In addition to the definitions and concepts set forth in RCW
90.58.030, as amended, and the other implementing rules for the
Washington State Shoreline Management Act,
as used herein, the following words and phrases shall have the following
(1) "Act" means the Washington State Shoreline Management Act,
(2) "Adoption by rule" means an official action by the department to
make a local government shoreline master program effective through rule
consistent with the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act,
34.05 RCW, thereby incorporating the adopted shoreline master program
or amendment into the state master program.
(3)(a) "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, provided that the replacement facility is no closer to the
shoreline than the original facility; and maintaining agricultural lands
under production or cultivation;
(b) "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 twenty years of
planting; and livestock including both the animals themselves and animal
products including, but not limited to, meat, upland finfish, poultry and
poultry products, and dairy products;
equipment" and "agricultural facilities" includes,
but is not limited to:
(i) The following used in agricultural operations: Equipment;
machinery; constructed shelters, buildings, and ponds; fences; upland
finfish rearing facilities; water diversion, withdrawal, conveyance, and
use equipment and facilities including, but not limited to, pumps, pipes,
tapes, canals, ditches, and drains;
(ii) Corridors and facilities for transporting personnel, livestock,
and equipment to, from, and within agricultural lands;
(iii) Farm residences and associated equipment, lands, and
(iv) Roadside stands and on-farm markets for marketing fruit or
land" means those specific land areas on which
agricultural activities are conducted as of the date of adoption of a
local master program pursuant to these guidelines as evidenced by aerial
photography or other documentation. After the effective date of the master
program, land converted to agricultural use is subject to compliance with
the requirements of the master program.
(4) "Amendment" means a revision, update, addition, deletion, and/or
reenactment to an existing shoreline master program.
(5) "Approval" means an official action by a local government
legislative body agreeing to submit a proposed shoreline master program or
amendments to the department for review and official action pursuant to
this chapter; or an official action by the department to make a local
government shoreline master program effective, thereby incorporating the
approved shoreline master program or amendment into the state master
(6) "Aquaculture" means the
culture or farming of fish, shellfish, or other aquatic plants
and animals. Aquaculture does not include the harvest of wild
geoduck associated with the state managed wildstock geoduck
(7) "Channel migration zone (CMZ)" means the area along a river
within which the channel(s) can be reasonably predicted to migrate over
time as a result of natural and normally occurring hydrological and
related processes when considered with the characteristics of the river
and its surroundings.
(8) "Critical areas"
as defined under chapter
36.70A RCW includes the following areas
(b) Areas with a critical recharging effect on aquifers
used for potable waters;
(c) Fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas;
(d) Frequently flooded areas; and
(e) Geologically hazardous areas.
(9) "Department" means the state department of ecology.
regulations" means the controls placed on
development or land uses by a county or city, including, but not limited
to, zoning ordinances, critical areas ordinances, all portions of a
shoreline master program other than goals and policies approved or adopted
90.58 RCW, planned unit development ordinances, subdivision
ordinances, and binding site plan ordinances together with any amendments
(11) "Document of record" means the most current shoreline master
program officially approved or adopted by rule by the department for a
given local government jurisdiction, including any changes resulting from
appeals filed pursuant to RCW
(12) "Drift cell," "drift sector," or "littoral cell" means a
particular reach of marine shore in which littoral drift may occur without
significant interruption and which contains any natural sources of such
drift and also accretion shore forms created by such drift.
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.
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.
(15) "Feasible" means, for the purpose of this chapter, that an
action, such as a development project, mitigation, or preservation
requirement, 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 these guidelines require certain actions unless they
are infeasible, the burden of proving infeasibility is on the applicant.
In determining an action's infeasibility, the reviewing agency may
weigh the action's relative public costs and public benefits, considered
in the short- and long-term time frames.
(16) "Fill" means the addition of soil, sand, rock, gravel, sediment,
earth retaining structure, or other material to an area waterward of the
OHWM, in wetlands, or on shorelands in a manner that raises the elevation
or creates dry land.
(17) "Flood plain" is synonymous with one hundred-year flood plain
and means that land area susceptible to inundation with a one percent
chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. The limit of this
area shall be based upon flood ordinance regulation maps or a reasonable
method which meets the objectives of the act.
(18) "Floodway" means the area, as identified in a master
program, that either:
(a) Has been established in federal emergency
management agency flood insurance rate maps or floodway maps; or
(b) Consists of those portions 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
condition, by changes in surface soil conditions or changes in
types or quality of vegetative ground cover condition,
topography, or other indicators of flooding that occurs with
reasonable regularity, although not necessarily annually.
Regardless of the method used to identify the floodway, 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 a political subdivision of the
(19) "Geotechnical report" or "geotechnical analysis" means a
scientific study or evaluation conducted by a qualified expert 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 and must be prepared
by qualified professional engineers or geologists who have professional
expertise about the regional and local shoreline geology and processes.
(20) "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.
(21) "Guidelines" means those standards adopted by the department to
implement the policy of chapter
90.58 RCW for regulation of use of the shorelines of the state prior
to adoption of master programs. Such standards shall also provide criteria
for local governments and the department in developing and amending master
(22) "Local government" means any county, incorporated city or town
which contains within its boundaries shorelines of the state subject to
chapter 90.58 RCW.
