Chapter 23.110


23.110.005    Generally.

23.110.010    A definitions.

23.110.020    B definitions.

23.110.030    C definitions.

23.110.040    D definitions.

23.110.050    E definitions.

23.110.060    F definitions.

23.110.070    G definitions.

23.110.080    H definitions.

23.110.090    I definitions.

23.110.100    J definitions.

23.110.110    K definitions.

23.110.120    L definitions.

23.110.130    M definitions.

23.110.140    N definitions.

23.110.150    O definitions.

23.110.160    P definitions.

23.110.170    Q definitions.

23.110.180    R definitions.

23.110.190    S definitions.

23.110.200    T definitions.

23.110.210    U definitions.

23.110.220    V definitions.

23.110.230    W definitions.

23.110.240    X definitions.

23.110.250    Y definitions.

23.110.260    Z definitions.

23.110.005 Generally.

The terms used throughout this program shall be defined and interpreted as indicated below. When consistent with the context, words used in the present tense shall include the future; the singular shall include the plural, and the plural the singular. (Ord. 2009-13 § 1 (Exh. 1)).

23.110.010 A definitions.

1. “Accessory development” means any development incidental to and subordinate to a primary use of a shoreline site and located adjacent thereto.

2. “Accessory structure” means a structure that is incidental and subordinate to a primary use and located on the same lot as the primary use, such as barns, garages, storage sheds, and similar structures.

3. “Accessory use” means a use customarily incidental to a permitted use; provided, that such use shall be located on the same lot as the permitted use except where specifically permitted elsewhere in zoning district regulations.

4. “Accretion shoreform” means a shoreline with a relatively stable berm and backshore that has been built up by long-term deposition of sand and gravel transported by wind and/or water from a feeder bluff or other material source. Such shoreforms are scarce locally and include, but are not limited to, barrier beaches, points, spits, tombolos, pocket beaches, and point and channel bars on streams.

5. “Act” means the Shoreline Management Act of 1971 (Chapter 90.58 RCW) as amended.

6. “Activity” means human activity associated with the use of land or resources.

7. “Administrator” or “shoreline administrator” means the director of the department of planning and development services who is to carry out the administrative duties enumerated in this program, or his/her designated representative.

8. “Adverse impact” means an impact that can be measured or is tangible and has a reasonable likelihood of causing moderate or greater harm to ecological functions or processes or other elements of the shoreline environment.

9. “Agricultural activities” means agricultural uses and practices including, but not limited to: producing, breeding, or increasing agricultural products; rotating and changing agricultural crops; allowing land used for agricultural activities to lie fallow in which it is plowed and tilled but left unseeded; allowing land used for agricultural activities to lie dormant as a result of adverse agricultural market conditions; allowing land used for agricultural activities to lie dormant because the land is enrolled in a local, state, or federal conservation program, or the land is subject to a conservation easement; conducting agricultural operations; maintaining, repairing, and replacing agricultural equipment; maintaining, repairing, and replacing agricultural facilities; and maintaining agricultural lands under production or cultivation.

10. “Agricultural equipment” and “agricultural facilities” include, but are not limited to:

a. The following used in agricultural operations: equipment; machinery; constructed shelters, buildings, and ponds; fences; water diversion, withdrawal, conveyance, and use equipment and facilities including, but not limited to, pumps, pipes, tapes, canals, ditches, and drains;

b. Corridors and facilities for transporting personnel, livestock, and equipment to, from, and within agricultural lands;

c. Farm residences and associated equipment, lands, and facilities; and

d. Roadside stands and on-farm markets for marketing fruit or vegetables.

11. “Agricultural land” means areas on which agricultural activities are conducted as of the date of adoption of this program pursuant to the State Shoreline Guidelines as evidenced by aerial photography or other documentation. After the effective date of this program, land converted to agricultural use is subject to compliance with the requirements herein.

12. “Agricultural products” includes, but is not limited to, horticultural, viticultural, floricultural, vegetable, fruit, berry, grain, hops, hay, straw, turf, sod, seed, and apiary products; feed or forage for livestock; Christmas trees; hybrid cottonwood and similar hardwood trees grown as crops and harvested within 20 years of planting; and livestock including both the animals themselves and animal products including, but not limited to, meat, poultry and poultry products, and dairy products.

13. “Alluvial fan” means a fan-shaped deposit of sediment and organic debris formed where a stream flows or has flowed out of a mountainous upland onto a level plain or valley floor because of a sudden change in sediment transport capacity (e.g., significant change in slope or confinement).

14. “Alteration” means any human-induced change in an existing condition of a shoreline, critical area and/or its buffer. Alterations include, but are not limited to, grading, filling, channelizing, dredging, clearing (vegetation), draining, construction, compaction, excavation, or any other activity that changes the character of the area.

15. “Anadromous fish” means fish species that spend most of their lifecycle in saltwater, but return to freshwater to reproduce.

16. “Appurtenance” means development that is necessarily connected to the use and enjoyment of a single-family residence and is located landward of the OHWM and/or the perimeter of a wetland. Appurtenances include a garage, deck, driveway, utilities, fences and grading which does not exceed 250 cubic yards (except to construct a conventional drainfield).

17. “Aquaculture” means the farming or culture of food fish, shellfish, or other aquatic plants or animals in freshwater or saltwater areas, and may require development such as fish hatcheries, rearing pens and structures, and shellfish rafts, as well as use of natural spawning and rearing areas. Aquaculture does not include the harvest of free- swimming fish or the harvest of shellfish not artificially planted or maintained, including the harvest of wild stock geoducks on DNR-managed lands.

18. “Aquaculture practices” means any activity directly pertaining to growing, handling, or harvesting of aquaculture produce including, but not limited to, propagation, stocking, feeding, disease treatment, waste disposal, water use, development of habitat and structures. Excluded from this definition are related commercial or industrial uses such as wholesale and retail sales, or final processing and freezing.

19. “Aquatic shoreline area” means an area designated pursuant to Chapter 23.30 WCC.

20. “Archaeological object” means an object that comprises the physical evidence of an indigenous and subsequent culture including material remains of past human life including monuments, symbols, tools, facilities, graves, skeletal remains and technological byproducts.

21. “Archaeological resource/site” means a geographic locality in Washington, including, but not limited to, submerged and submersible lands and the bed of the sea within the state’s jurisdiction, that contains archaeological objects. “Significant” is that quality in American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, and culture that is present in districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that possess integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association, and:

a. That are associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history; or

b. That are associated with the lives of significant persons in our past; or

c. That embody the distinctive characteristics of a type, period or method of construction, or that represent the work of a master, or that possess high artistic values, or that represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction; or

d. That have yielded or may be likely to yield information important in history or prehistory.

22. “Archaeologist” means a person who has designed and executed an archaeological study as evidenced by a thesis or dissertation and has been awarded an advanced degree such as an M.A., M.S. or Ph.D. from an accredited institution of higher education in archaeology, anthropology, or history or other germane discipline with a specialization in archaeology; has a minimum of one year of field experience with at least 24 weeks of field work under the supervision of a professional archaeologist, including no less than 12 weeks of survey or reconnaissance work, and at least eight weeks of supervised laboratory experience. Twenty weeks of field work in a supervisory capacity must be documentable with a report produced by the individual on the field work.

23. “Archaeology” means systematic, scientific study of the human past through material remains.

24. “Associated wetlands” means wetlands that are in proximity to tidal waters, lakes, rivers or streams that are subject to the Shoreline Management Act and either influence or are influenced by such waters. Factors used to determine proximity and influence include, but are not limited to: location contiguous to a shoreline waterbody, formation by tidally influenced geohydraulic processes, presence of a surface connection including through a culvert or tide gate, location in part or whole within the floodplain of a shoreline, periodic inundation, and/or hydraulic continuity.

25. “Average grade level” means the average of the natural or existing topography of the portion of the lot, parcel, or tract of real property on that part of the lot to be occupied by the building or structure as measured by averaging the elevations at the center of all exterior walls of the proposed structure. (Ord. 2009-13 § 1 (Exh. 1)).

23.110.020 B definitions.

1. “Backshore” means a zone of accretion or erosion lying landward of the average high-tide mark, wetted by tides during storm events.

2. “Barrier beach” means a linear accretion shoreform of sand and/or gravel berm(s) accreted waterward of bluffs, bays, marshes or estuaries by littoral drift; the berm acts as a natural dike and seawall to its backshore or marsh hinterland.

3. “Beach nourishment” means a restoration or shoreline stabilization activity in which selected beach material is deposited at one or several locations in the updrift portion of a drift sector. The material is then naturally transported by waves or currents downdrift to stabilize or restore accretion shoreforms and other berms, which may be eroding due to artificial obstructions in the shore process corridor.

4. “Bedlands” means those submerged lands below the line of extreme low tide in marine waters and below the line of navigability or navigable lakes and rivers. Where the line of navigability has not been established, bedlands would be those submerged lands below the OHWM in lakes and rivers.

5. “Bedrock” means a general term for rock, typically hard, consolidated geologic material that underlies soil or other unconsolidated, superficial material or is exposed at the surface.

6. “Berm” or “protective berm” means one or several accreted linear mounds of sand and gravel generally paralleling the shore at or landward of OHWM; berms are normally stable because of material size or vegetation, and are naturally formed by littoral drift.

7. “Best management practices” means conservation practices or systems of practices and management measures that:

a. Control soil loss and reduce water quality degradation caused by nutrients, animal waste, toxins, and sediment;

b. Minimize adverse impacts to surface water and ground water flow, circulation patterns, and to the chemical, physical, and biological characteristics of waters, wetlands, and other fish and wildlife habitats;

c. Control site runoff, spillage or leaks, sludge or water disposal, or drainage from raw material.

