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Builders & Permit Applicants

The County is waiting for the federal agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to approve its HCP. Once approved, permit applications for projects affected by federal Endangered Species Act law will go through the full County HCP permit process. Permitted projects will get a Certification of Inclusion to show the project is covered by the County HCP/Federal Permit. 

About Mitigation

Under the County's HCP, the amount of mitigation is equal to area of impact. Whether you’re building a home or shed, or putting in well or septic system, all habitat disturbance is an impact. All impacts to habitat must be replaced through mitigation: Pay a mitigation fee, dedicate land to conservation, or purchase credits from an independent migitation bank.

Click on this image of a site plan example to enlarge it.

Steps for Estimating HCP Mitigation Fee 

If your project is on gopher habitat, you can estimate mitigation on your own. For the bird and butterfly HCP species, your mitigation fee is covered in your gopher mitigation. For frog HCP speices, you can estimate your project's area of habitat impact, but will need to work with permit staff to calculate mitigation fee. A fill-in-the blank form can help you work through the steps: gopher form (PDF), frog form (PDF). 

BEFORE YOU BEGIN: Find Out If Your Project is Covered by the County's HCP/Federal Permit 
  • List of Exemptions from HCP/4d Rule (PDF)  
  • HCP-Covered Activities List (PDF) Some projects, like mining, aren't covered.
  • Gopher habitat that is 100% forest covered may be exempt from HCP permitting (Definition is very specific. Must be confirmed by County staff.)
  • Although a project may be exempt from HCP rules, other County permits may be required. Contact permit staff.
  • You can choose to work directly with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to get your own HCP and federal permit.
BEFORE YOU BEGIN:  Avoid/Minimize Impacts with HCP BMPs
  • Use HCP Best Management Practices (BMPs) (PDF) to site your project, among other requirements. 
  • This is very important. Design changes may be requested if HCP BMPs are not fully used.
Step 1: Add up Total Project Area 
  • Include entire development envelope.
  • Use site plan, or estimate total project area.
  • Use acres (Conversion rate 43,560 sq. feet = 1 acre).
  • Development envelope includes all areas of soil disturbance. Grading, filling, location of all structures and hard surfaces (like driveways), utilities, drinking water well, septic system and drain field, yard, lawn, garden & paths.
Step 2: Look Up Which Habitat is Mapped on Property 
  • Open County Permit Map & enter address or parcel number to find specific habitat mapped on the project property. The County uses aerial photos and mapped species to review applications. (Know where the project will be sited on property to correctly note affected soil type.)
    • For gophers, find and note:
      • Sub-species (YPG N; YPG E; YPG S; OPG; TPG)
      • Soil type (More preferred or Less preferred)
      • Is gopher occupancy on parcel(s)?
      • Is project parcel within 656 feet (200 meters) of a gopher-occupied parcel?
      • Optional: You can choose to get a site-specific soil delineation for the entire property rather than using the County map. Survey to be completed by County-approved qualified specialist, using HCP methods in Appendix K.
    • For Oregon spotted frog (OSF), note species.
    • For Oregon vesper sparrow (OVS) note species.
    • For Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly (TCB) note the species.

Step 3: Find Habitat Value & Cost per Credit
Staff must complete this step for HCP-covered bird, butterfly & frog.

Step 4: Calculate Mitigation Fee
Staff must complete this step for HCP-covered bird, butterfly & frog
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  • First, calculate how many mitigation credits you need using this formula: Area of Impact x Habitat Value = Credits Needed.
    • Example: Area of impact (0.23acres) x habitat value (0.75) = Credits Needed (0.1725).
    • Use information you found in steps above.
  • Second, calculate mitigation fee using this formula: Cost per Credit x Credits Needed = Mitigation Fee.
    • Example: Cost per credit YPG-S ($14,644) x credit needed (0.1725) = $2,526

The steps above are for your planning and information purposes only. These steps will help you estimate a project's mitigation fee. Fees are calculated by County staff based on your final submitted site plan and project materials. Other County permit application processes apply. See permitting/BDC, or contact permitting/BDC. Contact the Conservation Services staff for land-dedication details. 


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