Chapter 15.105


15.105.010    “A” Definitions.

15.105.020    “B” Definitions.

15.105.030    “C” Definitions.

15.105.040    “D” Definitions.

15.105.050    “E” Definitions.

15.105.060    “F” Definitions.

15.105.070    “G” Definitions.

15.105.080    “H” Definitions.

15.105.090    “I” Definitions.

15.105.100    “J” Definitions.

15.105.110    “K” Definitions.

15.105.120    “L” Definitions.

15.105.130    “M” Definitions.

15.105.140    “N” Definitions.

15.105.150    “O” Definitions.

15.105.160    “P” Definitions.

15.105.170    “Q” Definitions.

15.105.180    “R” Definitions.

15.105.190    “S” Definitions.

15.105.200    “T” Definitions.

15.105.210    “U” Definitions.

15.105.220    “V” Definitions.

15.105.230    “W” Definitions.

15.105.240    “X” Definitions.

15.105.250    “Y” Definitions.

15.105.260    “Z” Definitions.

15.105.010 “A” Definitions.


To be contiguous with or touching property lines or right-of-way.

Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)

A habitable living unit created within, attached to, or detached from a single-family residence that provides the basic requirements of shelter, heating, cooking and sanitation within the unit.

Accessory Structure

A nonattached structure which is subordinate and incidental to the main structure on the property.

Accessory Use

A use which is subordinate and incidental to the main activity or structure on the subject property.

Agricultural Crops

The products of agriculture which include fruits, vegetables, grains, seed, feed, flowers, ornamental and food-bearing plants and trees, as well as animal products.

Agricultural Crop Sales

The sale of agricultural products, produced on or off the site, which include fruits, vegetables, grains, seed, feed, flowers, ornamental and food-bearing plants and trees, as well as animal products.

Aircraft Storage Area

A building used to store private or public aircraft for short- or long-term periods of time.

Air Freight Terminal

A building used by public and private aircraft for the on- or off-loading of air freight for distribution to wholesale and retail customers.


Any runway, landing area or other facility directly designed or used by either public or private aircraft for the landing and taking off of aircraft, transfer of passengers and/or cargo, surface access, and other support facilities typically associated with airports, including:

A.    Taxiway;

B.    Control tower;

C.    Communication, maintenance facilities;

D.    Passenger, cargo terminals.

Airport Terminal Facilities

The complex of buildings, parking garages, and associated structures and improvements which provide access, activities, and facilities for the use, support, and convenience of the traveling public and other airport users and employees. Airport terminal facilities are generally located in proximity to each other, with reasonable pedestrian access among them.

Air Rights

The right to, in some manner, control the use of space above the surface of the ground.


A service drive providing a secondary means of access to abutting property and not intended for general traffic circulation.


Any change, addition or modification in construction. Additionally, any human activity which results or is likely to result in any impact upon the existing condition of a sensitive area.


A change in the wording of this title, adoption of a zoning map hereunder, a change in the zone boundaries upon zoning maps adopted hereunder, or the adoption of a planned unit development.

Amusement Park

A facility, primarily outdoors, that may include structures and buildings, where there are various devices for entertainment, including rides, booths for the conduct of games or sale of items, buildings for shows and entertainment, and restaurants and souvenir sales.

Antiques, Antique Shop

Any article which, because of age, rarity or historical significance, has a monetary value greater than the original value, or which has an age recognized by the United States government as entitling the article to an import duty less than that prescribed for contemporary merchandise. A store or shop selling only such articles or offering them for sale shall be considered as an antique shop or store, and not considered as a dealership handling used or secondhand merchandise.

Area Zoning

The procedures initiated by the City which result in the adoption or amendment of the zoning map on an area-wide basis. This type of zoning is characterized by being comprehensive in nature, dealing with natural homogeneous communities, distinctive geographic neighborhoods and other types of districts having unified interests within the City. Area zoning, unlike a reclassification (rezone), usually involves many separate properties under various ownerships and utilizes several of the zoning classifications available to express the City’s current land use policy in zoning map form.

Assembly and Packaging Operations

A facility where premanufactured components are assembled to construct a product. Products may be packaged and moved off site for wholesale or retail sale. This use includes but is not limited to assembly and packaging of computer, electronics, office equipment, chemicals and allied products, fabricated metal products, and other products.

Assisted Living Facility

An establishment providing living quarters and a variety of limited personal care and supportive health care monitoring to individuals who may be unable to live independently due to infirmity of age, or physical or mental handicap, but who do not need the skilled nursing care of a convalescent center/nursing home. These establishments may consist of individual dwelling units or sleeping rooms, but also provide communal dining, recreational, laundry and other facilities.

Auction House

An establishment where the property of others is sold by a broker or auctioneer to persons who attend scheduled sales periods or events.

Auto Court

An access drive that is bounded on two (2) or more sides by the walls of buildings, providing primary and/or secondary means of access to abutting property but not intended for general traffic circulation.

Automobile Wrecking Operation

Any person, corporation or enterprise engaged in the dismantling or wrecking of motor vehicles or trailers, or in the storage, sale or dumping of dismantled or wrecked vehicles or their parts.

Automotive Service Center

Establishment primarily engaged in small vehicle repair and detailing, including the sale and installation of lubricants, tires, batteries, mufflers and similar accessories. (Ord. 16-1009 § 8; Ord. 15-1018 § 1)

15.105.020 “B” Definitions.

Base Area

The total area of the horizontal cross-section of a tree as measured at four (4) feet above grade.

Batch Plant

The manufacturing of asphalt or concrete which may include the storage of related component materials.

Bay Windows

The combination of three (3) or more separate window units, attached to project from the building at various angles. The center section is normally fixed, with the end panels operable as single-hung windows, double-hung windows, casement windows or another type of operable window. A bay window may be rectangular, semi-polygonal or semi-circular, shall be a minimum of twenty-four (24) inches above grade, shall not include doors of any kind, and shall be limited to no more than one (1) story in height.


Beauty Salon/Personal Grooming Services

A service business operating to provide services related to hair, skin, nail and cosmetology care.

Bed and Breakfast

An owner-occupied dwelling which rents no more than three (3) bedrooms to no more than six (6) guests at a time for a period less than thirty (30) consecutive days and serves a prepared breakfast. A bed and breakfast is not a short-term rental as defined in SMC 15.105.190.


A formed mound of earth that creates a visual and physical barrier between developments, roads, and/or sensitive areas.

Biomedical Product Facility

An entity, business, or establishment that is involved in the design, development, assembly and/or manufacture of products developed specifically for the diagnosis, treatment or correction of medical disorders. Products produced by a biomedical product facility include pharmaceuticals, implants or prostheses.

Book, Stationery, Video, Audio and Art Supply Store

Establishment engaged in retail sales of new books and magazines, stationery, video and art supplies.


Any structural, earth or vegetative form that is for the purpose of minimizing visual and noise impacts. Buffers may include, but are not limited to, berms, high shrubs, dense stands of trees, trellises and fences.

Buffer Strip

A linear land area designed and established to minimize the visual, noise and other environmental impacts a given land use may have on others. A buffer strip may include, but is not limited to, preserved natural vegetation, native and drought tolerant vegetation, evergreen trees, shrubs and tree plantings, vegetated LID BMPs, or landscape berms.


A structure that is designed to provide a place of business, residence or shelter to occupants. For the purposes of setback standards, it does not include minor utility structures, light poles, utility boxes, benches, signs, bus shelter, security gatehouses, ticket booths or other similar structures.

Building Code

The City of SeaTac Building Code, as set forth in Chapter 13.110 SMC, Building Code.

Building, Hardware and Garden Materials Store

Establishment engaged in the selling of lumber and other building materials, feed, lawn and garden supplies.

