40.240.040 Definitions

As used in this chapter, unless otherwise noted, the following words and their derivations shall have the following meanings. The definitions do not apply to areas of Clark County outside of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.

Accepted agricultural practice

A mode of operation that is common to farms or ranches of similar nature, necessary for the operation of such farms or ranches to obtain a profit in money and customarily utilized in conjunction with agricultural use.

(Amended: Ord. 2018-03-04)

Accessory structure/building

A structure or detached building whose use is incidental and subordinate to that of the main use of the property, and that is located on the same parcel as the main building or use. The term “detached” means that the main building and accessory building do not share a common wall. An accessory building connected to the main building by a breezeway is a detached building.

(Amended: Ord. 2018-03-04)

Active wildlife site

A wildlife site that has been used within the past five (5) years by a sensitive wildlife species.

(Amended: Ord. 2018-03-04)


An extension or increase in the area or height of an existing building.

(Amended: Ord. 2018-03-04)

Adversely affect or adversely affecting

A reasonable likelihood of more than moderate adverse consequences for the scenic, cultural, recreation or natural resources of the scenic area, the determination of which is based on:

•    The context of a proposed action;

•    The intensity of a proposed action, including the magnitude and duration of an impact and the likelihood of its occurrence;

•    The relationship between a proposed action and other similar actions which are individually insignificant but which may have cumulatively significant impacts; and

•    Proven mitigation measures which the proponent of an action will implement as part of the proposal to reduce otherwise significant effects to an insignificant level.

(Added: Ord. 2018-03-04)

Agency official

The federal, state, or local agency head or designee who has authority over a proposed project.

(Amended: Ord. 2018-03-04)

Agricultural specialist (SMA)

A person such as a county extension agent with a demonstrated knowledge of farming operations, and a demonstrated ability to interpret and recommend methods to implement regulations pertaining to agriculture. Such abilities are usually obtained through a combination of higher education and experience.

(Amended: Ord. 2018-03-04)

Agricultural structure/building

A structure or building located on a farm or ranch and used in the operation for the storage, repair, and maintenance of farm equipment and supplies or for the raising and/or storage of crops and livestock. These include, but are not limited to: barns, silos, workshops, equipment sheds, greenhouses, wind machines (orchards), processing facilities, storage bins and structures.

(Amended: Ord. 2018-03-04)

Agricultural use

The current employment of land for the primary purpose of obtaining a profit in money by raising, harvesting, and selling crops; or by the feeding, breeding, management, and sale of, or production of, livestock, poultry, furbearing animals or honeybees; or for dairying and the sale of dairy products; or any other agricultural or horticultural use, including Christmas trees. Current employment of land for agricultural use includes:

•    The operation or use of farmland subject to any agriculture-related government program.

•    Land lying fallow for one (1) year as a normal and regular requirement of good agricultural husbandry.

•    Land planted in orchards or other perennials prior to maturity.

•    Land under buildings supporting accepted agricultural practices.

Agricultural use does not include livestock feedlots.

(Amended: Ord. 2006-08-21; Ord. 2018-03-04)


The mixture of gases comprising the earth’s atmosphere.

(Added: Ord. 2018-03-04)

Anadromous fish

Species of fish that migrate upstream to freshwater after spending part of their life in the ocean saltwater.

(Amended: Ord. 2018-03-04)


A condition in which molecular oxygen is absent (or effectively so) from the environment.

(Amended: Ord. 2018-03-04)

Animal unit

An animal unit consists of one (1) adult horse, or two (2) ponies, or five (5) miniature horses.

(Amended: Ord. 2009-03-02; Ord. 2018-03-04)


The cultivation, maintenance, and harvesting of aquatic species.

Aquatic area

The water area of a stream, pond, or lake measured at the ordinary high water mark.

Archaeological resources

See “Cultural resource.”

Archival research

Research in primary documents that is likely to yield information regarding human occupation of the area in question, including but not limited to deed, census, cartographic, and judicial records.

Bed and breakfast inn

An establishment located in a structure designed as a single-family dwelling where more than two (2) rooms but fewer than six (6) rooms are rented on a daily basis. Bed and breakfast inns are clearly incidental to the use of a structure as a single-family dwelling and are owner occupied and operated. Bed and breakfast inns operate as transient accommodations, not as rooming or boarding houses.

Best management practices

Conservation techniques and management measures that:

•    Control soil loss and reduce water quality degradation caused by nutrients, animal waste, toxins, and sediment;

•    Minimize adverse effects to groundwater and surface-water flow and circulation patterns; and

•    Maintain the chemical, biological, and physical characteristics of wetlands, ponds, streams, and riparian areas.

Biodiversity (SMA)

A diversity of biological organisms at the genetic, species, ecosystem, and landscape levels.

Boat landing

A cleared area or developed structure used to facilitate launching or retrieving watercraft.

Buffer zone

An area adjacent to a wetland, stream, pond, or other sensitive area that is established and managed to protect sensitive natural resources from human disturbance. In instances that involve a wetland, stream, or pond, the buffer zone includes all or a portion of the riparian area.


Any structure used or intended for supporting or sheltering any use or occupancy. Buildings have a roof supported by columns or walls. They include, but are not limited to, dwellings, garages, barns, sheds and shop buildings.

