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Author Topic: Wetlands on property. What's the deal?  (Read 2646 times)

Offline Craig

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Wetlands on property. What's the deal?
« on: March 18, 2012, 07:08:24 AM »
Anyone know how it works if you have some wetlands or wetlands buffers on your property? Can you do anything with the land or is it pretty much unusable ? Can I cut a trail through it or cut some trees down?

We are looking at a house on 6 acres. The house is on the front two acres and the  back four acres is some wetlands and a lot of wetland buffer area. 

I would like to cut some lanes for a little archery range, if there is not enough room in front of the house I will need to build a shop.

Offline ICEMAN

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Re: Wetlands on property. What's the deal?
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2012, 07:18:30 AM »
Officially, in our county at least, you cannot cut thru it and modify it...so taking down lumber would not be allowed...

Check with your local county code....
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Offline rasbo

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Re: Wetlands on property. What's the deal?
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2012, 07:22:06 AM »
do yourself a favor if you have not,have your own wetland survey done.Counties have a way telling you what is or is not wetland,and what or what not you can do.And they can be very wrong at times....

Offline washelkhunter

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Re: Wetlands on property. What's the deal?
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2012, 08:08:56 AM »
I wouldnt invite the county over to discuss it. If they cant see it; well you know, it is your land right.

Offline dreamunelk

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Re: Wetlands on property. What's the deal?
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2012, 08:11:10 AM »
do yourself a favor if you have not,have your own wetland survey done.Counties have a way telling you what is or is not wetland,and what or what not you can do.And they can be very wrong at times....

 :yeah:  Good advise.  You really need to have an independent survey done. 

Offline norsepeak

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Re: Wetlands on property. What's the deal?
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2012, 08:29:07 AM »
If you do buy the property, I would just do what you want on it and keep it quiet, that's what I did.  On another note, with my property, I live on a river, and two years ago FEMA came thru and survey the river and changed all of the flood zones which made a chunk of my property now in the flood zone, meaning that I cannot use that land at all.  So I fought the county saying that since I can't use part of the land that they are charging property tax on that I shouldn't have to pay the tax on it and after investigating, they had to agree and lowered my property taxes accordingly...just some food for thought.

Offline pjb3

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Re: Wetlands on property. What's the deal?
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2012, 09:22:44 AM »
What they don't know won't hurt them. Don't tell them. I used to sell realestate and mostly dealt with land and its a pain in the arse. If its minor, I would just do it slowly

Offline highside74

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Re: Wetlands on property. What's the deal?
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2012, 09:47:14 AM »
They don't want you running machines back there. When I talked to them she said any maint. I did by hand as far as trail's and fence lines was ok. They aren't gonna mess with you over some trail's. They would have to prove the trail's weren't alway's there.

I was so affraid of them when I bought this property that I had them out before I started doing any of my work. Now I wish I would have done everything I wanted and then called them 6 or 8 month's later when all the growth had come back.
You can't tell where I have or haven't run a machine in my wetland's.

Also they can't stop you from cutting anything that might be a hazard to your house.

Offline netcoyote

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Re: Wetlands on property. What's the deal?
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2012, 09:50:55 AM »
Quote
I wouldnt invite the county over to discuss it. If they cant see it; well you know, it is your land right.

I wouldn't assume anything like "they can't see it". I know that some counties, Pierce and King for example, use aerial photography to look for anomalies from one year to the next. If you think they can't see that you've cut down trees or built an un-permitted structure just go to google and look at the aerial view of your property. The detail in some areas is amazing.

Not only that, but these local governments are notorious for changing the laws during your ownership. Whatever is legal today when you buy your property, might be illegal in a few months. Personally, I would not invest in anything that had a wetland designation. If you are the gambling type, go for it.
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Offline The Weazle

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Re: Wetlands on property. What's the deal?
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2012, 03:21:34 PM »
Yeah, What NetCoyote said...I wouldnt touch land with designated wetlands on it with a 10 foot pole...Unless they are giving it to you, and they are gonna pay the taxes on it every year.  Everyone I know that has a little, or a lot of wetland designation on their property wishes they owned somewhere else.  If it was a 50+ acre parcel with an acre or two of wetland, I could see...but you arent supposed to do anything on wetlands...I am not, and will never own land that I cannot do whatever I want on!
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Offline jyerxa

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Re: Wetlands on property. What's the deal?
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2012, 03:41:24 PM »
Another Beaver Joke............. Damn it is going to take me days to find it. If I can find it at all it will be worth it. I promise you.  :chuckle:
times before with just leather, wool and cotton.

