King County Codes: Rural
equestrian community trails
21A.14.350 Rural equestrian community trail preservation –
The purposes of the rural equestrian community trail protection
and improvement requirements set forth in this chapter are to
promote the preservation of equestrian communities in King
County as a valuable element of rural character and lifestyle.
King County intends to accomplish these purposes in a flexible
manner that provides incentives to and minimizes costs to
private property owners, provides protection from liability for
property owners with trails on their property, and does not
reduce permitted residential densities in subdivisions and short
subdivisions. (Ord. 14045 § 36, 2001).
21A.14.360 Rural equestrian community trails – general
A. The county may accept
the voluntary grant of an easement for a rural equestrian
community trails [trail] consistent with K.C.C. 21A.14.350
through 21A.14.390 from any development when such development
contains any existing historically established rural equestrian
community trail, and when located in the RA, A or F zones. The
residents or tenants of the development shall be provided access
to any such trail provided hereunder for use consistent with the
function of the trail. The area of any such trail provided
hereunder shall be counted as part of the site for purposes of
density and floor area calculations. The application of this
section shall not reduce the allowed density within a
residential subdivision or short subdivision. The county may
also accept the voluntary grant of an easement for a rural
equestrian community trail consistent with K.C.C. 21A.14.350
through 21A.14.390 when there is no development proposed for the
B The rural equestrian
community trails provisions apply to any property located in the
RA, A or F zones.
4. Development proposals
for government/business service uses denoted in the permitted
use table in K.C.C. 21A.08.060. (Ord. 16267 §75, 2008: Ord.
14259 § 9, 2001: Ord. 14045 § 37, 2001).
21A.14.365 Rural equestrian community trails - notification.
A. The department shall
notify every applicant for a plat, short plat, boundary line
adjustment, clearing and grading permit, conditional use permit,
building permit for new construction or additions to existing
structures, or zone reclassification in the RA, A or F zones on
the opportunity to voluntarily grant an easement for a rural
equestrian community trail in accordance with Ordinance 14259.
B. The department shall
notify the department of natural resources and parks of every
application for a plat, short plat, boundary line adjustment,
clearing and grading permit, conditional use permit, building
permit for new construction or additions to existing structures,
or zone reclassification in the RA, A or F zones. (Ord. 16267
§76, 2008: Ord. 14259 § 10, 2001).
21A.14.370 Rural equestrian community trails – authority.
The county shall accept a voluntary grant of easement for
the preservation or relocation of a rural equestrian community
trail in the RA, A or F zone whenever:
A. The department makes a
determination in writing that:
1. The equestrian
community trail is listed or mapped on an inventory of
equestrian community trails maintained by the King County parks
and recreation department*. The department shall field verify
the presence of a trail where an inventory indicates the general
location of a trail that has not yet been field verified:
2. The equestrian
community trail connects to a state, county or other trail open
to the public;
3. The equestrian community trail, following a site inspection
by the department of natural resources and parks, is reasonably
fit for use as a rural equestrian community trail;
4. If the equestrian
community trail traverses or impacts an environmentally
sensitive area, it can be modified to meet code requirements for
trails in sensitive areas; and 5. Permanent protection or
relocation of an equestrian community trail can be accomplished
without interference with allowed uses and development of the
subject property, and the site can be developed without
interference with the trail and allows for future owners of the
property to access historically existing or public trails in the
vicinity of the site.
B. If the trail is
proposed to be granted as part of a mitigation package for a
development proposal, the department of permitting and
environmental review determines and reports to the department of
natural resources that permanent protection or relocation of an
equestrian community trail can be accomplished without
interference with the proposed use and development of the
subject property, and the site can be developed without
interference with the trail and in a manner that allows future
owners of the property to access historically existing or public
trails in the vicinity that are linked to the subject site. The
department of permitting and environmental review shall report
its findings in writing. (Ord. 17420 § 101, 2012: Ord. 16267
§77, 2008: Ord. 14259 § 11, 2001: Ord. 14045 § 38, 2001).
*Reviser’s note: The King County department of natural resources
and parks is apparently intended.
21A.14.380 Rural equestrian community trails – location and
The following design standards apply to rural equestrian
community trails provided pursuant to this chapter located
within the RA, A or F zones.
A. An on-site rural
equestrian community trail should be retained at its existing
location unless that location impairs the use of the property as
intended by the applicant. A rural equestrian trail retained in
the existing location shall not require any upgrades or
improvements, except for maintenance required by this section.
The trail may be relocated to a location within the street
right-of-way or to another corridor separate from a street
right-of-way, provided that whatever alternative is used
preserves the same connections as the original trail to an
existing public park or trail in the vicinity of the subject
property. The preferred place for a relocated trail is out of
the right-of-way or separated from the paved surface and road
shoulder by a berm, ditch or other separation. Trails may only
be relocated to a street right-of-way when meeting the standards
in subsection E of this section. A tax credit pursuant to the
Public Benefit Rating System may only be given for trails
relocated off the road right-of-way. The trail location shall be
preserved by appropriate easements or dedications.
