Chapter 20.52


20.52.005    Standards policies.

20.52.010    Principal structures per lot.

20.52.020    Traffic vision impediments.

20.52.030    Distances between buildings.

20.52.040    Air, land and water quality.

20.52.050    Volatile products storage.

20.52.060    Noise.

20.52.070    Airport interference.

20.52.080    Building height.

20.52.090    Density – Minimum lot size.

20.52.100    Coverage – Minimum open areas.

20.52.110    Setbacks – Yards.

20.52.120    Shoreline dependency.

20.52.130    Piers, docks, shoreline protection and other shoreline construction.

20.52.150    Drainage.

20.52.160    Dredge and fill.

20.52.170    Home occupations.

20.52.180    Mobile homes and mobile home parks – Defined.

20.52.190    Off-street parking.

20.52.200    Buffers.

20.52.210    Signs.

20.52.220    Redevelopment.

20.52.230    Traffic generation.

20.52.240    Recreational vehicle parks.

20.52.250    Recreation.

20.52.260    Firewood storage.

20.52.270    Animal establishments.

20.52.280    Wastewater discharge and drinking water separation.

20.52.005 Standards policies.

The standards contained in this chapter are applicable in a variety of circumstances, depending upon the type and location of the development proposed or undertaken. The chapter creating each district announces which of the standards of this chapter shall apply within each district. Nothing in this chapter limits or excludes the application under this code or other statutes, regulations or ordinances, which would otherwise be applicable to lands or structures within a district. The planning and zoning commission, consistent with its powers and authority under the code or under statute or regulation, is charged with determining whether a particular use is in compliance with the standards. Anyone seeking a conditional use permit or a building permit must demonstrate how the applicable standards under this chapter are to be met under a proposed use. [Ord. 867 § 1, 2013; Ord. 462 § 6, 1984.]

20.52.010 Principal structures per lot.

In all districts, except the RMU district, more than one principal structure housing a permitted use may be erected on a single lot provided the area, width and all other development requirements of the district shall be met for each principal structure as though each structure were on an individual lot. In the RMU district, more than one principal structure housing a permitted use may be erected on a single lot for every 30,000 square feet of property. [Ord. 867 § 1, 2013; Ord. 462 § 6, 1984; Ord. 219 § 5, 1969; prior code § 95.40.080.]

20.52.020 Traffic vision impediments.

A. At street intersections there shall be nothing erected, placed, planted or grown on any corner lot so as to encroach into that horizontal triangular area formed by the rights-of-way boundaries and a line connecting the two points 20 feet back from the lot corner formed by the street.

B. Subsection (A) of this section shall not apply (anything erected, placed, planted or grown at a height of less than two and one-half feet or greater than 10 feet above ground level) to natural land forms and outcroppings. [Ord. 867 § 1, 2013; Ord. 462 § 6, 1984.]

20.52.030 Distances between buildings.

No detached dwelling or other main building shall be less than five feet from any other detached dwelling or main building on the same site. For the rural residential district and the remote residential mixed-use district, the requirement shall be 10 feet from any other detached dwelling or main building, with the exception of wood sheds and outhouses, on the same building site. [Ord. 867 § 1, 2013; Ord. 462 § 6, 1984; Ord. 219 § 5, 1969; prior code § 95.40.090.]

20.52.040 Air, land and water quality.

A. No smoke, heat, odor, fumes, dust, glare, vibration or water pollution shall be detectable beyond the boundaries of property upon which a permitted use occurs, except where such results from occasional maintenance operations or from normal wood smoke emissions from stoves or fireplaces.

B. Variances from the above standards under the procedures set forth in Chapter 20.72 WMC shall be granted only upon a determination that a proposed discharge would be within applicable state and federal standards, that a private hardship or public need justifying the variance exists or would occur if the variance is denied, and that adjacent properties would not suffer significant adverse effects.

C. No materials or wastes shall be deposited upon a lot in such a manner as to make them subject to transportation off the lot by natural forces or causes. Nor shall any substance be allowed to enter any stream or watercourse which carries the potential for contamination, or otherwise may render such stream or watercourse undesirable as a source of water, as a place for recreation or as a place which will support healthy aquatic life. [Ord. 867 § 1, 2013; Ord. 462 § 6, 1984.]

20.52.050 Volatile products storage.

A. No highly inflammable or explosive liquids, solids, or gases shall be stored in bulk above ground, except for tanks or drums of fuel connected directly with fuel-consuming devices or heating appliances located and operated on the same lot as such storage containers. This subsection is applicable to all uses in all districts, except as where such use is permitted in the industrial district, light industrial district and remote residential mixed-use district. In the RMU districts, this section is inapplicable where multiple 55-gallon tanks of fuel or propane may be stored in safe and secure areas, with adequate ventilation, away from structures used for living quarters.

B. Permitted uses involving the design, construction, reconstruction or use of toxic material or petroleum storage facilities shall provide for the prevention and cleanup of spills and shall provide for the disposal of such materials by the owners thereof. Uses involving the design of petroleum storage facilities shall be governed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Spill Prevention, Control and Counter-Measure (SPCC) guidelines (40 CFR Section 112.3), and the National Fire Protection Association’s codes for storage and loss control of oil products. [Ord. 867 § 1, 2013; Ord. 462 § 6, 1984.]

20.52.060 Noise.

The noise emanating from a premises used for industrial activities shall be muffled so as not to become objectionable due to intermittent beat, frequency or shrillness. Where the use adjoins a residential district (SF, MF, RR-1, RR-2, and RMU), the noise loudness measured at the boundary line of the premises used for industrial activities shall not exceed 90 decibels between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. weekdays and the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. weekends and holidays, and 40 decibels at other hours. [Ord. 867 § 1, 2013; Ord. 462 § 6, 1984.]

