Chapter 18.08
DEFINITIONS

Sections:

18.08.010    Generally.

18.08.020    Tense and number.

18.08.030    Word interpretation.

18.08.040    A definitions.

18.08.050    B definitions.

18.08.070    C definitions.

18.08.080    D definitions.

18.08.090    E definitions.

18.08.100    F definitions.

18.08.110    G definitions.

18.08.120    H definitions.

18.08.130    L definitions.

18.08.140    M definitions.

18.08.150    N definitions.

18.08.160    O definitions.

18.08.170    P definitions.

18.08.180    R definitions.

18.08.190    S definitions.

18.08.010 Generally.

For the purpose of this title, unless it is clearly evident from the context that a different meaning is intended, certain words and terms are as defined in this chapter. [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Code 1980 at § 18.08.010].

18.08.020 Tense and number.

The present tense includes the future and the future includes the present. The singular number includes the plural and the plural includes the singular. [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Code 1980 at § 18.08.020].

18.08.030 Word interpretation.

“May” is permissive and “shall” is mandatory. “Lot” includes “plot,” “parcel,” “tract” or “site.” [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Code 1980 at § 18.08.030].

18.08.040 A definitions.

“Administrative officer” is the director of the planning and community development department charged with administering this chapter.

“Alley” means a public right-of-way, less than 30 feet in width, but greater than 10 feet, for use by pedestrians, vehicles, public utilities, and/or other necessary public functions, but which affords only a secondary means of access to abutting property. [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Code 1980 at §§ 18.08.035, 18.08.040].

18.08.050 B definitions.

“Bicycle lane” is a lane at the edge of a roadway reserved and marked for the use of bicycles.

“Binding site plan” means a drawing to a scale of a division or land into lots or tracts classified for industrial or commercial use for the purpose of sale, transfer or lease pursuant to RCW 58.17.035 and containing all the elements set forth in Chapter 18.24 BMC.

“Block” means a group of lots, tracts, or parcels within well-defined and fixed boundaries.

“Building setback line” means a line parallel to the front property line in front of which no structure shall be erected. The location of such line is determined from the regulations of BMC Title 20, the land use development ordinance. [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Ord. 9550 § 3, 1986; Code 1980 at §§ 18.08.042 – 18.08.060].

18.08.070 C definitions.

“City engineer” means the duly appointed city engineer for the city of Bellingham.

“City finance director” means the duly elected finance director for the city of Bellingham.

“Cluster short subdivision” means a subdivision into four or fewer lots in which standard requirements may be modified in order to provide desirable open space, recreational opportunity or achieve other significant public benefits without increasing the overall density of dwelling units per acre as provided in this chapter and the applicable neighborhood plan.

“Cluster subdivision” means a subdivision into five or more lots in which standard requirements may be modified in order to provide desirable open space, recreational opportunity or achieve other significant public benefits without increasing the overall density of dwelling units per acre as provided in this chapter and the applicable neighborhood plan.

“Commission” means the Bellingham city planning and development commission.

“Comprehensive plan” refers to the 1995 Bellingham comprehensive plan, including subsequent amendments, adopted by the city of Bellingham as a guide to the growth and improvement of the city.

“Controlling corner” means all angle points of the perimeter of a subdivision or separate divisions of a subdivision.

“Council” means the city council of the city of Bellingham.

“County engineer” means the duly appointed county engineer for Whatcom County.

“County treasurer” means the duly elected treasurer for Whatcom County.

“Covenant” means a binding and solemn agreement made by two or more individuals, parties, etc., to do or keep from doing a specified thing or things.

“Cul-de-sac” means a street right-of-way intersecting another street right-of-way at one end and which terminates with a permanent vehicular turn around at the other end. Dead-end streets or rights-of-way planned for future extension shall not be considered a cul-de-sac. [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Ord. 9550 § 4, 1986; Code 1980 at §§ 18.08.070 – 18.08.175].

18.08.080 D definitions.

“Dedication” means the deliberate appropriation of land by an owner for any general and public uses, reserving to himself no other rights such as are compatible with the full exercise and enjoyment of the public use to which the property has been devoted. The intention to dedicate is evidenced by the owner by the presentment for filing of a final plat or a short plat showing the dedication thereon; and the acceptance by the public is evidenced by the approval of such plat for filing by the appropriate governmental unit.

