Chapter 18.56
CAMPGROUND AND
RECREATION FACILITIES

Sections:

18.56.010    Title.

18.56.020    Purpose.

18.56.030    Definitions.

18.56.040    Applicability.

18.56.050    Exemptions.

18.56.060    Authority and administration.

18.56.070    Preapplication and preliminary site plan application requirements.

18.56.080    Application procedures for preliminary site plan approval.

18.56.090    Health standards applicable county-wide.

18.56.100    Minimum land use and site design standards applicable in unincorporated areas.

18.56.110    Site development.

18.56.120    Final binding site plan.

18.56.130    Violations – Penalties.

18.56.140    Annual operating permit required – Inspections and records.

18.56.150    Fees and charges.

18.56.160    Appeals.

18.56.170    Severability.

18.56.180    Effective date.

18.56.010 Title.

The ordinance codified in this chapter shall be known as the “Cowlitz County Recreational Vehicle Park and Campground Binding Site Plan Code.” [Ord. 98-194, § 1, 11-16-98.]

18.56.020 Purpose.

The purposes of this chapter are:

A. To ensure the public health, safety and welfare of all recreational vehicle parks and campgrounds within Cowlitz County, including the incorporated areas as well as unincorporated areas, through the application of health regulations adopted pursuant to authority and responsibility granted the local Health Official under RCW 70.05.070.

B. To implement various policies and goals of the Cowlitz County Comprehensive Plan and shorelines management master program, including land use, community facilities and services, environment, economic development, and housing, relative to unincorporated areas of Cowlitz County, pursuant to authority and responsibility to adopt official land use controls under RCW 36.70.640 and shorelines regulations under Chapter 90.58 RCW.

C. To provide, pursuant to authority provided in RCW 58.17.035 and 58.17.040(5), for a binding site plan method of land subdivision in unincorporated Cowlitz County for purposes of lease of commercial property where camping units are permitted to be placed upon the land.

D. To provide quasi-judicial and administrative procedures, pursuant to Chapter 36.70C RCW, for land use approval of recreational vehicle parks and campgrounds.

E. To provide for the creation of new and expansion or modification of existing recreational vehicle parks and campgrounds in unincorporated areas of Cowlitz County that meet the needs and protect the interests of users, the recreational vehicle industry, and adjacent landowners.

F. To assure the compatibility of recreational vehicle parks and campgrounds in the unincorporated areas of Cowlitz County with adjacent and nearby land uses by establishing development standards, while providing for flexible designs.

G. To protect public health, safety and welfare. [Ord. 98-194, § 2, 11-16-98.]

18.56.030 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter the following terms are defined:

“Binding site plan” means a drawing prepared to a scale, approved and recorded in conformance with this chapter, that identifies and shows: (1) the proposed division of land for the purpose of leasing spaces for use of areas or spaces in recreational vehicle parks and campgrounds; (2) the areas and locations of all roads, streets, improvements, utilities, open spaces and other matters required by this chapter; (3) inscriptions or attachments setting forth the limitations and conditions for use of the land; and (4) provisions that subsequent site development conform with the recorded binding site plan. [RCW 58.17.020(7)]

“Camper,” also referred to as a “truck camper,” means a structure designed and constructed to be mounted upon a motor vehicle which provides facilities for human habitation or for temporary outdoor or recreational lodging and which is five feet or more in overall length and five feet or more in height from its floor to its ceiling when fully extended, but shall not include motor homes as defined in RCW 46.04.305. [RCW 46.04.085]

“Camping cabin” means a structure that may include cooking facilities or plumbing facilities, but not both, designed to provide sleeping quarters for recreational purposes.

“Campground” means any parcel or tract of real property that is designed for camping or outdoor recreation and containing two or more camping spaces offered for the use of the public or members of an organization. Campgrounds may or may not necessarily be designed to accommodate recreational vehicles. Campgrounds may be “primitive,” where no sanitary facilities are provided for the comfort and convenience of campers. Campgrounds may be “semi-primitive,” where rudimentary facilities (privies and/or fireplaces) may be provided. Campgrounds may be “developed,” where utilities (sewer, water, and electricity), restrooms and refuse disposal are available. Campgrounds may be “fully developed,” with one or more service buildings. [Based in part on RCW 19.105.300(13), National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds research, and ANSI A 119.4]

“Camping resort” means a use of land conducted by an enterprise that owns, operates, or promotes one or more campgrounds that include or will include camping spaces. [Based on RCW 19.105.300 (1)]

“Camping space” means a specific area designed for the purpose of locating a camping unit, of sufficient size to accommodate the camping unit for which it is designed. [Modified based on RCW 19.105.300(2) and National Association research]

“Camping unit” means a portable structure, shelter, or vehicle designed and intended for occupancy by persons engaged in RVing or camping. This term is intended to be generic to include, but is not limited to, recreational vehicles, tents, and camping cabins.

“Commercial coach” means a structure transportable in one or more sections that is built on a permanent chassis, certified by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, designed to provide commercial quarters which may be connected to utilities necessary for operation of installed fixtures and appliances.

“Commercial forest” means a tract of land 20 acres or larger identified and taxed as “classified forest land” pursuant to Chapter 84.33 RCW or a tract of land five acres or larger classified as “current use open space timber land” pursuant to Chapter 84.34 RCW, as it now exists or is hereafter amended.

“Construction campground” means a campground, established on a temporary basis for a construction activity and where all recreational vehicles are removed within 15 days after completion of the construction project, providing temporary spaces for independent unit recreational vehicles for the exclusive use of persons employed at specific construction projects, and the family members or guests of persons employed.

“Day use area” means a recreational facility established or maintained for picnicking and other daytime uses, where no overnight parking or camping is permitted on the premises.

“Department” means the Cowlitz County Department of Building and Planning, or as may be renamed or reorganized.

