The following definitions apply to this title, and other definitions may be found in individual chapters when applicable to that chapter:
A. A Definitions.
“Access corridor” means a vehicle circulation area in private ownership which provides access to a single flag lot.
“Accessory use” means a use incidental and subordinate to the principal use and located on the same lot or in the same building as the principal use. See AMC Chapter 19.47, Accessory Uses and Structures, for applicable standards.
“Active recreation” means a mix of uses that includes the following facilities or facility types: athletic fields, buildings or structures for active recreational activities, fitness centers, swimming pools, community gardens, courts, children’s play areas, formally developed dog play areas, and other similar structures or development, and may include related uses such as retail and concession stands related to the principal use.
“Adverse impact” means an unwanted and unanticipated result of taking a particular action or a negative effect that goes against desired conditions.
“Advertise” means to describe or draw attention to a product, service, or event in a public medium in order to promote sales or attendance.
“AKART” means all known, available, and reasonable methods of prevention, control, and treatment.
“Alterations” means a change or rearrangement of the structural parts of existing facilities, or an enlargement by extending the sides or increasing the height or depth, or the moving from one location to another.
“AMC” means the Anacortes Municipal Code.
“Appellate body” means that officer or body prescribed by this title as having the authority to hear the appeal of a development permit.
“Articulation” means the giving of emphasis to architectural elements (like windows, balconies, entries, etc.) that create a complementary pattern or rhythm, dividing large buildings into smaller identifiable pieces. See AMC 19.63.040 for articulation provisions.
B. B Definitions.
“Best management practice (BMP)” means the schedules of activities, prohibitions of practices, maintenance procedures, and structural and/or managerial practices that, when used singly or in combination, prevent or reduce the release of pollutants and other adverse impacts to waters of Washington State.
“Binding site plan” means a drawing to scale specified by AMC Chapter 19.32, Land Divisions, which: (1) identifies and shows the areas and locations of all streets, roads, improvements, utilities, open spaces, and any other matters specified by local regulations; (2) contains inscriptions or attachments setting forth such appropriate limitations and conditions for the use of the land as are established by the city of Anacortes; and (3) contains provisions making any development be in conformity with the site plan.
“Bioretention BMP” means engineered facilities that store and treat stormwater by passing it through a specified soil profile, and either retain or detain the treated stormwater for flow attenuation.
“Block frontage” refers to the area between a street and building facades and other portions of a lot close to the street property line. This includes both streetscape elements (planting strips and sidewalks), street setbacks, and building facades. See AMC Chapter 19.61, Block Frontage Standards, for applicable standards.
“Boarder” means a patron of a rooming house who is provided lodging, with or without meals, for compensation.
“Boundary line adjustment” means the adjustment of a boundary line between existing lots.
“Building” means any structure used or intended for supporting or sheltering any use or occupancy.
“Building frontage” refers to the facade or street-facing elevation of a building. For buildings not adjacent to a street, it refers to the building elevation(s) that features the primary entrance to the uses within the building. Depending on the context the term is used in, it may also refer to the uses within the building. For example, a storefront is a type of building frontage.
Building Site. See “Site area.”
“Burden of proof” means a party’s duty to prove an assertion or charge.
“Business or commerce” means the purchase, sale, offering for sale, or other transaction involving the handling or disposition of any article, service, substance, or commodity for livelihood or profit.
C. C Definitions.
“Cannabis” means all parts of the plant cannabis, whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds, or resin. For the purpose of this title, “cannabis” does not include the mature stalks of the plant, fiber produced from the stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of the plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the mature stalks, except the resin extracted therefrom, fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of the plant which is incapable of germination. The term “cannabis” includes cannabis products and useable cannabis.
“Cannabis products” means products that contain cannabis or cannabis extracts, have a measurable THC concentration greater than three-tenths of one percent, and are intended for human consumption or application, including, but not limited to, edible products, tinctures, and lotions. The term “cannabis products” does not include useable cannabis. The definition of “cannabis products” as a measurement of THC concentration only applies to the provisions of this title and must not be considered applicable to any criminal laws related to marijuana or cannabis.
“Car-sharing provider” means a membership-based and licensed business that offers use of motor vehicles 24 hours a day and seven days a week to members who reserve vehicles in advance, and that charges members for the time and/or miles.
“Certificate of occupancy” means a permit to occupy a premises issued after inspection has verified compliance with the requirements and provisions of this title and applicable building codes.