Offline woodman

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Re: Wetlands on property. What's the deal?
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2012, 03:42:43 PM »
I wouldnt invite the county over to discuss it. If they cant see it; well you know, it is your land right.

Agreed, I have $8000.00 in dealings with 11 square feet of wet lands (the size of 1/3 sheet of plywood). The county thinks nothing of draining your bank account to justify their existence. I have NO warm and fuzzy for those jerks.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2012, 05:18:23 PM by woodman »

Offline SemperFidelis97

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Re: Wetlands on property. What's the deal?
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2012, 03:56:38 PM »
I would avoid the property myself if at all possible often times a little wetlands become allot of wetlands over time as the county changes its rules, and setbacks.  I bought my property had the site survey done they said I had a little bit of wetlands on a small corner of my property.  I signed the papers put in for permits, and was told I needed a new wetland study.  Thinking it was no big deal I had one done if the wetland guy wanted to go completely by the books with the buffers I would not have been able to build without a waiver which can take years to get.  Mind you this is a piece of property the county said had minimal wetlands thats the only reason I bought it.  There are some areas like the Kapowsin area where I live they are pretty unavoidable, but if you can I would avoid buying any piece of property that has any sort of wetland issue.

Offline Happy Gilmore

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Re: Wetlands on property. What's the deal?
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2012, 04:41:45 PM »
A friend of mine works in the Pierce Co. permitting office. She was talking about someone else we knew who got nailed for mowing/clearing an area that was covered in salmon berries and considered a wetland.... can't remember the details but, all it takes is a neighbor to call the county and complain then they send folks out to inspect..
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Offline woodman

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Re: Wetlands on property. What's the deal?
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2012, 04:58:41 PM »
A friend of mine works in the Pierce Co. permitting office. She was talking about someone else we knew who got nailed for mowing/clearing an area that was covered in salmon berries and considered a wetland.... can't remember the details but, all it takes is a neighbor to call the county and complain then they send folks out to inspect..

That dept. is out of control and does not have the publics best interest at heart. They were bragging a few years ago that they were the toughest in the nation. They really do not care one whit how badly they hurt the general public just so they can get a paycheck!

Offline summit creek

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Re: Wetlands on property. What's the deal?
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2012, 05:09:03 PM »
i woud do my archery lane regardles dont monkey with the county till it comes time to build your shop yhe archery lane was there when you bought the place get me

Offline MIKEXRAY

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Re: Wetlands on property. What's the deal?
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2012, 05:23:43 PM »
I watched my neighbor go through this over the last 8 years. Basically what I learned is there are different classes of wetlands ( here in King Co ) and depending on the properties classification is the limits put on the property.  His property got upgraded to a class 3 wetlands after he bought it because of a seasonal creek. He can't do anything at all within 50 ft of the creek, ( more of a ditch ) .  As stated  I would keep looking for dry property, my neighbor has spent a lot of money & done a lot of hair pulling out.  Mike

Offline ICEMAN

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Re: Wetlands on property. What's the deal?
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2012, 05:33:03 PM »
We bought our five acre lot specifically because it has 2 acres of wetland boundary. Many of the neighboring lots also have wetland areas and this is a big plus in our book. I did not want to live where every Tom, Dick and Harry mows every tree down. The area is nice to look at, lots of critters, nice place. The lot was priced considering the 2 acres which we cannot bulldoze...
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Offline Special T

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Re: Wetlands on property. What's the deal?
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2012, 05:58:40 PM »
There is no bad piece of property. You can only over pay.  :twocents: learn about wetland classification, what it means and what it costs.
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Offline woodman

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Re: Wetlands on property. What's the deal?
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2012, 06:03:32 PM »
There is no bad piece of property. You can only over pay.  :twocents: learn about wetland classification, what it means and what it costs.