8. “Bioengineered shoreline stabilization” means biostructural and biotechnical alternatives to hardened structures (bulkheads, walls) for protecting slopes or other erosive features. Bioengineered stabilization uses vegetation, geotextiles, geosynthetics and similar materials. An example is vegetated reinforced soil slopes (VRSS), which uses vegetation arranged and embedded in the ground to prevent shallow mass-movement and surficial erosion.

9. “Boat lift” means an in-water structure used for the dry berthing of vessels above the water level and lowering of vessels into the water. A boat lift as herein defined is used to berth and launch a single vessel suspended over the water’s surface. A boat lift is generally a manufactured unit without a canopy cover and may be placed in the water adjacent to a dock or as stand-alone structure. A boat lift may be designed either for boats or personal watercraft. A boat lift is to be differentiated from a hoist or crane used for the launching of vessels. A boat lift with a canopy cover shall be considered a covered moorage for the purposes of this program.

10. “Bog” means a type of wetland dominated by mosses that form peat. Bogs are very acidic, nutrient poor systems, fed by precipitation rather than surface inflow, with specially adapted plant communities.

11. “Breakwater” means an offshore structure that is generally built parallel to shore that may or may not be connected to land, and may be floating or stationary. Their primary purpose is to protect harbors, moorages and navigation activity from wave and wind action by creating stillwater areas along shore. A secondary purpose is to protect shorelines from wave-caused erosion.

12. “Buffer (buffer zone)” means the area adjacent to a shoreline and/or critical area that separates and protects the area from adverse impacts associated with adjacent land uses.

13. “Building” means any structure used or intended for supporting or sheltering any use or occupancy as defined in the International Building Code.

14. “Building area” means the entire area that will be disturbed to construct the home, normal appurtenances (except on-site sewage systems), and landscaping.

15. “Building footprint” means, for the purposes of this program, the ground area contained by the exterior walls of a building.

16. “Bulkhead” means a wall-like structure such as a revetment or seawall that is placed parallel to shore primarily for retaining uplands and fills prone to sliding or sheet erosion, and to protect uplands and fills from erosion by wave action. (Ord. 2014-051 § 7; Ord. 2009-13 § 1 (Exh. 1)).

23.110.030 C definitions.

1. “Channel migration zone” means the area along a river or stream within which the channel can reasonably be expected to migrate over time as a result of normally occurring processes. It encompasses that area of current and historic lateral stream channel movement that is subject to erosion, bank destabilization, rapid stream incision, and/or channel shifting, as well as adjacent areas that are susceptible to channel erosion. There are three components of the channel migration zone: (a) the historical migration zone (HMZ) – the collective area the channel occupied in the historical record; (b) the avulsion hazard zone (AHZ) – the area not included in the HMZ that is at risk of avulsion over the timeline of the CMZ; and (c) the erosion hazard area (EHA) – the area not included in the HMZ or the AHZ that is at risk of bank erosion from stream flow or mass wasting over the timeline of the CMZ. The channel migration zone may not include the area behind a lawfully constructed flood protection device. Channel migration zones shall be identified in accordance with guidelines established by the Washington State Department of Ecology.

2. “Channelization” means the straightening, relocation, deepening or lining of stream channels, including construction of continuous revetments or levees for the purpose of preventing gradual, natural meander progression.

3. “Cherry Point management area” means a geographic area defined as all the shoreline areas within the jurisdiction of the Whatcom County shoreline management program lying between the eastern property boundary of Tax Lots 2.27 and 2.28 within the SE 1/4 of Section 11, Township 39 North, Range 1 West, as it existed on June 18, 1987, and the southern boundary of Section 32, Township 39 North, Range 1 East, extending waterward a distance of 5,000 feet and extending landward for 200 feet as measured on a horizontal plane from the OHWM.

4. “Clearing” means the removal of vegetation or plant cover by manual, chemical, or mechanical means. Clearing includes, but is not limited to, actions such as cutting, felling, thinning, flooding, killing, poisoning, girdling, uprooting, or burning.

5. “Coastal high hazard area” means the area subject to high velocity waters, including, but not limited to, storm surge or tsunamis. The area is designated on the Flood Insurance Rate Map as Zone V1-V30, VE or V.

6. “Commercial development” means those developments whose primary use is for retail, service or other commercial business activities. Included in this definition are developments such as hotels, motels, bed and breakfast establishments, shops, restaurants, banks, professional offices, grocery stores, laundromats, recreational vehicle parks, commercial rental campgrounds and cabins, whether public or private, and indoor or intensive outdoor commercial recreation facilities. Not included are private camping clubs, marinas, signs, utilities and other development.

7. “Commercial fish” means those species of fish that are classified under the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Food Fish Classification as commercial fish (WAC 220-12-010).

8. “Compensatory mitigation” means a project for the purpose of mitigating, at an equivalent or greater level, unavoidable impacts that remain after all appropriate and practicable avoidance and minimization measures have been implemented. Compensatory mitigation includes, but is not limited to, wetland creation, restoration, enhancement, and preservation; stream restoration and relocation, rehabilitation; and buffer enhancement.

9. “Conditional use” for the purposes of this program means a use, development or substantial development listed in the regulations as being permitted only as a conditional use, or not classified in this program. Conditional uses are subject to review and approval pursuant to the criteria in Chapter 23.60 WCC regardless of whether or not the proposal requires a substantial development permit.

10. “Conservancy shoreline area” means an area so designated in Chapter 23.30 WCC.

11. “Conservation” means the prudent management of rivers, streams, wetlands, wildlife and other environmental resources in order to preserve and protect them. This includes the careful use of natural resources to prevent depletion or harm to the environment.

12. “Conservation easement” means a legal agreement that the property owner enters into to restrict uses of the land for purposes of natural resources conservation. The easement is recorded on a property deed, runs with the land, and is legally binding on all present and future owners of the property.

13. “Contaminant” means any chemical, physical, biological, or radiological substance that does not occur naturally in ground water, air, or soil or that occurs at concentrations greater than those in the natural levels (Chapter 173-200 WAC).

14. “County” means Whatcom County, Washington.

15. “Covered moorage” means a roofed floating or fixed offshore structure without walls, other than a minimal structural framework needed to support the roof, for moorage of water craft or float planes.

16. “Critical aquifer recharge area” means areas designated by WAC 365-190-080(2) that are determined to have a critical recharging effect on aquifers (i.e., maintain the quality and quantity of water) used for potable water as defined by WAC 365-190-030(2).

17. “Critical areas” means the following areas as designated in Chapter 16.16 WCC:

a. Critical aquifer recharge areas.

b. Wetlands.

c. Geologically hazardous areas.

d. Frequently flooded areas.

e. Fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas.

18. “Critical habitat” means habitat areas with which endangered, threatened, sensitive or monitored plant, fish, or wildlife species have a primary association (e.g., feeding, breeding, rearing of young, migrating). Such areas are identified in Chapter 16.16 WCC with reference to lists, categories, and definitions promulgated by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as identified in WAC 232-12-011 or 232-12-014; in the Priority Habitat and Species (PHS) program of the Department of Fish and Wildlife; or by rules and regulations adopted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, or other agency with jurisdiction for such designations.

19. “Current deflector” means an angled “stub-dike,” groin, or sheet-pile structure which projects into a stream channel to divert flood currents from specific areas, or to control downstream current alignment. (Ord. 2009-13 § 1 (Exh. 1)).

23.110.040 D definitions.

1. “Dam” means a barrier across a stream or river to confine or regulate flow or raise water levels for purposes such as flood or irrigation water storage, erosion control, power generation, or collection of sediment or debris.

2. “Debris flow” means a moving mass of rock fragments, soil, and mud; more than half of the particles being larger than sand size; a general term that describes a mass movement of sediment mixed with water and air that flows readily on low slopes.

3. “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 that interferes with the normal public use of the surface of the waters overlying lands subject to the Act at any state of water level. This term may include activities related to subdivision and short subdivisions; binding site plans; planned unit developments; clearing activity; fill and grade work; building or construction; and activities that are exempt from the substantial development permit process or that require a shoreline variance or conditional use.

4. “Dike” means an artificial embankment placed at a stream mouth or delta area to hold back sea water for purposes of creating and/or protecting arable land from flooding.

5. “Dock” means all platform structures or anchored devices in or floating upon water bodies to provide moorage for pleasure craft or landing for water-dependent recreation including, but not limited to, floats, swim floats, float plane moorages, and water ski jumps. Excluded are launch ramps.

6. “Drainage ditch” means an artificially created watercourse constructed to drain surface or ground water. Ditches are graded (manmade) channels installed to collect and convey runoff from fields and roadways. Ditches may include irrigation ditches, waste ways, drains, outfalls, operational spillways, channels, stormwater runoff facilities or other wholly artificial watercourses, except those that directly result from the modification to a natural watercourse. Ditched channels that support fish are considered to be streams.

7. “Dredge spoil” means the material removed by dredging.

8. “Dredging” means the removal, displacement, and disposal of unconsolidated earth material such as silt, sand, gravel, or other submerged material from the bottom of water bodies or from wetlands; maintenance dredging and other support activities are included in this definition.

9. “Drift sector” or “drift cell” means a particular reach of marine shore in which littoral drift may occur without significant interruption, and which contains any and all natural sources of such drift, and also any accretion shoreform(s) accreted by such drift. Each normal drift sector contains these shore process elements: feeder bluff or estuary, driftway, littoral drift, and accretion shoreform.

10. “Driftway” means that portion of the marine shore process corridor, primarily the upper foreshore, through which sand and gravel are transported by littoral drift. The driftway is the essential component between the feeder bluff(s) and accretion shoreform(s) of an integral drift sector. Driftways are also characterized by intermittent, narrow berm beaches. (Ord. 2014-051 § 7; Ord. 2009-13 § 1 (Exh. 1)).

