Subtitle 20.6. Shoreline Master Program

Chapter 20.60


20.60.010    Title.

20.60.020    Introduction.

20.60.030    Purpose.

20.60.040    Authority.

20.60.050    Applicability.

20.60.060    Administration.

20.60.070    Relationship to other plans and regulations.

20.60.080    Interpretation.

20.60.090    Liberal construction.

20.60.100    Violations and penalties.

20.60.110    Moratoria authority and requirements.

20.60.200    Definitions – General provisions.

20.60.210    “A” definitions.

20.60.211    “B” definitions.

20.60.212    “C” definitions.

20.60.213    “D” definitions.

20.60.214    “E” definitions.

20.60.215    “F” definitions.

20.60.216    “G” definitions.

20.60.217    “H” definitions.

20.60.218    “I” definitions.

20.60.219    “J” definitions.

20.60.221    “L” definitions.

20.60.222    “M” definitions.

20.60.223    “N” definitions.

20.60.224    “O” definitions.

20.60.225    “P” definitions.

20.60.226    “Q” definitions.

20.60.227    “R” definitions.

20.60.228    “S” definitions.

20.60.229    “T” definitions.

20.60.230    “U” definitions.

20.60.231    “V” definitions.

20.60.232    “W” definitions.

20.60.010 Title.

Chapters 20.60 through 20.67 MMC, in combination with Sub-Element 2.1 of the Medina comprehensive plan, shall be known as, and may be cited as, the “Medina shoreline master program.” (Ord. 906 § 3 (Att. A), 2014)

20.60.020 Introduction.

The Shoreline Management Act of 1971 (Act) was adopted by the public in a 1972 referendum “to prevent the inherent harm in an uncoordinated and piecemeal development of the state’s shorelines.”

A. The Act advances the following broad policies:

1. Encourage water-dependent uses along the shoreline;

2. Protect the resources and ecology of the shoreline; and

3. Promote public access of the shoreline environment.

B. The Act, and the city, recognizes the protection of private property rights while aiming to preserve the quality of unique shoreline resources.

C. The primary purpose of the Act is to provide for the management and protection of shoreline resources by planning for reasonable and appropriate uses through a coordinated planning program between the state and local jurisdictions. (Ord. 906 § 3 (Att. A), 2014)

20.60.030 Purpose.

The purpose of the shoreline master program is to:

A. Carry out the responsibilities imposed by the Act;

B. Promote the public health, safety and general welfare by guiding future development of shoreline resources within the city;

C. Comply with the shoreline master program guidelines set forth in Chapter 173-26 WAC; and

D. Maximize habitat value while considering values of recreational activities and viewshed opportunities. (Ord. 976 § 2, 2019; Ord. 906 § 3 (Att. A), 2014)

20.60.040 Authority.

Chapters 20.60 through 20.67 MMC are adopted under the authority of Chapter 90.58 RCW and Chapter 173-26 WAC. (Ord. 906 § 3 (Att. A), 2014)

20.60.050 Applicability.

A. The requirements of the shoreline master program apply to all uses and development occurring within the city’s shoreline jurisdiction as defined in RCW 90.58.030 including:

1. Lake Washington; and

2. Areas extending landward 200 feet from the ordinary high water mark of Lake Washington.

B. Shoreline jurisdiction shall not include buffer areas for wetlands or streams that occur within shorelines jurisdiction, except those buffers contained within lands extending landward 200 feet from the ordinary high water mark of Lake Washington. (Ord. 906 § 3 (Att. A), 2014)

20.60.060 Administration.

A. All uses and development proposals within the shoreline area should be evaluated in terms of the shoreline master program. All uses and development proposals, including those that do not require a permit, must comply with the policies and regulations established by the Act as expressed through the shoreline master program.

B. The director is vested with responsibility for administering the shoreline master program consistent with this shoreline master program and applicable provisions of the Act.

C. No development may be undertaken or is authorized unless it is consistent with the policies and provisions of the shoreline master program and the Act.

D. Shoreline permits, and shoreline exemptions, shall be processed in accordance with this chapter, the requirements set forth in Chapter 20.80 MMC, and the approval criteria specified for shoreline permits set forth in Chapters 20.70 through 20.72 MMC.

1. Within five days of the final decision on a shoreline permit and/or any shoreline variances or conditional use permits, the director shall notify the following agencies and persons of the final approval:

a. The applicant;

b. Any person who has submitted written comments on the application; and

c. Any person who has requested notification in writing prior to final approval of the permit.

2. The director shall submit the shoreline permit to the State Department of Ecology by return receipt requested mail pursuant to WAC 173-27-130.

3. No work may commence on a project requiring a shoreline substantial development, shoreline variance, or shoreline conditional use permit until 21 days following the “date of filing” or, if the permit is appealed, until all review proceedings before the shoreline hearings board have terminated. For purposes of this chapter, “date of filing” has the following meanings:

a. “Date of filing” for a substantial development permit is the date of actual receipt of the decision by the Department of Ecology.

b. “Date of filing” for a shoreline variance or shoreline conditional use permit shall mean the date the permit decision rendered by the Department of Ecology is transmitted by the Department to the city and the applicant/proponent.

c. “Date of filing” for a substantial development permit transmitted simultaneously with a shoreline conditional use permit or variance, or both, has the same meaning as subsection (D)(3)(b) of this section. (Ord. 976 § 3, 2019; Ord. 906 § 3 (Att. A), 2014)

20.60.070 Relationship to other plans and regulations.

A. The Medina comprehensive plan provides the underlying planning framework within which the shoreline master program fits. The policies found in the shoreline management sub-element of the comprehensive plan are incorporated as an element of the shoreline master program.

B. The shoreline master program shall apply as an overlay and in addition to: zoning, land use regulations, development regulations, and other regulations established by the city.

