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The purpose and intent of this chapter is:

A. To implement state and federal law with respect to the protection of clean water, pollution control, and preservation of endangered species.

B. To protect Ashland’s Goal 5 significant wetlands and riparian areas, thereby protecting and restoring the hydrologic, ecologic, and land conservation functions these areas provide for the community.

C. To implement the provisions of Statewide Planning Goals 6 and 7, which require the buffering and separation of those land uses and activities that lead to or may create impacts on water quality, as well as to reduce the risk to people and property resulting from the inappropriate management of wetland and riparian areas.

D. To implement the goals and policies of the Environmental Resources chapter of Ashland’s Comprehensive Plan with respect to water resources, wetlands, floodplains, and stream flooding.

E. To reduce flood damage and potential loss of life in areas subject to periodic flooding.

F. To better manage storm water drainage, minimize maintenance costs, protect properties adjacent to drainage ways, improve water quality, protect riparian and aquatic fish and wildlife habitat and provide opportunities for trail connections.

G. To protect water associated with Ashland’s hydrology for human uses, fish and wildlife and their habitats.

H. To control erosion and limit sedimentation.

I. To protect the amenity values and educational opportunities of Ashland’s wetlands, water bodies and associated riparian areas as community assets.

J. To improve public appreciation and understanding of wetlands and riparian areas for their unique ecosystem structure and functions and for the human-nature interactions they provide.

K. To improve and promote coordination among local, state, and federal agencies regarding development activities near Ashland’s wetlands, water bodies, and associated riparian areas.

L. In cases of hardship, to provide a procedure to alter wetlands and riparian areas only when offset by appropriate mitigation, as stipulated in the ordinance and other applicable state and federal requirements.