Chapter 18.56


18.56.010    Title.

18.56.020    Purpose.

18.56.030    Definitions.

18.56.040    Applicability.

18.56.050    Exemptions.

18.56.055    Administration.

18.56.057    Authority.

18.56.060    Preliminary consultation required.

18.56.065    Temporary use permits.

18.56.070    Complete application.

18.56.080    Application procedures for preliminary site plan approval.

18.56.100    Minimum land use and site design standards.

18.56.110    Site development.

18.56.120    Final binding site plan approval.

18.56.125    Final binding site plan approval – Certification and recording.

18.56.130    Violations – Penalties.

18.56.150    Fees and charges.

18.56.155    Variances.

18.56.160    Appeals.

18.56.010 Title.

The ordinance codified in this chapter shall be known as the “Campground Binding Site Plan Code.” [Ord. 23-055 § 1, 7-11-23.]

18.56.020 Purpose.

The Board of County Commissioners deems it necessary to establish standards and procedures set forth in this chapter for the following purposes:

A. To ensure the development of planned campgrounds compatible with existing land uses;

B. To ensure the orderly development of Cowlitz County consistent with the Comprehensive Plan;

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

D. To establish a procedure which promotes the timely review of campground developments in Cowlitz County;

E. To promote public health, safety, and general welfare. [Ord. 23-055 § 1, 7-11-23.]

18.56.030 Definitions.

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

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

“Cabin” means a structure that does not exceed 400 square feet, designed for temporary guest use within a commercial campground. Cabins may be constructed as follows:

1. “Camping cabin” means a hard-walled, permanent structure that includes a sleeping area.

2. “Tent cabin” means a semi-permanent structure with fabric walls and conventional or nonconventional construction that includes a sleeping area.

“Campground” means any parcel or tract of real property that is designed for camping, recreational vehicle camping, or outdoor recreation and containing three or more camping spaces offered for the use of the public or members of a private or religious organization. Campgrounds may also possess any combination of primitive, semi-primitive, or developed camping spaces. Campgrounds possess camping spaces and may include camping units, as defined herein.

“Camping space” means a specific area designed for camping, and for placing a camping unit, of sufficient size to accommodate the camping unit(s) for which it is designed. Individual camping spaces may be considered “developed,” “semi-developed,” or “primitive,” depending on site improvements and availability of utilities and facilities at each camping space.

“Camping unit” means a portable structure, shelter, or vehicle designed and intended for occupancy by persons engaged in camping. This term is intended to be generic to include, but not be limited to, recreational vehicles, tents, tent cabins, park model trailers as defined under RCW 46.04.622 and WAC 296-150P-0020, and camping cabins.

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

“Commercial forest” means a tract of land five acres or larger classified as “designated forest land” pursuant to Chapter 84.33 RCW, as it now exists or is hereafter amended.

“Construction campground” means a campground utilized for only a temporary basis during construction activity and where all camping spaces and any camping units are to be removed within 15 days after completion of the construction project. Construction campgrounds provide temporary camping spaces for occupancy by persons employed for the specific construction project for the duration of a valid building permit issued by the Department for the subject property.

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

“Deck” means a structure, typically made of wood, with or without a roof, supported by posts or columns that may stand independently or be partially supported by a camping unit.

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

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

“Group camping” means an area or combination of spaces within a campground regulated under this chapter, with sufficient Health Official approved utilities to serve the designated number of users. Group camping spaces shall center around a common area or feature, and be labeled on the site plan.

“Health Official” means the health officer of the county or a representative authorized by and under the direct supervision of the local health officer, as defined in Chapter 70.05 RCW.

“Hearing Examiner” means the Cowlitz County Hearing Examiner pursuant to Chapter 2.05 CCC.

“Landscaping plan” means a plan produced by an individual, or by a qualified professional such as a landscape architect, habitat biologist, or certified arborist if determined necessary by the Director, that details the landscaping proposed within and along the perimeter of the campground.

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

“Lodging facilities” means permanent individual units for guests. Examples may include hotels, motels, lodges, or shared cabins.

“Lot” means any lawfully created parcel, tract, division or subdivision as determined in CCC 18.02.040.

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

“Outdoor communal areas” means areas within a campground where people are likely to congregate. These areas include, but are not limited to, stores, clubhouses, outdoor restaurants, pools, communal fire pit facilities.