23.110.050 E definitions.

1. “Ecological functions” or “shoreline functions” means the work performed or role played by the physical, chemical, and biological processes that contribute to the maintenance of the aquatic and terrestrial environments that constitute the shoreline’s natural ecosystem. See WAC 173-26-201(2)(c). Functions include, but are not limited to, habitat diversity and food chain support for fish and wildlife, ground water recharge and discharge, high primary productivity, low flow stream water contribution, sediment stabilization and erosion control, storm and flood water attenuation and flood peak desynchronization, and water quality enhancement through biofiltration and retention of sediments, nutrients, and toxicants. These beneficial roles are not listed in order of priority.

2. “Ecosystem processes” or “ecosystem-wide processes” means the suite of naturally occurring physical and geologic processes of erosion, transport, and deposition; and specific chemical processes that shape landforms within a specific shoreline ecosystem and determine both the types of habitat and the associated ecological functions.

3. “Emergency activities” means those activities that require immediate action within a time too short to allow full compliance with this program due to an unanticipated and imminent threat to public health, safety or the environment. Emergency construction does not include development of new permanent protective structures where none previously existed. All emergency construction shall be consistent with the policies of Chapter 90.58 RCW and this program. As a general matter, flooding or other seasonal events that can be anticipated and may occur but that are not imminent are not an emergency.

4. “Enhancement” means actions performed within an existing degraded shoreline, critical area and/or buffer to intentionally increase or augment one or more functions or values of the existing area. Enhancement actions include, but are not limited to, increasing plant diversity and cover, increasing wildlife habitat and structural complexity (snags, woody debris), installing environmentally compatible erosion controls, or removing nonindigenous plant or animal species.

5. “Erosion” means a process whereby wind, rain, water and other natural agents mobilize, and transport, and deposit soil particles.

6. “Erosion hazard areas” means lands or areas underlain by soils identified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) as having “severe” or “very severe” erosion hazards and areas subject to impacts from lateral erosion related to moving water such as river channel migration and shoreline retreat.

7. “Essential public facility” means those facilities that are typically difficult to site, such as airports, state education facilities, and state or regional transportation facilities, state and local correctional facilities, solid waste handling facilities, and inpatient facilities including substance abuse facilities, mental health facilities, and group homes.

8. “Excavation” means the disturbance, displacement and/or disposal of unconsolidated earth material such as silt, sand, gravel, soil, rock or other material from all areas landward of OHWM.

9. “Exempt development” means a use or development activity that is not a substantial development and that is specifically listed as exempt from the substantial development permit requirement in WAC 173-27-040 and Chapter 23.60 WCC.

10. “Extreme high water level” means the highest tide level reached in a 19-year tidal cycle, or on lakes, the highest water level reached in the past 10 years.

11. “Extreme low tide” means the lowest line on the land reached by a receding tide. (Ord. 2009-13 § 1 (Exh. 1)).

23.110.060 F definitions.

1. “Fair market value” of a development means the open market bid price for conducting the work, using the equipment and facilities, and purchase of the goods, services and materials necessary to accomplish the development. This would normally equate to the cost of hiring a contractor to undertake the development from start to finish, including the cost of labor, materials, equipment and facility usage, transportation and contractor overhead and profit. The fair market value of the development shall include the fair market value of any donated, contributed or found labor, equipment or materials.

2. “Farm pond” means an open water depression created from a nonwetland site in connection with agricultural activities.

3. “Feasible” means an action, such as a development project, mitigation, or preservation requirement, that meets all of the following conditions:

a. The action can be accomplished with technologies and methods that have been used in the past in similar circumstances, or studies or tests have demonstrated in similar circumstances that such approaches are currently available and likely to achieve the intended results;

b. The action provides a reasonable likelihood of achieving its intended purpose; and

c. The action does not physically preclude achieving the project’s primary intended legal use.

In cases where this program requires certain actions, unless they are infeasible, the burden of proving infeasibility is on the applicant/proponent. In determining an action’s infeasibility, the county may weigh the action’s relative costs and public benefits, considered in the short- and long-term time frames.

4. “Feasible alternative” means an action, such as development, mitigation, or restoration, that meets all of the following conditions: (a) the action can be accomplished with technologies and methods that have been used in the past in similar circumstances, or studies or tests have demonstrated in similar circumstances that such approaches are currently available and likely to achieve the intended results; (b) the action provides a reasonable likelihood of achieving its intended purpose; and (c) the action does not physically preclude achieving the project’s primary intended legal use. Feasibility shall take into account both short- and long-term monetary and nonmonetary costs and benefits.

5. “Feasible location” means a location that accommodates a development in a manner that achieves its intended purpose consistent with the constraints of the applicable land use regulations and characteristics of the property, including but not limited to lot size, configuration, presence/absence of critical areas and compatibility with adjacent land use/development. Feasibility shall take into account both short- and long-term monetary and nonmonetary costs and benefits.

6. “Feeder bluff” or “erosional bluff” means any bluff (or cliff) experiencing periodic erosion from waves, sliding or slumping, and/or whose eroded sand or gravel material is naturally transported (littoral drift) via a driftway to an accretion shoreform; these natural sources of beach material are limited and vital for the long-term stability of driftways and accretion shoreforms.

7. “Feeder bluff exceptional” means relatively rapidly eroding bluff segments identified by the presence of landslide scarps, bluff toe erosion, and a general absence of vegetative cover and/or portions of bluff face fully exposed. Other indicators included the presence of colluvium (slide debris), boulder or cobble lag deposits, and fallen trees across the beachface. Feeder bluff exceptional segments lack a backshore, old or rotten logs, and coniferous bluff vegetation.

8. “Feedlot” means a concentrated, confined animal or poultry operation for production of meat, milk or eggs; or stabling in yards, barns, pens or houses wherein animals or poultry are fed at the place of confinement; and crop or forage growth or production is not sustained within the place of confinement.

9. “Fill material” means any solid or semi-solid material, including rock, sand, soil, clay, plastics, construction debris, wood chips, overburden from mining or other excavation activities, and materials used to create any structure or infrastructure that, when placed, changes the grade or elevation of the receiving site.

10. “Filling” means the act of transporting or placing by any manual or mechanical means fill material from, to, or on any soil surface, including temporary stockpiling of fill material.

11. “Fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas” means areas important for maintaining species in suitable habitats within their natural geographic distribution so that isolated populations are not created, as designated in Chapter 16.16 WCC.

12. “Fish habitat” means a complex of physical, chemical, and biological conditions that provide the life-supporting and reproductive needs of a species or life stage of fish. Although the habitat requirements of a species depend on its age and activity, the basic components of fish habitat in rivers, streams, ponds, lakes, estuaries, marine waters, and nearshore areas include, but are not limited to, the following:

a. Clean water and appropriate temperatures for spawning, rearing, and holding.

b. Adequate water depth and velocity for migrating, spawning, rearing, and holding, including off-channel habitat.

c. Abundance of bank and instream structures to provide hiding and resting areas and stabilize stream banks and beds.

d. Appropriate substrates for spawning and embryonic development. For stream- and lake-dwelling fishes, substrates range from sands and gravel to rooted vegetation or submerged rocks and logs. Generally, substrates must be relatively stable and free of silts or fine sand.

e. Presence of riparian vegetation as defined in this program. Riparian vegetation creates a transition zone, which provides shade, and food sources of aquatic and terrestrial insects for fish.

f. Unimpeded passage (i.e., due to suitable gradient and lack of barriers) for upstream and downstream migrating juveniles and adults.

13. “Fisheries” means all species of fish and shellfish commonly or regularly originating or harvested commercially or for sport in Puget Sound and its tributary freshwater bodies, together with the aquatic plants and animals and habitat needed for continued propagation and growth of such species.

14. “Fisheries enhancement” means actions taken to rehabilitate, maintain or create fisheries habitat, including but not limited to hatcheries, spawning channels, lake rehabilitation, and planting of fisheries stocks. Fisheries enhancement differs from aquaculture in that the increase in fisheries stocks eventually becomes available for public harvest.

15. “Float” means a floating platform similar to a dock that is anchored or attached to pilings.

16. “Flood” or “flooding” means a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from the overflow of inland waters and/or the unusual and rapid accumulation of runoff of surface waters from any source.

17. “Flood control works” means all development on rivers and streams designed to retard bank erosion, to reduce flooding of adjacent lands, to control or divert stream flow, or to create a reservoir, including but not limited to revetments, dikes, levees, channelization, dams, vegetative stabilization, weirs, flood and tidal gates. Excluded are water pump apparatus.

18. “Floodplain, 100-year” means all lands along a river or stream that may be inundated by the base flood of such river or stream.

19. “Flood management” means a long-term program to reduce flood damages to life and property and to minimize public expenses due to floods through a comprehensive system of planning, development regulations, building standards, structural works, and monitoring and warning systems.

20. “Flood-proofing” means structural provisions, changes, adjustments or a combination thereof, to buildings, structures, and works in areas subject to flooding in order to reduce or eliminate damages from flooding to such development and its contents, as well as related water supplies and utility facilities.

21. “Floodway” means those portions of the area of a river valley lying streamward from the outer limits of a watercourse upon which flood waters are carried during periods of flooding that occur with reasonable regularity, although not necessarily annually; said floodway being identified, under normal conditions, by changes in surface soil conditions or changes in types or quality of vegetation ground cover condition. The floodway shall not include those lands that can reasonably be expected to be protected from flood waters by flood control devices maintained by or maintained under license from the federal government, the state, or the county. The limit of the floodway is that which has been established in the program and approved by the Department of Ecology.

22. “Floodway fringe” means that fringe of land in the floodplain outside the floodway, which is subject to inundation by the base flood. Flooding in the fringe is limited to flood surge storage of water currents moving at a negligible velocity of less than one-half mile per hour.

23. “Food chain” means the hierarchy of feeding relationships between species in a biotic community. The food chain represents the transfer of material and energy from one species to another within an ecosystem.

24. “Foreshore” means the intertidal area between mean higher high water and mean low water.

25. “Forest land” means all land that is capable of supporting a merchantable stand of timber and is not being actively used, developed, or converted in a manner that is incompatible with timber production.

