK
COUNTY, WA. )
APPROVED WITH CONDITIONS
The applicant proposes to install a new mooring/breasting dolphin to allow safe maneuvering of
barges during off-loading operations. The proposed dolphin is to be located 115 feet downstream
(northwesterly) of the existing dock, in line with the existing terminal. The dolphin is to be
constructed with six 24-inch diameter structural steel pipe piles and three 16-inch steel fender
pipes. All of the construction is proposed in the Columbia River. No additional upland structures
are proposed. Adjacent land uses and zoning designations are Heavy Industrial and the
Columbia River. Existing structures include a 640-foot-long dock, cement storage silos and
administrative offices. The applicant is requesting a shoreline conditional use permit in which
the Hearing Examiner’s Final Order serves as a recommendation to the Washington Department
Location: The proposed dolphin is located offshore adjoining 1217 W 8th
Street. Tax Lots 058760-000, 058743-000, 058740-000, Tideland
Tax Lots 502130-000, 502140-000 and 502150-000—located in
the SE Quarter of Section 28, Township 2N, Range 1E of the
Parcel Size: 6.57 acres, not including Tideland Lots
Applicant: Brian Perleberg
1128 Broadway Street
Longview, WA 98632
SEPA: Mitigated Determination of Nonsignificance issued on May 26,
Comp. Plan: Heavy Industrial
FINAL ORDER - Breasting Dolphin (PRJ2005-00195) Page 1 of 11
HEARING AND RECORD
The Public Hearing on this matter was held on August 4, 2005 and the record was closed at the
end of the hearing. A record of all testimony received into the record is included herein as
Exhibit I (Parties of Record), Exhibit II (Audio Tape ), and Exhibit III (Written Testimony,
exhibits 1- 7). These exhibits are filed at the City of Vancouver Development Review Services.
Jon Wagner, the lead City Planner on this application, summarized the application and made a
recommendation. On doing so he testified that the site is located on the Columbia River west of
the Interstate Bridge. This drawing shows what a breasting dolphin is and does; what the
applicant is asking for is a “dolphin” that will keep the ships’ sterns in line during loading and
unloading. The dolphin consists of steel piping placed in the river bottom for mooring. The
request is for a shoreline conditional use permit, on which the Department of Ecology will have
final decision. We issued a determination of SEPA nonsignificance in May of this year. There
are no sidewalk, traffic, sewer or erosion control issues associated with this application;
however, there are some fire department concerns, if a fire breaks out in one of the ships docked
in that area.
This use is allowed in this area. We believe that this use meets the applicable standards. We are
also recommending approval of the flood plain permit. The site has been reviewed for
archaeology, and we cannot require an archaeological review. If something comes up, it will be
reviewed. Staff recommends approval of the flood plain permit, and a recommendation to the
Department of Ecology that this application be approved.
Brian Perleberg, the applicant’s representative, testified that he had read the staff report and
everything looks great – staff did a great job. This is an interesting project, because many of the
shoreline codes do not apply. We are completely on board with the staff report.
No other public testimony was offered.
The Hearing Examiner adopts as his own and incorporates by reference the findings and
conclusions contained in the STAFF REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION (dated July 20,
2005), except to the extent expressly modified or supplemented herein. Only the issues and the
approval criteria raised in the course of the application, at the hearing or before the close of the
record, are discussed in this section. Any standard that might be deemed to be an applicable
approval criteria but which was not raised by staff, the applicant or a party to the proceeding has
been waived as a contested issue, and no argument with regard to any such issue or criterion can
be raised in any subsequent appeal. Criteria not discussed specifically in these findings below
are deemed to be met. The following findings support this decision and are related to the issues
that were raised during these proceedings:
A. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
1. Land Use Designation: MH
2. Staff has reviewed the application and finds that the proposal meets the intent of the
FINAL ORDER - Breasting Dolphin (PRJ2005-00195) Page 2 of 11
B. VANCOUVER MUNICIPAL CODE (VMC)
1. Title 11 Streets and Sidewalks
a. 11.80 Street Standards
Based on the submitted information, the project is not going to increase any trips and existing
frontage already exists; therefore, no additional frontage improvements are triggered. However,
the applicant shall comply with the ADA accessibility such as truncated domes and ADA
ramps and routes on the site.
b. 11.90 Transportation
Based on the submitted information, the project is not going to increase any trips and existing
frontage already exists; therefore, no additional frontage improvements are triggered. However,
the applicant shall maintain required sight distance per the City Standards.
c. 11.95 Concurrency
Based on the submitted information, the project is not going to increase any trips; therefore,
concurrency requirements are not triggered.