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

“Park model trailer” means a vehicular unit as defined under RCW 46.04.622 and WAC 296-150P-0020.

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

“Recreational vehicle” or “RV” means a vehicular unit primarily designed for recreational camping, travel or seasonal use as defined in RCW 43.22.335(7). Recreational vehicles are of two types:

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

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

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

“Screening” means vegetation, a fence, or earthen berm, or combination thereof, that provides a visual and noise barrier between sites or a campground perimeter.

“Tent” means a transportable temporary shelter, consisting of fabrics or skins stretched over a flexed or rigid framework, that is set up and used on a camping space. [Ord. 23-055 § 1, 7-11-23.]

18.56.040 Applicability.

All campgrounds operated in unincorporated Cowlitz County shall conform with this chapter.

A. The proposal to establish, construct, alter, expand, or modify a campground in unincorporated Cowlitz County shall comply with the requirements of this chapter.

B. Alterations and additions of accessory buildings, accessory facilities, and utilities within a campground shall be exempt from the binding site plan and Hearing Examiner requirements of this chapter; provided, that all other applicable permitting is received.

C. Compliance with state and county health codes, including Chapter 15.45 CCC, General Sanitation Requirements for Cowlitz County Campgrounds, shall be required for the operation of any campground, whether currently established or to be established, constructed, altered, expanded, or modified. [Ord. 23-055 § 1, 7-11-23.]

18.56.050 Exemptions.

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

A. Legally nonconforming campgrounds;

B. Utility installation or alteration at legally conforming and nonconforming campgrounds, including sanitary sewer, septic systems, potable water, internet, cable, vehicle charging stations, and electrical; provided, that the number of camping spaces does not increase, and all applicable permitting is received;

C. Day use areas;

D. The removal and replacement of a camping unit of the same or different type within the same camping space provided all water, sanitation, construction, and placement permitting is received;

E. Recreational vehicle storage areas;

F. Temporary campgrounds per CCC 18.56.065;

G. An undivided lot is authorized for temporary noncommercial use by up to two recreational vehicles or two camping sites, provided the units are independent or the lot has health authority approved potable water and sanitary facilities;

H. Camping on land designated Remote or Economic Resource Land – Forest Resource Land in the Comprehensive Plan; provided, that the camping space(s) is temporary, noncommercial, and dispersed. [Ord. 23-055 § 1, 7-11-23.]

18.56.055 Administration.

The expansion or establishment of a campground shall be reviewed as follows:

A. Expansions of both legally nonconforming or conforming campgrounds shall be reviewed as specified below; infrastructure upgrades are not required for the existing campground, provided the Director’s interagency review finds there are no public health, fire, access, or safety issues which must be remediated or corrected pursuant to CCC 18.56.040(C), or other applicable safety standards.

1. Five or fewer spaces within previous five-year time frame – The preliminary application shall be reviewed administratively as provided in CCC 18.56.057.

2. More than five spaces within previous five-year time frame – The preliminary application shall reviewed by the Hearing Examiner as provided in CCC 18.10.295.

B. New campgrounds – Any number of spaces, provided the preliminary application is reviewed by the Hearing Examiner as provided in CCC 18.10.295. [Ord. 23-055 § 1, 7-11-23.]

18.56.057 Authority.

The Director or designee shall administer, interpret, and enforce this chapter. The Director shall have the administrative authority to:

A. Issue permits for temporary and construction campgrounds;

B. Issue preliminary approval of a minor expansion, pursuant to CCC 18.56.055(A)(1) and 18.56.080;

C. Approve a final binding site plan for a campground that conforms with its approved preliminary site plan, and all other applicable development and health regulations;

D. Perform or cause to be performed certain inspections of campgrounds;

E. The Director shall provide such forms and establish such procedures as may be necessary to administer this chapter. [Ord. 23-055 § 1, 7-11-23.]

18.56.060 Preliminary consultation required.

A preliminary consultation with relevant agencies as determined by the Director is required for the development, expansion, or major modification of a campground. [Ord. 23-055 § 1, 7-11-23.]

