(a)   It is hereby determined that the system of, streams, and other natural watercourses within the City contributes to the health, safety, and general welfare of the residents of the City. The specific purpose and intent of this chapter is to regulate uses and developments within riparian setbacks that would impair the ability of riparian areas to:
      (1)   Reduce flood impacts by absorbing peak flows, slowing the velocity of flood waters, and regulating base flow.
      (2)   Assist in stabilizing the banks of watercourses to reduce woody debris from fallen or damaged trees, streambank erosion, and the downstream transport of sediments eroded from watercourse banks.
      (3)   Reduce pollutants in watercourses during periods of high flows by filtering, settling, and transforming pollutants already present in watercourses.
      (4)   Reduce pollutants in watercourses by filtering, settling, and transforming pollutants in runoff before they enter watercourses.
      (5)   Provide watercourse habitats with shade and food.
      (6)   Reduce the presence of aquatic nuisance species to maintain a diverse aquatic system.
      (7)   Provide riparian habitat to a wide array of wildlife by maintaining diverse and connected riparian vegetation.
      (8)   Benefit the City by minimizing encroachment on watercourse channels and the need for costly engineering solutions such as gabion baskets and rip rap to protect structures and reduce property damage and threats to the safety of residents; and by contributing to the scenic beauty and environment of the City, and thereby preserving the character of the City, the quality of life of the residents of the City, and corresponding property values.
   (b)   The following chapter has been enacted to protect and enhance these functions of riparian areas by providing reasonable controls governing structures and uses within a riparian setback along designated watercourses in the City.
(Ord.2004-O-21. Passed 11-9-04.)