Chapter 19.10
Definitions Revised 10/23

19.10.005    User Guide.

19.10.010    Accessory

19.10.012    Accessory living quarters

19.10.015    Adjoining

19.10.017    Adult entertainment facilities

19.10.018    Airplane unit load device

19.10.019    Alley

19.10.020    Alteration

19.10.025    Amusement arcade

19.10.026    Animal, small

19.10.027    Antenna

19.10.030    Applicant

19.10.031    Aquifer

19.10.032    Architectural scale

19.10.035    Arterial street

19.10.036    Articulation

19.10.037    Artwork

19.10.038    Balcony    Base flood    Base flood elevation    Bed and breakfast establishment    Beehive    Best available science    Best management practices (BMPs)    Bioretention facility

19.10.039    Blank walls

19.10.040    Buffer

19.10.045    Building

19.10.050    Building coverage

19.10.051    Building Modulation    Calculated LOS

19.10.052    Camouflaged

19.10.053    Capital facilities plan

19.10.054    Cargo container

19.10.055    Cemetery

19.10.056    Class A pedestrian-oriented street

19.10.057    Class B pedestrian-oriented street

19.10.058    Collocation

19.10.059    Common recreation space

19.10.060    Community facility

19.10.062    Community garden

19.10.065    Community residential facility

19.10.067    Compensatory mitigation

19.10.068    Confinement area

19.10.069    Congregate housing

19.10.070    Construction code

19.10.073    Continuing use

19.10.075    Convenience auto service

19.10.080    Convenience retail

19.10.081    Cornice

19.10.082    Cottage    Cottage housing development

19.10.083    Courtyard

19.10.084    Critical aquifer recharge areas

19.10.085    Critical areas

19.10.090    Critical facility

19.10.093    Critical root zone

19.10.094    Critical root zone, inner

19.10.095    Cultural facility

19.10.100    Day care center

19.10.105    Day care operation

19.10.107    Deciduous

19.10.108    Deck

19.10.109    Department    Development proposal    Development proposal site    Development standards    Direct traffic impact

19.10.110    Director

19.10.111    Ditches

19.10.112    Domestic fowl

19.10.115    Dwelling unit

19.10.120    Dwelling unit, accessory

19.10.123    Dwelling unit, apartment

19.10.124    Dwelling unit, primary

19.10.125    Dwelling unit, townhouse

19.10.130    Dwelling unit, senior citizen assisted

19.10.135    Dwelling unit, single detached

19.10.140    Eating and drinking establishment    Ecoregion

19.10.141    Endangered Species Act    Enhanced services facility

19.10.142    Enhancement

19.10.143    Equipment enclosure

19.10.144    Equipment, heavy

19.10.145    Erosion

19.10.150    Erosion hazard areas

19.10.155    Essential public facility

19.10.157    Evergreen

19.10.158    FAA

19.10.159    Facade

19.10.160    Family

19.10.165    Family day care home I

19.10.170    Family day care home II

19.10.173    FCC

19.10.174    Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) floodway    Fee-in-lieu

19.10.175    Fence

19.10.176    Finished floor area

19.10.177    Fish Habitat    Flood fringe    Flood hazard areas    Flood Insurance Rate Map    Flood Insurance Study for King County    Flood protection elevation    Floodplain    Floodproofing    Floodway, zero-rise

19.10.180    Footprint

19.10.181    Forest practice

19.10.182    Frequently flooded area

19.10.183    Frontage

19.10.184    Functions and values

19.10.185    Garage, detached single-family

19.10.190    Geologically hazardous areas

19.10.195    Geologist

19.10.200    Geotechnical engineer

19.10.205    Golf course

19.10.210    Government facility

19.10.215    Grade

19.10.217    Grade, finished

19.10.220    Grade, natural

19.10.225    Grading

19.10.227    Grazing area

19.10.230    Gross floor area

19.10.232    Groundcover

19.10.233    Groundwater

19.10.235    Hatchery/fish preserve

19.10.240    Hazardous household substance

19.10.242    Hazardous materials or substances

19.10.243    Hazardous materials questionnaire

19.10.245    Hazardous substance

19.10.250    Hazardous waste

19.10.255    Hazardous waste storage

19.10.260    Hazardous waste treatment

19.10.265    Height

19.10.268    Heritage tree

19.10.270    High technology industry

19.10.273    Home occupation

19.10.275    Hospital

19.10.278    Human scale

19.10.280    Impervious surface

19.10.285    Impervious surface coverage

19.10.286    Improved public roadways

19.10.287    Injection well

19.10.288    In kind

19.10.290    Repealed

19.10.295    Kennel

19.10.298    Landscaping

19.10.300    Landslide

19.10.305    Landslide hazard areas

19.10.307    Legacy storefronts

19.10.310    Light industry

19.10.312    Livestock

19.10.313    Loading space

19.10.315    Lodging facility

19.10.320    Lot

19.10.325    Lot area

19.10.327    Lot Averaging

19.10.329    Lot, corner

19.10.329.1    Low Impact best management practice (LID BMP)

19.10.330    Repealed

19.10.331    Major new construction or modification

19.10.333    Marijuana

19.10.333.2    Marijuana processor

19.10.333.3    Marijuana producer

19.10.333.4    Marijuana retailer

19.10.333.5    Marijuana-infused products

19.10.335    Master plan

19.10.340    Repealed

19.10.341    Measurement of tree diameter at standard height

19.10.345    Mitigation

19.10.350    Mixed use

19.10.355    Mobile home

19.10.360    Mobile home park

19.10.361    Modular homes

19.10.362    Modulation

19.10.365    Monitoring

19.10.367    Monopole

19.10.367.5    Native vegetation

19.10.368    Nonconformance

19.10.368.3    Noxious weed

19.10.368.7    Net floor area

19.10.369    Non-Residential Zone

19.10.370    Nursing home

19.10.373    Off-site commercial parking

19.10.375    Off-site hazardous waste treatment and storage facility

19.10.380    On-site hazardous waste treatment and storage facility

19.10.385    Office

19.10.387    Open-work fence

19.10.390    Ordinary high water mark

19.10.390.5    Owner Occupied

19.10.391    Panoram device

19.10.392    Panoram premises

19.10.393    Parking lot aisle

19.10.394    Parking space

19.10.394.5    Patio

19.10.394.6    Paved Surface

19.10.395    Pawn shop

19.10.395.3    Peak hour

19.10.395.5    Pedestrian-oriented facade

19.10.396    Pedestrian-oriented space

19.10.396.1    Permeable Pavement

19.10.397    Personal wireless service facility (PWSF)

19.10.398    Personal wireless services

19.10.399    Primary facade

19.10.399.5    Primary Structure

19.10.400    Primary use

19.10.403    Private

19.10.405    Private club

19.10.408    Prohibited plants and trees list

19.10.410    Property line

19.10.415    Public agency training facility

19.10.420    Public park and recreation facilities

19.10.425    Public agency

19.10.430    Public utility

19.10.432    Qualified tree professional

19.10.433    Qualified tree risk assessment report

19.10.435    Reasonable use

19.10.440    Recreational facility

19.10.443    Recyclable material

19.10.445    Recycling center

19.10.446    Regional utility corridor

19.10.447    Regulated facility or activities

19.10.450    Religious facility

19.10.455    Residential zone

19.10.460    Restoration

19.10.465    Retail

19.10.467    Retail marijuana outlet

19.10.470    Right-of-way

19.10.472    Riparian habitat

19.10.474    Salmonid

19.10.474.5    Scale (architectural)

19.10.475    School

19.10.477    Screen/screening

19.10.479    Secure community transition facility

19.10.480    Seismic hazard areas

19.10.485    Setback

19.10.490    Self service storage facility

19.10.492    Shorelines of the State

19.10.493    Repealed

19.10.495    Site

19.10.500    Site improvements

19.10.505    Slope

19.10.506    Small Wireless Facility

19.10.507    Small Wireless Network

19.10.510    Social card game

19.10.511    Species

19.10.512    Specified anatomical areas

19.10.513    Specified sexual activities

19.10.515    Steep slope

19.10.516    Storefront

19.10.517    Stream

19.10.518    Stream, Intermittent

19.10.519    Stream, Perennial

19.10.520    Street

19.10.525    Structure

19.10.529    Sub-drainage basin

19.10.530    Submerged land

19.10.535    Substantial improvement

19.10.537    Support structure

19.10.539    Tiny house

19.10.540    Theater

19.10.543    Topographic map

19.10.545    Trail

19.10.545.1    Tree

19.10.545.2    Tree protection zone (TPZ)

19.10.545.3    Tree pruning

19.10.545.4    Tree topping

19.10.545.5    Type F Water

19.10.546    Type Np Water

19.10.546.3    Type Ns Water

19.10.546.5    Type S Water

19.10.547    Ultimate roadway section

19.10.547.5    Undeveloped lot

19.10.548    Unified Enclosure

19.10.549    Usable marijuana

19.10.550    Use

19.10.555    Vehicular access easement or tract

19.10.557    Vegetation

19.10.560    Vendor cart

19.10.562    Vernacular

19.10.565    Warehousing and wholesale trade

19.10.570    Water table

19.10.575    Wellhead protection areas

19.10.580    Wetlands

19.10.585    Wetlands, associated

19.10.590    Wetland classes, classes of wetlands, or wetland types

19.10.595    Wetland edge

19.10.600    Wildlife habitat

19.10.005 User Guide.

– The definitions in this Chapter apply throughout this Code unless, from the context, another meaning is clearly intended.


19.10.010 Accessory

– A use, activity, structure or part of a structure that is subordinate and incidental to the main activity or structure on the site.

19.10.012 Accessory living quarters

– Living quarters in an accessory building for the use of the occupant or persons employed on the premises, or for temporary use of guests of the occupant. Such quarters have no kitchen and are not otherwise used as a separate dwelling unit. [Ord. 355 § 1, 2002]

19.10.015 Adjoining

– Property that touches or is directly across a street, private street or access easement, or right of way (other than a freeway or principal arterial), from the subject property.

19.10.017 Adult entertainment facilities

Adult cabarets, adult massage parlors, adult motion picture theaters, adult panoram premises, adult sauna parlors, which are defined as follows:

1. Adult cabaret: A commercial establishment which presents go-go dancers, strippers, male or female impersonators, or similar types of entertainment and which excludes any person by virtue of age from all or any portion of the premises.

2. Adult massage parlor: A commercial establishment in which massage or other touching of the human body is provided for a fee and which excludes any person by virtue of age from all or any portion of the premises in which such service is provided.

3. Adult motion picture theater: A building, enclosure, or portion thereof, used for presenting material distinguished or characterized by an emphasis on matter depicting, describing or relating to specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas for observation by patrons therein.