2. Title 14 Water and Sewers
Title 14 of the Vancouver Municipal Code contains Water and Sewer Use Regulations and
Service Connections, Erosion Control and Stormwater Control and is not applicable to this
3. Title 16 Fire
a. 16.04.160 Water Supply and Fire Hydrants (IFC 508)
The existing water supply and fire hydrant locations are adequate to serve the proposed project.
The applicant has demonstrated that these requirements are met.
b. 16.04.150 Fire Apparatus Access (IFC 503)
The existing fire apparatus access dimensions are adequate. The applicant has submitted plans
which identify the locations and details of proposed fire lane markings which are approved.
During construction, existing fire apparatus access shall be maintained.
Prior to final approval, fire lane markings shall be installed.
c. 16.04.170 – 16.04.210 Fire Protection Systems (IFC Chapter 9)
Per Fire Protection Equipment - IFC Chapter 46 (Washington State WAC 51-54-4600):
An approved standpipe system shall be installed in accordance with NFPA 303 to supply fire
flow for shipboard fire fighting.
Sight plans showing the proposed stand pipe placement are approved.
Prior to installation of the standpipe, the applicant shall submit plans and details for
review and approval. The standpipe installation, review and inspection approval are a
separate permit application.
Prior to final approval, the standpipe system for fire protection shall be installed and
FINAL ORDER - Breasting Dolphin (PRJ2005-00195) Page 3 of 11
For additional information on fire protections systems, contact City of Vancouver Fire Protection
Engineer Dennis Megrditchian 360/696-8033.
d. 16.04.010 Premise Identification (IFC 505)
The existing address and premise identification signage are adequate.
Conclusion: The applicant has demonstrated that Title 16 requirements are met.
4. Title 17 Building and Construction
See Staff Report for a list of applicable building and construction codes to be reviewed at the
time of the issuance of the building permit.
5. Title 20 Land Use and Development Code
The purpose of this Development Code is to provide a vehicle to implement the City’s
Comprehensive Plan, and by reference, the requirements of the Washington State Growth
Management Act (GMA).The Development Code contains regulations to manage the
community’s growth in a manner that ensures efficient use of land, preserves natural resources
and encourages good design.
a. 20.210 Decision-Making Procedures
Table 20.210 – 1 indicates that Shoreline Conditional Use Permit applications are subject to a
Type III review process. Type III procedures apply to quasi-judicial permits and actions that
predominantly contain discretionary approval criteria. Type III applications are decided by the
Hearings Examiner or Planning Commission, depending on the permit. If any party with
standing appeals a Hearings Examiner's or Planning Commission's Type III decision, the appeal
of such decision will be heard by City Council pursuant to Section 20.210.130 VMC with further
appeal to Superior Court.
The proposed Flood Plain Development application is considered a part of the Shoreline Permit
process under the provisions of 20.730.030.A, which states in part that for any land falling under
jurisdiction of the Shoreline Management Act (RCW 90.58) and designated hereunder as Flood
Fringe or Flood Way, the standards of the Flood Hazard Chapter of the Vancouver Municipal
Code shall apply and may be incorporated into the shoreline permit process.
The Shoreline Conditional Use Permits are to be heard by the Hearings Examiner and the
examiner is to make a recommendation to the Department of Ecology, Shorelands Division. The
Department of Ecology will make the final decision.
b. 20.440 Heavy Industrial District
(1) 20.440.030 Uses
Uses shall be identified as permitted outright (P), limited (L) providing it is in compliance with
special requirements, permitted by conditional use (C), or prohibited (X). Prohibited uses shall
not be allowed. Conditional uses shall be allowed if approval is granted pursuant to VMC 20.245.