“Density bonus” means an incentive used with the cluster option, at the discretion of the city council, that rewards the creation of significant public benefit(s), such as additional open space, recreational facilities, affordable housing, density transfers from environmentally sensitive areas or other features deemed desirable by the council.

“Development regulation” means zoning, SEPA, subdivision, clearing, grading, wetland and stream, stormwater or other governmental regulation of the use and development of land. [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Code 1980 at §§ 18.08.180 – 18.08.185].

18.08.090 E definitions.

“Easement” means a grant by the property owner for use by the public, a corporation, or person(s) of a parcel of land for specified purposes, such as, without limitation, vehicular access, pedestrian paths, bicycle paths, utility easements, or drainage facilities and within which the owner is prohibited from placing any permanent structures.

“Environmentally sensitive areas” means areas covered by water, shorelines, floodplains, wetlands, streams, designated aquifer recharge areas, steep slopes over 30 percent, geologically hazardous or contaminated areas, fish and wildlife habitat for state listed priority species, and identified archaeological, historical and culturally significant areas that may be sensitive to development impacts.

“Environmental impact statement” means a written statement prepared in accordance with Chapter 43.21C RCW and Chapter 16.20 BMC which contains a determination of environmental significance and a detailed review of the environmental impacts of a proposed project.

“Existing street” means a presently traveled way with a minimum width of 18 feet of hard surfacing, irrespective of whether it has been accepted by the city for maintenance. A “hard surfaced street” is a street consisting of either portland cement or asphaltic concrete as a wearing surface. [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Code 1980 at §§ 18.08.190 – 18.08.210].

18.08.100 F definitions.

“Final plat” means all or a portion of a subdivision presented for final approval after all requirements of this chapter and those conditions placed on the preliminary plat have been completed and all improvements installed and accepted or guarantees properly posted for their completion. [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Code 1980 at § 18.08.215].

18.08.110 G definitions.

“Greenbelt” means a parcel of land, usually of strip or ribbon shape, left in an undeveloped and natural state, excluding all development except recreation. [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Code 1980 at § 18.08.220].

18.08.120 H definitions.

“Health department” means the Bellingham/Whatcom County department of health. [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Code 1980 at § 18.08.230].

18.08.130 L definitions.

“Lake Whatcom watershed” means any area that by virtue of topography drains into Lake Whatcom.

“Lot” means a fractional part of subdivided lands having fixed boundaries being of sufficient area and dimension to meet minimum zoning requirements for width and area. “Lot” includes tracts or parcels of land.

“Lot area” means the total horizontal area within the boundary of the lot lines of a parcel and expressed in terms of square feet or acres. For the purposes of determining the area of a “pipestem lot,” the area shall be defined as the square footage of the lot exclusive of the pipestem portion of the lot.

Lot, Corner. “Corner lot” means a lot which abuts on two or more intersecting streets or cul-de-sacs at their point of intersection.

“Lot depth” means the horizontal distance between front and rear lot lines. For lots that do not have a rear lot line, the depth shall be measured from the intersecting point of the side yards and the front property line.

Lot, Interior. “Interior lot” means a lot which has frontage on one street or cul-de-sac only.

“Lot line adjustment” means a revision made for the purpose of adjusting boundary lines which does not create any additional lot, tract, parcel, site or division nor create any lot, tract, parcel, site or division which contains insufficient area and dimension to meet minimum requirements for width and area for a building site.

“Lot of record” means a lot shown as an officially approved and recorded plat, short plat, or subdivision, or a parcel of land recorded with the county auditor prior to August 17, 1964.

Lot, Pipestem. “Pipestem lot” – sometimes called a flag or panhandle lot – means a lot with a parallel extension (pipestem), straight or compound, created for the sole purpose of providing such lot with frontage on a public street. The total area of the pipestem shall not be used in calculating the lot area.

Lot, Through. “Through lot” means a lot other than a corner lot abutting more than one street in which the streets do not intersect at the lot.

