Chapter 17.08


17.08.010    General construction.

17.08.020    Definitions.

17.08.010 General construction.

When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense shall include the future, and the future the present; the singular includes the plural, and the plural the singular; the word “shall” is always mandatory and the word “may” denotes a use of discretion in making a decision. (Ord. 1146 § 2, 1998)

17.08.020 Definitions.

For the purpose of this title, certain terms and words shall be interpreted or defined as follows. Except where specifically defined in this section, all words used in this title shall carry the customary meanings:

“Accessory building” means a detached subordinate building in which an accessory use is located.

“Accessory use” means a subordinate use which is customarily incidental to the primary use of the premises, and which does not alter or change the character of the premises.

“Adult family home” means a facility licensed pursuant to Chapter 70.128 RCW and is defined by RCW 70.128.010 as a residential home in which a person or persons provide personal care, special care, room, and board to more than one but not more than six adults who are not related by blood or marriage to the person or persons providing services.

“Alley” means a public right-of-way affording a secondary means of vehicular access to abutting lots and not intended for general traffic circulation.

“Ancillary services” means an accessory use consisting of services primarily for the employees of a primary use. Examples of such uses include day care centers, cafeterias and exercise facilities for the benefit of the employees. Ancillary services shall not have outdoor signage.

“Assisted living facility” means a multi-unit establishment which provides living quarters and a variety of supportive personal care, limited health care, housekeeping, and transportation services to individuals who are unable to live independently due to infirmity of age or physical handicap, but who do not need the medically oriented care of a skilled nursing facility. Individual dwelling units are of a barrier-free design with separate bathroom facilities and a mini-kitchen without range. Communal areas include a dining room in which three meals per day are served, social and activity areas, laundry facilities, and open space. Assisted living facilities are licensed under Chapter 388-110 WAC.

“Building” means any structure built for the support, shelter, or enclosure of persons, animals, chattels, or property of any kind.

“Building code” means the International Building Code or such other code as is adopted by the city of Westport and is authorized by the state of Washington as it relates to the subject matter of this title.

“Building height” means the vertical distance from the average finished grade to the highest point of the coping or parapet of a flat roof, or to the peak of the highest gable of a pitch, gambrel or hip roof, or to the highest point on a false wall on a building with a false front, or to the deck level on a mansard roof. Average finished grade is determined by a simple average of the lowest elevation point and the highest elevation point of the site’s grade within the building’s footprint. The use of an artificial grade is not allowed for determining building height.

“Business service” means an establishment engaged in providing services to individual, business, and professional office uses. Examples of such uses include: postal services, financial institutions, photocopying and reproduction services, janitorial services, graphic design services, advertising services, data processing services, and employment agencies.

“Campground” means a lot on which two or more trailers, motor homes, campers, or tents are parked or located and used for sleeping or eating purposes.

“Club” means a nonprofit, social organization whose premises are restricted to members and their guests.

“Community center” means a facility owned and operated by a public agency or nonprofit corporation; provided, that the principal use of the facility is for public assistance, recreation, community improvement, special events, or public assembly.

“Convention center” means an establishment developed primarily as a meeting facility, including facilities for recreation and related activities provided for convention participants, excluding overnight lodging.

“Day care center” means any type of group child day care program, including: nurseries of children of working mothers; nursery schools for children under minimum age for education in public schools; privately conducted kindergartens when not part of a public or parochial school; programs covering after-school care for school children; all of which must be licensed by the state or city and conducted in accordance with state and local requirements.

Day Care, Family Provider. “Family day care provider” means a child care provider who regularly provides early childhood education and early learning services for not more than 12 children in the provider’s home in the family living quarters. This definition does not include said services provided in an accessory structure or residential structure not used as a residence by the provider.

Day Care, Mini-Center. “Mini-center day care” means a state licensed entity providing care during part of the 24-hour day period for 12 or fewer children in a facility other than the family abode of the person or persons under whose direct care the children are placed.

“Density” means the permissible number of dwelling units that may be developed on a specific amount of land area, measured in number of dwelling units per acre.