4. Adult panoram premise. A panoram premise used for presenting material distinguished or characterized by an emphasis on matter depicting, describing or relating to specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas for observation by patrons therein.

5. Adult sauna parlor: A commercial sauna establishment which excludes any person by virtue of age from all or any portion of the premises. [Ord. 396 § 1, 2003, Ord. 291 § 3, 2000]

19.10.018 Airplane unit load device

– The purpose of an airport unit load device is to enable individual pieces of cargo to be assembled into a standard-size unit to facilitate the rapid loading and unloading of airplanes having compatible handling and restraint systems. An airport unit load device includes any of the following:

1. Airplane pallet and pallet net.

2. Airplane pallet and net over a nonstructural container.

3. Airplane container.

19.10.019 Alley

– An improved thoroughfare or right-of-way, whether public or private, usually narrower than a street, that provides vehicular access to an interior boundary of one or more lots, and is not designated for general traffic circulation. [Ord. 428 § 3, 2005]

19.10.020 Alteration

– Any human activity which results or is likely to result in an impact upon the existing condition of a critical area. Alterations include, but are not limited to, grading, filling, dredging, draining, channelizing, applying herbicides or pesticides or any hazardous substance, discharging pollutants except storm water, grazing domestic animals, paving, constructing, applying gravel, modifying for surface water management purposes, cutting, pruning, topping, trimming, relocating or removing vegetation or any other human activity which results or is likely to result in an impact to existent vegetation, hydrology, wildlife or wildlife habitat. Alterations do not include walking, fishing or any other passive recreation or other similar activities.

19.10.025 Amusement arcade

– A building or part of a building in which five or more pinball machines, video games, or other such player-operator amusement devices (excluding jukeboxes or gambling-related machines) are operated.

19.10.026 Animal, small

– Any animal, other than livestock or animals considered to be predatory or wild, which are kept either inside or outside a dwelling unit. Animals considered predatory or wild shall be considered small animals when they are taken into captivity for the purposes of breeding, domestication, training, hunting or exhibition. Small animals include, but are not limited to, dogs, cats, rabbits, domestic fowl, birds, snakes, rodents, miniature goats and miniature potbellied pigs. [Ord. 652 § 1, 2017; Ord. 355 § 1, 2002]

19.10.027 Antenna

– Means an apparatus designed for the purpose of emitting radio frequency (RF) radiation, to be operated or operating from a fixed location pursuant to FCC authorization, for the provision of personal wireless service and any commingled information services. For purposes of this definition, the term antenna does not include an unintentional radiator, mobile station, or device authorized under 47 CFR Part 17. Types of antennas include, but are not limited to:

1. An omni-directional antenna receives and transmits radio frequency signals in a 360 degree radial pattern. A whip antenna is an omni-directional antenna that is up to 15 feet in height and up to four inches in diameter. A cylindrical antenna is an omni-directional antenna that is up to 8 feet in height and up to 18 inches in diameter.

2. A directional or panel antenna receives and transmits radio frequency signals in a specific directional pattern of less than 360 degrees.

3. Antennas attached as part of a small wireless facility. [Ord. 700 § 1, 2018; Ord. 385 § 1, 2003, Ord. 265 § 15, 1999]

19.10.030 Applicant

– A property owner or any person or entity acting as an agent for the property owner in an application for a development proposal, permit or approval.

19.10.031 Aquifer

– A body of soil or rock that contains sufficient saturated material to conduct groundwater and yield usable quantities of groundwater to wells or springs. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003]

19.10.032 Architectural scale

– The perceived relative height and bulk of a building relative to that of neighboring buildings. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]

19.10.035 Arterial street

Streets designated principal, minor or neighborhood arterials by the Burien Comprehensive Plan.

19.10.036 Articulation

– Means the giving of emphasis to architectural elements (like windows, balconies, entries, etc.) that create a complementary pattern or rhythm dividing large buildings into smaller identifiable pieces. [Ord. 441 § 12, 2005]

19.10.037 Artwork

– a device, element or feature whose primary purpose is to express, enhance or illustrate aesthetic quality, feeling, physical entity, idea, local condition, historical or mythical happening, or cultural or social value. Examples of artwork include sculpture, bas relief sculpture, mural, or unique specially crafted lighting, furniture, pavement, landscaping, or architectural treatment that is intended primarily, but not necessarily exclusively, for aesthetic purposes. Signs are not considered artwork. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]


19.10.038 Balcony

– An exterior floor projecting from and supported by a structure without additional independent supports. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999, Ord. 437 § 12, 2005] Base flood

– A flood having a one percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year, often referred to as the “100-year flood.” [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003] Base flood elevation

– The water surface elevation of the base flood in relation to the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003] Bed and breakfast establishment

– A dwelling unit or accessory building within which bedrooms are available for paying guests on a nightly or weekly basis. [Ord. 355 § 1, 2002] Beehive

– A structure designed to contain one colony of honeybees (apis mellifera). [Ord. 355 § 1, 2002] Best available science

– Current scientific information used in the process to designate, protect, or restore critical areas, that is derived from a valid scientific process as defined by WAC 365-195-900 through 925. Sources of best available science are included in “Citations of Recommended Sources of Best Available Science for Designating and Protecting Critical Areas” published by the state Office of Community Development. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003] Best management practices (BMPs)

– Conservation practices or systems of practices and management measures that:

1. Control soil loss and reduce water quality degradation caused by high concentrations of nutrients, animal waste, toxics, and sediment;

2. Minimize adverse impacts to surface water and groundwater flow, circulation patterns, and to the chemical, physical, and biological characteristics of wetlands;

3. Protect trees and vegetation designated to be retained during and following site construction; and

4. Provide standards for proper use of chemical herbicides within critical areas.

The City shall monitor the application of best management practices to ensure that the standards and policies of BMC 19.40 are adhered to. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003] Bioretention facility

– A Low Impact Development BMP consisting of a shallow landscaped depression designed in accordance with BMC Title 13 to temporarily store and infiltrate stormwater runoff. [Ord. 659 § 2, 2016]

19.10.039 Blank walls

– Walls subject to “blank wall” requirements meet the following criteria:

1. Any wall or portion of a wall that has a surface area of 400 square feet having a width of at least 10 feet without a window, door, or building modulation as defined below or other architectural feature.

2. Any ground level wall surface or section of a wall over 4’ in height at ground level that is longer than 15’ as measured horizontally without having a ground level window or door lying wholly or in part within the 15’ section. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]

19.10.040 Buffer

– An area contiguous to a critical area that is required to protect the critical area and provide for the continued maintenance, functioning, and/or structural stability of a critical area. A buffer is measured outward from the edge of the critical area. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003]

19.10.045 Building

– Any structure used or intended for supporting or sheltering any use or occupancy.

19.10.050 Building coverage

– The percentage of the area of a lot that is covered by the total horizontal surface area of the roof of a building.

19.10.051 Building Modulation

– A stepping back or projecting forward of portions of a building facade within specified intervals of building width and depth, as a means of lessening the apparent bulk of a structure’s continuous exterior walls. [Ord. 441 § 12, 2005]

C Calculated LOS

– A quantitative measure of traffic congestion identified by a declining letter scale (A – F) as calculated by the methodology contained in the 1985 Highway Capacity Manual Special Report 209 or as calculated by another method approved by the department. LOS “A” indicates free flow of traffic with no delays while LOS “F” indicates jammed conditions or extensive delay. [Ord. 545 § 1, 2010, Ord. 28 § 1(40), 1993]

19.10.052 Camouflaged

– A personal wireless service facility that is disguised, hidden or integrated with an existing or new building or support structure that does not appear to be a PWSF facility or support structure. It shall also mean any support structure sited among a stand of trees so as to be significantly screened from view; provided that the trees are legally protected from removal. [Ord. 265 § 16, 1999]

19.10.053 Capital facilities plan

– A district’s, city’s, or utility’s facilities plan adopted by the school board, city council or utility board consisting of:

1. A forecast of future needs for facilities based on adopted projections;

2. The long-range construction and capital improvements projects of the district, city or utility;

3. The schools, streets or utilities under construction or expansion;

4. The proposed locations and capacities of expanded or new facilities;

5. At least a six-year financing plan component, updated as necessary to maintain at least a six-year forecast period, for financing needed facilities within projected funding levels, and identifying sources of financing for such purposes, including bond issues authorized by the voters and projected bond issues not yet authorized by the voters;

6. Any other long-range projects planned by the district, city or utilities.

7. The current capacity of facilities based on the district’s, city’s or utility’s adopted standard of service, and a plan to eliminate existing deficiencies, if any, without the use of impact fees; and

8. An inventory showing the location and capacity of existing facilities. [Ord. 545 § 1, 2010, Ord. 28 § 1(40), 1993]

19.10.054 Cargo container

– A standardized, reusable vessel that is or appears to be:

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

2. Designed for or capable of being mounted or moved on a rail car, and/or,

3. Designed for or capable of being mounted on a chassis or bogie for movement by truck trailer or loaded on a ship. [Ord. 369 § 1, 2002; Ord. 313 § 1, 2000]

19.10.055 Cemetery

– Land or structures used for burial or cremation of the dead (humans or animals), and related accessory uses.

19.10.056 Class A pedestrian-oriented street

– The designation of a street where pedestrians are given priority in the design and planned use of the street and where motorized vehicles are given secondary consideration if there is a conflict of use. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]

19.10.057 Class B pedestrian-oriented street

– The designation of a street where motorized vehicles are given priority in the design and planned use of the street and where pedestrian accommodations are considered comparable to motorized vehicles. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]

19.10.058 Collocation

– Means (1) mounting or installing an antenna facility on a pre-existing structure, and/or (2) modifying a structure for the purpose of mounting or installing an antenna facility on that structure. Provided that, for purposes of Eligible Facilities Requests, “collocation” is as defined in BMC 19.50.070. [Ord. 700 § 1, 2018; Ord. 265 § 17, 1999]

19.10.059 Common recreation space

– Recreation space within a development or building that is accessible to and available for common use by all residents or groups of residents and their invitees. Examples of common recreation space include but are not limited to the following: courtyards, children’s play areas, exercise rooms, gardens, lounges, hospitality rooms and media rooms. [Ord. 587 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013]

19.10.060 Community facility

– A use which serves the public and is generally of a public service, non-profit nature, including, but not limited to: food and clothing banks and other non-profit social service organizations.