18.56.065 Temporary use permits.

Temporary or construction campgrounds may be permitted upon a demonstration by the owner or operator that the site conforms to all applicable requirements and upon the issuance of a temporary campground permit by the Director and Health Official; and provided, that the temporary facility is removed after use. Temporary use permits for a residential, commercial, or construction campgrounds may be issued by the Director for a specific date range. However, all other compliance, including prohibiting permanent connection of utility services, will be required. No public hearing shall be required for the issuance of such temporary use permit. The intent of this section is to use campgrounds for a limited period of time for the public welfare, and under circumstances which would otherwise be prohibited by this chapter and Chapter 58.17 RCW. Temporary campgrounds not associated with permitted construction shall not exceed 14 days of operation.

The requirements of Chapter 5.10 CCC may also be applicable to temporary campgrounds. [Ord. 23-055 § 1, 7-11-23.]

18.56.070 Complete application.

A. A person desiring to develop or modify a campground shall make preliminary application in the Department, on such forms as are made available by the Department.

B. The following information shall be shown on a site plan map drawn to scale of not less than one inch equals 100 feet:

1. The name, address, telephone number and email address of the applicant(s) (and the owner(s), if different from the applicant);

2. The name and location of the proposed campground;

3. The area, dimensions and general legal description (quarter section, section, township, range, tax parcel number) of the tract(s) of land;

4. The true north direction arrow, scale at which the plan is prepared, and date;

5. Project phasing, if proposed;

6. The number, area and dimensions, and location of all camping spaces. Spaces and streets shall be numbered in an orderly sequence consistent with Chapter 18.90 CCC;

7. Anticipated location of all camping spaces and accessory structures within the facility, sufficient to demonstrate setback requirements can be met;

8. A vicinity map drawn to scale showing the relationship of the proposed site plan to existing streets, natural features and landmarks in the general area;

9. The number and location of all off-street parking spaces at commercial destinations within the facility;

10. The location and width of streets and walkways on and abutting the site;

11. Location, dimension, setbacks and use of all structures to be constructed or altered within the facility;

12. The area dimensions and location of any recreation or open space, if provided;

13. The density calculation of the campground;

14. The location and type of perimeter vegetative screening or fencing;

15. The location of existing vegetation to be preserved and proposed on-site landscaping;

16. Critical areas located on or within 200 feet of the subject property;

17. Existing and proposed topography at two-foot contour intervals;

18. Proposed improvements necessary for compliance with Chapter 16.20 CCC, Stormwater Management in Rural Areas, or Chapter 16.22 CCC, Stormwater Management in the Unincorporated Urbanized Area, as applicable;

19. The method and plan for the provision of sewage disposal, including expected design flow, garbage disposal, and electrical service, including outside lighting;

20. The method and plan for the provision of potable water, including evidence of compliance will all other applicable codes;

21. Location of all existing and proposed easements pertaining to property;

22. Location, size and type of proposed signs.

C. The following information shall be provided by the applicant:

1. An environmental checklist.

2. A traffic impact analysis prepared by an engineer registered in the state of Washington for any expansion of an existing or new campground that generates an additional 100 average daily trips or 10 peak hour trips, as defined by the County Engineer.

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

4. Landscaping plan, as defined and if required under this chapter. Such a plan shall include: perimeter markings, signage, fencing, screening, species type, location, spacing, and horticultural care.

D. The Director may require, and/or the applicant may provide, such other information as deemed important in the evaluation of the proposed campground plan. [Ord. 23-055 § 1, 7-11-23.]

18.56.080 Application procedures for preliminary site plan approval.

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

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

B. Director’s Report. The Director shall prepare a report based on internal and interagency review of findings, recommendations, and conditions. Findings shall address the proposed application’s consistency with the Comprehensive Plan, this chapter, and other applicable regulations.

C. If required by CCC 18.56.055, the Director shall set a date and provide notice of the public hearing as provided in CCC 18.10.295.

D. Criteria for Decisions. In reviewing and deciding on applications for preliminary site plan approval for a campground, the decision to approve, approve with conditions, or deny an application shall be based on consideration of the extent to which the proposed campground is:

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

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

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

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

E. Duration of Preliminary Site Plan Approval. Preliminary site plan approval shall be effective for five years from the date of approval. If a final binding site plan is not approved and recorded within this five-year time period, preliminary site plan approval shall expire; provided, however, if the applicant completes and files all plans and specifications and substantially meets all conditions required as part of the preliminary approval, and the applicant requests an extension at least 30 days prior to the expiration date, the Director may grant one two-year extension of preliminary application approval, during which time all construction shall be completed or guaranteed. Failure to complete construction of required improvements or provide satisfactory assurance of completion in the manner provided in CCC 18.32.660 within the two-year time extension period shall result in rescission of preliminary site plan approval, and it shall be necessary to resubmit an application for preliminary approval if the project is to continue. Any resubmitted application shall be subject to the regulations in effect at the time of resubmission. [Ord. 23-055 § 1, 7-11-23.]