26. “Forest practices” means any activity conducted on or directly pertaining to forest land and relating to growing, harvesting, or processing of timber; including, but not limited to: (a) road and trail construction, (b) fertilization, (c) prevention and suppression of diseases and insects; or other activities that qualify as a use or development subject to the Act.

Excluded from this definition is preparatory work such as tree marking, surveying and removal of incidental vegetation such as berries, greenery, or other natural products whose removal cannot normally be expected to result in damage to shoreline natural features. Also excluded from this definition is preparatory work associated with the conversion of land for nonforestry uses and developments. Log storage away from forest land is considered industrial.

27. “Freestanding sign” means a self-supporting sign placed off and away from the building to which it is related.

28. “Frequently flooded areas” means lands in the floodplain subject to a one percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year and those lands that provide important flood storage, conveyance and attenuation functions, as determined by the county in accordance with WAC 365-190-080(3). Classifications of frequently flooded areas include, at a minimum, the 100-year floodplain designations of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Flood Insurance Program, as designated in Chapter 16.16 WCC. (Ord. 2009-13 § 1 (Exh. 1)).

23.110.070 G definitions.

1. “Gabions” means works composed of masses of rock, rubble, or masonry tightly enclosed usually by wire mesh so as to form massive blocks. They are used to form walls on beaches to retard wave erosion or as foundations for breakwaters or jetties.

2. “Geologically hazardous areas” means areas designated in Chapter 16.16 WCC that, because of their susceptibility to erosion, sliding, earthquake, or other geological events, pose unacceptable risks to public health and safety and may not be suited to commercial, residential, or industrial development.

3. “Geotechnical report” or “geotechnical analysis” means a scientific study or evaluation conducted by a qualified professional that includes a description of the ground and surface hydrology and geology, the affected land form and its susceptibility to mass wasting, erosion, and other geologic hazards or processes, conclusions and recommendations regarding the effect of the proposed development on geologic conditions, the adequacy of the site to be developed, the impacts of the proposed development, alternative approaches to the proposed development, and measures to mitigate potential site-specific and cumulative geological and hydrological impacts of the proposed development, including the potential adverse impacts to adjacent and down-current properties. Geotechnical reports shall conform to accepted technical standards.

4. “Gradient” means a degree of inclination, or a rate of ascent or descent, of an inclined part of the earth’s surface with respect to the horizontal; the steepness of a slope. It is expressed as a ratio (vertical to horizontal), a fraction (such as meters/kilometers or feet/miles), a percentage (of horizontal distance), or an angle (in degrees).

5. “Grading” means the movement or redistribution of the soil, sand, rock, gravel, sediment, or other material on a site in a manner that alters the natural contour of the land.

6. “Groins” means wall-like structures extending on an angle waterward from the shore into the intertidal zone. Their purpose is to build or preserve an accretion shoreform or berm on their updrift side by trapping littoral drift. Groins are relatively narrow in width but vary greatly in length. Groins are sometimes built in series as a system, and may be permeable or impermeable, high or low, and fixed or adjustable.

7. “Gross floor area” means, for the purposes of WCC 23.50.070(J), the sum total of the area included within the surrounding exterior walls of a building.

8. “Ground water” means all water that exists beneath the land surface or beneath the bed of any stream, lake or reservoir, or other body of surface water within the boundaries of the state, whatever may be the geological formation or structure in which such water stands or flows, percolates or otherwise moves (Chapter 90.44 RCW).

9. “Growth Management Act” means Chapters 36.70A and 36.70B RCW, as amended. (Ord. 2014-051 § 7; Ord. 2009-13 § 1 (Exh. 1)).

23.110.080 H definitions.

1. “Harbor area” means the navigable waters between inner and outer harbor lines as established by the State Harbor Lines Commission waterward of and within one mile of an incorporated city. Harbor areas have been established offshore of Bellingham and Blaine.

2. Repealed by Ord. 2019-013.

3. “Hazardous area” means any shoreline area which is hazardous for intensive human use or structural development due to inherent and/or predictable physical conditions, such as, but not limited to, geologically hazardous areas, frequently flooded areas, and coastal high hazard areas.

4. “Hazardous materials” means any substance containing such elements or compounds which, when discharged in any quantity in shorelines, present an imminent and/or substantial danger to public health or welfare, including, but not limited to: fish, shellfish, wildlife, water quality, and other shoreline features and property.

5. “Hazardous substance” means any liquid, solid, gas, or sludge, including any material, substance, product, commodity, or waste, regardless of quantity, that exhibits any of the physical, chemical or biological properties described in WAC 173-303-090 or 173-303-100.

6. “Hearings board” means the State Shorelines Hearings Board referenced in RCW 90.58.170.

7. “Height (building)” means the vertical dimension measured from average grade to the highest point of a structure; provided, that antennas, chimneys, and similar appurtenances shall not be used in calculating height, unless such appurtenance obstructs the view of a substantial number of adjacent residences.

8. “High intensity land use” means land use that includes the following uses or activities: commercial, urban, industrial, institutional, retail sales, residential (more than one unit/acre), high intensity new agriculture (dairies, nurseries, greenhouses, raising and harvesting crops requiring annual tilling, raising and maintaining animals), high intensity recreation (golf courses, ball fields), and hobby farms.

9. “Historic preservation professional” means those individuals who hold a graduate degree in architectural history, art history, historic preservation, or closely related field, with coursework in American architectural history, or a bachelor’s degree in architectural history, art history, historic preservation or closely related field plus one of the following:

a. At least two years of full-time experience in research, writing, or teaching in American architectural history or restoration architecture with an academic institution, historical organization or agency, museum, or other professional institution; or

b. Substantial contribution through research and publication to the body of scholarly knowledge in the field of American architectural history.

10. “Historic site” means those sites that are eligible or listed on the Washington Heritage Register, National Register of Historic Places, or any locally developed historic registry formally adopted by the Whatcom County council.

11. “Hydraulic project approval (HPA)” means a permit issued by the State Department of Fish and Wildlife for modifications to waters of the state in accordance with Chapter 77.55 RCW.

12. “Hydric soil” means a soil that is saturated, flooded or ponded long enough during the growing season to develop anaerobic conditions in the upper part. The presence of hydric soil shall be determined following the methods described in the Washington State Wetland Identification and Delineation Manual (RCW 36.70A.175).

13. “Hydrophytic vegetation” means macrophytic plant life growing in water or on a substrate that is at least periodically deficient in oxygen as a result of excessive water content.

14. “Hyporheic zone” means the saturated zone located beneath and adjacent to streams that contain some proportion of surface water from the surface channel mixed with shallow ground water. The hyporheic zone serves as a filter for nutrients, as a site for macroinvertebrate production important in fish nutrition, and provides other functions related to maintaining water quality. (Ord. 2019-013 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2009-13 § 1 (Exh. 1)).

23.110.090 I definitions.

1. “Impervious surface” means a hard surface area which either prevents or retards the entry of water into the soil mantle as under natural conditions prior to development, and/or a hard surface area which causes water to run off the surface in greater quantities or at an increased rate of flow from the flow present under natural conditions prior to development. Common impervious surfaces include, but are not limited to, roof tops, walkways, patios, driveways, parking lots or storage areas, concrete or asphalt paving, gravel roads, and oiled macadam or other surfaces which similarly impede the natural infiltration of stormwater. Natural surface water and open, uncovered detention/retention facilities shall not be calculated when determining total impervious surfaces. Impervious surfaces do not include surfaces created through proven low impact development techniques.

2. “In-kind compensation” means to replace critical areas with substitute areas whose characteristics and functions mirror those destroyed or degraded by a regulated activity.

3. “Instream structure” means a structure placed by humans within a stream or river waterward of the ordinary high-water mark that either causes or has the potential to cause water impoundment or the diversion, obstruction, or modification of water flow. Instream structures may include those for hydroelectric generation, irrigation, water supply, flood control, transportation, utility service transmission, fish habitat enhancement, or other purpose.

4. “Industrial development” means facilities for processing, manufacturing, and storage of finished or semi-finished goods, including but not limited to oil, metal or mineral product refining, power generating facilities, including hydropower, ship building and major repair, storage and repair of large trucks and other large vehicles or heavy equipment, related storage of fuels, commercial storage and repair of fishing gear, warehousing, construction contractors’ offices and material/equipment storage yards, wholesale trade or storage, and log storage on land or water, together with necessary accessory uses such as parking, loading, and waste storage and treatment. Excluded from this definition are mining, including on-site processing of raw materials, and off-site utility, solid waste, road or railway development, and methane digesters that are accessory to an agricultural use.

5. “Infiltration” means the downward entry of water into the immediate surface of soil.

6. “Institutional development” means those public and/or private facilities including, but not limited to, police and fire stations, libraries, activity centers, schools, educational and religious training centers, water-oriented research facilities, and similar noncommercial uses, excluding essential public facilities.

7. “Intertidal zone” means the substratum from extreme low water of spring tides to the upper limit of spray or influence from ocean-derived salts. It includes areas that are sometimes submerged and sometimes exposed to air, mud and sand flats, rocky shores, salt marshes, and some terrestrial areas where salt influences are present.

8. “Invasive species” means a species that is (a) nonnative (or alien) to Whatcom County and (b) whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm, or harm to human health. Invasive species can be plants, animals, and other organisms (e.g., microbes). Human actions are the primary means of invasive species introductions. (Ord. 2009-13 § 1 (Exh. 1)).

23.110.100 J definitions.

1. “Jetties” means structures that are generally perpendicular to shore extending through or past the intertidal zone. They are built singly or in pairs at harbor entrances or river mouths mainly to prevent shoaling or accretion from littoral drift in entrance channels, which may or may not be dredged. Jetties also serve to protect channels from storm waves or cross currents, and stabilize inlets through barrier beaches. On the West Coast and in this region, most jetties are of riprap mound construction. (Ord. 2009-13 § 1 (Exh. 1)).