The upland portion of the site is zoned IH. Table 20.440-1 shows that Warehouse/Freight
Movement uses are permitted outright. 20.160.020. D.5 states, in part those marine terminals are
considered to be a warehouse/freight movement use. The current use of the property is allowed in
the IH zone and as the proposal is a component of that use it too is allowed.
FINAL ORDER - Breasting Dolphin (PRJ2005-00195) Page 4 of 11
(2) 20.440.040 Development Standards
Development standards in industrial zoning districts are contained in Table 20.440-3.
The following table compares the development standards contained in Table 20.440-3 and the
applicant’s proposal. The actual dolphin will be constructed in the Columbia River. There is no
zoning designation covering this reach of the Columbia River.
STANDARD IH Applicant’s Proposal
Minimum Lot Size None 6.56 acres, not including
Maximum Lot Coverage 100% Unknown
Minimum Lot Width None Approximately 1,000'
Minimum Lot Depth None Approximately 1,000'
Any yard abutting Residential zoning 100' 1 Not applicable
Any yard across the street from a 50' 1 Not Applicable
Residential zoning district
Any yard abutting or across the street Same as Not Applicable
from other than a residential zoning abutting
If abutting other Industrial zoning
-- Front 25' Existing
-- Side 0 Existing
-- Rear 0 Existing
Maximum Height None Varies
Minimum Landscaping Requirement 0% 0%
(percentage of total net area)
Parking setback allowed is 25'
Or greater, if set back 1' from property line for every additional 2' of height. See 20.430(E)(1)(b) for additional standards.
Conclusion: The existing uses meet the code requirements.
c. 20.760.010 Shoreline Management Area - Purpose.
The purpose of this Chapter is to implement the policies and procedures set forth by the
Shoreline Management Act of 1971, as amended, and all applicable provisions contained in the
Washington Administrative Code.
The proposed project is located within the Vancouver Shoreline Management jurisdiction as
indicated in the Vancouver Shoreline Management Master Program (VSMMP). Therefore, the
proposal is subject to the policies and regulations contained in that document.
The project consists of construction of a mooring/berthing dolphin to be used in conjunction with
the existing approximately 620-foot-long dock. The project is located in the Aquatic
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The Shoreline Use Table contained in Chapter IV of the VSMMP indicates on page 7-6 that
docks and piers may be permitted by Shoreline Conditional Use Permit in the Urban Aquatic
Shoreline Environment. Staff has concluded and it is not contested that the standards which
apply to docks and piers also apply to dolphins.
Conclusion: The proposal is subject to the VSMMP.
The following analyzes the proposal’s compliance with the applicable sections of the VSMMP.
Piers, Docks, Floats and Buoys
Applicability: Piers and docks are structures which abut the shoreline and are used as a landing or
moorage place for commercial and pleasure craft. Piers are built on fixed platforms above the
water, while docks float upon the water. Recreational floats are also addressed in this section. They
are anchored, offshore platforms used for water-dependent recreational activities such as
swimming and diving. Buoys are floating objects moored to a river or lake bed and used to mark a
channel or underwater object. They are also be used for mooring boats.
POLICY 82: Piers, docks, floats, and mooring buoys should be designed to cause minimum
interference with navigable waters and the public's use of the shoreline. The size and intensity of
use of any dock, pier, or float should be compatible with the surrounding environment and uses.
The use of mooring buoys is preferred to the use of either piers or docks, and should be
encouraged. Multiple use, joint use, and expansion of existing piers, docks, and floats is preferred
to the addition or proliferation of new facilities, and should be encouraged. Provisions for public
docking, launching, and recreational access are encouraged.
REGULATION 249: Piers, floats, buoys and docks shall not significantly interfere with use of
navigable waters. All piers and docks shall be constructed and maintained in a safe and sound
condition. Abandoned or unsafe docks and piers shall be removed or repaired promptly by the
owner. Overhead wiring or plumbing shall not be permitted on piers or docks.