18.56.100 Minimum land use and site design standards.

Each campground in unincorporated areas shall meet the following standards:

A. Size. The minimum acreage for a campground shall be one-half acre.

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

1. No more than three camping units shall occupy any individual space in a campground at any time. Only one recreational vehicle shall occupy an individual space at any time, though a camping space may be occupied by one recreational vehicle and one or two tents. Group camping areas may be exempt from this camping unit threshold if they have a designated and limited user capacity.

2. No decks, porches, or other exterior additions shall be attached to a recreational vehicle or constructed or erected on a camping space; provided, however, that an awning designed as part of and permanently attached to a recreational vehicle shall be allowed.

3. Wheels and tires shall not be removed from any recreational vehicle. Wheels and tires may be removed from park model trailers, mobile, or manufactured homes with Chapter 16.08 CCC placement permit approval.

4. Skirting shall be allowed for temporarily parked units if below-unit utility connections are easily visible through removable panels, inspection windows, or other similar means.

5. Americans with Disabilities Act compliant access to an individual camping unit is allowed.

6. Grading and Surfacing. All camping spaces shall be graded nearly level. All-weather surfaces shall be provided for recreational vehicle pad areas.

7. Outdoor Communal Areas. To the extent possible, these areas should be located where noise does not trespass onto neighboring parcels.

8. Interior Fences, Screens, and Walls. Vegetative screening between spaces shall be allowed. No fence or wall shall be erected between camping unit spaces, except: (a) a retaining wall or a guardrail may be installed for safety purposes, or (b) fences to corral stock animals.

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

10. Natural and landscape vegetation shall be retained and maintained along exterior property lines and within exterior setback areas of the campground to the maximum extent possible.

11. Setback standards are as listed in Table 1:


Table 1 – Minimum Setback Standards 


With Space-Side Electricity

Without Space-Side Electricity

Camping space boundary to exterior side property line

See underlying zoning

Double the underlying zoning

Camping space boundary to exterior rear property line

See underlying zoning

Double the underlying zoning

Camping space boundary to exterior front property line

See underlying zoning

Distance between camping units on adjacent spaces

10 feet

Distance for camping unit from travel surface of interior roads

5 feet

Cabin or tent cabin setback from interior roads

5 feet

Distance between fire or barbecue pit and adjacent commercial forest land

100 feet

*Note: Building, fire code, and density bonus setbacks may exceed these minimum setbacks.

In addition, no camping unit shall be placed or parked within a required setback area. Uses in setback areas shall be restricted to underground utility lines, exterior boundary fences or security posts, and landscape vegetation; provided, a towed passenger vehicle, other than a recreational vehicle, may be parked within an internal front yard setback area required for an individual camping unit space.

C. Exterior Screening. To reduce undue intrusions of noise, light, odors, or foot traffic, exterior boundaries shall be fenced and/or screened with vegetation.

1. Fences shall be no less than six feet in height, and shall be sight obscuring. Any such fence shall be installed prior to operation. Any fence shall be neutral in color and blend with the surrounding area. The fencing requirement may be waived if the campground owner is also the owner of the contiguous residence.

2. Vegetative screening shall be no less than five feet tall within one year of operation. Plantings must not be more than five feet apart and shall grow to form a continuous border. Vegetative screening species should be hardy and adapted to the local habitat. Vegetative screening shall be continuously maintained in a neat and tidy manner.

3. Campgrounds adjacent to areas designated Economic Resource Land – Forest Resource Land or Remote in the Comprehensive Plan may propose alternatives to screening where long-term land use compatibility can be demonstrated.

4. Campgrounds adjacent to areas not designated Economic Resource Land – Forest Resource Land or Remote in the Comprehensive Plan may propose screening alternatives documented in a landscaping plan.

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

1. Campgrounds shall have legal and permanent access to an improved public or private road.

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

3. All interior roads shall be constructed to county fire apparatus access standards. All-weather surfaces shall be provided for all roads and parking areas.