“Deck” means a roofless structure, typically made of wood, supported by posts or columns that may stand independently or be partially supported by a camping unit.

“Director” means the Director of the Department of Building and Planning, or designee.

“Gray water” means water that is contaminated with soap, grease, etc., normally associated with bathing of people, washing dishes, laundry, and wastewater from cooking. This term does not include human or animal body wastes.

“Health Official” means the Department staff who administer those aspects of this chapter that apply county-wide, including within cities of the county, that pertain to public health issues, including water supply, on-site sewage disposal, and solid waste disposal.

“Hearing Examiner” means the Cowlitz County Hearing Examiner, established under Cowlitz County Ordinance 95-193.

“Lease” means an oral or written contract for the use, possession, or occupancy of property. The term includes “rent.”

“Lot” means a parcel, tract, division, subdivision, or site under single or combined ownership as shown by the records of the Cowlitz County Auditor. The term includes all contiguous land under the same ownership, regardless of whether the land is located in more than one section or assessor’s tax lot, except lots created pursuant to Chapter 18.30, 18.32, 18.34, 18.38, or 18.50 CCC.

“Mobile home” or “manufactured home” means a structure, designed and constructed to be transportable in one or more sections, and is built on a permanent chassis, and designed to be used as a dwelling with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities that include plumbing, heating, and electrical systems contained therein. The structure must comply with the National Mobile Home Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 as adopted by Chapter 43.22 RCW, if applicable. [RCW 46.04.302]

“Motor home” means a motor vehicle originally designed, reconstructed, or permanently altered to provide facilities for human habitation, which include lodging and cooking or sewage disposal, and is enclosed within a solid body shell with the vehicle, but excludes a camper or like unit constructed separately and affixed to a motor vehicle. [RCW 46.04.305]

“On-site sewage system” means an integrated arrangement of components for a land use not connected to a public sewer system which conveys, stores, treats and/or provides subsurface soil treatment and disposal on the property where it originates, or if approved by the Health Official on adjacent or nearby property, and which includes piping, treatment devices, other accessories, and soil underlying the disposal component of the initial and reserve areas. [WAC 246-272-00501]

“Open record hearing” means a hearing conducted by a single hearing body or officer authorized by the local government to conduct such hearings, that creates the local government’s record through testimony and submission of evidence and information, for the basis of a quasi-judicial decision. It also establishes standing in terms of the quasi-judicial hearing before the Hearing Examiner.

“Operating permit” means an annual permit issued by the Director indicating that a recreational vehicle park or campground located within the incorporated and unincorporated areas of Cowlitz County meets all applicable health regulations, and that a recreational vehicle park or campground located within unincorporated areas meets site plan approval and development standards specified in this chapter.

“Pad” means the area within a camping space where a camping unit is parked or placed.

“Park model” means a recreational vehicle specifically designed to be placed in a recreational vehicle park where it can be connected to water, sewer or on-site septic, and electricity, and to provide seasonal, temporary, or permanent living quarters.

“Park trailer” means a vehicular unit as defined under WAC 296-150B-015(37), which meets the following criteria:

1. Built on a single chassis, mounted on wheels.

2. Designed to provide seasonal or temporary living quarters when connected to approved water and sewage disposal systems, electrical power source, and other utilities necessary for operation of installed fixtures and appliances.

3. A unit with gross exterior area measurement not exceeding 400 square feet. Such square footage includes all siding, corner trim, and molding, storage space, and area enclosed by windows, but not the roof overhang.

“Person” means any individual, firm, corporation, partnership, association, or agency of state, county or municipal government.

“Pre-existing recreational vehicle park or campground” means a recreational vehicle park or campground which existed on or before the effective date of this chapter, or one that was not built prior to the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter, for which there is a site plan of the existing layout, including water, sewer, and sanitary facilities, spaces, and all other facilities, on file with the Director, and for which the owner holds and maintains an annual operating permit.

“Public hearing” means an open record hearing, or other hearing authorized by law, where the public is invited to provide on record testimony to the Hearing Examiner.

“Recreational vehicle” means a vehicular type unit primarily designed for recreational camping, travel or seasonal use which has its own motive power or is mounted on or towed by another vehicle. The basic entities are: travel or “fifth wheel” trailer, camping trailer, park trailer, camper, motor home and multi-use vehicles. [WAC 296-150B-015(32)]. Recreational vehicles are of two types:

1. “Dependent unit” means a recreational vehicle that has no sewage disposal holding capacity and/or devices for connecting sewage disposal facilities to a community waste disposal system. Occupants of such units are dependent upon external water and waste disposal systems that cannot be connected to the unit.

2. “Independent unit” means a recreational vehicle containing holding capacity for potable water, gray water and human wastes, and/or has devices for connecting to sanitary sewers or on-site waste disposal systems, or pumping stations for waste disposal. Occupants of such units are independent of external water and waste disposal systems for a limited period because such systems are constructed in the units. However, on-board water systems must be replenished, and on-board gray water and human waste receptacles must be emptied in proper facilities from time to time.

“Recreational vehicle park” means a developed campground, governed by a set of public or private management rules, that accommodates recreational vehicles on camping spaces for paying guests and which may include park-owned recreational vehicle(s) for rent. A recreational vehicle park is distinguished from a campground in that all or some of the camping sites provide recreational vehicle utility connection assemblies to enable the camping unit to connect to water, sewage disposal, electric power, telephone and sometimes cable television.

“Recreational vehicle storage area” means an area of land, operated by a business that leases or rents secured storage spaces, used substantially for the purpose of storing two or more unoccupied recreational vehicles.

“Sewage station or sewage dumping station” means a facility used to remove, store, treat and/or dispose of sewage and gray water from recreational vehicles and recreational vehicle holding tanks.

“Screening” means vegetation, a fence, or earthen berm, or combination thereof, that provides a visual and acoustical barrier between a site and another site.

“Temporary campground” means a site, approved by the Director at least 20 days in advance of use, for camping units for 14 days or less per year.

