Chapter 14.01


14.01.005    Purpose and intent.

14.01.010    Scope.

14.01.015    Construction.

14.01.020    Rules of interpretation.

14.01.030    Definitions.

Legislative history: Ord. 97-406.

14.01.005 Purpose and intent.

The purposes of this title are to:

A. Combine, consolidate and streamline the application, review, approval and appeal processes for land development occurring in the city.

B. Describe the city’s land development procedures in clear, concise, and understandable terms.

C. Comply with state guidelines for combining and expediting development review.

D. Integrate environmental review with development review.

E. Provide applicants, staff, the public and decision-makers with necessary and sufficient information to enable more thorough review of activities and their impacts and to allow considered and comprehensive decisions.

F. Enable the director to take appropriate, timely enforcement actions. (Ord. 2009-702 § 2 (Exh. C); Ord. 2005-609 § 2)

14.01.010 Scope.

This title shall apply to all development regulated by MCMC Titles 14 through 18. (Ord. 2009-702 § 2 (Exh. C); Ord. 2005-609 § 2)

14.01.015 Construction.

This title shall be interpreted and applied to ensure full, timely and appropriate review of all development actions occurring in the city. In the event of any ambiguity in the application of this title or its terms to any activity, the director shall apply the interpretation best able, in his/her determination, to meet the purposes of this title. (Ord. 2009-702 § 2 (Exh. C); Ord. 2005-609 § 2)

14.01.020 Rules of interpretation.

A. For the purposes of the development code, all words used in the code shall have their normal and customary meanings, unless specifically defined otherwise in this code.

B. Words used in the present tense include the future.

C. The plural includes the singular and vice versa.

D. The words “will” and “shall” are mandatory.

E. The word “may” indicates that discretion is allowed.

F. The word “used” includes designed, intended, or arranged to be used.

G. The masculine gender includes the feminine and vice versa.

H. Distances shall be measured horizontally unless otherwise specified.

I. The word “building” includes a portion of a building or a portion of the lot on which it stands.

J. When calculations result in a fraction, the fraction shall be rounded to the nearest whole number as follows:

1. Fractions of 0.50 or above shall be rounded up; and

2. Fractions of less than 0.50 shall be rounded down. (Ord. 2010-717 § 2 (Exh. B); Ord. 2009-702 § 2 (Exh. C); Ord. 2005-609 § 2)

14.01.030 Definitions.

The following definitions shall apply to MCMC Titles 14 through 18; other definitions may be found in individual titles.

A. “A” Definitions.

“Accessory building” means a building that is subordinate to the principal building and is incidental to the use of the principal building on the same lot.

“Accessory dwelling unit” means a second dwelling unit that is subordinate to and located on the same lot as a principal residence and includes provisions for independent cooking, living, sanitation, and sleeping. Accessory dwelling units may be either attached to a principal single-family residence or an accessory building, and may not be subdivided or segregated in ownership from the principal residence.

“Accessory structure” means a structure that is subordinate to the principal building and is incidental to the use of the principal building on the same lot.

“Accessory use” means a use that is clearly incidental and subordinate to the principal use on the same lot.

“Adjacent” being in close proximity; may or may not imply contact but always implies absence of anything of the same kind in between.

“Administrative decision” means a formal decision by the planning/building/public works or finance director of the city of Mill Creek, or authorized designee.

“Adult business” means any business which sells, rents, displays, or provides adult stock-in-trade depicting, describing, or relating to specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas, or engages in or permits specified sexual activities on the premises, and which excludes any person by virtue of age from all or part of the premises. Adult businesses include, but are not limited to:

1. Bath house.

2. Bookstore in which 10 percent or more of the stock-in-trade is adult stock-in-trade.

3. Cabaret which presents go-go dancers, strippers, male or female impersonators, or similar entertainment.

4. Massage parlor in which massage or touching of the human body is provided for a fee.

5. Motel, hotel, or similar commercial establishment which:

a. Offers accommodations to the public for any form of consideration and provides patrons with closed-circuit television transmissions, films, motion pictures, videos or video cassettes, DVDs, CDs, electronic media, memory devices, or transmission, slides or other photographic reproductions, or any other services which are characterized by the depiction of specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas, and which has a sign visible from the public right-of-way which advertises the availability of such photographic reproductions; or

b. Offers or allows use of a sleeping room for rent for a period of time that is less than 20 consecutive hours; or

c. Allows a tenant or occupant of a sleeping room to subrent the room for a period of time that is less than 20 consecutive hours.

