Chapter 15.10

This is an archival version of Title 15 which has been replaced by Ord. 15-1018.
SeaTac's new zoning code (PDF version) is being hosted while the new version is being converted to the standard web version.


15.10.005    Abandonment

15.10.010    Abut

15.10.016    Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)

15.10.017    Accessory Structure

15.10.020    Accessory Use

15.10.025    Adult Entertainment

15.10.030    Adult Theater

15.10.035    Adult Use Establishment

15.10.036    Agricultural Crops

15.10.038    Agricultural Crop Sales

15.10.040    Aircraft Storage Area

15.10.042    Air Freight Terminal

15.10.045    Airport

15.10.047    Airport Terminal Facilities

15.10.050    Air Rights

15.10.056    Alley

15.10.060    Alter/Alteration

15.10.061    Amendment    Antenna

15.10.062    Antiques, Antique Shop

15.10.063    Area Zoning

15.10.064    Assisted Living Facility

15.10.065    Auction House

15.10.066    Auto Court

15.10.067    Automobile Repair

15.10.072    Automobile Towing/Storage Operation

15.10.073    Automobile Wrecking Operation

15.10.074    Automotive Service Center

15.10.075    Average Building Elevation

15.10.076    Base Flood

15.10.077    Base Flood Elevation

15.10.078    Base Area    Batch Plant    Battery Charging Station    Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)    Bay Windows    Battery Exchange Stations

15.10.079    Beauty Salon

15.10.080    Bed and Breakfast

15.10.081    Berm

15.10.083    Biomedical Product Facility

15.10.085    Book, Stationery, Video, Audio and Art Supply Store

15.10.090    Buffer

15.10.092    Building

15.10.093    Building Code

15.10.095    Building, Hardware and Garden Materials Store

15.10.097    Butterfly/Moth Breeding, Wholesale/Retail

15.10.098    Cargo Containers

15.10.100    Cemetery

15.10.101    Charging Levels

15.10.105    Repealed

15.10.106    Repealed    Circular Driveway

15.10.107    City Center    City Hall

15.10.108    Classification

15.10.109    Colleges – Universities    Collocation    Commercial/Industrial Accessory Uses

15.10.110    Commercial Recreation Area and Use

15.10.112    Commercial Marine Supplies

15.10.114    Repealed

15.10.115    Common Recreational Open Space Usable for Many Activities

15.10.120    Communication Facility, Major

15.10.125    Communication Facility, Minor

15.10.126    Community Center

15.10.130    Community Residential Facility (CRF)

15.10.135    Compensatory Storage

15.10.136    Comprehensive Plan

15.10.140    Conditional Use, Major

15.10.142    Conditional Use, Minor

15.10.145    Conference Center

15.10.150    Conforming Building Use

15.10.153    Continuing Care Retirement Community

15.10.155    Convalescent Center/Nursing Home

15.10.156    Court

15.10.157    Courtyard    Crisis Diversion Facility (CDF)

15.10.158    Crisis Diversion Interim Facility (CDIF)

15.10.160    Critical Drainage Area

15.10.161    Cross-Section

15.10.165    Dairy

15.10.166    Day Care

15.10.170    Dedication

15.10.172    Density Bonus

15.10.175    Department and Variety Store    Development Site – Stand-Alone Parking Structures

15.10.176    Disability

15.10.180    Domestic Animals

15.10.185    Dormitory

15.10.187    Driveway

15.10.190    Drug Store

15.10.191    Duplex

15.10.192    Repealed

15.10.195    Dwelling Unit

15.10.200    Dwelling Unit, Caretaker/Manager

15.10.205    Repealed

15.10.210    Dwelling Unit, Manufactured Home

15.10.215    Dwelling Unit, Mobile Home

15.10.217    Dwelling Unit, Modular Home

15.10.220    Repealed

15.10.225    Dwelling Unit, Detached

15.10.230    Repealed

15.10.235    Easement

15.10.237    Efficiency Unit

15.10.238    Electric Scooters and Motorcycles

15.10.239    Electric Vehicle    Electric Vehicle Charging Station    Electric Vehicle Charging Station – Public    Electric Vehicle Charging Station – Private    Electric Vehicle Infrastructure    Electric Vehicle Parking Space    Electric Vehicle Waiting Space

15.10.240    Employees

15.10.241    Enhancement

15.10.243    Equipment Shelter

15.10.245    Erosion and Deposition

15.10.247    Espresso Stand

15.10.249    Essential Public Facility

15.10.250    Excavate(tion)

15.10.253    Existing Structure

15.10.255    Family

15.10.261    Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Floodway

15.10.263    Fire Code

15.10.264    Fire Facility

15.10.265    Fill Material

15.10.266    Flood Fringe

15.10.267    Flood Hazard Areas

15.10.268    Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM)

15.10.269    Flood Insurance Study for King County

15.10.270    Floodplain

15.10.271    Floodproofing

15.10.272    Flood Protection Elevation

15.10.273    Floodway, Zero-Rise

15.10.274    Floor Area

15.10.275    Food Processing

15.10.276    Forest Product Sales

15.10.280    Forest Product Sales, Temporary

15.10.282    Gasoline/Service Station

15.10.285    General Business Service/Office

15.10.286    General Repair

15.10.290    Glare

15.10.291    Repealed

15.10.295    Grading

15.10.296    Group Home

15.10.297    Repealed

15.10.298    Halfway House

15.10.300    Hangar/Service Bay

15.10.305    Hazardous Production Material (HPM)

15.10.310    Hazardous Waste

15.10.315    Repealed

15.10.320    Repealed

15.10.324    Health Club

15.10.325    Health Hazard

15.10.327    Height

15.10.330    Heliport

15.10.335    Helistop

15.10.336    High Capacity Transit (HCT)

15.10.338    Hobby Kennel/Hobby Cattery

15.10.340    Home Occupation

15.10.342    Homeless Encampment

15.10.345    Hospital

15.10.347    Host Agency

15.10.348    Hostel

15.10.350    Hotel/Motel/Lodging

15.10.351    Impervious Surface

15.10.352    Improved Public Roadways

15.10.353    International Building Code (IBC)

15.10.355    Junk

15.10.360    Kennel/Cattery

15.10.361    Landscaping Business

15.10.362    Laundromat

15.10.363    Legal Lot

15.10.364    Livestock

15.10.365    Lot

15.10.370    Lot Area

15.10.375    Lot Coverage

15.10.380    Lot Lines

15.10.385    Lot, Substandard

15.10.390    Lot Types

15.10.395    Lot Width

15.10.396    Major Redevelopment

15.10.397    Massage Business

15.10.398    Maximum Yard Setback

15.10.400    Medical/Dental Clinic

15.10.401    Medium-Speed Electric Vehicle

15.10.402    Repealed

15.10.405    Microwave

15.10.406    Mitigation of Environmental Impacts

15.10.406.05    Mobile Refueling Operation

15.10.407    Monitoring

15.10.408    Monopole

15.10.410    Multi-Family Building

15.10.415    Multi-Use Complex

15.10.416    Native Vegetation

15.10.418    Neighborhood Electric Vehicle

15.10.420    Noise

15.10.423    Nonelectric Vehicle

15.10.425    Nonconformance, Legal

15.10.430    Nonconforming Use

15.10.430.05    Nonprofit Organization

15.10.431    Noxious Weed

15.10.433    Nursing Home

15.10.435    Open Space

15.10.435.05    Opiate Substitution Treatment Facility

15.10.436    Ordinary High Water Mark

15.10.438    Other Retail Uses

15.10.440    Overnight Shelter

15.10.445    Parking Lot

15.10.446    Parking Lot, Public/Private

15.10.448    Parking Space

15.10.449    Parking Structure, Stand-Alone

15.10.450    Parties of Record

15.10.455    Passenger Terminal

15.10.465    Pedestrian Access

15.10.470    Perimeter Landscaping

15.10.470.05    Platform

15.10.470.07    Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)

15.10.471    Police Facility

15.10.480    Preschool

15.10.485    Primary Vehicle Access

15.10.490    Produce Stand

15.10.495    Public Access

15.10.500    Public Access Pier or Boardwalk

15.10.501    Public Agency Office

15.10.502    Public Agency Yard

15.10.503    Public Archives

15.10.505    Quasi-Public Utility

15.10.510    Radio Tower

15.10.510.02    Rapid or DC Fast Charging Station

15.10.511    Reasonable Use

15.10.515    Recreation, Community (Recreational Center)

15.10.520    Recreation, Public

15.10.530    Recreational Vehicle (RV)

15.10.535    Recycling

15.10.537    Regional Utility Corridor

15.10.540    Regulated Wetland

15.10.541    Religious Use Facility

15.10.542    Religious Use Facility, Accessory

15.10.543    Repealed

15.10.545    Replacement Cost

15.10.550    Restaurant

15.10.551    Restaurant, Fast Food

15.10.552    Restoration

15.10.555    Retail Establishment

15.10.556    Retail Food Shop

15.10.557    Retention/Detention Facility

15.10.558    Retention/Detention Facility, Regional

15.10.559    Retirement Apartments

15.10.560    Right-of-Way

15.10.561    Secondhand Store

15.10.561.05    Secure Community Transition Facility (SCTF)

15.10.562    Seismic Hazard Area

15.10.563    Self-Service Storage

15.10.564    Sensitive Area

15.10.565    SEPA

15.10.567    Setback

15.10.570    Shared Access Point

15.10.575    Shoreline Master Program

15.10.605    Significant Tree

15.10.606    Repealed

15.10.609    Site

15.10.610    Small, Resident-Oriented Uses

15.10.611    Social Service Office

15.10.612    Specialized Instruction School

15.10.612.1    Sports Club

15.10.612.5    Sponsoring Agency

15.10.613    Steep Slope Hazard Areas

15.10.615    Storm Drainage

15.10.620    Stream

15.10.623    Stream Functions

15.10.625    Street, Private

15.10.630    Street, Public

15.10.631    Structure

15.10.635    Support Structure

15.10.638    Tavern

15.10.638.03    Temporary Emergency Evacuation Storage Sites

15.10.639    Temporary Wireless Telecommunications Facility (Temporary WTF)

15.10.639.05    Tent Structure, Residential

15.10.640    Topsoil

15.10.640.05    Tower

15.10.641    Townhouse

15.10.645    Traffic Control Devices

15.10.646    Transit Park and Ride Lot

15.10.648    Repealed

15.10.649    Transitional Housing

15.10.650    Repealed

15.10.660    Urban Center

15.10.668    Use

15.10.668.01    Use, Primary

15.10.668.03    Use, Subsidiary

15.10.668.05    Utility Pole

15.10.669    Utility Use

15.10.670    Utility Substation

15.10.670.03    Vehicle, Large

15.10.670.05    Vehicle, Small

15.10.671    Vocational-Technical Schools

15.10.675    Wetland

15.10.680    Wetland Edge

15.10.685    Wetland, Forested

15.10.690    Wetland Functions

15.10.700    Wetland, Isolated

15.10.705    Wet Meadow, Grazed

15.10.710    Wet Pond

15.10.713    Wireless Telecommunications Facility (WTF)

15.10.715    Zoning Map

15.10.005 Abandonment*

See SMC 15.31A.022. (Ord. 97-1013 § 1)

*Code reviser’s note: This definition has been editorially renumbered to SMC 15.31A.022(1) to group all wireless communications definitions together.