“City” means the city of Anacortes, Washington.
“City’s NPDES permit” means the 2013-2018 Phase II Western Washington Municipal Stormwater Permit issued by the Department of Ecology pursuant to the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System.
“Closed record appeal” means an administrative appeal on the record to a local government body or officer, including the legislative body, following an open record hearing on a project permit application when the appeal is on the record with no or limited new evidence or information allowed to be submitted and only appeal argument allowed.
“Commission” means the Planning Commission for the purposes of this title.
“Comprehensive plan amendment” means an amendment or change to the text or maps of the comprehensive plan.
“Conditional use” means a use that requires a conditional use permit (CUP) and that may be restricted as a condition of approval.
Council. See “City Council.”
D. D Definitions.
“Decision” means the written report of findings and conclusions issued by the decision-maker.
“Decision-maker” means that officer or body prescribed by this title as having the authority to approve, approve with conditions, or deny a permit under this title or hear an appeal and issue a revised decision.
“Department” means the City of Anacortes Planning, Community, and Economic Development Department.
“Departure” means a provision allowing for applicants to propose alternative means of compliance with a specific standard on a voluntary basis, provided they meet the purpose of the standard. See AMC 19.20.220 for more information on departures.
“Development” means any land use, activity, or project regulated by AMC Titles 13 and 16 through 20, including but not limited to building permits, subdivisions, binding site plans, rezones, conditional use permits, shoreline permits, short plats, or variances.
“Division of land” means any transaction or action, not otherwise exempt or provided for under the provisions of this title, which alters or affects the shape, size or legal description of any part of an owner’s land as defined in this section. Sale of a condominium apartment and rental or lease of a building, facility or structure which does not alter or affect the legal description of an owner’s land does not constitute a division of land.
“Drive-in” or “drive-through restaurant” or “refreshment stand” means any place or premises used for the sale, dispensing, or serving of food, refreshments, or beverages to customers in vehicles, including those establishments where customers may serve themselves and may eat or drink the food, refreshments, or beverages on or off the premises.
“Dwelling unit” or “dwelling” means a building or portion thereof providing complete housekeeping facilities for one family. A “dwelling unit” does not include a motel or hotel, which is separately defined.
E. E Definitions.
“Effective date” means the date a final decision becomes effective.
“Effective impervious surface” means those impervious surfaces that are connected via sheet flow or discrete conveyance to a drainage system.
“Essential public facility (EPF)” means any public facility or facilities owned or operated by a unit of local or state government, public or private utility, transportation company, or any other entity that provides a public service as its primary mission, and is difficult to site. EPFs include those facilities listed in RCW 36.70A.200.
F. F Definitions.
3. Unrelated persons living together in a state-licensed adult family home pursuant to RCW 70.127.010, with the provider’s family counting as up to six persons not related to the providers living with them as one housekeeping unit for profit.
“Fence” means a structure which is built, constructed, or composed of parts joined together of material in some definite manner, in which the prime purpose is to separate and divide, partition, enclose or screen a parcel or parcels of land.
“Final decision” means the final city action, in writing, to approve, approve with conditions, or deny a permit application.
“Final plat” means a precise scale drawing of a subdivision and dedications which conforms to the approved preliminary plat, meets all the conditions of approval, and meets the requirements of the Skagit County Auditor for recording.
“Final short plat” means a precise scale drawing of a short subdivision and dedications which conforms to the approved preliminary short plat, meets all conditions of approval, and meets the requirements of the Skagit County Auditor for recording.
“Flood” means the water of any watercourse or drainway which is above the bank or outside the channel and banks of such watercourse or drainway.
“Floor” means the same thing as “story.”
“Floor area, gross (GFA) ” means the floor area within the inside perimeter of the exterior walls of the building under consideration, exclusive of vent shafts and courts, without deduction for corridors, stairways, ramps, closets, the thickness of interior walls, columns, or other features. The floor area of a building, or portion thereof, not provided with surrounding exterior walls shall be the usable area under the horizontal projection of the roof or floor above. The gross floor area does not include shafts with no openings or interior courts.
“Floor area, net (NFA) ” means the actual occupied area, not including unoccupied accessory areas such as corridors, stairways, ramps, toilet rooms, mechanical rooms, and closets. Shared residential storage areas and commercial and industrial storage/stock areas are considered occupied areas for the purpose of this definition.