6. Retail store in which 10 percent or more of the stock-in-trade is adult stock-in-trade.

7. Sauna parlor.

8. Theater, including a building, portion of a building, enclosure or drive-in theater, concert hall, auditorium, or similar establishment which, for any form of consideration, features adult stock-in-trade, or live or recorded performances characterized by exposure of specified anatomical areas or performance of specified sexual activities.

9. Video store in which 10 percent or more of the stock-in-trade is adult stock-in-trade.

“Adult day care” is a daytime program for an adult who needs some level of care but doesn’t need the level of care provided by an RN or rehabilitative therapist. Services in most adult day care programs include help with personal care, social services and activities, education, routine health monitoring, general therapeutic activities, a nutritious meal and snacks, coordination of transportation, first aid, and emergency care.

“Adult family home” means a residential home licensed by the state 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.

“Adult stock-in-trade” means all books, pictures or other printed materials, products or equipment, closed-circuit television transmissions, films, motion pictures, videos or video cassettes, DVDs, CDs, electronic media, memory devices or transmission, slides, or other photographic reproduction, or similar material distinguished or characterized by an emphasis on matter depicting, describing or relating to specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas where such material is generally available for rental, purchase, viewing, or use by patrons of the establishment, excluding material located in any storeroom or other portion of the premises not regularly open to patrons.

“Alteration” means a change or rearrangement of the structural parts of existing facilities or an enlargement by extending the side or increasing the height or depth or moving from one location to another. In buildings for businesses, commercial, industrial or similar uses, the installation or rearrangement of partitions affecting more than one-third of a single floor area shall be considered an alteration.

“Antenna” means a wire or system of wires, rods, poles, or similar devices, or satellite dishes used for the transmission or reception of electromagnetic waves, external to or attached to the exterior of any building.

“Applicant” means a person, partnership, corporation, association, limited liability corporation, or government agency who files an application under MCMC Titles 14 through 18 and who is either the owner, a contract vendee, an authorized agent, or a lessee of the land on which the proposed activity would be located.

“Assisted living facility” means a facility that provides either permanent or temporary residence for senior citizens and which provides common dining areas, although some facilities may offer kitchen facilities in the individual rooms as well. Some facilities may offer minor health services on-site, such as a resident nurse. An assisted living facility is not a nursing home, adult family home, or residential care facility.

B. “B” Definitions.

“Binding site plan” means a site-specific plan for development which meets the purposes of and has the attributes and characteristics as described in Chapter 16.12 MCMC and as authorized by Chapter 58.17 RCW.

“Block” means a group of continuous lots, tracts, or parcels within well defined and fixed boundaries.

“Boarding house” means a dwelling unit or part of a dwelling, not including a motel or hotel, in which not more than four roomers, lodgers or boarders are housed or fed for compensation. Boarding house rooms may not contain kitchens.

“Boundary structure” means landscape features such as masonry walls, rockeries, fences, and other low structures used to visually define yard areas.

“Building” means a structure having a roof for the shelter of persons, animals, or property.

“Building area, building site” means an area within a lot, or site upon which a building to accommodate the principal use of the lot could be practicably built, bound by the setbacks.

“Building code” means the International Building Code, promulgated by the International Code Conference and including all Washington State amendments and as modified and adopted by the city in Chapter 15.04 MCMC.

“Building, principal or main” means the building which accommodates the principal use of a site or lot.

“Business visit” means one individual trip made for the purpose of conducting business or receiving instruction, or for performing services, or for delivering goods or stock-in-trade.

C. “C” Definitions.

“Church” means the same as “religious facility” as defined in this section.

“City” means the city of Mill Creek.

“City council” means the city council of the city of Mill Creek.

“City manager” means the city manager of the city of Mill Creek or his designee.

“Closed record appeal” or “closed record hearing” means an appeal or hearing following an open record hearing and that is based on an existing evidentiary record. No new evidence is allowed, but the parties may make argument as to the appropriate findings and conclusions to be made from such evidence.

“Commercial child care center” is a facility licensed by the state providing regularly scheduled care in a nonresidential structure for a group of children one month of age through 12 years of age for periods less than 24 hours.

“Commercial recreation facilities” means public or private, indoor or outdoor facilities for recreation such as swimming pools, tennis courts, ball fields, play fields, recreational instruction, and the like.

“Commercial vehicle” means any vehicle that is used or maintained for the transportation of persons for hire or compensation, or for profit, or is designed, used, or maintained primarily for the transportation of property, goods and commodities; and:

1. Is a motor vehicle having a declared gross weight of 10,000 pounds or more; or

2. Is a motor vehicle having three or more axles.

“Community garden” means a use in which plants are grown and the land managed or used by a public or nonprofit organization, or a group of individuals, to grow and harvest food for donation or for use by those cultivating the land and their households.