15.10.010 Abut

To be contiguous with or touching property lines or right-of-way. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.016 Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)

A habitable living unit created within, attached to, or detached from a single-family residence that provides the basic requirements of shelter, heating, cooking and sanitation within the unit. (Ord. 04-1030 § 1; Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.017 Accessory Structure

A nonattached structure which is subordinate and incidental to the main structure on the property. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.020 Accessory Use

A use which is subordinate and incidental to the main activity or structure on the subject property. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.025 Adult Entertainment

Any exhibition or dance of any type conducted on premises where such exhibition or dance involves the exposure to view of any portion of the breast below the top of the areola or any portion of the pubic hair, anus, cleft of the buttocks, vulva or genitals. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.030 Adult Theater

Any theater while that theater is providing entertainment through the showing of motion picture films predominantly distinguished or characterized by their emphasis on matter explicitly depicting any of the following:

A.    Human genitalia in a state of sexual stimulation or arousal;

B.    Acts of human masturbation, sexual intercourse or sodomy;

C.    Erotic fondling, touching or display of human genitalia, pubic region, buttock or female breast. (Ord. 93-1014; Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.035 Adult Use Establishment

A commercial enterprise predominantly involved in the selling, renting or presenting for viewing of books, magazines, motion pictures, films, video cassettes, cable television, or other media distinguished or characterized by a predominant emphasis on matter explicitly depicting the items set forth in SMC 15.10.030.

Examples of such establishments include, but are not limited to, adult book or video stores and establishments offering panorams or peep shows. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.036 Agricultural Crops

The products of agriculture which include fruits, vegetables, grains, seed, feed, flowers, ornamental and food-bearing plants and trees, as well as animal products. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.038 Agricultural Crop Sales

The sale of agricultural products, produced on or off the site, which include fruits, vegetables, grains, seed, feed, flowers, ornamental and food-bearing plants and trees, as well as animal products. (Ord. 04-1010 § 19)

15.10.040 Aircraft Storage Area

A building used to store private or public aircraft for short- or long-term periods of time. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.042 Air Freight Terminal

A building used by public and private aircraft for the on- or off-loading of air freight for distribution to wholesale and retail customers. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.045 Airport

Any runway, landing area or other facility directly designed or used by either public or private aircraft for the landing and taking off of aircraft, transfer of passengers and/or cargo, surface access, and other support facilities typically associated with airports, including:

A.    Taxiway;

B.    Control tower;

C.    Communication, maintenance facilities;

D.    Passenger, cargo terminals. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.047 Airport Terminal Facilities

The complex of buildings, parking garages, and associated structures and improvements which provide access, activities, and facilities for the use, support, and convenience of the traveling public and other airport users and employees. Airport terminal facilities are generally located in proximity to each other, with reasonable pedestrian access among them. (Ord. 95-1016 § 30)

15.10.050 Air Rights

The right to, in some manner, control the use of space above the surface of the ground. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.056 Alley

A service drive providing a secondary means of access to abutting property and not intended for general traffic circulation. (Ord. 08-1041 § 2; Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.060 Alter/Alteration

Any change, addition or modification in construction. Additionally, any human activity which results or is likely to result in any impact upon the existing condition of a sensitive area. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.061 Amendment

A change in the wording of this title, adoption of a zoning map hereunder, a change in the zone boundaries upon zoning maps adopted hereunder, or the adoption of a planned unit development. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1) Antenna

See SMC 15.31A.022. (Ord. 04-1030 § 3; Ord. 98-1036 § 1; Ord. 97-1013 § 2)

15.10.062 Antiques, Antique Shop

Any article which, because of age, rarity or historical significance, has a monetary value greater than the original value, or which has an age recognized by the United States Government as entitling the article to an import duty less than that prescribed for contemporary merchandise. A store or shop selling only such articles or offering them for sale shall be considered as an antique shop or store, and not considered as a dealership handling used or secondhand merchandise. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.063 Area Zoning

The procedures initiated by the City which result in the adoption or amendment of the zoning map on an area-wide basis. This type of zoning is characterized by being comprehensive in nature, dealing with natural homogeneous communities, distinctive geographic neighborhoods and other types of districts having unified interests within the city. Area zoning, unlike a reclassification (rezone), usually involves many separate properties under various ownerships and utilizes several of the zoning classifications available to express the City’s current land use policy in zoning map form. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.064 Assisted Living Facility

An establishment providing living quarters and a variety of limited personal care and supportive health care monitoring to individuals who may be unable to live independently due to infirmity of age, or physical or mental handicap, but who do not need the skilled nursing care of a convalescent center/nursing home. These establishments may consist of individual dwelling units or sleeping rooms, but also provide communal dining, recreational, laundry and other facilities. (Ord. 14-1016 § 1)

15.10.065 Auction House

An establishment where the property of others is sold by a broker or auctioneer to persons who attend scheduled sales periods or events. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.066 Auto Court

An access drive that is bounded on two (2) or more sides by the walls of buildings, providing primary and/or secondary means of access to abutting property but not intended for general traffic circulation. (Ord. 08-1041 § 18)

15.10.067 Automobile Repair

Automobile repair includes fixing, incidental body or fender work, painting, upholstering, engine tune-up, major engine or transmission repair, adjusting lights or brakes, brake repair, other similar repair work and supplying and installing replacement parts of or for small vehicles. (Ord. 08-1010 § 1; Ord. 04-1010 § 20)

15.10.072 Automobile Towing/Storage Operation

Any person, corporation or enterprise engaged in the moving of inoperable motor vehicles and storing (long term or short term) in an enclosed area. All such operations shall be in compliance with minimum State standards prior to commencing. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.073 Automobile Wrecking Operation

Any person, corporation or enterprise engaged in the dismantling or wrecking of motor vehicles or trailers, or in the storage, sale or dumping of dismantled or wrecked vehicles or their parts. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.074 Automotive Service Center

Establishment primarily engaged in small vehicle repair and detailing, including the sale and installation of lubricants, tires, batteries, mufflers and similar accessories. (Ord. 08-1010 § 2; Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.075 Average Building Elevation

The vertical distance from established ground elevation (finished foundation) measured to the highest point of the coping of a flat roof or to the deck line of a mansard roof or the average height of the highest gable of a pitched or hipped roof (See Figure 15.10.075a). For sloped property the average of the lowest and highest ground elevation shall be considered the point of measurement. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

Figure 15.10.075a



15.10.076 Base Flood

A flood having a one percent (1%) chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year, often referred to as the “100-year flood.” (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.077 Base Flood Elevation

The water surface elevation of the base flood in relation to the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.078 Base Area

The total area of the horizontal cross-section of a tree as measured at four (4) feet above grade. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1) Batch Plant

The manufacturing of asphalt or concrete which may include the storage of related component materials. Cement batch plants are prohibited. (Ord. 99-1003 § 4) Battery Charging Station

An electrical component assembly or cluster of component assemblies designed specifically to charge batteries within electric vehicles, which meets or exceeds any standards, codes, and regulations set forth in Chapter 19.28 RCW and consistent with rules adopted under RCW 19.27.540. (Ord. 10-1024 § 6) Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)

Any vehicle that operates exclusively on electrical energy from an off-board source that is stored in the vehicle’s batteries, and produces zero (0) emissions or pollution when stationary or operating. (Ord. 10-1024 § 7) Bay Windows

The combination of three (3) or more individual window units, attached to project from the building at various angles. The center section is normally fixed, with the end panels operable as single-hung windows, double-hung windows, casement windows or another type of operable window. A bay window may be rectangular, semi-polygonal or semi-circular (see Figure, shall be a minimum of twenty-four (24) inches above grade, shall not include doors of any kind, and shall be limited to no more than one (1) story in height. (Ord. 07-1019 § 5) Battery Exchange Stations

A fully automated facility that will enable an electric vehicle with a swappable battery to enter a drive lane and exchange the depleted battery with a fully charged battery through a fully automated process, which meets or exceeds any standards, codes, and regulations set forth by Chapter 19.27 RCW and consistent with rules adopted under RCW 19.27.540. (Ord. 10-1024 § 8)

15.10.079 Beauty Salon

A service business operating to provide services related to hair, skin, nail and cosmetology care. (Ord. 94-1006 § 1)

15.10.080 Bed and Breakfast

A dwelling unit within which bedrooms are available for paying transient guests. The number of guests is limited to no more than six (6) at any time. (Ord. 14-1016 § 2; Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.081 Berm

A formed mound of earth that creates a visual and physical barrier between developments, roads, and/or sensitive areas. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.083 Biomedical Product Facility

An entity, business, or establishment that is involved in the design, development, assembly and/or manufacture of products developed specifically for the diagnosis, treatment or correction of medical disorders. Products produced by a biomedical product facility include pharmaceuticals, implants or prostheses. (Ord. 95-1016 § 31)

15.10.085 Book, Stationery, Video, Audio and Art Supply Store

Establishment engaged in retail sales of new books and magazines, stationery, video and art supplies. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.090 Buffer

Any structural, earth or vegetative form that is for the purpose of minimizing visual and noise impacts. Buffers may include, but are not limited to, berms, high shrubs, dense stands of trees, trellises and fences. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.092 Building

A structure that is designed to provide a place of business, residence or shelter to occupants. For the purposes of setback standards, it does not include minor utility structures, light poles, utility boxes, benches, signs, bus shelter, security gatehouses, ticket booths or other similar structures. (Ord. 95-1016 § 32)

15.10.093 Building Code

The City of SeaTac Building Code, as set forth in Chapter 13.110 SMC. (Ord. 04-1008 § 5)

15.10.095 Building, Hardware and Garden Materials Store

Establishment engaged in the selling of lumber and other building materials, feed, lawn and garden supplies. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.097 Butterfly/Moth Breeding, Wholesale/Retail

The breeding of butterflies and moths for the purpose of wholesale or retail sales. This includes the entire life cycle of butterflies and moths and accessory activities such as the manufacture of enclosed biospheres for the butterflies and moths. This definition shall only include those butterflies and moths indigenous to the Pacific Northwest, which do not have a negative impact on forest and agricultural products or on ornamental trees, shrubs and vegetation, as determined by the City and applicable Washington State agencies. The breeding of butterflies and moths not indigenous to the Pacific Northwest shall be prohibited unless otherwise approved by the City and the applicable Washington State agencies. (Ord. 00-1033 § 16)

15.10.098 Cargo Containers

A standardized, reusable vessel, designed without an axle or wheels, which was:

A.    Originally, specifically, or formerly designed for or used in the packing, shipping, movement or transportation of freight, articles, goods or commodities; and/or

B.    Designed for or capable of being mounted or moved on a rail car; and/or

C.    Designed for or capable of being mounted on a chassis or bogie for movement by truck trailer or loaded on a ship.

When used for any purpose other than those listed in subsection A of this section, a cargo container is a structure (SMC 15.10.631). (Ord. 01-1010 § 1)

15.10.100 Cemetery

Land used or intended to be used for the burial of the human dead. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.101 Charging Levels

Means the standardized indicators of electrical force, or voltage, at which an electric vehicle’s battery is recharged. The terms 1, 2, and 3 are the most common EV charging levels, and include the following specifications:

•    Level 1 is considered slow charging.