19.10.062 Community garden

– An area of land managed and maintained by a group of individuals to grow and harvest food and/or horticultural products for personal or group consumption or donation. [Ord. 560 § 1 (Exh. A), 2012]

19.10.065 Community residential facility

– Living quarters meeting applicable federal and state standards that function as a single housekeeping unit and provide supportive services, including but not limited to counseling, rehabilitation and medical supervision, excluding drug and alcohol detoxification; if staffed by nonresident staff, each 24 staff hours per day equals one full-time residing staff member for subclassifying community residential facilities as follows:

1. Community residential facility-I: Nine to ten residents and staff.

2. Community residential facility-II: Eleven or more residents and staff.

19.10.067 Compensatory mitigation

– Replacing project-induced wetland losses or impacts, and includes, but is not limited to, the following:

1. Restoration – Actions performed to reestablish wetland functional characteristics and processes that have been lost by alterations, activities, or catastrophic events within an area that no longer meets the definition of a wetland.

2. Creation – Actions performed to intentionally establish a wetland at a site where it did not formerly exist.

3. Enhancement – Actions performed to improve the condition of existing degraded wetlands so that the functions they provide are of a higher quality. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003]

19.10.068 Confinement area

– Any open land area in which livestock are kept where the forage does not meet the definition of a grazing area. [Ord. 355 § 1, 2002]

19.10.069 Congregate housing

– Residential development where individual dwelling units consist of a private bedroom or living quarters and where kitchen, dining and recreational uses are shared between residents. [Ord. 718 § 1, 2019]

19.10.070 Construction code

– The Construction Code as amended and adopted by the City of Burien.

19.10.073 Continuing use

– An existing, legally established use in a non-residential zone that is not listed in the use zone chart for the zone in which the site is located. [Ord. 268 § 9, 1999]

19.10.075 Convenience auto service

– A small-scale convenience retail use that provides services and related goods for the routine maintenance of a motor vehicle. Services offered include, but are not limited to: auto detailing, provision of gasoline or diesel, oil change, lubrication, tune-ups, and car washing. Vehicle repair is not allowed as a convenience auto service use, except as an accessory use to a gas station.

19.10.080 Convenience retail

– A small-scale retail use that provides limited goods and/or services to consumers to meet their daily needs. Customers typically visit a convenience retail business at least once per month. Any goods purchased must be capable of being transported from the establishment in an automobile. Goods and services offered include, but are not limited to: convenience auto service, banking, groceries, hair salon, laundry, pet care, pharmacy, and video rental.

19.10.081 Cornice

– A horizontal molding projecting along the top of a wall, building, etc. [Ord. 441 § 12, 2005]

19.10.082 Cottage

– A cottage is a small, detached dwelling unit, not greater than 1,200 square feet in total floor area that is developed at a density greater than the underlying zone. More than one cottage may occupy a single lot. [Ord. 718 § 1, 2019] Cottage housing development

– Residential development consisting of clusters of detached dwelling units that includes cottages and may include compact single-family units and meets the following criteria:

1. Dwelling units are limited to a maximum square footage; and

2. Dwelling units are grouped around a common open space; and

3. Each unit has the construction characteristics of a single-family house; and

4. Units may be located on platted lots or as units in a condominium and may share use of common facilities, such as a party room, tool shed, garden orchard, workshop or parking areas. [Ord. 718 § 1, 2019]

19.10.083 Courtyard

– A courtyard is a landscaped space enclosed on at least three sides by a single structure. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]

19.10.084 Critical aquifer recharge areas

– Those areas that significantly contribute to the recharge of aquifers used for potable water as defined by WAC 365-190-030(2). Critical aquifer recharge areas have prevailing geologic conditions associated with infiltration rates that create a high potential for contamination of groundwater resources or contribute significantly to the replenishment of groundwater. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003]

19.10.085 Critical areas

Aquifer recharge areas, fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas, frequently flooded areas, geologically hazardous areas, streams, and wetlands.

19.10.090 Critical facility

– A facility necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare and which is defined under the occupancy categories of “essential facilities,” “hazardous facilities” and “special occupancy structures” in the International Building Code. Critical facilities also include nursing homes, public roadway bridges and sites for hazardous substance storage or production, not including the temporary storage of consumer products containing hazardous substances intended for household use or for retail sale on the site. [Ord. 652 § 1, 2017]

19.10.093 Critical root zone

– The critical root zone (CRZ) is an area around the tree equal to one (1) foot radius from the center point of the tree for each one (1) inch of tree trunk diameter measured at the diameter at standard height (DSH). For example, a tree with a twenty (20) inch diameter at standard height would have a CRZ with a twenty (20) foot radius and a forty (40) foot diameter. [Ord. 780 § 1, 2022]

19.10.094 Critical root zone, inner

– The inner critical root zone (ICRZ) is an area around the tree that is equal to a half (0.5) foot radius from the centerpoint of the tree for each one (1) inch of tree trunk diameter measured at DSH. This is equivalent to half of the radius of the CRZ. This is an area with a high concentration of structural roots critical to the stability and health of the tree. [Ord. 780 § 2, 2022]

19.10.095 Cultural facility

– A use providing for display, performance, or enjoyment of heritage, history or the arts. This use includes, but is not limited to: museums, arts performance venues, cultural centers, or interpretive sites, but does not include commercially-operated theatres.


19.10.100 Day care center

– A day care operation that is not a family day care home I or family day care home II.

19.10.105 Day care operation

– The temporary care of persons for periods of less than twenty-four hours in a dwelling unit or structure on a regular or recurring basis for pay or other valuable consideration including, but not limited to the furnishing of shelter, sustenance, supervision, education or other supportive services, but not including drug or alcohol rehabilitation services.

19.10.107 Deciduous

– A plant species with foliage that is shed annually. [Ord. 293 § 1, 2000]

19.10.108 Deck

– An exterior floor supported on at least two opposing sides by an adjacent structure, and/or posts, piers or other independent supports. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999, Ord. 437 § 12, 2005]

19.10.109 Department

– The city of Burien department of community development. [Ord. 545 § 1, 2010, Ord. 28 § 1(40), 1993] Development proposal

– Any activities requiring a permit or other approval from the city of Burien relative to the use or development of land. [Ord. 545 § 1, 2010, Ord. 28 § 1(40), 1993] Development proposal site

– The legal boundaries of the parcel or parcels of land for which an applicant has or should have applied for authority from the city of Burien to carry out a development proposal. [Ord. 545 § 1, 2010, Ord. 28 § 1(40), 1993] Development standards

– Until otherwise amended by the city council, development standards for streets, roads, parks, open space, trails, utilities or other public improvements shall be those of King County; including King County’s Shoreline Master Program. [Ord. 545 § 1, 2010, Ord. 28 § 1(40), 1993] Direct traffic impact

– Any increase in vehicle traffic generated by a proposed development which equals or exceeds 10 peak hour, peak direction vehicle trips on any roadway or intersection. [Ord. 545 § 1, 2010, Ord. 28 § 1(40), 1993]

19.10.110 Director

– The director of the City of Burien Department of Community Development Services or his/her designee.

19.10.111 Ditches

– Artificial drainage features created in uplands through purposeful human action, such as irrigation and drainage ditches, grass-lined swales, and canals. Purposeful creation must be demonstrated through documentation, photographs, statements, and/or other evidence. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003]

19.10.112 Domestic fowl

– Domesticated birds commonly associated with farms and used for eggs or meat. Domestic fowl include but is not limited to chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys. [Ord. 355 § 1, 2002]

19.10.115 Dwelling unit

– One or more rooms designed for occupancy by a person or family for living and sleeping purposes, containing kitchen facilities and rooms with internal accessibility, for use solely by the dwelling’s occupant.

19.10.120 Dwelling unit, accessory

– An additional dwelling unit on a lot with a primary dwelling unit. An accessory dwelling unit is an independent living unit designed for residential occupancy by one or more people independent of the primary dwelling unit, with facilities for sleeping, cooking, and sanitation. An accessory dwelling unit may be attached or internal to the primary dwelling unit, or it may be detached from the primary dwelling unit. For the purposes of this title, internal accessory dwelling units are considered attached accessory dwelling units. [Ord. 724 § 1, 2019]

19.10.123 Dwelling unit, apartment

– A building containing two or more dwelling units which may be stacked.

19.10.124 Dwelling unit, primary

– A separate, complete dwelling unit that is the larger of the dwelling units when a single-family residential site development plan proposes or contains an accessory dwelling unit. [Ord. 355 § 1, 2002]

19.10.125 Dwelling unit, townhouse

– A building on its own separate lot containing one dwelling unit that occupies space from the ground to the roof, and is attached to one or more other townhouse dwelling units by at least one common wall.

19.10.130 Dwelling unit, senior citizen assisted

– A building containing two or more dwelling units restricted to occupancy by senior citizens, and including, but not limited to the following support services, as deemed necessary:

1. Food preparation and dining areas;

2. Group activity areas;

3. Medical supervision; and

4. Similar activities.

19.10.135 Dwelling unit, single detached

– A detached building on a single lot containing one dwelling unit, or a factory-assembled structure constructed to State Building Code standards.


19.10.140 Eating and drinking establishment

– A commercial use which sells prepared food or beverages and generally offers accommodations for consuming the food or beverage on the premises, and where the seating and associated circulation areas exceed ten percent of the gross floor area of the use. Ecoregion

Ecoregions are defined using EPA’s Ecoregions of the Pacific Northwest Document No. 600/3-86/033 July 1986 by Omernik and Gallant. The term ecoregions is used to define a mapped classification of the ecosystem regions of the United States. Ecoregions are generally considered to be regions of relative homogeneity in ecological systems or in relationships between organisms and their environments. In general, ecoregions have a distinct composition and distribution of plant and animal species. [Ord. 623 § 1, 2015]

19.10.141 Endangered Species Act

– A 1973 act of Congress that mandated that endangered and threatened species of fish, wildlife, and plants be protected and restored. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003] Enhanced services facility

– A residential facility licensed by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services and as defined by RCW 70.97.010(11) or as amended by the State Legislature. Enhanced services facility (ESF) means a residential facility that provides services to persons for whom acute inpatient treatment is not medically necessary and who have been determined by the Department of Social and Health Services to be inappropriate for placement in other licensed facilities due to complex needs. [Ord. 734 § 2, 2020]

19.10.142 Enhancement

– An action which increases the functions and values of a stream, wetland or other critical area or buffer. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003]

19.10.143 Equipment enclosure

– A facility, shelter, cabinet or vault used to house and protect the electronic equipment necessary for processing wireless communications signals. Associated equipment may include, for example, air conditioning, backup power supplies and emergency generators. [Ord. 265 § 18, 1999]

19.10.144 Equipment, heavy

– High-capacity mechanical devices for moving earth or other materials, and mobile power units including, but not limited to: carryalls, graders, loading and unloading devices, cranes, drag lines, trench diggers, tractors, augers, bulldozers, concrete mixers and conveyers, harvesters, combines, or other major agricultural equipment and similar devices operated by mechanical power as distinguished from manpower. [Ord. 355 § 1, 2002]

19.10.145 Erosion

– The process by which soil particles are mobilized and transported by natural agents such as wind, rainsplash, frost action or surface water flow.

