The following definitions are provided to aid in the understanding and interpretation of the provisions of this title. Unless specifically defined in this title, words or phrases used in this title shall be interpreted so as to give them the meaning they have in common usage and to give this title its most reasonable application.
1. “Aquifers” refer to groundwater-bearing geologic formations that contain enough saturated permeable material to yield significant quantities of water to wells.
2. “Aquifer Recharge” means the process of infiltration and migration by which ground water is replenished.
3. “Artificial wetlands intentionally created from non-wetland sites” are only those wetlands, which upon examination using best available science, are found to have two of the following criteria:
a. The wetland is sustained by water that has been intentionally pumped or piped for irrigation or disposal and if the pumping or piped flow ceased, the wetland would naturally disappear.
b. The wetland was created by water that was intentionally applied to land for irrigation, disposal, or seeped from water in reservoirs, canals, drains, retention or treatment facilities.
4. “Best available science” means a valid scientific process or method of inquiry that is consistent with the criteria for establishing best available science as found in WAC 365-195-900, as amended.
5. “Best Management Practices” means conservation practices or systems of practices and management measures that promotes the intent of this title.
6. “Buffer” means an area that surrounds and protects critical area functions from adverse impacts.
7. “Buffer Management” means actions and practices conducted for the purpose of protection and enhancement of critical areas by moderating or eliminating adverse impacts from adjacent land(s) or areas to create a buffer from encroachment by urban growth areas.
8. “Critical Recharging Areas” are locations which have the capacity to replenish the storage of underground water due to favorable hydrological and topographical conditions.
9. “Critical Areas” include the following areas and ecosystems:
a. Frequently flooded areas,
b. Areas with critical recharging effect on aquifers used for potable water;
c. Geologically hazardous areas,
d. Fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas and,
10. “Federal or State Endangered, Threatened, Candidate Species”.
a. “Endangered Species” means a native species that is seriously threatened with extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.
b. “Threatened Species” means a native species that is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range without cooperative management or removal of threats.
c. “Candidate Species” means a native species under review for possible listing as endangered, threatened, or sensitive. A species will be considered for candidate designation if sufficient scientific evidence suggests that its status may meet criteria defined for “endangered”. “threatened” or “sensitive”. Currently listed State Threatened or State Sensitive species may also be designated as State Candidate species if their status is in question.
11. “Frequently Flooded Areas” include lands in the floodplain subject to a one-percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year. These areas include, but are not limited to, streams, rivers, lakes, coastal areas, wetlands and other natural water sources.
12. “Geologically hazardous areas” means areas that because of their susceptibility to erosion, sliding, earthquake, or other geological events, are not suited to the siting of commercial, residential, or industrial development consistent with public health or safety concerns.
13. “Groundwater Management Program” means a comprehensive program designed to protect groundwater quality, to assure groundwater quantity, and to provide for efficient management of water resources while recognizing existing groundwater rights and meeting future needs consistent with local and state objectives, policies and authorities within a designated groundwater management area or sub-area developed pursuant to WAC 173-100.
14. “Habitat” means the environment occupied by individuals of a particular species, populations or community.
15. “Impacts” means adverse effects of one thing upon another.
16. “Local habitat area” means an area that contains sufficient food, water, or cover for native terrestrial or aquatic species that the city has identified in this title as being of significant local concern.
17. “Long Term Commercial Significance” means the capacity, productivity and soil composition of land for long-term commercial production, in consideration with the land’s proximity to population areas, and the possibility of more intense uses of the land.
18. “Major Development” includes proposed development projects that are subject to objective and subjective standards that require the exercise of limited discretion about non-technical issues and which may require a public hearing. The proposed development may or may not be subject to SEPA review, however any project action not listed as categorically exempt from SEPA review shall be considered a “major development” for the purposes of this title. Included within this type of development are subdivisions, conditional use permits, planned residential developments, shoreline substantial development permits and other similar applications.
19. “Minor Development” includes proposed development projects that are subject to clear, objective and non-discretionary standards that require the exercise of professional judgment about technical issues and the proposed development is exempt from the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). Included within this type of development are single-family building permits, temporary use permits, boundary line adjustments, short subdivisions, home occupations, and accessory uses and/or structures.