C. In the event of a conflict between the regulations in this shoreline master program and any other applicable regulations of the city, the regulation that provides the greater protection of shoreline ecological functions and aquatic habitat shall prevail. (Ord. 906 § 3 (Att. A), 2014)

20.60.080 Interpretation.

A. The director is authorized to make written interpretations of the shoreline master program whenever necessary for clarification or to resolve a conflict within these regulations. Interpretations are a Type 1 decision processed pursuant to Chapter 20.80 MMC.

B. Any person may submit a written request for an interpretation to the director, or the director may issue an interpretation on their own initiative.

C. A request for an interpretation shall address the following decision criteria:

1. The defined or common meaning of the word or words in the provision;

2. The general purpose of the provision as expressed in the section or chapter where the provision is found;

3. The logical or likely meaning of the provision viewed in relation to the Act and the shoreline master program;

4. Consistency with the policies and provisions set forth in Chapter 90.58 RCW, and Chapters 173-26 and 173-27 WAC;

5. Consistency with the goals and policies set forth in the shoreline sub-element of the Medina comprehensive plan; and

6. Consistency with other elements of the shoreline master program.

D. The director shall consult with the Washington State Department of Ecology for consistency of the interpretation with the Act and the shoreline master program before issuing a written interpretation.

E. A written interpretation shall have the effect and be enforced as if it is part of the shoreline master program.

F. A record of all written interpretations shall be maintained by the city and be available for public inspection and copying during regular business hours. (Ord. 906 § 3 (Att. A), 2014)

20.60.090 Liberal construction.

As provided in RCW 90.58.900, the Shoreline Management Act is exempted from the rule of strict construction; the Act and the shoreline master program shall therefore be liberally construed to give full effect to the purposes, goals, objectives, and policies for which the Act and the shoreline master program were enacted and adopted, respectively. (Ord. 906 § 3 (Att. A), 2014)

20.60.100 Violations and penalties.

Violation of any provision of the shoreline master program shall be subject to the enforcement provisions and penalties set forth in Chapter 1.15 MMC and WAC 173-27-240 through 173-27-310. (Ord. 906 § 3 (Att. A), 2014)

20.60.110 Moratoria authority and requirements.

A. Pursuant to RCW 90.58.590, the city may adopt moratorium control or other interim control.

B. To adopt a moratorium control or other interim control, the city must:

1. Hold a public hearing on the date of adoption, or within 60 days of the date of adoption;

2. Adopt detailed findings of fact that include, but are not limited to, justifications for the proposed or adopted actions and explanations of the desired and likely outcomes;

3. Notify the Department of the moratorium or control immediately after its adoption. The notification must specify the time, place, and date of any public hearing required by this subsection;

4. Provide that all lawfully existing uses, structures, or other development shall continue to be deemed lawful conforming uses and may continue to be maintained, repaired, and redeveloped, so long as the use is not expanded, under the terms of the land use and shoreline rules and regulations in place at the time of the moratorium.

C. A moratorium or control adopted under this section may be effective for up to six months if a detailed work plan for remedying the issues and circumstances necessitating the moratorium or control is developed and made available for public review.

D. A moratorium or control may be renewed for two six-month periods if the local government complies with subsection (B) of this section. (Ord. 976 § 4, 2019)

20.60.200 Definitions – General provisions.

A. Words in this shoreline master program used in the singular shall include the plural, and the plural shall include the singular, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

B. The definitions in this chapter shall apply to the shoreline master program and they should be used in conjunction with other definitions found in this title. However, these definitions are not intended to replace or alter similar definitions found elsewhere within the Medina Municipal Code except where specifically applied to the shoreline master program. (Ord. 906 § 3 (Att. A), 2014)

20.60.210 “A” definitions.

“Accessory dwelling unit” means a dwelling unit subordinate to a single-family dwelling unit which:

1. Is located within the single-family dwelling unit; or

2. Is located within an accessory building as defined by the zoning code.

“Accessory structure, use or activity” means a structure or part of a structure, use, or activity, which is incidental and subordinate to a permitted principal use or building.

“Act” means Chapter 90.58 RCW, the Shoreline Management Act of 1971, as hereafter amended.

“Adult family home” means a residential home in which a person or persons provide personal care, special care, room, and board to more than one but not more than six adults who are not related by blood or marriage to the person or persons providing the services; provided, however, any limitation on the number of residents resulting from this definition shall not be applied if it prohibits the city from making reasonable accommodations to disabled persons in order to afford such persons equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling as required by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, 42 U.S.C. 3604(f)(3)(b).

“Agricultural activities” means agricultural uses and practices as defined in WAC 173-26-020 and amendments thereto.

“Alteration” means any human-induced action which changes and/or impacts the existing conditions of a critical area or buffer. Alterations include, but are not limited to, grading, filling, dredging, draining, channelizing, cutting of trees, clearing (vegetation), paving, construction, compaction, excavation, dumping, demolition, or any other activity that changes the character of the critical area.

“Alternative energy facilities” means energy generating facilities using (1) wind; (2) solar energy; (3) geothermal energy; or (4) wave or tidal action where such facilities have noncommercial purposes, primarily supports the use that the facilities are accessory to, and comply with local development regulations.

“Anadromous fish” means fish that spawn and rear in fresh water and mature in the marine environment.

“Applicant” means a person who files an application for permits who is either the owner of the land on which that proposed activity would be located, a contract purchaser, or the authorized agent of such a person.

“Aquaculture” means the culture or farming of food fish, shellfish, or other aquatic plants and animals.

“Aquaculture, accessory” means the noncommercial culture or farming of food fish, shellfish, or other aquatic plants and animals, which is located on the same lot of a principal use such as a single-family dwelling, and in which such activity does not produce noise, odors, or other impacts that negatively affect adjacent property owners’ enjoyment of their property.

“Average grade level” means the average of the natural or existing topography of the portion of the lot, parcel, or tract of real property which will be directly under the proposed building or structure. In the case of structures to be built over water, average grade level shall be the elevation of the ordinary high water mark. Calculation of the average grade level shall be made by averaging the ground elevations at the midpoint of all exterior walls of the proposed building or structure. (Ord. 924 § 23, 2015; Ord. 906 § 3 (Att. A), 2014)

20.60.211 “B” definitions.