REGULATION 250: Recreational floats shall be located as close to the shore as possible, and no
farther waterward than any existing floats and established swimming areas. Floats shall be
constructed so that the deck surface is one foot above the water surface. Reflectors for nighttime
visibility shall be incorporated into their design. Floats serving the public, a multi-family
development, or multiple property owners shall not exceed 100 square feet; those serving only
single-family home (when permitted) shall not exceed 64 square feet.
REGULATION 251: When moorage facilities are proposed in association with subdivisions with
shoreline frontage, hotels, motels, and multi-family developments, applicants shall be required to
construct a single, joint-use moorage facility, PROVIDED that the City of Vancouver may
authorize more than one joint-use moorage facility if a single facility would be inappropriate or
undesirable given the specific conditions of the site. No more than one private, non-commercial
mooring facility shall be permitted for each platted shoreline lot or unplatted shoreline tract zoned
for single-family residential or recreational purposes. Community docks and piers shall include no
more than one moorage space per lot or dwelling unit.
REGULATION 252: Mooring buoys shall be used instead of docks or piers whenever feasible.
Piers shall not be permitted for residential use on rivers; a permitted dock or mooring buoy for
residential use on a river shall be securely anchored to pilings to allow for changes in river level,
and shall be designed to withstand the 100-year flood or be seasonably removable.
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REGULATION 253: Substantial development permits for docks or piers serving single
commercial (other than hotels or motels) or industrial enterprises shall not be granted until
adjacent commercial and industrial enterprises have been contacted regarding their water access
needs and the feasibility of sharing a dock or pier. If joint use of a single moorage facility is indeed
feasible, permits for individual facilities shall not be granted.
REGULATION 254: Applicants for joint-use community piers and docks shall demonstrate and
document that adequate maintenance of the structure and associated upland area will be provided
by identified responsible parties.
Finding Policy 82 and Regulations 249 through 254: The proposal will be reviewed by the
Corps of Engineers to determine if the project interferes with the navigable channel of the
The request is to allow the construction of a mooring/breasting dolphin to be used in conjunction
with the existing docking facilities. It does not include any floats. Therefore, Regulation 250 does
not apply. As the site is not part of a proposed subdivision, resort, or multiple-family project,
Regulation 251 does not apply.
Regulation 252 states that mooring buoys shall be used instead of docks or piers whenever feasible.
The use proposed is for mooring ships in such a way as to align with the existing dock. Under
these circumstances a mooring buoy would not be feasible.
Conclusion: The project meets the provisions of Policy 82 and the applicable portions of
Regulations 249 through 254.
POLICY 83: Piers, docks, floats, and mooring buoys should be sited and designed to minimize
adverse environmental impacts and interference with basic geohydraulic processes. Use of
natural, non-reflective materials in pier and dock construction should be encouraged. When
plastics and other non-biodegradable materials are used, precautions should be taken to ensure
REGULATION 255: Proposals for piers, docks, floats, or buoys shall include the following
a. description of the proposed structure, including its size, location, design and any shoreline
stabilization or other modification required by the project;
b. ownership of tidelands, shorelands and/or bedlands;
c. proposed location of piers, docks, floats, or buoys relative to property lines and the OHWM;
d. location, width, height, and length of piers, docks, floats, or buoys within three hundred feet of
the proposed site.
REGULATION 256: Piers and docks on river shores are prohibited along braided or
meandering river channels or where the river channel is subject to change in direction or
REGULATION 257: Piers and docks which require a substantial development permit and are
proposed in constricted bodies of water (i.e., width at the entrance is less than half the inner
distance) shall be permitted only if there is one surface acre of water within the constricted body,
measured at the ordinary low water mark, for each boat moorage (including buoys).