“Tent” means a transportable temporary shelter, consisting of synthetic fabrics or natural skins stretched over a flexed or rigid framework, that is set up and used on a camping space.

“Tent cabin” means a semi-permanent structure containing less than 200 square feet total area, with either or both conventional and nonconventional construction that is used as sleeping quarters in a recreational vehicle park or campground, and that has no bathroom or heating facilities constructed into the unit.

“Travel trailer” means a trailer built on a single chassis transportable upon the public streets and highways that is designed to be used as a temporary dwelling without a permanent foundation and may be used without being connected to utilities. [RCW 46.04.623] [Ord. 98-194, § 3, 11-16-98.]

18.56.040 Applicability.

Any person who proposes to establish, construct, alter, expand or modify a recreational vehicle park or campground in unincorporated Cowlitz County shall comply with the requirements of this chapter. For any proposal to expand a pre-existing recreational vehicle park or campground in unincorporated Cowlitz County, only the new or expanded portion of the development shall be required to meet the standards and requirements of this chapter, unless there is a public health or public safety issue involved in the existing development that in the Director’s opinion must be corrected; in which case upgrades of existing park or campground development may be required as part of the preliminary site plan review process. Any person who proposes to continue operation of an existing recreational vehicle park or campground anywhere in Cowlitz County, including incorporated areas, shall comply with the applicable portions of this chapter by obtaining an annual operating permit. No recreational vehicle park or campground shall be operated in Cowlitz County, including incorporated areas, except in conformance with this chapter. No land area may hereafter be created, sold or leased for overnight occupancy of two or more camping units in unincorporated Cowlitz County, except in conformance with this chapter. [Ord. 98-194, § 4, 11-16-98.]

18.56.050 Exemptions.

The following are exempt from the provisions of this chapter, unless otherwise specified in this chapter:

A. Pre-existing campgrounds, provided, however, that an annual operating permit is required;

B. Day use areas; provided, however, that appropriate sanitary facilities are provided as may be required by the Health Official;

C. Recreational vehicle storage areas;

D. Temporary campgrounds, upon a demonstration by the owner or operator that the site conforms to all applicable requirements and upon the issuance of a temporary campground permit by the Director; provided further, a copy of the site plan shall be filed with the Director for the duration of the operation of the temporary campground;

E. Construction campgrounds, upon a determination by the Health Official that the site conforms to all applicable health requirements and upon the issuance of a construction campground permit by the Director; provided further, a copy of the site plan shall be filed with the Director for the duration of the construction campground;

F. A single recreational vehicle approved for occupancy pursuant to Chapter 18.44 CCC as it now exists or is hereafter amended;

G. A single recreational vehicle located on a lot for temporary recreation purposes, provided that the recreational vehicle is an independent unit and there is no permanent residential unit on the subject lot. [Ord. 98-194, § 5, 11-16-98.]

18.56.060 Authority and administration.

The Director or his/her designee shall administer, interpret, and enforce this chapter. The Director shall have the authority to issue permits for temporary campgrounds and construction campgrounds, to administratively approve a final binding site plan for a recreational vehicle park or campground that conforms with its approved preliminary site plan, to administer requirements of this chapter pertaining to annual operating permits, and to perform or cause to be performed certain inspections of recreational vehicle parks and campgrounds. The Director shall provide such forms and establish such procedures as may be necessary to administer this chapter. [Ord. 98-194, § 6, 11-16-98.]

18.56.070 Preapplication and preliminary site plan application requirements.

A. Preapplication Conference. Any person desiring to develop, expand, alter or modify a recreational vehicle park or campground shall request and attend a preapplication review conference with the Department, utility service purveyors, and other appropriate agencies, prior to submitting a recreational vehicle park or campground preliminary site plan application. A preapplication site plan shall be submitted, together with a master application form, an unsigned, but completed draft environmental checklist, available topographic maps, Assessor’s tax map, and applicable fee. The preapplication site plan shall show and identify existing and proposed buildings, roads, the configuration of recreational vehicle parks or locations of existing utility and drainage easements, potable water source, and method of sewage disposal.

1. The Department shall coordinate and hold a preapplication meeting between the applicant and agencies within 30 calendar days following submission of a preapplication request. The purpose of this conference is to identify issues, standards and requirements, in order for the applicant to evaluate the project for preparation of a complete application for preliminary site plan for a recreational vehicle park or campground.

2. Discussion topics during the preapplication conference may include, but are not limited to: the probable maximum permitted density of the recreational vehicle park or campground, project layout, traffic circulation, sewage disposal, potable water, fire flow, soils and topography, Comprehensive Plan, shorelines management master program if applicable, zoning if applicable, potential environmental issues, critical areas, resource lands, and stormwater drainage and treatment.

3. Participation in a preapplication conference and any conclusions reached at the conference shall in no way guarantee future site plan approval, or prohibit the identification and discussion of additional concerns during the preliminary site plan application process.

B. Preliminary Site Plan Application. A complete recreational vehicle park or campground application as required by the Director, and copies thereof, shall be submitted as follows:

1. Master Application. A Department master application form showing: name, address, telephone number, FAX number and e-mail address, if available, of the applicant and owner of the property; section, township, range, donation land claim, subdivision, short subdivision, tax lot number(s), tax parcel(s) number, Auditor’s fee number, project address, and a project description, including name/title of the proposed recreational vehicle park or campground, the number of spaces, and proposed construction schedule.