“Beach enhancements” means native materials and vegetation, and occasionally combinations of other appropriate materials, used for stabilizing the shoreline, and for aquatic habitat restoration, or both. The enhancements may occur landward or waterward of the ordinary high water line.

“Best available science” means current scientific information used in the process to designate, protect, or restore critical areas, that are derived from a valid scientific process as defined by WAC 365-195-900 through 365-195-925. 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 Washington State Department of Commerce.

“Best management practices” means 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 ground water flow, circulation patterns, and to the chemical, physical, and biological characteristics of streams and 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 of Medina shall monitor the application of best management practices to ensure that the standards and policies of this title are adhered to.

“Bioengineering” means project designs or construction methods that use live woody vegetation or a combination of live woody vegetation and specially developed natural or synthetic materials to establish a complex root grid within the existing bank that is resistant to erosion, provides bank stability, and maintains a healthy riparian environment with habitat features important to fish life.

“Biotechnical engineering” means any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof to make or modify products or processes for specific use. An example would be the use of cuttings to stabilize slopes and establish vegetation.

“Boat launch” means graded slopes, slabs, pads, planks, or rails used for launching boats by means of a trailer, hand, or mechanical device.

“Boat lift” means any lift for motorized boats, kayaks, canoes and jet skis; including floating lifts that are designed to not contact the substrate of the lake; ground-based lifts that are designed to be in contact with or supported by the substrate of the lake; and suspended lifts that are designed to be affixed to the existing overwater structure with no parts contacting the substrate.

“Boathouse” means an overwater structure with walls and a roof designed for the storage of boats, but does not include covered moorage.

“Breakwater” means a protective structure that is normally built offshore to provide protection from wave action.

“Buffer” means an area contiguous to a critical area that is required for the continued protection, maintenance, functioning, and/or structural stability of a critical area.

“Bulkhead” means a vertical or nearly vertical erosion protection structure placed parallel to and near the ordinary high water line and/or the ordinary high water mark consisting of concrete, timber, steel, rock, or other permanent material for the purpose of protecting adjacent wetlands and uplands from waves and currents.

“Buoys” means a floating object anchored in water used to mark a location, warn of danger, or indicate a navigational channel. (Ord. 976 § 5, 20191; Ord. 924 § 24, 2015; Ord. 906 § 3 (Att. A), 2014)

20.60.212 “C” definitions.

“Canopy” means a cover installed as a component of a boat lift.

“Change in water regime” means the change in the prevailing pattern of water flow over a given time. More specifically, it refers to the duration and timing of flooding resulting from surface water, precipitation, and ground water inflow.

“Channel migration zone (CMZ)” means the lateral extent of active stream channel movement over the past 100 years. Evidence of active movement over the 100-year time frame can be inferred from aerial photos or from specific channel and valley bottom characteristics. A time frame of 100 years was chosen because aerial photos, maps and field evidence can be used to evaluate movement in this time. A CMZ is not typically present if the valley width is generally less than two bank full widths, is confined by terraces, no current or historical aerial photographic evidence exists of significant channel movement, and there is no field evidence of secondary channels with recent scour from stream flow or progressive bank erosion at meander bends. Areas separated from the active channel by legally existing artificial channel constraints that limit bank erosion and channel avulsion without hydraulic connections shall not be considered within the CMZ.

“Clearing” means cutting, grubbing or removing vegetation or other organic plant material by physical, mechanical, chemical or any other similar means. For the purpose of this definition of clearing, “cutting” means the severing of the main trunk or stem of woody vegetation at any point.

“Compensatory mitigation” means replacing project-induced critical area losses or impacts, and includes, but is not limited to, the following:

1. Restoration. Actions performed to reestablish critical area 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 critical area.

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

3. Enhancement. Actions performed to improve the condition of existing degraded critical areas so that the functions they provide are of a higher quality.

“Covered moorage” means any structure having a roof, but not walls, that is permitted pursuant to MMC 20.65.100 to cover or shelter a moorage space or pier. This does not include boat lifts with a translucent canopy attached to the lift as provided for under MMC 20.65.120.

“Covered moorage area” means the gross area of the roof of the covered moorage structure projected on the surface or surfaces below.

“Critical areas” means critical areas as defined in RCW 36.70A.030 and amendments thereto. (Ord. 976 § 6, 20192; Ord. 924 § 25, 2015; Ord. 906 § 3 (Att. A), 2014)

20.60.213 “D” definitions.

“Deck” means a structure attached to a wall of a building designated, established, and/or installed to provide outdoor living, cooking, and/or recreation, some sides of which are open and which may or may not have a permanent overhead covering.

“Development” means a use consisting of the construction or exterior alteration of structures; dredging; drilling; dumping; filling; removal of any sand, gravel, or minerals; bulk heading; driving of piling; placing of obstructions; or any project of a permanent or temporary nature which interferes with the normal public use of the surface of the waters overlying lands subject to the act at any stage of water level. Development does not include dismantling or removing structures if there is no other associated development or redevelopment.

“Diameter breast height or DBH” means the diameter measurement in inches of the outside bark of a tree trunk, measured at four and one-half feet above the surrounding existing ground surface. The DBH for multi-trunk trees forking below the four-and-one-half foot mark is determined by measuring the diameter of the tree trunk at the narrowest part of the main stem below the tree fork. The DBH for multi-trunk trees splitting at ground level is determined by taking the square root of the sum of all squared stem DBHs.

“Director” means the city manager or designee.

“Dock” means a structure that floats on the surface of the water, without piling supports, and which may be attached to the shore or may be anchored to submerged land. Dock facilities may include wharves, boat moorage, swimming, public access, and other activities that require access to deep water.

“Dolphin” means a spar, buoy or piling used for mooring watercraft.