Butterfly/Moth Breeding

The breeding of butterflies and moths for the purpose of wholesale or retail sales. This includes the entire life cycle of butterflies and moths and accessory activities such as the manufacture of enclosed biospheres for the butterflies and moths. This definition shall only include those butterflies and moths indigenous to the Pacific Northwest, which do not have a negative impact on forest and agricultural products or on ornamental trees, shrubs and vegetation, as determined by the City and applicable Washington State agencies. The breeding of butterflies and moths not indigenous to the Pacific Northwest shall be prohibited unless otherwise approved by the City and the applicable Washington State agencies. (Ord. 22-1002 § 1; Ord. 16-1022 § 1 (Exh. C); Ord. 15-1018 § 1)

15.105.030 “C” Definitions.

Cargo Containers

A standardized, reusable vessel, designed without an axle or wheels, which was:

A.    Originally, specifically, or formerly designed for or used in the packing, shipping, movement or transportation of freight, articles, goods or commodities; and/or

B.    Designed for or capable of being mounted or moved on a rail car; and/or

C.    Designed for or capable of being mounted on a chassis or bogie for movement by truck trailer or loaded on a ship.

When used for any purpose other than those listed in subsection (A) of this definition, a cargo container is a structure.


Land used or intended to be used for the burial of the human dead.

Circular Driveway

A driveway on a single lot that has two (2) access points to a public right-of-way.

City Hall

A structure maintained and used as a place to transact business, legislative and administrative functions, public meetings and hearings, and other operations of a Code City as defined under RCW 35A.01.035. City Hall may include a municipal court for the purpose of providing for the administration of justice, including court offices, court rooms and facilities for processing civil and/or criminal cases and related functions.


A refined identification of uses which, either individually or as a type, possess similar characteristics or performance standards and are permitted as possessing compatible uses in a zone. A classification as the term is employed in this title includes provisions, conditions and requirements related to the permissible location of permitted uses.

Coffee Shop/Retail Food Shop

Small, resident-oriented food shops selling goods, such as baked goods, coffee, and assorted sundries. Baked goods for sale on premises, but not for wider distribution, can be prepared on site.


Institutions of higher learning authorized to confer associate degrees, baccalaureate degrees and/or postgraduate degrees, accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges.

Commercial/Industrial Accessory Uses

A commercial/industrial accessory use shall be a use similar in type to the permitted or allowed conditional uses on the property and directly related to the permitted or allowed conditional use. In no case shall a commercial/industrial accessory use, which is neither a permitted or conditional use of the underlying zone, occupy an area that is more than twenty-five percent (25%) of the gross floor area of all buildings on the subject property.

Commercial Marine Supplies

A business that provides for retail/wholesale purchase of supplies related to commercial marine activities, not to include the retail sales of boats.

Commercial Recreation Area and Use

An area and use operated for profit, with private facilities, equipment or services for recreational purposes including swimming pools, tennis courts, playgrounds and other similar uses. The use of such an area may be limited to private membership or may be open to the public upon payment of a fee.

Community Center

A facility used for providing recreational and/or social programs, but not including emergency housing and emergency shelters.

Community Residential Facility (CRF)

Publicly or privately operated residential facilities, limited to group homes for children, for those with disabilities, or for the elderly; homes for recovering, non-using alcoholics and addicts; or shelters for domestic violence victims. Community residential facilities do not include reentry centers, emergency shelters, or emergency housing. Category I community residential facilities include small-scale permanent supportive housing and small-scale transitional housing.

Compensatory Storage

New excavated storage volume equivalent to any flood storage which is eliminated by filling or grading within the floodplain. For the purpose of this definition, equivalent flood storage capacity is that which is replaced by an equal volume as measured between corresponding one (1) foot contour intervals which are hydraulically connected to the floodway.

Comprehensive Plan

The officially adopted SeaTac Comprehensive Plan, including all the components thereof adopted by reference or lawfully incorporated parts thereof. It includes, but is not limited to, components required by State law, State growth management and subdivision law as referenced in the RCW.

Concession Sales

Sales of ready-to-eat pre-packaged food products to the general public at a temporary stationary location, from a motor vehicle that does not incorporate a kitchen or food preparation area (e.g., ice cream vendors, sales at construction sites, etc.). This includes the selling of goods, services, merchandise or food products as authorized pursuant to the park code, SMC 2.45.520.

Conditional Use

A use which is not permitted outright in a zone classification due to the nature of impacts created by the use, but which may be authorized under specific conditions based upon decision criteria of SMC 15.115.020, Conditional Use Permit (CUP).

Major Conditional Use: Requires review and approval by the Hearing Examiner.

Minor Conditional Use: Requires review and approval by the Director.

Conference/Convention Center

An establishment developed primarily as a meeting facility; including access facilities for recreation, overnight lodging, and related activities provided for conference participants.

Conforming Building Use

An activity or use which is permitted in the zone classification in which the property on which it is established is located.

Construction Business

Establishments primarily engaged in the construction of buildings or engineering projects; the preparation of sites for new construction; the subdivision of land for sale as building sites; and activities to produce a specific component (e.g., masonry, painting, and electrical work) of a construction project. Construction businesses may include office areas, as well as storage yards for equipment and materials, for the construction trade.

Construction/Landscaping Yard

A yard or outdoor facility used as a place to store equipment and materials used by a construction or landscaping business. Construction/landscaping yards may include office areas, as well as outdoor storage for equipment and materials for the construction and landscaping trades.

Continuing Care Retirement Community

A development that provides a mix of dwelling types, residential services and health care to people at least fifty-five (55) years of age. These communities may provide a full continuum of housing and care, from independent living to assisted living and through nursing care, in order to meet the aging person’s growing need for supportive services and care.

Convalescent Center/Nursing Home

Any home, place or institution which operates or maintains facilities offering twenty-four (24) hour skilled nursing care for three (3) or more individuals who are recovering from an illness, or receiving care for chronic conditions, mental or physical disabilities, terminal illness, or alcohol or drug detoxification. Care may include inpatient administration of medicine, preparation of special diets, bedside nursing care, and treatment by a physician or psychiatrist. Outpatient care is limited to prior patients only, and excludes any opiate substitution treatment.


A facility used by any public agency, political subdivision or unit of local government of this State including but not limited to municipal corporations, special purpose districts, and local service districts, and agency of the State of Washington or of the United States or any state thereof which has responsibility for, and jurisdiction to process and provide for the handling of administration of justice, including court offices, court rooms and facilities for processing civil and/or criminal cases and related functions, for the purposes of such administration of justice functions; provided, that where such activities occur at a regular office of the public agency responsible for such functions, the provisions applicable to public agency office, as that term is defined in this code, shall control.


An open space area that is bounded on two (2) or more sides by the walls of adjacent buildings.

Crisis Diversion Facility (CDF)

A residential treatment facility for individuals eighteen (18) years or older that diverts individuals from jails or hospitals suffering from mental illness and/or chemical dependency. A CDF is licensed by the Washington State Department of Health and certified by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, provides temporary shelter, operates twenty-four/seven (24/7), and holds individuals for up to seventy-two (72) hours. One (1) crisis diversion facility may be collocated with one (1) crisis diversion interim facility.

Crisis Diversion Interim Facility (CDIF)

A residential treatment facility that provides temporary shelter, additional on-site mental illness and/or chemical dependency treatments administered by mental health care professionals, operates twenty-four/seven (24/7), and individuals may stay at the facility for up to two (2) weeks. A CDIF is licensed by the Washington State Department of Health and certified by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. One (1) crisis diversion interim facility may be collocated with one (1) crisis diversion facility.


A visual representation of a vertical cut through a structure, a proposed fill pad or any other three (3) dimensional form.


(Ord. 23-1003 § 3; Ord. 21-1031 § 1; Ord. 18-1009 § 1; Ord. 17-1008 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 16-1022 § 1 (Exh. C); Ord. 16-1009 § 8; Ord. 15-1018 § 1)

15.105.040 “D” Definitions.