“Lot width” means the horizontal distance between side lot lines at the point of the building setback line. [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Code 1980 at §§ 18.08.235 – 18.08.278].

18.08.140 M definitions.

“Metes and bounds” means a description of real property which starts at a known point and describes the bearings and distances of the line forming the boundaries of the property and is completed when the description returns to the point of beginning.

“Monument” means an object used to permanently mark a surveyed location. The size, shape and design of the monument is to be in accordance with standards specified by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources as authorized by Chapter 58.17 RCW. [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Code 1980 at §§ 18.08.280, 18.08.290].

18.08.150 N definitions.

“Neighborhood standards” means the street standards specified in the applicable neighborhood plan of the Bellingham comprehensive plan. [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Ord. 9390 § 3, 1984; Code 1980 at § 18.08.295].

18.08.160 O definitions.

“Open space” means any undeveloped parcel or tract of land designated, dedicated or otherwise reserved for public and/or private use and benefit as a natural area, greenway corridor or for recreational purposes as may be specified upon creation of said tract. [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Code 1980 at § 18.08.300].

18.08.170 P definitions.

“Pavement width” means the actual paved surface measured between faces of curbs of streets or from edge to edge of alley road surface.

“Planning and community development department” means the city of Bellingham department of planning and community development.

“Plat” means a map or representation of a subdivision, showing thereon the division of a tract or parcel of land into lots, blocks, streets, and alleys or other division and dedications.

“Plat certificate” means a title report by a title insurance company certifying the ownership, deed restrictions, covenants, etc., of the land being subdivided.

“Preliminary plat” is a neat and approximate drawing of a proposed subdivision showing the general layout of streets and alleys, lots, blocks, and restrictive covenants applicable to the subdivision, and other elements of a plat or subdivision which furnish a basis for the approval or disapproval of the general layout of a subdivision.

“Public health official” means the district health officer, Bellingham/Whatcom County department of health.

“Public works director” means the duly appointed director of the city of Bellingham public works department. [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Ord. 9352 § 5, 1984; Code 1980 at §§ 18.08.310 – 18.08.400].

18.08.180 R definitions.

“Right-of-way” means a strip or parcel of land dedicated to the city for public uses including street, mass transit, bicycle, and pedestrian uses as well as emergency access, utility, drainage, vegetation management, view corridor or other necessary public uses on a portion of which a street is built. [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Code 1980 at § 18.08.410].

18.08.190 S definitions.

“SEPA” means the State Environmental Policy Act requiring review of potential environmental impacts, alternatives and mitigation for certain public and private projects.

“Short plat” is the map of representation of a short subdivision.

“Street” means a right-of-way having a width of 30 feet or more which provides the principal means of access to abutting property. Any residential access street within the city of Bellingham’s Lake Whatcom watershed shall also have the meaning and standards required in BMC 13.04.075.

Street, Accepted. “Accepted street” means a street that has been accepted for maintenance. Usually any street that has or had been improved to the prevailing minimum city standard is regarded as an accepted street.

Street, Arterial. “Arterial street” means an existing or proposed roadway designated an arterial by city ordinances.

Street, Collector. “Collector street” means a roadway designed to carry medium volumes of vehicular traffic, provide access to the major street system, and collect the vehicular traffic from the intersecting minor streets.

Street, Local or Minor Access. “Local or minor access street” means a street providing vehicular access to abutting properties.

Street, Marginal Access. “Marginal access street” means a street parallel to and adjacent to a major arterial, which provides access to the properties abutting it and separates the abutting properties from high speed vehicular traffic.

“Subdivider” means any person, firm or corporation who subdivides or develops any land deemed a subdivision as defined in this section.

“Subdivision” means a division of land into 10 or more lots, tracts, parcels, sites or divisions.

“Subdivision guarantee” means a title report by a title insurance company certifying the ownership, deed restrictions, covenants, etc., of the land being subdivided.

Subdivision, Short. “Short subdivision” means a division or redivision of land into nine or fewer lots, tracts, parcels, sites or subdivisions. [Ord. 2002-03-017; Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Ord. 9550 § 7, 1986; Ord. 9390 § 4, 1984; Code 1980 at §§ 18.08.412 – 18.08.505].