FINAL ORDER - Breasting Dolphin (PRJ2005-00195) Page 7 of 11
REGULATION 258: The size and location of moorage facilities for residential use shall be as
a. A pier or dock shall be long enough to obtain a depth of four feet of water at its landward edge,
and only as long as necessary to serve the intended use.
b. For private, single-use docks or piers, the width of the walkway shall not exceed four feet. The
width of the landing area deck shall not exceed eight feet, and the length of the "T" end parallel
to shore shall not exceed ten feet.
c. For community, joint-use docks or piers, the maximum dimensions shall be determined by the
City of Vancouver on a case-by-case basis.
d. The deck surface of piers and docks shall not exceed three feet in height above the OHWM on
the landward side, and shall extend one foot above the water surface at all other locations.
e. Piers, docks, and mooring buoys shall be set back a minimum of ten feet from side property
lines, EXCEPT that community, joint-use facilities may be located closer to or upon a side
property line when agreed to by contract or covenant with the owners of the affected
properties. A copy of such agreement shall be recorded with the County Auditor and filed with
the shoreline permit application.
REGULATION 259: Piers and docks for commercial and industrial uses shall be permitted to the
outer harbor line or combined U.S. Pierhead/Bulkhead line for water-dependent and for multiple-
use facilities if the majority use is water-dependent and public access can safely be provided. Their
length shall be no more than that required for the draft of the largest vessel expected to moor at
the facility. The maximum size of the pier or dock shall be no greater than necessary, and will be
determined by the City of Vancouver on a case-by-case basis.
REGULATION 260: Pilings must be structurally sound and cured prior to placement in the
water. Pilings employed in piers or any other structure shall have a minimum vertical clearance of
one foot above extreme high water. The minimum number of pilings necessary shall be used in
REGULATION 261: No over water field applications of paint, preservative treatment, or other
chemical compounds shall be permitted, EXCEPT in accordance with best management practices.
Piles, floats or other members in direct contact with water shall not be treated or coated with
biocides such paint and pentachlorophenol. In freshwater, untreated wood, precast concrete, or
other nontoxic substances shall be used instead of arsenate compounds, creosote, or other toxic
substances, EXCEPT when the applicant can demonstrate that no feasible alternative will provide
the structural characteristics necessary for the project.
REGULATION 262: Bulk storage (non-portable storage in fixed tanks) for gasoline, oil and
other petroleum products for any use or purpose is prohibited on piers and docks.
REGULATION 263: All docks shall include stops which serve to keep the floats off the bottom of
tidelands at low tide or low water level. If a bulkhead-like base is proposed for a fixed pier or dock
where there is net positive littoral drift, the base shall be built landward of the OHWM or
protective berms. When plastics or other non-biodegradable materials are used in float, pier, or
dock construction, precautions shall be taken to ensure their containment.
Finding Policy 83 and Regulations 255 through 263: The applicant’s engineering plans indicate
the information required by Regulation 255.
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The dolphin is not proposed on braided or meandering river channels or where the river channel is
subject to change in direction or alignment, nor is it in a constricted body of water (i.e., width at the
entrance is less than half the inner distance). Therefore Regulations 256 and 257 are not applicable
to the project. The proposed dolphin is to be constructed of steel.
Conclusion: The project meets the provisions of Policy 83 and the applicable portions of
Regulations 255 through 263.
d. 20.945 Parking and Loading
The use is not changing and therefore no additional parking is proposed or required.
e. 20.295 Landscaping
Landscaping and Open Storage shall be as provided in VMC 20.925.
The project is located in a heavy industrial zone. Table 20.925-1 indicates that no landscaping is
required in the heavy industrial zone. No additional landscaping is proposed.
f. 20.915 Impact Fees
No impact fees are required for this project.
g. 20.710 Archaeological Resource Preservation
This project is located within an area of high probability for discovery of archaeological
resources; generally a predetermination would be required. However, the State Historic and
Preservation Office was contacted on March 3, 2005, and they indicated that a survey would not
be required. If, however, any cultural or historical resources are discovered during construction
activity, construction shall cease until a qualified archaeologist assesses the find. The applicant
or representative will contact all applicable authorities.
h. 20.730 Flood Hazards
The application proposes to place a structure within the designated flood way. As such the
applicant is required to obtain a Flood Hazard Development Permit. As the proposed dolphin is
within the floodway, the standards of 20.730.060, Floodway Development Standards apply.