20.52.070 Airport interference.

No use governed by this code shall create or allow the maintenance of a physical obstruction to air navigation. The Federal Aviation Administration standards governing objects affecting navigable airspace (49 CFR Part 77) shall govern all uses under this code. [Ord. 867 § 1, 2013; Ord. 462 § 6, 1984.]

20.52.080 Building height.

The purposes of building height standards are to prevent loss of life, excessive property damage, and to minimize risk of fires, by enabling firefighters to reach upper stories or roofs, and to help maintain the character of neighborhoods.

A. No structure within a single-family residential district should exceed a height of 25 feet absent a variance.

B. Church spires, water towers, elevator shafts, or smoke stacks not used for human occupancy, and cables, antennas or similar accessories, are exempt from the height requirements of this section.

C. Portions of a building may exceed 35 feet in height where 50 percent of the building’s roof perimeter lies within the 35-foot height limit, from an existing grade accessible to fire suppression personnel and rescue equipment, not including perimeter areas which provide access only to portions of the building used for storage, or where all dwelling units and work spaces can be reached and evacuated through windows or balconies lying within the 35-foot height limit of borough firefighting equipment. The approval of the borough’s fire chief and the zoning administrator shall be required before permits are issued for the construction of buildings exceeding the 35-foot limit. Measurements shall be taken from the base of the building to the perimeter of the roof.

D. In the remote residential mixed-used district, structures should not exceed a height of 35 feet absent a variance. [Ord. 867 § 1, 2013; Ord. 462 § 6, 1984.]

20.52.090 Density – Minimum lot size.

A. Within a single-family residential district, or within a multifamily residential district, the minimum lot area shall be 5,000 square feet per single-family residential unit. The minimum lot area for all multifamily structures shall be 800 square feet per residential unit for a one- or two-story structure, and 700 square feet per residential unit for a three-story structure so long as all setback requirements are met and developments have a density of at least 12 units per acre when within a multifamily district. The minimum lot area in either of the rural residential districts shall be 15,000 square feet, except that the minimum lot area may be 10,000 square feet for lots served by public water and sewer service, or for lots entirely within an area for which a local improvement district is proposed and a central sanitary sewer system is approved by the State Department of Environmental Conservation. The planning commission may require lot areas larger than 15,000 square feet for lots in rural residential districts which are not served by public sewer and water systems, in order to provide adequate separation of sewer and water systems. No minimum lot area requirements are imposed for nonresidential uses.

B. Except as provided for remote residential mixed-use districts in subsection (C) of this section, any lot used as a mobile home site shall have a minimum width of 50 feet. The minimum widths for lots fronting upon public rights-of-way in a multifamily residential district shall be 100 feet, except that lots in such districts which are used exclusively as sites for single-family residences shall have minimum widths of 50 feet. The minimum widths for lots fronting on public rights-of-way in rural residential-1 districts shall be 100 feet, except that such minimum widths may be reduced to 50 feet by the planning and zoning commission when public water and sewer are available. No minimum width requirements are imposed for nonresidential uses.

C. The minimum lot size in the remote residential mixed-use (RMU) district is as follows: RMU-F1 and RMU-F2 subareas have a minimum lot size of four acres; RMU-M subarea has a minimum lot size of 15,000 square feet; RMU-O subarea has a minimum lot size of 2.5 acres; RMU-T subarea has a minimum lot size of 1.25 acres; RMU-G subarea has a minimum lot size of 1.25 acres; and RMU-E subarea has a minimum lot size of two acres. No further division of lots is allowed in the RMU-U subarea.

D. Any lot of record upon the adoption of the ordinance codified in this chapter, which is of an area or width less than that which can be required for the district in which such lot is located, may be used for any permitted purpose, so long as the lot complies with all other regulations prescribed for the district and so long as the owner of such lot does not, at the time of the adoption of the ordinance codified in this chapter, own adjacent land which could be combined to form a lot meeting the applicable minimum area and minimum width requirements. Only lots in the RMU district that are less than the minimum lot size required at the time of adoption of the RMU district may be maintained as a separate lot of record, even if there is an adjacent lot owned by the same owner. [Ord. 867 § 1, 2013; Ord. 462 § 6, 1984.]

20.52.100 Coverage – Minimum open areas.

No buildings located in a single-family residential district shall occupy more than 50 percent of the surface area of such lot. No buildings located in a multifamily residential district shall occupy more than 60 percent of the surface area of such lot. No buildings located in a rural residential-1 district shall occupy more than 50 percent of the surface area of such lot. No buildings located in a rural residential-2 district or a remote residential mixed-use district shall occupy more than 60 percent of the surface area of such lot. In the event that compliance with these minimum open area requirements would result in a residential structure of less width than 24 feet, the planning and zoning commission shall determine and fix maximum lot coverage and minimum open area requirements for the lot to permit its reasonable utilization for a permitted use. [Ord. 867 § 1, 2013; Ord. 462 § 6, 1984.]

20.52.110 Setbacks – Yards.

Setbacks are required to ensure sufficient open area, sunlight, views, privacy, fire separation and visual relief between structures. Setbacks from lot lines shall be 20 feet whenever property abuts a state highway right-of-way. Otherwise, applicable setbacks shall be: single-family residential district, front yards – 20 feet, side yards – five feet, back yards – 20 feet; multifamily residential district, front yards – 10 feet, side yards – five feet, back yards – 15 feet; rural residential-1 and -2 districts, front yards – 20 feet, side yards – 15 feet, back yards – 20 feet; remote residential mixed-use district, all yards – 10 feet, except that structures existing in the remote residential mixed-use district as of January 22, 2013, containing setbacks of less than 10 feet are allowed by right.