Any premises where three (3) or more cows, three (3) or more goats, or any combination thereof are kept, milked or maintained.

Day Care I

A day care facility that provides for the group care of a maximum of twelve (12) children in any twenty-four (24) hour period. Day Care I facilities may be located within the caregiver’s place of residence.

Day Care II

A day care facility that provides for the group care of more than twelve (12) children in any twenty-four (24) hour period.

Day Care Facility

An establishment for the group care of nonresident children in any twenty-four (24) hour period. Day care facilities include:

A.    Nursery schools for children under minimum age for education in public schools;

B.    Privately conducted kindergartens when not a part of a public or parochial school.


The deliberate appropriation of land by an owner for public use or purposes, reserving no other rights than those that are compatible with the full exercise and enjoyment of the public uses or purpose to which the property has been devoted.

Density Bonus

A commercial or residential bonus in density units granted to developers for providing public benefits in their development plans.


Means the Department of Community and Economic Development.

Department/Variety Store

Establishment engaged in the retail sales of a variety of lines of merchandise such as: dry goods, apparel and accessories, home furnishings, housewares, travel accessories and electronic items and accessories.


Means the Director of Community and Economic Development or designee.


As used in SMC 15.465.400, Community Residential Facilities Standards, and 15.465.200, Accommodation of Persons with Disabilities, a “handicap” as defined in the Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 at 42 U.S.C. Section 3602(h), with respect to a person –

A.    A physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one (1) or more of such a person’s major life activities;

B.    A record of having such an impairment; or

C.    Being regarded as having such an impairment, but such term does not include current, illegal use of or addiction to a controlled substance (as defined in [21 U.S.C. § 802]).

Persons with disabilities include those who are developmentally disabled, mentally ill, as well as those in recovery for alcohol and drug addiction.

Distribution Center/Warehouse

A building, often with refrigeration or air conditioning, which is stocked with products (goods) to be redistributed to retailers, wholesalers or directly to consumers. May also be known as: a “DC”, a fulfillment center, a cross-dock facility, a bulk break center, and/or a package handling center. Does not include truck terminals.

Domestic Animals

Dogs, cats, birds, snakes, small rodents, rabbits, goats, pygmy goats, pot-bellied pigs, chickens (including roosters), miniature horses not exceeding forty (40) pounds, and ducks and other fowl, which can be and are continually kept or raised in a home or on a lot. Animals not considered to be domestic animals include, but are not limited to, the following: horses, cows, donkeys, and any endangered or exotic species of animals. The number of inside or outside domestic animals shall be limited as shown in SMC 15.440.100.


An accessory residential building to an educational institution consisting of individual rooms for sleeping and may include common dining, cooking, and interior recreation facilities.


An access which serves a lot, structure, or parking surface.

Drug Store

Establishment engaged in the retail sale of prescription drugs, nonprescription medicines, cosmetics and related supplies, including tobacco stores.

Dry Cleaner

An establishment engaged in the cleaning of clothing or fabrics with chemical solvents that have little or no water.


A building containing two (2) dwelling units totally separated from each other by either an unpierced wall extending from basement to roof or an unpierced ceiling and floor extending from exterior wall to exterior wall.

Dwelling Unit

Any building or portion thereof which contains living facilities, including provisions for sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation for not more than one (1) family.

Dwelling Unit, Caretaker/Manager

A dwelling unit attached to a nonresidential building.

Dwelling Unit, Detached

A dwelling unit that is not attached to any other dwelling unit by any means. (Ord. 17-1008 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 16-1009 § 8; Ord. 15-1018 § 1)

15.105.050 “E” Definitions.


Land which has specific air, surface or subsurface rights conveyed for use by someone other than the owner of the subject property or to benefit some property other than the subject property.

Elementary – Middle School

Any school licensed by the state and that meets the state requirements for elementary and middle school education.

Emergency Housing

Temporary indoor accommodations for individuals or families who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless that are intended to address the basic health, food, clothing, and personal hygiene needs of individuals or families. Emergency housing may or may not require occupants to enter into a lease or an occupancy agreement.

Emergency Shelter

An indoor facility that provides a temporary shelter for individuals or families who are currently homeless. Emergency shelters may not require occupants to enter into a lease or an occupancy agreement. Emergency shelter facilities may include day cooling and warming centers that do not provide overnight accommodations.


All persons, including proprietors, performing work on premises, or on all shifts, unless otherwise stated in specific sections of this code.


An action which increases the functions and values of a stream, wetland or other sensitive area or buffer.

Equipment Rental, Large

Establishments primarily engaged in renting or leasing heavy equipment without operators that may be used for construction, mining, or forestry, such as bulldozers, earthmoving equipment, well-drilling machinery and equipment, or cranes.

Equipment Rental, Small

Establishments primarily engaged in the rental of equipment other than automotive or as defined by Equipment Rental, Large.

Equipment Repair, Large

Establishments primarily engaged in the repair and maintenance of commercial and industrial machinery and equipment. This may include the following or similar activities: sharpening and installing commercial and industrial machinery blades and saws, providing welding repair services, repairing agricultural and other heavy and industrial machinery and equipment.

Equipment Repair, Small

The repair of appliances, stereo equipment, electronic pieces and computers. This term does not include the repair of motor vehicles in any form.

Erosion and Deposition

The removal of soils and the placement of these removed soils elsewhere by the natural forces of wind and/or water runoff.

Espresso Stand

A walk-up or auto-oriented (drive-through) business that dispenses hot and/or cold beverages.

Essential Public Facility

A facility providing public services, or publicly funded services that is difficult to site or expand and which meets any of the following criteria: meets the Growth Management Act definition of an essential public facility (EPF), at RCW 36.70A.200, as now existing or hereafter amended, is on the State, King County or City list of essential public facilities, serves a significant portion of the County or region, or is part of a County-wide or multi-county service system, and is difficult to site or expand. Essential public facilities include, but are not limited to, the following: airports, State and local correction facilities, State educational facilities, State and regional transportation facilities, landfills, solid waste handling facilities, sewage treatment facilities, major communication facilities and antennas (excluding wireless telecommunications facilities); and inpatient facilities such as group homes (excluding those facilities covered by the Washington Housing Policy Act), mental health facilities, secure community transition facilities (SCTF), crisis diversion facilities, crisis diversion interim facilities, and substance abuse facilities, including opiate substitution treatment facilities.


The mechanical removal of soils and/or underlying strata. (Ord. 21-1031 § 2; Ord. 18-1001 § 10; Ord. 16-1009 § 8; Ord. 15-1018 § 1)

15.105.060 “F” Definitions.


An individual or two (2) or more persons related by genetics, marriage, or adoption, or a group of not more than five (5) persons who need not be related by genetics or marriage, living together in a dwelling unit.

Fill Material

Dirt, structural rock or gravel and similar structural substances, not including any inert waste as defined by Department of Ecology, customarily used to raise the level of the ground. Excludes topsoil, bark, ornamental rocks or gravel placed on the surface of the ground. Individual fill material shall not exceed twelve (12) inches in diameter, width, depth, or height.

Financial Institution

Establishments such as banks and credit unions.

Fire Code

The City of SeaTac Fire Code, as set forth in Chapter 13.150 SMC, Fire Code.

Fire Facility

A facility used by any public agency, political subdivision or unit of local government of this State including but not limited to municipal corporations, special purpose districts, and local service districts, and agency of the State of Washington or of the United States or any state thereof which has responsibility for fire suppression, fire prevention, other functions of fire departments, for the purposes of such fire department functions; provided, that where such activities occur at a regular office of the public agency responsible for such functions, the provisions applicable to public agency office, as that term is defined in this code, shall control.

Floor Area

The total floor area within the walls of all buildings on a lot or building site, except for the spaces therein devoted to vents, shafts, and lighting courts, and except for the area devoted exclusively to loading and unloading facilities or parking of motor vehicles.

Food Processing

An industrial production of food from a natural state to a packaged state through approved FDA processes and standards.