“Development regulations” means the controls placed on development or land use activities by a county or city, including, but not limited to, zoning ordinances, critical areas ordinances, shoreline master programs, official controls, planned unit development ordinances, subdivision ordinances, and binding site plan ordinances together with any amendments thereto. A development regulation does not include a decision to approve a project permit application, as defined in RCW 36.70B.020, even though the decision may be expressed in a resolution or ordinance of the legislative body of the county or city.

“Dwelling, accessory unit” means a residential dwelling unit of up to 600 square feet with a functional kitchen, bath, and outside entrance attached to or on the same parcel as a single-family residence in a residential zone. Accessory dwelling units shall be under the same ownership as the primary residential unit with the owner living on site in either unit. Accessory dwelling units shall not be condominiumized or otherwise sold separately.

“Dwelling, condominium” means a dwelling unit, established under the “Horizontal Regimes Act of the State of Washington,” owned separately from any other unit within the same building, if any, and the lot on which the building is located is owned in common by all dwelling unit owners.

“Dwelling group” means two or more detached buildings, each containing one or more dwelling units, on a lot, where the occupants are renters or one unit may be occupied by the lot owner.

“Dwelling, multiple-family” means a building containing three or more dwelling units on a lot, intended for occupancy by three or more families which may be renters or one unit may be occupied by the lot owner.

“Dwelling, single-family or one-family” means a building containing one dwelling unit on a lot, intended for occupancy by one family which may be either the lot owner or a renter. A single-family or one-family dwelling may be either a site-built, modular, or a manufactured dwelling.

“Dwelling, townhouse” means a dwelling unit with a ground level story located in a building which includes two or more such dwelling units and each dwelling unit, together with the underlying lot, is owned separately from any other dwelling unit and lot.

“Dwelling, two-family” or “duplex” means a building containing two dwelling units on a lot, intended for occupancy by two families which may be renters or one unit may be occupied by the lot owner.

“Dwelling unit” means one or more habitable rooms for one family with facilities for living, sleeping, cooking and eating.

“Education facility” means a building or group of buildings, including facilities for public or privately operated programs offering continuing education and retraining. These facilities include satellite locations for established primary, secondary, and higher education institutions; vocational and trade schools, adult education schools, alternative schools, and worker retraining programs.

“Electric vehicle charging station” means a public or private parking space that is served by battery charging station equipment that has as its primary purpose the transfer of electric energy (by conductive or inductive means) to a battery or other energy storage device in an electric vehicle. This definition includes “rapid vehicle charging stations.”

“Event center” means a building or property used by groups for celebratory events (e.g., weddings, parties, reunions, etc.), meetings and other events. Events may occur outdoors. Typically food service and alcohol are associated with this use.

“Family” means an individual, or two or more persons related by blood or marriage, or a group of not more than five persons who are not all related by blood or marriage, living together in a dwelling unit.

“Fence” means a masonry wall, hedge, or a barrier composed of posts connected by boards, rails, panels, or wire with vertical or horizontal boards, rails or slats for the purpose of screening, enclosing space or separating parcels of land, but not including retaining walls.

“Fence, open/non-sight-obscuring” shall mean a chain-link fence with no obstructions within the fence and split rail fencing, rails, boards or any form of attachment to posts, rails, panels or wires with a minimum of 24 inches between such attachments.

“Fence, sight-screening/sight-obscuring” shall mean a fence or hedge which substantially conceals from plain view the items being stored. Landscaping used for this purpose shall provide adequate sight screening immediately upon installation. The minimum for a sight-screening/sight-obscuring fence shall be a chain-link fence with woven slats in every row or available space of the fence.

“Government administrative office” means a facility for the executive, legislative, judicial, administrative, and regulatory activities of local, state, federal, and international governments that may perform public services and work directly with citizens. Typical facilities include city halls, courthouses, human and social service offices, post office, health offices, and government offices.

“Grade, artificial” means a manmade grade created by means of earthen terraces, berms, fills or the like, specifically for the purpose of gaining a height advantage or disguising the true height of a structure. Artificial grade shall not be used to determine the permissible height of any building or structure.