Wet land regulations can be a moving target just waiting to hurt you. People just don't care about it until it affects them. That is how they get away with it. If everyone had something to do with their property at the same time and ran into this crap, there would be a very loud outcry.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2012, 06:28:31 PM by woodman »

Offline Special T

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Re: Wetlands on property. What's the deal?
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2012, 06:15:48 PM »
I personally would try and avoid all wetland land on the west side. BUT if you want to own it for the reasons stated by others. Usually building becomes much harder than land not attached to wetland property. I agree with Woodman that the rules are a moving target. If you were looking at a house and planned on building a shop right away  you could look at making it contingent on a building permit. Permits can be had but require more studies and $$$ than normal land. That is why i say there is no bad land, but for the price. All restrictions have a price and you should make them reflected in the offer. Its a buyers market so wheel and deal... If you want to build a shop some day... You might consider buying a different piece of property...
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Offline Bofire

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Re: Wetlands on property. What's the deal?
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2012, 07:39:36 PM »
 :) Lots of good info here and a lot of crap. I will say two things: county or city or state has nothing to do with it, US Army Corp. of Enginers is the ONLY, SINGLE, ONE agency that can call a 'wetland' a 'wetland' or not.  2. Trying to do something and hide it is beyond stupid, wetlands are and have been mapped for over 100 years and if there is doubt, because wetlands can move or grow/shrink the newest info is what makes the determination not historical. You could do some work and find your entire property was NOW a wetland. agree or not is not my decision it is yours but you better think it thru. :dunno:
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Offline SemperFidelis97

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Re: Wetlands on property. What's the deal?
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2012, 07:51:13 PM »
:) Lots of good info here and a lot of crap. I will say two things: county or city or state has nothing to do with it, US Army Corp. of Enginers is the ONLY, SINGLE, ONE agency that can call a 'wetland' a 'wetland' or not.  2. Trying to do something and hide it is beyond stupid, wetlands are and have been mapped for over 100 years and if there is doubt, because wetlands can move or grow/shrink the newest info is what makes the determination not historical. You could do some work and find your entire property was NOW a wetland. agree or not is not my decision it is yours but you better think it thru. :dunno:
Carl

I really don't know where you are comming from with the whole army corp of engineers thing, but last I checked I went to the county for permits which through authority of the critical area ordinance they told me what I could do with my land.  Maybe there is a misunderstanding, but I have never had any dealings with the army corp of engineers when I was told I had wetlands.  I can promise you that is not crap I have the check stubs, and a few more grey hairs to prove it.

Offline 6x6in6

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Re: Wetlands on property. What's the deal?
« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2012, 08:31:42 PM »
It's absolutely a critical areas ordinance issue and not a Corp issue.

So, you used the terms "Wetland" and Wetland Buffer".
Are you looking at some information that uses these terms?  Civil drawings, recorded plat or filed documents on a title report for example?

Having a wetland guy cruise the property is without a doubt the best thing you could do.  Be careful though, you need to find the right wetland person as some view wetlands as pristine ground and others will do their best to try and get wetlands reduced/eliminated.  If the wetlands are mapped at the County, it will be very difficult to eliminate unless you mitigate to another piece of property within the same creek watershed.

Some wetland clearing may be allowed.  Just depends on what type of wetland, proximity to other mapped wetlands and what type  of clearing and what plants you want to clear.


Offline woodman

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Re: Wetlands on property. What's the deal?
« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2012, 08:57:18 PM »
:) Lots of good info here and a lot of crap. I will say two things: county or city or state has nothing to do with it, US Army Corp. of Enginers is the ONLY, SINGLE, ONE agency that can call a 'wetland' a 'wetland' or not.  2. Trying to do something and hide it is beyond stupid, wetlands are and have been mapped for over 100 years and if there is doubt, because wetlands can move or grow/shrink the newest info is what makes the determination not historical. You could do some work and find your entire property was NOW a wetland. agree or not is not my decision it is yours but you better think it thru. :dunno:
Carl


I really don't know where you are comming from with the whole army corp of engineers thing, but last I checked I went to the county for permits which through authority of the critical area ordinance they told me what I could do with my land.  Maybe there is a misunderstanding, but I have never had any dealings with the army corp of engineers when I was told I had wetlands.  I can promise you that is not crap I have the check stubs, and a few more grey hairs to prove it.

SemperFidelis97, very well put and more diplomatic than I feel like putting it after reading the US Army Corp. of Engineers statement. I can tell you that I put over $50,000.00 in the the building permit process in Pierce County trying to put a shop behind my home and never even got to turn a shovel full of dirt on it. During this process, I never dealt with the Army Engineers.

Also to say that all wetlands have already been mapped for over 100 years is a crock!

I don't know what part Bofire thinks is crap here, but my comments here are from personal experience. I also will say that a woman from the wetland dept. in pierce county came onto my property and acted like I threw one of my buildings up magically without a permit and told me that she was going to make me tear it down. I told her that she better have a lot of money and had better go do her home work. She found out that I did have a permit and she just went away.

 



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