23.110.110 K definitions.

Reserved. (Ord. 2009-13 § 1 (Exh. 1)).

23.110.120 L definitions.

1. “Lake” means a body of standing water in a depression of land or expanded part of a stream, of 20 acres or greater in total area. A lake is bounded by the OHWM or, where a stream enters the lake, the extension of the lake’s OHWM within the stream. Wetland areas occurring within the standing water of a lake are to be included in the acreage calculation of a lake.

2. “Landslide” means a general term covering a wide variety of mass movement landforms and processes involving the downslope transport, under gravitational influence of soil and rock material en masse; included are debris flows, debris avalanches, earthflows, mudflows, slumps, mudslides, rock slides, and rock falls.

3. “Landslide hazard areas” means areas that, due to a combination of site conditions like slope inclination and relative soil permeability, are susceptible to mass wasting, as designated in Chapter 16.16 WCC.

4. “Launch ramp” means an inclined slab, set of pads, rails, planks, or graded slope used for launching boats with trailers or by hand.

5. “Levee” means a natural or artificial embankment on the bank of a stream for the purpose of keeping floodwaters from inundating adjacent land. Some levees have revetments on their sides.

6. “Liberal construction” means an interpretation that applies in writing in light of the situation presented that tends to effectuate the spirit and purpose of the writing.

7. “Littoral drift” means the natural movement of sediment, particularly sand and gravel, along shorelines by wave action in response to prevailing winds or by stream currents (see also “drift sector,” “driftway”).

8. “Live aboard” means any noncommercial habitation of a vessel, as defined in WCC 23.110.220(3), when any one of the following applies:

a. Any person or succession of different persons resides on the vessel in a specific location, and/or in the same area on more than a total of 30 days in any 40-day period or on more than a total of 90 days in any 365-day period. “In the same area” means within a radius of one mile of any location where the same vessel previously moored or anchored on state-owned aquatic lands. A vessel that is occupied and is moored or anchored in the same area, but not for the number of days described in this subsection, is considered used as a recreational or transient vessel;

b. The city or county jurisdiction, through local ordinance or policy, defines the use as a residential use or identifies the occupant of the vessel as a resident of the vessel or of the facility where it is moored;

c. The operator of the facility where the vessel is moored, through the moorage agreement, billing statement, or facility rules, defines the use as a residential use or identifies the occupant of the vessel as a resident of the vessel or of the facility; or

d. The occupant or occupants identify the vessel or the facility where it is moored as their residence for voting, mail, tax, or similar purposes.

9. “Log booming” means assembling and disassembling rafts of logs for water-borne transportation.

10. “Log storage” means the holding of logs in the water for more than 60 days.

11. “Lot” means land described by final plat, short plat or metes and bounds description and is established pursuant to applicable state and local regulations in effect at the date a legal instrument creating the lot is recorded at the Whatcom County auditor’s office. A lot bisected by a public or private road, railroad, trail or other feature is considered a single building site unless the portion of the parcel on each side of the bisecting road or other feature separately meets all dimensional, buffer and other requirements established by local and state regulations.

12. “Lot area” or “lot size” means the portion of a total parcel determined to be usable for the purpose of creating a building lot, pursuant to all applicable regulations. The area below the ordinary high water mark shall not be considered a part of the lot area. Lot area shall exclude any portion included within the lot description used as a public road or as an access easement for another parcel; provided, that the area of parcels of five acres or greater may be regarded as nominal and may be measured to the center of bounding roads. Easements or restrictions that preclude use to the present or future surface owner of the parcel shall be excluded from lot area. (Ord. 2009-13 § 1 (Exh. 1)).

23.110.130 M definitions.

1. “Maintenance or repair” means those usual activities required to prevent a decline, lapse or cessation from a lawfully established condition or to restore the character, scope, size, and design of a serviceable area, structure, or land use to a state comparable to its previously authorized and undamaged condition. This does not include any activities that change the character, scope, or size of the original structure, facility, utility or improved area beyond the original design.

2. “Major development” means any project for which a major project permit is required pursuant to Chapter 20.88 WCC. For the purposes of this program, “major development” shall also mean any project associated with an existing development for which a major development permit has been required or other existing legal nonconforming development for which a major development permit would otherwise be required if developed under the current land use regulations outlined in WCC Title 20.

3. “Marina” means a wet moorage and/or dry storage facility for pleasure craft and/or commercial craft where goods, moorage or services related to boating may be sold commercially or provided for a fee, e.g., yacht club, etc. Launching facilities and covered moorage may also be provided. Marinas may be open to the general public or restricted on the basis of property ownership or membership. Manufacturing of watercraft is considered industrial.

4. “Marsh” means a low flat wetland area on which the vegetation consists mainly of herbaceous plants such as cattails, bulrushes, tules, sedges, skunk cabbage or other hydrophytic plants. Shallow water usually stands on a marsh at least during part of the year.

5. “Mass wasting” means downslope movement of soil and rock material by gravity. This includes soil creep, erosion, and various types of landslides, not including bed load associated with natural stream sediment transport dynamics.

6. “May” means the action is allowable, provided it conforms to the provisions of this program.

7. “Mean annual flow” means the average flow of a river, or stream (measured in cubic feet per second) from measurements taken throughout the year. If available, flow data for the previous 10 years should be used in determining mean annual flow.

8. “Mean higher high water” or “MHHW” means the mean elevation of all higher tides, generally occurring twice each day in Whatcom County at any given location on the marine shoreline.

9. “Mean lower low water” or “MLLW” means the mean elevation of all lower tides, generally occurring twice each day in Whatcom County at any given location on the marine shoreline.

10. “Mining” means the removal of naturally occurring metallic and nonmetallic minerals or other materials from the earth for economic use.

11. “Mitigation” means individual actions that may include a combination of the following measures, listed in order of preference:

a. Avoiding an impact altogether by not taking a certain action or parts of actions;

b. Minimizing impacts by limiting the degree or magnitude of an action and its implementation;

c. Rectifying impacts by repairing, rehabilitating, or restoring the affected environment;

d. Reducing or eliminating an impact over time by preservation and maintenance operations during the life of the action;

e. Compensating for an impact by replacing or providing substitute resources or environments; and

f. Monitoring the mitigation and taking remedial action when necessary.

12. “Mitigation plan” means a detailed plan indicating actions necessary to mitigate adverse impacts to critical areas.

13. “Mixed use” means a combination of uses within the same building or site as a part of an integrated development project with functional interrelationships and coherent physical design.

14. “Monitoring” means evaluating the impacts of development proposals over time on the biological, hydrological, pedological, and geological elements of ecosystem functions and processes and/or assessing the performance of required mitigation measures through the collection and analysis of data by various methods for the purpose of understanding and documenting changes in natural ecosystems and features compared to baseline or preproject conditions and/or reference sites.

15. “Multifamily dwelling” means a single building, or portion thereof, designed for or occupied by three or more families living independently of each other in separate dwelling units on one lot of record and, for the purpose of this code, includes triplexes, fourplexes, apartment buildings, and residential condominiums.

16. “Must” means a mandate; the action is required. (Ord. 2009-13 § 1 (Exh. 1)).

23.110.140 N definitions.

1. “Native vegetation” means plant species that are indigenous to the Whatcom County and the local area.

2. “Natural shoreline area” means an area designated pursuant to Chapter 23.30 WCC.

3. “Navigable waters” means a water body that in its ordinary condition, or by being united with other water bodies, forms a continued route or area over which commerce or recreational activities are or may be carried on in the customary modes in which such commerce or recreation is conducted on water.

4. “Nearshore habitat” means the zone that extends waterward from the marine shoreline (OHWM) to a water depth of approximately 20 meters (66 feet). Nearshore habitat is biologically rich, providing important habitat for a diversity of plant and animal species.

5. “No net loss” as a public policy goal means the maintenance of the aggregate total of the county’s shoreline ecological functions at its current level of environmental resource productivity. As a development and/or mitigation standard, no net loss requires that the impacts of a particular shoreline development and/or use, whether permitted or exempt, be identified and prevented or mitigated, such that it has no resulting adverse impacts on shoreline ecological functions or processes. Each project shall be evaluated based on its ability to meet the no net loss standard commensurate with its scale and character.

6. “Nonconforming lot” means, for the purposes of WCC 23.50.070(K) and 23.90.060(B)(3), a vacant lot under contiguous ownership and with less than a total of 20,000 square feet, including within shoreline jurisdiction, that was lawfully established prior to the effective date of this program (August 27, 1976) or amendments hereto, but which does not conform to the setback or buffer standards of this program.

7. “Nonconforming use,” “nonconforming development” or “nonconforming structure” means a shoreline use, development or structure that was lawfully constructed or established prior to the effective date of this program (August 27, 1976) or amendments hereto, but which does not conform to present regulations or standards of the program.

8. “Non-water-oriented use” means uses that are not water-dependent, water-related or water-enjoyment. Non-water-oriented uses have little or no relationship to the shoreline and are not considered priority uses under the Shoreline Management Act except single-family residences. Any use that does not meet the definition of water-dependent, water-related or water-enjoyment is classified as non-water-oriented. (Ord. 2014-051 § 7; Ord. 2009-13 § 1 (Exh. 1)).

23.110.150 O definitions.

1. “Off-premises sign” means a sign situated on premises other than those premises to which the sign’s message is related.

2. “Oil” means petroleum or any petroleum product in liquid, semi-liquid, or gaseous form including, but not limited to, crude oil, fuel oil, sludge, oil refuse and oil mixed with wastes other than dredging spoil.

3. “Ongoing agriculture” means those activities conducted on lands defined in RCW 84.34.020(2), and those activities involved in the production of crops and livestock, including, but not limited to, operation and maintenance of existing farm and stock ponds or drainage ditches, irrigation systems, changes between agricultural activities, and maintenance or repair of existing serviceable structures and facilities. Activities that bring an area into agricultural use are not part of an ongoing activity. An operation ceases to be ongoing when the area on which it was conducted has been converted to a nonagricultural use, or has lain idle for more than five consecutive years unless that idle land is registered in a federal or state soils conservation program. Forest practices are not included in this definition.