“Comprehensive plan” means the Mill Creek comprehensive plan, adopted in 1994 pursuant to the Growth Management Act, Chapter 36.70A RCW, and as amended.

“Comprehensive plan amendment” means an amendment or change to the text or maps of the comprehensive plan, including all adopted subarea plans in accordance with Chapter 35.63 RCW.

“Conditional use” means certain uses in the city which, because of their potential impacts, unusual size, infrequent occurrence, possible safety hazards, or detrimental effects on surrounding properties, may be suitable only under specified conditions, in specific locations, or in certain zoning districts.

“Condominium” means real property for which a declaration and a survey map and plans have been recorded pursuant to Chapter 64.32 RCW.

“Congregate care facility/retirement home” means a residential facility designed for and occupied by at least one person per unit who is able to live independently and without 24-hour supervision, and providing centralized services for the residents including meals, recreation, housekeeping, laundry and transportation.

“Coverage, lot” means the total floor space of all buildings or structures on a site measured from the inside of the walls or supporting members. Structures with no walls shall be measured by calculating the total usable areas under a roof.

Critical Areas. See definition contained in Chapter 18.06 MCMC.

“Cul-de-sac” means a short street terminating in a vehicular turnaround space.

D. “D” Definitions.

“Date of decision” means the date on which final action occurs.

“Dedication” means a deliberate appropriation of land by its owner for any general and public uses, reserving to himself/herself no other rights than such as are compatible with the full exercise and enjoyment of the public uses to which the property has been devoted.

“Density” means the number of permitted dwelling units allowed on each acre of land or fraction thereof.

“Developer” means any person who proposes an action or seeks a permit regulated by MCMC Titles 14 through 18, inclusive.

“Development” or “development proposal” means any land use permit or action regulated by MCMC Titles 14 through 18, including but not limited to subdivisions, binding site plans, rezones, conditional use permits, building permits, grading permits, site work, installation of utilities, reasonable use exceptions, and variances.

“Development activity” means any construction or expansion of a building, structure, or use, any change in use of a building or structure, or any changes in the use of land, that creates additional demand and need for public facilities.

“Development approval” means an approval issued by a body or officer within the city that authorizes a developer or applicant to take or initiate development actions within the city.

“Development code” means MCMC Titles 14 through 18.

“Director” means the director of community development or public works or his designee, as the context indicates.

“Driving surface” means that portion of a street intended for vehicular travel or parking.

“Duplex” means a building with two dwelling units, neither of which overlaps the other vertically.

“Dwelling unit” means a building or portion thereof providing complete housekeeping facilities for one family, including a kitchen. “Dwelling unit” does not include recreational vehicles.

E. “E” Definitions.

“Easement, access” means an easement created for the purpose of providing vehicular or pedestrian access to a property.

“Easement, conservation” means an easement held by the city, a public or nonprofit entity approved by the city, or by the property owner for the express purpose of protecting and conserving critical areas and their buffers.

“Eating and drinking establishment” means a retail establishment selling food and/or drink for consumption on the premises or for take-out, including accessory on-site food preparation. This definition includes, but is not limited to, restaurants, cafes, fast food, microbrew establishments, and espresso stands.

“Effective date” means the date a final decision becomes effective.

“Essential public facilities” means structures that are typically difficult to site, such as airports, state education facilities, state or regional transportation facilities as defined in RCW 47.06.140, state and local correctional facilities, solid waste handling facilities, and in-patient facilities including substance abuse facilities, mental health facilities, group homes, and secure community transition facilities, as defined in RCW 71.09.020.

“Examiner” or “hearing examiner” means the hearing examiner for the City of Mill Creek acting pursuant to Chapter 4.34 MCMC.

F. “F” Definitions.

“Family” means an individual or two or more persons related by genetics, adoption or marriage, or a group of five or fewer persons who are not related by genetics, adoption or marriage and none of whom are wards of the court.

“Family home child care” means a facility licensed by the state of Washington under Chapter 43.215 RCW and Chapter 170-295 WAC to provide direct care, supervision and early learning opportunities for 12 or fewer children, in the home of the licensee where the licensee resides and is the primary provider.

“Final decision,” “final approval” or “final development approval” means the last decision made by the highest body or office within the city having the authority to make such decision.

“Floor area, gross” means the total of the gross horizontal area of the floor or floors of all the buildings on a building site, measured from the exterior faces of the exterior walls, including elevator shafts and stairwells on each floor and all areas having a ceiling height of seven feet or more, but excluding all parking and loading spaces inside the building, unroofed areas, roofed areas open on two or more sides, areas having a ceiling height of less than seven feet, and basements used exclusively for storage or housing of fixed mechanical equipment or central heating or cooling equipment.