Forest Product Sales

The sales of goods produced, extracted, consumed, gathered or harvested from a forest including, but not limited to: trees, logs, cones, wood chips, fuel wood and herbs.

Forest Product Sales, Temporary

The sales of goods produced and extracted from a forest including, but not limited to: Christmas trees, pine boughs, mushrooms and berries.

Fueling/Service Station

A building or lot having pumps and storage tanks where fuels, oils or accessories for motor vehicles are dispensed, sold or offered for sale at retail only; auto repair service is incidental and no storage or parking space is offered for rent.

Funeral Home/Crematory

A building used for the preparation of the deceased for burial; the use of heat or fire to reduce human or animal remains to ashes; the display of the deceased; and rituals connected therewith before burial or cremation. (Ord. 16-1009 § 8; Ord. 15-1018 § 1)

15.105.070 “G” Definitions.


A deck, building or parking structure, or part thereof, used or intended to be used for the parking and storage of vehicles.

General Business Service/Office

Establishment engaged in providing personal services to business establishments and citizens from an office setting, with no visible outdoor storage areas, including, but not limited to, the following uses:

A.    Financial institutions;

B.    Security and commodity brokers, dealers, exchanges and services;

C.    Insurance agents and carriers;

D.    Real estate business offices and agents;

E.    Legal services;

F.    Membership organizations;

G.    Nontesting research labs;

H.    Emergency services administration and substations.


The reflection of harsh, bright light, or the physical effect resulting from high luminance or insufficiently shielded light sources in the field of view.


Any excavation, filling, removing the duff layer or any combination of topsoils thereof.


Low-growing plants such as grasses, flowers, ferns, herbs, small spreading shrubs, or other types of vegetation planted so as to cover and/or stabilize the surface soils within three (3) years of planting.

Group Home

See definition of “Community Residential Facility (CRF).” (Ord. 16-1022 § 1 (Exh. C); Ord. 16-1009 § 8; Ord. 15-1018 § 1)

15.105.080 “H” Definitions.

Hangar/Service Bay

A building used for service and maintenance of private and public aircraft.

Hazardous Production Material (HPM)

A solid, liquid or gas that has a degree of hazard rating in health, flammability or reactivity of 3 or 4 as ranked by Fire Code Standard No. 79-3 and which is used directly in research, laboratory or production processes which have, as their end product, materials which are not hazardous.

Health Club

Facilities offering the use of exercise equipment for public use, and services such as, but not limited to, expertise and instruction for fitness training and aerobics classes. Does not include massage or other medically related services.

Health Hazard

Sanitation problems, including, but not limited to, sewage spills, raw sewage in any form, rodent infestation, potential disease causes as determined by an environmental health official, and chemicals that lead to acute or chronic health effects in exposed persons.


An area of land or water or a structural surface which is used, or intended for use, for the landing and take-off of helicopters, and any direct maintenance, storage or fueling areas.


Same as a heliport, except that no refueling, maintenance, repairs or storage of helicopters is permitted.

High Capacity Transit (HCT)

Any form of public or private transit (bus, rail, train, Personal Rapid Transit (PRT), People Mover and other new technology) that moves a large number of people to set destination points.

High School

Any school licensed by the state and that meets the state requirements for secondary education.

Hobby Kennel/Hobby Cattery

A noncommercial establishment at or adjoining a private residence where four (4) or more adult dogs, or five (5) or more adult cats, are bred or kept.

Home Occupation

Any nonresidential use that occurs in a dwelling or accessory structure when such use is clearly incidental and secondary to the use of the dwelling or accessory structure, does not change the character of the dwelling, accessory structure, or neighborhood, and is carried on by a person permanently residing within the dwelling.

Homeless Encampment

An emergency homeless encampment, hosted by a church or other organization, which provides temporary housing to homeless persons.


An institution providing primary health services and medical or surgical care to persons, primarily inpatients, suffering from illness, disease, injury, deformity and other abnormal physical or mental conditions, and including, as an integral part of the institution, related facilities such as laboratories, outpatient facilities, extended care facilities or training facilities.

Host Agency

The owner of the site property, being a church or other organization, that joins a sponsoring agency in an application for a City temporary use permit for providing basic services and support to temporary emergency homeless encampment residents, such as hot meals, coordination of other needed donations and services, etc.


A facility providing transient, overnight accommodations, typically characterized by low cost, shared use of a self-service kitchen, common areas, sleeping rooms and bathroom facilities.


A facility consisting of four (4) or more guest rooms offering transient lodging accommodations, including inns, residence or extended stay hotels, other similar facilities, and all businesses subject to collection and payment of the tax levied by Chapter 67.28 RCW or City code, that offer rental accommodations for periods of generally less than thirty (30) days at a time. Associated uses may include additional services such as meeting rooms, restaurants, health spas, retail shops and beauty shops. (Ord. 23-1003 § 1; Ord. 16-1009 § 8; Ord. 15-1018 § 1)

15.105.090 “I” Definitions.

Impervious Surface

A manmade or modified surface area that either prevents or retards the entry of water into the soil mantle as under natural conditions before development; or that causes water to run off the surface in greater quantities or at an increased rate of flow compared to the flow present under natural conditions prior to development. Common impervious surfaces include, but are not limited to, roof, walkways, patios, driveways, parking lots, or storage areas, areas that are paved, graveled or made of packed or oiled earthen materials or other surfaces that similarly impede the natural infiltration of surface water or stormwater.

Improved Public Roadways

Public road rights-of-way that have been improved to an all-weather surface with at least two (2) travel lanes and are maintained by the City or the State of Washington.

International Building Code (IBC)

The International Building Code and related codes as amended and adopted by the City. (Ord. 16-1022 § 1 (Exh. C); Ord. 15-1018 § 1)

15.105.100 “J” Definitions.


Old or scrap copper, brass, rope, rags, batteries, paper, trash, rubber debris, wastes, machinery, scrap wood, or junked, dismantled or wrecked automobiles, or parts thereof; iron, steel, and other old or scrap ferrous or nonferrous material. Includes any other definitions of junk established in City ordinances. (Ord. 15-1018 § 1)

15.105.110 “K” Definitions.


A commercial establishment which houses, cares for, breeds, raises or sells dogs or cats. Four (4) or more adult dogs or cats or any combination thereof constitute a kennel. Small animal hospitals and clinics and up to two (2) dwelling units, to be used as manager/caretaker residences, either attached or detached from the kennel, are included. An adult dog or cat is one of either sex, altered or unaltered, that has reached the age of six (6) months. (Ord. 15-1018 § 1)

15.105.120 “L” Definitions.

Laboratories, Research, Development and Testing

A facility in which scientific research, investigation, testing, or experimentation occurs, but not including manufacture and sale of products.

Landscaping Business

A business which provides services to preserve or enhance natural or reconfigured land features, ground cover, grass, sod, and other plantings, to promote naturalistic and aesthetic values, or to effect natural or improved drainage and erosion control. The business may include the arrangement of such tangible objects as pools, walls, steps, trellises, canopies, and other nonhabitable structures, and other such features as are incidental and necessary to landscaping purposes. A landscaping business does not include the wholesale/retail sale of landscaping products including, but not limited to, trees, shrubs, plants, or any other vegetation (except those planted or installed by the business), or of any equipment that is necessary for the movement, planting, growth, and aesthetics of landscape materials.


A commercial establishment offering self-serve and assisted laundry facilities for public use.

Leasable Space

That area within mobile home parks designated on an approved master plan as lots for locating mobile home units with utility hook-ups.

Legal Lot

A lot created by the King County Assessor’s Office in accordance with Washington State Laws and Subdivision Code provisions set forth in the Washington State RCW and City of SeaTac Subdivision Code.


A publicly owned facility in which literary, musical, artistic, or reference materials (as books, manuscripts, recordings, or films) are kept for use, or loan, but not for sale.