(23) "Marine" means pertaining to tidally influenced waters,
including oceans, sounds, straits, marine channels, and estuaries,
including the Pacific Ocean, Puget Sound, Straits of Georgia and Juan de
Fuca, and the bays, estuaries and inlets associated therewith.
(24)(a) "Master program" or "shoreline master program" shall
mean the comprehensive use plan for a described area, the use
regulations together with maps, diagrams, charts, or other
descriptive material and text, a statement of desired goals, and
standards developed in accordance with the policies enunciated
in RCW 90.58.020 and the applicable guidelines. As provided in
RCW 36.70A.480, the goals and policies of a shoreline master
program for a county or city approved under chapter 90.58 RCW
shall be considered an element of the county or city's
comprehensive plan. All other portions of the shoreline master
program for a county or city adopted under chapter 90.58 RCW,
including use regulations, shall be considered a part of the
county or city's development regulations.
(b) "Comprehensive master program update" means a
master program that fully achieves the procedural and
substantive requirements of the department's shoreline master
program guidelines effective January 17, 2004, as now or
(c) "Limited master program amendment" means a master
program amendment that addresses specific procedural and/or
substantive topics and which is not intended to meet the
complete requirements of a comprehensive master program update.
(25) "May" means the action is acceptable, provided it conforms to
the provisions of this chapter.
(26) "Must" means a mandate; the action is required.
(27) "Nonwater-oriented uses" means those uses that are not
water-dependent, water-related, or water-enjoyment.
(28) "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 haul-out;
- Refugia habitat;
- 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
species" means species requiring protective measures
and/or management guidelines to ensure their persistence at genetically
viable population levels. Priority species are those that meet any of the
criteria listed below.
(a) Criterion 1. State-listed or state proposed species. State-listed
species are those native fish and wildlife species legally designated as
232-12-014), threatened (WAC
232-12-011), or sensitive (WAC
232-12-011). State proposed species are those fish and wildlife
species that will be reviewed by the department of fish and wildlife
(POL-M-6001) for possible listing as endangered, threatened, or sensitive
according to the process and criteria defined in WAC
(b) Criterion 2. Vulnerable aggregations. Vulnerable aggregations
include those species or groups of animals susceptible to significant
population declines, within a specific area or statewide, by virtue of
their inclination to congregate. Examples include heron colonies, seabird
concentrations, and marine mammal congregations.
(c) Criterion 3. Species of recreational, commercial, and/or tribal
importance. Native and nonnative fish, shellfish, and wildlife species of
recreational or commercial importance and recognized species used for
tribal ceremonial and subsistence purposes that are vulnerable to habitat
loss or degradation.
(d) Criterion 4. Species listed under the federal Endangered Species
Act as either proposed, threatened, or endangered.
(30) "Provisions" means policies, regulations, standards, guideline
criteria or environment designations.
(31) "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
(32) "Shall" means a mandate; the action must be done.
(33) "Shoreline areas" and "shoreline jurisdiction" means all
"shorelines of the state" and "shorelands" as defined in RCW
modifications" means those actions that modify the
physical configuration or qualities of the shoreline area, usually through
the construction of a physical element such as a dike, breakwater, pier,
weir, dredged basin, fill, bulkhead, or other shoreline structure. They
can include other actions, such as clearing, grading, or application of
(35) "Should" means that the particular action is required unless
there is a demonstrated, compelling reason, based on policy of the
Shoreline Management Act and this chapter, against taking the action.
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
ecological impacts to 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
(37) "State master program" means the cumulative total of all
shoreline master programs and amendments thereto approved or adopted by
rule by the department.
(38) "Substantially degrade" means to cause significant ecological
(39) "Water-dependent use" means a use or portion of a use which
cannot exist in a location that is not adjacent to the water and which is
dependent on the water by reason of the intrinsic nature of its
(40) "Water-enjoyment use" means a recreational use or other use that
facilitates public access to the shoreline as a primary characteristic 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
characteristic of the use and which through location, design, and
operation ensures 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 shoreline-oriented
space within the project must be devoted to the specific aspects of the
use that fosters shoreline enjoyment.
(41) "Water-oriented use" means a use that is water-dependent,
water-related, or water-enjoyment, or a combination of such uses.
(42) "Water quality" means the physical characteristics of water
within shoreline jurisdiction, including water quantity, hydrological,
physical, chemical, aesthetic, recreation-related, and biological
characteristics. Where used in this chapter, the term "water quantity"
refers only to development and uses regulated under this chapter and
affecting water quantity, such as impermeable surfaces and storm water
handling practices. Water quantity, for purposes of this chapter, does not
mean the withdrawal of ground water or diversion of surface water pursuant
to RCW 90.03.250 through
(43) "Water-related use" means a use or portion of a use which is not
intrinsically dependent on a waterfront location but whose economic
viability is dependent upon a waterfront location because:
(a) The use has a functional requirement for a waterfront location
such as the arrival or shipment of materials by water or the need for
large quantities of water; or
(b) The use provides a necessary service supportive of the
water-dependent uses and the proximity of the use to its customers makes
its services less expensive and/or more convenient.
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