“Floor area, net” means the total of all floor area of a building, excluding stairwells, elevator shafts, mechanical equipment rooms, interior vehicular parking or loading, and all floors below the ground floor, except when used for human habitation or service to the public.

“Floor area ratio (FAR)” means a measure of development intensity equal to the gross floor area, divided by net on-site land area (square feet). Net on-site land area includes the area of an easement but does not include public right-of-way, critical areas, buffers, and open space tracts.

“Foster home” means a home licensed and regulated by the state and classified by the state as a foster home, providing care and guidance for not more than three unrelated juveniles.

G. “G” Definitions.

“Garage, parking or commercial” means a building used for storage, repair or servicing of motor vehicles as a commercial use.

“Garage, private” means an accessory building or space within the principal building used for storage of vehicles.

“Garden center” means a retail operation limited to sales of garden products such as soils, bark, rock, gravel, pavers, pots, plants and trees. Garden center may include a limited subsidiary yard waste collection component. For purposes of the foregoing, “yard waste” has the same meaning as the definition at MCMC 8.04.010(O).

“Greenbelt” means an area of vegetation, either native stock or replanted, in public or private ownership, lying outside and adjacent to the right-of-way line of streets or along real property lines. Greenbelts are intended to visually and physically screen and separate land uses or activities from each other.

“Group A home occupation” means a home occupation that meets all of the home occupation minimum standards and has no nonresident workers.

“Group B home occupation” means a home occupation that meets all of the home occupation minimum standards and has a maximum of one nonresident worker.

H. “H” Definitions.

“Hazardous waste” means all dangerous and extremely hazardous waste as defined in RCW 70.105.010(15), or its successor, except for moderate risk waste as set forth in RCW 70.105.010(17), or its successor.

“Hazardous waste storage” means the holding of hazardous waste for a temporary period as regulated by the State Dangerous Waste Regulations, Chapter 173-303 WAC, or its successor.

“Hazardous waste treatment” means the physical, chemical, or biological processing of hazardous waste for the purpose of rendering these wastes nondangerous or less dangerous, safer for transport, amenable for storage, or reduced in volume, as regulated by the State Dangerous Waste Regulations, Chapter 173-303 WAC, or its successor.

“Hazardous waste treatment and storage facility, on-site” means storage and treatment facilities which treat and store hazardous wastes generated on the same property.

“Health/athletic club” means a commercial establishment having members who pay a fee to use its health and fitness facilities and equipment or receive instruction.

“Hedge” means a fence or boundary formed by a dense row of shrubs or low trees.

“Height, building” means the vertical distance from the average of the lowest and highest point exposed by the finished ground level to the highest point of the building excluding chimneys.

“Home occupation” means an economic enterprise to make a product or perform a service that is conducted or operated within a residential dwelling unit, or building accessory to a residential dwelling unit, by the resident occupant or owner, and which use shall be clearly incidental and secondary to the residential use of the dwelling unit, including the use of the dwelling unit as a business address in a directory or as a business mailing address.

“Homeowners’ association” means an incorporated nonprofit organization formed or qualified under the laws of the state of Washington and operating under recorded land agreements.

“Hotel” means any building containing six or more guest rooms where lodging, with or without meals, is provided for compensation and where no provisions are made for cooking in any individual room or suite.

I. “I” Definitions.

“Improvement, site” means any public or private improvements to the property.

“Irregular lot” means a lot which is shaped so that application of setback requirements is difficult. Examples include a lot with a shape which is not close to rectangular, or a lot with no readily identifiable rear lot line.

J. “J” Definitions.

“Junk vehicle” means a vehicle certified under RCW 46.55.230 as meeting at least three of the following requirements:

1. Is three years old or older;

2. Is extensively damaged, such damage including but not limited to any of the following: a broken window or windshield, or missing doors, hoods, wheels, tires, motor, or transmission;

3. Is apparently inoperable;

4. Has an approximate fair market value equal only to the approximate value of the scrap in it;

5. Has expired tabs.

K. “K” Definitions.

“Kennel” means any animal facility (1) conducted or operated for a commercial purpose or as a commercial activity, regardless of the number of animals harbored; (2) where there are more than two litters of kittens and/or puppies in any license year; or (3) where more than four adult dogs, cats or combination thereof are kept or harbored for any purpose.