•    Level 2 is considered medium charging.

•    Level 3 is considered fast or rapid charging or DC fast charge.

Level 1 is present in homes and businesses and typically operates on a fifteen (15) or twenty (20) amp breaker on a one hundred (120) volt alternating current (AC) circuit and standard outlet.

Level 2 is expected to become the standard for home and public charging and typically operates on a forty (40) amp to one hundred (100) amp breaker on a two hundred eight (208) or two hundred forty (240) volt AC circuit.

Level 3 is primarily for commercial and public applications (e.g., taxi fleets and charging along freeways) and typically operates on a sixty (60) amp or higher dedicated breaker on a four hundred eighty (480) volt or higher three (3) phase circuit with special grounding equipment. Note that the term “Level 3” is recommended to identify the increased power need in a numerical fashion (i.e., “3”), but the Level 3 charging level is also sometimes referred to as “DC Fast” charging and “Rapid” charging (see definition of “Rapid Charging Station”). (Ord. 10-1024 § 9)

15.10.105 Church

Repealed by Ord. 08-1001. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.106 Church, Accessory Uses

Repealed by Ord. 08-1001. (Ord. 99-1005 § 1; Ord. 92-1041 § 1) Circular Driveway

A driveway on a single lot that has two (2) access points to a public right-of-way. (Ord. 07-1015 § 2)

15.10.107 City Center

A portion of the City of SeaTac Urban Center delineated as the City Center area on the City Center vehicular and pedestrian access plan (SMC 15.35.210). Within the City Center area, design standards shall apply to all properties, except those zoned urban low (UL), aviation operations (AVO), and aviation commercial (AVC). (Ord. 98-1019 § 1) City Hall*

A structure maintained and used as a place to transact business, legislative and administrative functions, public meetings and hearings, and other operations of a Code City as defined under RCW 35A.01.035. City Hall may include a municipal court for the purpose of providing for the administration of justice, including court offices, court rooms and facilities for processing civil and/or criminal cases and related functions. (Ord. 98-1025 § 5)

*Code reviser’s note: Ord. No. 98-1025 adds this definition as SMC 15.10.107. It has been editorially renumbered to prevent duplication.

15.10.108 Classification

A refined identification of uses which, either individually or as a type, possess similar characteristics or performance standards and are permitted as possessing compatible uses in a zone. A classification as the term employed in this title includes provisions, conditions and requirements related to the permissible location of permitted uses. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.109 Colleges – Universities

Institutions of higher learning authorized to confer associate degrees, baccalaureate degrees and/or post graduate degrees, accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges. (Ord. 94-1006 § 2; Ord. 92-1041 § 1) Collocation

See SMC 15.31A.022. (Ord. 04-1030 § 3; Ord. 97-1013 § 3) Commercial/Industrial Accessory Uses*

A commercial/industrial accessory use shall be a use similar in type to the permitted or allowed conditional uses on the property and directly related to the permitted or allowed conditional use. In no case shall a commercial/industrial accessory use, which is neither a permitted or conditional use of the underlying zone, occupy an area that is more than twenty-five percent (25%) of the gross floor area of all buildings on the subject property. (Ord. 01-1027 § 3)

*Code reviser’s note: Ord. No. 01-1027 adds this definition as SMC 15.10.102. It has been editorially renumbered to preserve alphabetization.

15.10.110 Commercial Recreation Area and Use

An area and use operated for profit, with private facilities, equipment or services for recreational purposes including swimming pools, tennis courts, playgrounds and other similar uses. The use of such an area may be limited to private membership or may be open to the public upon payment of a fee. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.112 Commercial Marine Supplies

A business that provides for retail/wholesale purchase of supplies related to commercial marine activities, not to include the retail sales of boats. (Ord. 95-1016 § 33)

15.10.114 Commercial Wireless Telecommunications Facility (Commercial WTF)

Repealed by Ord. 04-1030. (Ord. 97-1013 § 4)

15.10.115 Common Recreational Open Space Usable for Many Activities

Any area available to all residents of the subject property that is appropriate for a variety of active and passive recreational activities, if that area:

A.    Is not covered by residential buildings, parking or driving areas; and

B.    Is not covered by any vegetation that impedes access; and

C.    Has an average four percent (4%) slope of all areas, with no slope that exceeds six percent (6%). (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.120 Communication Facility, Major

See SMC 15.31A.022. (Ord. 04-1030 § 3; Ord. 97-1013 § 5; Ord. 95-1016 § 1; Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.125 Communication Facility, Minor

See SMC 15.31A.022. (Ord. 04-1030 § 3; Ord. 95-1016 § 2; Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.126 Community Center

A facility used for and providing recreational and/or social programs, but not including overnight shelters as defined in SMC 15.10.440. (Ord. 99-1005 § 8)

15.10.130 Community Residential Facility (CRF)

Publicly or privately operated residential facilities, limited to: group homes for children, for those with disabilities, or for the elderly; homes for recovering, non-using alcoholics and addicts; or shelters for domestic violence victims. Community residential facilities do not include halfway houses, overnight shelters, or transitional housing. (Ord. 01-1011 § 1; Ord. 99-1005 § 2; Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.135 Compensatory Storage

New excavated storage volume equivalent to any flood storage which is eliminated by filling or grading within the floodplain. For the purpose of this definition, equivalent flood storage capacity is that which is replaced by an equal volume as measured between corresponding one (1) foot contour intervals which are hydraulically connected to the floodway. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.136 Comprehensive Plan

The officially adopted SeaTac Comprehensive Plan, including all the components thereof adopted by reference or lawfully incorporated parts thereof. It includes, but is not limited to, components required by State law, State growth management and subdivision law as referenced in the RCW. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.140 Conditional Use, Major

A use which is not permitted outright in a zone classification due to the nature of impacts created by the use, after review and approval by the Hearing Examiner under specific conditions based upon decision criteria of SMC 15.22.030. (Ord. 97-1011 § 3; Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.142 Conditional Use, Minor

The administrative review and approval of a Conditional Use Permit for any of the following:

A.    Expansion of an existing and authorized major conditional use within a zone classification, after review and approval by the City Manager or designee. Minor conditional uses for the purposes of this subsection are those which are compatible with the pre-existing major conditional use and satisfy the requirements of SMC 15.22.030(E);

B.    Construction of certain categories of wireless communication facilities, per SMC 15.31A.031. (Ord. 04-1030 § 3; Ord. 97-1011 § 4)

15.10.145 Conference Center

An establishment developed primarily as a meeting facility; including access facilities for recreation, overnight lodging, and related activities provided for conference participants. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.150 Conforming Building Use

An activity or use which is permitted in the zone classification in which the property on which it is established is located. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.153 Continuing Care Retirement Community

A development that provides a mix of dwelling types, residential services and health care to people at least fifty-five (55) years of age. These communities may provide a full continuum of housing and care, from independent living, to assisted living and through nursing care, in order to meet the aging person’s growing need for supportive services and care. (Ord. 14-1016 § 3)

15.10.155 Convalescent Center/Nursing Home

Any home, place or institution which operates or maintains facilities offering twenty-four (24) hour skilled nursing care for three (3) or more individuals who are recovering from an illness, or receiving care for chronic conditions, mental or physical disabilities, terminal illness, or alcohol or drug detoxification. Care may include in-patient administration of medicine, preparation of special diets, bedside nursing care, and treatment by a physician or psychiatrist. Out-patient care is limited to prior patients only, and excludes any opiate substitution treatment. (Ord. 14-1016 § 4; Ord. 03-1017 § 1; Ord. 99-1005 § 3; Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.156 Court

A facility used by any public agency, political subdivision or unit of local government of this State including but not limited to municipal corporations, special purpose districts, and local service districts, and agency of the State of Washington or of the United States or any state thereof which has responsibility for, and jurisdiction to process and provide for the handling of administration of justice, including court offices, court rooms and facilities for processing civil and/or criminal cases and related functions, for the purposes of such administration of justice functions; provided, that where such activities occur at a regular office of the public agency responsible for such functions, the provisions applicable to public agency office, as that term is defined in this code, shall control. (Ord. 93-1036 § 7)

15.10.157 Courtyard

An open space area that is bounded on two (2) or more sides by the walls of adjacent buildings. (Ord. 08-1041 § 19) Crisis Diversion Facility (CDF)

A residential treatment facility for individuals eighteen (18) years or older that diverts individuals from jails or hospitals suffering from mental illness and/or chemical dependency. A CDF is licensed by the Washington State Department of Health and certified by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, provides temporary shelter, operates twenty-four (24)/seven (7), and holds individuals for up to seventy-two (72) hours. One (1) crisis diversion facility may be collocated with one (1) crisis diversion interim facility. (Ord. 10-1017 § 1)

*Code reviser’s note: Ord. No. 10-1017 adds this definition as SMC 15.10.157. It has been editorially renumbered to avoid duplication.

15.10.158 Crisis Diversion Interim Facility (CDIF)

A residential treatment facility that provides temporary shelter, additional on-site mental illness and/or chemical dependency treatments administered by mental health care professionals, operates twenty-four (24)/seven (7), and individuals may stay at the facility for up to two (2) weeks. A CDIF is licensed by the Washington State Department of Health and certified by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. One (1) crisis diversion interim facility may be collocated with one (1) crisis diversion facility. (Ord. 10-1017 § 2)

15.10.160 Critical Drainage Area

An area which has been formally defined in the City Surface Water Management Program to require more restrictive regulation than is standard in noncritical areas of the City in order to mitigate severe flooding, water quality issues, erosion or sedimentation problems which result from the cumulative impacts of development and urbanization. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.161 Cross-Section

A visual representation of a vertical cut through a structure, a proposed fill pad or any other three (3) dimensional form. (See Figure 15.10.161a.) (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)


15.10.165 Dairy

Any premises where three (3) or more cows, three (3) or more goats, or any combination thereof are kept, milked or maintained. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.166 Day Care

(Excludes afterschool programs sanctioned by the City.) Establishments for group care of children; provided such establishments are licensed by the State and conducted in accordance with State requirements, including:

•    Nursery schools for children under minimum age for education in public schools;

•    Privately conducted kindergartens when not a part of a public or parochial school;

A.    Day Care I. Twelve (12) children maximum in any twenty-four (24) hour period;

B.    Day Care II. Over twelve (12) children in any twenty-four (24) hour period.

It is provided, however, that for the purposes of this title the City’s regulatory role for family day cares, defined as those day care facilities providing in-home care for twelve (12) or fewer children and which are licensed by the State of Washington, is limited to the following:

Family day care facilities shall:

1.    Comply with all building, fire, safety, health code and business licensing requirements;

2.    Conform to lot size, building size, setbacks and lot coverage standards applicable to the zoning district except if the structure is a legal nonconforming structure;

3.    Be certified by the State Department of Licensing as providing a safe passenger loading area;

4.    Include signage, if any, that conforms to applicable City regulations;

5.    Limit hours of operation to facilitate to neighborhood compatibility while at the same time providing an appropriate opportunity for persons who use family day care and who work a nonstandard work shift; and

6.    Provide, prior to State licensing, written proof of notification to adjoining property owners, informing them of the intent to locate and maintain such a facility; provided, that if a dispute arises between the neighbors and the family day care provider over licensing requirements, the State may provide a forum to resolve the dispute. (Ord. 94-1030 § 1; Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.170 Dedication

The deliberate appropriation of land by an owner for public use or purposes, reserving no other rights than those that are compatible with the full exercise and enjoyment of the public uses or purpose to which the property has been devoted. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.172 Density Bonus

A commercial or residential bonus in density units granted to developers for providing public benefits in their development plans. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.175 Department and Variety Store

Establishment engaged in the retail sales of a variety of lines of merchandise such as: dry goods, apparel and accessories, home furnishings, housewares, travel accessories, and electronic items and accessories. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1) Development Site – Stand-Alone Parking Structures

A development site is the sum total of all parcels of property incorporated into the development at any point of time. This includes the incorporation of any additional properties into the development site. (See Figure (Ord. 05-1002 § 3)


15.10.176 Disability

As used in SMC 15.12.017 and 15.12.018, a “handicap” as defined in the Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 at 42 U.S.C. Section 3602(h):

with respect to a person--

1. a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such a person’s major life activities,

2. a record of having such an impairment, or

3. being regarded as having such an impairment, but such term does not include current, illegal use of or addiction to a controlled substance (as defined in [21 U.S.C. § 802]).