“Drainage facility” means the system of collecting, conveying and storing surface and storm runoff. Drainage facilities shall include but not be limited to all surface and stormwater runoff conveyance and containment facilities including streams, pipelines, channels, ditches, infiltration facilities, retention/detention facilities, and other drainage structures and appurtenances.

“Dredging” means the removal, displacement, or disposal of unconsolidated earth material such as sand, silt, gravel, or other submerged materials, from the bottom of water bodies, ditches, or natural wetlands; maintenance dredging and/or support activities are included in this definition.

“Drip line, tree” means the area directly located under the outer circumference of the tree branches.

“Dwelling” means a living space or combination of rooms designed to provide independent year-round living facilities for one family or household, including household staff and guest, constructed to the minimum standards of the building or HUD code, and with provisions for sleeping, eating and sanitation.

“Dwelling, multifamily” means a residential structure containing two or more dwellings.

“Dwelling, single-family” means a residential structure containing one dwelling. (Ord. 976 § 7, 20193; Ord. 924 § 26, 2015; Ord. 906 § 3 (Att. A), 2014)

20.60.214 “E” definitions.

“Ecological functions, shoreline ecological functions” means the work performed or role played by the physical, chemical, and biological processes that contribute to the maintenance of the aquatic and terrestrial environments constituting the shoreline’s natural ecosystem.

“Ecosystem-wide processes” means the suite of naturally occurring physical and geologic processes of erosion, transport, and deposition; and specific chemical processes that shape landforms within a specific shoreline ecosystem and determine both the types of habitat and the associated ecological functions.

“Ell” means a terminal pier section oriented perpendicular, diagonal or linear to the pier walkway.

“Emergent wetland” means a regulated wetland with at least 30 percent of the surface area covered by erect, rooted, herbaceous vegetation extending above the water surface as the uppermost vegetative strata.

“Erosion” means the process whereby wind, rain, water, and other natural agents mobilize and transport particles.

“Erosion hazard areas” means at least those areas identified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service as having a “moderate to severe,” “severe,” or “very severe” rill and inter-rill erosion hazard.

“Existing grade” means the ground elevation existing on the building site at the time an application for a building or other development permit is filed at the city.

“Exotic” means any species of plants or animals which are foreign to the planning area. (Ord. 924 § 27, 2015; Ord. 906 § 3 (Att. A), 2014)

20.60.215 “F” definitions.

“Fair market value” of a development is the open market bid price for conducting the work, using the equipment and facilities, and purchase of the goods, services and materials necessary to accomplish the development. This would normally equate to the cost of hiring a contractor to undertake the development from start to finish, including the cost of labor, materials, equipment and facility usage, transportation and contractor overhead and profit. The fair market value of the development shall include the fair market value of any donated, contributed or found labor, equipment or materials.

“Feasible” means an action, such as a development project, mitigation, or preservation requirement, that meets all of the following conditions:

1. Can be accomplished with technologies and methods that have been used in the past in similar circumstances, or studies or tests that have demonstrated in similar circumstances that such approaches are currently available and likely to achieve the intended results;

2. Provides a reasonable likelihood of achieving its intended purpose; and

3. Does not physically preclude achieving the project’s primary intended legal use.

The burden of proving infeasibility is on the applicant in cases where these guidelines require certain actions. In determining an action’s infeasibility, the city or the Department of Ecology may weigh the action’s relative public costs and public benefits, considered in the short- and long-term time frames.

“Fill” means for the purpose of the shoreline master program the placement of soil, sand, rock, gravel, sediment, earth retaining structure or other material to an area waterward of the ordinary high water mark, in wetlands, or on shorelands in a manner that raises the elevation or creates dry land.

“Finger” means a narrow pier section projecting from the pier walkway, typically perpendicular to the walkway and located landward of an ell in order to form the near-shore side of a boat-slip.

“Fish and wildlife habitat conservation” means areas that serve a critical role in sustaining needed habitats and species for the functional integrity of the ecosystem, and which, if altered, may reduce the likelihood that the species will persist over the long term. These areas may include, but are not limited to, rare or vulnerable ecological systems, communities, and habitat or habitat elements including seasonal ranges, breeding habitat, winter range, and movement corridors; and areas with high relative population density or species richness. These areas include:

1. Areas with which state or federally designated endangered, threatened, and sensitive species have a primary association;

2. Habitats of local importance, including, but not limited to, areas designated as priority habitat by the Department of Fish and Wildlife;

3. Naturally occurring ponds under 20 acres and their submerged aquatic beds that provide fish or wildlife habitat, including those artificial ponds intentionally created from dry areas in order to mitigate impacts to ponds;

4. Waters of the state, including lakes, ponds, streams, inland waters, underground waters, and all other surface waters and watercourses within the jurisdiction of the state of Washington;

5. State natural area preserves and natural resource conservation areas; and

6. Land essential for preserving connections between habitat blocks and open spaces.

“Fish and wildlife habitat conservation area” means land management for maintaining species in suitable habitats within their natural geographic distribution so that isolated subpopulations are not created as designated by WAC 365-190-130.

“Float” means a structure that floats on the surface of the water that is not attached to the shore, but that may be anchored to submerged land. Floats are typically used for swimming, diving and similar recreational activities.

“Float plane and helicopter moorage” means a facility where water-based aircraft and/or helicopter are secured for moorage.

“Flood or flooding” means a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from the overflow of inland waters and/or the unusual and rapid accumulation of runoff of surface waters from any source.

“Flood protection elevation” means the elevation that is one foot above the base flood elevation.

“Floodplain” is synonymous with 100-year floodplain and means that land area susceptible to inundation with a one percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.

“Forest practices” means any activity conducted on or directly pertaining to forest land and relating to growing, harvesting, or processing timber.

“Forested wetland” means a regulated wetland with at least 30 percent of the surface area covered by woody vegetation greater than 20 feet in height that is at least partially rooted within the wetland.

“Freestanding fence or wall” means a structure located above grade that is intended to provide a barrier for privacy, security or safety.