“Kitchen” or “kitchen facility” means an area within a building intended for the preparation and storage of food and containing all of the following:

1. An appliance for the refrigeration of food;

2. A stove or range utilizing gas or a 220 volt outlet; and

3. A sink.

L. “L” Definitions.

“Landscaping” means the installation of lawn, trees, shrubs, flowers, groundcover and similar items to enhance a property’s attractiveness, prevent erosion, improve security or for similar purposes.

“Lot” means a fractional part of divided lands having fixed boundaries, being of sufficient area and dimension to meet minimum zoning requirements for width and area. The term shall include tracts or parcels.

“Lot area” means the total horizontal area within the boundary lines of a lot, excluding any street right-of-way or access easement.

“Lot, corner” means a lot that has frontage on two or more streets where the streets meet.

“Lot depth” means the length of the lot measured on a line approximately perpendicular to the fronting street and midway between the side lot lines of the lot.

“Lot line” means any line enclosing the lot area.

“Lot line adjustment” means the adjustment of a boundary line between existing lots which results in no more lots than existed before the adjustment.

“Lot line, front” means the line separating any lot or parcel of land from a street right-of-way. On a through lot, the line abutting the street providing primary access to the lot.

“Lot line, rear” means a lot line or lines which are opposite and most distant from the front lot line.

“Lot line, side” means any lot line that is not a street or rear lot line.

“Lot of record” means an area or parcel of land as shown on an officially recorded plat or subdivision, or an area or parcel of land to which a deed or contract is officially recorded as a unit of property, or which is described by metes and bounds or as a fraction of a section.

“Lot, through” means a lot fronting on two streets that is not a corner lot.

“Lot width” means the distance between the side lot lines measured at right angles to the line establishing the lot depth at a point midway between the front lot line and the rear lot line. Any area used as an access easement shall be excluded from the computation of the lot width.

M. “M” Definitions.

“Major transit stop” means:

1. A stop on a high-capacity transportation system funded or expanded under the provisions of Chapter 81.104 RCW;

2. Commuter rail stops;

3. Stops on rail or fixed guideway systems, including transitways;

4. Stops on bus rapid transit routes or routes that run on high-occupancy vehicle lanes; or

5. Stops for a bus or other transit mode providing fixed route service at intervals of at least 15 minutes during peak hours of operation.

“Manager” or “city manager” means the city manager of the city of Mill Creek or his designee.

“Manufactured home” means a new single-family dwelling unit according to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards Act that has the attributes and characteristics described in RCW 59.20.030. In addition, a manufactured home shall meet the following requirements as specified in RCW 35A.21.312:

1. The manufactured home shall be set upon a permanent foundation, as specified by the manufacturer. The space from the bottom of the home to the ground shall be enclosed by concrete or an approved concrete product which can be either load-bearing or decorative;

2. The manufactured home shall comply with the design standards applicable to all other homes within the neighborhood in which the manufactured home is to be located;

3. The manufactured home shall be thermally equivalent to the State Energy Code; and

4. The manufactured home shall otherwise meet all other requirements for a designated manufactured home as specified in RCW 35.63.010.

“Massage therapist” means a person licensed as a massage therapist or one who specializes in the healing techniques of body massage to aid in physical healing.

“Microcell” means a wireless communication facility consisting of an antenna that is either: (1) four feet in height and with an area of not more than 580 square inches, or (2) if a tubular antenna, no more than four inches in diameter and no more than six feet in length.

“Mixed use” means a building or site with two or more different uses such as residential, office, manufacturing, retail, public or entertainment.

“Mobile home” means a structure built prior to June 15, 1976, transportable in one or more sections, that is built on a permanent chassis and is designed for residential use with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities. The term does not include a recreational vehicle or a manufactured home.

“Motel” means a building containing units which are used as individual sleeping units having their own private toilet facilities and sometimes their own kitchen facilities, designed primarily for the accommodation of transient automobile travelers. Accommodations for trailers are not included.

“Multi-family dwelling” means a building containing two or more dwelling units.

N. “N” Definitions.

“Nonconforming lot” means a lawfully established lot that does not conform to the provisions of the development code, but which complied with applicable regulations at the time it was established.

“Nonconforming structure” means a lawfully erected structure that does not conform with current development standards for its zone, but which complied with applicable regulations at the time it was established. Such structures may or may not be in compliance with other relevant building codes and regulations.

“Nonconforming use” means a lawfully established use that does not conform with the current use regulations for its zone district, but which complied with applicable regulations at the time the use was established.

“Nonresident worker” means an employee or other person who does not reside in the dwelling but who regularly performs services at the dwelling as part of, in pursuit of, or in furtherance of a home occupation.