Camping or recreational vehicle

A vacation trailer, camper, self-propelled vehicle, or structure equipped with wheels for highway use that is intended for recreational purposes, but not for residential purposes, and is equipped with plumbing, sink, or toilet. A camping or recreational vehicle shall be considered a dwelling unit and subject to review for consistency with this chapter if it is connected to a sewer system (including septic tank), water, and electrical lines or is occupied on the same parcel for more than sixty (60) days in any consecutive twelve (12) month period.


Single camping unit, that usually consists of a cleared, level area for a tent, and may include a parking spur, fire ring, table, and other amenities.

Canopy closure (SMA)

For forest practices, the percentage measuring the degree to which one layer of a tree canopy blocks sunlight or obscures the sky as measured from below.


The ability of land to produce forest or agricultural products due to characteristics of the land itself, such as soil, slope, exposure, or other natural factors.

Cascadian architecture (SMA)

Architectural style using native rockwork, large timber, and steeply pitched roofs in a rustic manner.

Catastrophic situations (SMA)

Forces such as fire, insect and disease infestations, and earth movements.

Childcare center

A facility providing day care to three (3) or more children, but not including:

•    The provision of care that is primarily educational, unless provided to a preschool child for more than four (4) hours a day.

•    The provision of care that is primarily supervised training in a specific subject, including but not limited to dancing, gymnastics, drama, music or religion.

•    The provision of short-term care related to or associated with group athletic or social activities.

•    The provision of day care in the provider’s home in the family living quarters for less than thirteen (13) children.

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Graphic Signing System

Sign design standards developed for the Scenic Area for public signs in and adjacent to public road rights-of-way.

Commercial development/use

Any facility or use of land or water whose function is primarily retail buying or selling of goods or services or both. This does not include fruit or produce stands.

Commercial forest products

Forest products including timber for lumber, pulp, and firewood for commercial purposes.

Commercial recreation

Any private (nongovernmental) recreational activity or facility on privately owned land, excluding nonprofit facilities. This does not include operation of a public recreation facility by a private vendor.

Community facility

Basic utilities and services necessary to support public service needs, including but not limited to water and power utilities, sanitation facilities, public microwave stations and communication facilities, schools, roads and highways. This does not include sanitary landfills.

Consulting parties (cultural resources)

Organizations or individuals who submit substantive written comments to the Development Review Officer in a timely manner because they are concerned with the effects of a proposed use on cultural resources.

Contiguous land

Parcels or other lands that are under the same ownership and have a common boundary, regardless of whether or not portions of the parcels have separate tax lot numbers, lie in different counties, lie in different sections or government lots, lie in different land use or zoning designations, or are separated by public or private roads. Contiguous land does not include parcels that meet only at a single point.


The six (6) counties within the Scenic Area: Hood River, Multnomah, and Wasco in Oregon, and Clark, Skamania, and Klickitat in Washington.

Created opening (SMA)

A created forest opening with less than forty percent (40%) average canopy closure of overstory trees and less than sixty percent (60%) average canopy closure of understory trees averaging less than five (5) inches diameter at breast height for coniferous forests and less than twenty-five percent (25%) total canopy cover for oak woodlands. This definition does not include agricultural fields.

Creation (wetlands)

A human activity that converts an upland into a wetland. This definition presumes that the area to be converted has not been a wetland in recent times (one hundred (100) to two hundred (200) years).


Any activity that prepares land for raising crops by turning, breaking, or loosening the soil. Cultivation includes plowing, harrowing, leveling, and tilling.

Cultural resource

Evidence of human occupation or activity that is important in the history, architecture, archaeology or culture of a community or region. Cultural resources include, but are not limited to, the following:

•    Archaeological resources. Physical evidence or ruins of human occupation or activity that are located on or below the surface of the ground and are at least fifty (50) years old. Archaeological resources include, but are not limited to, the remains of houses, villages, camp and fishing sites, and cave shelters; rock art such as petroglyphs, and pictographs; artifacts such as arrowheads, utensils, tools, fragments of tools and utensils, obsidian flakes or other material byproducts from tool and utensil-making activities; and graves, human remains, and associated artifacts.

•    Historic buildings and structures. Standing or aboveground buildings and structures that are at least fifty (50) years old. Historic buildings and structures include, but are not limited to, log cabins, barns, canals, flumes, pipelines, highways, and tunnels.

•    Traditional cultural properties. Locations, buildings, structures, and objects that are associated with cultural beliefs, customs, or practices of a living community that are rooted in that community’s history and are important in maintaining the continuing cultural identity of the community. Traditional cultural properties include, but are not limited to, a location associated with the traditional beliefs of a Native American group about its origins or its cultural history, a location where a community has traditionally carried out artistic or other cultural practices important in maintaining its historical identity; and a location where Native American religious practitioners have historically gone, and go today, to perform ceremonial activities. Objects may include petroglyphs, pictographs, rock cairns or other rock structures, trees, and rock outcrops.

Cumulative effects

The combined effects of two (2) or more activities. The effects may be related to the number of individual activities, or to the number of repeated activities on the same piece of ground. Cumulative effects can result from individually minor but collectively significant actions taking place over a period of time.