19.10.150 Erosion hazard areas

– Lands underlain by soils which are subject to severe erosion when disturbed.

19.10.155 Essential public facility

– Those facilities described in RCW 36.70A.200.

19.10.157 Evergreen

– A plant species with foliage that persists and remains green year round. [Ord. 293 § 1, 2000]


19.10.158 FAA

– The Federal Aviation Administration. [Ord. 265 § 19, 1999]

19.10.159 Facade

– Any portion of an exterior elevation of a building extending from the finish grade of the building to the top of the parapet wall or eaves, for the entire width of the building elevation. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]

19.10.160 Family

– An individual; two or more persons related by blood or marriage; a group of eight or fewer residents, who are not related by blood or marriage, living together as a single housekeeping unit; or a group living arrangement where eight or fewer residents receive supportive services such as counseling, foster care, or medical supervision at the dwelling unit by resident or nonresident staff. For purposes of this definition, minors living with parent shall not be counted as part of the maximum number of residents.

19.10.165 Family day care home I

– A day care operation in the provider’s dwelling unit, in the family living quarters, with no more than six (6) attendees at any one time, not including the immediate family members who reside in the dwelling unit.

19.10.170 Family day care home II

– A day care operation in the provider’s dwelling unit, in the family living quarters, with no more than twelve (12) attendees at any one time, not including the immediate family members who reside in the dwelling unit.

19.10.173 FCC

– The Federal Communications Commission. [Ord. 265 § 20, 1999]

19.10.174 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 foot. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003] Fee-in-lieu

– A fee-in-lieu program allows commercial development in certain zones, under some circumstances, to pay a fee for each parking space that otherwise would have been required, rather than construct the parking space. A tree replacement fee-in-lieu provides the option to pay a fee for trees that are otherwise required to be planted. [Ord. 780 § 3, 2022; Ord. 531 § 1, 2010]

19.10.175 Fence

– A barrier for the purpose of enclosing space or separating lots, composed of:

1. Masonry or concrete walls, excluding retaining walls; or

2. Wood, metal or concrete posts connected by boards, rails, panels, wire or mesh.

19.10.176 Finished floor area

Finished floor area is the total area (total living area) of a home (main and wings) less any built-in garage area and any bi-level unfinished lower level area. [Ord. 652 § 1, 2017]

19.10.177 Fish Habitat

– Habitat that is used by fish at any life stage at any time of the year, including potential habitat likely to be used by fish that could be recovered by restoration or management and includes off-channel habitat. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003] Flood fringe

– That portion of the floodplain outside of the zero-rise floodway which is covered by floodwaters during the base flood, generally associated with standing water rather than rapidly flowing water. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003] Flood hazard areas

– Those areas subject to inundation by the base flood including, but not limited to, streams, lakes, wetlands and closed depressions. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003] Flood Insurance Rate Map

– The official map on which the Federal Insurance Administration has delineated some areas of flood hazard. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003] 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. 394 § 1, 2003] Flood protection elevation

– An elevation which is one foot above the base flood elevation. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003] Floodplain

– The total area subject to inundation by the base flood. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003] Floodproofing

– Adaptations which will make a structure that is below the flood protection elevation substantially impermeable to the passage of water and resistant to hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads including the impacts of buoyancy. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003] 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 100-year floodplain, as shown on the Flood Insurance Study for King County, are considered the boundaries of the zero-rise floodway unless otherwise delineated by a critical area study. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003]

19.10.180 Footprint

– The exterior outline of a structure where it meets the earth.

19.10.181 Forest practice

– Any activity regulated by the Washington Department of Natural Resources in WAC Title 222 or Chapter 79.06 RCW for which a forest practice permit is required, together with:

1. Fire prevention, detection and suppression; and

2. Slash burning or removal. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003]

19.10.182 Frequently flooded area

Frequently flooded areas are lands in the floodplain subject to at least a one percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year, or within areas subject to flooding due to high groundwater. These areas include, but are not limited to, streams, rivers, lakes, coastal areas, wetlands, and areas where high groundwater forms ponds on the ground surface. [Ord. 623 § 1, 2015]

19.10.183 Frontage

– The length of a property line along a street. For the purposes of BMC 19.30 (Signs), frontage shall also include the length of a property line along a vehicular access easement or tract. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999; Ord. 358 § 1, 2002]

19.10.184 Functions and values

– The beneficial roles served by critical areas including, but not limited to, water quality protection and enhancement, fish and wildlife habitat, food chain support, flood storage, conveyance and attenuation, groundwater recharge and discharge, erosion control, wave attenuation, protection from hazards, historical and archaeological and aesthetic value protection, and recreation. These beneficial roles are not listed in order of priority. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003]


19.10.185 Garage, detached single-family

– A detached structure which is accessory to a single detached dwelling unit and to which there is legal vehicular access from a public right-of-way, designed for the storage of motor vehicles or boats of the residents of the single detached dwelling unit. [Ord. 523 § 1, 2009]

19.10.190 Geologically hazardous areas

– Areas that because of their susceptibility to erosion, sliding, earthquake or other geological events, are not suited to siting development due to public health and safety concerns. These areas include, but are not limited to erosion hazard areas, landslide hazard areas and seismic hazard areas.

19.10.195 Geologist

– A person who has earned a degree in geology from an accredited college or university and has at least five years of experience as a practicing geologist. The practical experience shall include at least three years work conducting slope stability and ground water hydrology evaluations in close association with qualified practicing geologists and geotechnical engineers.

19.10.200 Geotechnical engineer

– A practicing geotechnical engineer licensed as a professional civil engineer in the state of Washington and who has at least four years of professional employment as a geotechnical engineer in responsible charge, including experience with landslide evaluation.

19.10.205 Golf course

– A recreational facility under private ownership, designed and developed for the playing of golf, and which may include related accessory uses.

19.10.210 Government facility

– Services and facilities operated by any level of government, excluding those uses listed separately in this Code.

19.10.215 Grade

– The average ground level at the midpoint of all exterior walls of a building. In case walls are parallel to and within five feet of a sidewalk, the sidewalk shall be considered the finished ground level.

19.10.217 Grade, finished

– The grade following development. [Ord. 428 § 3, 2005]

19.10.220 Grade, natural

– The topography of the lot immediately prior to any site preparation or grading, including excavation or filling.

19.10.225 Grading

– Any excavation, filling, removing the duff layer or any combination thereof.

19.10.227 Grazing area

– Any open land area used to pasture livestock in which suitable forage is maintained over 80 percent of the area at all times of the year. [Ord. 355 § 1, 2002]

19.10.230 Gross floor area

– The total square footage of all floors in a structure as measured from either the interior surface of each exterior wall of the structure or, if the structure does not have walls, from each outer edge of the roof. Area used to meet minimum parking requirements is not included in gross floor area.

19.10.232 Groundcover

– Living plants designed to grow low to the ground (generally one foot or less) and intended to stabilize soils and protect against erosion. [Ord. 293 § 1, 2000]

19.10.233 Groundwater

– Water in a saturated zone or stratum beneath the surface of the land or below a surface water body. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003]


19.10.235 Hatchery/fish preserve

– A place where fish eggs are incubated to produce young.

19.10.240 Hazardous household substance

– A substance as defined in RCW 70.105.010.

19.10.242 Hazardous materials or substances

– The following applies only to BMC 19.40: Any hazardous waste, hazardous substance, dangerous waste, or extremely hazardous waste that are physical or health hazards as defined and classified in Chapter 70.105 RCW and Chapter 173-303 WAC, whether the materials are in usable or waste condition, that may degrade groundwater quality when improperly stored, handled, treated, used, produced, recycled, disposed of, or otherwise mismanaged. Hazardous materials shall also include petroleum or petroleum products that are in a liquid phase at ambient temperatures, including any waste oils or sludges. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003]

19.10.243 Hazardous materials questionnaire

– A form provided by the City of Burien and completed by a facility owner or operator that discloses the types and estimated amounts of hazardous materials used by the facility and the operational activities of the facility so as to establish the level of risk associated with those hazardous materials and activities for determination of regulatory status. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003]

19.10.245 Hazardous substance

– A substance as defined in RCW 70.105.010.

19.10.250 Hazardous waste

– All dangerous and extremely hazardous waste as defined in RCW 70.105.010(15), or its successor, except for moderate risk waste as set forth in RCW 70.105.010(17), or its successor.

19.10.255 Hazardous waste storage

– The holding of hazardous waste for a temporary period, as regulated by the State Dangerous Waste Regulations, Chapter 173-303 WAC, or its successor.

19.10.260 Hazardous waste treatment

– The physical, chemical, or biological processing of hazardous waste for the purpose of rendering these wastes nondangerous or less dangerous, safer for transport, amenable for energy or material resource recovery, amenable for storage, or reduced in volume, as regulated by the State Dangerous Waste Regulations, Chapter 173-303 WAC, or its successor.

19.10.265 Height

– The vertical distance measured from average natural grade, to the highest point of the structure.

19.10.268 Heritage tree

– A tree that has been designated a City of Burien Community Landmark and is protected and preserved pursuant to BMC 19.85 Protection and Preservation of Landmarks. Any person, group or the City may nominate a tree, but the property owner shall consent in writing before the nomination will be considered. To be eligible for heritage designation the tree must be more than 40 years old, have State or local cultural/historic importance and be rare or exceptional by virtue of its size, species, condition, and/or contribution as part of a grove of trees which is determined to be of historical value. [Ord. 648 § 1, 2017]

19.10.270 High technology industry

– A use engaged in research and development, testing, assembly, repair, and manufacturing in the following industries: bio-technology, pharmaceuticals, medical instrumentation or supplies, communications and information technology, electronics and instrumentation, and computer hardware and software. Office, warehousing, wholesaling and distribution of the finished products produced at the site are allowed as part of this use.

19.10.273 Home occupation

– Any business or occupation undertaken for financial gain within a dwelling unit or accessory building that is incidental and secondary to the residential use of the premises. Telecommuting, which is work done from home on a part-time basis for a business that is based off the premises, is not a home occupation. [Ord. 355 § 1, 2002]

19.10.275 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, medical offices, training facilities, pharmacies, and eating and drinking establishment.