“Nursing home or convalescent facility” means an establishment which provides full-time care for three or more chronically ill or infirm persons. Such care shall not include surgical, obstetrical or acute illness services.

O. “O” Definitions.

“Office” means a building or separately defined space within a building used for business. The use of an office does not include on-premises sales or manufacture of goods.

“Open record hearing” or “open record appeal” means a public hearing.

P. “P” Definitions.

“Park, public or private” means an open space use in which an area is permanently dedicated to recreational, aesthetic, educational or cultural use and generally is characterized by its natural and landscape features.

“Parking facilities” means a land area or building used for the storage of four or more vehicles excluding parking areas for single-family residences.

“Parking space” means an area accessible to vehicles and used exclusively or principally for temporary vehicle storage.

“Parking, tandem” means the parking of one motor vehicle behind another, in a space two car lengths long, but only one car length wide.

“Party of record” means any person who has (1) provided the city with a complete and accurate name and mailing address, and (2) who has either (a) testified at a public hearing or (b) submitted a written statement related to a development action during the applicable comment period.

“Person” means any person, firm, business, corporation, partnership or other associations or organization, marital community, municipal corporation, or governmental agency.

“Personal service” means businesses engaged in providing care of the corporeal person or his apparel, not including health care.

“Planned action” means a significant development proposal as defined in RCW 43.21C.031 as amended.

“Planned area development” means a flexible method of land development which accomplishes the purposes of Chapter 16.12 MCMC.

“Planned commercial/industrial development (PCID)” means a planned area development in which the principal use is commercial, is located on lands zoned for commercial or business park uses, and requires a binding site plan.

“Planned residential development (PRD)” means a planned area development in which the principal use is residential and meets the purpose and requirements of Chapter 16.12 MCMC.

“Plat” or “short plat” means a scale drawing of a subdivision showing lots, blocks, streets, or tracts, or other divisions or dedications of land to be subdivided.

“Plat, final” means a final drawing of a subdivision and dedications prepared for filing for record with the Snohomish County auditor and containing all elements and requirements set forth in the city’s development regulations, conditions of preliminary approval, and Chapter 58.17 RCW.

“Plat, final short” means a final drawing of a short subdivision and dedications prepared for filing for record with the Snohomish County auditor and containing all elements and requirements set forth in the city’s development regulations, conditions of preliminary approval, and Chapter 58.17 RCW.

“Plat, preliminary” means a drawing of a proposed subdivision of land into five or more individual lots showing the general layout of streets and alleys, lots, blocks, and other elements of a subdivision consistent with the requirements of the city subdivision regulations and Chapter 58.17 RCW.

“Plat, preliminary short” means a drawing of a proposed subdivision having four or fewer lots, showing the general layout of streets and alleys, lots, blocks, and other elements of a short plat consistent with the requirements of the city short plat regulations and Chapter 58.17 RCW.

“Primary or principal use” means the predominant use of the land or building to which all other uses are secondary.

“Private improvement” means any structure, site work, utility, or other improvement not located in a public right-of-way and whose benefit is not granted to the general public.

“Private parking” means parking facilities for the noncommercial use of the occupant and guests of the occupant.

“Professional services” means services provided to the general public by licensed professionals or persons in other generally recognized professions that use training or knowledge of a technical, scientific or academic discipline.

“Project” means a proposal for development.

“Property buffer” (also referred to on plats as “cutting preserve”) means a greenbelt of varying width located on private property intended to serve as a tree preservation area and/or to separate contiguous developments. The property buffer may be a separate tract or an easement across property and shall be clearly depicted on the face of a plat or binding site plan.

“Public facilities and utilities” means land or structures owned by or operated for the benefit of the public use and necessity, including but not limited to streets, roads, highways, sidewalks, street lighting system, traffic signals, domestic water systems, storm and sanitary systems, park and recreation facilities, schools and public buildings.

“Public hearing” means every open record hearing and every open record appeal hearing at which evidence is presented and testimony is taken for purposes of creating the administrative record supporting the decision under consideration.

“Public improvement” means an improvement required in connection with a development action under MCMC Title 16 intended or to be used by or for the benefit of the city or public. Examples include public streets, sidewalks, stormwater systems, trails, etc.

“Public meeting” means any meeting occurring under Chapter 42.30 RCW. Public meetings may include public hearings.

Q. “Q” Definitions. [Reserved].

R. “R” Definitions.

“Reader board sign” is a sign that is designed to allow the changing of the message, either by adding/removing plastic text or by means of electronic or digital text.

“Religious facility” means a church, monastery, convent, synagogue, temple, ministry, or other place of religious worship.