“Grade, finished” means the vertical elevation of the ground surface after development.

Grocery, Neighborhood. “Neighborhood grocery” means a retail business enclosed within a structure less than 6,000 square feet with the majority of sales relating to food and associated items.

“Grocery store” means a retail business enclosed within a structure 6,000 square feet and over with the majority of sales relating to food for consumption off premises. Limited outdoor storage may be permitted, provided it complies with screening requirements.

“Gross floor area” means the total area included within the surrounding walls of a building exclusive of stairways, shafts, vents and areas open to the sky above.

“Guest house” means a detached dwelling unit without cooking facilities accessory to a single-family dwelling.

“Guest room” means any room or suite included within a single-family dwelling which is occupied for sleeping purposes by a guest or guests for compensation in which no provision is made for cooking.

“Hazardous waste” means and includes all materials covered under the State Model Toxics Control Act, Chapter 70.105D RCW and implementing regulations.

“Hazardous waste treatment and storage” means hazardous waste management facilities requiring a state dangerous waste permit under the provisions of Chapter 173-303 WAC.

“High energy zones” as they relate to the Ocean Beach/Bay beaches are the zones designated “VE” zones on the most recently adopted FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM or DRIFM) for the city.

“Historic grave” means a grave or graves that were placed outside a cemetery dedicated pursuant to this chapter and to Chapter 68.24 RCW, prior to June 7, 1990.

“Historical cemetery” means any burial site or grounds which contain within them human remains buried prior to November 11, 1889. Native American burial sites are included in this definition.

“Home occupation” means a use customarily conducted within a dwelling or accessory building by the inhabitants of the dwelling and which use is clearly incidental and secondary to the use of the premises for dwelling purposes and does not change the character of the dwelling or premises.

“Hotel” or “motel” means any building or group of buildings located on the same lot containing a total of six or more guest rooms, exclusive of guest rooms located in a public or semi-public building as defined in this title, or a convalescent home.

“Independent living facility” means a multi-unit establishment which provides living quarters and a variety of social, housekeeping, and transportation services to senior citizens who choose to live in a congregate setting. Individual dwelling units are of a barrier-free design with separate bathroom facilities and may contain a full kitchen, partial kitchen, or no kitchen. Communal areas include a dining room in which at least one meal per day is served, social and activity areas, laundry facilities, and open space.

“Living area” means space in a building used for living, sleeping, eating or cooking. Bathrooms, toilet rooms, closets, halls, storage or utility spaces and similar areas are considered living areas. However, living areas do not include garages or other unfinished or uninsulated storage areas.

“Lot” means a tract of land lawfully established and officially recorded in the county auditor’s office, whether described by metes and bounds and/or by lot or by lot and block designation in a recorded plat, which constitutes a unit of land under single ownership.

“Lot area or size” means the total horizontal area included within the lot lines.

“Lot, corner” means a lot at the junction of and abutting on two or more intersecting streets where the angle of intersection is 130 degrees or less.

“Lot depth” means the horizontal distance between the midpoint of the front lot line and midpoint of the rear lot line.

“Lot, flag” means a lot not fronting on or abutting a public road and where access to the public road is by a narrow, private right-of-way or where the street frontage of the lot is less than the lot width required by this code which would result in a narrow portion of the property being used as access to the main portion of the lot.

“Lot, interior” means a lot other than a corner lot.

“Lot line, front” means, for interior lots, the boundary abutting the street; for corner lots the front lot line shall be determined by and coincide with the primary pedestrian entrance to the building.

“Lot line, rear” means the boundary of a lot opposite and most nearly parallel to the front lot line.

“Lot line, side” means any boundary line of a lot which is not a front lot line or a rear lot line.

“Lot width” means the lot area divided by the lot depth.

“Manufactured home park” means a tract of land, in single ownership, on which ground space is made available for the location of manufactured homes for use as dwelling units.