2. Preliminary Site Plan. The site plan shall include the following:

a. The site plan, drawn to an engineering scale acceptable to the Director, showing: the boundaries of the subject property; the proposed location, configuration and size of each camping space; access roads, public and private, within and adjacent to the proposed development; the location of drainage structures and stormwater management facilities; open spaces and other areas to be left undeveloped, such as common areas, resource lands, and critical areas; amenities such as picnic areas, playgrounds, landscaped areas and buffers, and swimming areas; and the location of the recreational vehicle park or campground management office or owner/manager’s residence, and all existing buildings and structures on site as well as buildings, structures, and uses proposed to be developed in the recreational vehicle park or campground. The site plan shall show phases of development, if proposed. Topography of the site may be required to be shown on the site plan, at the discretion of the Director.

b. A vicinity map, at an appropriate scale, showing the project site and roads to the site.

c. Name of the proposed recreational vehicle park or campground, name of the applicant, name of the landowner if different from the applicant, the applicant’s address, daytime telephone number, date, north arrow, scale, section, quarter section, township, range and donation land claim, subdivision or short subdivision lot, and property boundaries; and the acreage and proposed density of the recreational vehicle park or campground.

d. On the site plan or on a drawing separate from the site plan, a preliminary utility plan drawn to an engineering scale of one inch equals 100 feet or other approved scale, for water, sewer or on-site waste disposal, and solid waste disposal facilities, showing, as applicable, wells, community water faucets, water connection stands, size of water trunk and distribution lines, location of fire protection facilities such as hydrants and reservoirs, sanitary sewer lines or septic tank locations with drainfields, showers, restrooms, gray water disposal stations, and solid waste containers. All existing easements and proposed easements must also be shown on the site plan or utility plan.

e. An estimate of the amount of all on-site grading including the amount and type of material to be excavated or used for fill.

3. Supplemental Information. The following information shall be provided to supplement the application for preliminary site plan approval:

a. Copy of a deed or contract showing land ownership and a legal description of the property including references to section, township, range, subdivision, short subdivision and/or donation land claim, as appropriate.

b. Evidence of potable water supply, such as a water availability certificate or letter of availability from a public system provider.

c. An environmental checklist completed, signed and dated. The checklist shall identify the anticipated impacts and measures proposed to mitigate such impacts.

4. Fees as required; provided, the fee paid for the preapplication shall be credited toward the proposed preliminary site plan application, if the application is submitted within six months from the date of the preapplication meeting. [Ord. 98-194, § 7, 11-16-98.]

18.56.080 Application procedures for preliminary site plan approval.

Upon receipt of a complete application for preliminary site plan approval, the Director shall affix a file number and date of receipt on the application and begin processing the application as set forth below. Where possible, the Director shall coordinate the processing of an application for preliminary site plan approval for a recreational vehicle park or campground concurrent with the requirements of other statutes, regulations or ordinances, including but not limited to, Chapters 19.11 and 19.15 CCC.

A. Interagency Review. The Director shall circulate as deemed necessary the application to applicable federal, state, and local departments and agencies for comment. This interagency review may be conducted simultaneously with review under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA).

B. Notice to Adjacent Property Owners. The Director shall mail or deliver a notice of the pending application to all persons owning property within 300 feet of the boundaries of the property proposed to be developed, as identified in the records of the Cowlitz County Assessor. Such notice shall contain a description of the proposed request, the location of the subject property, and the date, time and place of the public hearing to be held on the application. Such notice shall be mailed or delivered at least 10 days in advance of the public hearing date established for such application.

C. Other Notice. The Director shall cause to have posted on the site one or more signs in conspicuous location(s) on or near the subject property, and shall publish a legal advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation in the community, both of which shall contain a description of the proposed request, the location of the subject property, and the date, time, and place of the public hearing to be held on the application. Such sign(s) shall be posted and legal advertisement shall be published at least 10 days in advance of the public hearing date established for such application.

D. Director’s Report. The Director shall prepare a report of findings and recommendations on the application. The report shall be transmitted to the applicant and the Hearing Examiner in advance of the public hearing. Findings shall address the proposed application’s consistency with the Comprehensive Plan, this chapter, and other applicable regulations. The Director may recommend, and the Hearing Examiner may impose, conditions on the application approval that are designed to carry out the purposes of this chapter and the County’s Comprehensive Plan.

E. Public Hearing. The Hearing Examiner shall hold an open record public hearing on the application at the time, date, and place as advertised in the notices and signs on the property. The Hearing Examiner shall receive testimony from the applicant and interested individuals; and shall consider the Director’s report on the application, prior to making a decision.

F. Decision. The Hearing Examiner shall have the authority, and shall exercise that authority, to approve, approve with conditions, or deny the application. The Hearing Examiner may make his/her decision following the close of the public hearing but shall render such decision within 10 days following the public hearing date. The decision of the Hearing Examiner is final unless appealed in accordance with the procedures established in this chapter. The Director shall provide the applicant and all parties of record a written notice of the Hearing Examiner’s decision.

G. Criteria for Decisions. In reviewing and deciding on applications for preliminary site plan approval for a recreational vehicle park or campground, the Director’s report shall consider, and the Hearing Examiner’s decision to approve, approve with conditions, or deny an application shall be based on consideration of, the extent to which the proposed recreational vehicle park or campground is:

1. Compatible with other existing uses within the general area;

2. Consistent with goals, policies, objectives, and recommendations of the Cowlitz County Comprehensive Plan and if applicable, the shorelines management master program;

3. In conformance with the uses allowed in the zoning classification within which the subject property is located; and

4. Meets all applicable requirements and standards of this chapter.

H. Duration of Preliminary Site Plan Approval. Preliminary site plan approval of a recreational vehicle park or campground shall be effective for five years from the date of approval. If a final binding site plan is not approved and recorded within this five-year time period, preliminary site plan approval shall expire; provided, however, if the applicant completes and files all plans and specifications and substantially meets all conditions required as part of the preliminary approval, and the applicant requests an extension at least 30 days prior to the expiration date, the Director may grant one two-year extension of preliminary application approval, during which time all construction shall be completed or guaranteed. Failure to complete construction of required improvements or provide satisfactory assurance of completion in the manner provided in CCC 18.32.660 within the two-year time extension period shall result in rescission of preliminary site plan approval, and it shall be necessary to resubmit an application for preliminary approval if the project is to continue. Any resubmitted application shall be subject to the regulations in effect at the time of resubmission. [Ord. 07-146, § 1, 10-16-07; Ord. 98-194, § 8, 11-16-98.]