“Repair or maintenance” means an activity that restores the character, scope, size, or design of an area, structure, or use to its previously existing, authorized and undamaged condition. Activities that change the character, size, or scope of a project beyond the original design are not included in this definition.

“Retirement home” means a building or group of buildings which provide residential facilities, including a common kitchen and dining room but without full kitchen facilities (sink, oven or range, and refrigerator) in each unit, for residents 62 or more years in age, except for spouses, for whom there is no minimum age requirement. This definition excludes multi-family (attached) dwelling units, boarding and lodging houses, convalescent facilities, adult family homes, and group homes I and II.

“Rezone” means a change in classification from one zoning district to another.

“Roadway buffer/cutting preserve” means a greenbelt lying outside and adjacent to the right-of-way line of all collector and arterial roadways. Roadway buffers/cutting preserves shall be separate, designated tracts and depicted on the face of a plat or binding site plan.

S. “S” Definitions.

“School” means a facility utilized by an organization whose principal purpose is to provide instruction; including but not limited to public schools, private schools and preschools.

“Screen” or “screening” means a continuous fence, hedge or combination of both which obscures vision through 80 percent or more of the screen area, not including drives or walkways.

“Secondary use” means a use, subordinate to the primary use, which may exist only when a primary use is existing on the same lot. The floor area of a secondary use must be less than that devoted to the primary use.

“Security device” means a bond, letter of credit, cash deposit, secured instrument or any other mechanism approved by and meeting the requirements of the city for the purpose of ensuring the performance or completion of some act authorized or permitted under the development code.

“Setback” means the minimum distance required by this title for buildings to be set back from the street side or rear lot lines, rights-of-way or access easements.

“Setback area” means the lot area between the lot lines and the setback lines.

“Setback line” means a line which is parallel to a lot line or access easement located at the distance required by the setback.

“Sign” means any structure, graphic display or medium, including merchandise, its structure and component parts, that is used or intended to be used to attract attention to the subject matter for advertising purposes. Signs do not include sculptures, wall paintings, murals, collages, and other design features determined to be public art by the city.

“Sign area” means the area of the smallest rectangle that can be drawn around all parts of the sign from the viewpoint exposing the largest surface area, excluding simple support structures. Sign supporting structures which are part of the sign display shall be included in the area of the rectangle.

“Sign, attached” means a sign permanently attached to or mounted on a building.

“Sign face” means any side of a sign which contains advertising or a graphic display which is visible to the public.

“Sign, freestanding” means any sign not attached to a building.

“Sign, off-site” means a permanent sign not located on the same lot as the business or use it is intended to serve.

“Sign, permanent” means a sign nailed, glued, screwed or similarly fastened to foundation systems capable of holding it in position under an imposed wind load of 25 pounds per square foot or the design requirements of Chapter 23 of the Building Code.

“Sign, roof” means a sign attached to or supported on the roof of a structure or building that extends above the parapet or roof of the supporting building.

“Sign, temporary” means a sign or advertising display intended to be displayed for a limited period of time or for a fixed event and not permanently affixed to a structure or the ground.

“Sign, wall” means any sign painted, attached or erected against the wall of a building or structure.

“Single-family dwelling, attached” means a one-family dwelling attached to only one other one-family dwelling.

“Single-family dwelling, detached” means a building containing only one dwelling unit which is not attached to any other dwelling by any means except fences and is surrounded by open space or yards. A manufactured home is considered a single-family detached dwelling. A recreational vehicle or a mobile home is not considered a single-family detached dwelling.

“Site plan” means a scale drawing which shows the areas and locations of all buildings, streets, roads, improvements, easements, utilities, open spaces and other principal development features for a specific parcel of property.

“Site plan, binding” means a site plan reviewed and approved pursuant to this title and Chapter 16.12 MCMC, containing the inscriptions or attachments setting forth the limitations and conditions of use for a specific parcel of property and meeting the requirements of the Snohomish County auditor for recording.

“Specified anatomical areas” means less than completely or opaquely covered human genitals, pubic region, buttock, or female breast below a point immediately above the top of the areola, or human male genitals in a discernibly turgid state, even if completely or opaquely covered.

“Specified sexual activities” means acts of human masturbation, sexual intercourse, oral copulation, bestiality or sodomy; fondling or other erotic touching of human genitals, pubic region, buttock or female breast; or human genitals in a state of sexual stimulation or arousal.

“Stock-in-trade” means any item or good that: (1) is produced, purchased, processed, finished or fabricated as part of a home occupation, or (2) is incorporated into any such item, or (3) is used to make, manufacture, produce, process, finish or fabricate any such item, or (4) is intended for resale on site; provided, that it does not include samples.