Liquor Store

State licensed establishments primarily engaged in the retail sales of packaged alcoholic beverages, such as ale, beer, wine, and liquor.


Domesticated animals, such as horses, cows, goats, sheep, swine and fowl.


A legal lot for building purposes which shall have sufficient size to meet minimum zoning requirements for use, coverage, and area, and to provide such yards and other open spaces as are herein required. Such lot shall have access to an improved public street, or to an approved private access.

Lot Area

The total horizontal area within the boundary lines of a lot, including access easements; however, the area contained in tracts or panhandles shall not be included in the lot area of a lot within any plat containing more than two (2) lots. In addition, the area of any easements over one (1) or more servient lots in favor of a dominant lot for the purpose of granting the owner of the dominant lot rights of personal use, possession and occupancy which are typically attributes of ownership shall not be included in the lot area of any servient lot.

Lot Coverage

That percentage of the lot area covered by all buildings including accessory buildings, uses and tent structures.

Lot Lines

The property lines that establish the boundaries of buildable lots. For information on how lot lines are designated see SMC 15.110.030, Designation of Lot Lines.

Lot, Substandard

A lot or parcel of land which has less than the required minimum area or width as established by the zone in which it is located; and provided, that such lot or parcel was of record as a legally created lot on the effective date of the Zoning Code ordinance codified by the City.

Lot Width

The distance between the two (2) established side lot lines of the lot.

Low Impact Development (LID)

A stormwater and/or land use management strategy that strives to mimic natural hydrologic processes of infiltration, filtration, storage, evaporation and transpiration by emphasizing conservation, use of on-site natural features, site planning, and distributed stormwater management practices that are integrated into a project design, while also minimizing the potential for off-site flooding and soil instability.

Low Impact Development (LID) Best Management Practice (BMP)

Distributed stormwater management practices, integrated into a project design, that emphasize natural hydrologic processes of infiltration, filtration, storage, evaporation and transpiration, while protecting against off-site flooding and soil instability. LID BMPs include, but are not limited to, bioretention, permeable pavement, cast in place pavers, limited infiltration systems, roof downspout controls, dispersion, soil amendments, and minimal excavation foundations.

(Ord. 16-1022 § 1 (Exh. C); Ord. 16-1009 § 8; Ord. 15-1018 § 1)

15.105.130 “M” Definitions.

Major Communication Facility

A communication facility for transmission of UHF and/or VHF television signals, FM and AM radio signals, and/or signals through FM translators or boosters not related to wireless communication facilities.

Major Redevelopment

Additions or alterations to a building or site, excluding interior-only improvements, which total fifty percent (50%) or more of the gross square footage (GSF) of the existing building(s) or site.

Manufactured Home

A detached building containing one (1) dwelling unit permanently affixed on a foundation, constructed within HUD standards.

Manufacturing and Fabrication, Light

The transformation of materials or substances into new products, including construction and assembling of component parts and the blending of materials such as lubricating oils, plastics, resins or liquors. Light manufacturing and fabrication is characterized by the use being contained within buildings, and materials or equipment used in production not being stored outside. Light manufacturing and fabrication activities do not generate external emissions such as smoke, odor, noise, vibrations or other nuisances outside the building. This definition includes but is not limited to manufacture and fabrication of electronic components, office products, furniture, glass products, and other manufacturing and fabrication uses as determined by the Director.

Manufacturing and Fabrication, Medium

The transformation of materials or substances into new products including construction and assembling of component parts, and the blending of materials such as lubricating oils, plastics, resins or liquors. Medium manufacturing and fabrication is characterized by need for only very limited areas of outdoor storage and may create minor external environmental impacts during the conduct of operations but most impacts are contained on site. This definition includes but is not limited to manufacture and fabrication of alcoholic products, paints, printing ink, leather goods, and other manufacturing and fabrication uses as determined by the Director.

Massage Business

A commercial establishment in which massage or other touching (considered medically necessary) of the human body is provided for a fee. Any physical activities beyond the stated purpose of the use shall be dealt with in the same manner as any activities considered illegal by the applicable legal codes.

Maximum Yard Setback

The maximum distance from a front property line that the edge of a building may be placed.

Medical Office/Outpatient Clinic

An establishment for treatment of outpatients, and providing no overnight care for patients.

Mitigation of Environmental Impacts

The use of any or all of the following actions, listed in descending order of preference:

A.    Avoiding the impact by not taking a certain action;

B.    Minimizing the impact by limiting the degree or magnitude of the action by using appropriate technology or by taking affirmative steps to avoid or reduce the impact;

C.    Rectifying the impact by repairing, rehabilitating or restoring the affected sensitive area or buffer;

D.    Reducing or eliminating the impact over time by preservation or maintenance operations during the life of the development proposal;

E.    Compensating for the impact by replacing, enhancing or providing substitute sensitive areas and environments; and

F.    Monitoring the impact and taking appropriate corrective measures.

Mobile Food Vending

Sales of ready-to-eat food to the general public at a temporary stationary location, from a motor vehicle that incorporates a kitchen or food preparation area. Mobile food vendors may also sell pre-packaged food products as a secondary activity.

Mobile Home

A detached building containing one (1) dwelling unit for a family, but not constructed within HUD standards, with running gear, attached or detachable, that allows it to be relocated.

Mobile Home Park

Land under single ownership and control designed and used for the temporary or permanent placement of two (2) or more manufactured or mobile homes for human occupancy.

Mobile Refueling Operation

An operation where a tank delivery vehicle, containing an approved combustible liquids dispensing storage tank with a maximum capacity of two thousand five hundred (2,500) gallons, is used to refuel commercial and construction vehicles with diesel engines for a site that does not include a stationary vehicle refueling station or facility. Mobile refueling operations do not include the mobile refueling of vehicles with gasoline or other alternate fuel powered engines.

Modular Home

A detached building containing one (1) dwelling unit for a family located on a permanent foundation, constructed within International Building Code (IBC) standards, but constructed off site and assembled on site. This term is identical to “factory-built home.”


Evaluating the impacts of development proposals on biologic, hydrologic and geologic systems and assessing the performance of required mitigation through the collection and analysis of data for the purpose of understanding and documenting changes in natural ecosystems, functions and features including, but not limited to, gathering baseline data.

Multi-Family Building

A building containing three (3) or more dwelling units that does not meet the definition of a townhouse.

Multi-Use Complex

A group of separate buildings operating under a common name or management; or a single building containing multiple uses where there are specific exterior entrances for individual uses.


A nonprofit, noncommercial establishment operated as a repository or a collection of natural, historic, scientific, or literary curiosities, or objects of interest or works of art. Restaurants and gift shops may be included as part of any museum. (Ord. 20-1026 § 5; Ord. 18-1009 § 2; Ord. 16-1009 § 8; Ord. 15-1018 § 1)

15.105.140 “N” Definitions.

Native Vegetated Surface

A surface in which the soil conditions, ground cover, and species of vegetation are like or similar to those of the original native condition for the site.


The intensity, duration and character of sound from any and all sources.

Nonconformance, Legal

Any legally established use, structure, or development standard which was lawfully allowed in the past, but is now not in conformance with the current code.

Nonconforming Use

Any use, structure, lot, condition, or development that does not conform to any of the provisions of the current code or that was not approved by the City through the appropriate decision-making process required under this code.

Nonprofit Organization

A noncommercial organization that does not operate to make a profit.

Noxious Weed

Any plant which is highly destructive, competitive or difficult to control by cultural or chemical practices, limited to those plants on the State Noxious Weed List contained in Chapter 16-750 WAC.

Nursing Home

See definition of “Convalescent Center/Nursing Home.” (Ord. 16-1022 § 1 (Exh. C); Ord. 15-1018 § 1)

15.105.150 “O” Definitions.

Off-Site Hazardous Waste Treatment and Storage

Hazardous waste treatment and storage facilities that treat and store waste from generators on properties other than those on which the off-site facility is located.