18.56.090 Health standards applicable county-wide.

All recreational vehicle parks and campgrounds shall meet the following standards:

A. Water Supply. A water supply serving a recreational vehicle park or campground shall conform to the requirements of Chapter 246-290 WAC, as now enacted or hereafter amended, and the following minimum standards:

1. Where an existing public water supply of satisfactory quantity and quality is reasonably available, the Health Official may require connection to that supply for all domestic water purposes at the recreational vehicle park or campground.

2. Development of a recreational vehicle park or campground without an approved domestic water supply shall require written approval from the Health Official.

3. All new and replacement water faucet installations used to provide potable water shall be equipped with an approved anti-siphon device.

4. All new and replacement water faucet installations shall be mounted so that the outlet is at least 30 inches above the ground.

5. Surface drainage shall be diverted away from the riser pipe.

6. Domestic water supply systems shall conform to the Uniform Plumbing Code where applicable.

7. Water supply systems used for other than domestic water shall be signed as “not safe for drinking.” Water supply systems for nonpotable uses shall not be cross-connected to public water (potable) supplies.

8. The owner of a potable water supply system shall submit water samples to the Health Official as may be required.

9. Potable water supply systems may be prohibited in areas subject to flooding.

B. Sewage Disposal and Public Restrooms. All recreational vehicle parks and campgrounds shall discharge sewage and gray water to sewage disposal systems approved by the Health Official. Recreational vehicles may be connected to a public sanitary sewer system or an on-site sewage system if approved by the owner/operator and the Health Official. Connection to a public sewer system may be required. Unless each camping space allows for connection of camping units to potable water and wastewater disposal systems, there shall be at least one sewage pump-out station conveniently located with access from the service driveway and with easy ingress and egress for recreational vehicles in each recreational vehicle park or campground that is designed to accommodate recreational vehicles.

1. For camping spaces not connected to a sewage disposal system, there shall be clearly identified and approved dumping stations and facilities for the disposal of gray water convenient to each camping space. Every such sanitary facility shall be provided within a 300-foot radius of any camping space.

2. Sealed vault toilets, chemical toilets, or pit privies, or other alternate sewage disposal system, may be installed in lieu of utility buildings, subject to approval from the Health Official.

3. In addition to meeting the location requirements for sanitary facilities as described above, the sanitary facilities shall include the appropriate quantities of toilets, urinals, hand-washing sinks, and shower stalls as approved by the Health Official, based on minimum standards for sanitary facilities.

4. Sewage dumping stations and sewer connections shall comply with the following minimum standards:

a. Inlet pipes shall have a trap;

b. Inlet pipes shall be four inches in diameter;

c. Inlet pipes shall be at the center of a two feet by two feet concrete apron;

d. Concrete aprons shall be sloped to the drain;

e. A water outlet shall be provided to permit periodic washdown of the area around the station;

f. The water outlet shall be signed “this water is for flushing and cleaning purposes only” or “unsafe for drinking” at dumping stations;

g. Inlet pipes shall have a self-closing lid at dumping stations;

h. The sewer riser pipe shall be so constructed as to prevent surface drainage from entering the inlet;

i. All materials used for sewer connections shall be noncorrosive, nonabsorbent and durable;

j. The sewer inlet shall be tightly capped when not in use, and the cap shall be connected to the riser by a means suitable to prevent its loss;

k. The park or campground owner is responsible for seeing that all tenants are properly connected to the sewer inlet to prevent spillage.

5. Minimum sanitary facilities, including toilets, urinals, and hand washing sinks, for new recreational vehicle parks and campgrounds shall be provided as required by the Health Official.

6. Public restrooms shall be constructed to meet all applicable building codes and the following standards:

a. Buildings shall be well lighted and ventilated and constructed of materials which are easily cleaned;

b. Floors shall be constructed of water-impervious materials and sloped to a drain;

c. Walls and partitions around showers, lavatories and other plumbing fixtures shall be constructed of nonabsorbent, waterproof material or covered with a moisture-resistant material;

d. Toilet partitions shall be raised 12 inches from the floor and shall be so constructed as to be easily cleaned;

e. Toilet paper shall be provided at each toilet;

f. Hand-cleansing soap and approved sanitary towels or other hand-drying devices shall be provided.

C. Solid Waste. No person shall dispose of or discard sewage, gray water, or other waste materials onto the ground. All storage, collection, and disposal of solid waste in the recreational vehicle park or campground shall be in conformance with the minimum functional standards set forth by the Washington State Department of Ecology and administered by the Health Official.

1. Approved solid waste containers shall be placed within 200 feet of each camping space.

2. Solid waste collection areas having more than one container may require screening with a sight-obscuring fence.

3. All solid waste containers shall have covers. [Ord. 98-194, § 9, 11-16-98.]

18.56.100 Minimum land use and site design standards applicable in unincorporated areas.

Each recreational vehicle park or campground in unincorporated areas shall meet the following standards:

A. Size. The minimum area for a recreational vehicle park shall be two acres. The minimum area for a campground shall be one acre.

B. Camping Space Standards. Standards for camping unit spaces within recreational vehicle parks and campgrounds shall be as follows:

1. Width. The minimum space width shall be 20 feet.

2. Use. No more than three camping units shall occupy any individual space in a campground at any time. Only one recreational vehicle shall occupy an individual space at any time, though a camping space may be occupied by one recreational vehicle and one or two tents. No decks, porches, outdoor storage, or other exterior additions shall be attached to a recreational vehicle or constructed or erected on a camping space; provided, however, that an awning designed as part of and permanently attached to a recreational vehicle shall be allowed. Wheels and tires shall not be removed from any recreational vehicle, nor shall skirting be allowed. Nothing in this subsection shall conflict with the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, where applicable, for access to an individual recreational vehicle.