G. G Definitions.
“Garage sale” means all general sales, open to the public, conducted from or on a residential premises in any residential zone for the purpose of disposing of personal property.
“Grade” means the level of the surface of the ground.
“Grading” means any excavating or filling, or combination thereof, of land.
“Gross acre” means acreage plus one-half the width of abutting right-of-way of streets and alleys.
“Groundcover” means small plants such as salal, ivy, ferns, mosses, grasses, or other types of vegetation which normally cover the ground.
“Grubbing” means the removal of trees, shrubs, stumps and rubbish from the project site.
H. H Definitions.
“Hedge” means trees, vines, and/or shrubs which are planted in a substantially uniform configuration, grown and joined together in some definite manner and generally pruned to a uniform shape, creating a substantial barrier to sight.
“Hotel” or “motel” means a type of overnight lodging use as defined in 19.44.050(C).
I. I Definitions.
“Impervious surface” means a nonvegetated surface area which either prevents or retards the entry of water into the soil mantle as under natural conditions prior to development. A nonvegetated 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.
“Infiltration device or facility” means a drainage device or facility designed to use the hydrologic process of surface and stormwater runoff soaking into the ground, commonly referred to as percolation, to dispose of surface and stormwater runoff.
J. J Definitions.
“Junkyard” means a lot, land, or structure, or part thereof, used for the collecting, storage, and sale of wastepaper, rags, scrap metal, used building materials, or discarded material; or for the collecting, dismantling, storage, salvaging or sale of parts of machinery, or vehicles not in running condition. “Junkyard” includes auto wreckage yards or storage yards for wrecked automobiles.
K. K Definitions.
“Kennel” means a type of personal service use as defined in AMC 19.44.080. Also see AMC 6.06.090, Commercial kennels, catteries, pet shops and animal shelters—General conditions, for applicable standards.
L. L Definitions.
“Land-disturbing activity” means any activity that results in a change in the existing soil cover (both vegetative and nonvegetative) and/or the existing soil topography. Land-disturbing activities include, but are not limited to, clearing, grading, filling, and excavation. Compaction that is associated with stabilization of structures and road construction shall also be considered a land-disturbing activity. Vegetation maintenance practices, including landscape maintenance and gardening, are not considered land-disturbing activity. Stormwater facility maintenance is not considered land-disturbing activity if conducted according to established standards and procedures.
“Landmark building” means a structure recognized as historic or architecturally significant through designation on a local, state, or national historic register.
“Loading space” means an off-street space or berth on the same lot with a building, for the temporary parking of a commercial vehicle while loading or unloading merchandise or materials, and which abuts upon a street, alley, parking lot or other appropriate means of access.
“Local government” means a county, city, or town.
“Local improvement district” means an area comprised of a specific set of properties which are subject to a special property tax assessment after City Council action by ordinance pursuant to state statutes.
“Long subdivision” means the division or redivision of land into 10 or more lots for the purpose of sale, lease, or transfer of ownership.
“Lot” means a fractional part of divided lands having fixed boundaries, being of sufficient area and dimension to meet minimum zoning requirements for width and area. The term includes tracts or parcels.
“Lot coverage” means the area of a lot which is covered by buildings and structures. See AMC 19.42.110 for a clarification of how lot coverage standards established by AMC Chapter 19.42, Form and Intensity Standards, are applied.
“Lot frontage” means the portion of the property line which abuts a street right-of-way.
“Lot of record” means a lot which is described by a final plat, short plat, or metes and bounds, and is established consistent with applicable local and state regulations at the date a legal instrument creating the lot is recorded at the Skagit County Auditor’s office.
1. “Corner lot” means a lot located at the intersection of two or more streets. A lot abutting a curved street or streets must be considered a corner lot if straight lines drawn from the foremost points of the side lot lines to the foremost point of the lot meet at an interior angle of less than 135 degrees.
2. “Interior lot” means a lot with frontage on only one street.
4. “Flag lot” means a parcel of land, the body of which is separated from a public street by one or more lots, connected to a public street by a narrow portion (flagpole) of the parcel. See AMC 19.42.130(F) for flag lot setback standards.
“Low impact development (LID)” means a stormwater and land use management strategy that strives to mimic the predisturbance hydrologic processes of infiltration, filtration, storage, evaporation and transpiration by emphasizing the following techniques:
2. Use of on-site natural features.
3. Site planning.
Common LID BMPs include, but are not limited to: bioretention, rain gardens, permeable pavements, roof downspout controls, dispersion, soil quality and depth, minimal excavation foundations, vegetated roofs, water reuse, and rainwater harvesting.