A. Zero setbacks and other setbacks not conforming to the minimums set forth for each zone above may be allowed where the planning and zoning commission determines that the structure:

1. Will not negatively impact adjacent property, existing or future views, road expansion, or the passage of sunlight to adjacent property;

2. Conforms to all applicable fire regulations; and

3. Contains a design feature which may serve as the basis for approval of a nonconforming setback, such as designs which accommodate view or solar exposures, irregular lots, retention of trees, or the employment of a cluster housing concept.

All applications for nonconforming setbacks shall be submitted to the commission at least 10 days before the meeting or 20 days if located in the RMU district, at which time such application will be considered, so that commission representatives can serve written notice of the application upon adjacent property owners.

B. The zoning administrator shall review plans for all proposed structures to determine whether such structures will substantially obstruct an adjacent lot’s exposure to sunlight or to views. The commission may require increased or offsetting setbacks or a reduction in height for the planned structure.

C. Where nonconforming setbacks result in less than 10 feet between dwelling units, a fire-rated wall shall be required in lieu of a setback so as to provide adequate fire separation.

D. In recognition of the sensitivity of beaches to alteration and development that interrupt the natural movement of sand and other aggregates along shorelines which can result in erosion of adjacent shorelines, and in recognition of the scenic and recreational values of beaches, the development of beaches is discouraged. Any development on or alteration of sand or gravel beaches shall require prior planning and zoning commission approval. [Ord. 867 § 1, 2013; Ord. 462 § 6, 1984.]

20.52.120 Shoreline dependency.

When considering development in any district to which this standard is applicable, the planning and zoning commission shall give first priority to water-dependent uses and activities, second priority to water-related uses and activities, and third priority to uses and activities which are not water-dependent or water-related, but for which there is no feasible and prudent inland alternative suitable for meeting a public or private need. The shoreline criteria contained in this section apply to all unclassified uses on waterfront properties in the remote residential mixed-use district for which a conditional use permit is required.

A. All applications for shoreline-dependent development in a waterfront development district must be accompanied by a statement explaining the nature and the intensity of the water orientation of the proposed activity, including an indication of any cost-saving or benefits arising from location upon the shore that could not be obtained from an inland location. Alternatively considered upland sites should be identified.

B. The cooperative use of dock, parking, cargo handling and storage facilities should be encouraged.

C. Toxic materials and petroleum shall not be stored within 25 feet of ordinary high tide, unless it should be demonstrated that such can be safely accommodated as an accessory to a fuel dock facility. [Ord. 867 § 1, 2013; Ord. 462 § 6, 1984.]

20.52.130 Piers, docks, shoreline protection and other shoreline construction.

A. No pier, dock, marina, wharf, causeway, or permanent or temporary floating structure shall be constructed or used so as to preclude any normal use of navigable waters.

B. Any construction having impact upon lands below ordinary high tide, or other shoreline development project, shall require prior planning and zoning commission approval. To obtain such approval, evidence shall be presented by the applicant that the size of the facility is the minimum necessary to achieve the desired purpose.

C. Boat ramps are only to be permitted for individual residences within 25 feet of ordinary high tide where the shoreline slope does not exceed 25 percent and/or where substantial cutting, grading, filling or shoreline protection measures are not necessary. One boat lift is allowed as an accessory use pursuant to the requirements of this section where the shoreline slope exceeds 25 percent.

D. In considering applications for the construction of shoreline projects, the planning and zoning commission shall prefer the use of floating or pile-supported structures over the use of fill since fill results in the loss of productive aquatic habitat and/or the alteration of natural shoreline processes which can result in erosion of adjacent shorelines and the loss of beaches.

E. Private moorage for float planes may be permitted by the planning and zoning commission as a conditional use, consistent with program standards regarding docks.

F. Where appropriate, the planning and zoning commission may require shoreline protection measures to be taken to mitigate the effects of structures having impact upon lands below ordinary high tide or the effects of other shoreline development. Shoreline protection measures may include:

1. A requirement that the construction or project not unreasonably interfere with existing recreational and navigational uses of the affected water, nor unreasonably alter scenic and aesthetic qualities of the area as determined by the planning and zoning commission;

2. A requirement that the construction or project not unreasonably interfere with or harm the environment or any stream or tidal water area nor substantially harm any fish or wildlife habitat; and

3. A requirement that the construction or project shall not cause unreasonable soil erosion nor lower the quality of any waters.

G. Shoreline protection measures are to be permitted by the planning and zoning commission only where evidence is provided by the applicant that one of the following conditions exists:

1. Serious erosion is threatening an established use on the subject property; or

2. A demonstrated need associated with a water-dependent or water-related commercial or industrial use is evident.

H. Shoreline protection measures are to be permitted by the planning and zoning commission only where evidence is provided by the applicant that a proposed shoreline protection measure will not have adverse effects upon adjacent or nearby property through the action of increased erosion, shoaling, flooding, or similar occurrences.

I. Construction of shoreline protection measures shall be carried out at times that will minimize the effects of such construction upon aquatic life.

J. Significant natural spawning, rearing or residency areas for aquatic life shall be given special consideration by the planning and zoning commission in reviewing proposed shoreline protection action.

