The planning director shall have authority to grant exceptions to the standard setback distances and permitted uses within /WB areas subject to site review approval and in accordance with the following provisions.
(1) Criteria. Exceptions shall be granted only if the applicant demonstrates in writing that at least one of the following exists:
(a) Through a combination of buffer enhancements and site design alterations a smaller buffer setback distance can provide protection to the resource that is equal to or better than that provided by the standard buffers specified above, including, but not limited to meeting or exceeding EC 9.2530 Natural Resource Zone Development Standards (1) through (4).
(b) No economically viable use allowed within the base zone or special area zone could occur as a result of the application of these setback and buffer provisions, and that this circumstance is not purposefully brought about by any deliberate action of the owner or developer of the property.
An exception shall be granted by the planning director in these cases, and Type II buffers of less than 50 feet are permitted on high value wetlands and Type II buffers of less than 25 feet are permitted on moderate value wetlands. Setbacks around high value wetlands shall not be less than 25 feet in any case.
(2) Buffer Averaging. Wherever practical, reductions in buffer distance from the standard buffer setback distances due to approved exceptions shall be accomplished through averaging the buffer distance on a site. Averaging means that when the buffer setback is reduced in one location, it is expanded somewhere else in compensation so that the total buffer area remains the same.
(a) Wherever practical, reductions in buffer distance due to approved exceptions shall occur adjacent to lower value or less sensitive areas within a given wetland site and expansion of the buffer in compensation shall occur adjacent to higher value or more sensitive areas within a given wetland site.
(b) To the extent practicable, wherever buffers are reduced from the standard setbacks along channel sites or other linear sites, buffers shall be increased on the opposite bank of the channel across from the area where the reduction is allowed.
(3) Reductions to Other Standards. The planning director shall have authority to reduce other setbacks and landscape requirements contained in this land use code on properties where wetland buffer setbacks are required.
(4) Applicable Standards. All construction, vegetation removal and earth moving that takes place inside standard /WB setback areas as approved through this exception process shall conform to EC 9.2530 Natural Resource Zone Development Standards (2) through (19).