Open Space

A variety of lands which are created and preserved for park and open space purposes, including:

A.    Publicly accessible plazas, courtyards, and pocket parks located either within the front yard setback or elsewhere on site;

B.    Active outdoor recreation areas;

C.    Multi-purpose green spaces;

D.    Pedestrian and bicycle-only corridors separate from the public or private roadway system and dedicated to passive recreation, including access links in sensitive area buffers. The square footage (length times width) of pedestrian and bicycle-only corridor shall be counted as usable open space; and/or

E.    Natural areas with outstanding scenic or recreational (active or passive) value;

F.    Public access areas to creeks, rivers, lakes or Puget Sound;

G.    Lands that define, through natural features, urban and rural areas;

H.    Lands that create corridors between natural features;

I.    Areas defined as critical areas under Chapter 15.700 SMC;

J.    Any landscaped area that exceeds the minimum adopted landscape requirements;

K.    Vegetated LID BMPs.

Opiate Substitution Treatment Facility

A facility designed to dispense an opiate substitute drug approved by the Federal Drug Administration for the treatment of opiate addiction. (Ord. 21-1031 § 3; Ord. 21-1008 § 4; Ord. 16-1022 § 1 (Exh. C); Ord. 15-1018 § 1)

15.105.160 “P” Definitions.


Land owned by and open to the public, used for providing public access in a manner consistent with the preservation of its recreational, educational, cultural, historical, or aesthetic qualities.

Parking Lot

A public or private area other than a street or alley that provides parking for motor vehicles for the primary use on the property including, but not limited to, multi-family, office, retail, or commercial uses (including auto rental/sales). A parking lot is limited in use to the occupants, guests, or employees of the primary use of the property. A parking lot does not include an area used exclusively for the parking of motor vehicles for commercial purposes such as a park and fly lot.

Parking Lot, Public/Private

An area used exclusively for the parking of motor vehicles for a fee for any period of time.

Parking Space

An area accessible to vehicles, which is provided, improved, maintained and used for the sole purpose of accommodating a motor vehicle.

Parties of Record

Persons which have submitted written comments, testified, asked to be notified, listed on a maintained mailing list, or are the first signatory of a petition which is included as part of the official City record.

Passenger Terminal

A building for on- and off-loading passengers on private and public aircraft or other passenger modes of travel including, but not limited to, HCT, buses, PRTs, public rail systems and ferries.

Pedestrian Access

An area designed to allow access for pedestrians, including handicap access, from the public right-of-way to private land.

Perimeter Landscaping

Landscape buffers provided along the street and exterior boundaries of a site.

Permanent Supportive Housing

Subsidized, leased housing with no limit on length of stay that prioritizes people who need comprehensive support services to retain tenancy and utilizes admissions practices designed to use lower barriers to entry than would be typical for other subsidized or unsubsidized rental housing, especially related to rental history, criminal history, and personal behaviors. Permanent supportive housing is paired with on-site or off-site voluntary services designed to support a person living with a complex and disabling behavioral health or physical health condition who was experiencing homelessness or was at imminent risk of homelessness prior to moving into housing to retain their housing and be a successful tenant in a housing arrangement, improve the resident’s health status, and connect the resident of the housing with community-based health care, treatment, or employment services. Permanent supportive housing is subject to all of the rights and responsibilities defined in Chapter 59.18 RCW.

Permanent Supportive Housing, Small-Scale

Has the same meaning as “permanent supportive housing,” but shall meet the CRF I limitations, such as numerical occupancy, as required in SMC 15.465.400(B)(1). Small-scale permanent supportive housing is included in the “community residential facility” definition.

Police Facility

A facility used by any public agency, political subdivision or unit of local government of this State including but not limited to municipal corporations, special purpose districts, and local service districts, and agency of the State of Washington or of the United States or any state thereof which has responsibility for law enforcement, and for regular police functions, for the purposes of such law enforcement and regular police functions; provided, that where such activities occur at a regular office of the public agency responsible for such functions, the provisions applicable to public agency office, as that term is defined in this code, shall control.


A nursery school or educational program that is geared towards the education of very young children, generally between the ages of three (3) to five (5), but excluding day care uses.

Primary Use

The primary or predominant use of any lot or parcel.

Primary Vehicle Access

The major (or highest classification) street from which the majority of vehicles enter the subject property.

Produce Stand

A permanent structure up to five hundred (500) square feet in area used for the retail sale of fresh fruits and vegetables and may include, as an incidental or accessory use, the sale of sealed or prepackaged food products or nonfood items.

Professional/Business Office

A place of employment providing professional, administrative, business or governmental services other than production, distribution, sale or repair of goods or commodities.

Public Access

A portion of private property subject to an easement giving the public the right to stand on or traverse this portion of the property.

Public Access Pier or Boardwalk

An elevated structure which is constructed waterward of the high water line or upland of the water body and intended for public use.

Public Agency Office

An office maintained and used as a place to transact business, activity and operations of any public agency, political subdivision or unit of local government of this State including but not limited to municipal corporations, special purpose districts, and local service districts, and any agency of the State of Washington or of the United States or any state thereof.

Public Agency Yard

A yard or facility used as a place to store materials used by any public agency, political subdivision or unit of local government of this State including but not limited to municipal corporations, special purpose districts, and local service districts, and agency of the State of Washington or of the United States or any state thereof, as such materials are used by the “outdoor” operations of the public agency, and further used as a place to maintain equipment and facilities of the public agency.

Public Archives

A facility used by any public agency, political subdivision or unit of local government of this State including but not limited to municipal corporations, special purpose districts, and local service districts, and agency of the State of Washington or of the United States or any state thereof for the purposes of archiving, keeping, maintaining or storing documents, records or other property of the public agency; provided, that where such activities occur at the regular offices of the public agency, the provisions applicable to public agency office, as that term is defined in this code, shall control. (Ord. 21-1031 § 4; Ord. 17-1008 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 16-1009 § 8; Ord. 15-1018 § 1)

15.105.170 “Q” Definitions.

Quasi-Public Utility

A private business organization, such as a public service corporation subject to special governmental regulations; or a governmental agency; performing some public service, which is paid for directly by the recipient; including, but not limited to:

A.    Water supply;

B.    Solid waste;

C.    Electric power;

D.    Sewer;

E.    Natural gas;

F.    Telephone or cellular communications;

G.    Transportation for persons and freight. (Ord. 15-1018 § 1)

15.105.180 “R” Definitions.

Radio Tower

A structure whose purpose or accessory purpose is the transmission of radio waves and the supporting structure for the transmission antenna or device.

Reasonable Use

A legal concept articulated by Federal and State courts in regulatory taking cases. Within the context of these cases and for the purposes of this title, reasonable use shall mean any use permitted in each zone classification, outright or through a permit, and shall not mean the subdivision of property.

Recreation, Community (Recreational Center)

A recreational use, building, or event maintained and operated by a nonprofit club, or an organization whose membership is for a specified group.

Recreation, Public

A recreation use maintained and operated by a governmental agency or any nonprofit organization on publicly owned or leased land for the benefit of the general public; or on private land for a limited user group if the activity fulfills a recreation need that might otherwise be fulfilled by public agencies.

Recycling Processing

Source separation or the processing of solid waste mechanically or by hand to segregate materials for sale or reuse. Materials which can be removed through recycling include, but are not limited to, mixed paper, newsprint, cardboard, aluminum, glass, plastics, chemicals, oil, wood, compostable organics (food and yard debris), ferrous metal, and inorganics (rubble and inert material).

Reentry Center

A facility or institution operated under contract with the Department of Corrections, and/or owned by the State or a government agency, used for incarcerated individuals to serve the remainder of a court-imposed sentence for a period not to exceed twelve (12) months in partial confinement. Also referred to as “work release” in accordance with Chapter 72.65 RCW. This definition excludes at-home electronic surveillance.