“Functions and values” means 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; ground water recharge and discharge; erosion control; wave attenuation; protection from hazards; historical, archaeological and aesthetic value protection; and recreation. These beneficial roles are not listed in order of priority. (Ord. 924 § 28, 2015; Ord. 906 § 3 (Att. A), 2014)

20.60.216 “G” definitions.

“Gabion” means a structure composed of masses of rocks or rubble held tightly together by wire mesh (typically) so as to form upright blocks or walls.

“Geologically hazardous areas” means areas that may not be suited to development consistent with public health, safety or environmental standards, because of their susceptibility to erosion, sliding, earthquake, or other geologic events as designated by WAC 365-190-120. In the city of Medina, types of geologically hazardous areas include erosion, landslide, and seismic hazards.

“Geotechnical report” or “geotechnical analysis” means a scientific study or evaluation conducted by a qualified expert that includes a description of the ground and surface hydrology and geology, the affected land form and its susceptibility to mass wasting, erosion, and other geologic hazards or processes, conclusions and recommendations regarding the effect of the proposed development on geologic conditions, the adequacy of the site to be developed, the impacts of the proposed development, alternative approaches to the proposed development, and measures to mitigate potential site-specific and cumulative geological and hydrological impacts of the proposed development, including the potential adverse impacts to adjacent and down-current properties. Geotechnical reports shall conform to accepted technical standards and must be prepared by qualified professional engineers or geologists who have professional expertise about the regional and local shoreline geology and processes.

“Grading” means the movement or redistribution of the soil, sand, rock, gravel, sediment, or other material on a site in a manner that alters the natural contour of the land.

“Ground water” means water in a saturated zone or stratum beneath the surface of land or a surface water body.

“Growth Management Act” means Chapter 36.70A RCW, as amended.

“Grubbing” means to clear by digging up roots and/or stumps. (Ord. 924 § 29, 2015; Ord. 906 § 3 (Att. A), 2014)

20.60.217 “H” definitions.

“Habitat conservation areas” means areas designated as fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas.

“Hazard areas” means areas designated as geologically hazardous areas due to potential for erosion, landslide, seismic activity, or other geologic condition.

“Height” is the vertical distance measured from the average grade level to the highest point of a structure.

“Horticultural activities” means cultivating plants, especially flowers, fruit, and vegetables, in gardens or greenhouses.

“Houseboat” means a structure designed and operated substantially as an overwater residence. Houseboats are not vessels and lack adequate self-propulsion and steering equipment to operate as a vessel.

“Hydraulic project approval (HPA)” means a permit issued by the State Department of Fish and Wildlife for modifications to waters of the state in accordance with Chapter 75.20 RCW.

“Hydric soil” means a soil that is saturated, flooded or ponded long enough during the growing season to develop anaerobic conditions in the upper part. The presence of hydric soil shall be determined following the methods described in the approved federal wetland delineation manual and applicable regional supplements.

“Hydrophytic vegetation” means macrophytic plant life growing in water or on a substrate that is at least periodically deficient in oxygen as a result of excessive water content. The presence of hydrophytic vegetation shall be determined following the methods described in the approved federal wetland delineation manual and applicable regional supplements. (Ord. 924 § 30, 2015; Ord. 906 § 3 (Att. A), 2014)

20.60.218 “I” definitions.

“Impervious surface” means any hard surface area which either prevents or retards the entry of water into the soil mantle as it would otherwise enter under natural conditions preexisting to development, or any hard surface area which causes water to run off the surface in greater quantities or at an increased rate of flow as it would otherwise under natural conditions preexisting to development. Examples include impenetrable materials such as asphalt, concrete, brick, stone, wood and rooftops.

“Isolated wetland” means those wetlands that are outside of and not contiguous to any 100-year floodplain of a lake, river, or stream, and have no contiguous hydric soil or hydrophytic vegetation between the wetland and any surface water. (Ord. 924 § 31, 2015; Ord. 906 § 3 (Att. A), 2014)

20.60.219 “J” definitions.

“Joint aquatic resource permits application (JARPA)” means a single application form that may be used to apply for shoreline management permits, approvals of exceedance of water quality standards, water quality certifications, Coast Guard bridge permits, Department of Natural Resources use authorization, and Army Corps of Engineers permits.

“Joint-use or shared” means overwater structures that are constructed for private use by more than one property owner. (Ord. 924 § 32, 2015; Ord. 906 § 3 (Att. A), 2014)

20.60.221 “L” definitions.

“Land division” means the division or re-division of land into lots, tracts, parcels, sites or divisions for the purpose of sale, lease, or transfer of ownership.

“Land surface modification” means any movement or modification of earth material on any site.

“Landslide hazard areas” means areas that are potentially subject to risk of mass movement due to a combination of geologic, topographic, and hydrologic factors. These areas are typically susceptible to landslides because of a combination of factors including bedrock, soil, slope (gradient), slope aspect, geologic structure, ground water, hydrology, or other factors.

“Lot” means a measured piece of land having fixed boundaries and designated on a plot or survey.

“Lot area” means the dry land area landward of the ordinary high water line.

“Lot area, net” means the lot area exclusive of the area of any vehicular private lane, vehicular right-of-way, vehicular access easement, or any areas unbuildable due to the presence of critical areas as defined in Chapter 20.67 MMC.

“Low impact development” means a set of techniques that mimic natural watershed hydrology by slowing, evaporating/transpiring, and filtering water that allows water to soak into the ground closer to its source.

“Low impact development best management practices (LID BMPs)” means any one of several distributed stormwater management practices, integrated in a site, that emphasize pre-disturbance hydrologic processes of infiltration, filtration, storage, evaporation and transpiration. LID BMPs include, but are not limited to: bioretention, rain gardens, permeable pavements, dispersion, and water re-use. Further information can be found in the stormwater manual adopted under MMC 20.43.200. (Ord. 976 § 8, 20194; Ord. 924 § 33, 2015; Ord. 906 § 3 (Att. A), 2014)

20.60.222 “M” definitions.