An area where soil or earth is excavated or removed in conjunction with development activities.


Calendar days, including weekends and holidays.

Days, working

Days during which Clark County Community Development Department offices are open to the public, excluding weekends and holidays.

Dedicated site

An area actively devoted to the current use and as delineated on the site plan.

Deer and elk winter range

Areas normally used, or capable of being used, by deer and elk from December through April.

Destruction of wetlands

Loss of the wetlands or any of its component parts, including the filling, draining, or other adverse effect to the sustainable functioning of the wetland.

Developed recreation

Recreational opportunities characterized by high-density use on specific sites and requiring facilities installation. Density of use, amount of site development, and type of recreation site can vary widely across the spectrum of recreation activities.

Developed road prism (SMA)

The area of the ground associated with a particular road and containing the road surface, ditch, shoulder, retaining walls, or other developed features. Does not include the natural appearing portions of cut and fill slopes.


Any land division or structure, including but not limited to new construction of buildings and structures, and mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, and excavation.

Diameter at breast height (dbh)

The diameter of a tree as measured at breast height.


A building containing two (2) dwelling units and designed for occupancy by two (2) families.

Dwelling, single-family

A detached building containing one (1) dwelling unit and designed for occupancy by one (1) family only.

Dwelling unit

A single unit designed for occupancy by one (1) family and having not more than one (1) cooking area or kitchen.

Earth materials

Any rock, natural soil or any combination thereof. Earth materials do not include nonearth or processed materials, including, but not limited to, construction debris (e.g., concrete, asphalt, wood), organic waste (e.g., cull fruit, food waste) and industrial byproducts (e.g., slag, wood waste).

Effect on treaty rights

To bring about a change in, to influence, to modify, or to have a consequence to Indian treaty or treaty related rights in the Treaties of 1855 with the Nez Perce, Umatilla, Warm Springs and Yakima tribes executed between the individual Indian tribes and the Congress of the United States and as adjudicated by the federal courts.


A sudden unexpected occurrence, either the result of human or natural forces, necessitating immediate action to prevent or mitigate significant loss or damage to life, health, property, essential public services, or the environment.

Emergency/disaster response

Actions involving any development or vegetation removal that must be taken immediately in response to an emergency/disaster event. Emergency/disaster response actions that do not involve any structural development or ground-disturbance activities are not included in this definition.


Plant and animal species that are found only in the vicinity of the Columbia River Gorge area.

Enhancement (natural resources)

A human activity that increases one (1) or more functions of an existing wetland, stream, lake, riparian area, or other sensitive area. Enhancement is generally limited to a wetland, stream, lake, riparian area, or other sensitive area that is degraded. Enhancing an area that is in good or excellent condition may reduce biological diversity and eliminate other natural functions and may not be desirable.

Ephemeral streams (EMA)

Streams that contain flowing water only during, and for a short duration after, precipitation events.


The descriptive and analytic study of the culture of particular groups. An ethnographer seeks to understand a group through interviews with its members and often through living in and observing it.

Existing use or structure

Any use or structure that was legally established. “Legally established” means:

•    The landowner or developer obtained applicable land use and building permits and complied with land use regulations and other laws that were in effect at the time the use or structure was established, or that were in effect at the time the landowner or developer corrected an improperly established use or structure;

•    The use or structure was initially operated or constructed according to those applicable permits, land use regulations and other laws, or has been operated or constructed according to permits obtained to correct an improperly established use or structure; and

•    Any changes to the original use or structure must comply with all applicable permit requirements, land use regulations and other laws that were in effect at the time the change was established.

Exploration, development (extraction and excavation), and production of mineral resources

All or any part of the process of surface, underground, or submerged mining of mineral resources. Minerals include soil, coal, clay, stone, sand, gravel, metallic ore, oil and gases and any other material or substance excavated for commercial, industrial or construction use. For the Management Plan, this definition includes all exploration and mining, regardless of area disturbed or volume mined. Production of mineral resources means the use of portable crushing, on-site stockpiling, washing, milling, screening, or sorting equipment or other similar methods of initial treatment of a mineral resource to transport to another site for use or further processing. Secondary processing such as concrete or asphalt batch plants is considered industrial uses.


The placement, deposition, or stockpiling of sand, sediment, or other earth materials to create new uplands or create an elevation above the existing surface.

Finished grade

The final elevation of the ground level of a property after construction is completed.

Fire break

A break in groundcover fuels, adjacent to and surrounding buildings.


The area that falls directly beneath and shares the same perimeter as a structure.


Broad-leaved herbs, in contrast to ferns, fern allies, and grasses and grass-like plants.

Foreground (SMA)

One-half (1/2) mile on either side of a traveled road or trail.

Forest health (SMA)

A measure of the robustness of forest ecosystems. Forests are deemed healthy when they have capacity across the landscape for renewal, for the maintenance of wildlife habitats, for recovery from a wide range of disturbances, and for retention of their resilience.

Forest practice (SMA)

Any activity conducted on or directly pertaining to forested land and relating to forest ecosystem management including but not limited to growing, thinning, or removing live or dead forest tree or shrub species, road and trail construction, reforestation, fertilizing, brush control, prevention of wildfire, and suppression of diseases and insects. The removal of hazardous trees is excluded. Uses that include establishment, management or harvest of Christmas trees, nursery stock, or fiber producing tree species requiring intensive cultivation (irrigation, fertilization, etc.) and a harvest rotation of twelve (12) years or less are considered agricultural uses.