K. Except in conjunction with an approved water-dependent or water-related commercial or industrial use, new shoreline protection measures shall not be permitted seaward of the line of nonaquatic vegetation, or where such a line cannot be determined, seaward of ordinary high tide.

L. The planning and zoning commission shall not approve any shoreline protection measure which does not allow the maintenance of existing public waterway access.

M. Proposed shoreline protection measures shall be designed to minimize their impact upon the aesthetic qualities of the shoreline and shall not alter natural shoreline processes that can result in erosion or loss of beaches.

N. Where riprap is being proposed as a shoreline protection measure, the planning and zoning commission shall not approve the use of such having a slope steeper than one and one-half feet horizontal to one foot vertical unless evidence is presented by the applicant that use of a steeper slope is justified and that the rock or cement to be used will be effective. Measures to reduce fill, such as rock walls, are encouraged.

O. Materials used for shoreline protection measures must be approved by the zoning administrator or the building inspector. Tires and/or vehicles may not be used as any component of a shoreline protection measure.

P. New residential developments creating five parcels or more on the shoreline shall provide for adequate public waterway access and access to publicly owned shoreline areas which are appropriate to the site, general nature, and size of the development. The planning and zoning commission shall require, in connection with the approval of such developments, the reservation of a public access easement running at least 25 feet above and parallel to the line of ordinary high tide. Topographic constraints or alternative access routes may allow the planning and zoning commission to lessen, forego, or waive this requirement.

The planning and zoning commission shall establish a public access corridor where appropriate and practical along publicly owned shorelines and shall encourage the establishment of such a corridor on private lands. Trail links between shoreline parks and public access points shall be encouraged for walking, for bicycle riding, and for other nonmotorized vehicular access.

Q. Recreational and access developments shall, where appropriate, preserve or enhance scenic views and vistas as well as improve the aesthetic value of the area to be developed. Large structures that would block visual access to the shoreline from upland areas shall be sited to minimize visual interference. [Ord. 867 § 1, 2013; Ord. 462 § 6, 1984.]

20.52.150 Drainage.

A. Use of natural, undisturbed drainage is required where usable. Existing surface drainage channels on a site shall be determined prior to approval by the planning and zoning commission for development. Regrading, stripping of vegetation or filling is permitted in these areas; provided, that:

1. The time of concentration of stormwater flows remains unchanged or is lengthened; and

2. Any resultant new drainageways have less velocity than pre-existing ones or reduce erosion through the provision of erosion control measures.

B. Each new development, for instance, site preparation or construction, shall provide for the on-site control of excess runoff resulting from that development so as to prevent such runoff from adversely affecting neighboring parcels. For the purpose of this section, excess runoff shall include all increases in runoff resulting from:

1. Any increase in the impervious surface of the site, including additions to buildings, roads and parking lots;

2. Changes in soil absorption caused by compaction during development;

3. Modifications to land contours, including filling or draining of small land depressions; and

4. Alteration of drainageways or facilities for handling wastewater from domestic uses.

C. Stormwater runoff shall be directed away from any known shellfish or kelp beds or other sensitive marine resources. [Ord. 867 § 1, 2013; Ord. 462 § 6, 1984.]

20.52.160 Dredge and fill.

A. Landfill placed in bodies of water, floodways or natural wetlands for the expansion of upland areas is prohibited for residential development unless the planning and zoning commission finds upon the presentation of adequate evidence that no usable or prudent alternative is available.

B. Earth moving activity shall be allowed within the borough without the approval of the planning and zoning commission, unless such activity would have an effect upon tidelands or established shoreline setbacks, buffers, or public access corridors, under the following conditions:

1. Where landfill or the removal of material is incidental to construction, alteration or repair of a building or the grading and landscaping incidental thereto; or

2. Where landfill or removal or transfer of material is incidental to the construction, alteration or repair of a public or private access road or street or facility providing essential services. [Ord. 867 § 1, 2013; Ord. 462 § 1, 1984.]

20.52.170 Home occupations.

“Home occupation” means a profession or use falling within the definition of WMC 20.08.380. Allowance of home occupations is intended to promote a local economic base consistent with the character of the borough and lifestyles of its people. Allowable uses include crafts, small-scale services and other activities which have little impact upon the neighborhoods in which they are located in terms of appearance, operating hours and other factors.

A. Home occupations shall be allowed only upon a limited conditional use basis upon the issuance of a permit by the planning and zoning commission, except where permitted in the remote residential mixed-use district.

B. Home occupations are intended as family businesses and shall not, with the exception of the rural residential-1 district, include businesses of the following or similar character:

1. Animal hospitals;

2. Commercial kennels;

3. Funeral parlors;

4. Automobile repair shops;

5. Restaurants;

6. Junkyards; and

7. Flea markets.

C. Standards of the district in which the use occurs shall apply to home occupations. In addition, the following specific standards shall apply:

1. Signs shall be no larger than six square feet and shall be of a height not greater than four feet from ground level and shall otherwise conform to the requirements of WMC 20.52.210;

2. The use shall be carried out completely in the dwelling or in an enclosed structure; except that a home occupation use need not be enclosed in the remote residential mixed-use district or rural residential district, provided the use shall be screened from view from all navigable waterways and adjacent residentially zoned properties with a buffer conforming to the requirements of WMC 20.52.200;

3. The facilities shall be architecturally and aesthetically compatible with the surrounding residential area and with other structures on the site;

4. Recreational vehicle or trailer parks, amusement or gaming operations are not to be allowed as a home occupation;

5. Storage associated with the home occupation will be enclosed in an acceptable structure;

6. Those proposed home occupations that may generate unreasonable amounts of traffic or create a nuisance, as determined by the planning and zoning commission, may be denied;

7. Those proposed home occupations that may result in storage or home occupation activities outside an enclosed area, as to be determined by the planning and zoning commission, may be denied;

8. One off-street parking space is required, in addition to other applicable parking space requirements, for each home occupation permitted upon a particular site. Additional parking spaces may be required by the planning and zoning commission as warranted. This provision is inapplicable to the RMU district.