Persons with disabilities include those who are developmentally disabled, mentally ill, as well as those in recovery for alcohol and drug addiction. (Ord. 99-1005 § 9)

15.10.180 Domestic Animals

Dogs, cats, birds, snakes, small rodents, rabbits, goats, pygmy goats, pot-bellied pigs, chickens (including roosters), miniature horses not exceeding forty (40) pounds, and ducks and other fowl, which can be and are continually kept or raised in a home or on a lot. Animals not considered to be domestic animals include, but are not limited to, the following: horses, cows, donkeys, and any endangered or exotic species of animals. The number of inside or outside domestic animals shall be limited as shown in Table 15.12.015a. (Ord. 03-1022 § 1; Ord. 93-1014 § 5; Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.185 Dormitory

An accessory residential building to an educational institution consisting of individual rooms for sleeping and may include common dining, cooking, and interior recreation facilities. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.187 Driveway

An access which serves a lot, structure, or parking surface. (Ord. 07-1015 § 1)

15.10.190 Drug Store

Establishment engaged in the retail sale of prescription drugs, nonprescription medicines, cosmetics and related supplies, including tobacco stores. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.191 Duplex

A building containing two (2) dwelling units totally separated from each other by either an unpierced wall extending from basement to roof or an unpierced ceiling and floor extending from exterior wall to exterior wall. (Ord. 14-2016 § 5; Ord. 08-1041 § 20).

15.10.192 Duplex, Up-Down

Repealed by Ord. 14-1016. (Ord. 08-1041 § 21).

15.10.195 Dwelling Unit

Any building or portion thereof which contains living facilities, including provisions for sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation for not more than one (1) family. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.200 Dwelling Unit, Caretaker/Manager

A dwelling unit attached to a non-residential building. (Ord. 14-1016 § 9)

15.10.205 Dwelling Unit, Efficiency

Repealed by Ord. 14-1016. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.210 Dwelling Unit, Manufactured Home

A detached building containing one (1) dwelling unit permanently affixed on a foundation, constructed within HUD standards. (Ord. 14-1016 § 10; Ord. 97-1008 § 1; Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.215 Dwelling Unit, Mobile Home

A detached building containing one (1) dwelling unit for a family, but not constructed within HUD standards, with running gear, attached or detachable, that allows it to be relocated. (Ord. 97-1008 § 2; Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.217 Dwelling Unit, Modular Home

A detached building containing one (1) dwelling unit for a family located on a permanent foundation, constructed within UBC standards, but constructed off-site and assembled on-site. This term is identical to “factory-built home.” (Ord. 97-1008 § 3)

15.10.220 Dwelling Unit, Senior Citizen Assisted

Repealed by Ord. 14-1016. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.225 Dwelling Unit, Detached

A dwelling unit that is not attached to any other dwelling unit by any means. (Ord. 14-1016 § 12; Ord. 97-1008 § 4; Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.230 Dwelling Unit, Townhouse/Duplex

Repealed by Ord. 08-1041. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.235 Easement

Land which has specific air, surface or subsurface rights conveyed for use by someone other than the owner of the subject property or to benefit some property other than the subject property. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.237 Efficiency Unit

Living quarters consisting of one (1) habitable space as defined in the Building Code. (Ord. 04-1008 § 6; Ord. 93-1014 § 10)

15.10.238 Electric Scooters and Motorcycles

Any two (2) wheel vehicle that operates exclusively on electrical energy from an off-board source that is stored in the vehicle’s batteries and produces zero (0) emissions or pollution when stationary or operating. (Ord. 10-1024 § 10)

15.10.239 Electric Vehicle

Any vehicle that operates, either partially or exclusively, on electrical energy from the grid, or an off-board source, that is stored on-board for motive purpose. “Electric vehicle” includes: (A) a battery electric vehicle (BEV); (B) a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV); (C) a neighborhood electric vehicle; and (D) medium-speed electric vehicle. (Ord. 10-1024 § 11) Electric Vehicle Charging Station

A public or private parking space that is served by battery charging station equipment that has as its primary purpose the transfer of electric energy (by conductive or inductive means) to a battery or other energy storage device in an electric vehicle. An electric vehicle charging station equipped with Level 1 or Level 2 charging equipment is permitted outright as an accessory use to any principal use. (Ord. 10-1024 § 12) Electric Vehicle Charging Station – Public

An electric vehicle charging station that is (A) publicly owned and publicly available (e.g., park and ride parking, public library parking lot) or (B) privately owned and publicly available (e.g., shopping center parking, nonreserved parking in multi-family parking lots). (Ord. 10-1024 § 13) Electric Vehicle Charging Station – Private

An electric vehicle charging station that is (A) privately owned and has restricted access (e.g., single-family home, multi-family parking, executive parking, designated employee parking) or (B) publicly owned and restricted (e.g., fleet parking with no access to the general public). (Ord. 10-1024 § 14) Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

Structures, machinery, and equipment necessary and integral to support an electric vehicle, including battery charging stations, rapid charging stations, and battery exchange stations. (Ord. 10-1024 § 15) Electric Vehicle Parking Space

Any marked parking space that identifies the use to be exclusively for the parking of an electric vehicle. (Ord. 10-1024 § 16) Electric Vehicle Waiting Space

An off-street parking space where an electric vehicle, plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, electric scooters, and motorcycles wait to use a public electric vehicle charging station. (Ord. 10-1024 § 17)

15.10.240 Employees

All persons, including proprietors, performing work on-premises, or on all shifts, unless otherwise stated in specific sections of this code. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.241 Enhancement

An action which increases the functions and values of a stream, wetland or other sensitive area or buffer. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.243 Equipment Shelter

See “Equipment Enclosure,” SMC 15.31A.022. (Ord. 04-1030 § 3; Ord. 97-1013 § 6)

15.10.245 Erosion and Deposition

The removal of soils and the placement of these removed soils elsewhere by the natural forces of wind and/or water runoff. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.247 Espresso Stand

A walk-up or auto-oriented (drive-through) business that dispenses hot and/or cold beverage. (Ord. 95-1016 § 34)

15.10.249 Essential Public Facility

A facility providing public services, or publicly funded services that is difficult to site or expand and which meets any of the following criteria: meets the Growth Management Act definition of an essential public facility (EPF), at RCW 36.70A.200, as now existing or hereafter amended, is on the State, King County or City list of essential public facilities, serves a significant portion of the County or region, or is part of a County-wide or multi-County service system, and is difficult to site or expand. Essential public facilities include, but are not limited to, the following: airports, State and local correction facilities, State educational facilities, State and regional transportation facilities, landfills, solid waste handling facilities, sewage treatment facilities, major communication facilities and antennas (excluding wireless telecommunications facilities); and in-patient facilities such as group homes (excluding those facilities covered by the Washington Housing Policy Act), mental health facilities, secure community transition facilities (SCTF), crisis diversion facilities, crisis diversion interim facilities, and substance abuse facilities, including opiate substitution treatment facilities. (Ord. 10-1017 § 3; Ord. 03-1017 § 2; Ord. 02-1029 § 1: Ord. 98-1037 § 1)

15.10.250 Excavate(tion)

The mechanical removal of soils and/or underlying strata. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.253 Existing Structure

See SMC 15.31A.022. (Ord. 04-1030 § 3; Ord. 97-1013 § 7)

15.10.255 Family

An individual or two (2) or more persons related by genetics, marriage, or adoption, or a group of not more than five (5) persons who need not be related by genetics or marriage, living together in a dwelling unit. (Ord. 14-1016 § 13; Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.261 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Floodway

The channel of the stream and that portion of the adjoining floodplain which is necessary to contain and discharge the base flood flow without increasing the base flood elevation more than one (1) foot. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.263 Fire Code

The City of SeaTac Fire Code, as set forth in Chapter 13.150 SMC. (Ord. 04-1008 § 7)

15.10.264 Fire Facility

A facility used by any public agency, political subdivision or unit of local government of this State including but not limited to municipal corporations, special purpose districts, and local service districts, and agency of the State of Washington or of the United States or any state thereof which has responsibility for fire suppression, fire prevention, other functions of fire departments, for the purposes of such fire department functions; provided, that where such activities occur at a regular office of the public agency responsible for such functions, the provisions applicable to public agency office, as that term is defined in this code, shall control. (Ord. 93-1036 § 9)

15.10.265 Fill Material

Dirt, structural rock or gravel and similar structural substances, not including any inert waste as defined by Department of Ecology, customarily used to raise the level of the ground. Excludes topsoil, bark, ornamental rocks or gravel placed on the surface of the ground. Individual fill material shall not exceed twelve (12) inches in diameter, width, depth, or height. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.266 Flood Fringe

That portion of the floodplain outside of the zero-rise floodway (See Floodway, Zero-Rise) which is covered by floodwater during the base flood, generally associated with standing water rather than rapidly flowing water. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.267 Flood Hazard Areas

Those areas in the City subject to inundation by the base flood including, but not limited to, streams, lakes, wetlands and closed depressions. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.268 Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM)

The official map on which the Federal Insurance Administration has delineated some of the major areas of flood hazard. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.269 Flood Insurance Study for King County

The official report provided by the Federal Insurance Administration which includes flood profiles and the flood insurance rate map. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.270 Floodplain

The total area subject to inundation by the base flood. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.271 Floodproofing

Adaptations, pursuant to the Building Code, which will make a structure that is below the flood protection elevation substantially impermeable to the passing of water and resistant to hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads including the impacts of buoyancy. (Ord. 04-1008 § 4; Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.272 Flood Protection Elevation

An elevation which is one (1) foot above the base flood elevation. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.273 Floodway, Zero-Rise

The channel of a stream and that portion of the adjoining floodplain which is necessary to contain and discharge the base flood flow without any measurable increase in flood height. A measurable increase in base flood height means a calculated upward rise in the base flood elevation, equal to or greater than .01 foot, resulting from a comparison of existing conditions and changed conditions directly attributable to development in the floodplain. This definition is broader than that of the FEMA floodway, but always includes the FEMA floodway. The boundaries of the one hundred (100) year floodplains, as shown on the FIRM maps for King County, are considered the boundaries of the zero-rise floodway unless otherwise delineated by a sensitive area special study. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.274 Floor Area