19.10.278 Human scale

– The perceived size of a building relative to a human being. A building is considered to have “good human scale” if there is an expression of human activity or use that indicates the building’s size. For example, traditionally sized doors, windows, and balconies are elements that respond to the size of the human body, so these elements in a building indicate a building’s overall size. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]


19.10.280 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 roads and walkways or parking areas and excluding landscaping, surface water retention/detention facilities, and vehicular access easements or tracts shared by two or more single detached dwelling units.

19.10.285 Impervious surface coverage

– The sum of the percentage of the lot covered by impervious surface and the percentage of the lot covered by permeable pavement. [Ord. 659 § 1, 2016]

19.10.286 Improved public roadways

– Public road rights-of-way that have been improved with at least two travel lanes and are maintained by either the city of Burien, King County or the state of Washington. [Ord. 545 § 1, 2010, Ord. 28 § 1(40), 1993]

19.10.287 Injection well

– A well that is used for the subsurface emplacement of fluids, including Class I, II, II, IV, and V wells as defined in Chapter 173-218 WAC. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003]

19.10.288 In kind

– To replace critical areas with substitute areas whose characteristics and functions closely approximate those destroyed or degraded by a regulated activity. It does not mean replacement “in category.” [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003]

19.10.290 Interim zoning code

– Repealed by Ord. 620.


19.10.295 Kennel

– A place where dogs or cats are temporarily boarded for compensation, whether or not for training.


19.10.298 Landscaping

– Live vegetative materials required for a development. Said materials provided along the boundaries of a site are referred to as perimeter landscaping. Landscaping provided on the remainder of the site is referred to as interior landscaping. [Ord. 293 § 1, 2000]

19.10.300 Landslide

– Episodic downslope movement of a mass including, but not limited to, soil, rock or snow.

19.10.305 Landslide hazard areas

– Lands that are potentially subject to risk of mass movement due to a combination of factors, including historic failures, geologic, topographic and hydrologic features, including any of the following:

1. Any slope with a vertical relief of 10 feet or more that is steeper than 15 percent with a combination of:

a. Impermeable soils, such as silt and clay, frequently interbedded with granular soils, such as sand and gravel; and

b. Springs or ground water seepage;

2. Any slope with a vertical relief of 10 feet or more that is 40 percent or steeper, except areas composed of consolidated rock;

3. Any area designated or mapped as class U, UOS or URS by the Department of Ecology Coastal Zone Atlas;

4. Any area subject to wave erosion and bluff retreat;

5. Any area which has shown movement during the Holocene epoch, from 10,000 years ago to the present, or which is underlain by mass wastage debris from that epoch;

6. Any area potentially unstable as a result of rapid stream incision, stream bank erosion or undercutting by wave action;

7. Any area located on an alluvial fan, presently subject to or potentially subject to inundation by debris flows or deposition of stream-transported sediments.

19.10.307 Legacy storefronts.

– Small retail uses in residential zones that can be documented to have existed before 1950 and where essential historic features of the storefront – such as the entrance, window(s), cladding, and other architectural features – remain or can be restored consistent with the design and function of the building before 1950. [Ord. 752 § 1, 2021]

19.10.310 Light industry

– A use that involves the manufacturing, production, processing, fabrication, assembly, treatment, repair and/or packaging of finished products, predominantly from previously prepared and/or refined materials (or from raw materials that do not need refining). Warehousing, wholesaling and distribution of the finished products produced at the site is allowed as part of this use.

19.10.312 Livestock

Grazing animals kept either in open fields or structures for training, boarding, home use, sales, or breeding and production, including but not limited to: cattle, riding and draft horses, hogs, sheep, full-size goats, miniature horses, llamas, and alpacas. [Ord. 652 § 1, 2017; Ord. 355 § 1, 2002]

19.10.313 Loading space

– A space for the temporary parking of a vehicle while loading or unloading cargo or passengers. [Ord. 292 § 2, 2000]

19.10.315 Lodging facility

– A building or portion thereof designed or used for the transient rental of rooms for sleeping. Accessory shops and services catering to the general public may be provided. Not included are institutions housing persons under legal restraint or requiring medical attention or care.

19.10.320 Lot

– A physically separate and distinct parcel of property, which has been created pursuant to the City of Burien subdivision regulations, or was legally created prior to February 28, 1993.

19.10.325 Lot area

– The total land area, excluding submerged land, contained within the property lines of a lot.

19.10.327 Lot Averaging

– The numerical averaging of lot areas to determine compliance with the minimum lot area requirements of this title. [Ord. 428 § 3, 2005]

19.10.329 Lot, corner

– A lot abutting upon two or more streets at their intersections, or upon two parts of the same street, such streets or parts of same street forming an interior angle of less than 135 degrees within the lines. Corner lots have two street frontages, primary and secondary. The primary street shall be the one that the building is primarily oriented to. [Ord. 545 § 1, 2010, Ord. 103 § 1, 1994; Ord. 28 § 1(40), 1993]

19.10.329.1 Low Impact best management practice (LID BMP)

– A small scale drainage facility or feature designed in accordance with BMC Title 13 that is part of a development site strategy to use processes such as infiltration, dispersion, storage, evaporation, transpiration, forest retention, and reduced impervious surface footprint to mimic pre-developed hydrology and minimize stormwater runoff. [Ord. 659 § 3, 2016]


19.10.330 Major communication facility

– [Repealed, Ord. 265 § 34, 1999]

19.10.331 Major new construction or modification

– Construction from the bare ground or an enlargement or modification of an existing structure in excess of 50% of the current King County assessment value for the existing structure (excluding tenant improvements), as determined by BMC Title 15. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]

19.10.333 Marijuana

– All parts of the plant Cannabis, whether growing or not, with a THC concentration greater than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds or resin. The term does not include the mature stalks of the plant, fiber produced from the stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of the plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of the plant which is incapable of germination. [Ord. 599 § 1, 2014]

19.10.333.2 Marijuana processor

– A facility licensed by the State Liquor Control Board to process marijuana into usable marijuana and marijuana-infused products, package and label usable marijuana and marijuana-infused products for sale in retail outlets, and sell usable marijuana and marijuana-infused products at wholesale to marijuana retailers. [Ord. 599 § 1, 2014]

19.10.333.3 Marijuana producer

– A facility licensed by the State Liquor Control Board for the production and sale at wholesale of marijuana to marijuana processors and other marijuana producers. [Ord. 599 § 1, 2014]

19.10.333.4 Marijuana retailer

– A facility licensed by the State Liquor Control Board where usable marijuana and marijuana-infused products may be sold at retail. [Ord. 599 § 1, 2014]

19.10.333.5 Marijuana-infused products

– Products that contain marijuana or marijuana extracts and are intended for human use. The term “marijuana-infused products” does not include usable marijuana. [Ord. 599 § 1, 2014]

19.10.335 Master plan

– A complete development plan for the site showing: placement, dimensions and uses of all structures as well as streets and other areas used for vehicular circulation.

19.10.340 Minor communication facility

– [Repealed, Ord. 265 § 34, 1999]

19.10.341 Measurement of tree diameter at standard height

– Diameter at standard height (DSH), which means the diameter of a tree trunk measured at 4.5 feet above average grade, is used in determining the diameter of existing trees. Where a tree has a branch(es) or swelling that interferes with the measurement at 4.5 feet above average grade or where a tree tapers below this point, the diameter is measured at the narrowest point below 4.5 feet. For trees located on a slope, the 4.5 feet is measured from the average of the highest and lowest ground points or, on very steep slopes where this is not possible, the lowest practical point on the uphill side. Where a tree splits into several trunks close to ground level, the DSH for the tree is the square root of the sum of the DSH for each individual stem squared (example with 3 stems: DSH = square root [(stem1)^2 + (stem2)^2 + (stem3)^2]). [Ord. 780 § 4, 2022]

19.10.345 Mitigation

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

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

2. 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;

3. Rectifying the impact by repairing, rehabilitating or restoring the affected critical area or buffer;

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

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

6. Monitoring the impact and taking appropriate corrective measures.

19.10.350 Mixed use

– A project or building that combines non-residential use with dwelling units, either in the same building, or in different buildings located on the same site.

19.10.355 Mobile home

– A structure transportable in one or more sections; that in the traveling mode is eight body feet or more in width or 32 body feet or more in length; or when erected on site, is 320 square feet or more in area; built on a permanent chassis; designed to be used as a dwelling unit, with or without permanent foundation, when connected to the required utilities; which contains plumbing, heating, air-conditioning and electrical systems; and shall include any structure that meets all the requirements of this section, or of Chapter 296-150B WAC, except the size requirements for which the manufacturer voluntarily complies with the standards and files the certification required by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”).

19.10.360 Mobile home park

– A development with two or more improved pads or spaces designed to accommodate mobile homes.

19.10.361 Modular Homes

Dwelling units that are prefabricated homes consisting of repeated sections called modules. [Ord. 718 § 1, 2019]

19.10.362 Modulation

Modulation is a stepping back or projecting forward of portions of a building face within specified intervals of building width and depth, as a means of breaking up the apparent bulk of a structure’s continuous exterior walls. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]

19.10.365 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.

19.10.367 Monopole

– A support structure that consists of a single steel or wood pole sunk into the ground and/or attached to a concrete pad. Monopoles exclude poles used solely for small wireless facilities. [Ord. 700 § 1, 2018; Ord. 265 § 21, 1999]


19.10.367.5 Native vegetation

Vegetation comprised of plant species, other than noxious weeds, that is indigenous to the coastal region of the Pacific Northwest and which reasonably could have been expected to naturally occur in the Puget Sound region. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003]

19.10.368 Nonconformance

– Any use, site improvement or structure established in conformance with the City of Burien, or King County if prior to March 1, 1993, rules and regulations in effect at the time of establishment, that no longer conforms to the uses permitted in the site’s current zone, or to the current development standards of the code due to changes in the code or its application to the site. [Ord. 268 § 10, 1999]

19.10.368.3 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 and those regulated by King County. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003]

19.10.368.7 Net floor area

– The usable or net square footage of floor area, exclusive of areas such as but not limited to building maintenance areas, storage areas, closets, or restrooms [Ord. 313, § 1, 2000].

19.10.369 Non-Residential Zone

– The following zones: CN, CI, CC-1, CC-2, DC, CR, PR, O, AI-1, AI-2, I, SPA-1, SPA-2, and SPA-3. [Ord. 529, 2009, Ord. 396 § 1, 2003, Ord. 382 § 4, 2003, Ord. 265 § 22, 1999]

19.10.370 Nursing home

– An establishment as defined in RCW 18.51.010.