D. The planning and zoning commission shall review a home occupation use upon receipt of written complaints from three separate households affected by the home occupation or upon any written complaint from the zoning administrator, member of the commission, or borough assembly. The zoning administrator shall schedule a public hearing to review such complaints upon adequate notice to the owner of the property upon which the home occupation is conducted.

E. In any hearing held under authority of subsection (D) of this section, the planning and zoning commission shall hear the evidence presented and upon adequate findings of fact may:

1. Approve continuation of the use as it exists;

2. Require that it be terminated; or

3. Impose mitigating restrictions, such as limitations upon hours of operation, or the construction of fences. Decisions of the planning and zoning commission upon the evidence presented at such hearings may be appealed to the borough assembly. [Ord. 867 § 1, 2013; Ord. 462 § 6, 1984.]

20.52.180 Mobile homes and mobile home parks – Defined.

A. “Mobile home” means any coach, motor home, trailer or other vehicle or structure designed or intended for or capable of human dwelling or sleeping purposes which is mounted on wheels or supports and is capable of being moved by its own power or transported by a vehicle, where such mobile home is used or intended for permanent occupancy. This does not include units that are similarly constructed and designed for multiple sleeping quarters such as bunkhouses and separate food preparation and dining areas.

B. “Mobile home park” means any park, court, parcel or tract of land, including a planned unit development, designed, maintained, intended or used for the purpose of supplying a location for more than two mobile homes including all buildings used or intended for use as a part of the equipment thereof, whether or not a charge is made for the use of the park and its facilities. A mobile home park does not include automobile or trailer sales lots on which unoccupied mobile homes are parked for the purpose of inspection and sale, with no more than one mobile home fully set up for occupancy located on each such sales lot.

C. A building permit for construction, improvement or expansion of a mobile home park is required. The planning and zoning commission shall authorize issuance of such a permit and shall impose any special conditions for development which have not already been imposed by order of the zoning administrator. Upon completion of construction, improvement or expansion of a mobile home park/subdivision, a permit for its operation is required. The planning and zoning commission shall issue such a permit upon a showing that the mobile home park/subdivision is in compliance with all applicable requirements. The permit to operate may be suspended by the commission for violation of this section.

D. All mobile homes in the borough must comply with the following requirements:

1. All mobile homes shall be constructed in conformance with state and federal specifications, including the Uniform Building Code. No accessory structures shall be attached to trailers in mobile home parks without a permit issued by the borough and signed by the park owner or manager;

2. Unless otherwise stated, mobile homes shall conform to the performance standards of single-family dwellings in the applicable district;

3. Mobile home developments, such as mobile home parks or planned unit developments, shall conform to the applicable district requirements;

4. Mobile homes that will occupy a site outside a mobile home park for more than 12 months shall be required to be set upon a permanent footing and to be skirted.

E. The following standards shall apply to areas wherein mobile home spaces are provided within a mobile home park that is constructed according to minimum standards and guided by a carefully drawn plan of development. The standards, restrictions and procedures required in this section are designed to assure that mobile home parks provide an adequate residential environment:

1. Minimum yard requirements are designed to ensure that sufficient open area, sunlight, views, privacy and fire separation exist between mobile homes:

a. Front, 10 feet, excluding trailer tongue;

b. Side, eight feet;

c. Rear, 10 feet;

d. Exterior boundary of park, 10 feet;

e. Enclosed accessory structures may not extend into yard areas.

2. Recreational area requirements are imposed to ensure that each mobile home park shall contain outside areas designated and developed for children’s recreational purposes, unless evidence is provided that children will not reside in such park/subdivision:

a. Ten to 50 spaces, 200 square feet for each mobile home or camper space;

b. Over 50 spaces, 10,000 square feet plus 150 square feet for each additional mobile home or camper space over 50;

c. There shall be at least one improved recreational area for children in each park of 30 units or more, not less than 6,000 square feet in area (5,000 square feet for less than 30 units). Such areas shall exclude steep slopes, water surface or periodically flooded or inundated land unless it is usable and maintained for recreational purposes, in which case it may be applied towards a maximum of one-fourth of the required recreation area in excess of 7,000 square feet. Two square feet of water surface or area of periodically flooded or inundated land shall be considered as only one square foot of land for purposes of fulfilling this requirement;

d. Recreation equipment for use by children is required in each improved area.

3. A 10-foot vegetated buffer area is required adjacent to a public street and shall be attractive and maintained at all times.

4. All lots or spaces within a mobile home park shall have direct and uninterrupted access to an internal street restricted to use by residents. Such streets shall have direct access to a public right-of-way. Installation of all internal streets, easements and other improvements to the mobile home park shall be in conformance with the following standards:

a. Dedication of streets and easements within the boundaries of a mobile home park is not required;

b. Adequate internal streets shall be developed and maintained as a provision of the conditional use permit for the mobile home park;

c. All internal streets in a mobile home park shall be constructed to the following standards. Street rights-of-way shall be a minimum of 20 feet with 12 feet of drivable road surface. Dead-end streets shall be limited to 500 feet in length and shall provide a terminal with a right-of-way diameter of not less than 70 feet containing a drivable road surface of a diameter of not less than 60 feet.