“Low impact development best management practice (LID BMP)” means distributed stormwater management practices, integrated into a project design, that emphasize predisturbance hydrologic processes of infiltration, filtration, storage, evaporation, and transpiration. LID BMPs include, but are not limited to: bioretention, rain gardens, permeable pavements, roof downspout controls, dispersion, soil quality and depth, minimal excavation foundations, vegetated roofs, and water reuse.
“Low impact development principles” means land use management strategies that emphasize conservation, use of on-site natural features, and site planning to minimize impervious surfaces, native vegetation loss, and stormwater runoff.
M. M Definitions.
“Marine block frontage” refers to a type of block frontage designation that emphasizes use of either the storefront or landscaped block frontage standards but which also offers greater flexibility in site orientation. See AMC 19.61.090 for details.
Motel. See “Hotel.”
N. N Definitions.
“Native vegetation” means vegetation composed of plant species, other than noxious weeds, that are indigenous to the coastal region of the Pacific Northwest and which reasonably could have been expected to naturally occur on the site. Examples include trees such as Douglas fir, western hemlock, western red cedar, alder, bigleaf maple, and vine maple; shrubs such as willow, elderberry, salmonberry, and salal; and herbaceous plants such as sword fern, foam flower, and fireweed.
“Nonconforming” or “preexisting nonconforming” means a use or structure that was legally established when it was commenced or constructed but does not conform to laws or rules that were subsequently adopted.
O. O Definitions.
“Open record hearing” means a hearing conducted by a single hearing body or officer authorized by the city to conduct such hearings, that creates the city’s record through testimony and submission of evidence and information, under procedures prescribed by the city by ordinance or resolution.
P. P Definitions.
“Parking space” means an off-street space plus room to enter and exit the space that is used temporarily to park a motor vehicle, and which has access to a public street or alley.
“Party of record” means a person who has testified at a public hearing, or submitted a written statement related to an application within the allowed time frame, and who provides the city with a complete mailing address.
“Passive recreation” means a mix of uses on undeveloped land (including wetland buffers) or minimally improved lands which includes the following: naturally landscaped areas, nonlandscaped green spaces, picnic areas, water bodies, trails, interpretive trails and other similar structures or development.
“Pedestrian-oriented space” means publicly accessible spaces that enliven the pedestrian environment by providing opportunities for outdoor dining, socializing and relaxing and that provide visual amenities that can contribute to the character of the neighborhood. See AMC 19.62.040(D) for pedestrian-oriented space design criteria.
“Permeable pavement” means pervious concrete, porous asphalt, permeable pavers, or other forms of pervious or porous paving material intended to allow passage of water through the pavement section. It often includes an aggregate base that provides structural support and acts as a stormwater reservoir.
“Permitted use” means any use authorized or permitted alone or in conjunction with another use in a specific zone and subject to the limitations of the regulations of such zone.
“Person” means and includes a human being or legal entities such as corporations, partnerships, etc.
“Place of assembly” means a place for groups of people to gather for an event or scheduled program. Examples include both civic or public uses (see AMC 19.46.020) or commercial recreation uses (see AMC 19.44.090 and 19.44.100).
“Preliminary plat” means a neat and approximate scale drawing of a proposed subdivision, showing the existing conditions and the proposed layout of streets, lots, blocks, and other information needed to properly review the proposal.
“Preliminary short plat” means a neat and approximate scale drawing of a proposed short subdivision, showing the existing conditions and the proposed layout of streets, lots, blocks, encumbrances, encroachments, and other information needed to properly review the proposal.
“Project permit” or “project permit application” means any land use or environmental permit or license required from the city for a project action, including but not limited to building permits, subdivisions, binding site plans, conditional uses, shoreline substantial development permits, site plan review, permits or approvals required by critical area ordinances, site-specific rezones authorized by a comprehensive plan or subarea plan, but excluding the adoption or amendment of a comprehensive plan, subarea plan, or development regulations except as otherwise specifically included in this definition.
“Public access” means access for all persons at all times.
“Public street” means a public thoroughfare which provides the principal means of access to abutting properties. See AMC Chapter 19.52, Public Street Design, for related public street design standards and roadway functional classifications.