19.10.373 Off-site commercial parking

Use of land or structure for parking of motor vehicles as a commercial enterprise where hourly, daily, weekly or monthly fees are charged and transportation is provided for users to a separate off-site commercial use. [Ord. 510 § 1, 2009]

19.10.375 Off-site hazardous waste treatment and storage facility

– A facility that stores and/or treats hazardous wastes generated on a site other than the site where the storage and/or treatment occurs.

19.10.380 On-site hazardous waste treatment and storage facility

– A facility that stores and/or treats hazardous wastes generated on the same site where the storage and/or treatment occurs.

19.10.385 Office

– A place of employment providing professional, administrative, educational, business or governmental services other than production, distribution, sale or repair of goods or commodities. The following is a nonexclusive list of office uses: medical, dental or other health care; veterinary, accounting, architectural, engineering, consulting or other similar professional services; management, administrative, secretarial, marketing, advertising, personnel or other similar services; sales offices where no inventories or goods are available on the premises, real estate, insurance, travel agent, brokerage or other similar services.

19.10.387 Open-work fence

– A fence in which the solid portions are evenly distributed and constitute no more than 50 percent of the total surface area. [Ord. 545 § 1, 2010, Ord. 28 § 1(40), 1993]

19.10.390 Ordinary high water mark

– The mark found by examining the bed and banks of a stream, lake, or tidal water and ascertaining where the presence and action of waters are so 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 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.

19.10.390.5 Owner Occupied

– A property owner as reflected in the title records, who makes his/her legal residence at the site as evidenced by voter registration, vehicle registration, or similar means, and resides at the site more than six months out of any given year. [Ord. 355 § 1, 2002]


19.10.391 Panoram device

– Any device which, for payment of a fee, membership fee or other charge, is used to view, exhibit or display a film or videotape. A panoram device also refers to a panoram, preview, picture arcade or peep show. The term panoram device does not include games which employ pictures, views or video displays, or gambling devices regulated by the state. [Ord. 291 § 4, 2000]

19.10.392 Panoram premises

– Any premises or portion of any premises on which any panoram device is located and to which members of the public are admitted. Panoram premises does not include movie or motion picture theater auditoriums capable of seating more than five people. [Ord. 291 § 5, 2000]

19.10.393 Parking lot aisle

– That portion of the off-street parking area used exclusively for the maneuvering and circulation of motor vehicles and in which parking is prohibited. [Ord. 292 § 3, 2000]

19.10.394 Parking space

– An area accessible to vehicles, improved, maintained and used for the sole purpose of parking a motor vehicle. [Ord. 292 § 4, 2000]

19.10.394.5 Patio

– A surfaced area of the ground beyond a building designed, established, and/or installed to provide for outdoor living, cooking, and recreation, some sides of which are open and which may or may not have a permanent overhead covering. [Ord. 437 § 12, 2005]

19.10.394.6 Paved Surface

– An impervious pavement, a permeable pavement or a compacted gravel surface. [Ord. 659 § 4, 2016]

19.10.395 Pawn shop

– An establishment that engages, in whole or in part, in the business of loaning money on the security of pledges of personal property, or deposits or conditional sales of personal property, or the purchase or sale of personal property.

19.10.395.3 Peak hour

– The hour during the morning or afternoon when the most critical level of service occurs for a particular roadway or intersection. [Ord. 545 § 1, 2010, Ord. 28 § 1(40), 1993]

19.10.395.5 Pedestrian-oriented facade

– Ground floor facades that contain the following characteristics:

(a) Transparent window area or window displays along a minimum of 75 percent of the ground floor facade between a height of 2 feet to 8 feet above the ground.

(b) The primary building entry shall be on this facade. [Ord. 441 § 12, 2005]

19.10.396 Pedestrian-oriented space

– A pedestrian-oriented space is an area located outside of the right-of-way, between a building and a street or along a pedestrian path which promotes visual and pedestrian access onto the site and provides pedestrian-oriented amenities and landscaping to enhance the public’s use of the space for passive activities such as resting, reading, picnicking, etc.

1. To qualify as a “pedestrian-oriented space”, an area must have:

A. Visual and pedestrian access (including handicapped access) into the site from the street.

B. Paved walking surfaces of either concrete or approved unit paving.

C. On-site or building-mounted lighting providing at least 4-foot candles at ground level with lighting level uniformity, average to minimum, shall be 2:1 or better.

D. At least 2 square feet of seating area (bench, ledge, etc.) or one individual seat per 60 SF of plaza area or open space.

2. A “pedestrian-oriented space” is encouraged to have:

A. Landscaping that does not act as a visual barrier.

B. Site furniture, artwork, or amenities such as fountains, kiosk, etc.

3. A “pedestrian-oriented spaceshall not have:

A. Asphalt or gravel pavement (note: crushed granite may be used to protect tree roots).

B. Adjacent non-buffered parking lots.

C. Adjacent chain-link fences.

D. Adjacent blank walls without “blank wall treatment”. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]

19.10.396.1 Permeable Pavement

– An area of pavement constructed of pervious concrete, porous asphalt, permeable interlocking pavers, pervious vegetated grids or other forms of porous or pervious paving material intended to allow passage of water through the pavement section. [Ord. 659 § 5, 2016]

19.10.397 Personal wireless service facility (PWSF)

– A site, building, and/or structure that contains facilities to provide personal wireless services. A personal wireless service facility includes at least one of the following: antenna, support structure, and/or equipment enclosure. Personal wireless service facilities include small wireless facilities. [Ord. 700 § 1, 2018; Ord. 265 § 23, 1999]

19.10.398 Personal wireless services

– As defined in Title 47, United States Code, Section 332(c)(7)(C), as they may be amended now or in the future. [Ord. 265 § 24, 1999]

19.10.399 Primary facade

– The facade containing the building or individual business’ primary entrance. [Ord. 441 § 12, 2005]

19.10.399.5 Primary structure

– The structure that contains the primary use. [Ord. 523 § 1, 2009]

19.10.400 Primary use

– The use listed in Chapter 19.15 for which the majority of the total square footage of a site is designed, arranged, occupied, dedicated or maintained. [Ord. 523 § 1, 2009]

19.10.403 Private

– Solely or primarily for the use of residents or occupants of the premises; e.g., a noncommercial garage used solely by residents or their guests is a private garage. [Ord. 545 § 1, 2010, Ord. 28 § 1(40), 1993]

19.10.405 Private club

– An association of persons organized for some common purpose, but not including groups organized primarily to render a service which is commonly carried on as a business.

19.10.408 Prohibited plants and trees list

– A list prepared by King County containing plants and trees listed as ‘Class A noxious weeds’, ‘Class B noxious weeds’, ‘Class C noxious weeds’, ‘Non-regulated noxious weeds’ and ‘Weeds of concern’. Though not regulated by the state and county, these plant and tree species listed by King County as ‘non-regulated’ and ‘weeds of concern’ impact and degrade native plant and animal habitat in open spaces and parks. [Ord. 780 § 5, 2022; Ord. 648 § 1, 2017]

19.10.410 Property line

– Those lines enclosing a lot and those lines defining a recorded vehicular access easement or tract. The following are categories of property lines:

1. Front property line: Any property line that is adjacent to a street. A property line abutting SR 518 freeway and/or the SR 509 freeway shall not be considered front property lines.

2. Interior property line: Any property line other than a front property line, and any property line that is adjacent to a vehicular access easement or tract.

19.10.415 Public agency training facility

– An establishment for training state and local law enforcement, fire safety, national guard or transit personnel and accessory facilities including but not limited to:

1. Dining and overnight accommodations;

2. Classrooms;

3. Indoor shooting ranges;

4. Auto test tracks; and

5. Fire suppression simulations.

19.10.420 Public park and recreation facilities

– A natural or landscaped area, buildings or structures, provided by a unit of government, to meet the active or passive recreational needs of people.

19.10.425 Public agency

– Any agency, political subdivision or unit of local government of this state, or private utility regulated by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, including, but not limited to, municipal corporations, special purpose districts and local service districts, private regulated utilities, any agency of the state of Washington, the United States or any state thereof or any Indian tribe recognized as such by the federal government.

19.10.430 Public utility

– A facility for the distribution or transmission of services to an area; requiring location in the area to be served; including, but not limited to:

1. Telephone exchanges;

2. Water pumping or treatment stations;

3. Electrical switching substations;

4. Water storage reservoirs or tanks;

5. Groundwater well-fields;

6. Regional storm water management facilities;

7. Storm drainage control facilities

8. Natural gas gate stations and limiting stations;

9. Propane, compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas storage tanks serving multiple lots or uses from which fuel is distributed directly to individual users; and

10. Sewer lift stations.

19.10.432 Qualified tree professional

– A qualified tree professional is: An individual with relevant education and training in arboriculture or urban forestry, having the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Tree Risk Assessment Qualification and one of the following credentials:

1. ISA certified arborist;

2. ISA certified arborist municipal specialist;

3. ISA board certified master arborist;

4. American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA) registered consulting arborist (RCA);

5. Society of American Foresters (SAF) certified forester for forest management plans.

A qualified arborist must also be able to prescribe appropriate measures for the preservation of trees during land development. Any provision in this title referring to using an arborist or qualified arborist or tree professional or qualified professional shall be interpreted to require using a qualified tree professional. [Ord. 780 § 6, 2022]

19.10.433 Qualified tree risk assessment report

– A report prepared by a qualified tree professional that considers crown size, health, structure, disease, past maintenance practice, potential damage to existing targets, risk mitigation options and, when development is proposed, the likelihood of survival after construction. To undertake tree risk assessment as part of a development application, a qualified tree professional shall have a minimum of three (3) years’ experience directly with the protection of trees during construction. [Ord. 780 § 7, 2022]


19.10.435 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 allowed by Chapter 19.15 BMC and shall not mean the subdivision of property.

19.10.440 Recreational facility

– A place designed and equipped for the conduct of sports, leisure time activities and other customary and usual recreational activities. Includes, but is not limited to: health club, sports instruction, and bowling alley.

19.10.443 Recyclable material

– A nontoxic, recoverable substance that can be re-processed for the manufacture of new products. [Ord. 545 § 1, 2010, Ord. 28 § 1(40), 1993]

19.10.445 Recycling center

– An establishment for the processing (separation and/or recovery) or collection of recyclable materials from solid wastes. Recycling of oil or other liquids may also occur.

19.10.446 Regional utility corridor

– A right-of-way tract or easement which contains transmission lines or pipelines for utility companies, excluding distribution lines contained within striate rights-of-way or lines serving individual lot or developments. [Ord. 428 § 3, 2005]

19.10.447 Regulated facility or activities

– A facility or activity that lies or occurs within the boundaries of a critical aquifer recharge area, and in which quantities of hazardous materials or substances in excess of twenty (20) gallons or two hundred (200) pounds are or will be present on the premises at any one time, unless otherwise exempted under this ordinance. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003]

19.10.450 Religious facility

– An establishment, the principal purpose of which is religious worship, and for which the principal building or other structure contains the sanctuary or principal place of worship, and which includes related accessory uses.