The total floor area within the walls of all buildings on a lot or building site, except for the spaces therein devoted to vents, shafts, and lighting courts, and except for the area devoted exclusively to loading and unloading facilities or parking of motor vehicles. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.275 Food Processing

An industrial production of food from a natural state to a packaged state through approved FDA processes and standards. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.276 Forest Product Sales

The sales of goods produced, extracted, consumed, gathered or harvested from a forest including, but not limited to:

A.    Trees;

B.    Logs;

C.    Cones;

D.    Wood chips;

E.    Fuel wood;

F.    Herbs. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.280 Forest Product Sales, Temporary

The sales of goods produced and extracted from a forest including, but not limited to:

A.    Christmas trees;

B.    Pine boughs;

C.    Mushrooms/berries. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.282 Gasoline/Service Station

A building or lot having pumps and storage tanks where fuels, oils or accessories for motor vehicles are dispensed, sold or offered for sale at retail only; auto repair service is incidental and no storage or parking space is offered for rent. (Ord. 04-1010 § 21)

15.10.285 General Business Service/Office

Establishment engaged in providing personal services to business establishments and citizens from an office setting, with no visible outdoor storage areas, including, but not limited to, the following uses:

A.    Financial institutions;

B.    Security and commodity brokers, dealers, exchanges and services;

C.    Insurance agents and carriers;

D.    Real estate business offices and agents;

E.    Legal services;

F.    Membership organizations;

G.    Nontesting research labs;

H.    Emergency services administration and substations. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.286 General Repair

The repair of appliances, stereo equipment, electronic pieces and computers. This term does not include the repair of motor vehicles in any form. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.290 Glare

The reflection of harsh, bright light, or the physical effect resulting from high luminance or insufficiently shielded light sources in the field of view. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.291 Governmental Facility

Repealed by Ord. 93-1036. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.295 Grading

Any excavation, filling, removing the duff layer or any combination of topsoils thereof. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.296 Group Home

See definition of Community Residential Facility, SMC 15.10.130. (Ord. 99-1005 § 10)

15.10.297 Habitable Space

Repealed by Ord. 14-1016. (Ord. 95-1016 § 35)

15.10.298 Halfway House

State-licensed work/release facilities and other housing facilities serving as an alternative to incarceration. (Ord. 99-1005 § 11)

15.10.300 Hangar/Service Bay

A building used for service and maintenance of private and public aircraft. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.305 Hazardous Production Material (HPM)

A solid, liquid or gas that has a degree of hazard rating in health, flammability or reactivity of 3 or 4 as ranked by Fire Code Standard No. 79-3 and which is used directly in research, laboratory or production processes which have, as their end product, materials which are not hazardous. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.310 Hazardous Waste

All dangerous and extremely hazardous waste, including substances composed of radioactive and hazardous components (as defined in RCW 70.105.010(15)). (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.315 Hazardous Waste Storage

Repealed by Ord. 94-1039. (Ord. 93-1036 § 18; Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.320 Hazardous Waste Treatment

Repealed by Ord. 94-1039. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.324 Health Club

Facilities offering the use of exercise equipment for public use, and services such as, but not limited to, expertise and instruction for fitness training and aerobics classes. Does not include massage or other medically related services. (Ord. 95-1016 § 36)

15.10.325 Health Hazard

Sanitation problems, including, but not limited to, sewage spills, raw sewage in any form, rodent infestation, potential disease causes as determined by an environmental health official, and chemicals that lead to acute or chronic health effects in exposed persons. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.327 Height

See SMC 15.31A.022. (Ord. 04-1030 § 3; Ord. 97-1013 § 8)

15.10.330 Heliport

An area of land or water or a structural surface which is used, or intended for use, for the landing and take-off of helicopters, and any direct maintenance or fueling areas. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.335 Helistop

Same as a heliport, except that no refueling, maintenance, repairs or storage of helicopters is permitted. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.336 High Capacity Transit (HCT)

Any form of public or private transit (bus, rail, train, Personal Rapid Transit (PRT), People Mover and other new technology) that moves a large number of people to set destination points. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.338 Hobby Kennel/Hobby Cattery

A noncommercial establishment at or adjoining a private residence where four (4) or more adult dogs, or five (5) or more adult cats, are bred or kept. (Ord. 05-1007 § 3)

15.10.340 Home Occupation

Any nonresidential use that occurs in a dwelling or accessory structure when such use is clearly incidental and secondary to the use of the dwelling or accessory structure, does not change the character of the dwelling, accessory structure, or neighborhood, and is carried on by a person permanently residing within the dwelling. (Ord. 07-1019 § 1; Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.342 Homeless Encampment

An emergency homeless encampment, hosted by a church or other organization, which provides temporary housing to homeless persons. (Ord. 05-1017 § 2; Ord. 05-1009 § 2)

15.10.345 Hospital

An institution providing primary health services and medical or surgical care to persons, primarily inpatients, suffering from illness, disease, injury, deformity and other abnormal physical or mental conditions, and including, as an integral part of the institution, related facilities such as laboratories, outpatient facilities, extended care facilities or training facilities. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.347 Host Agency

The owner of the site property, being a church or other organization, that joins a sponsoring agency in an application for a City temporary use permit for providing basic services and support to temporary emergency homeless encampment residents, such as hot meals, coordination of other needed donations and services, etc. (Ord. 05-1017 § 3; Ord. 05-1009 § 3)

15.10.348 Hostel

A facility providing transient, overnight accommodations, typically characterized by low cost, shared use of a self-service kitchen, common areas, sleeping rooms and bathroom facilities. (Ord. 14-1016 § 15)

15.10.350 Hotel/Motel/Lodging

A facility consisting of four (4) or more guest rooms offering transient lodging accommodations, including inns, residence or extended stay hotels, other similar facilities, and all businesses subject to collection and payment of the tax levied by Chapter 67.28 RCW or City Code, that offer rental accommodations for periods of generally less than 30 days at a time. Associated uses may include additional services such as meeting rooms, restaurants, health spas, retail shops and beauty shops. (Ord. 14-1016 § 16; Ord. 00-1033 § 1; Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.351 Impervious Surface

Any nonvertical surface artificially covered or hardened so as to prevent or impede the percolation of water into the soil mantle including, but not limited to, roof tops, swimming pools, paved or graveled roads and walkways or parking areas, but excluding landscaping and surface water retention/detention facilities. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.352 Improved Public Roadways

Public road rights-of-way that have been improved to an all-weather surface with at least two (2) travel lanes and are maintained by the City or the State of Washington. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.353 International Building Code (IBC)

The International Building and related codes as amended and adopted by the City. (Ord. 04-1030 § 3)

15.10.355 Junk

Old or scrap copper, brass, rope, rags, batteries, paper, trash, rubber debris, wastes, machinery, scrap wood, or junked, dismantled or wrecked automobiles, or parts thereof; iron, steel, and other old or scrap ferrous or nonferrous material. Includes any other definitions of junk established in City ordinances. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.360 Kennel/Cattery

A commercial establishment which houses, cares for, breeds, raises or sells dogs or cats. Four (4) or more adult dogs or cats or any combination thereof constitute a kennel. Small animal hospitals and clinics and up to two (2) dwelling units, to be used as manager/caretaker residences, either attached or detached, from the kennel are included. An adult dog or cat is one of either sex, altered or unaltered, that has reached the age of six (6) months. (Ord. 05-1007 § 2: Ord. 97-1009 § 1; Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.361 Landscaping Business

A business which provides services to preserve or enhance natural or reconfigured land features, ground cover, grass, sod, and other plantings, to promote naturalistic and aesthetic values, or to effect natural or improved drainage and erosion control. The business may include the arrangement of such tangible objects such as pools, walls, steps, trellises, canopies, and other nonhabitable structures, and other such features as are incidental and necessary to landscaping purposes. A landscaping business does not include the wholesale/retail sale of landscaping products including, but not limited to, trees, shrubs, plants, or any other vegetation (except those planted or installed by the business), or of any equipment that is necessary for the movement, planting, growth, and aesthetics of landscape materials. (Ord. 00-1033 § 17)

15.10.362 Laundromat

A commercial establishment offering self-serve and assisted laundry facilities for public use. (Ord. 95-1016 § 37)

15.10.363 Legal Lot

A lot created by the King County Assessor’s Office in accordance with Washington State Laws and Subdivision Code provisions set forth in the Washington State RCW and City of SeaTac Subdivision Code. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.364 Livestock

Domesticated animals, such as horses, cows, goats, sheep, swine and fowl. (Ord. 95-1016 § 38)

15.10.365 Lot

A legal lot for building purposes which shall have sufficient size to meet minimum zoning requirements for use, coverage, and area, and to provide such yards and other open spaces as are herein required. Such lot shall have access to an improved public street, or to an approved private access. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.370 Lot Area

The total horizontal area within the boundary lines of a lot, including access easements; however, the area contained in tracts or panhandles shall not be included in the lot area of a lot within any plat containing more than two (2) lots. In addition, the area of any easements over one (1) or more servient lots in favor of a dominant lot for the purpose of granting the owner of the dominant lot rights of personal use, possession and occupancy which are typically attributes of ownership shall not be included in the lot area of any servient lot. (Ord. 98-1038 § 1; Ord. 95-1016 § 3; Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.375 Lot Coverage

That percentage of the lot area covered by all buildings including accessory buildings and uses and residential tent structures as defined under SMC 15.10.639.05, excluding driveway and outside parking areas. Coverage is determined by measuring from a horizontal plane from the building footprint as set forth in the Building Code. (Ord. 04-1008 § 4; Ord. 03-1016 § 1; Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.380 Lot Lines

The property lines that establish the boundaries of buildable lots. For information on how lot lines are designated, see SMC 15.13.025, Designation of Lot Lines. (Ord. 08-1042 § 2; Ord. 98-1019 § 2; Ord. 95-1028 § 1; Ord. 95-1016 § 4; Ord. 95-1012 § 1; Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.385 Lot, Substandard

A lot or parcel of land which has less than the required minimum area or width as established by the zone in which it is located; and provided, that such lot or parcel was of record as a legally created lot on the effective date of the Zoning Code ordinance codified by the City. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.390 Lot Types

(See Figure 15.10.390a.)

A.    Corner. A lot situated at the intersection of two (2) or more streets.

B.    Interior Lot. A lot that abuts only one (1) street.

C.    Through Lot. A lot, other than a corner lot, which abuts two (2) streets.

D.    Panhandle Lot. A lot set back from the public street with long narrow portions, which are also called handles, for access. The handle or access of a panhandle lot is defined as “that portion of a panhandle lot that is a minimum of twelve (12) feet in width and a maximum of thirty (30) feet in width, and a minimum length of fifteen (15) feet.”

E.    Internal Lot. A lot with no physical connection to a street, that may or may not be served by an access easement.

F.    Dumbbell Lot. A lot in which the buildable area of the lot is separated by a portion of land that is thirty (30) feet or less in width and fifteen (15) feet in length or greater.