4. “On-premises sign” means a sign situated on the premises to which the sign’s message is related.

5. “Open space” means any parcel or area of land or water not covered by structures, hard surfacing, parking areas and other impervious surfaces except for pedestrian or bicycle pathways, or where otherwise provided by this title or other county ordinance and set aside, dedicated, for active or passive recreation, visual enjoyment, or critical area development buffers as established in Chapter 16.16 WCC. Submerged lands and/or tidelands within the boundaries of any waterfront parcel that are located waterward of the ordinary high water mark shall not be used in open space calculations. Required open space percentages, as applicable, are not to be used for purposes of calculating total impervious surface.

6. “Ordinary high water mark” or “OHWM” on all lakes, streams, and tidal water means that mark that will be found by examining the bed 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, in respect to vegetation as that condition existed on June 1, 1971, as it may naturally change thereafter, or as it may change thereafter in accordance with approved development; provided, that in any area where the OHWM cannot be found, the OHWM adjoining saltwater shall be the line of mean higher high tide and the OHWM adjoining fresh water shall be the line of mean high water. For braided streams, the OHWM is found on the banks forming the outer limits of the depression within which the braiding occurs. (Ord. 2009-13 § 1 (Exh. 1)).

23.110.160 P definitions.

1. “Party of record” means all persons, agencies or organizations who have submitted written comments in response to a notice of application; made oral comments in a formal public hearing conducted on an application; or notified local government of their desire to receive a copy of the final decision on a permit and who have provided an address for delivery of such notice by mail.

2. “Permit or approval” means any form or permission required under this program prior to undertaking activity on shorelines of the state, including substantial development permits, variance permits, conditional use permits, permit revisions, and shoreline exemptions from the substantial development permit process.

3. “Person” means an individual, partnership, corporation, association, organization, cooperative, public or municipal corporation, state agency or local governmental unit, however designated, or Indian nation or tribe.

4. “Pier” means any platform structure, fill, or anchored device in or floating upon water bodies to provide moorage for watercraft engaged in commerce, including, but not limited to: wharves, mono-buoys, sea islands, quays, ferry terminals, and fish weighing stations.

5. “Planned unit development (PUD)” means one or a group of specified uses, such as residential, resort, commercial or industrial, to be planned and constructed as a unit. Zoning or subdivision regulations with respect to lot size, building bulk, etc., may be varied to allow design innovations and special features in exchange for additional and/or superior site amenities or community benefits.

6. “Pocket beach” means an isolated beach existing usually without benefit of littoral drift from sources elsewhere. Pocket beaches are produced by erosion of immediately adjacent bluffs or banks and are relatively scarce and therefore valuable shoreforms in Whatcom County; they are most common between rock headlands and may or may not have a backshore.

7. “Point” means a low profile shore promontory that may be either the wave-cut shelf remaining from an ancient bluff or the final accretional phase of a hooked spit that closed the leeward side gap. Points are accretion shoreforms characterized by converging berms accreted by storm waves that enclose a lagoon, marsh, or meadow, depending on the point’s development stage.

8. “Point bar” means an accretion shoreform created by deposition of sand and gravel on the inside, convex side of a meander bend. Most material is transported downstream as sediment and bedload at times of high current velocity, or flood stage, from eroding banks or other bars upstream.

9. “Pond” means an open body of water, generally equal to or greater than 6.6 feet deep, that persists throughout the year and occurs in a depression of land or expanded part of a stream and has less than 30 percent aerial coverage by trees, shrubs, or persistent emergent vegetation. Ponds are generally smaller than lakes. Farm ponds are excluded from this definition. Beaver ponds that are two years old or less are excluded from this definition. For the purpose of this program, any pond whose surface water extends into the OHWM of any shoreline of the state shall be considered part of that shoreline of the state.

10. “Port development” means public or private facilities for transfer of cargo or passengers from water-borne craft to land and vice versa, including, but not limited to: piers, wharves, sea islands, commercial float plane moorages, offshore loading or unloading buoys, ferry terminals, and required dredged waterways, moorage basins, and equipment for transferring cargo or passengers between land and water modes. Excluded from this definition and addressed elsewhere are airports, marinas, boat ramps or docks used primarily for recreation, cargo storage and parking areas not essential for port operations, boat building or repair. The latter group is considered industrial or accessory to other uses.

11. “Potable” means water that is suitable for drinking by the public (Chapter 246-290 WAC).

12. “Preservation” means actions taken to ensure the permanent protection of existing, ecologically important areas that the county has deemed worthy of long-term protection.

13. “Primary association” means the use of a habitat area by a listed or priority species for breeding/spawning, rearing young, resting, roosting, feeding, foraging, and/or migrating on a frequent and/or regular basis during the appropriate season(s), as well as habitats that are used less frequently/regularly but which provide for essential life cycle functions such as breeding, nesting, or spawning.

14. “Priority habitat” means a habitat type with unique or significant value to one or more species. An area classified and mapped as priority habitat must have one or more of the following attributes: comparatively high fish or wildlife density; comparatively high fish or wildlife species diversity; fish spawning habitat; important wildlife habitat; important fish or wildlife seasonal range; important fish or wildlife movement corridor; rearing and foraging habitat; important marine mammal haulout; refuge; limited availability; high vulnerability to habitat alteration; unique or dependent species; or shellfish bed. A priority habitat may be described by a unique vegetation type or by a dominant plant species that is of primary importance to fish and wildlife (such as oak woodlands or eelgrass meadows). A priority habitat may also be described by a successional stage (such as old growth and mature forests). Alternatively, a priority habitat may consist of a specific habitat element (such as a consolidated marine/estuarine shoreline, talus slopes, caves, snags) of key value to fish and wildlife. A priority habitat may contain priority and/or nonpriority fish and wildlife (WAC 173-26-020(24)).

15. “Priority species” means wildlife species of concern due to their population status and their sensitivity to habitat alteration, as defined by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

16. “Private dock” means a dock and/or float for pleasure craft moorage or water recreation for exclusive use by one waterfront lot owner.

17. “Private sign” means a sign used on a private residence to indicate only the owner’s name or address, that the premises are for rent or sale, or for other reasonable purposes related to residential use including permitted home occupations.

18. “Project” means any proposed or existing activity regulated by Whatcom County.

19. “Project permit” or “project permit application” means any land use or environmental permit or approval required by Whatcom County, including, but not limited to, building permits, subdivisions, binding site plans, planned unit developments, conditional uses, shoreline substantial development permits, variances, lot consolidation relief, site plan review, permits or approvals authorized by a comprehensive plan or subarea plan.

20. “Projecting sign” means a sign that is attached to and projects at an angle from a building’s exterior wall.

21. “Public access” means the public’s right to get to and use the state’s public waters, both saltwater and freshwater, the water/land interface and associated shoreline area. It includes physical access that is either lateral (areas paralleling the shore) or perpendicular (an easement or public corridor to the shore), and/or visual access facilitated by means such as scenic roads and overlooks, viewing towers and other public sites or facilities.

22. “Public interest” means the interest shared by the citizens of the state or community at large in the affairs of government, or some interest by which their rights or liabilities are affected including, but not limited to, an effect on public property or on health, safety, or general welfare resulting from adverse effects of a use or development.

23. “Public utility” means a use owned or operated by a public or publicly licensed or franchised agency that provides essential public services such as telephone exchanges, electric substations, radio and television stations, wireless communications services, gas and water regulation stations, and other facilities of this nature. (Ord. 2009-13 § 1 (Exh. 1)).

23.110.170 Q definitions.

1. “Qualified professional” or “qualified consultant” means a person with experience and training with expertise appropriate for the relevant critical area subject in accordance with WAC 365-195-905(4). A qualified professional must have obtained a B.S. or B.A. or equivalent degree in biology, soil science, engineering, environmental studies, fisheries, geology, geomorphology or related field, and related work experience and meet the following criteria:

a. A qualified professional for wetlands must have a degree in biology, ecology, soil science, botany, or a closely related field and a minimum of three years of professional experience in wetland identification and assessment associated with wetland ecology in the Pacific Northwest or comparable systems.

b. A qualified professional for habitat conservation areas must have a degree in wildlife biology, ecology, fisheries, or closely related field and a minimum of three years’ professional experience related to the subject species/habitat type.

c. A qualified professional for geologically hazardous areas must be a professional engineering geologist or geotechnical engineer, licensed in the state of Washington.

d. A qualified professional for critical aquifer recharge areas means a Washington State licensed hydrogeologist, geologist, or engineer. (Ord. 2009-13 § 1 (Exh. 1)).

23.110.180 R definitions.

1. “Recharge” means the process involved in the absorption and addition of water from the unsaturated zone to ground water.

2. “Recreation” means an experience or activity in which an individual engages for personal enjoyment and satisfaction. Most shore-based recreation includes outdoor recreation such as: fishing, hunting, clamming, beach combing, and rock climbing; various forms of boating, swimming, hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, camping, picnicking, watching or recording activities such as photography, painting, bird watching or viewing of water or shorelines, nature study and related activities.

3. “Recreational development” means the modification of the natural or existing environment to accommodate recreation. This includes clearing land, earth modifications, structures and other facilities such as parks, camps, camping clubs, launch ramps, golf courses, viewpoints, trails, public access facilities, public parks and athletic fields, hunting blinds, wildlife enhancement (wildlife ponds are considered excavation), and other low intensity use outdoor recreation areas. Recreational homes/condominiums and related subdivisions of land are considered residential; resorts, motels, hotels, recreational vehicle parks, intensive commercial outdoor or indoor recreation, and other commercial enterprises are considered commercial.