19.10.455 Residential zone

– Any RS or RM zone.

19.10.460 Restoration

– Returning a critical area and/or its buffer to a state in which its stability and functions approach its unaltered state as closely as possible.

19.10.465 Retail

– A commercial enterprise which: provides goods and/or services directly to the consumer; and, whose goods are available for immediate purchase and/or rental; and, whose goods are available for immediate removal from the premises by the purchaser and/or whose services are traditionally not permitted within an office use. The sale and consumption of food are included if: a) the seating and associated circulation area does not exceed ten percent of the gross floor area of the use, and b) it can be demonstrated to the City that the floor plan is designed to preclude the seating area from being expanded. Goods and services offered include, but are not limited to: convenience retail uses.

19.10.467 Retail marijuana outlet

– A location licensed by the State Liquor Control Board for the retail sale of usable marijuana and marijuana-infused products. [Ord. 599 § 1, 2014]

19.10.470 Right-of-way

– Land dedicated primarily to the movement of vehicles and providing for primary access to adjacent lots. The land may also provide space for pedestrian movement, utility lines and appurtenances and other publicly owned devices.

19.10.472 Riparian habitat

– Areas adjacent to aquatic systems with flowing water that contain elements of both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems that mutually influence each other. The width of these areas extends to that portion of the terrestrial landscape that directly influences the aquatic ecosystem by providing shade, fine or large woody material, nutrients, organic and inorganic debris, terrestrial insects, or habitat for riparian-associated wildlife. Widths shall be measured from the ordinary high water mark or from the top of bank if the ordinary high water mark cannot be identified. It includes the entire extent of the floodplain and the extent of vegetation adapted to wet conditions as well as adjacent upland plant communities that directly influence the stream system. Riparian habitat areas include those riparian areas severely altered or damaged due to human development activities. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003]


19.10.474 Salmonid

– A member of the fish family salmonidae, including:

1. Chinook, coho, chum, sockeye and pink salmon;

2. Rainbow, steelhead and cutthroat salmon;

3. Brown trout;

4. Brook and dolly varden char;

5. Kokanee; and

6. Whitefish. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003]

19.10.474.5 Scale (architectural)

– Means the perceived relative height and bulk of a building relative to that of neighboring buildings. A building’s apparent height and bulk may be reduced by modulating facades. [Ord. 441 § 12, 2005]

19.10.475 School

– An institution of learning, public or private, offering instruction in the several branches of learning and study required by the Education Code of the state of Washington, such as preschools, elementary, middle/junior high, and secondary or high schools; also including schools of higher education such as colleges, vocational, and technical schools. [Ord. 560 § 1 (Exh. A), 2012]

19.10.477 Screen/screening

– The treatment created with landscaping and/or a decorative two-dimensional structure to visually conceal an area or on-site utilitarian use that is considered unattractive. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]

19.10.479 Secure community transition facility

– A residential facility for persons civilly committed and conditionally released to a less restrictive alternative under RCW 71.09. A secure community transition facility has supervision and security, and either provides or ensures the provision of sex offender treatment services. Secure community transition facilities include but are not limited to the facilities established pursuant to RCW 71.09.250 and any community-based facilities established under RCW 71.09 and operated by or under contract with the Washington State Dept. of Social and Health Services. [Ord. 363 § 1, 2002]

19.10.480 Seismic hazard areas

– Lands subject to severe risk of earthquake damage as a result of seismically induced ground shaking, slope failure, settlement or soil liquefaction. These conditions occur in areas underlain by soft or loose soils.

19.10.485 Setback

– The area on a lot that is required to remain free of structures.

1. Front setback: That portion of a lot adjacent to and parallel with any front property lines and at a distance therefrom equal to the required minimum front setback depth.

2. Interior setback: That portion of a lot adjacent to and parallel with any interior property lines and at a distance therefrom equal to the required minimum interior setback depth.

19.10.490 Self service storage facility

– An establishment containing separate storage spaces that are leased or rented as individual units.

19.10.492 Shorelines of the State

– The total of all “shorelines” as defined in RCW 90.58.030(2)(d), and “shorelines of statewide significance” within the state, as defined in RCW 90.58.030(2)c. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003]

19.10.493 Significant tree

Repealed by Ord. 780. [Ord. 648 § 1, 2017; Ord. 293 § 1, 2000]

19.10.495 Site

– The entire lot or series of adjoining lots on which a use is or will locate and that is otherwise subject to the provision of this Code.

19.10.500 Site improvements

– Improvements on a site that are required so that the use on the site complies with the provisions of this Code. Site improvements include, but are not limited to landscaping, parking, signs, design features, impervious surface coverage, multi-family recreation space and other open spaces on the site.

19.10.505 Slope

– An inclined ground surface, the inclination of which is expressed as a ratio or percentage of vertical distance to horizontal distance by the following formula:

vertical distance

x 100 = % Slope

horizontal distance


[Ord. 523 § 1, 2009]

19.10.506 Small Wireless Facility

– “Small wireless facility” is as defined in 47 CFR § 1.6002 (as proposed). [Ord. 700 § 1, 2018]

19.10.507 Small Wireless Network

– A collection of interrelated small wireless facilities designed to deliver personal wireless services. [Ord. 700 § 1, 2018]

19.10.510 Social card game

– A card game governed pursuant to the provisions of RCW 9.46, 1973 Gaming Act and licensing by the Washington State Gambling Commission, whose purpose is to serve as a commercial stimulant to a use where food and beverages are served on the premises. Social card games may include house-banked or player-funded card games.

19.10.511 Species

– Any group of animals or vegetation classified as a species or subspecies as commonly accepted by the scientific community.

1. Endangered – Any fish or wildlife species that is threatened with extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range and is listed by the state or federal government as an endangered species.

2. Sensitive – Any fish or wildlife species that is vulnerable or declining and could become endangered or threatened in the state without active management or removal of threats.

3. Threatened – Any fish or wildlife species that is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout a significant portion of its range without cooperative management or removal of threats, and is listed by the state or federal government as a threatened species. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003]

19.10.512 Specified anatomical areas


1. Less than completely and/or opaquely covered human genitals, pubic region, buttock, or female breast below a point immediately above the top of the areola.

2. Human male genitals in a discernibly turgid state even if completely or opaquely covered. [Ord. 291 § 6, 2000]

19.10.513 Specified sexual activities

– Human genitalia in a state of sexual stimulation or arousal; acts of human masturbation, sexual intercourse or sodomy; or erotic fondling, touching or display of human genitalia, pubic region, buttock, or female breast. [Ord. 291 § 7, 2000]

19.10.515 Steep slope

Slopes 40 percent or steeper within a vertical elevation change of at least 10 feet. A steep slope is delineated by establishing its toe and top and is measured by averaging the inclination over at least 10 feet of vertical relief. For the purpose of this definition:

1. The toe of a slope is a distinct topographic break in slope which separates slopes inclined at less than 40 percent from slopes 40 percent or steeper. Where no distinct break exists, the toe of a steep slope is the lowermost limit of the area where the ground surface drops 10 feet or more vertically within a horizontal distance of 25 feet; and

2. The top of a slope is a distinct, topographic break in slope which separates slopes inclined at less than 40 percent from slopes 40 percent or steeper. Where no distinct break exists, the top of a steep slope is the uppermost limit of the area where the ground surface drops 10 feet or more vertically within a horizontal distance of 25 feet.

19.10.516 Storefront

– Means the front side of a store facing the street and including windows. [Ord. 441 § 12, 2005]

19.10.517 Stream

– Water contained within a channel, either perennial or intermittent, and classified according to WAC 222-16-030 or WAC 222-16-031 and as listed under “water typing system.” Streams also include natural watercourses modified by man. Streams do not include irrigation ditches, waste ways, drains, outfalls, operational spillways, channels, storm water runoff facilities or other wholly artificial watercourses, except those that directly result from the modification to a natural watercourse. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003]

19.10.518 Stream, Intermittent

– Any non-permanent flowing drainage feature having a definable channel and evidence of scour or deposition. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003]

19.10.519 Stream, Perennial

– A stream that carries flowing water continuously throughout the year regardless of weather conditions. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003]

19.10.520 Street

– A public right-of-way.

19.10.525 Structure

– Anything permanently constructed in or on the ground, or over the water; excluding fences less than six feet in height, decks less than 18 inches above grade, bioretention facilities with wall height less than four feet from the top of footing to the top of the wall, and paved areas. “Structure” as used in Chapter 19.50 BMC shall mean a pole, tower, base station, or other building, whether or not it has an existing antenna facility, that is used or to be used for the provision of personal wireless service (whether on its own or commingled with other types of services). [Ord. 700 § 1, 2018; Ord. 659 § 6, 2016]

19.10.529 Sub-drainage basin

– The drainage area of the highest order stream containing the subject property impact area. Stream order is the term used to define the position of a stream in the hierarchy of tributaries in the watershed. The smallest streams are the highest order (first order) tributaries. These are the upper watershed streams and have no tributaries of their own. When two first order streams meet, they form a second order stream, and when two second order streams meet they become a third order stream, and so on. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003]

19.10.530 Submerged land

– Any land at or below the ordinary high water mark.

19.10.535 Substantial improvement

– Any maintenance, repair, structural modification, addition or other improvement of a site, the cost of which within any 60 month period, equals or exceeds 50 percent of the assessed value of the buildings on the site, either before the maintenance, repair, modification or addition is started or before the damage occurred, if the building has been damaged and is being restored.

19.10.537 Support structure

– Any structure that is designed and constructed primarily for the purpose of supporting one or more antennas. [Ord. 265 § 25, 1999]


19.10.539 Tiny house

– A single dwelling unit that is 400 square feet or less, and incorporates a kitchen and bathroom uses within the structure, and as defined in the 2018 International Residential Code or its successor. [Ord. 718 § 1, 2019]

19.10.540 Theater

– A building or portion of a building designed and/or used for showing motion pictures, video presentations, or for dramatic, dance, musical or other live performances.