Figure 15.10.390a. LOT TYPES

(Ord. 09-1009 § 3; Ord. 08-1042 § 3; Ord. 94-1006 § 3; Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.395 Lot Width

The distance between the two (2) established side lot lines of the lot; for irregularly shaped lots, the width shall be determined by a lot width circle which is of a diameter that fits within the individual lot (see Figure 15.10.395a). The circle shall not have an average slope exceeding twenty-five percent (25%) nor contain unbuildable, sensitive areas. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)


15.10.396 Major Redevelopment

Additions or alterations to a building or site, excluding interior-only improvements, which total fifty percent (50%) or more of the gross square footage (GSF) of the existing building(s) or site. (Ord. 98-1019 § 3; Ord. 95-1028 § 11)

15.10.397 Massage Business

A commercial establishment in which massage or other touching (considered medically necessary) of the human body is provided for a fee. Any physical activities beyond the stated purpose of the use shall be dealt with in the same manner as any activities considered illegal by the applicable legal codes. (Ord. 95-1028 § 2; Ord. 92-1041 § 1. Formerly 15.10.396)

15.10.398 Maximum Yard Setback

The maximum distance from a front property line that the edge of a building may be placed. Within the City Center, at least fifty percent (50%) of the building’s front facade shall be located within the maximum front yard setback. The remaining portions of the front facade may be stepped back a maximum of twenty (20) feet more than the established maximum setback, as approved by the Director of Community and Economic Development, for the purpose of accommodating public open space, porte cocheres, or recessed building entries. (Ord. 11-1002 § 3; Ord. 98-1019 § 4; Ord. 95-1016 § 39)

15.10.400 Medical/Dental Clinic

An establishment for treatment of outpatients, and providing no overnight care for patients. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.401 Medium-Speed Electric Vehicle

A self-propelled, electrically powered four (4) wheeled motor vehicle, equipped with a roll cage or crush-proof body design, whose speed attainable in one (1) mile is more than twenty-five (25) miles per hour but not more than thirty-five (35) miles per hour and otherwise meets or exceeds the Federal regulations set forth in 49 CFR 571.500. (Ord. 10-1024 § 18)

15.10.402 Microcell

Repealed by Ord. 04-1030. (Ord. 97-1013 § 9)

15.10.405 Microwave

See SMC 15.31A.022. (Ord. 04-1030 § 3; Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.406 Mitigation of Environmental Impacts

The use of any or all of the following actions, listed in descending order of preference:

A.    Avoiding the impact by not taking a certain action;

B.    Minimizing the impact by limiting the degree or magnitude of the action by using appropriate technology or by taking affirmative steps to avoid or reduce the impact;

C.    Rectifying the impact by repairing, rehabilitating or restoring the affected sensitive area or buffer;

D.    Reducing or eliminating the impact over time by preservation or maintenance operations during the life of the development proposal;

E.    Compensating for the impact by replacing, enhancing or providing substitute sensitive areas and environments; and

F.    Monitoring the impact and taking appropriate corrective measures. (Ord. 04-1030 § 3; Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.406.05 Mobile Refueling Operation*

An operation where a tank delivery vehicle, containing an approved combustible liquids dispensing storage tank with a maximum capacity of two thousand five hundred (2,500) gallons, is used to refuel commercial and construction vehicles with diesel engines for a site that does not include a stationary vehicle refueling station or facility. Mobile refueling operations do not include the mobile refueling of vehicles with gasoline or other alternate fuel powered engines. (Ord. 04-1004 § 2)

*Code reviser’s note: Ord. No. 04-1004 adds this definition as SMC 15.10.404. It has been editorially renumbered to preserve alphabetization.

15.10.407 Monitoring

Evaluating the impacts of development proposals on biologic, hydrologic and geologic systems and assessing the performance of required mitigation through the collection and analysis of data for the purpose of understanding and documenting changes in natural ecosystems, functions and features including, but not limited to, gathering baseline data. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.408 Monopole

See SMC 15.31A.022. (Ord. 04-1030 § 3; Ord. 97-1013 § 10)

15.10.410 Multi-Family Building

A building containing three (3) or more dwelling units that does not meet the definition of a townhouse. (Ord. 14-1016 § 17; Ord. 08-1041 § 3; Ord. 07-1019 § 2; Ord. 94-1006 § 4)

15.10.415 Multi-Use Complex

A group of separate buildings operating under a common name or management; or a single building containing multiple uses where there are specific exterior entrances for individual uses. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.416 Native Vegetation

Vegetation comprised of plant species, other than noxious weeds, which are indigenous to King County and which reasonably could have been expected to naturally occur on the site. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.418 Neighborhood Electric Vehicle

A self-propelled, electrically powered four (4) wheeled motor vehicle whose speed attainable in one (1) mile is more than twenty (20) miles per hour and not more than twenty-five (25) miles per hour and conforms to Federal regulations under Title 49 CFR Part 571.500. (Ord. 10-1024 § 19)

15.10.420 Noise

The intensity, duration and character of sound from any and all sources. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.423 Nonelectric Vehicle

Any vehicle not defined as an electric vehicle under SMC 15.10.239. (Ord. 10-1024 § 20)

15.10.425 Nonconformance, Legal

Any legally established use, structure, or development standard which was lawfully allowed in the past, but is now not in conformance with the current code. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.430 Nonconforming Use

Any use, structure, lot, condition, or development that does not conform to any of the provisions of the current code or that was not approved by the City through the appropriate decision-making process required under this code. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.430.05 Nonprofit Organization

A noncommercial organization that does not operate to make a profit. (Ord. 08-1001 § 8)

15.10.431 Noxious Weed

Any plant which is highly destructive, competitive or difficult to control by cultural or chemical practices, limited to those plants on the State noxious weed list contained in Chapter 16-750 WAC. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.433 Nursing Home

See definition of Convalescent Center/Nursing Home, SMC 15.10.155. (Ord. 99-1005 § 12)

15.10.435 Open Space

A variety of lands which are created and preserved for park and open space purposes, including:

A.    Natural areas with outstanding scenic or recreational (active or passive) value;

B.    Public access areas to creeks, rivers, lakes or Puget Sound;

C.    Lands that define, through natural features, urban and rural areas;

D.    Lands that create corridors between natural features;

E.    Areas defined as sensitive areas under the Sensitive Areas Ordinance;

F.    Any landscaped area that exceeds the minimum adopted landscape requirements;

G.    Active outdoor recreation areas;

H.    Multi-purpose green spaces;

I.    Pedestrian and bicycle-only corridors separate from the public or private roadway system and dedicated to passive recreation, including access links in sensitive area buffers. The square footage (length times width) of pedestrian and bicycle-only corridor shall be counted as usable open space; and/or

J.    Publicly accessible plazas, courtyards, and pocket parks located either within the front yard setback or elsewhere on site. (Ord. 98-1019 § 5; Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.435.05 Opiate Substitution Treatment Facility

A facility designed to dispense an opiate substitute drug approved by the Federal Drug Administration for the treatment of opiate addiction. (Ord. 03-1017 § 8)

15.10.436 Ordinary High Water Mark

The mark found by examining the bed and banks of a stream and ascertaining where the presence and action of waters are common and long maintained in ordinary years as to mark upon the soil a vegetative character distinct from that of the abutting upland. In any area where the ordinary high water mark cannot be found, the line of mean high water shall substitute. In any area where neither can be found, the top of the channel or lake bank shall substitute. In braided channels and alluvial fans, the ordinary high water mark or line of mean high water shall be measured so as to include the entire stream feature. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.438 Other Retail Uses

A retail use that is substantially similar to other listed permitted retail uses within a zone and has similar impacts relating to but not limited to: traffic, storm drainage, the generation of light and glare, emissions or pollutants, odors, or electromagnetic radiation. (Ord. 93-1036 § 10)

15.10.440 Overnight Shelter

A facility providing overnight, temporary lodging, with or without meals, for homeless families or individuals and meeting the standards of Chapter 246-360 WAC. (Ord. 99-1005 § 13)

15.10.445 Parking Lot

A public or private area other than a street or alley that provides parking for motor vehicles for the primary use on the property including, but not limited to, multi-family, office, retail, or commercial uses (including auto rental/sales). A parking lot is limited in use to the occupants, guests, or employees of the primary use of the property. A parking lot does not include an area used exclusively for the parking of motor vehicles for commercial purposes such as a park and fly lot. (Ord. 01-1017 § 1; Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.446 Parking Lot, Public/Private

An area used exclusively for the parking of motor vehicles for a fee for any period of time. (Ord. 01-1017 § 2; Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.448 Parking Space

An area accessible to vehicles, which area is provided, improved, maintained and used for the sole purpose of accommodating a motor vehicle. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.449 Parking Structure, Stand-Alone

A parking structure used exclusively for the parking of motor vehicles, either public or private, for a fee for any period of time. (Ord. 05-1002 § 4)

15.10.450 Parties of Record

Persons which have submitted written comments, testified, asked to be notified, listed on a maintained mailing list, or are the first signatory of a petition which is included as part of the official City record. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.455 Passenger Terminal

A building for on- and off-loading passengers on private and public aircraft or other passenger modes of travel including, but not limited to, HCT, buses, PRTs, public rail systems and ferries. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.465 Pedestrian Access

An area designed to allow access for pedestrians, including handicap access, from the public right-of-way to private land. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.470 Perimeter Landscaping

Landscaping provided along the street and exterior boundaries of a site. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)



See SMC 15.31A.022. (Ord. 04-1030 § 3; Ord. 97-1013 § 11)

15.10.470.07 Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)

An electric vehicle that (1) contains an internal combustion engine, and also allows power to be delivered to the drive wheels by an electric motor; (2) is able to recharge its battery by connecting to the grid or other off-board electrical source; and (3) has the ability to travel short distances (typically ten (10) miles or more) powered all, or substantially all, by electricity. (Ord. 10-1024 § 21)

15.10.471 Police Facility

A facility used by any public agency, political subdivision or unit of local government of this State including but not limited to municipal corporations, special purpose districts, and local service districts, and agency of the State of Washington or of the United States or any state thereof which has responsibility for law enforcement, and for regular police functions, for the purposes of such law enforcement and regular police functions; provided, that where such activities occur at a regular office of the public agency responsible for such functions, the provisions applicable to public agency office, as that term is defined in this code, shall control. (Ord. 93-1036 § 8)

15.10.480 Preschool

A nursery school or educational program that is geared towards the education of very young children, generally between the ages of three (3) to five (5), but excluding day care uses. (Ord. 08-1001 § 9)

15.10.485 Primary Vehicle Access

The major (or highest classification) street from which the majority of vehicles enter the subject property. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.490 Produce Stand

A permanent structure up to five hundred (500) square feet in area used for the retail sale of fresh fruits and vegetables and may include, as an incidental or accessory use, the sale of sealed or prepackaged food products or nonfood items. No more than twenty-five percent (25%) of the gross floor area of the produce stand shall be used for the sale of incidental or accessory uses. (Ord. 04-1010 § 22)

15.10.495 Public Access

A portion of private property subject to an easement giving the public the right to stand on or traverse this portion of the property. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.500 Public Access Pier or Boardwalk

An elevated structure which is constructed waterward of the high water line or upland of the water body and intended for public use. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.501 Public Agency Office