3. Grading and Surfacing. All camping spaces shall be graded nearly level, except that each space shall be designed to provide drainage to a stormwater treatment area. Cinder, gravel, or comparable non-dust-creating, semi-permeable, all-weather surfaces of a size approved by the Director shall be provided for all recreational vehicle pad areas. Primitive campgrounds do not require all-weather surfaces.

4. Fences and Walls. No fence or wall shall be erected between camping unit spaces, except a retaining wall or a guardrail may be installed for safety purposes.

5. Lot Identification Numbers. Camping space numbers at least four inches in height shall identify each space and shall remain readily identifiable while in use.

6. Design. Each camping space shall be designed and constructed at such elevation, distance, and angle with respect to its access to provide for safe and efficient placement and removal of camping units.

7. Setbacks. The setback for camping spaces from any public road or private road right-of-way exterior to the recreational vehicle park or campground shall be 25 feet from the edge of the right-of-way or road easement, or 55 feet from the road centerline, whichever is greater. Natural and landscape vegetation shall be retained and maintained along exterior property lines and within exterior setback areas of the recreational vehicle park or campground to the maximum extent possible. Other setback standards are as listed in Table 1.

Table 1 – Minimum Setback Standards

Camping space boundary to exterior side or rear property line

15 feet

Distance between camping unit or awning to camping unit or awning on an adjacent space

10 feet

Distance for camping unit from travel surface of interior roads

5 feet

Cabin or tent cabin setback from interior roads

20 feet

Camping space distance from water/sewer connections at the space site

5 feet

Maximum distance for dependent RV to restroom building

300 feet

Distance between camping unit and a fire pit

8 feet

Distance between fire pit and adjacent commercial forest land

100 feet

In addition, no camping unit shall be placed or parked within a required setback area. Uses in setback areas shall be restricted to underground utility lines, exterior boundary fences, or security posts, and landscape vegetation; provided, a towed passenger vehicle, other than a recreational vehicle, may be parked within an internal front yard setback area required for an individual camping unit space. Fences, utility lines, or landscape vegetation located within a setback area, if permitted, shall not interfere with access and driving sight distances.

C. Exterior Fencing or Buffering. If the proposed campground would be visible from a residence on an abutting property, side and rear exterior boundaries shall be fenced and/or buffered with vegetation. Fences shall be no less than six feet in height, and shall be sight obscuring. Any such fence shall be installed prior to operation of the recreational vehicle park or campground. Any fence shall be neutral in color and blend with the surrounding area. The fencing requirement may be waived if the recreational vehicle park or campground owner is also the owner of the contiguous residence.

D. Roads. The road system, both within and adjacent to the proposed recreational vehicle park or campground, shall be designed to meet the requirements of the County Fire Marshal and the traveling public to include the following:

1. Recreational vehicle parks and developed campgrounds shall have legal and permanent access to an improved public road. Vehicles waiting to get into the recreational vehicle park or campground shall not be permitted to block traffic on the public road.

2. The grade of any interior road shall not exceed 12 percent.

3. All interior roads shall be constructed to county fire apparatus access standards. Asphalt or concrete may be required to conform with the county fire apparatus access standards. All roads, access driveways, and parking spaces shall be surfaced to provide drainage and to avoid dust. Cinder, gravel, or comparable non-dust-creating, semi-permeable, all-weather surfaces shall be provided for all roads and parking areas.

4. One-way interior roads shall be constructed with a minimum surface width of 12 feet, and shall be designated “no parking.”

5. Two-way interior roads shall be constructed with a minimum surface width of 22 feet, and shall be designated “no parking.”

6. Interior roads shall be looped, or a turnaround(s) meeting fire apparatus access requirements shall be provided at the end of all roads.

7. Minimum vertical clearance on all roads shall be 13 feet, 6 inches.

8. Interior roads shall be clearly marked at each intersection to identify traffic directions and camping space numbers served by the road.

E. Drainage. Drainage facilities shall be designed and engineered to provide no measurable increase in the rate of storm water runoff into the receiving drainage for a 25-year storm event.

F. Parking. A recreational vehicle park or campground shall meet the following parking standards:

1. There shall be no on-street parking.

2. There shall be no parking permitted within required exterior front, side or rear yard setbacks.

3. A recreational vehicle park or campground and its associated buildings, structures, and uses shall provide off-street parking for passenger vehicles and recreational vehicles in quantities approved by the Director. In addition to the parking spaces required by the Director, one or more disabled parking spaces shall be provided in locations convenient to origins and destinations. Generally, the Director will apply the criterion that guest parking spaces should be provided at a ratio of one parking space per eight camping spaces. Any towed passenger vehicle shall be parked within the boundary of the camping space, or, in cases where a recreational vehicle fully occupies the camping space, such passenger vehicle shall be parked in a guest parking space. Guest parking spaces shall be grouped and distributed evenly throughout the recreational vehicle park or campground.

G. Density. For campgrounds without sanitary sewer service, the maximum density of a recreational vehicle park or campground shall be based on consideration of the capacity of the soils to handle on-site sewage disposal as determined by the Health Official, consistent with applicable requirements of Chapter 246-272 WAC; provided, however, that such density must be found to be compatible with surrounding land uses and consistent with the county’s Comprehensive Plan. Generally, the application of health rules for on-site sewage disposal suggest densities in the range of six to nine units per acre depending on soil type and the number of camping spaces. For recreational vehicle parks or campgrounds with an approved

sanitary sewer connection to each camping space, the density shall not exceed 20 camping spaces per gross acre; provided that such density is consistent with zoning and other applicable regulations and meets environmental policies of the county.