4. “Reestablishment” means measures taken to intentionally restore an altered or damaged natural feature or process including:

a. Active steps taken to restore damaged wetlands, streams, protected habitat, and/or their buffers to the functioning condition that existed prior to an unauthorized alteration;

b. Actions performed to reestablish structural and functional characteristics of a critical area that have been lost by alteration, past management activities, or other events; and

c. Restoration can include restoration of wetland functions and values on a site where wetlands previous existed, but are no longer present due to lack of water or hydric soils.

5. “Rehabilitation” means a type of restoration action intended to repair natural or historic functions and processes. Activities could involve breaching a dike to reconnect wetlands to a floodplain or other activities that restore the natural water regime.

6. “Renovate” means to restore to an earlier condition as by repairing or remodeling. Renovation shall include any interior changes to a building and those exterior changes that do not substantially change the character of an existing structure.

7. “Residential development” means buildings, earth modifications, subdivision and use of land primarily for human residence, including, but not limited to: single-family and multifamily dwellings, condominiums, mobile homes and mobile home parks, boarding homes, family daycare homes, adult family homes, retirement and convalescent homes, together with accessory uses common to normal residential use. Camping sites or clubs, recreational vehicle parks, motels, hotels and other transient housing are not included in this definition.

8. “Resource shoreline area” means an area designated pursuant to Chapter 23.30 WCC.

9. “Restore,” “restoration” or “ecological restoration” means the reestablishment or upgrading of impaired ecological shoreline processes or functions. This may be accomplished through measures including, but not limited to, revegetation, removal of intrusive shoreline structures, and removal or treatment of toxic materials. Restoration does not imply a requirement for returning the shoreline area to aboriginal or pre-European settlement conditions.

10. “Revetment” means a sloped wall constructed of riprap or other suitable material placed on stream banks or other shorelines to retard bank erosion and minimize lateral stream movement.

11. “Riprap” means dense, hard, angular rock free from cracks or other defects conducive to weathering used for revetments or other flood control works.

12. “Riparian zone” means the area adjacent to a water body (stream, lake or marine water) that contains vegetation that influences the aquatic ecosystem, nearshore area and/or fish and wildlife habitat by providing shade, fine or large woody material, nutrients, organic debris, sediment filtration, and terrestrial insects (prey production). Riparian areas include those portions of terrestrial ecosystems that significantly influence exchanges of energy and matter with aquatic ecosystems (i.e., zone of influence). Riparian zones provide important wildlife habitat. They provide sites for foraging, breeding and nesting; cover to escape predators or weather; and corridors that connect different parts of a watershed for dispersal and migration.

13. “Riparian vegetation” means vegetation that tolerates and/or requires moist conditions and periodic free-flowing water, thus creating a transitional zone between aquatic and terrestrial habitats which provides cover, shade and food sources for aquatic and terrestrial insects for fish species. Riparian vegetation and their root systems stabilizes stream banks, attenuates high water flows, provides wildlife habitat and travel corridors, and provides a source of limbs and other woody debris to terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, which, in turn, stabilize stream beds.

14. “River delta” means those lands formed as an aggradational feature by stratified clay, silt, sand and gravel deposited at the mouths of streams where they enter a quieter body of water. The upstream extent of a river delta is that limit where it no longer forms distributary channels.

15. “Rock shore” means those shorelines whose bluffs and banks are typically composed of natural rock formations.

16. “Roof sign” means a sign erected upon, against, or directly above a roof, or on top of or above the parapet of a building; signs on mansard roofs shall be considered wall signs.

17. “Rural shoreline area” means an area designated pursuant to Chapter 23.30 WCC. (Ord. 2009-13 § 1 (Exh. 1)).

23.110.190 S definitions.

1. “Seismic hazard areas” means areas that are subject to severe risk of damage as a result of earthquake-induced ground shaking, slope failure, settlement, or soil liquefaction.

2. “Shall” means a mandate; the action must be done.

3. “Shared moorage” means moorage for pleasure craft and/or landing for water sports for use in common by shoreline residents of a certain subdivision or community within shoreline jurisdiction or for use by patrons of a public park or quasi-public recreation area, including rental of nonpowered craft. If a shared moorage provides commercial services or is of a large scale (more than four slips), it shall be considered a marina. Shared moorage proposed to be leased to upland property owners shall also be considered as a marina. If a proposal includes covered moorage, commercial sale of goods or services, or a means of launching other than a ramp, swinging boom, or davit style hoist, it shall be considered a marina.

4. “Shellfish” means invertebrates of the phyla Arthropoda (class Crustacea), Mollusca (class Pelecypoda) and Echinodermata.

5. “Shellfish habitat conservation areas” means all public and private tidelands suitable for shellfish, as identified by the Washington Department of Health classification of commercial growing areas, and those recreational harvest areas as identified by the Washington Department of Ecology are designated as shellfish habitat conservation areas pursuant to WAC 365-190-080. Any area that is or has been designated as a shellfish protection district created under Chapter 90.72 RCW is also a shellfish habitat conservation area.

6. “Shellfish protection district” means the Drayton Harbor shellfish protection district (DHSPD) (Ordinance 95-036) and the Portage Bay shellfish protection district (PBSPD) (Ordinance 98-069), or other area formed by the county based on RCW Title 90, in response to State Department of Health (DOH) closures or downgrades of a commercial shellfish growing area due to a degradation of water quality as a result of pollution. These areas include the watershed draining to the shellfish beds as part of the shellfish habitat conservation area.

7. “Shorelands” or “shoreland areas” means those lands extending landward for 200 feet in all directions as measured on a horizontal plane from the ordinary high water mark; floodways and contiguous floodplain areas landward 200 feet from such floodways; and all wetlands and river deltas associated with the streams, lakes and tidal waters which are subject to the provisions of Chapter 90.58 RCW.

8. “Shorelines” means all of the water areas of the state as defined in RCW 90.58.030, including reservoirs and their associated shorelands, together with the lands underlying them except:

a. Shorelines of statewide significance;

b. Shorelines on segments of streams upstream of a point where the mean annual flow is 20 cubic feet per second or less and the wetlands associated with such upstream segments; and

c. Shorelines on lakes less than 20 acres in size and wetlands associated with such small lakes.

9. “Shoreline administrator” means the director of the planning and development services department or staff member designated by the director to perform the review functions required in this program.

10. “Shoreline jurisdiction” means all “shorelines of the state” and “shorelands.”

11. “Shoreline permit” means a shoreline substantial development permit, a shoreline conditional use, or a shoreline variance, or any combination thereof issued by Whatcom County pursuant to Chapter 90.58 RCW.

12. “Shoreline residential area” means an area designated pursuant to Chapter 23.30 WCC.

13. “Shoreline stabilization” means structural or nonstructural modifications to the existing shoreline intended to reduce or prevent erosion of uplands or beaches. They are generally located parallel to the shoreline at or near the OHWM. Other construction classified as shore defense works include groins, jetties and breakwaters, which are intended to influence wave action, currents and/or the natural transport of sediments along the shoreline.

14. “Shoreline view area” means any area looking waterward within the jurisdiction of this program between the OHWM and a public road, park, pathway, or other public area that is undeveloped or developed with accessory uses only; and that does not obstruct the view of the shoreline or would not obstruct the view if natural vegetation, fences, walls, antennas or similar obstructions were removed.

15. “Shorelines of statewide significance” means the following shorelines in Whatcom County:

a. Those areas of Puget Sound and adjacent saltwaters between the ordinary high water mark and the line of extreme low tide as follows: Birch Bay from Point Whitehorn to Birch Point; and

b. Those areas of Puget Sound and adjacent saltwaters north to the Canadian line and lying waterward from the line of extreme low tide; and

c. Those lakes, whether natural, artificial, or a combination thereof, with a surface acreage of 1,000 acres or more measured at the ordinary high water mark including Lakes Whatcom, Baker and Ross; and

d. Those natural rivers or segments thereof as follows: any west of the crest of the Cascade range downstream of a point where the mean annual flow is measured at 1,000 cubic feet per second or more; including the Nooksack River’s mainstream, the North Fork upstream to its confluence with Glacier Creek in Section 6, Township 39 North, Range 7 East, W.M.; and the South Fork upstream to its confluence with Hutchinson Creek in Section 9, Township 37 North, Range 5 East, W.M.

e. Shoreline jurisdiction associated with subsections (15)(a), (c), and (d) of this section.

16. “Shorelines of the state” means the total of all “shorelines” and “shorelines of statewide significance” within the state.

17. “Should” means that the particular action is required unless there is a demonstrated, compelling reason, based on policy of the Act and this chapter, against taking the action.

18. “Sign” means any placard, billboard, display, message, design, letters, symbol, light, figure, illustration, set of pennants, or other device intended to identify, inform, advertise, or attract attention to any private or public premises, and placed mainly outdoors so as to be seen from any public or quasi-public place. Double-faced signs are counted as two signs. Excluded from this definition are official traffic, directional or warning devices, other official public notices, signs required by law, or flag of a government or other noncommercial institution.

19. “Significant vegetation removal” means the removal or alteration of trees, shrubs, and/or ground cover by clearing, grading, cutting, burning, chemical means, or other activity that causes significant impacts to ecological functions provided by such vegetation. The removal of invasive or noxious weeds does not constitute significant vegetation removal. Tree pruning, not including tree topping, where it does not affect ecological functions, does not constitute significant vegetation removal.

20. “Single-family development” means the development of a single-family residence permanently installed and served with utilities on a lot of record.

21. “Site” means any parcel or combination of contiguous parcels, or right-of-way or combination of contiguous rights-of-way under the applicant’s/proponent’s ownership or control that is the subject of a development proposal or change in use.

22. “Slope” means:

a. Gradient.

b. The inclined surface of any part of the earth’s surface delineated by establishing its toe and top and measured by averaging the inclination over at least 10 feet of vertical relief.

23. “Soil” means all unconsolidated materials above bedrock described in the Soil Conservation Service Classification System or by the Unified Soils Classification System.