“Manufactured storage container” means a manufactured container used in the shipment of materials, which includes marine or rail shipping containers, storage/shipping pods or similar containers regardless of the materials used to construct the container. Truck trailers including semi-trailers which are or may be licensed shall not be allowed for use, with or without modifications, as accessory storage structures. Manufactured storage containers may only be used as single units. Units may not be stacked or combined into larger structures. Multiple individual units may be located on a single parcel if allowed by the provisions of the applicable zoning district. Temporary use of manufactured storage containers during construction may be authorized in all zoning districts by the building official.

“Marina” means a water-dependent facility consisting of a system of piers, buoys or floats which provides moorage and may include moorage, docks, port terminals, ferry terminals, passenger terminals, ship berthing, barge berthing, boathouses, boat, ship, barge, assembly and structure launching facilities; and navigation aids.

“Marine industrial” means the assembly, production, or storage of finished or semi-finished materials or components into a finished or semi-finished marine product, and includes the production of fishing equipment and supplies; yacht and boat construction and dry land boat storage; fish and seafood handling, storage, processing, packing, preserving, canning and wholesale and retail sales of fisheries products for human consumption; ice manufacturing, storage and sales; boatyards, ship, boat or barge building, construction and repair and dry docks; barge and ship cargo receiving, handling and storage areas; the fabrication, manufacturing, and/or assembly of drilling towers, support platforms, modules, marine assemblies or marine structures within or outside of a building; machine shops, welding shops and metal and structural composite fabrication within a building; truck terminals; commercial fishing operations, storage and sales of marine and truck/equipment fuel.

“Marine sales and service” means marine- related sales of items such as boating equipment, fishing equipment, hardware and supplies, fisheries products for human consumption, bait sales and boat repair.

“Mini-storage” means a one-story structure containing separate storage spaces of varying sizes leased or rented on an individual basis.

“Mixed use development” means a building or group of buildings that includes more than one type of uses in the same site plan. Mixed use developments may include a combination of uses such as restaurant, retail, office (government administration office, financial institutions, professional services), commercial entertainment and/or residential.

“Mobile home” means a transportable, factory-built home, constructed before June 15, 1976, designed and intended to be used as a dwelling, and built prior to the enactment of the Federal Manufactured Housing and Safety Standards Act of 1974. Mobile homes are no longer built and their placement in this community is prohibited.

“Mobile home park” means a tract of land, in single ownership, on which ground space is made available for the location of two or more mobile homes or manufactured homes to be occupied as dwelling units, subject to the following requirements:

(1) Each mobile home shall be connected to the required utilities as per city ordinance;

(2) Each mobile home shall be skirted around its entire perimeter within 90 days of its arrival at the site;

(3) Each mobile home shall have an anchoring system which shall meet the requirements of the ANSI Standard ANSI A225.1, Manufactured Homes Installation, 1994 Edition.

Mobile homes are no longer built and the placement of additional mobile homes in this community is prohibited. In addition, mobile homes can no longer be relocated within or without the boundaries of the mobile home park in which they are situated, except for the express purpose of transportation out of the city of Westport.

“Modular home” means a factory-assembled structure designed primarily for use as a dwelling, when connected to the required utilities that include plumbing, heating, and electrical systems contained within, which does not include its own running gear, and must be mounted on a permanent foundation.

“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.

“Nonconforming building” means a building, or portion thereof, which was lawfully erected and maintained prior to the adoption of this title, but which does not conform to the regulations of the zone in which it is located as provided by this title.

“Nonconforming use” means a use which was lawfully established and maintained prior to the adoption of this title, but which does not conform to the regulations of the zone in which it is located as provided by this title.

“Owner of record” for notice purposes means the person or entity listed on the public records of the Grays Harbor County auditor for the tax parcel or parcels in question as of the date of application.

“Ownership” means possession of fee title to real estate, or a legal contract to purchase real estate, or a legal contract (lease) assigning sole or preemptive right to use or occupy real estate for a specified period of time.

“Parking area, public” means an open area other than a street, alley or private parking area, whether publicly or privately owned, which is available for parking of vehicles owned by employees, business invitees, or the general public.