H. Electrical and Other Utility Connections. Electrical hookups may be provided to each camping space. If provided, the minimum amperage shall be 30 amps per space. Other services, such as television and telephone cable service, may be permitted. All electrical and other connections shall be:

1. In compliance with applicable local and state codes;

2. In close proximity to the user.

I. Lighting. All security or safety lighting shall be designed, hooded, and placed in a manner that does not cause direct light or glare to trespass onto any property located outside the boundaries of the recreational vehicle park or campground, or interfere with the motoring public on adjacent roads.

J. Fire Protection. Fire safety precautions shall be provided as required by the Uniform Fire Code (UFC), and recreational vehicle parks and campgrounds shall be subject to the following:

1. Fire hydrants shall be provided as required by the UFC.

2. Fire pits and barbecue pits shall be constructed of noncombustible material.

3. Primary fuel breaks may be required within 30 feet around any portion(s) of the campground containing a fire pit.

4. Ground fireproofing shall be maintained for 25 feet around a structure and for 10 feet around all fire pits and barbecue pits.

5. All chimneys shall be equipped with spark arresters.

6. Bath houses, cabins, lodges or other permanent or semipermanent structures may be required to have noncombustible roofs.

7. Additional building or camping space setbacks may be required from exterior property lines that abut commercial forest land as defined by this chapter, during the preliminary site plan review process.

K. Caretaker’s Residence. One caretaker’s residence and/or office facility for the owner or operator of the recreational vehicle park or campground may be allowed. Except for the park or campground owner’s or a caretaker’s residence, no manufactured home or mobile home shall be occupied, stored, or parked in a recreational vehicle park or campground. No manufactured home or mobile home unit shall be used for commercial, assembly, or accessory use within a recreational vehicle park or campground.

L. Accessory Uses. Laundry, assembly, or commercial accessory or service uses may be allowed, provided, each structure meets commercial construction standards. The appropriateness of all proposed accessory uses and their compatibility with adjacent land uses will be considered as part of the site plan review. Unless specifically approved for use by nonoccupants of the recreational vehicle park or campground, such accessory uses are restricted in their use to occupants of the recreational vehicle park or campground. Each accessory use or structure shall be accessible by improved pedestrian path convenient to occupants of the park or campground. Any manufactured coach used for laundry, assembly or commercial use shall be a commercial coach. No building, mobile home, or commercial coach shall be constructed or placed, except in conformance with applicable regulations and after securing the appropriate permits.

M. Swimming Facilities. All swimming facilities shall comply with the rules and regulations pursuant to Chapter 248-98 WAC, as now exists or is hereafter amended.

N. Exterior Boundary Survey. Exterior boundaries and all road centerlines shall be surveyed and monumented by a surveyor licensed in the State of Washington.

O. Open Space and Recreation. A minimum eight percent of the total site area within the recreational vehicle park or campground shall be set aside as open space or set aside and developed for active or passive recreation space. [Ord. 98-194, § 10, 11-16-98.]

18.56.110 Site development.

Following preliminary site plan approval, the applicant shall proceed with completion of engineering plans and specifications for roads, water, sewage disposal, drainage and stormwater treatment, power, cable, and other utility services. Following approval of the engineering plans and specifications, construction of the recreational vehicle park or campground may commence in conformance with the approved plans and specifications. Any deviation from the approved plans shall be subject to written approval from the Director. Following installation and construction of the required improvements, as-built plans for the water system, sewage disposal system, road construction, storm drainage, and other improvements shall be prepared and certified by an engineer registered in the State of Washington. Two copies of the certified as-built plans shall be submitted with the final binding site plan. [Ord. 98-194, § 11, 11-16-98.]

18.56.120 Final binding site plan.

A. Final binding site plan approval is an administrative process. The final binding site plan and three copies shall be prepared in black ink on 18-inch by 24-inch mylar or paper. The sheet(s) shall contain the following:

1. A drawing at a scale of one inch equals 100 feet or other approved scale showing the location of all roads, camping spaces, pads, required parking spaces; external setbacks, natural and human-made drainage ways, ponds, detention and stormwater treatment areas, wetlands; easements for water and sewage disposal lines, septic tank location(s), and gray water disposal sites; fire hydrants and reservoirs; solid waste disposal site(s); fire pits; location and dimensions of any office, restrooms, showers, cabins, and other permanent buildings and other structures; and location of all survey monuments. An inset may be used to show a typical camping space and illustrate setbacks and space improvements in lieu of showing individual setbacks and improvements for each camping space;

2. The number and location of each camping space shall be shown on the site plan as light dashed lines;

3. Signature and date blocks for each of the following:

a. Owner(s) of record of the subject property;

b. Notary public, attesting to the authenticity of the owner’s signature;

c. Surveyor’s and/or engineer’s signature(s) and seal;

d. Director, Health Official, County Engineer, County Treasurer or Deputy, and County Auditor or Recording Deputy, or authorized designees;

e. Board of County Commissioners and Clerk of the Board, only if the site plan includes land or improvements dedicated to Cowlitz County;

4. Written description of the surveyed boundaries of the recreational vehicle park or campground property;

5. Other information as may be required by the Director;

6. The Treasurer shall sign to certify that the taxes for the subject property are paid through the current year;

7. The Director shall signify final site plan approval by signing the final binding site plan, provided, an incomplete final binding site plan shall be returned to the applicant for correction within 15 days of submittal to the Department.

B. One copy of the approved site plan shall be recorded and filed in the Auditor’s records; three copies shall be stamped with the recording data and signed by the Auditor. Two copies shall be filed in the Department. A recreational vehicle park or campground shall not be considered legal and approved until the approved final binding site plan has been recorded and filed with the County Auditor.

C. The operator of a recreational vehicle park or campground shall establish rules and regulations for the management of the establishment and its guests and employees, and each guest or employee staying or employed in the establishment shall conform to and abide by such rules and regulations so long as the guest or employee remains in the park or campground. The submission of recreational vehicle park or campground management rules shall be required at the time an applicant files for final binding site plan approval. [Ord. 16-113 § 6, 9-20-16; Ord. 98-194, § 12, 11-16-98.]