“Marina” means a private or public facility providing the purchase and/or lease of a slip for storing, berthing and securing motorized boats or watercraft, including both long-term and transient moorage.

“Mining” means the removal of sand, gravel, soil, minerals, and other earth materials for commercial and other uses.

“Mitigation” means avoiding, minimizing or compensating for adverse critical areas impacts. Mitigation, in the following order of preference, is:

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

2. Minimizing impacts by limiting the degree or magnitude of the action and its implementation, by using appropriate technology, or by taking affirmative steps, such as project redesign, relocation, or timing, to avoid or reduce impacts;

3. Rectifying the impact to wetlands and habitat conservation areas by repairing, rehabilitating or restoring the affected environment to the conditions existing at the time of the initiation of the project;

4. Minimizing or eliminating the hazard by restoring or stabilizing the hazard area through engineered or other methods;

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

6. Compensating for the impact to wetlands and habitat conservation areas by replacing, enhancing, or providing substitute resources or environments; and

7. Monitoring the hazard or other required mitigation and taking remedial action when necessary.

Mitigation for individual actions may include a combination of the above measures.

“MMC” means Medina Municipal Code.

“Moorage” means a place where a boat or vessel may be secured.

“Moorage buoy” means a floating object anchored to provide a mooring place away from the shore.

“Moorage pile” means a piling to which a boat is tied up to prevent it from swinging with changes of wind, waves or other similar functions.

“Moorage structure” means those installations or facilities including piers, wharves, platforms, ramps, dolphins, buoys, quays, or bulkheads, or any place or structure connected with the shore or upon shorelands provided for the securing of a boat or waterborne craft. (Ord. 924 § 34, 2015; Ord. 906 § 3 (Att. A), 2014)

20.60.223 “N” definitions.

“Native growth protection area (NGPA)” means an area where native vegetation is preserved for the purpose of preventing harm to property and the environment, including, but not limited to, controlling surface water runoff and erosion, maintaining slope stability, buffering and protecting plants and animal habitat.

“Native plants” means plant species which are native to the Puget Sound lowlands.

“Native vegetation” means plant species that are indigenous to the area in question.

“Natural or existing topography” means the topography of the lot, parcel, or tract of real property immediately prior to any site preparation or grading, including excavation or filling.

“Non-water-oriented uses” means uses that are not water-dependent, water-related, or water-enjoyment.

“Nonconforming structure” means a building or structure that does not comply with the required setbacks, height, structural coverage and other development requirements of the shoreline master program, but was lawfully constructed prior to the effective date of the Act or shoreline master program or subsequent amendments thereto and was continually maintained in accordance with MMC 20.66.090. This term applies whether or not the nonconformity was permitted by a variance.

“Nonconforming use” means any activity, development, or condition that by the shoreline master program is not permitted outright or permitted as an accessory use, or is not permitted by a conditional use permit or other special permitting process; but was lawfully created prior to the effective date of the Act or shoreline master program or subsequent amendments thereto and was continually maintained in accordance with MMC 20.66.090. A nonconforming use may or may not involve buildings or structures and may involve part of, or all of, a building or property.

Nonindigenous. See “Exotic.” (Ord. 924 § 35, 2015; Ord. 906 § 3 (Att. A), 2014)

20.60.224 “O” definitions.

“Ordinary high water line” is obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and typically means an elevation of approximately 21.8 feet for Lake Washington above sea level based on the National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD) of 1929. This elevation must be converted to the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD88) per city of Bellevue control points within the city of Medina and typically means an elevation of approximately 18.7 feet above sea level.

“Ordinary high water mark” means on all lakes, streams, and tidal water is that mark 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 character distinct from that of the abutting upland, in respect to vegetation as that condition exists on June 1, 1971, as it may naturally change thereafter, or as it may change thereafter in accordance with permits issued by the city or Department of Ecology; provided, that in any area where the ordinary high water mark cannot be found, the ordinary high water mark adjoining fresh water shall be the line of mean high water.

“Outfall” means a structure used for the discharge of stormwater or sewer system into a receiving water. (Ord. 906 § 3 (Att. A), 2014)

20.60.225 “P” definitions.

“Patio” means a hard 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.

“Pervious” means, as opposed to impervious surfaces, these are surfaces that allow water to pass through at rates similar to pre-developed conditions or better. Pervious surfaces, include, but are not limited to: pervious asphalt, pervious concrete, pervious gravel, grass or pervious pavers.

“Pier” means a platform built on pilings or similar structures that projects over, and is raised above, the water and is attached to land, and that is used for boat moorage, swimming, fishing, public access, or similar activities requiring access to deep water.

“Piling” means the structural supports for piers, usually below the pier decking and anchored in the water.

“Ponds” means areas of open water fed by springs, or fed by natural and enhanced drainage ways, which are so intrinsically associated with a wetland, stream or natural watercourse as to merit protection under the provisions of this title.

“Practical alternative” means an alternative that is available and capable of being carried out after taking into consideration cost, existing technology, and logistics in light of overall project purposes, and having fewer impacts to critical areas.

“Priority habitat” means habitat type or elements with unique or significant value to one or more species as classified by the Department of Fish and Wildlife. A priority habitat may consist of a unique vegetation type or dominant plant species, a described successional stage, or a specific structural element (WAC 173-26-020(28)).

“Provisions” means policies, regulations, standards, guideline criteria or environment designations.

“Public access” means the ability of the general public to reach, touch, and enjoy the water’s edge, to travel on the waters of the state, and to view the water and the shoreline.

“Public interest” means the interest shared by the citizens of the state or community at large in the affairs of government, or some interest by which their rights or liabilities are affected including, but not limited to, an effect on public property or on health, safety, or general welfare resulting from a use or development. (Ord. 924 § 36, 2015; Ord. 906 § 3 (Att. A), 2014)

20.60.226 “Q” definitions.