Forest practices (GMA)

Those activities related to the growing and harvesting of forest tree species, as defined by the Washington Forest Practices Act.

Forest products

Commodities produced from a forest, including, but not limited to, timber products, boughs, mushrooms, pine cones, and huckleberries.

Forest stand structure (SMA)

The number, types and spacing of tree species, tree sizes, and canopy layers contained in a stand of trees.

Forest use

The growing, propagation, and harvesting of forest tree species and other forest products.

Fully screened

A description of the relative visibility of a structure where that structure is not visible as viewed from a specified vantage point (generally a key viewing area, for the purpose of the Management Plan).

Grade (ground level)

The average elevation of the finished ground elevation as defined by the International Building Code.


Any excavating or filling of earth materials or any combination thereof, including the land in its excavated or filled condition.

Hazard tree (SMA)

A tree with a structural defect that will predictably result in whole or partial failure within one-and-one-half (1.5) tree lengths of a road or maintained development. A defective tree is hazardous only when its failure could result in danger to people or damage to structures, vehicles, or other property.

Height of building

The greatest vertical distance between the point of lowest finished grade adjoining any exterior wall of a building and the highest point of the roof, such as the highest coping or parapet of a flat roof, the highest deck line of a mansard roof, or the highest ridge of a hip, gable, gambrel, shed or other pitched roof.


A plant with no persistent woody stem above the ground, with characteristics of an herb.


Nonwoody (herbaceous) plants, including grasses and grass-like plants, forbs, ferns, fern allies, and nonwoody vines. (Note: Seedlings of woody plants that are less than three (3) feet tall shall be considered part of the herbaceous layer.)

Historic buildings and structures

See “Cultural resource.”

Historic survey

Actions that document the form, style, integrity, and physical condition of historic buildings and structures. Historic surveys may include archival research, architectural drawings, and photographs.

Home occupation

Small-scale professional or vocational activities conducted on noncommercial properties in a manner which does not detract from residential or resource characteristics of the surrounding area. Under this chapter, home occupations shall be consistent in definition and usage with the Scenic Area Management Plan provisions for cottage industries and home occupations.

Horses, boarding of (GMA)

The stabling, feeding, pasturing and grooming, or the use of stalls and related facilities, such as training arenas, corrals, and exercise tracks, for the care of horses not belonging to the owner of the property. These facilities are either operated for a fee or by a nonprofit organization.

(Amended: Ord. 2009-03-02)

Hydric soil

A soil that is saturated, flooded, or ponded long enough during the growing season to develop anaerobic conditions in the upper part.

In-lieu sites

Sites acquired by the Army Corps of Engineers and transferred to the Bureau of Indian Affairs for treaty fishing, in lieu of those usual and accustomed fishing areas lost by inundation from reservoir construction. These sites were acquired under the provisions of Public Law 14 and Public Law 100-581, 401. Additional in-lieu sites will be provided for.

Indian tribal government

The governing bodies of the Nez Perce Tribe (Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee), the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (Board of Trustees), the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon (Tribal Council), and the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakima Indian Nation (Tribal Council).

Indian tribes

The Nez Perce Tribe, the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakima Indian Nation, the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon, and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

Industrial uses

Any use of land or water primarily involved in:

•    Assembly or manufacture of goods or products;

•    Processing or reprocessing of raw materials, processing of recyclable materials or agricultural products not produced within a constituent farm unit;

•    Storage or warehousing, handling or distribution of manufactured goods or products, raw materials, agricultural products, forest products, or recyclable materials for purposes other than retail sale and service; or

•    Production of electric power for commercial purposes.

Interpretive displays

Signs and structures that provide for the convenience, education, and enjoyment of visitors, helping visitors understand and appreciate natural and cultural resources and their relationship to them.

Key components

The attributes that are essential to maintain the long-term use and productivity of a wildlife site. The key components vary by species and wildlife site. Examples include fledgling and perching trees, watering sites, and foraging habitat.

Key viewing areas

Those portions of important public roads, parks, or other vantage points within the Scenic Area from which the public views Scenic Area landscapes. These include:

•    Historic Columbia River Highway;

•    Crown Point;

•    Highway I-84, including rest stops;

•    Multnomah Falls;

•    Washington State Route 14;

•    Beacon Rock;

•    Panorama Point Park;

•    Cape Horn;

•    Dog Mountain Trail;

•    Cook-Underwood Road;

•    Rowena Plateau and Nature Conservancy Viewpoint;

•    Portland Women’s Forum State Park;

•    Bridal Veil State Park;

•    Larch Mountain;

•    Rooster Rock State Park;

•    Bonneville Darn Visitor Centers;

•    Columbia River;

•    Washington State Route 141;

•    Washington State Route 142;

•    Oregon Highway 35;

•    Sandy River; and

•    Pacific Crest Trail.

In the SMA only:

•    Old Washington State Route 14 (County Road 1230);

•    Wyeth Bench Road;

•    Larch Mountain Road; and

•    Sherrard Point on Larch Mountain.