24. “Solid waste” means all putrescible and nonputrescible solid and semi-solid waste including garbage, rubbish, ashes, industrial wastes, swill, demolition and construction wastes, abandoned vehicles and parts thereof, and any other discarded commodities.

25. “Spit” means an accretion shoreform that is narrow in relation to length and extends parallel to or curves outward from shore; spits are also characterized by a substantial wave-built sand and gravel berm on the windward side, and a more gently sloping silt or marsh shore on the lagoon or leeward side; curved spits are called hooks.

26. “Statement of exemption” means a written statement by the administrator that a particular development proposal is exempt from the substantial development permit requirement and is generally consistent with this program including the policy of the Act (RCW 90.58.020), pursuant to WCC 23.60.020.

27. “Streams” means those areas where surface waters produce a defined channel or bed. A defined channel or bed is an area that demonstrates clear evidence of the annual passage of water and includes, but is not limited to, bedrock channels, gravel beds, sand and silt beds, and defined channel swales. The channel or bed need not contain water year-round. This definition includes drainage ditches or other artificial water courses where natural streams existed prior to human alteration, and/or the waterway is used by anadromous or resident salmonid or other fish populations or flows directly into shellfish habitat conservation areas.

28. “Strict construction” means an interpretation that considers only the literal words of a writing.

29. “Structure” means a permanent or temporary building or edifice of any kind, or any piece of work artificially built up or composed of parts joined together in some definite matter whether installed on, above, or below the surface of the ground or water, except for vessels (after International Building Code).

30. “Substantial development” means any development of which the total cost or fair market value exceeds $5,718 or as amended by the State Office of Financial Management, or any development which materially interferes with the normal public use of the water or shorelines of the state; except the classes of development, listed in WCC 23.60.022(A) through (P).

31. “Substantially degrade” means to cause significant ecological impact.

32. “Surface mining” means all or any part of the processes involved in mining by removing the soil or rock overburden and mining directly from deposits thereby exposed, including also open pit mining, gravel bar scalping and mining of deposits naturally exposed at earth’s surface, and including production of surface mining refuse.

33. “Sustained yield” means the continuing yield of a biological resource, such as timber from a forest, by controlled and periodic harvesting.

34. “Swamp” means a wetland that is often inundated and composed of woody vegetation. (Ord. 2009-13 § 1 (Exh. 1)).

23.110.200 T definitions.

1. “Tideland” means the land on the shore of marine water bodies between OHWM and the line of extreme low tide which is submerged daily by tides.

2. “Timber” means forest trees, standing or down, of a commercial species, including Christmas trees.

3. “Toe” means the lowest part of a slope or cliff; the downslope end of an alluvial fan, landslide, etc.

4. “Tombolo” means an accretion shoreform that began as a spit and accreted into a causeway-like connection to an island or offshore rock; tombolos normally develop from offshore bars (submarine berms) that build up in a low energy “wave-shadow” zone between the offshore, wave barrier element and an active driftway.

5. “Top” means the top of a slope; or in this program it may be used as the highest point of contact above a landslide hazard area.

6. “Transportation” means roads and railways, related bridges and culverts, fills, embankments, causeways, parking areas, truck terminals and rail switchyards, sidings, spurs, and air fields. Not included are recreational trails, highway rest areas, ship terminals, seaplane moorages, nor logging roads; they are included respectively under “recreation,” “pier,” “dock,” “residential,” and “forest practices.” (Ord. 2009-13 § 1 (Exh. 1)).

23.110.210 U definitions.

1. “Unavoidable” means adverse impacts that remain after all appropriate avoidance and minimization measures have been implemented.

2. “Upland” means dry lands landward of OHWM.

3. “Urban conservancy shoreline area” means an area designated pursuant to Chapter 23.30 WCC.

4. “Urban resort shoreline area” means an area designated pursuant to Chapter 23.30 WCC.

5. “Urban shoreline area” means an area designated pursuant to Chapter 23.30 WCC.

6. “Utilities” means all lines and facilities used to distribute, collect, transmit, or control electrical power, natural gas, petroleum products, information (telecommunications), water, and sewage.

7. “Utility development” means development including, but not limited to, facilities for distributing, processing, or storage of water, sewage, solid waste, storm drainage, electrical energy including electronic communications, and their administrative structures, as well as pipelines for petroleum products, and fire fighting facilities. Power plants are considered industrial. (Ord. 2009-13 § 1 (Exh. 1)).

23.110.220 V definitions.

1. “Variance” means an adjustment in the application of this program’s regulations to a particular site pursuant to Chapter 23.60 WCC.

2. “Vegetative stabilization” means planting of vegetation to retain soil and retard erosion, reduce wave action, and retain bottom materials. It also means utilization of temporary structures or netting to enable plants to establish themselves in unstable areas.

3. “Vessel” means a floating structure that is designed primarily for navigation, is normally capable of self-propulsion and use as a means of transportation, and meets all applicable laws and regulations pertaining to navigation and safety equipment on vessels, including, but not limited to, registration as a vessel by an appropriate government agency. (Ord. 2009-13 § 1 (Exh. 1)).

23.110.230 W definitions.

1. “Wall sign” means a sign placed upon and parallel to the exterior of a building.

2. “Water body” means a body of still or flowing water, fresh or marine, bounded by the OHWM.

3. “Water-dependent use” means a use or portion of a use that requires direct contact with the water and cannot exist at a nonwater location due to the intrinsic nature of its operations.

4. “Water-enjoyment use” means a recreational use, or other use facilitating public access to the shoreline as the primary character of the use; or a use that provides for recreational use or aesthetic enjoyment of the shoreline for a substantial number of people as a general character of the use and that through the location, design and operation assure the public’s ability to enjoy the physical and aesthetic qualities of the shoreline. In order to qualify as a water-enjoyment use, the use must be open to the general public and the water-oriented space within the project must be devoted to the specific aspects of the use that fosters shoreline enjoyment.

5. “Water-oriented use” means any one or a combination of water-dependent, water-related or water-enjoyment uses and serves as an all-encompassing definition, together with single-family residences, for priority uses under the Act.

6. “Water quality” means the characteristics of water, including flow or amount, and related physical, chemical, aesthetic, recreation-related, and biological characteristics.

7. “Water-related use” means a use or portion of a use that is not intrinsically dependent on a waterfront location but depends upon a waterfront location for economic viability. These uses have a functional relationship to the water, or the use provides a necessary support service for a water-dependent use and physical separation is not feasible.

8. “Watershed” means a geographic region within which water drains into a particular river, stream or body of water. There are approximately 122 watersheds (e.g., Bertrand, Ten Mile, Dakota, Canyon Creek, Lake Whatcom, Lake Samish) identified in WRIA 1 and WRIA 3. These are nested within approximately 14 sub-basins (e.g., North Fork Nooksack, Drayton Harbor, Sumas River, Friday Creek), which are nested within four basins (e.g., Nooksack River, Fraser River, Samish River, Coastal).

9. “Watershed restoration plan” means a plan developed or sponsored by the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Department of Ecology, the Department of Transportation, a federally recognized Indian tribe acting within and pursuant to its authority, a city, a county or a conservation district that provides a general program and implementation measures or actions for the preservation, restoration, recreation, or enhancement of the natural resource character and ecology of a stream, stream segment, drainage area or watershed for which agency and public review have been conducted pursuant to Chapter 43.21C RCW, the State Environmental Policy Act.

10. “Watershed restoration project” means a public or private project authorized by the sponsor of a watershed restoration plan that implements the plan or part of the plan and consists of one or more of the following activities:

a. A project that involves less than 10 miles of stream reach, in which less than 25 cubic yards of sand, gravel, or soil is removed, imported, disturbed or discharged, and in which no existing vegetation is removed except as minimally necessary to facilitate additional plantings;

b. A project for the restoration of an eroded or unstable stream bank that employs the principles of bioengineering, including limited use of rock as a stabilization only at the toe of the bank, and with primary emphasis on using native vegetation to control erosive forces of flowing water; or

c. A project primarily designated to improve fish and wildlife habitat, remove or reduce impediments to migration of fish, or enhance the fishery resource available for use by all of the citizens of the state; provided, that any structures, other than a bridge or culvert or instream habitat enhancement structure associated with the project, is less than 200 square feet in floor area and is located above the ordinary high water mark.

11. “Weir” means a structure in a stream or river for measuring or regulating stream flow.

12. “Wet season” means the period generally between November 1st and March 30th of most years when soils are wet and prone to instability. The specific beginning and end of the wet season can vary from year to year depending on weather conditions.

13. “Wetlands” means areas that are inundated or saturated by surface water or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs and similar areas. Wetlands do not include those artificial wetlands intentionally created for nonwetland sites, including, but not limited to, irrigation and drainage ditches, grass-lined swales, canals, detention facilities, wastewater treatment facilities, farm ponds, and landscape amenities or those wetlands created after July 1, 1990, that were unintentionally created as a result of the construction of a road, street, or highway. Wetlands may include those artificial wetlands intentionally created from nonwetland areas to mitigate the conversion of wetlands.

14. “Wetland edge” means the boundary of a wetland as delineated based on the definitions contained in this chapter.

15. “Wood waste” means solid waste consisting of wood pieces or particles generated as a byproduct or waste from the manufacturing of wood products, handling and storage of raw materials and trees and stumps. This includes, but is not limited to, sawdust, chips, shavings, bark, pulp, hog fuel, and log sort yard waste, but does not include wood pieces or particles containing chemical preservatives such as creosote, pentachlorophenol, or copper-chrome-arsenate. (Ord. 2009-13 § 1 (Exh. 1)).

23.110.240 X definitions.

Reserved. (Ord. 2009-13 § 1 (Exh. 1)).

23.110.250 Y definitions.

Reserved. (Ord. 2009-13 § 1 (Exh. 1)).

23.110.260 Z definitions.

Reserved. (Ord. 2009-13 § 1 (Exh. 1)).