20.730.060.A General prohibitions indicates that encroachments, including fill, new
construction, substantial improvements, and other development shall be prohibited unless a
technical evaluation demonstrates that encroachments shall not result in any increase in flood
levels during the occurrence of the base flood discharge.
In response to this standard, the applicant’s representatives have prepared a letter indicating that
the construction of the proposed dolphin will not cause an increase in the flood levels during the
occurrence of a base flood (Exhibit 3).
The remainder of the requirements of the Flood Hazards Chapter of the VMC relate to
construction and anchoring standards. These will be reviewed during the structure permit review
process. The applicant has shown that the applicable standards of Chapter 20.730 can be met.
i. 20.790 SEPA Regulations
A Determination of Nonsignificance was issued on May 26, 2005 (Exhibit 6). No comments
FINAL ORDER - Breasting Dolphin (PRJ2005-00195) Page 9 of 11
C. AGENCY/PUBLIC COMMENTS
No comments were received.
The proposed mooring/breasting dolphin is permitted through approval of a Shoreline
Conditional Use Permit. Based upon the findings and conclusions herein, the criteria for
approval have been satisfactorily met, or shall be met with the conditions of approval, and no
significant adverse impacts have been identified. The Hearings Examiner RECOMMENDS
APPROVAL of the proposed Shoreline Conditional Use Permit to the Department of Ecology
subject to the conditions noted below and grants approval of the Flood Plain Development
The applicant is to be advised that this approval does not grant the right to permits, but only
determines that the site can meet the requirements of the applicable ordinances, as described in
CONDITIONS OF APPROVAL:
Prior to Issuance of any Development Permits
1. The applicant shall receive final Shoreline Conditional Use Permit approval from the
Department of Ecology.
2. The applicant shall comply with the erosion control measures required by the Department
of Fish and Wildlife.
3. Prior to the issuance of any building permits, all applicable fees shall be paid to the City of
4. Fire apparatus access shall be maintained.
Prior to Issuance of Occupancy Permit
5. Approved fire lane markings shall be installed.
6. Prior to installation of the standpipe, the applicant shall submit plans and details for review
and approval. The standpipe installation, review and inspection approval are a separate
7. Prior to final approval, the standpipe system for fire protection shall be installed.
Dated this 10th day of August 2005
J. Richard Forester
Vancouver Hearing Examiner
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NOTE: Only the decision and the conditions of approval are binding on the applicant as a
result of this order. Other parts of the final order are explanatory, illustrative and/or
descriptive. They may be requirements of local, state, or federal law, or requirements which
reflect the intent of the applicant, the city staff, or the Examiner, but they are not binding on the
applicant as a result of the final order unless included as a condition.
APPEAL: Decisions of the Hearings Examiner are appealable to the City Council within 14
days after written notice of the Hearings Examiner decision is mailed. Appeals must be made in
writing to the Manager of Development Review Services and must contain the following
A. The case number(s) designated by the City and the name of the applicant;
B. The name and signature of each petitioner and a statement showing that each
petitioner is entitled to file the appeal under this Chapter. If multiple parties file a
single petition for review, the petition shall designate one party as the contact
representative for all contact with the Director. All contact with the Director
regarding the petition, including notice, shall be with this contact representative;
C. The specific aspect(s) of the decision and/or SEPA issue being appealed, the
reasons why each aspect is in error as a matter of fact or law, and the evidence
relied on to prove the error; and
D. The appeal fee adopted by the City Council ($1,000.00); provided, the fee shall be
refunded if the appellant files with the Director at least fourteen (14) calendar
days before the appeal hearing a written statement withdrawing the appeal.
Submit the appeal request and fee to the address below:
Development Review Services
City of Vancouver
PO Box 1995
Vancouver, WA 98668-1995
In the absence of a valid appeal within the timelines specified above, the Hearings Examiner’s
decision shall become final and conclusive.
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