Land division

The division or redivision of contiguous land(s) into tracts, parcels, sites or divisions, regardless of the proposed parcel or tract size or use. A land division includes, but is not limited to, short subdivisions, partitions, and subdivisions.

Landscape setting

The combination of land use, landform, and vegetation patterns that distinguish an area in appearance and character from other portions of the Scenic Area.

Livestock feedlot

Stockyards and commercial livestock finishing yards for cattle, sheep, swine, and furbearers. Feedlots do not include winter pasture or winter hay-feeding grounds.

Lot line adjustment

Relocation of one or more common boundary lines between two contiguous parcels that does not create additional parcels.

(Amended: Ord. 2006-08-21)


Ordinary upkeep or preservation of a serviceable structure affected by wear or natural elements. Maintenance does not change the original size, scope, configuration or design of a structure. Maintenance includes, but is not limited to, painting and refinishing, regrouting masonry, patching roofs, grading gravel roads and road shoulders, cleaning and armoring ditches and culverts, filling potholes, controlling vegetation within rights-of-way, removing trees and other roadside hazards within rights-of-way, and testing and treating utility poles.

Management Plan

The document entitled “Management Plan for the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area” adopted October 14, 1991, and updated April 9, 2004. The Management Plan becomes effective upon approval of land use ordinances by the Commission for the General Management Area and concurrence of land use ordinances by the Secretary of Agriculture for the Special Management Area.


The use of any or all of the following actions:

•    Avoiding the impact altogether by not taking a certain action or parts of an action;

•    Minimizing impacts by limiting the degree or magnitude of the action and its implementation;

•    Rectifying the impact by repairing, rehabilitating, or restoring the affected environment; or

•    Reducing or eliminating the impact over time by preservation and maintenance operations during the life of the action.

Mosaic (SMA)

The dispersal of overstory and understory leave trees in irregularly spaced clumps of varying sizes throughout an irregularly shaped created forest opening.

Multifamily dwelling

A dwelling constructed or modified into two (2) or more single-family units.

Native species

Species that naturally inhabit an area.

Natural grade

The undisturbed elevation of the ground level of a property before any excavation or construction operations.

Natural resource specialist

A person with professional qualifications, including an academic degree or sufficient professional experience, in the subject matter the specialist is being asked to analyze or evaluate.

Natural resource-based recreation (SMA)

Recreation activities, uses, or facilities that essentially depend on the unique natural, scenic, or cultural resources found within the Scenic Area. Campgrounds, trails, boating and windsurfing facilities, swimming beaches, picnic sites, viewpoints, interpretive parks, and similar outdoor recreation facilities are considered resource-based; golf courses, tennis courts, and rental cabins are not.

Natural resources

Naturally occurring features including land, water, air, plants, animals (including fish), plant and animal habitat, and scenery.

Nonprofit organization

An organization whose nonprofit status has been approved by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

Not visually evident (SMA)

A visual-quality standard that provides for development or uses that is not visually noticeable to the casual visitor. Developments or uses shall only repeat form, line, color, and texture that are frequently found in the natural landscape, while changes in their qualities of size, amount, intensity, direction, pattern, etc., shall not be noticeable.

Old growth

A forest stand usually at least one hundred eighty (180) to two hundred twenty (220) years old with moderate to high canopy closure; a multi-layered, multi-species canopy dominated by large overstory trees; high incidence of large trees, some with broken tops and other indications of old and decaying wood (decadence); numerous large snags, and heavy accumulations of wood, including large logs on the ground.

Open spaces

Unimproved lands not designated as agricultural lands or forest lands by the Management Plan and designated as open space by the Management Plan. Open spaces include:

•    Scenic, cultural, and historic areas;

•    Fish and wildlife habitat;

•    Lands which support plant species that are endemic to the Scenic Area or which are listed as rare, threatened or endangered species pursuant to state or federal endangered species acts;

•    Ecologically and scientifically significant natural areas;

•    Outstanding scenic views and sites;

•    Water areas and wetlands;

•    Archaeological sites, Indian burial grounds and village sites, historic trails and roads and other areas which are culturally or historically significant;

•    Potential and existing recreation resources; and

•    Federal and state wild, scenic, and recreation waterways.

Operational (SMA)

For new agricultural use, an agricultural use shall be deemed operation operational when the improvements and investments described in the stewardship plan are in place on the parcel.

Ordinary high water mark

The mark on all streams, ponds, and lakes that will be found by examining the bed and banks and ascertaining where the presence and action of waters are so common and usual, and so long continued in all 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.

Other related major structure (SMA)

A structure related to a dwelling on a parcel in the SMA that is less than forty (40) acres in size, which is not incidental and subordinate to the main use of the property. A building or structure that satisfies the definition of “accessory building” is not an “other related major structure” or a “major development action.”

Overstory (SMA)

For forest practices, the tall or mature trees that rise above the shorter or immature understory trees.


•    Any unit of land legally created by a short division, partition, or subdivision that was legally recognized under all state laws and local ordinances in effect on November 17, 1986. A unit of land that is eligible for consolidation as provided in Section 40.240.390 shall not be considered a parcel.