Regional Utility Corridor

A right-of-way, tract or easement which contains major transmission lines or pipelines for utility companies, excluding distribution lines contained within street rights-of-way or lines serving individual lots or developments.

Religious Use Facility

A structure or place in which worship, ceremonies, rituals, and education pertaining to a particular system of beliefs are held.

Religious Use Facility, Accessory

Uses which are secondary to the religious purpose of the religious use facility and are considered as providing services to members and other individuals. The uses include, but are not limited to, bookstores, cafeteria, child day care, educational classes, social services, and limited retail sales of only religious use facility related materials, and operation of emergency shelters and emergency housing as limited by SMC 15.205.040, Use Chart.

Replacement Cost

The current cost to reconstruct a structure or part of the structure in a manner similar to its previous condition to the current code standards.


Commercial use (excluding fast food restaurants) which sells prepared food or beverages and generally offers accommodations for consuming the food or beverage on the premises.

Restaurant, Fast Food

Commercial use which serves food or beverages, is built to encourage drive-through business, and minimizes the number of interior accommodations for on-site consumption of the product.

Retail, Big Box

A retail or wholesale establishment in a building greater than fifty thousand (50,000) square feet of gross floor area that typically requires a high parking-to-building area ratio. Big box retail buildings are typically single-story structures. Accessory outdoor display of some materials may occur.

Retail Establishment

A commercial enterprise which provides goods and/or services directly to the consumer, whose goods are available for immediate purchase and removal from the premises by the purchaser, and/or whose services are traditionally not permitted within an office use.

A.    A retail establishment includes but is not limited to: antique/secondhand store; apparel/accessory store; department/variety store; drug store; florist shop; food/grocery store; furniture store; hardware/garden store; hobby/toy store; jewelry store; liquor store; pet store; and sporting goods store.

B.    A retail establishment does not include pawn shops.

Retail, General

A retail establishment within a permanent structure engaged in selling goods or merchandise to the general public for personal or household consumption and rendering services incidental to the sale of such goods. This definition excludes retail, big box uses and pawn shops.

Retirement Apartments

A multi-family building or buildings, with occupancy restricted to at least one (1) individual aged fifty-five (55) or older per unit, which may contain communal recreational and dining facilities.


Land dedicated primarily to the movement of vehicles and pedestrians, and for providing primary access to adjacent parcels. Secondarily, the land provides space for utility lines and appurtenances and other publicly owned devices. (Ord. 23-1003 § 2; Ord. 21-1031 § 5; Ord. 21-1008 § 5; Ord. 16-1009 § 8; Ord. 15-1018 § 1)

15.105.190 “S” Definitions.

Secondhand Store

A retail establishment in which the principal portion of the articles, commodities or merchandise handled, offered for sale, or sold on the premises is not new. Secondhand stores shall not be considered as including antique stores or pawn shops.

Secure Community Transition Facility (SCTF)

An inpatient facility for Level III sex offenders civilly committed and conditionally released to a less restrictive alternative. An SCTF has twenty-four (24) hour supervision and security, and either provides or ensures the provision of sex offender treatment services.


The State Environmental Policy Act (Chapter 43.21C RCW).


The required distance from the base of a structure, support structure, or the edge of a wireless telecommunications facility equipment shelter to the property line of the parcel on which the structure, support structure or wireless telecommunications facility equipment shelter is located.

Sexually Oriented Business

Includes any of the following types of establishments:

A.    Sexually Oriented Entertainment

Any exhibition or dance of any type conducted on premises where such exhibition or dance involves the exposure to view of any portion of the breast below the top of the areola or any portion of the pubic hair, anus, cleft of the buttocks, vulva or genitals.

B.    Sexually Oriented Theater

Any theater while that theater is providing entertainment through the showing of motion picture films predominantly distinguished or characterized by their emphasis on matter explicitly depicting any of the following:

1.    Human genitalia in a state of sexual stimulation or arousal;

2.    Acts of human masturbation, sexual intercourse or sodomy;

3.    Erotic fondling, touching or display of human genitalia, pubic region, buttock or female breast.

C.    Sexually Oriented Establishment

A commercial enterprise predominantly involved in the selling, renting or presenting for viewing of books, magazines, motion pictures, films, video cassettes, cable television, or other media distinguished or characterized by a predominant emphasis on matter explicitly depicting the items set forth in “sexually oriented theater.”

Examples of such establishments include, but are not limited to, adult book or video stores and establishments offering panorams or peep shows.

Shared Access Point

A common point of vehicle and pedestrian access from a right-of-way, or a vehicular access easement or tract for more than one (1) lot or use.


A single-story structure with one (1) or more sides enclosed, built for shelter or storage of materials.

Shoreline Master Program

The applicable City and State laws/codes related to the shoreline programs.

Short-Term Rental

A lodging use, that is not a hotel or motel or bed and breakfast, in which a dwelling unit, or portion thereof, is offered or provided to a guest by a short-term rental operator for a fee for fewer than thirty (30) consecutive nights.

A short-term rental does not include any of the following:

A.    A dwelling unit that is occupied by the owner for at least six (6) months during the calendar year and in which fewer than three (3) rooms are rented at any time.

B.    A dwelling unit, or portion thereof, that is used by the same person for thirty (30) or more consecutive nights.

C.    A dwelling unit, or portion thereof, that is operated by an organization or government entity that is registered as a charitable organization with the Secretary of State, State of Washington, or is classified by the Federal Internal Revenue Service as a public charity or a private foundation, and provides temporary housing to individuals who are being treated for trauma, injury, or disease, or their family members.

Significant Tree

An existing healthy tree which, when measured three (3) feet above grade, has a minimum diameter of:

A.    Eight (8) inches for evergreen trees; or

B.    Twelve (12) inches for deciduous trees (excluding poplar trees).


One (1) or more contiguous legal lots used as the basis upon which the provisions and standards of this code are applied.

Small, Resident-Oriented Uses

Those commercial uses that are geared to primarily serve local residents within a one-half (1/2) mile radius of its location, do not exceed two thousand (2,000) square feet in total gross feet, and will not have any significant impacts, such as excessive traffic or noise, that would negatively impact surrounding residential properties.

Social Service Office

An office maintained and used as a place to transact business activity and operations of any agency, association, entity or organization, whether public or private, and whether a business or a nonprofit organization, which provides as a major part of its function charitable, educational, legal, medical, psychological, religious, political entity, services to the community, including but not limited to associations, fraternal organizations and public service organizations; provided, that this definition shall not include hospitals and medical offices/outpatient clinics as those terms are defined in this code.

Specialized Instruction School

A school providing specialized instruction in areas including, but not limited to, art, music, cooking, and related disciplines. A specialized instruction school is also to be distinguished from vocational-technical schools, as defined in this code.

Sponsoring Agency

A church or other organization that joins in an application with a host agency for a City temporary use permit and assumes responsibility for providing basic services and support to temporary emergency homeless encampment residents, such as hot meals, coordination of other needed donations and services, etc.

Sports Club

A profit or nonprofit club providing the following activities:

A.    The instruction of basketball, softball, baseball, cheerleading fundamentals, martial arts and other similar activities.

B.    Weight lifting.

C.    Drop-in, pick-up game sport activities.

D.    Tournaments/competitions related to the instructional activities.


Land on which large domestic animals, such as horses, ponies, donkeys, cows, llamas, goats, pigs, or oxen, are kept for sale or hire to the public. Breeding, boarding, or training of large domestic animals may also be conducted.


A large open or enclosed place used for games and major events and partly or completely surrounded by tiers of seats for spectators. This includes accessory eating and drinking establishments.

Storage, Self-Service

A building or group of buildings containing separate storage spaces of varying sizes that are leased or rented as individual units.

Storm Drainage

The movement of water, due to precipitation, either surficially or underground.

