CALIPER: The diameter of any tree trunk as measured at a height of four and one-half feet (4-1/2') above the ground on the upslope side of the tree.

CANOPY, BUILDING: A rigid multi-sided structure covered with fabric, metal or other material and supported by a building at one or more points or extremities and by columns or posts embedded in the ground at other points or extremities. Any structure which extends above any adjacent parapet or roof of supporting building is not included within the definition of building canopy.


CAR WASH: A structure with machine-operated or hand-operated facilities used principally for the cleaning, washing, polishing, or waxing of motor vehicles.

CARD ROOM: A use governed pursuant to the provisions of chapter 9.46 RCW, 1973 Gaming Act, and licensed by the Washington State Gambling Commission that is ancillary to a permitted use where food and beverages are served on the premises and whose purpose is to serve as a commercial stimulant to the principal activities associated with the primary use.

CARETAKER’S RESIDENCE: A dwelling unit located on the site of a nonresidential use and occupied only by a caretaker or guard employed on the premises, and consisting of only one residence per permitted establishment.

CARPOOL: A group of people traveling to the same or relatively nearby locations in the same vehicle.

CARPORT: A roofed structure, enclosed on less than three sides, without interior parking aisles, for the purpose of storing motor vehicles.

CEMETERY: Property used for interring of the dead. This definition includes accessory buildings, crematories, and mausoleums.

CENTER, EMPLOYMENT: An area of higher intensity uses that typically employ thousands of people that is contained by a boundary to prevent it from encroaching on adjacent areas and/or neighborhoods.

CERTIFIED: A facility and staff qualified and able to provide certain tests and measurements relating to specific tasks and based upon established standards.

CHANNEL MIGRATION ZONE: The area along a river within which the channel(s) can be reasonably predicted to migrate over time as a result of natural and normally occurring hydrological and related processes when considered with the characteristics of the river and its surroundings.

CIRCULATION: The movement of passengers or goods to, from, over, or along a transportation corridor.

CITY COUNCIL: The City Council of the City of Renton, Washington.

CITY GOVERNMENT OFFICES: Offices for City administration and or provision of services to the public. This definition includes but is not limited to City Hall.

CIVIL ENGINEER: A professional engineer registered in the State to practice in the field of civil works.

CLEAR VISION AREA: The area bounded by the street property lines of corner lots and a line joining points along said street lines twenty feet (20') from their point of intersection.

CLOSED RECORD APPEAL: An administrative appeal on the record to a local government body or officer including the legislative body, following an open record hearing on a project permit application when the appeal is on the record with no or limited new evidence or information allowed to be submitted and only appeal argument allowed.


CLUSTER DEVELOPMENT: A residential subdivision comprised of a grouping of single family dwellings on small lots designed to include significant open space or preserve significant natural features, which are commonly held by the residents, in exchange for modifications to certain development standards (e.g., lot dimensions, setbacks, and building standards).

COLLECTION POINT: In multiple family residences, commercial, industrial and other nonresidential developments, the exterior location designation for garbage and recyclables collection by the City’s contractor or other authorized haulers.


COMBINED PUBLIC DETENTION: A stormwater detention system designed to accommodate runoff from both public streets and private property.


COMMERCIAL LAUNDRIES: A facility where clothing or other fabrics are washed, dried, or dry cleaned for other businesses or institutions. This definition does not include laundromats.

COMMERCIAL USE: A type of land use that includes commercial office activities, services and/or retail sales.

COMMON SPACE AREA (COMMON AREA, COMMON OPEN SPACE, COMMON SPACE): Land that is designed and intended for common use or enjoyment and may include such structures and improvements as are necessary and appropriate.

COMMUNICATION BROADCAST AND RELAY TOWERS: Establishments that provide point-to-point communication services, whether by wire or radio, including radio and television broadcasting stations and the exchange or recording of messages. This definition excludes all terms related to wireless communication facilities.

COMMUNITY ACCESS: (This definition for RMC 4-3-090, Shoreline Master Program Regulations, use only.) A means of physical approach to and/or along the shoreline available to the residents, tenants, customers, patrons, guests, and/or other authorized users of a development. Community access may also include space set aside for outdoor recreation including: picnic areas, view points, water craft launch facilities, and may also include other similar features.

COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATOR: The Administrator of the Department of Community and Economic Development or designee.