“Street” means a public or private right-of-way or easement which provides vehicle access to more than three lots or potential lots.

“Street lot line” means the lot line or lines along the edge of a street.

“Street setback” means the minimum distance required for buildings to be set back from the right-of-way.

“Structure” means a combination of materials constructed and erected permanently in or on the ground or attached to something having a permanent location on the ground, not including utility poles and related ground- or pad-mounted equipment, residential fences less than six feet high, retaining walls, rockeries, and other similar improvements of a minor character less than three feet high.

“Subdivision” means a division of land into five or more lots, tracts or other divisions.

“Subdivision” includes resubdivision of previously subdivided land.

“Subdivision code” means MCMC Title 16.

“Subdivision, short” means a division of land into four or fewer lots or tracts.

T. “T” Definitions.

“Temporary building or structure” means a building or structure not having or requiring permanent attachment to the ground or to other structures which have no required attachment to the ground.

“Townhouse” means a multiple dwelling unit meeting the following criteria: (1) no dwelling unit overlapping another vertically; (2) common side walls joining units; and (3) not more than six dwelling units in one structure.

“Tract or parcel” means a portion of a subdivision having fixed boundaries, not including lot.

“Tree survey” means a map portraying groups of trees, or the location of individual trees over eight inches in diameter, pursuant to Chapter 15.10 MCMC.

U. “U” Definitions.

“Unbuildable area” means, for density calculation purposes, wetland areas as defined by Chapter 18.06 MCMC, slopes more than 40 percent gradient, floodways, and watercourses.

“Use” means the purpose which lands or structures now serve or for which they are currently occupied, maintained, arranged, designed or intended.

V. “V” Definitions.

“Variance” means a grant of relief via departure from any provision of the requirements of the development code, MCMC Titles 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18, for a specific parcel, except use, without changing the development regulations permanently or the underlying zoning of the parcel. The definition of “variance” does not include variations to provisions related to “use” such as size limits, units per structure, or densities.

“Vehicle” means a device capable of being moved upon a public highway and in, upon, or by which any persons or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a public highway, including mopeds, excepting devices moved by human or animal power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.

W. “W” Definitions.

“Walkway” means a hard-surfaced portion of a street, right-of-way, trail, or easement intended for pedestrian use.

“Watercourse” means the course or route followed by waters draining from the land, formed by nature or man and consisting of a bed, banks, sides and associated wetlands and headwaters. A watercourse shall receive surface and subsurface drainage waters and shall flow with some regularity, but not necessarily continuously, naturally and normally, in draining from higher to lower lands. The watercourse shall terminate at the point of discharge into a larger receiving body such as a lake. Watercourses shall include sloughs, streams, creeks, and associated wetlands.

“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 nonwetland sites, including, but not limited to, irrigation and drainage ditches, grass-lined swales, canals, detention facilities, wastewater treatment facilities, farm ponds, and landscape amenities. However, wetlands include those artificial wetlands intentionally created to mitigate conversion of wetlands.

“Wireless facility, communication” means a wireless communication facility, including a microcell, that is a facility for the transmission and/or reception of radio frequency signals, including antennas, equipment shelters or cabinets, transmission cables, a support structure required to achieve the necessary elevation, and reception and transmission devices and antennas.

X. “X” Definitions. [Reserved].

Y. “Y” Definitions.

“Yard” means the lot area between lot lines and the building area.

“Yard, front” means the area between the front lot line and the building line extending the full width of the lot. On a through lot the front yard shall be the area between the front lot line from which primary access is taken and the building setback line. On a corner lot there shall be two front yards.

“Yard, rear” means the area between the rear lot line and the building area extending the full width of the lot. The rear setback area.

“Yard, side” means the side setback area between the side lot lines and the building area, extending the full length of the building area. On corner lots the side yard is that which is opposite from the front yard except when a corner lot is also a through lot, then the side yard shall be the area along the interior side lot line.

Z. “Z” Definitions.

“Zone” or “zone district” means a defined area of the city within which the use of land is regulated and certain uses permitted and other uses excluded as set forth in MCMC Title 17.

“Zoning code” means MCMC Title 17. (Ord. 2021-872 § (2)(c); Ord. 2019-846 § 7; Ord. 2018-830 § 5; Ord. 2013-761 § 1; Ord. 2011-723 § 2 (Exh. B); Ord. 2010-718 § 8 (Exh. H); Ord. 2010-717 § 2 (Exh. B); Ord. 2009-702 § 2 (Exh. C); Ord. 2006-633 § 2; Ord. 2005-609 § 2; Ord. 2001-523 §§ 4, 5, 6)