5. The following accessory uses (developed by the mobile home park owner for use by residents) are permitted: administration buildings; laundry and service buildings; community center; recreational facilities and detached storage structures.

6. A building permit for a mobile home park shall be issued only after review and approval of a site plan by the planning and zoning commission. To aid in the planning and zoning commission’s recommendation, a scaled and dimensioned site plan and topographic map of the development shall be prepared and submitted according to the provisions of Chapter 20.58 WMC. The site plan shall show, but not be limited to:

a. Proposed standards for development, including any restriction of the use of the property, and density standards;

b. Location of buildings and mobile homes in relation to property and lot lines;

c. Location of off-street parking spaces and bays, internal circulation ways and ingress and egress points for the site;

d. Public and semipublic open spaces, community facilities and landscaped areas, fences, patios and service areas (including garbage disposal and snow removal areas), driveways and walkways, as well as provision for maintenance of all common areas;

e. Plans for the provision of utilities, including water, sewer and other drainage facilities, and provision for connection with public utilities;

f. Provision of buffers between the park and adjoining property;

g. After review of the plan, the planning and zoning commission may require that the applicant modify the proposal and resubmit it for further review if it is found not be in compliance with the standards applicable to the district in which it is located or the standards applicable to mobile home parks. [Ord. 867 § 1, 2013; Ord. 462 § 6, 1984.]

20.52.190 Off-street parking.

A. In all districts, except the RMU district, there shall be provided, at the time any main commercial or industrial building is constructed, altered, enlarged or subjected to a change in use, off-street parking for the use of occupants, employees or patrons. It shall be the responsibility of the owner and/or occupant of any such building or structure to provide, and thereafter maintain, the minimum number of free off-street parking facilities as required under this chapter.

B. No existing parking area and no parking area provided for the purpose of complying with the provisions of this title shall be relinquished or reduced in any manner below the requirements established in this chapter.

C. A site plan showing all parking and loading areas shall accompany all applications for building permits. The plan shall show the dimensions of spaces, curb cuts and other information necessary to determine compliance with provisions of this chapter. The zoning administrator shall approve or reject the site plan on the basis of compliance with the requirements of this chapter. No certificate of compliance or building permit shall be issued unless the parking site plan is approved.

D. Any parking space provided pursuant to this chapter shall be on the same lot with the main use it serves or on an adjoining lot, except that the planning and zoning commission by a conditional use permit as specified in Chapter 20.68 WMC may allow parking spaces to be on any lot within 500 feet of the use if it determines that it is impractical to provide parking on the same lot.

E. All parking areas shall be of sufficient size and shall conform to the following standards:

1. Each parking space shall be 170 square feet in area exclusive of access and circulation aisles and shall be 10 feet by 17 feet, except for handicapped parking spaces which shall be 11.5 feet by 17 feet.

2. All parking lots shall be provided with a durable, well-drained surface.

3. Any lighting of parking lots shall be arranged to reflect away from the public rights-of-way and from any adjoining residential areas.

4. Curb cuts shall be located so as to avoid traffic hazards and shall be approved by the zoning administrator.

5. Curb cuts shall be no more than 25 feet wide and no less than 12 feet wide.

6. All parking lots, where feasible, shall be buffered and constructed so as to minimize erosion and water pollution by controlling storm runoff.

F. Where there is more than one use in a single structure or on a single site (e.g., attorney and retail store) or two or more separate instances of the same use, off-street parking requirements shall be the sum of the requirements for various uses.

G. The planning and zoning commission shall use these parking standards as guidelines and may require fewer total parking spaces for a particular use where appropriate. Parking spaces fewer than the minimum shall be allowed where the following situations exist:

1. Public parking capable of accommodating some of the parking demand generated by the land use is available within 500 feet of such use.

2. Two or more uses share the same parking accommodations in such a way that the hours or days of peak usage are so different that a lower total number of spaces will provide adequately for all uses.

3. The clientele of the use is such that a reduced number of spaces is appropriate, as in the case of a business having a large number of pedestrian customers.

H. Off-street parking space shall be provided in the following proportions:


No. Spaces

Per Unit

Residential dwelling (single or multifamily)


Dwelling unit



Five rental units

High volume retail business or professional offices gross


400 sq. ft. of floor area

Lodges and meeting halls, no fixed seating


400 sq. ft. of gross floor area



1/2 for each employee plus 1 for each 20 students over 16 years of age

Churches and auditoriums, with fixed seating


20 seating spaces in the main assembly room

Theaters or other places of assembly


20 seating spaces

Furniture, plumbing supplies or clothing stores or shoe repair or similar large commercial uses


800 sq. ft. of gross floor area

Service station


1,000 sq. ft. of lot area

Industrial uses


2 employees working the shift having the greatest number of employees

Home occupation


In addition to those required for residential use



10 fixed seating spaces and/or 100 square feet of nonfixed seating

Public buildings


Each employee

I. Floor areas for the purpose of computing parking requirements shall be the sum of the horizontal area within the exterior walls of the several floors of the building, excluding storage or service areas. Whenever off-street parking is required, the parking area and space shall be designated, constructed and maintained in accordance with the minimum provisions and standards in this chapter.

J. If it appears to the planning and zoning commission that additional parking spaces beyond the minimums required are necessary, the commission may require additional open areas be kept in reserve for this purpose.

