Chapter 20.12


20.12.010    Definitions—Generally.

20.12.010 Definitions—Generally.

Whenever the following words and phrases appear in this title they shall be given the meaning attributed to them by this section. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense shall include the future; the singular shall include the plural, and the plural the singular; the word “shall” is always mandatory, and the word “may” indicates a use of discretion in making a decision.

“Act” means the Shoreline Management Act of 1971, Chapter 286, Laws of 1971, Ex. Sess.

“Associated wetlands” means those wetlands which are strongly influenced by and in close proximity to any stream, river or lake subject to the act. See also “Wetlands.”

“Average grade level” means the average of the natural or existing topography of the portion of the lot, parcel, or tract of real property which will be directly under the proposed building or structure; provided, that in the case of structures to be built over water, average grade level shall be the elevation of ordinary high water. Calculation of the average grade level shall be made by averaging the elevations at the center of all exterior walls of the proposed building or structure.

“Department” means the Washington State Department of Ecology.

“Development” means a use consisting of the construction or exterior alteration of structures, dredging, drilling, dumping, filling, removal of any sand, gravel or minerals, bulkheading, driving of piling, placing of obstructions, or any project of a permanent or temporary nature which interferes with the normal public use of the surface of the waters overlying lands subject to the act at any state of water or water level. See also “Substantial development.”

“Hearing examiner” means an appointed official vested with the duties established by Skamania County Ordinance Number 2006-16.

“Height” shall be measured from average grade level to the highest point of a structure; provided, that appurtenances such as television antennas and chimneys shall not be used in calculating height.

“Master program” means the shoreline management master program and its associated shorelines master plan maps.

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

“Ordinary high water mark” means the mark on all lakes and streams, which will be found by examining the beds and banks and ascertaining where the presence and action of waters are so common and usual, and so long continued in all ordinary years, as to mark upon the soil a character distinct from that of the abutting upland, with respect to the vegetation, or as it may naturally change thereafter. In any areas where the ordinary high water mark cannot be found, the line of mean high water shall be considered as the ordinary high water mark.

“Permit” means that required by the Act for substantial development on the shorelines to be issued by the county, and subject to review by the Department of Ecology.

“Person” means an individual, partnership, corporation, association, organization, cooperative, public or municipal corporation, or agency of the state or any local governmental unit however designated.

“Planning department” means the Skamania County planning department.

“Shorelines” means both the shorelines of Skamania County and the shorelines of statewide significance.

“Shorelines environment” means those shoreline environments as designated on the shoreline master plan maps. The purposes, uses and environment regulations are set forth in the shoreline management master program.

“Shorelines hearing board” means the state shorelines hearing board established by the Act.

“Shorelines of Skamania County” means all of the water areas of the county on segments of streams downstream of a point where the mean annual flow is twenty cubic feet per second or more and lakes larger than twenty acres in size and their associated wetlands, together with the lands underlying them, except the shorelines of statewide significance.

“Shorelines of statewide significance” means those natural rivers or segments thereof, as follows:

1. Any west of the crest of the cascade range downstream of a point where the mean annual flow is measured at one thousand cubic feet per second, or more;

2. Any east of the crest of the cascade range downstream of a point where the annual flow is measured at two hundred cubic feet per second, or more, or those portions or rivers east of the crest of the cascade range downstream from the first three hundred square miles of drainage area, whichever is longer;

3. Those wetlands associated with subsections 1 and 2 above;

4. Those lakes, whether natural, artificial or a combination thereof, with a surface acreage of one thousand acres, or more, measured at the ordinary high water mark and their associated wetlands. (See Chapter 20.04

“Substantial development” means any development of which the total cost or fair market value exceeds one thousand dollars or any development which materially interferes with normal public use of the water or shorelines, except that the following shall not be considered substantial developments:

1. Normal maintenance or repair of existing structures or developments, including damage by fire, accident, or elements;

2. Construction of the normal protective bulkhead, common to single-family residences;

3. Emergency construction necessary to protect property from damage by the elements;

4. Construction of a barn or similar agricultural structure on wetlands. Construction and practices normal or necessary for farming, irrigation, and ranching activities, including agricultural service roads and utilities on wetlands, and the construction and maintenance of irrigation structures including but not limited to head gates, pumping facilities and irrigation channels; provided, that a feedlot of any size, all processing plants, other activities of a commercial nature, alteration of the contour of the wetlands by leveling or filling other than that which results from normal cultivation, shall not be considered normal or necessary farming or ranching activities. A feedlot shall be an enclosure or facility used or capable of being used for feeding livestock hay, grain, silage, or other livestock feed, but shall not include the land for growing crops or vegetation for livestock feeding and/or grazing, nor shall it include normal livestock wintering operations;

5. Construction or modification of navigational aids such as channel markers and anchor buoys;

6. Construction on wetlands by an owner, lessee or contract purchaser of a single-family residence, for his own use or for the use of his family, which residence does not exceed a height of thirty-five feet above average grade level, and which meets all requirements of the state department or county master program;

7. Construction of a dock, designed for pleasure craft only, for the private noncommercial use of the owners, lessee, or contract purchaser of a single-family residence, for which the cost or fair market value, whichever is higher, does not exceed two thousand five hundred dollars;

8. Operation, maintenance, or construction of canals, waterways, drains, reservoirs, or other facilities that now exist, or are hereafter created or developed, as a part of an irrigation system for the primary purpose of making use of system waters, including return flow and artificially stored ground water from the irrigation of lands;

9. The marking of property lines or corners on state owned lands, when such marking does not significantly interfere with normal public use of the surface of the water;

10. Operation and maintenance of any system of dikes, ditches, drains, or other facilities existing on the effective date of the 1975 Amendatory Act which were created, developed or utilized primarily as a part of an agricultural drainage or diking system;

11. Any project with a certification from the governor pursuant to Chapter 80.50 RCW;

12. The construction of up to five hundred feet of one and only one road or segment of a road, for forest practices, provided such road does not enter the shoreline more than once. Such exemption from said permit requirements shall be limited to a single road or road segment for each forest practice, and such road construction shall be subject to the requirements of RCW Chapter 76.09, the Forest Practices Act, and regulations adopted pursuant thereto, and to the prohibitions or restrictions of any master program in effect under the provisions of RCW Chapter 90.58. Nothing in this section shall add to or diminish the authority of the Shoreline Management Act regarding road construction except as specifically provided in this title. The provisions of this section shall not relate to any road which crosses over or through a stream, lake, or other body subject to RCW Chapter 90.58.

“Wetlands” or “wetland areas” means those lands extending landward for two hundred feet in all directions, as measured on a horizontal plane from the ordinary high water mark and all marshes, bogs, swamps, floodway, and river deltas associated with the streams and lakes which are subject to the provisions of the Act. See also “Associated wetlands.” (Ord. 2007-02 (part): Ord. 1992-03 (part); Ord. 1980-02 § 5.0)