•    Any unit of land legally created and separately described by deed, sales contract, or record of survey prior to November 17, 1986, if the unit of land complied with all planning, zoning, and land division ordinances or regulations applicable at the time of creation and up through November 17, 1986.

•    A unit of land legally created and separately described by deed or sales contract after November 17, 1986, if the unit was approved under the Final Interim Guidelines or a land use ordinance consistent with the Management Plan, or by the Forest Service Office prior to the Final Interim Guidelines.

A unit of land shall not be considered a separate parcel simply because the subject tract of land:

•    Is a unit of land solely created to establish a separate tax account;

•    Lies in different counties;

•    Lies in different sections or government lots;

•    Lies in different land use or zoning designations; or

•    Is dissected by a public or private road.


Able to be done, considering technology and cost.


Existing prior to the adoption of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Management Plan.

Previously disturbed

An area of land where the natural surface has been graded, excavated, paved and/or graveled.


A clear majority as measured by volume, weight, or value.

Project area

The geographic area or areas within which new development and uses may cause changes in the character or use of cultural resources, if any such resources exist.

Public use facility

Recreation development(s) that meet the definition of “recreation facility” in the Management Plan and are open for use by the general public. Private clubs and other facilities limited to members or otherwise restricted in availability shall not be considered public use facilities.

Rare plant species

Used in a generic sense to refer to various categories of sensitive plants cited in federal and state programs.

Reconnaissance survey

Actions conducted to determine if archaeological resources are present in an area that would be affected by a proposed use. Reconnaissance surveys may include archival research, surface surveys, subsurface testing, and ethnographic research.

Recreation facility

A cluster or grouping of recreational developments or improvements located in relatively close proximity to one another, and that are not separated in distance by more than one quarter (1/4) mile of land that does not contain any such developments or improvements, except for roads and/or pathways.

Recreation Opportunity Spectrum (ROS)

A means of classifying areas in relation to the types of recreation opportunities and experiences they provide or are appropriate for. The spectrum ranges from primitive (wilderness areas) to urban (highly modified areas).

•    Primitive: Remote, inaccessible areas with a high degree of solitude and with resources essentially unmodified.

•    Semi-primitive: Areas accessible only by primitive transportation routes, with low to moderately infrequent human encounters and with only subtle modifications to the natural setting.

•    Roaded Natural: Roaded areas with moderately frequent human encounters and with resource modifications evident.

•    Rural: Roaded areas with moderate to highly frequent human encounters and with the natural setting dominated by cultural modifications.

•    Suburban: Areas representing the rural urban interface, with urban like roads, structures, highly frequent human encounters, and dominant resource modifications encroaching into the rural landscape.

•    Urban: Highly accessible, roaded areas dominated by human encounters and human-related structures.

Recreation resources

Areas and facilities that provide recreation opportunities and experiences. Recreation resources include semi-primitive areas with few facilities and developed sites.

Regularly maintained

An area of land that has been previously disturbed and where periodic actions have been taken to:

•    Keep the area clear of vegetation (e.g., shoulders, utility yards);

•    Limit the height and type of vegetation (e.g., utility rights-of-way); and/or

•    Establish and retain non-native vegetation (e.g., landscaped medians, rest area grounds).

Rehabilitation (natural resources)

A human activity that returns a wetland, stream, buffer zone, or other sensitive area that was disturbed during construction of a permitted use to its natural or preconstruction condition.

Remnant old forest (SMA)

Large trees in the overstory that are well into the mature growth state (older than one hundred eighty (180) years).


Replacement or reconstruction of a part of a serviceable structure after damage, decay or wear. A repair returns a structure to its original and previously authorized and undamaged condition. It does not change the original size, scope, configuration or design of a structure, nor does it excavate beyond the depth of the original structure. Repair includes, but is not limited to, reroofing a building, replacing damaged guardrails, reconstructing a rotten deck or porch, replacing a broken window or door, replacing a utility pole and associated anchors, replacing a section of broken water or sewer line, replacing a damaged or defective utility line, reconstructing a portion of a building damaged by fire or a natural event, and replacing railroad ties or rails.

Resource-based recreation

Those recreation uses that are essentially dependent upon the natural, scenic, or cultural resources of the Scenic Area and that do not adversely affect those resources upon which they depend.

Responsible official

The director of the Community Development Department of Clark County or the director’s authorized designate. The responsible official is responsible for the administration, interpretation and implementation of this chapter.


A human activity that returns a resource from a disturbed or altered condition to a previous, less disturbed or less altered condition. This definition does not modify or eliminate the Management Plan definition of restoration applicable only to wetlands.

Restoration (wetlands)

A human activity that converts an area that was formerly a wetland back into a wetland. This definition presumes that the area to be restored no longer qualifies as a wetland because of past activities, alterations, or catastrophic events.

Review uses

Proposed uses and developments that must be reviewed by a county planning department, the Gorge Commission, or the Forest Service to determine if they comply with the policies and guidelines in the Management Plan.

Riparian area

The area immediately adjacent to streams, ponds, lakes, and wetlands that directly contributes to the water quality and habitat components of the water body. This may include areas that have high water tables and soils and vegetation that exhibit characteristics of wetness, as well as upland areas immediately adjacent to the water body that directly contribute shade, nutrients, cover, or debris, or that directly enhance water quality within the water body.