COMMUNITY HEALTH ENGAGEMENT LOCATION (CHEL): A location designed to provide a hygienic environment where individuals are able to consume illegal or illicit drugs intravenously or by any other means. A CHEL includes all uses established or activities undertaken for the above-defined purpose, irrespective of how the use or activity is described. A CHEL may also be referred to as a medically supervised injection center, supervised injection site or facility, safe injection site, fix room, or drug consumption facility.

COMPACTION: The densification of an earthen fill by mechanical means.

COMPENSATION PROJECT: Actions necessary to replace project-induced wetland and wetland buffer losses, including land acquisition, planning, construction plans, installation, monitoring and contingency actions.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: Replacing project-induced wetland losses or impacts, including, but not limited to wetlands restoration and creation, and wetland enhancement in conjunction with wetlands restoration or creation.

COMPLETE APPLICATION: Unless waived by the Community and Economic Development Administrator, the requirements for a full complete land use, building, or public works permit application shall consist of the information listed in RMC 4-8-120A, B and C, any site-specific information identified in a pre-application meeting summary, and any required application fee pursuant to the City of Renton Fee Schedule.

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN: The plans, maps and reports that comprise the official development plan and twenty (20) year “vision” for the future physical design and character of the City as adopted by the City Council in accordance with chapter 35.63 RCW.

CONCEPTUAL PLAN: A development tool designed to provide a comprehensive overview of proposed uses, site layout, infrastructure concepts, phasing and amenities. A conceptual plan approval establishes conditions with which all concurrent and subsequent land use approvals within its geographic area must comply, unless the conceptual plan itself is amended. It also provides long-term guidance for a larger area than either master plan or detailed site plan review was intended for, so that continuity of the overall development is maintained.

CONDITIONAL USE, SHORELINE: (This definition for RMC 4-3-090, Shoreline Master Program Regulations, use only.) A use, development, or substantial development which is classified as a conditional use or is not classified within the applicable Master Program.

CONDOMINIUM: Real property, portions of which are designated for separate ownership and the remainder of which is designated for common ownership solely by the owners of those portions. Real property is not a condominium unless the undivided interests in the common elements are vested in the unit owners, and unless a declaration and a survey map and plans have been recorded pursuant to chapter 64.32 RCW.

CONDOMINIUM CONVERSIONS: The filing of a declaration pursuant to the Horizontal Property Regimes Act, of the sale by a developer of condominium units that were previously rental units.

CONFERENCE CENTERS: Facilities where large gatherings of people converge to meet on a variety of subjects. These facilities are characterized by one large space where exhibits are set up and numerous adjoining meeting rooms. This definition excludes sports arenas, auditoriums, and exhibition halls.

CONGREGATE RESIDENCE: Any building or portion thereof that contains facilities for living, sleeping and sanitation and may include facilities for eating and cooking for occupancy for other than a family. A congregate residence may include a boarding house, but does not include a group home I or II, convalescent center, jail, hotel, motel or secure community transition facility. (Amd. Ord. 4982, 9-23-2002)

CONSERVANCY: A Shoreline Master Program land use designation identifying an area to be managed in essentially its natural state while providing for a moderate to low intensity of land uses surrounding the area.

CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITIES: Construction and all activities associated with construction, to include, but not be limited to, construction, remodeling, repair, and maintenance of structures, equipment, roads, and utilities; mining; grading; landfilling; and excavating. Construction activities may be regulated by permits issued by the City including, but not limited to, public works construction permits, building permits, and mining, excavation, and grading permits and licenses.

CONSTRUCTION/CONTRACTOR’S OFFICE: An area where a construction contractor maintains its office, as well as storage for equipment and materials, for the construction and landscaping trades.

CONSTRUCTION WASTE: Solid waste resulting from the building or renovation of buildings, roads and other human-made structures. Construction waste includes, but is not limited to, materials such as plasterboard, cement, dirt, wood, and brush.

CONTAINMENT DEVICE: A device that is designed to contain an unauthorized release, retain it for cleanup and prevent released materials from penetrating into the ground.


CONTIGUOUS PROPERTIES: Properties sharing a property line.