“Qualified professional” means a person with relevant education, experience and training, as determined by the city, in biological fields such as botany, fisheries, wildlife, soils, ecology, and similar areas of specialization. (Ord. 906 § 3 (Att. A), 2014)

20.60.227 “R” definitions.

“Reconstruction” as prescribed in MMC 20.66.090 means to undertake construction within and/or on an existing building or structure which has a valid construction permit with fair-market construction costs greater than 60 percent of the replacement cost of the existing building or structure being rebuilt. All project phases necessary to result in a habitable building must be included. The construction cost shall be valid for a period beginning on the date of permit issuance and ending 18 months after the date the permit is finalized by the city.

“Recreational uses” means facilities designed consistent with MMC 20.64.020 and used to provide recreational opportunities to the public.

“Repair” means to restore something broken or damaged to good condition.

“Replacement” means a new structure or development that is comparable to the original structure or development including but not limited to its size, shape, configuration, location, and external appearance, except that soft shore stabilization measures that provide restoration of shoreline ecological functions and are replacing existing hard stabilization may be considered replacement.

“Replacement cost” as prescribed in MMC 20.66.090 means the square footage of the structure multiplied by local building costs per square foot, or a similar method of calculation.

“Residential use” means development in which people sleep and prepare food, other than developments used for transient occupancy. As used in the shoreline master program residential development includes single-family development (known as detached dwelling unit) and the creation of new residential lots through land division.

“Restoration” when used with Chapter 20.67 MMC means measures taken to restore an altered or damaged natural feature including:

1. Active steps taken to restore damaged wetlands, streams, protected habitat, or their buffers to the functioning condition that existed prior to an unauthorized alteration; and

2. Actions performed to reestablish structural and functional characteristics of the critical area that have been lost by alteration, past management activities, or catastrophic events.

“Restore,” “restoration” or “ecological restoration” means the reestablishment or upgrading of impaired ecological shoreline processes or functions. This may be accomplished through measures including, but not limited to, re-vegetation, removal of intrusive shoreline structures and removal or treatment of toxic materials. Restoration does not imply a requirement for returning the shoreline area to aboriginal or pre-European settlement conditions.

“Retaining wall” means a structure upland of the ordinary high water mark designed to support soil at a steeper angle than the soil could stand on its own. (Ord. 976 § 9, 20195; Ord. 924 § 37, 2015; Ord. 906 § 3 (Att. A), 2014)

20.60.228 “S” definitions.

“Scrub-shrub wetland” means a regulated wetland with at least 30 percent of its surface area covered by woody vegetation less than 20 feet in height as the uppermost strata.

“Seismic hazard areas” means areas that are subject to severe risk of damage as a result of earthquake-induced ground shaking, slope failure, settlement, soil liquefaction, lateral spreading, or surface faulting.

Sensitive Areas. See “Critical areas.”

“SEPA” means the Washington State Environmental Policy Act, Chapter 43.21C RCW.

“Shoreline areas” and “shoreline jurisdiction” means all “shorelines of the state” and “shorelands” as defined in RCW 90.58.030.

“Shoreline habitat and restoration” means activities conducted for the purpose of establishing, restoring, or enhancing habitat for priority species in shorelines.

“Shoreline master program” means the Medina shoreline master program adopted pursuant to Chapter 90.58 RCW and Chapter 173-26 WAC.

“Shoreline modifications” means those actions that modify the physical configuration or qualities of the shoreline area, usually through the construction of a physical element such as a dike, breakwater, pier, weir, dredged basin, fill, bulkhead, or other shoreline structure. They can include other actions, such as clearing, grading, or application of chemicals.

“Shoreline setback” means the distance measured in feet that a structure or improvement must be located from the ordinary high water line of Lake Washington.

“Shoreline stabilization” means protecting shoreline upland areas and shoreline uses from the effects of shoreline wave action, flooding or erosion. Shoreline stabilization can be separated into the following categories:

1. “Nonstructural” includes the planting or re-planting of native vegetation, beach enhancement and similar nonstructural measures;

2. “Structural” includes the use of structures such as bulkheads, revetments, cribs, and gabions made of hard materials such as stone, concrete or timber;

3. “Bioengineering” includes the use of vegetation, both through planting and for structural purposes such as live staking, brush layering, and brush matting;

4. “Biotechnical measures” includes the combination of bioengineering approaches with some degree of structural design such as matting or vegetated gabion walls or mattresses, vegetated cribbing, vegetated rip rap, or keyed native toe-boulders.

“Shoreline stabilization, hard structural” means shoreline erosion control practices using hardened structures that armor and stabilize the shoreline from further erosion. Hardening materials typically include concrete, boulders, dimensional lumber or similar materials.

“Shoreline stabilization, soft structural” means shoreline erosion control practices that contribute to restoration, protection or enhancement of shoreline ecological functions such as the use of bioengineering and biotechnical measures.

“Shorelines” means all of the water areas of the state, including reservoirs, and their associated shorelands together with the lands underlying them, except (1) shorelines of statewide significance; (2) shorelines on segments of streams upstream of a point where the mean annual flow is 20 cubic feet per second or less and the wetlands associated with such upstream segments; and (3) shorelines on lakes less than 20 acres in size and wetlands associated with such small lakes.

“Significant vegetation removal” means the removal or alteration of trees, shrubs, and/or groundcover by clearing, grading, cutting, burning, chemical means, or other activity that causes significant ecological impacts to functions provided by such vegetation. The removal of invasive or noxious weeds does not constitute significant vegetation removal. Tree pruning, not including tree topping, where it does not affect shoreline ecological functions, does not constitute significant vegetation removal.

“Soil survey” means the most recent soil survey for the local area or county by the National Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Species” means any group of animals classified as a species or subspecies as commonly accepted by the scientific community.

“Species, endangered” means any fish or wildlife species or subspecies 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.

“Species of local importance” means those species of local concern due to their population status or their sensitivity to habitat manipulation, or that are game species.