“Parking lot, commercial” means parking operated as a business with fees charged and regulations established by the owner of the parking facility.

“Personal services” means an establishment engaged in providing services involving nonmedical care of a person and/or his or her personal goods or apparel. Examples of such uses include: laundromats, dry cleaners, tailors and seamstresses, barbers, hairstyling salons, spa services, photography studios, dance schools, karate schools, and exercise facilities.

“Pet shop” means establishments engaged in the retail sale of pets, pet food, supplies and the grooming of pets and other small animals in accordance with Chapter 8.12 WMC.

“Product services” means:

(1) Level 1. Businesses engaged in servicing, repair or maintenance of small personal items such as shoes, small appliances, computers, watches and clocks, jewelry, and clothing, etc.;

(2) Level 2. Large appliance repair, auto repair, boat repair, garden equipment repair, and small engine repair.

“Professional services” means specialized services or skills provided in an office setting, such as lawyers, licensed health care providers, licensed funeral parlors/mortuaries (may not include crematoriums), architects, engineers, consultants, accountants, and financial advisors.

“Public facilities” means publicly owned facilities including streets, roads, highways, sidewalks, street and road lighting systems, traffic signals, power distribution systems, domestic water systems, storm and sanitary sewer systems, libraries, parks and recreational facilities, disaster mitigation, response and recovery facilities, and all facilities providing public services.

“Public services” includes fire protection and suppression, law enforcement, public health, emergency medical response, education, recreation, environmental protection and other governmental services.

“Recreational services” means:

(1) Level 1. An establishment engaged in providing recreational or entertainment services such as bowling alleys, museums, movie theaters, arcades, aquariums, concert halls, recreation halls, day use parks and open spaces 5,000 square feet or less;

(2) Level 2. Campgrounds, RV parks, parks and open spaces larger than 5,000 square feet, and amusement centers;

(3) Level 3. Golf courses, gaming facilities, athletic and sports facilities.

“Recycling collection point” means a collection point for recoverable resources, such as newspapers, glassware, and metal cans, petroleum products, batteries and similar items with processing of items occurring off site.

“Religious house of worship” means a building intended primarily for religious worship and accessory uses including Sunday school, religious education classrooms, assembly rooms, kitchen, library or reading room, recreation hall, a one-family dwelling unit for religious staff, but excluding day care centers, parochial schools and facilities for training of religious orders.

“Rental” means permission to use or occupy real estate granted by the owner thereof, which permission or occupancy may be terminated by either party at any time without cause, subject to appropriate notice.

“Restaurant” means an establishment that serves food and beverages primarily to persons seated within the building. This includes cafes, coffee shops, sandwich shops, dessert bars, tearooms, delicatessens, and outdoor cafes.

“Retail sales” means:

(1) Level 1. The sale of goods, merchandise and/or commodities for use or consumption by the immediate purchaser. Retail sales include the selling of goods and services which may include convenience goods, such as food, alcohol, and pharmacies; general merchandise, such as gifts, decorations, apparel, furniture and home furnishings; commodities such as bakeries, candies, flowers, nurseries. Repair and servicing of merchandise may be included as an accessory activity. Wholesale sales may be made from a retail business, provided the business’s principal use is retail sales;

(2) Level 2. Automobiles, trucks, and motorcycles; tool and equipment rental, recreational vehicles, gasoline and fuel sales which may or may not be combined with Level 1 sales such as in a mini-mart or convenience store, outdoor bulk sales of building and landscaping supplies, and trailer sales. Repair and servicing of merchandise may be included as an accessory activity;

(3) Level 3. Ship and boat, marine equipment, marine fuel, and heavy equipment sales and rentals, seafood wholesaling with retail sales as an accessory activity.

“Site-built” refers to a dwelling that is constructed on the site where it will be used and is regulated under the International Building Code.

“Social services” means the provision of services to elderly, infirmed, or disadvantaged member of the community. Examples of such uses include: senior centers, youth centers, food banks, food pantries, clothing distribution facilities, and centers offering free professional and/or personal services to the public. These facilities may be the primary use or an accessory use to another allowed use.