B. Corridors for trails
located outside a street right-of-way shall be ten feet wide, or
six feet wide if the trail will be located along a property line
and additional corridor space can reasonably be expected to be
preserved on the abutting property and the corridor is not
encumbered by any structures adjacent to the corridor.
C. If permitted by K.C.C.
chapter 21A.24, an existing or relocated rural equestrian
community trail may be located in a designated sensitive area
D. Rural equestrian
community trails that are not located within street
rights-of-way, should be natural, visually and functionally
unobtrusive, and as low-impact as possible.
E. Relocated or new rural
equestrian community trails within public or private road
rights-of-way shall be designed consistent with adopted King
County Road Standards (KCRS, Section 3.11), as supplemented by
the following standards:
1. The trail shall
be located to provide access to a local equestrian travel
corridor through the project site and adjacent properties, as
determined by the King County department of transportation in
cooperation with the local equestrian community.
2. The preferred
design is a trail separated from the paved roadway by a berm,
ditch, tree cover or other natural obstacle; the center of the
trail tread shall be at least eight feet of horizontal distance
from the paved roadway edge.
3. When a separated
trail cannot be provided, a soft-surfaced ninety-six inch-wide
roadway shoulder path shall be installed on all roads other than
local access streets, where a forty-eight inches shoulder path
shall be sufficient.
4. All trails shall
have an all-weather tread of thirty-six to forty-eight inches.
5. The roadway
shall include appropriate surface treatment to reduce slippage
at roadway/trail crossings.
signs shall be provided to indicate the location of street
crossings for trails, with emphasis on arterials and
F. Relocated or new rural
equestrian community trails not located in a right-of-way shall
be designed to the King County Road Standards, KCRS, Section
3.11.A.2. (Ord. 16267 §78, 2008: Ord. 14259 § 12, 2001 Ord.
14045 § 39, 2001).
21A.14.390 Rural equestrian community trails - maintenance and
A. Once a trail easement
has been granted to the county as provided by this chapter, it
shall remain free from structural obstructions or other
permanent or temporary obstacles. A rural equestrian community
trails [trail] shall be open to the public for recreational use
by equestrians and pedestrians. Equestrian and pedestrian use
does not include use by motor vehicles, bicycles, roller skates,
skateboards or other mechanized modes of transportation.
However, the department of natural resources and parks may
authorize use by motor vehicles in limited circumstances, such
as for maintenance, emergencies or trail crossings.
B. The trail easement
shall set forth the responsibility for trail maintenance. Trails
within dedicated street rights-of-way shall be maintained by the
department of transportation or its successor agency. Trails
within easements granted to King County shall be maintained by
the department of natural resources and parks. The county may
contract with a local user group or parks district for
maintenance of the trail.
C. Trails established
under this section are subject to the rules and enforcement
measures for use of facilities for King County parks in K.C.C.
D. An easement governing
the use and operation of a rural equestrian community trail
being granted under Ordinance 14259 shall be granted by the
property owner to the county. In preparing the easement, the
department of natural resources and parks is authorized to
negotiate the terms of the easement on matters such as the
allowed use of the easement, whether the easement includes
indemnification requirements, the maintenance of the easement,
the relocation of the easement, and whether the easement is
permanent or for a term of years, depending on the value of the
property as a rural equestrian community trail. The easement
shall be consistent with Ordinance 14259. (Ord. 14259 § 13,
2001: Ord. 14045 § 40, 2001).
equestrian community trails - annual report. The executive shall
report to the council annually by July 31, in the form of an
electronic and a paper copy filed with the clerk of the council,
who shall distribute electronic copies to all councilmembers, on
the implementation of the rural equestrian community trail
incentives and regulations adopted by Ordinance 14259 and for
the implementation of the active trail linkage provisions of
K.C.C. 20.36.100.A.5, starting in 2012.
A. For the rural
equestrian community trail incentives and regulations, the
report shall include the following:
1. Miles of community
trail and acreage accepted in the equestrian-pedestrian-bicycle
trail linkage category of the public benefit rating system
2. Status of field
verification and mapping of community trails;
3. Regulatory issues and
5. Response from
equestrian user groups, landowners and citizens;
6. Status of agreements
with other jurisdictions or private individuals or groups
concerning operations and maintenance;
7. A map of verified
trails and non-verified trails;
8. Costs associated with
trail maintenance and improvements; and
9. Other relevant
information pertaining to the incentive and regulatory program.
B. For the active trail
linkage provisions of K.C.C. 20.36.100.A.5, the report shall
include the following:
1. Numbers of trail
linkages accepted into the active trail linkage category of the
public benefit rating system program;
2. Estimates of use
volumes for active trail linkages;
4. A description of
efforts with a trail advocacy group in identifying potential
trail linkages, including numbers of linkages identified;
description of the extent to which the linkages have impacted
the utility of the system for recreation, commuting,
transportation and public health; and
6. Costs associated
with trail maintenance and improvements.
(Ord. 16942 § 4, 2010: Ord. 14259§ 14, 2001).
KCC website, March 2013