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

5. Two-way interior roads shall be constructed with a minimum surface width of 20 feet, and shall be designated “no parking.”

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

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

E. Stormwater. Stormwater facilities shall be designed pursuant to CCC Title 16.

F. Parking. A campground shall meet the following parking standards:

1. There shall be no on-street parking, except where additional width, parking stall striping, and signage affords access to emergency and service vehicles.

2. Parking shall be provided at or near each camping space and campground office or entrance

3. Guest parking stalls must be provided throughout the park at a minimum of one parking stall per eight camping spaces.

4. Automobile parking spaces shall not be required at camping spaces dedicated to walk-in hikers or touring cyclists.

G. Septage Disposal. Campgrounds shall be served by sanitary sewer, septic systems, improved vault toilets, or other means pursuant to state and county regulations, and as approved by the County Health Official.

H. Density. The standard maximum density for campgrounds shall not exceed 15 camping spaces per gross acre; provided, that such density is compatible with neighborhood land uses and meets all other standards within this section. Density may further increase to a maximum of 25 camping spaces per gross acre with:

1. The provision of extra vegetative screening to neighboring parcels as proposed through a landscaping plan; and

2. All fire pits are prohibited within 100 feet of all exterior property lines and communal fire pits should be placed with consideration of hazard to the surrounding environment.

I. Lighting. Lighting shall be provided at internal intersections and outdoor communal areas. Lighting shall not be required at primitive campgrounds. All lighting shall be shielded to limit trespass onto neighboring parcels and roads.

J. Fire Protection. Fire safety precautions shall be provided as required by CCC 16.05.080, as written or hereafter amended, and:

1. Fire pits and barbecue pits shall be affixed to the ground.

2. Fire and barbecue pits shall be set back 100 feet from exterior property lines that abut commercial forest land as defined by this chapter. Community fire pits are encouraged.

K. Caretaker Units. Up to three caretaker units may be allowed per campground and recreation facility for the use of the owner, operators, or caretakers. A caretaker unit may be a permanent dwelling, manufactured home, modular unit, temporary camping vehicle, or temporary camping space, and shall meet the following requirements:

1. Caretaker units may have full utility connections designed for permanent use.

2. Up to three manufactured homes may be permanently placed in accordance with Chapter 16.08 CCC for residential occupancy by caretaker staff.

3. The density of caretaker units shall not exceed the densities otherwise allowed in the Comprehensive Plan and Land Use Ordinance.

4. Accessory dwelling units shall not be permitted within facilities subject to this chapter.

L. Manufactured and Modular Units. Mobile and manufactured homes shall not be allowed to be placed or stored within facilities subject to this chapter, except as allowed in subsection K of this section. Additional manufactured homes and/or modular structures not to be used for human habitation or dwelling purposes may be placed on site so long as their occupancy and placement conform with the applicable requirements of the International Building Code.

M. Accessory Uses. Accessory uses may be allowed. The appropriateness of all proposed accessory uses and their compatibility with adjacent land uses will be considered as part of the site plan review. Each accessory use or structure shall be accessible by improved pedestrian path.

N. Lodging units are allowed if the proposed density is permitted within the Comprehensive Plan and Land Use Ordinance.

O. Open Space and Recreation. A minimum eight percent of the total site area within the campground shall be set aside as open space or set aside and developed for active or passive recreation space. [Ord. 23-055 § 1, 7-11-23.]

18.56.110 Site development.

Following preliminary site plan approval, the applicant shall proceed with completion of engineering plans and specifications for roads, water, sewage disposal, drainage and stormwater treatment, power, cable, and other utility services. Following approval of the engineering plans and specifications, construction of the campground may commence in conformance with the approved plans and specifications. Any deviation from the approved plans shall be subject to written approval from the Director. Following installation and construction of the required improvements, as-built plans for the water system, sewage disposal system, road construction, storm drainage, and other improvements shall be prepared and certified by an engineer registered in the state of Washington. Two copies of the certified as-built plans shall be submitted with the final binding site plan. [Ord. 23-055 § 1, 7-11-23.]