20. “Mitigation” means actions that the approving agency shall require so as to avoid or compensate for impacts to critical areas resulting from the proposed project activity. The type(s) of mitigation required shall be considered and implemented, where feasible, in the following sequential order of
a. Avoiding the impact altogether by not taking a certain action or parts of an action;
b. Minimizing impacts by limiting the degree or magnitude of the action and its implementation;
c. Rectifying the impact by repairing, rehabilitating, or restoring the affected environment;
d. Reducing or eliminating the impact over time by preservation and maintenance operations during the life of the action;
e. Compensating for the impact by replacing or providing substitute resources or environments; or
f. Monitoring the impact and taking appropriate corrective measures to achieve the identified goal.
21. “Native,” when referring to plants or plant communities, means those species or communities that are indigenous to the watershed, including extirpated species.
22. “New construction” means structures for which the “start of construction” commenced on or after the effective date of this title.
23. “Primary Association” means key habitat components that are critical to the life cycle of native wildlife species, i.e., nesting sites, wintering areas, and migration corridors. Loss of these values will result in fragmentation into sub-populations or extinction of populations from local areas.
24. “Priority Habitats and Species Program” means Washington Department of Wildlife’s system of classifying habitats and associated species that are of specific concern due to population status and/or sensitivity to habitat manipulation.
25. “Regulated activities” include land clearing, grading, placement of fill or waste material, removal of protected native vegetation, construction, platting, zone changes and other habitat altering activities.
26. “Restoration” means actions performed to reestablish wetland functional characteristics and processes which have been lost by alterations, activities or catastrophic events within an area which no longer meets the definition of a wetland.
27. “Review authority” means the decision maker that issues the final land use order, not the appeal authority.
28. “Sensitive species” are species native to Washington that are vulnerable or declining, and are preference: likely to become endangered or threatened in a significant portion of their ranges within the state, without cooperative management or the removal of the threats. These species are designated in WAC 232-12-011.
30. “Sole Source Aquifer” means an aquifer designated by EPA as the sole or principal source of drinking water for a given aquifer service area; that is, an aquifer which is needed to supply 50% or more of the drinking water for that area and for which there is no reasonably available alternative sources should the aquifer become contaminated.
31. “Start of construction” means the date the building permit was issued, provided the actual start of construction, placement of a manufactured home on a foundation or other permanent construction beyond the stage of excavation was within 180 days of the permit date.
a. The actual start means either the first placement of permanent construction of a structure on a site, such as the pouring of slab or footings, the installation of piles, the construction of columns, or any work beyond the stage of excavation, or the placement of a manufactured home on a foundation.
b. Permanent construction does not include:
i. Land preparation, such as clearing, grading and filling;
ii. Installation of streets and/or walkways;
iii. Excavation for a basement, footings, piers, or foundation or the erection of temporary forms;
32. “State Listed Monitor Species” means native species that:
a. Were at one time classified as endangered, threatened, or sensitive;
b. Require habitat that has limited availability during some portion of its life cycle;
c. Are indicators of environmental quality;
d. Require further field investigations to determine population status;
e. Have unresolved taxonomy which may bear upon their status classification;
f. May be competing with and having impacts on other species of concern or;
g. Have significant popular appeal.
33. “Substantial damage” means damage of any origin sustained by a structure whereby the costs of restoring the structure to it’s before damaged condition would equal or exceed 50 percent of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred.
34. “Substantial improvement” means any repair, reconstruction, or improvement of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50 percent of the market value of the structure either:
a. Before the improvement or repair is started; or
b. If the structure has been damaged and is being restored, before the damage occurred. For the purpose of this definition “substantial improvement” is considered to occur when the first alteration of any wall, ceiling, floor, or other structural part of the building commences, whether or not that alteration affects the external dimensions of the structure.
35. “Threatened” species are native to the state of Washington and likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future throughout a significant portion of their ranges within the state without cooperative management or the removal of threats. Threatened species are legally designated in WAC 232-12011.
36. “Triggering application” means an application for one of the permits or approvals listed in this title.
37. “Wetland” or “Wetlands” means areas that are inundated or saturated by surface water or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do 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 from non-wetland 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 non-wetland areas created to mitigate conversion of wetlands.