CONVALESCENT CENTER: A facility licensed by the State for patients who are recovering health and strength after illness or injury, or receiving long-term care for chronic conditions, disabilities, or terminal illnesses. Facilities provide twenty-four (24) hour supervised nursing care and feature extended treatment that is administered by a skilled nursing staff. Typically, residents do not live in individual units and the facilities provide personal care, room, board, laundry service, and organized activities. This definition does not include adult family homes, assisted living, group homes II, medical institutions, and/or secure community transition facilities.

CONVERTED BUILDING: Any condominium or cooperative which formerly contained rental dwelling units.

COOPERATIVE: Any existing structure, including surrounding land and improvements, which contains one or more dwelling units and which: (a) is owned by an association organized pursuant to the Cooperative Association Act (chapter 23.86 RCW); or (b) is owned by an association with resident shareholders who are granted renewable leasehold interests in housing units in the building.

COOPERATIVE UNIT: Any dwelling unit in a cooperative.

COPY: The graphic content of a sign surface in either permanent or removable letter, pictographic, symbolic, or alphabetic form.


CORRIDOR: A strip of land forming a passageway between two (2) otherwise separate parts.

COTTAGE HOUSE DEVELOPMENT: A unit-lot subdivision consisting of at least three (3) unit lots containing small scale (no more than one thousand five hundred (1,500) gross square foot) detached, single-family dwelling units clustered around a shared common open space.

COUNTY AUDITOR: As defined in chapter 36.22 RCW or the office of the person assigned such duties under the King County Charter.

COVID-19 DEINTENSIFICATION SHELTER: A facility (whether a separate structure, or situated inside or outside a building or a portion of a building) used for the relocation of homelessness shelters and encampments for the purposes of de-intensifying or reducing density in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. A COVID-19 deintensification shelter that meets the definition of a homeless services use – overnight shelter – is both a COVID-19 deintensification shelter and a homeless services use – overnight shelter.

CRITICAL AREAS: Wetlands, aquifer protection areas, fish and wildlife habitat, frequently flooded and geologically hazardous areas as defined by the Growth Management Act and RMC 4-3-050, Critical Area Regulations.

CRITICAL FACILITY: A facility for which even a slight chance of flooding, high geologic hazard, or inundation in the areas of flood hazard or volcanic hazard might be too great. Critical facilities include, but are not limited to, schools, nursing homes, hospitals, police, fire and emergency response installations, and facilities that produce, use or store hazardous materials or hazardous waste.

CRITICAL HABITAT or CRITICAL WILDLIFE HABITAT: Habitat areas associated with threatened, endangered, sensitive, monitored, or priority species of plants or wildlife and which, if altered, could reduce the likelihood that the species would maintain and reproduce over the long term. See also RMC 4-3-050K.


CUL-DE-SAC: A vehicular turn-around at the end of a dead end street.

CULTURAL FACILITIES: Facilities which offer passive entertainment and enjoyment activities to the general public. This definition includes, but is not limited to, museums and libraries. This definition excludes adult entertainment businesses, dance halls; dance clubs; religious institutions; and gaming/gambling facilities.

CURB: A vertical curb and gutter section constructed from concrete.

(Ord. 2820, 1-14-1974; Ord. 4056, 4-13-1987; Ord. 4346, 3-9-1992; Ord. 4351, 5-4-1992; Ord. 4426, 11-8-1993; Ord. 4521, 6-5-1995; Ord. 4522, 6-5-1995; Ord. 4587, 3-18-1996; Ord. 4649, 1-6-1997; Ord. 4691, 12-1-1997; Ord. 4715, 4-6-1998; Ord. 4716, 4-13-1998; Ord. 4720, 5-4-1998; Ord. 4835, 3-27-2000; Ord. 4851, 8-7-2000; Ord. 4854, 8-14-2000; Amd. Ord. 4963, 5-13-2002; Ord. 4982, 9-23-2002; Ord. 5028, 11-24-2003; Ord. 5124, 2-7-2005; Ord. 5125, 2-28-2005; Ord. 5137, 4-25-2005; Ord. 5387, 6-9-2008; Ord. 5633, 10-24-2011; Ord. 5675, 12-3-2012; Ord. 5676, 12-3-2012; Ord. 5749, 1-12-2015; Ord. 5872, 12-11-2017; Ord. 5917, 12-10-2018; Ord. 5951, 11-18-2019; Ord. 5996, 12-14-2020; Ord. 6019, 6-14-2021; Ord. 6026, 9-20-2021; Ord. 6042, 12-13-2021)