“Species, priority” means any fish or wildlife species requiring protective measures and/or management guidelines to ensure their persistence as genetically viable population levels as classified by the Department of Fish and Wildlife, including endangered, threatened, sensitive, candidate and monitor species, and those of recreational, commercial, or tribal importance.

“Species, threatened” means any fish or wildlife species or subspecies 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.

“Steep slope” means any area with a slope of 40 percent or steeper and with a vertical relief of 10 or more feet except areas composed of consolidated rock. A slope is delineated by establishing its toe and top and measured by averaging the inclination over at least 10 feet of vertical relief.

“Stream” means a course or route, formed by nature or modified by humans and generally consisting of a channel with a bed, banks, or sides throughout substantially all its length, along which surface waters, with some regularity (annually in the rainy season), naturally and normally flow in draining from higher to lower lands. This definition does not include specially designed irrigation and drainage ditches, grass-lined swales, canals, stormwater runoff devices, or other courses unless they are used by salmonids or to convey watercourses that were naturally occurring prior to construction.

“Structure” means a permanent or temporary edifice or building, or any piece of work artificially built or composed of parts joined together in some definite manner, whether installed on, above, or below the surface of the ground or water, except for vessels.

“Substantial destruction” as prescribed in MMC 20.66.090 means to remove more than 60 percent of the existing exterior wall framing of a building or structure, as measured by the horizontal linear length of all exterior walls. Any partial removal of existing framing shall count towards the measurement of horizontal linear length the same as if the entire framing within that horizontal linear length was removed, except partial removal shall not include replacement of windows or doors when no beams or struts are removed. (Ord. 924 § 38, 2015; Ord. 906 § 3 (Att. A), 2014)

20.60.229 “T” definitions.

“Toxic runoff” means water runoff from rain, melted snow, or irrigation that contains pollution, dirt, and/or chemicals, that are deposited into ponds, lakes, waters, and underground sources of drinking water.

“Tram” means an electrically driven transport vehicle that runs on rails, overhead cables, or similar structure to move passengers and goods up and down a hillside. (Ord. 976 § 10, 2019; Ord. 906 § 3 (Att. A), 2014)

20.60.230 “U” definitions.

“Utilities” means services, facilities and infrastructure that produce, transmit, carry, store, process or dispose of electric power, gas, water, sewage, communications, oil, stormwater, and similar services and facilities. (Ord. 906 § 3 (Att. A), 2014)

20.60.231 “V” definitions.

“Vessel” includes ships, boats, barges or any other floating craft which are designed and used for navigation and do not interfere with the normal public use of the water. (Ord. 906 § 3 (Att. A), 2014)

20.60.232 “W” definitions.

“Wall framing,” as prescribed in MMC 20.66.090, means the assemblage of beams and struts that provide a support structure to which interior and exterior wall coverings are attached. Wall framing shall not include the horizontal ceiling joists and sloping rafters used for the roof.

“Water-dependent use” means a use or portion of a use which cannot exist in a location that is not adjacent to the water and which is dependent on the water by reason of the intrinsic nature of its operations.

“Water-enjoyment use” means a recreational use or other use that facilitates public access to the shoreline as a primary characteristic of the use; or a use that provides for recreational use or aesthetic enjoyment of the shoreline for a substantial number of people as a general characteristic of the use and which through location, design, and operation ensures the public’s ability to enjoy the physical and aesthetic qualities of the shoreline. In order to qualify as a water-enjoyment use, the use must be open to the general public and the shoreline-oriented space within the project must be devoted to the specific aspects of the use that foster shoreline enjoyment.

“Water frontage” means the extent of land abutting water as measured pursuant to MMC 20.63.050(A)(2)(c).

“Water-oriented use” means a use that is water-dependent, water-related, or water-enjoyment, or a combination of such uses.

“Water quality” means the physical characteristics of water within shoreline jurisdiction, including water quantity, hydrological, physical, chemical, aesthetic, recreation-related, and biological characteristics. Where used in this chapter, the term “water quantity” refers only to development and uses regulated under this chapter and affecting water quantity, such as impermeable surfaces and stormwater handling practices. Water quantity, for purposes of this chapter, does not mean the withdrawal of ground water or diversion of surface water pursuant to RCW 90.03.250 through 90.03.340.

“Water-related use” means a use or portion of a use which is not intrinsically dependent on a waterfront location but whose economic viability is dependent upon a waterfront location because:

1. The use has a functional requirement for a waterfront location such as the arrival or shipment of materials by water or the need for large quantities of water; or

2. The use provides a necessary service supportive of the water-dependent uses and the proximity of the use to its customers makes its services less expensive and/or more convenient.

“Waterfront structure” means any structure built at or along the shoreline or over the shorelands and including particularly bulkheads and moorage facilities.

“Wetland” or “wetlands” means areas that are inundated or saturated by surface water or ground water 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. 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 created to mitigate conversion of wetlands.

“Wireless communication facilities” means the same as given in MMC 20.12.240. (Ord. 906 § 3 (Att. A), 2014)


Code reviser’s note: Ord. 976 did not take into account the amendments of Ord. 924. The strike-through/underline in Ord. 976 has been followed, so that this section retains the amendments of Ord. 924.


Code reviser’s note: Ord. 976 did not take into account the amendments of Ord. 924. The strike-through/underline in Ord. 976 has been followed, so that this section retains the amendments of Ord. 924.


Code reviser’s note: Ord. 976 did not take into account the amendments of Ord. 924. The strike-through/underline in Ord. 976 has been followed, so that this section retains the amendments of Ord. 924.


Code reviser’s note: Ord. 976 did not take into account the amendments of Ord. 924. The strike-through/underline in Ord. 976 has been followed, so that this section retains the amendments of Ord. 924.


Code reviser’s note: Ord. 976 did not take into account the amendments of Ord. 924. The strike-through/underline in Ord. 976 has been followed, so that this section retains the amendments of Ord. 924.