Q. Q Definitions.
“Qualified professional” means a person with experience and training in the applicable field or critical area. A qualified professional must have obtained a B.S. or B.A. or equivalent degree in biology, engineering, environmental studies, fisheries, geology or related field, and have two years of related work experience.
R. R Definitions.
“Rain garden” means a nonengineered shallow, landscaped depression, with compost-amended native soils and adapted plants. The depression is designed to pond and temporarily store stormwater runoff from adjacent areas, and to allow stormwater to pass through the amended soil profile. See AMC 19.65.060(F) for rain garden design standards.
“Religious institution” means any building used for nonprofit purposes by an established religious organization holding either tax exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or under the state property tax law, where such building is primarily intended to be used as a place of worship. The term includes, but is not necessarily limited to, church, temple, synagogue, and mosque.
“Retaining wall” means a structure that retains (holds back) any material (usually earth) and prevents it from sliding or eroding away.
“Rezone” means an amendment which changes the use classifications and/or boundaries upon the official zoning map.
“Right-of-way” means a strip of land in public ownership used for transportation, utility, open space, or other public purposes.
“Rockery” means placed rocks used to control soil erosion.
“Roofline” means the highest edge of the roof or the top of a parapet, whichever establishes the top line of the structure when viewed in a horizontal plane.
S. S Definitions.
“Sediment basin (pond)” means a temporary sediment pond installed at a construction site.
1. Street setback.
3. Side street setback.
4. Interior side setback.
6. Rear setback.
“Shell building” means a nonresidential building that is capable of being divided into multiple leasable units or spaces with different uses but has had no use or uses identified as part of a land use permit application.
“Short subdivision” means the division or redivision of land into nine or fewer lots.
“Site area” means the total horizontal area within the property lines excluding external streets, except where property lines extend waterward of the ordinary high water mark (OHWM), in which case the site area is the total horizontal area landward of the OHWM and excluding external streets.
“Stormwater facility” means a constructed component of a stormwater drainage system, designed or constructed to perform a particular function or multiple functions. Stormwater facilities include, but are not limited to, pipes, swales, ditches, culverts, street gutters, detention ponds, retention ponds, constructed wetlands, infiltration devices, catch basins, oil/water separators, and biofiltration swales.
“Story” means that portion of a building included between the upper surface of a floor and the upper surface of the floor or roof next above. It is measured as the vertical distance from top to top of two successive tiers of beams or finished floor surfaces and, for the topmost story, from the top of the floor finish to the top of the ceiling joists or, where there is not a ceiling, to the top of the roof rafters.
“Street gutter” means a low area at the side of a road used to catch water and carry it away from the road.
“Streetscape” means the space between the buildings on either side of a street that defines its character. The elements of a streetscape include block frontages, building facades, landscaping (trees, yards, bushes, plantings, etc.), sidewalks, street paving, street furniture (benches, kiosks, trash receptacles, fountains, etc.), signs, awnings, and street lighting.
“Structure” means that which is built or constructed. An edifice or building of any kind, or any piece of work artificially built up or composed of parts jointed together in some definite manner, not to include fences less than seven feet high, paved areas, or retaining walls.
“Surface water” means waters that flow over the land surface and frequently interact with groundwater.
“SWMMWW” means the 2014 Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington.
T. T Definitions.
“Tent structure” means any structure which is designed to be freestanding or partially supported by another structure, is covered with metal, canvas, plastic, or other material of a generally temporary nature, supported by a wood or pipe or similar skeletal frame.
“Transparency” means the degree to which rays of light may transmit through a substance. For storefronts and other ground level nonresidential uses, transparency also refers to the ability to see through the window and into the building as clarified in AMC 19.61.050.
“Tree” means any living woody plant characterized by one main stem or trunk (or a group of trunks, in some species) and many branches, and having a diameter of eight inches or more measured at 24 inches above ground level when mature.
U. U Definitions.
Unit. See “Dwelling unit.”
V. V Definitions.
“Vertical building modulation” means stepping back or projecting forward vertical walls of a building face, within specified intervals of building width and depth, as a means of breaking up the apparent bulk of a structure’s continuous exterior walls. Vertical building modulation may be used to meet the facade articulation standards in AMC 19.63.040.
W. W Definitions.
“Wall” means an upright structure of wood, stone, brick or other such material serving to enclose, divide, support or protect.