Street, Private

Any easement, tract or street for ingress and egress which is not a public street. Driveways which are not part of an easement, tract or street for ingress and egress shall not be considered streets.

Street, Public

All streets, highways, freeways, avenues, lanes, alleys, courts, places, or other public ways in the City, whether improved or unimproved, held in public ownership and intended to be open as a matter of right to public vehicular and pedestrian access.


Anything which is built or constructed (above or below grade), an edifice or building of any kind, or any piece of work artificially built up or composed of parts joined together in some definite manner, excluding benches, statuary, utility boxes/lights, light poles, minor utility apertures, planter boxes less than forty-two (42) inches in height, fences seventy-two (72) inches or under in height, and residential tent structures.

Supportive Housing Facilities

A collective term for the following housing types: emergency housing; emergency shelters; permanent supportive housing; permanent supportive housing, small-scale; transitional housing; and transitional housing, small-scale, as defined in this chapter.

Surface Water Design Manual

The King County Surface Water Design Manual (KCSWDM), as amended by the City of SeaTac Addendum to the KCSWDM adopted in SMC 12.10.010. (Ord. 22-1002 § 2; Ord. 21-1031 § 6; Ord. 16-1022 § 1 (Exh. C); Ord. 16-1009 § 8; Ord. 15-1018 § 1)

15.105.200 “T” Definitions.


A commercial establishment licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on premises. Such establishments also usually offer food for on-site consumption, which may be prepackaged or prepared on premises.

Temporary Emergency Evacuation Storage Sites

The use of a parcel or parcels of property, either vacant or developed, for the temporary storage of vehicles, materials, equipment, or supplies, during flooding of the Green River Valley.

Tent Structure

An enclosure or shelter with twenty-five percent (25%) or greater sidewalls or drops on its perimeter.

Tent Structure, Canopy

An enclosure or shelter which is open without sidewalls or drops on seventy-five percent (75%) or more of the perimeter.

Theater/Entertainment Club

Any facility where live entertainment is provided or dancing occurs as a primary form of entertainment. Dining facilities may be provided as an ancillary use. This definition excludes movie theaters, sexually oriented businesses, taverns, fast-food and other restaurants.

Theater, Movie

An indoor facility for showing movies, including accessory retail sales of food and beverages. This definition excludes sexually oriented businesses and theater/entertainment clubs.


The uppermost strata of soil containing a large percentage of organic materials which is capable of providing suitable nourishment for vegetation.

Towing Operation

Any person, corporation or enterprise engaged in the moving of inoperable motor vehicles and storing (long-term or short-term) in an enclosed area. All such operations shall be in compliance with minimum State standards prior to commencing.


A building containing at least three (3) dwelling units in a row in which each unit has its own front and rear access to the outside, no unit is located over another unit, and each unit is separated from any other unit by one (1) or more vertical common fire-resistant walls.

Traffic Control Devices

Signs, signals, stripes and other mechanical or graphic items which control the flow or direction of vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

Transit Park and Ride Lot

An approved parking lot used exclusively for providing motor vehicle and vehicular circulation specifically for the purposes of access to a metropolitan (or regional) public transportation system.

Transitional Housing

A project that provides housing and supportive services to homeless persons or families for up to two (2) years and that has as its purpose facilitating the movement of homeless persons and families into independent living.

Transitional Housing, Small-Scale

Has the same meaning as “transitional housing,” but shall meet the CRF I limitations, such as numerical occupancy, as required in SMC 15.465.400(B)(1). Small-scale transitional housing is included in the “community residential facility” definition.

Truck Terminal

A building or area in which semitrailers, including tractor and trailer units, and other trucks are parked or stored for seventy-two (72) hours or less before being dispatched. This facility may include incidental servicing and washing facilities. (Ord. 21-1031 § 7; Ord. 16-1009 § 8; Ord. 15-1018 § 1)

15.105.210 “U” Definitions.

Urban Center

An area of the City of SeaTac that is delineated on the City of SeaTac Official Zoning Map where urban densities and design standards are required, specifically within the UH-UCR, CB-C, O/CM, and RBX zones.


An activity or purpose for which land, premises or a building thereon is designed, arranged, intended, or for which it is occupied or maintained, let or leased.

Use, Primary

The primary or predominant use of any lot or parcel.

Use, Subsidiary

A use on the property that is subordinate to the primary use of a property.

Utility Pole

Utility poles include telephone poles, light poles, and electrical transmission poles.

Utility Substation

Moderate to large scale facilities serving a sub-area, entire city or region including power substations, water transmission lines, wireless base stations, sewer collectors and pump stations, switching stations, gas transmission lines, water storage tanks and reservoirs and similar structures.

Utility Use

Facilities serving local areas including power lines, water and sewer lines, storm drainage facilities, transformers, pump stations and hydrants, switching boxes and other structures generally located in public rights-of-way or dedicated easements. (Ord. 17-1023 § 1; Ord. 15-1018 § 1)

15.105.220 “V” Definitions.

Vegetated LID BMPs

LID BMPs that utilize landscaping.

Vehicle, Large

Motor vehicles including motorcycles, passenger cars, trucks, and vans which have gross vehicle weights greater than sixteen thousand (16,000) pounds. In addition, “large vehicle” also includes recreational vehicles, buses, and boats, but does not include aircraft.

Vehicle Rental/Sales, Large

Rental, sales and incidental servicing of motor vehicles including, but not limited to, trucks, recreational vehicles, buses, boats, and heavy equipment, and similar size vehicles which have gross vehicle weights greater than sixteen thousand (16,000) pounds, but excluding airplanes or aircraft.

Vehicle Rental/Sales, Small

Sales, rental and incidental servicing of motor vehicles including, but not limited to, motorcycles, passenger cars, watercraft, light trucks, vans, and similar size vehicles which have gross vehicle weights less than sixteen thousand (16,000) pounds.

Vehicle Repair, Large

Vehicle repair includes fixing, incidental body or fender work, painting, upholstering, engine tune-up, major engine or transmission repair, adjusting lights or brakes, brake repair, other similar repair work and supplying and installing replacement parts of or for large vehicles.

Vehicle Repair, Small

Vehicle repair includes fixing, incidental body or fender work, painting, upholstering, engine tune-up, major engine or transmission repair, adjusting lights or brakes, brake repair, other similar repair work and supplying and installing replacement parts of or for small vehicles.

Vehicle, Small

Motor vehicles including motorcycles, passenger cars, trucks, vans and watercraft which have gross vehicle weights of sixteen thousand pounds (16,000) or less.

Veterinary Clinic

A place where domestic animals are given medical care and the boarding of animals is limited to short-term care incidental to the clinic use.

Vocational/Technical Schools

Schools and institutions providing longer-term (at least one (1) year) programs leading to proficiency, certification and associate degrees in vocational programs including computers, mechanical, food and hospitality service, automotive and aircraft services, surveying, welding, photography, carpentry, agriculture, horticulture, electrical, plumbing and construction trades. Truck driving instructional schools and heavy equipment operational schools also fall within this definition. (Ord. 16-1022 § 1 (Exh. C); Ord. 16-1009 § 8; Ord. 15-1018 § 1)

15.105.230 “W” Definitions.


An establishment which includes the brewing of beer, ale or malt beverage, the process of making wine, or the process of making distilled spirits. Accessory tasting rooms, retail sales and eating facilities may also be included.

Winery/Brewery/Distillery, Micro

A small-scale winery/brewery/distillery that meets the licensing requirements for microbreweries, craft distilleries and wineries of the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. (Ord. 16-1009 § 8; Ord. 15-1018 § 1)

15.105.240 “X” Definitions.

Reserved. (Ord. 15-1018 § 1)

15.105.250 “Y” Definitions.

Reserved. (Ord. 15-1018 § 1)

15.105.260 “Z” Definitions.

Zoning Map

The map designated as such and adopted by the City showing the geographical location of use zones within the municipal boundaries. (Ord. 15-1018 § 1)