An office maintained and used as a place to transact business, activity and operations of any public agency, political subdivision or unit of local government of this State including but not limited to municipal corporations, special purpose districts, and local service districts, and any agency of the State of Washington or of the United States or any state thereof. (Ord. 93-1036 § 3)

15.10.502 Public Agency Yard

A yard or facility used as a place to store materials used by any public agency, political subdivision or unit of local government of this State including but not limited to municipal corporations, special purpose districts, and local service districts, and agency of the State of Washington or of the United States or any state thereof, as such materials are used by the “outdoor” operations of the public agency, and further used as a place to maintain equipment and facilities of the public agency. (Ord. 93-1036 § 5)

15.10.503 Public Archives

A facility used by any public agency, political subdivision or unit of local government of this State including but not limited to municipal corporations, special purpose districts, and local service districts, and agency of the State of Washington or of the United States or any state thereof for the purposes of archiving, keeping, maintaining or storing documents, records or other property of the public agency; provided, that where such activities occur at the regular offices of the public agency, the provisions applicable to public agency office, as that term is defined in this code, shall control. (Ord. 93-1036 § 6)

15.10.505 Quasi-Public Utility

A private business organization, such as a public service corporation subject to special governmental regulations; or a governmental agency; performing some public service, which is paid for directly by the recipient; including, but not limited to:

A.    Water supply;

B.    Solid waste;

C.    Electric power;

D.    Sewer;

E.    Natural gas;

F.    Telephone or cellular communications;

G.    Transportation for persons and freight. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.510 Radio Tower

A structure whose purpose or accessory purpose is the transmission of radio waves and the supporting structure for the transmission antenna or device. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.510.02 Rapid or DC Fast Charging Station

An industrial grade electrical outlet that allow for faster recharging of electric vehicle batteries through higher power levels, which meets or exceeds any standards, codes, and regulations set forth by Chapter 19.28 RCW and consistent with rules adopted under RCW 19.27.540. (Ord. 10-1024 § 22)

15.10.511 Reasonable Use

A legal concept articulated by Federal and State courts in regulatory taking cases. Within the context of these cases and for the purposes of this title, reasonable use shall mean any use permitted in each zone classification, outright or through a permit, and shall not mean the subdivision of property. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.515 Recreation, Community (Recreational Center)

A recreational use, building, or event maintained and operated by a nonprofit club, or an organization whose membership is for a specified group. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.520 Recreation, Public

A recreation use maintained and operated by a governmental agency or any nonprofit organization on publicly owned or leased land for the benefit of the general public; or on private land for a limited user group if the activity fulfills a recreation need that might otherwise be fulfilled by public agencies. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.530 Recreational Vehicle (RV)

A vehicle designed primarily for recreational camping, travel or seasonal use which has its own motive power or is towed by another vehicle, including, but not limited to:

A.    Travel trailer;

B.    Park trailer;

C.    Folding camper trailer;

D.    Motor home;

E.    Multi-use vehicles;

F.    Truck camper. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.535 Recycling

Source separation or the processing of solid waste mechanically or by hand to segregate materials for sale or reuse. Materials which can be removed through recycling include, but are not limited to, mixed paper, newsprint, cardboard, aluminum, glass, plastics, chemicals, oil, wood, compostable organics (food and yard debris), ferrous metal, and inorganics (rubble and inert material). (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.537 Regional Utility Corridor

A right-of-way, tract or easement which contains major transmission lines or pipelines for utility companies, excluding distribution lines contained within street rights-of-way or lines serving individual lots or developments. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.540 Regulated Wetland

A wetland that meets one or more of the following criteria:

A.    Serves significant biological functions;

B.    Serves significant drainage and sedimentation functions;

C.    Shields other areas from wave action, erosion or storm damage;

D.    Serves as valuable storage area for storm and flood waters;

E.    Is a prime natural recharge area;

F.    Serves significant water purification functions.

Although a site specific wetland may not meet the criteria described above, it will be considered a regulated wetland if it is functionally related to another wetland that meets the criteria. Within the wetlands classification process there are the following classes: Class I, Class II, and Class III (See “Wetland” definition, SMC 15.10.675). (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.541 Religious Use Facility

A structure or place in which worship, ceremonies, rituals and education pertaining to a particular system of beliefs are held. (Ord. 08-1001 § 10)

15.10.542 Religious Use Facility, Accessory

Uses which are secondary to the religious purpose of the religious use facility and are considered as providing services to members and other individuals. The uses include, but are not limited to, bookstores, cafeterias, child day cares, educational classes, social services, and limited retail sales of only religious use facility related materials, and operation of overnight shelters as limited by SMC 15.12.030. (Ord. 08-1001 § 11)

15.10.543 Renovation

Repealed by Ord. 04-1030. (Ord. 97-1013 § 12)

15.10.545 Replacement Cost

The current cost to reconstruct a structure or part of the structure in a manner similar to its previous condition to the current code standards. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.550 Restaurant

Commercial use (excluding fast food restaurants) which sells prepared food or beverages and generally offers accommodations for consuming the food or beverage on the premises. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.551 Restaurant, Fast Food

Commercial use which serves food or beverages, is built to encourage drive-through business, and minimizes the number of interior accommodations for on-site consumption of the product. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.552 Restoration

Returning a stream, wetland, other sensitive area or any associated buffer to a state in which its stability and functions approach its unaltered (or original) state as closely as possible. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.555 Retail Establishment

A commercial enterprise which provides goods and/or services directly to the consumer, whose goods are available for immediate purchase and removal from the premises by the purchaser, and/or whose services are traditionally not permitted within an office use. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.556 Retail Food Shop

Small, resident-oriented food shops selling goods, such as baked goods, coffee, and assorted sundries. Baked goods for sale on-premises, but not for wider distribution, can be prepared on-site. (Ord. 95-1016 § 40)

15.10.557 Retention/Detention Facility

A type of drainage facility designed either to hold water for a considerable length of time and to release it by evaporation, plant transpiration and/or infiltration into the ground, or to hold runoff via structural controls and then release it to the surface and storm drainage system. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.558 Retention/Detention Facility, Regional

A surface water control structure installed in or adjacent to a drainage facility, stream or wetland of a basin or sub-basin by the City or a project proponent, as required by the City. Such facilities protect downstream properties from predicted significant regional basin flooding or erosion problems. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.559 Retirement Apartments

A multifamily building or buildings, with occupancy restricted to at least one individual aged fifty-five (55) or older per unit, which may contain communal recreational and dining facilities. (Ord. 14-1016 § 18)

15.10.560 Right-of-Way

Land dedicated primarily to the movement of vehicles and pedestrians, and for providing primary access to adjacent parcels. Secondarily, the land provides space for utility lines and appurtenances and other publicly owned devices. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.561 Secondhand Store

A retail establishment in which the principal portion of the articles, commodities or merchandise handled, offered for sale, or sold on the premises are not new. Secondhand stores shall not be considered as including antique stores or pawn shops. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)


Secure Community Transition Facility (SCTF)

An in-patient facility for Level III sex offenders civilly committed and conditionally released to a less restrictive alternative. An SCTF has twenty-four (24) hour supervision and security, and either provides or ensures the provision of sex offender treatment services. (Ord. 02-1029 § 11)

15.10.562 Seismic Hazard Area

(Denoted on critical areas maps.) Those areas in the City subject to severe risk of earthquake damage as a result of soil liquefaction in areas underlain by cohesionless soils of low density and usually in association with a shallow groundwater table or other seismically induced settlement. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.563 Self-Service Storage

A building or group of buildings containing separate storage spaces of varying sizes that are leased or rented as individual units. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.564 Sensitive Area

Any of those areas in the City which are subject to natural hazards or those land features which support unique, fragile or valuable natural resources including fishes, wildlife and other organisms and their habitat, and such resources which carry, hold or purify water in their natural state. Sensitive areas include coal mine hazard areas, erosion hazard areas, flood hazard areas, landslide hazard areas, seismic hazard areas, steep slope hazard areas, streams, volcanic hazard areas and wetlands. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.565 SEPA

The State Environmental Policy Act (Chapter 43.21C RCW) and the adopted City environmental policies. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.567 Setback

The required distance from the base of a structure, support structure, or the edge of a wireless telecommunications facility equipment shelter to the property line of the parcel on which the structure, support structure or wireless telecommunications facility equipment shelter is located. (Ord. 97-1013 § 13)

15.10.570 Shared Access Point

A common point of vehicle and pedestrian access from a right-of-way, or a vehicular access easement or tract for more than one (1) lot or use. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.575 Shoreline Master Program

The applicable City and State laws/codes related to the shoreline programs. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.605 Significant Tree

An existing healthy tree which, when measured four (4) feet above grade, has a minimum diameter of:

A.    Eight (8) inches for evergreen trees; or

B.    Twelve (12) inches for deciduous trees (excluding poplar trees). (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.606 Single Attached Dwelling Units

Repealed by Ord. 14-1016. (Ord. 94-1006 § 5)

15.10.609 Site

One or more contiguous legal lots used as the basis upon which the provisions and standards of this code are applied. (Ord. 95-1016 § 5; Ord. 92-1041 § 1. Formerly 15.10.610)

15.10.610 Small, Resident-Oriented Uses

Those commercial uses that are geared to primarily serve local residents within a one-half (1/2) mile radius of its location, do not exceed two thousand (2,000) square feet in total gross feet, and will not have any significant impacts, such as excessive traffic or noise, that would negatively impact surrounding residential properties. (Ord. 95-1016 § 41)

15.10.611 Social Service Office

An office maintained and used as a place to transact business activity and operations of any agency, association, entity or organization, whether public or private, and whether a business or a nonprofit organization, which provides as a major part of its function charitable, educational, legal, medical, psychological, religious, political entity, services to the community, including but not limited to associations, fraternal organizations and public service organizations; provided, that this definition shall not include hospitals and medical/dental clinics as those terms are defined in this code. (Ord. 93-1036 § 4. Formerly 15.10.612*.)

*     Code reviser’s note: This section renumbered to accommodate sections added subsequent to adoption of Ord. 93-1036.

15.10.612 Specialized Instruction School

A school providing specialized instruction in areas including, but not limited to, art, dance, music, cooking, martial arts and related disciplines. Truck driving instructional schools and heavy equipment operational schools shall not fall within this definition. A specialized instruction school is also to be distinguished from vocational-technical schools, as defined in SMC 15.10.671. (Ord. 94-1006 § 7)

15.10.612.1 Sports Club

A profit or nonprofit club providing the following activities:

A.    The instruction of basketball, softball, baseball, cheerleading fundamentals, martial arts and other similar activities.

B.    Weight lifting.

C.    Drop-in, pick-up game sport activities.

D.    Tournaments/competitions related to the instructional activities. (Ord. 04-1010 § 23)

15.10.612.5 Sponsoring Agency

A church or other organization that joins in an application with a host agency for a City temporary use permit and assumes responsibility for providing basic services and support to temporary emergency homeless encampment residents, such as hot meals, coordination of other needed donations and services, etc. (Ord. 05-1017 § 4; Ord. 05-1009 § 4)

15.10.613 Steep Slope Hazard Areas

Those areas in the City on slopes of forty percent (40%) or greater within a vertical elevation change of at least ten (10) feet. A slope is delineated by establishing its toe and top, and is measured by averaging the inclination over at least ten (10) feet of vertical relief. (Ord. 94-1006 § 6; Ord. 92-1041 § 1. Formerly 15.10.611.)