18.56.130 Violations – Penalties.

It is a civil infraction for the owner of the recreational vehicle park or campground and any other person to violate the provisions of this chapter or assist in the violation of this chapter. An owner of a recreational vehicle park or campground and the manager are jointly responsible to operate a campground in compliance with this chapter, and each is also responsible for tenant compliance. Violations of this chapter are subject to the provisions of Chapter 2.06 CCC. Any violation is a public nuisance. Each day a violation continues is a separate infraction. Payment of any fine imposed for an infraction does not relieve a person from the duty to comply with this chapter. [Ord. 98-194, § 13, 11-16-98.]

18.56.140 Annual operating permit required – Inspections and records.

A. All recreational vehicle parks and campgrounds shall require an annual operating permit issued by the Director. Temporary campgrounds and construction campgrounds shall not require an annual operating permit. Such permit shall be displayed in a conspicuous manner in the office of the recreational vehicle park or campground for the duration of the permit. The purposes of the annual operating permit are to ensure, through public inspection, that the recreational vehicle park or campground continues to operate in accordance

with approved plans and applicable regulations. Failure of an owner or operator of an existing recreational vehicle park or campground to apply annually for and obtain an operating permit shall result in loss of pre-existing status, and the recreational vehicle park or campground shall be required to meet the requirements and standards of this ordinance, as applicable, or cease operation. Such application shall be applied for during the month of January each year.

B. The Director shall cause to be conducted an annual inspection of all recreational vehicle parks and campgrounds in Cowlitz County, including incorporated areas, to assure compliance with health regulations established by this chapter. The Director shall cause to be conducted an annual inspection of all recreational vehicle parks and campgrounds in unincorporated Cowlitz County, to assure compliance with health regulations established by this chapter and the approved binding site plan approved pursuant to this chapter prior to the renewal or issuance of the annual operating permit.

C. For recreational vehicle parks or campground in unincorporated Cowlitz County, no annual operating permit shall be issued or renewed if deviations from the recorded binding site plan or from the plans of record are found during the inspection. A recreational vehicle park or campground may be ordered closed by the Director until the premises, improvements, and facilities are in full compliance with this chapter as applicable.

D. Upon completion of an inspection, the Director shall notify the recreational vehicle park or campground owner applying for an annual operating permit of any violation, and allow 30 days for the owner to correct a violation and comply with this chapter; provided, violations of state or local health regulation shall be corrected within a time period set by the Director. Failure to correct the violation as directed, or to enter into a binding agreement to correct the violation by a specific date shall result in issuance of a notice of infraction as provided by this chapter. If an owner has received three infraction notices for noncompliance within a five-year period, the Director may revoke all prior recreational vehicle park or campground approvals (which includes the annual operating permit), order closure of the recreational vehicle park or campground, and order the removal of all camping units from the recreational vehicle park or campground within 30 days of such notice. The recreational vehicle park or campground shall not be reopened, unless and until the owner reapplies for site plan approval and fully complies with the procedures and standards for a new recreational vehicle park or campground.

E. Recreational vehicle park or campground owners or operators aggrieved by a decision of the Director with regard to an annual operating permit may appeal that decision to the Hearing Examiner in accordance with appeal procedures established in this chapter. [Ord. 98-194, § 15, 11-16-98.]

18.56.150 Fees and charges.

Fees and charges for processing applications and permits under this chapter shall be as established by resolution of the Board of County Commissioners. Application, inspection and renewal of an annual operation permit, and all other fees and charges established by the Board shall be nonrefundable and nontransferable. Any fees for the recording of the binding site plan shall be as set by the County Auditor. [Ord. 98-194, § 15, 11-16-98.]

18.56.160 Appeals.

An appeal of a decision of the Director in the administration of this chapter shall be made to the Hearing Examiner. Each appeal must be made in writing and filed with the Department within 20 working days from the date on which the decision was issued as follows:

A. The written appeal shall include a detailed explanation stating the reasons for the appeal. The decision of the Hearing Examiner shall be final unless appealed to Superior Court in accordance with the rules of the court.

B. Standing to appeal is limited to:

1. The applicant or owner of the property on which the recreational vehicle park or campground is or is proposed to be located; and

2. Any property owner who deems him/herself aggrieved and will thereby suffer a direct and substantial impact from the proposed binding site plan.

C. The Director shall provide the Hearing Examiner with findings and documentation relating to the application or other administrative action. The Director may prepare a separate staff report and recommendation for presentation to the Hearing Examiner.

D. Such appeal shall be heard at a public hearing. The Director shall cause notices, containing information about the appeal, the location of the property, and the date, time, and place of the public hearing, to be published in a newspaper of general circulation, to be posted on or near the project site one or more signs, and written notice containing such information to be mailed to owners of property located within 300 feet of the perimeter property boundaries of the property on which the recreational vehicle park or campground is proposed, as shown by records of the Cowlitz County Assessor, at least 10 days prior to the hearing.

E. Following the public hearing, the Hearing Examiner shall determine if the appeal should be upheld or denied, based on a record of findings to support that decision. All findings shall be available to the public upon request no less than 10 calendar days following the decision. The decision of the Hearing Examiner on an appeal shall be mailed to the applicant within five working days, and such decision is final unless appealed to Superior Court in accordance with the rules of the Court. [Ord. 98-194, § 16, 11-16-98.]

18.56.170 Severability.

If any section, subsection, or other portion of this chapter is for any reason held invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such section, subsection, or portion thereof shall be deemed a separate provision of this chapter and such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this chapter. [Ord. 98-194, § 17, 11-16-98.]

18.56.180 Effective date.

This chapter shall become effective immediately upon its adoption. [Ord. 98-194, § 19, 11-16-98.]