19.10.543 Topographic map

– A survey of elevations, prepared with minimum five-foot contours. All planned grading shall be indicated with dashed contour lines for existing or natural grades and by solid contour lines for finished grades. The entire area to be cut and/or filled shall be indicated and temporary storage of any excavated or fill material shall also be indicated. All survey information shall be furnished, at the property owner or applicant’s expense, by a professional land surveyor licensed in the state of Washington. In cases where, at a required point of measurement, the topography lines and building footprint do not intersect, spot elevations for the natural grade shall be indicated on the topography map. A bench mark shall be noted on all information supplied for the purpose of establishing a field reference. The bench mark shall, where practical, be located on city property. The bench mark shall be maintained at all times before and during construction. The presence of this bench mark shall be confirmed by the building official, or his/her designee before the natural topography is disturbed. Removal or disruption of the bench mark shall be grounds for a stop work order until the bench mark is properly reestablished. [Ord. 428 § 3, 2005]

19.10.545 Trail

– All public property designated as a trail including: the Indian Trail located in the Plats of Secoma Beach Subdivision Nos. 1, 2 and 3, as recorded in Volume 15, pages 70 and 94, and Volume 16, page 25, book of plats; all public accesses to, from and across the Indian Trail shall be considered as part of the Indian Trail System, including public rights-of-way from existing or future roadway to the Trail and public rights-of-way from the Trail to the waterfront, which are not designated as street; and any future identified or developed trail included in the Comprehensive Parks Plan for the City of Burien.

19.10.545.1 Tree

– A woody plant, that has one or several dominant trunks, each with a diameter at standard height of three (3) inches or greater, that reaches a mature height greater than fifteen (15) feet.

1. Tree, Exceptional: Any tree thirty (30) inches diameter at standard height or greater, any tree identified in Table 19.26.040-1, or a tree designated as a Heritage Tree.

2. Tree, Hazard: A hazard tree is a tree that meets all the following criteria:

A. A tree with a combination of structural defects and/or disease which makes it subject to a high probability of failure;

B. Is in proximity to moderate to high frequency targets (persons or property that can be damaged by tree failure);

C. The assessed tree has a high to extreme risk rating using the International Society of Arborists Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ) method in its most current form; and

D. The hazard condition of the tree cannot be lessened with reasonable and proper arboricultural practices, nor can the target be removed or restricted.

3. Tree, Healthy: A tree with less than twenty five percent (25%) crown decline and dieback of the canopy, with normal leaf development, although minor deficiencies might be present. Minor pest problems might be present, but controllable. Minor trunk or branch defects might be present, but with good response wood or wound closure.

4. Tree, Unhealthy: A tree with greater than fifty (50) percent dieback, that is affecting larger branches. Stunting is obvious with little indication of new growth or recovery on smaller branches. Leaf size and color indicate increased stress in the plant. A short life expectancy based on a combination of decay, hollow, pests, or pathogens.

5. Tree, Significant: An existing tree which is six (6) inches diameter at standard height or greater and is not an exceptional tree. Hedges made of Leyland cypress (Cuprocyparis leylandii), arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis), laurel (Prunus lusitanica and Prunus laurocerasus), or holly (Ilex aquifolium) are not considered to be significant trees and may be trimmed or removed. Any tree on the prohibited plants and trees list (BMC 19.10.408) is not considered a significant tree. [Ord. 780 § 9, 2022]

19.10.545.2 Tree protection zone (TPZ)

– The Tree Protection Zone (TPZ) is equal to the critical root zone or an area sufficient to protect the tree during and after development as recommended by a licensed and qualified tree professional. [Ord. 780 § 10, 2022]

19.10.545.3 Tree pruning

– The intentional removal of a tree’s branches to reduce the live canopy of the tree by no more than twenty five percent (25%) during any consecutive twelve (12) months, in accordance with the current version of ANSI A300 Part 1, Pruning Specifications. Trimming more than twenty five percent (25%) of a tree’s canopy during any consecutive twelve (12) months is a tree removal. [Ord. 780 § 11, 2022]

19.10.545.4 Tree topping

– The act of removing whole tops of trees, or indiscriminate removal of large branches and/or trunks from the tops of trees and leaving stubs or lateral branches that result in the disfigurement of the canopy and compromises the health and structure of the tree. Tree topping is a tree removal. [Ord. 780 § 12, 2022]

19.10.545.5 Type F Water

Type F Water means segments of natural waters other than Type S Waters, which are within the bankfull widths of defined channels and periodically inundated areas of their associated wetlands, or within lakes, ponds, or impoundments having a surface area of 0.5 acre or greater at seasonal low water and which in any case contain fish habitat or are described by one of the following four categories:

(a) Waters, which are diverted for domestic use by more than 10 residential or camping units or by a public accommodation facility licensed to serve more than 10 persons, where such diversion is determined by the department to be a valid appropriation of water and the only practical water source for such users. Such waters shall be considered to be Type F Water upstream from the point of such diversion for 1,500 feet or until the drainage area is reduced by 50 percent, whichever is less;

(b) Waters, which are diverted for use by federal, state, tribal or private fish hatcheries. Such waters shall be considered Type F Water upstream from the point of diversion for 1,500 feet, including tributaries if highly significant for protection of downstream water quality. The department may allow additional harvest beyond the requirements of Type F Water designation provided the department determines after a landowner-requested on-site assessment by the department of fish and wildlife, department of ecology, the affected tribes and interested parties that:

(i) The management practices proposed by the landowner will adequately protect water quality for the fish hatchery; and

(ii) Such additional harvest meets the requirements of the water type designation that would apply in the absence of the hatchery;

(c) Waters, which are within a federal, state, local, or private campground having more than 10 camping units: Provided, That the water shall not be considered to enter a campground until it reaches the boundary of the park lands available for public use and comes within 100 feet of a camping unit, trail or other park improvement;

(d) Riverine ponds, wall-based channels, and other channel features that are used by fish for off-channel habitat. These areas are critical to the maintenance of optimum survival of fish. This habitat shall be identified based on the following criteria:

(i) The site must be connected to a fish habitat stream and accessible during some period of the year; and

(ii) The off-channel water must be accessible to fish. [Ord. 623 § 1, 2015]

19.10.546 Type Np Water

Type Np Water means all segments of natural waters within the bankfull width of defined channels that are perennial nonfish habitat streams. Perennial streams are flowing waters that do not go dry any time of a year of normal rainfall and include the intermittent dry portions of the perennial channel below the uppermost point of perennial flow. [Ord. 623 § 1, 2015]

19.10.546.3 Type Ns Water

Type Ns Water means all segments of natural waters within the bankfull width of the defined channels that are not Type S, F, or Np Waters. These are seasonal, nonfish habitat streams in which surface flow is not present for at least some portion of a year of normal rainfall and are not located downstream from any stream reach that is a Type Np Water. Ns Waters must be physically connected by an above-ground channel system to Type S, F, or Np Waters. [Ord. 623 § 1, 2015]

19.10.546.5 Type S Water

Type S Water means all waters, within their bankfull width, as inventoried as “shorelines of the state” under Chapter 90.58 RCW and the rules promulgated pursuant to Chapter 90.58 RCW including periodically inundated areas of their associated wetlands. [Ord. 623 § 1, 2015]


19.10.547 Ultimate roadway section

– A designation by the city of Burien that the maximum roadway or intersection capacity has been reached and further right-of-way acquisition and/or improvements are not feasible to increase peak hour vehicle capacity. [Ord. 545 § 1, 2010, Ord. 28 § 1(40), 1993]

19.10.547.5 Undeveloped lot

– A lot on which no improvements, no infrastructure, no facilities, no legally established land use, and no grading or site development exist. [Ord. 780 § 13, 2022]

19.10.548 Unified Enclosure

– A small wireless facility providing concealment of antennas and equipment within a single enclosure. [Ord. 700 § 1, 2018]

19.10.549 Usable marijuana

– Dried marijuana flowers. The term “usable marijuana” does not include marijuana-infused products. [Ord. 599 § 1, 2014]

19.10.550 Use

– The nature of the activities taking place on public or private property. Each separate listing under the “Use” column in Chapter 19.15 BMC is a separate use. [Ord. 523 § 1, 2009]


19.10.555 Vehicular access easement or tract

– A privately owned right-of-way.

19.10.557 Vegetation

– Any and all plant life growing at, below or above the soil surface. [Ord. 545 § 1, 2010, Ord. 28 § 1(40), 1993]

19.10.560 Vendor cart

– An accessory use consisting of a portable stand and any related accessory appurtenances such as an awning, canopy or seating, used for the retail sales of goods including but not limited to beverages, food and flowers.

19.10.562 Vernacular

– A building or complex of buildings that relate to, or are characteristic of a period, place or group; especially relating to or being the common building style of a period or place. [Ord. 273 § 1, 1999]


19.10.565 Warehousing and wholesale trade

– Establishments involved in the storage and/or sale of bulk goods for resale or assembly, excluding establishments offering the sale of bulk goods to the general public which is classified as a retail use.

19.10.570 Water table

– The upper limit of the groundwater body marking the boundary between the saturated zone, where soil and rock is completely saturated with water, and the unsaturated zone. It is defined by the levels at which water stands in wells that penetrate the aquifer just far enough to hold standing water. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003]

19.10.575 Wellhead protection areas

Wellhead protection areas may be defined by the boundaries of the ten (10) year time of groundwater travel, or boundaries established using alternate criteria approved by the Department of Health in those settings where groundwater time of travel is not a reasonable delineation criterion, in accordance with WAC 246-290-135. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003]

19.10.580 Wetlands

Wetlands are defined as those areas that 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 adopted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs and similar areas. Wetlands do not include those artificial wetlands intentionally created from non-wetland sites, including, but not limited to, irrigation and drainage ditches, grass-lined swales, canals, detention facilities, wastewater treatment facilities, farm ponds, and landscape amenities, or those wetlands created after July 1, 1990, that were unintentionally created as a result of the construction of a road, street, or highway. Wetlands may include those artificial wetlands intentionally created from non-wetland areas to mitigate the conversion of wetlands. For identifying and delineating a wetland, local government shall use the approved federal wetland delineation manual and applicable regional supplements. [Ord. 623 § 1, 2015; Ord. 394 § 1, 2003]

19.10.585 Wetlands, associated

Wetlands that are in proximity to and either influence or are influenced by tidal waters or a lake or stream subject to the Shoreline Management Act (WAC 173-22-030). [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003]

19.10.590 Wetland classes, classes of wetlands, or wetland types

– The descriptive classes of wetland habitat types outlined in the classification system of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Cowardin et al. 1979). These include, among others, the following: palustrine forested, palustrine scrub-shrub, and palustrine emergent, and open water. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003]

19.10.595 Wetland edge

– The boundary of a wetland as delineated based on the methods outlined in Washington State Wetland Identification and Delineation Manual. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003]

19.10.600 Wildlife habitat

– The place, including physical and biological conditions, where an animal usually occurs. This includes areas for breeding, foraging, resting, and cover. [Ord. 394 § 1, 2003]