K. The requirements of WMC 20.52.200 are inapplicable in the RMU district. [Ord. 867 § 1, 2013; Ord. 462 § 6, 1984.]

20.52.200 Buffers.

Due to smoke, noise, traffic, aesthetics and potential hazards, all new or expanded port facilities, industrial uses, unenclosed home occupation uses abutting another property with a residential use, and mobile home parks (over three units) shall have buffers between such areas and adjoining areas. Buffers shall be 25 feet in width, and shall be 75 percent sight-obscuring. When composed of plants, buffers shall be 50 percent of full size within one year and average eight feet in height. Buffers shall be composed of natural terrain and vegetation where possible. If fences are used they should be aesthetically pleasing and compatible with the character of the area.

Buffers shall not be used for storage of equipment or materials or for waste disposal, but may be used for outdoor recreation. Portions of such buffers may be used for light motor vehicle parking if the design of such facilities is found by the planning and zoning commission to be consistent with the comprehensive plan of the borough. Buffer requirements may be waived if the commission determines that natural or manmade land forms upon the site sufficiently serve the purpose of this section. [Ord. 867 § 1, 2013; Ord. 462 § 6, 1984.]

20.52.210 Signs.

A. A permit shall be obtained from the zoning administrator prior to the installation of any sign or advertising structure excepting those less than six square feet (e.g., two feet by three feet) in area. Construction and erection of signs shall be in accordance with this chapter and with all other pertinent regulations.

B. Signs shall advertise only those businesses or activities engaged in on the immediate premises.

C. No signs shall be erected in any location where, by reason of the position, shape or color of such sign, it may interfere with, obstruct the view of, or be confused with any authorized traffic sign, signal or device. No sign shall exceed the height of the structure to which it is attached or exceed 10 feet in height if freestanding.

D. No sign other than public signs shall be placed within 10 feet of any intersection as measured from the nearest corner created by two intersecting street rights-of-way.

E. Flashing signs and intermittent illumination are to be permitted only in commercial and industrial zones.

F. In all residential districts, lighting shall be direct and shielded from adjacent property.

G. Except as approved with a conditional use permit for a commercial use in the remote residential mixed-use district, only the following signs are permitted in a residential district:

1. Real Estate Signs. One sign not exceeding eight square feet, advertising only the sale, rental or lease of the building or premises on which it is maintained.

2. Signs Identifying Home Occupations. One sign per use, not exceeding nine square feet in area; such sign shall be no closer than 10 feet from any property line.

3. Bulletin Boards. Bulletin boards used to display announcements of meetings to be held on the premises are permitted for churches, schools, community centers and public, charitable or institutional uses. Unless otherwise permitted in the district, such signs shall contain no more than 20 square feet in area and may be located no closer than 10 feet from any street lot line. Only one such sign shall be permitted for each street frontage.

4. Construction Signs. During construction, repair or alteration of a structure, temporary signs which denote the architect, engineer, contractor or builder, or which denote the name of construction and its use or occupants-to-be or other construction participants or structure users, may be placed within any required yard setbacks as ground, wall or roof signs. Each sign shall be 20 square feet or less in size and not more than one such sign shall be permitted for each construction participant or structure user.

5. Signs Identifying Other Permitted and Conditional Uses. One sign per use not to exceed 20 square feet in area for the purpose of identifying multifamily dwellings, clubs, offices and other similar uses may be placed flat against the building in which such use occurs and shall be no closer than 10 feet from any property line.

6. Signs for Nonconforming Uses. A legal, nonconforming use in a residential area may have one sign per property, unlighted, and no larger than 20 square feet in area. Such sign shall be located no closer than 10 feet from any property line.

7. Subdivision Signs. Signs advertising the sale or lease of lots or buildings within new subdivisions of at least five lots are permitted, providing they are not directly or indirectly illuminated and do not exceed 50 square feet in area. Not more than one such sign shall be located at each major approach to the subdivision, with such signs located within the required setback yards applicable to the principal structures and located no closer than 10 feet from the nearest property line.

8. Public Safety Signs. Temporary, private ground or wall signs exclusively relating to the safety of the public (e.g., “No Parking Today,” “Use Covered Walkway,” “Do Not Enter,” “Danger,” or “Loading Zone”) may be located as needed for public safety without limitation as to number, size or location under this section.

H. In addition to the requirements of Chapter 13.05 WMC, the following regulations shall apply to signs in commercial and industrial districts:

1. Signs shall be located flat against a building or a marquee.

2. One ground, pole, or projecting sign is permitted, per property, not to exceed 50 square feet in area; provided, that signs projecting beyond the lot line may be no closer than six inches from the curbline and must be at least eight feet above the finished sidewalk grade.

I. Signs which do not conform to the requirements of this title shall be eliminated within three years from the effective date of the ordinance codified in this title. [Ord. 867 § 1, 2013; Ord. 841 § 2, 2009; Ord. 462 § 6, 1984.]

20.52.220 Redevelopment.

The conversion of an existing structure to a permitted or conditional commercial use shall be permitted where the character of the existing structure is maintained and where all parking and other requirements for the particular use are met. [Ord. 867 § 1, 2013; Ord. 462 § 6, 1984.]

20.52.230 Traffic generation.

If the volume of traffic expected to be generated by a business or a nonconforming or special use would create a nuisance for area residents or congestion, the planning and zoning commission may deny a permit for the use or may require measures mitigating such nuisance or congestion. [Ord. 867 § 1, 2013; Ord. 462 § 6, 1984.]

20.52.240 Recreational vehicle parks.

A building permit for the construction, improvement and expansion of a recreational vehicle (RV) park is required. Recreational vehicle and camper space rentals are permitted within RV parks at a density of 24 spaces per acre, provided the following provisions are met:

A. A sewage dumping station connected to a sewer system approved by the State Department of Environmental Conservation shall be provided.