18.56.120 Final binding site plan approval.

A. Per RCW 58.17.035, a binding site plan is required for all campgrounds subject to this chapter.

B. The Director shall grant final site plan approval if they find that the proposed campground satisfies the following:

1. The requirements of this chapter relating to final binding site plans;

2. The approved preliminary site plan;

3. Conditions of preliminary site plan approval.

C. Campgrounds with preliminary site plan approved phasing shall only receive final binding site plan approval for phases with permitted, installed, and complete infrastructure.

D. The operator of a campground must establish and publicly display rules for the management of the campground. The rules shall include, at a minimum: the approved number of spaces and type of spaces, campground-wide; the manager’s contact details; and outdoor fire policies.

E. The Director shall make available to the applicant and to the public its decision and findings of fact upon which its decision is based. [Ord. 23-055 § 1, 7-11-23.]

18.56.125 Final binding site plan approval – Certification and recording.

A. Any expansion in the number of camping spaces shall reference the binding site plan previously approved through Cowlitz County Code or include all existing campground areas in the new binding site plan.

B. The final site plan shall be drawn at scale in black ink on 18-inch by 24-inch paper. The final site plan shall contain, but not be limited to, all information necessary to demonstrate conformance with the preliminary site plan approval:

1. Location of all roads, camping spaces, parking spaces, complete legal description, external setbacks, open space, exterior fencing or buffering, property lines, stormwater systems, easements, restrooms, showers, sanitation systems including septic or sewer systems, fire hydrants and reservoirs, solid waste disposal sites, cabins, caretaker unit locations, permanent buildings and other structures;

2. Identification of critical areas and human-made waterways impacting the campground, and necessary critical area buffer(s). Appropriate buffer restriction language must be included on the site plan;

3. The site number and location of each camping space; additionally, the total number of camping spaces, campground-wide, must be written on the site plan. An inset may be used to show a typical camping space and illustrate setbacks and space improvements in lieu of showing individual setbacks and improvements for each camping space;

4. Signature block for the following county officials: Director, Health Official, County Engineer, County Treasurer, and County Auditor, or authorized designees or deputies;

5. Signature block of all individuals having interest in the property, certified by a notary public;

6. Other information as may be required by the Director.

C. Signature. After circulating the final site plan to county officials for signature, the Director shall sign the final binding site plan pursuant to CCC 18.56.120.

D. Recording. The original shall be recorded with the County Auditor’s signature and a copy shall be retained in the Department. The applicant shall pay the recording fee. A campground shall not be considered approved until the final binding site plan has been signed by the Director, and recorded with the County Auditor. [Ord. 23-055 § 1, 7-11-23.]

18.56.130 Violations – Penalties.

A. Any person, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to the general penalties in CCC 1.01.090, and subject to a gross misdemeanor in violating or assisting in the violation of Chapter 58.17 RCW. Each person, firm or corporation found guilty of a violation shall be deemed guilty of a separate offense for every day during any portion of which any violation of any provision of this chapter is committed, continued or permitted by such person, firm or corporation and shall be punishable therefor as provided for herein. The violation of any provision of this chapter shall also be subject to civil infraction and penalties under Chapter 2.06 CCC.

B. Notwithstanding the existence or use of any other remedy, the Director may seek legal or equitable relief to enjoin any acts or practices and abate as a public nuisance any conditions or actions which constitute or will constitute a violation of this chapter and other regulations incorporated within this chapter. [Ord. 23-055 § 1, 7-11-23.]

18.56.150 Fees and charges.

A. Fees and charges for processing preliminary and final campground site plans, checking and approving plans and specifications, performing inspections, recording final site plans, holding hearings, processing appeals, and other administrative actions under this chapter, shall be as from time to time established by resolution of the Board.

B. The preliminary approval or final approval shall be transferable from one person to another person at the same location. Written notice shall be provided to the Building and Planning Department upon change of ownership. [Ord. 23-055 § 1, 7-11-23.]

18.56.155 Variances.

A variance from the numerical standards in this chapter may be granted pursuant to CCC 18.10.340 through 18.10.355, except the following:

A. Under CCC 18.56.100(E) Stormwater; (H) Density; (K) Caretaker Units.

B. The expansion standards under CCC 18.56.055. [Ord. 23-055 § 1, 7-11-23.]

18.56.160 Appeals.

A person aggrieved by a decision under this chapter may appeal said decision to the Hearing Examiner pursuant to CCC 2.05.060. [Ord. 23-055 § 1, 7-11-23.]