“Specialty goods production” means small-scale businesses that manufacture artisan goods or specialty foods. Small manufacturing production aims at direct sales rather than the wholesale market. This use may include public viewing, tasting area for consumption on site, restaurant or cafe, and other customer service space. This use category includes the following: microbreweries (a.k.a. brew pubs), microdistilleries, and wineries; fruit and vegetable preserving and specialty foods; and artisan leather, glass, cutlery, hand tools, wood, paper, ceramic, textile and yarn products.

“Story” means that portion of a building included between the upper surface of any floor and the surface of the floor next above, except that the topmost story shall be that portion of a building included between the upper surface of the topmost floor and the ceiling or roof above. The lowest story shall be that portion of a building included between the upper surface of the lowest finished floor and the surface of the floor above unless the lowest finished floor is more than six feet above grade, or is more than 12 feet above ground level at any point, in which case the area under such lowest finished floor shall be considered a story.

“Street” means land owned and designated by the city of Westport, Grays Harbor County, or the state of Washington as a public thoroughfare and which affords the primary means of access to abutting property. “Street” shall also include legally platted or recorded private roads or easements that serve two or more lots and afford the primary means of access to abutting property.

“Structure” means anything constructed in the ground, or anything erected which requires location on the ground or water, or is attached to something having location on or in the ground, but not including unroofed paved areas.

“Tavern” means an establishment primarily serving alcoholic beverages for consumption on site. Secondary activities may include dining, music, bottling, and sale of bottled beverages prepared on site.

“Trailer” means a vehicle originally transportable with or without motor power, designed or used as a recreational residence or vehicle equipped for cooking, eating and/or sleeping; or a dwelling unit with characteristics of a mobile home but having a floor area of less than 320 square feet.

For the purpose of this title, a trailer as defined herein shall not be considered a single-family dwelling.

“Urgent care facility” means a facility intended for the delivery of ambulatory medical care outside of a hospital emergency department on a walk-in basis without a scheduled appointment.

“Use” means the nature of the occupancy, the type of activity, or the character and form of improvement to which land or buildings are devoted or may be devoted.

“Wellhead protection zone” is an overlay zone calculated consistent with regulations approved by the Washington State Department of Ecology and/or the Department of Health to protect municipal water resources. Any permit granted in the wellhead protection zone requires a finding that the use planned will not be inconsistent with continued use of the municipal well for municipal water purposes.

“Wholesale sales” means the sale of goods, merchandise and/or commodities for resale by the purchaser in the regular course of business without intervening use by the purchaser.

“Yard” means a required open space that is on the same lot with the principal use and is unoccupied or unobstructed by any portion of a structure; provided, however, that paved terraces, fences, walls, poles, posts, ornaments, furniture and other customary yard accessories may be permitted in any yard subject to height limitations and requirements limiting the obstruction of sight distance at intersections.

(1) “Front yard” means a yard extending the full length of the front lot line and its depth is measured horizontally at right angles to the front lot line from midpoint of the front lot line to the midpoint of the front building line, except roof eaves, bump-out windows, fireplace chimneys and decks/balconies may encroach up to a maximum of 24 inches into the yard.

(2) “Rear yard” means a yard extending the full length of the rear lot line and its depth is measured horizontally at right angles to the rear lot line from midpoint of the rear lot line to midpoint of the rear building line, except roof eaves, bump-out windows, fireplace chimneys and decks/balconies may encroach up to a maximum of 24 inches into the yard.

(3) “Side yard” means a yard extending from the front yard to the rear yard and its depth is measured horizontally at right angles to the side lot line from the midpoint of the side lot line to the midpoint of the side building line except roof eaves, bump-out windows, fireplace chimneys and decks/balconies may extend up to 24 inches into the yard. For corner building sites, the side yard on the flanking street shall extend to the rear property line. (Ord. 1578 § 1, 2015; Ord. 1560 § 1, 2014)