15.10.615 Storm Drainage

The movement of water, due to precipitation, either surficially or underground. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.620 Stream

A course or route, formed by nature, including those modified by man, generally consisting of a channel with a bed, banks, or sides substantially throughout its length, along which surface waters naturally and normally flow in draining from higher to lower lands. Normal rainfall is rainfall that is at or near the mean of the accumulated annual rainfall record, based upon the water year as recorded at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Pursuant to the sensitive areas section, there are the following stream classifications:

A.    Class 1 streams, only including streams inventoried as “Shorelines of the State” under the adopted Shoreline Master Program, pursuant to Chapter 90.58 RCW;

B.    Class 2 streams, only including streams smaller than Class 1 streams which flow year-round during years of normal rainfall or those which are used by salmonids; and

C.    Class 3 streams, only including streams which are intermittent or ephemeral during years of normal rainfall and which are not used by salmonids. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.623 Stream Functions

Natural processes performed by streams including functions which are important in facilitating food chain production; providing habitat for nesting, rearing and resting sites for aquatic, terrestrial and avian species; maintaining the availability and quality of water, such as purifying water; acting as recharge and discharge areas for groundwater aquifers; moderating surface and storm water flows and maintaining the free flowing conveyance of water, sediments and other organic matter. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.625 Street, Private

Any easement, tract or street for ingress and egress which is not a public street. Driveways which are not part of an easement, tract or street for ingress and egress shall not be considered a street. (Ord. 97-1010 § 1; Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.630 Street, Public

All streets, highways, freeways, avenues, lanes, alleys, courts, places, or other public ways in the City, whether improved or unimproved, held in public ownership and intended to be open as a matter of right to public vehicular and pedestrian access. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.631 Structure

Anything which is built or constructed (above or below grade), an edifice of building of any kind, or any piece of work artificially built-up or composed of parts joined together in some definite manner, excluding benches, statuary, utility boxes/lights, light poles, minor utility apertures, planter boxes less than forty-two (42) inches in height, fences seventy-two (72) inches or under in height, and residential tent structures. (Ord. 03-1016 § 2; Ord. 95-1016 § 6; Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.635 Support Structure

See “Antenna-Supporting Structure,” SMC 15.31A.022. (Ord. 04-1030 § 3; Ord. 97-1013 § 14)

15.10.638 Tavern

A commercial establishment licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on premises. Such establishments also usually offer food for on-site consumption, which may be prepackaged or prepared on premises. (Ord. 95-1016 § 42)

15.10.638.03 Temporary Emergency Evacuation Storage Sites

The use of a parcel or parcels of property, either vacant or developed, for the temporary storage of vehicles, materials, equipment, or supplies, during flooding of the Green River Valley. (Ord. 10-1011 § 2)

15.10.639 Temporary Wireless Telecommunications Facility (Temporary WTF)

See SMC 15.31A.022. (Ord. 04-1030 § 3; Ord. 97-1013 § 15)

15.10.639.05 Tent Structure, Residential

A canopy, not exceeding four hundred (400) square feet, or a tent, not exceeding two hundred (200) square feet, consisting of a metal or plastic frame, covered with canvas or other similar material, used in a residential zone. A canopy is defined as an enclosure or shelter which is open without sidewalls or drops on seventy-five percent (75%) or more of the perimeter (see Figure 15.10.639.05a). A tent is defined as an enclosure or shelter with twenty-five percent (25%) or greater sidewalls or drops on its perimeter (see Figure 15.10.639.05b). A canopy greater than four hundred (400) square feet or a tent greater than two hundred (200) square feet shall be regarded as an accessory structure and shall be subject to all building and fire codes and yard setback requirements.

    Figure 15.10.639.05a    Figure 15.10.639.05b

(Ord. 03-1016 § 3)

15.10.640 Topsoil

The uppermost strata of soil containing a large percentage of organic materials which is capable of providing suitable nourishment for vegetation. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)



See SMC 15.31A.022. (Ord. 04-1030 § 3; Ord. 97-1013 § 16)

15.10.641 Townhouse

A building containing at least three (3) dwelling units in a row in which each unit has its own front and rear access to the outside, no unit is located over another unit, and each unit is separated from any other unit by one (1) or more vertical common fire-resistant walls. (Ord. 08-1041 § 4; Ord. 94-1006 § 8)

15.10.645 Traffic Control Devices

Signs, signals, stripes and other mechanical or graphic items which control the flow or direction of vehicular and pedestrian traffic. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.646 Transit Park and Ride Lot

An approved parking lot used exclusively for providing motor vehicle and vehicular circulation specifically for the purposes of access to a metropolitan (or regional) public transportation system. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.648 Transitional Housing

Repealed by Ord. 99-1005. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.649 Transitional Housing

Housing provided under a program, offering twenty-four (24) hour access to specific persons, for periods of one month or more for human services purposes, such as helping unemployed, homeless individuals to obtain employment and permanent housing. Transitional housing is not a transient accommodation. (Ord. 01-1011 § 8)

15.10.650 Uniform Building Code (UBC)

Repealed by Ord. 04-1030. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.660 Urban Center

An area of the City of SeaTac that is delineated on the City of SeaTac Official Zoning Map where urban densities and design standards are required, specifically within the UH-UCR, CB-C, O/CM, and ABC zones. (Ord. 95-1028 § 3; Ord. 95-1016 § 43)

15.10.668 Use

An activity or purpose for which land, premises or a building thereon is designed, arranged, intended, or for which it is occupied or maintained, let or leased. (Ord. 95-1016 § 7; Ord. 92-1041 § 1. Formerly 15.10.670)

15.10.668.01 Use, Primary*

The primary or predominant use of any lot or parcel. (Ord. 08-1006 § 2)

*     Code reviser’s note: This section was renamed and renumbered at the request of the city for alphabetization purposes.

15.10.668.03 Use, Subsidiary

A use on the property that is subordinate to the primary use of a property. (Ord. 08-1001 § 12)


Utility Pole

Utility poles include telephone poles, light poles, and electrical transmission poles. (Ord. 97-1013 § 17)

15.10.669 Utility Use

Facilities serving local areas including power lines, water and sewer lines, storm drainage facilities, transformers, pump stations and hydrants, switching boxes and other structures generally located in public rights-of-way or dedicated easements. (Ord. 95-1016 § 44)

15.10.670 Utility Substation

Moderate to large scale facilities serving a sub-area, entire city or region including power substations, water transmission lines, wireless base stations, sewer collectors and pump stations, switching stations, gas transmission lines, water storage tanks and reservoirs and similar structures. (Ord. 95-1016 § 45)

15.10.670.03 Vehicle, Large

Motor vehicles including motorcycles, passenger cars, trucks, and vans which have gross vehicle weights greater than sixteen thousand (16,000) pounds. In addition, “large vehicle” also includes recreational vehicles, buses, and boats, but does not include aircraft. (Ord. 08-1010 § 4)

15.10.670.05 Vehicle, Small

Motor vehicles including motorcycles, passenger cars, trucks, and vans which have gross vehicle weights of sixteen thousand (16,000) pounds or less. (Ord. 08-1010 § 5)

15.10.671 Vocational-Technical Schools

Schools and institutions providing longer-term (at least one (1) year) programs leading to proficiency, certification and associate degrees in vocational programs including computers, mechanical, food and hospitality service, automotive and aircraft services, surveying, welding, photography, carpentry, agriculture, horticulture, electrical, plumbing and construction trades. (Ord. 94-1006 § 9)

15.10.675 Wetland

Those areas in the City which are inundated or saturated by ground or surface water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. According to the 33 CFR 328.3 (1988), wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs and similar areas. Where the vegetation has been removed or substantially altered, a wetland shall be determined by the presence or evidence of hydric or organic soil, as well as by other documentation, such as aerial photographs of the previous existence of wetland vegetation. When the areas of any wetlands are hydrologically connected to each other, they shall be added together to determine which of the following categories of wetlands apply:

A.    Class I Wetland. Only includes wetlands assigned the Unique/Outstanding #1 rating in the 1983 King County Wetlands Inventory (or the most recent City inventory) or which meet any of the following criteria:

1.    Are wetlands which have present species listed by the Federal or State government as endangered or threatened or outstanding actual habitat for those;

2.    Are wetlands which have forty percent (40%) to sixty percent (60%) permanent open water in dispersed patches with two (2) or more classes of vegetation;

3.    Are wetlands equal to or greater than ten (10) acres in size and have three (3) or more wetland classes, one of which is open water;

4.    Are wetlands which have present plant associations of infrequent occurrence;

5.    Spaghnum or peat wetlands; or

6.    Forested wetlands equal to or greater than one (1) acre in size.

B.    Class II Wetland. Only includes wetlands assigned the Significant #2 rating in the 1983 King County Wetlands Inventory (or the most recent City inventory) or which meet any of the following criteria:

1.    Are wetlands greater than one (1) acre in size; or

2.    Are wetlands equal to or less than one (1) acre in size and have three (3) or more wetland classes; or

3.    Are forested wetlands less than one (1) acre in size but are larger than two thousand five hundred (2,500) square feet; or

4.    Are wetlands which have present heron rookeries or raptor nesting trees.

C.    Class III Wetland. Only includes wetlands assigned the Lesser Concern #3 rating in the 1983 King County Wetlands Inventory (or most recent City inventory) or which are wetlands equal to or less than one (1) acre in size and have two (2) or fewer wetland classes. This does not include drainage ditches used as part of an approved public storm drainage system that may support wetland vegetation or retention/detention systems. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.680 Wetland Edge

The line delineating the outer edge of a wetland established by using the 1987 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Manual in conjunction with the Washington Regional Guidance on the 1987 Wetland Delineation Manual dated May 23, 1994. (Ord. 95-1016 § 7; Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.685 Wetland, Forested

A wetland which is characterized by woody vegetation at least twenty (20) feet tall. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.690 Wetland Functions

Natural processes performed by wetlands including functions which are important in facilitating food chain production, providing habitat for nesting, rearing and resting sites for aquatic, terrestrial and avian species, maintaining availability and quality of water, acting as recharge and discharge areas for groundwater aquifers and moderating surface and storm water flows, as well as providing other functions including, but not limited to, those set forth in 33 CFR 320.4(b)(2), 1988. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.700 Wetland, Isolated

A wetland which has a total size less than two thousand five hundred (2,500) square feet excluding buffers, which is hydrologically isolated from other wetlands or streams, and which does not have permanent open water. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.705 Wet Meadow, Grazed

Palustrine emergent wetland typically having up to six (6) inches of standing water during the wet season and dominated under normal conditions by meadow emergents such as reed, canary grass, spike rushes, bulrushes, sedges and other rushes. During the growing season, the soil is often saturated but not covered with water. These meadows frequently have been or are being used for livestock activities. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.710 Wet Pond

An artificial water body constructed as a part of a surface water management system. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)

15.10.713 Wireless Telecommunications Facility (WTF)

See SMC 15.31A.022. (Ord. 04-1030 § 3; Ord. 97-1013 § 18)

15.10.715 Zoning Map

The map designated as such and adopted by the City showing the geographical location of use zones within the municipal boundaries. (Ord. 92-1041 § 1)