B. A water supply approved by the State Department of Environmental Conservation for public use shall be provided at a central location for recreational vehicle and camper use.

C. One-way streets will be permitted; provided, that they are adequately marked and designated for one-way traffic flow. Such streets shall have a right-of-way of 20 feet in width with a driving surface 12 feet wide.

D. An RV park may be part of an overall mobile home park application, but must be incorporated as a separate design element within such mobile home park.

E. Parking spaces shall be of sufficient size to provide for a minimum of 10 feet between recreational vehicles or campers.

F. A site plan in accord with WMC 20.52.180(E)(6) shall be incorporated within any application to the planning and zoning commission of a permit for the reconstruction, improvement or expansion of an RV park. [Ord. 867 § 1, 2013; Ord. 462 § 6, 1984.]

20.52.250 Recreation.

There shall be adequate provisions for play areas and recreational facilities for children and teenagers (as determined by the commission) for all subdivisions of more than 10 lots and all multifamily developments (e.g., apartments) over 10 units. [Ord. 867 § 1, 2013; Ord. 462 § 6, 1984.]

20.52.260 Firewood storage.

A structure built or constructed for the purpose of storing firewood may be located in any district to which this standard is made applicable, subject to the following limitations:

A. The structure shall be set back at least 18 inches from lot lines.

B. The structure shall not exceed a height of eight feet and width of eight feet, except in the remote residential mixed-use and rural residential districts. In the remote residential mixed-use district and rural residential districts, the structure shall not exceed a height of 14 feet and there is no limitation on the structure width, provided the structure contains adequate ventilation with a design to prevent spontaneous combustion.

C. The structure shall comply with the requirements of WMC 20.52.020.

D. The structure shall only be used for the storage of firewood, and shall not be used for the storage of fuel, chemicals, construction materials such as studs, beams and siding or similar materials. [Ord. 867 § 1, 2013; Ord. 486 § 4, 1985.]

20.52.270 Animal establishments.

Animal establishments may be located in those districts where such use is allowed, subject to the following:

A. The owner of any animal establishment must provide, according to the needs of the animal:

1. Adequate shelter from the elements;

2. Adequate facilities to keep the animals on the owner’s property and prevent straying;

3. Adequate procedures and facilities to avoid unreasonable off-site odor or noise disturbance to adjacent properties;

4. Adequate facilities for keeping the kennels, stables and other animal housing areas clean and free of filth; and

5. Adequate food, water and vaccinations.

B. No animal establishment shall cause any nuisance, hazard or damage to persons or to other property by:

1. Disposal of water and waste products;

2. Risks to health and well-being;

3. Destruction of surface vegetation and soils; or

4. Straying animals.

C. Animal establishments for horses, mules and donkeys shall comply with subsections (A) and (B) of this section and the following:

1. Shelters shall be roofed to allow the animal protection from the elements. Depending on the needs of the animal, the shelter must be divided into stalls large enough for the animal to turn completely around while standing inside. Manure and wet bedding shall be cleaned out regularly.

2. The owner shall prepare and maintain the ground in such a way that the area in which the animals are standing does not retain water and minimizes mud. Wood chips or some other similar porous material that will allow moisture to drain away from where animals are standing is ideal.

3. Adequate corrals must be provided and be enclosed by safe fencing. Barbed wire is not allowed. There must be adequate room in the corral for the animals to move about and self exercise without hurting themselves or others. Corrals shall not be allowed to accumulate a build-up of manure and/or filth.

4. Feed containers should have bottoms to prevent feed from coming in contact with the ground. The feed container should always be located on dry ground areas so that the animals will be forced to stand on the dry ground while feeding.

5. Storage of grain feed shall be in secure, rodent-proof, closed containers.

6. Clean drinking water shall be provided at all times.

7. Manure on any stabling site shall be bermed such that there is no runoff beyond the limits of the site.

8. Manure shall be removed from the site regularly and disposed of in a legal manner.

9. There must be adequate vegetative buffers between stabling areas and adjacent property.

10. Minimum lot size must be 15,000 square feet for one animal plus an additional 5,000 square feet for each additional animal. In all zoning districts there must be 5,000 square feet of free space for each animal to allow the animal to move. Where the property owner submits a current detailed site plan and can demonstrate that adequate facilities for the exercise of the animals will be provided (for example, a commercial stable with an arena area), a conditional use permit may be granted with less restrictive minimum lot size requirements.

11. Corrals shall have a grade allowing water to drain away from the animals. Ditches or channels around the more elevated areas of the corral to catch and direct water away from the corral are recommended. Ditches or channels draining the corral to lower grades shall discharge water in compliance with the Wrangell Municipal Code. [Ord. 867 § 1, 2013; Ord. 785 § 29, 2006.]

20.52.280 Wastewater discharge and drinking water separation.

All domestic wastewater disposal systems shall meet applicable Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) requirements. No person may construct any part of a wastewater disposal system, including a sealed system, within the following areas (horizontal distances): within 100 feet of any surface water or within 100 feet of any ground water used as a private drinking water source; within 200 feet of any surface or ground water used as a Class A or Class B public water system source; or within 150 feet of any surface or ground water used as a Class C public water system source. (ADEC regulations 18 AAC 72 (wastewater, including individual treatment systems such as septic tanks, sealed vault privies, and marine water outfalls) and 18 AAC 80 (drinking water).) [Ord. 867 § 1, 2013.]