The entire right-of-way of any public or private way that provides ingress to or egress from property by means of vehicles or other means or that provides travel between places by means of vehicles. “Road” includes, but is not limited to:

•    Ways described as streets, highways, throughways, or alleys.

•    Road-related structures that are in the right-of-way, such as tunnels, culverts, or similar structures.

•    Structures that provide for continuity of the right-of-way, such as bridges.

Scenic Area

The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.

Scenic travel corridor

Those portions of Washington State Routes 14, 141, and 142 located in the Scenic Area and specifically designated to be managed as scenic and recreational travel routes.


The Secretary of Agriculture.

Sensitive plant species

Plant species that are:

•    Endemic to the Columbia River Gorge and vicinity;

•    Listed as endangered or threatened pursuant to federal or state endangered species acts; or

•    Listed as endangered, threatened or sensitive by the Oregon or Washington Natural Heritage Program.

In the Special Management Area, sensitive plant species also include plant species recognized by the Regional Forester as needing special management to prevent them from being placed on federal or state endangered species lists.

Sensitive wildlife species

Animal species that are:

•    Listed as endangered or threatened pursuant to federal or state endangered species acts;

•    Listed as endangered, threatened, sensitive, or candidate by the Washington Wildlife Commission; or

•    Considered to be of special interest to the public, limited to great blue heron, osprey, mountain goat golden eagle, and prairie falcon.

In the Special Management Area, sensitive wildlife species also include animal species recognized by the Regional Forester as needing special management to prevent them from being placed on federal or state endangered species lists.

Service station

A business operated for the purpose of retailing and delivering motor vehicle fuel into the fuel tanks of motor vehicles.


Presently useable.


Action is mandatory.


Action is encouraged.


A woody plant usually greater than three (3) feet but less than twenty (20) feet tall that generally exhibits several erect, spreading, or prostrate stems and has a bushy appearance. (Note: For the Management Plan, seedlings of woody plants that are less than three (3) feet tall shall be considered part of the herbaceous layer.)


Any placard, poster, billboard, advertising structure or inscribed surface, pattern or artificial lighting, pictorial or symbolic ornament, emblematic structure, banner, fluttering apparatus, statue, model, ornamental figure, or other visually communicative or expressive device that is visible from an out-of-doors position and is used to advertise or call the public’s attention to any public, business, commercial, industrial, recreational or any other activity, object for sale or lease, person or place, or to bear any kind of message. It includes any surface on which a name, text, device, signal, ornament, logotype, or advertising matters is made visible. The meaning of “sign” shall also include any sign currently in disuse, but still visible from an out-of-doors position, and any frame or support structure erected specifically to bear or uphold a sign.

Significant cultural resource (SMA)

A cultural resource that is included in, or eligible for inclusion in, the National Register of Historic Places. (The criteria for evaluating the eligibility of properties for the National Register of Historic Places appear in “National Register Criteria for Evaluation” [36 CFR 60].)


The line that represents the place at which a landform, such as a cliff, bluff or ridge, meets the sky, as viewed from a specified vantage point (generally a key viewing area, for the purpose of the Management Plan). In areas with thick, unbroken tree cover, the skyline is generally formed by the top of the vegetative canopy. In treeless areas or areas with more open tree cover, the skyline is generally formed by the surface of the ground.

Soil capability class

A classification system developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service to group soils as to their capability for agricultural use.

Special habitat area

Wetlands, mudflats, shallow water, and riparian vegetation that have high values for waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors, songbirds, upland game, and reptiles.

Special streams

Streams that are primary water supplies for fish hatcheries and rearing ponds.


A group of trees possessing uniformity in regard to type, age, vigor, or size.


A single floor level of a structure, as defined by the International Building Code.


Areas where surface water produces a defined channel or bed, including bedrock channels, gravel beds, sand and silt beds, and defined-channel swales. The channel or bed does not have to contain water year-round. This definition is not meant to include irrigation ditches, canals, storm or surface water runoff structures, or other artificial watercourses unless they are used to convey streams naturally occurring prior to construction of such watercourses.

For the Management Plan, streams are categorized into two (2) classes: perennial streams and intermittent streams. “Perennial stream” means a stream that flows year-round during years of normal precipitation. “Intermittent stream” means a stream that flows only part of the year, or seasonally, during years of normal precipitation.


That which is built or constructed, an edifice or building of any kind, or any piece of work artificially built up or composed of parts joined together in some definite manner. This includes, but is not limited to, buildings, walls, fences, roads, parking lots, signs, and additions/alterations to structures.


To deliver a document (e.g., land use application, written comment) to a reviewing agency’s office by personal delivery, commercial delivery, mail, fax, or e-mail. When a document must be submitted within a specified period, it must arrive at the reviewing agency’s office by the close of business on the last day of the specified period.

Subsurface testing

Any procedure that removes material from beneath the ground surface for the purpose of identifying cultural resources, such as shovel tests, posthole digger tests, and auger borings.


The appropriateness of land for production of agricultural or forest products or for recreation, considering its capability for production; surrounding uses and features associated with development; compatibility with scenic, cultural, natural and recreation resources, compatibility among uses; and other cultural factors, such as roads, powerlines, dwellings, and size of ownership.

Thinning (SMA)

A forest practice intended to create favorable conditions for the continued growth of trees within an existing stand of trees. A thinning becomes a forest opening in coniferous forests when the average canopy closure of the overstory layer is zero or less than forty percent (40%) and the understory layer is less than sixty percent (60%) average canopy closure of trees averaging less than five (5) inches diameter at breast height. A thinning becomes a forest opening in oak woodlands when the total average canopy closure is less than twenty-five percent (25%).

(Amended: Ord. 2006-08-21)

Total canopy closure (SMA)

For forest practices, the percentage measuring the degree to which all layers of the tree canopy combine together to block sunlight or obscure the sky as measured from below.

Travelers accommodations

Any establishment having rooms rented or kept for rent on a daily or weekly basis to travelers or transients for a charge or fee paid or to be paid for rental use or use of facilities.

Treatment (SMA)

For forest practices, a site-specific operation that carries out the forest management objectives for an area.

Treaty rights or other rights

Rights reserved by the Indian tribes through the Treaties of 1855. These include the right of fishing at all usual and accustomed places, as well as the privilege of pasturing livestock and hunting and gathering on open and unclaimed lands in common with the citizens of the states.

Tributary fish habitat

Streams that are used by anadromous or resident fish for spawning, rearing and/or migration.

Understory (SMA)

For forest practices, the shorter or immature trees below the tall or mature overstory trees.


Any project, activity, program or development or change in land use that can result in changes in the character or use of a cultural resource, if any such cultural resources are located in the area of potential effects. For federal undertakings, the project, activity, or program must be under the direct or indirect jurisdiction of a federal agency or licensed or assisted by a federal agency. Undertakings include new and continuing projects, activities, or programs and any of their elements [36 CFR 800.16(y)].

(Amended: Ord. 2009-03-02)

Unimproved lands

Lands that generally do not have developments such as buildings or structures.


Any area that does not qualify as a wetland because the associated hydrologic regime is not sufficiently wet to elicit development of vegetation, soils, and/or hydrologic characteristics associated with wetlands.

Uses allowed outright

New uses and developments that may occur without being reviewed by a county planning department, the Gorge Commission, or the Forest Service to determine if they are consistent with the Management Plan.

Utility facility

Any structure that provides for the transmission or distribution of water, sewer, fuel, electricity, or communications.

Vested right

The right to develop or continue to develop a use, a development, or a structure under the regulations in force at the time of when a complete pre-application or application was filed, subject to the application being approved.


A landscape unit seen from a key viewing area.

Visual Quality Objective (VQO)

A set of visual management goals established by the Forest Service to achieve a desired visual objective. These objectives include retention and partial retention, and others in the Mt. Hood and Gifford Pinchot National Forest Plans.

Visually subordinate

A description of the relative visibility of a structure or use where that structure does not noticeably contrast with the surrounding landscape, as viewed from a specified vantage point (generally a key viewing area, for the Management Plan). As opposed to structures that are fully screened, structures that are visually subordinate may be partially visible. They are not visually dominant in relation to their surroundings. Visually subordinate forest practices in the SMA shall repeat form, line, color, or texture common to the natural landscape, while changes in their qualities of size, amount, intensity, direction, pattern, etc., shall not dominate the natural landscape setting.


Uses that absolutely require, and cannot exist without, access or proximity to, or siting within, a water body to fulfill their basic purpose. Water-dependent uses include, but are not limited to, docks, wharfs, piers, dolphins, certain fish and wildlife structures, boat launch facilities, and marinas. Dwellings, parking lots, spoil and dump sites, roads, restaurants, trails and paths, trailer parks, resorts, and motels are not water-dependent.


Uses not directly dependent upon access to a water body, but whose presence facilitates public access to and enjoyment of a water body. In the GMA, water-related uses shall be limited to boardwalks, trails and paths, observation decks, and interpretative aids, such as kiosks and signs.


Areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. This does not include riparian areas, rivers, streams, and lakes.

Wetlands functions

The beneficial roles that wetlands serve, including storage, conveyance, and attenuation of floodwaters and stormwaters; groundwater recharge and discharge; protection of water quality and reduction of sediment and erosion; production of waterfowl, game and nongame birds, mammals, and other living resources; protection of habitat for endangered, threatened, and sensitive species; food chain support for a broad range of wildlife and fisheries; educational, historical, and archaeological value protection; and scenic, aesthetic, and recreational amenities.


An agricultural facility used for processing grapes into wine, including laboratories, processing areas, offices, and storage areas. A winery is distinct from a wine sales/tasting room; each of these uses must be explicitly reviewed and approved.

Wine sales/tasting room

A facility that is accessory to a winery and used for tasting and retail sales of wine, including interior space (e.g., wine bar, sitting room) and exterior space (e.g., patio, veranda). A wine sales/tasting room shall not be used for preparing or serving meals or hosting weddings, receptions or other commercial events, unless allowed, reviewed and approved pursuant to Section 40.240.290. A wine sales/tasting room is distinct from a winery; each of these uses must be explicitly reviewed and approved.

Woody plant

A seed plant (gymnosperm or angiosperm) that develops persistent, hard, fibrous tissues.

(Amended: Ord. 2006-05-04)