words that say Thurston County

Shoreline Master Program Update

sailboatThe Shoreline Master Program update process has its

 own unique vocabulary.  The State of Washington has adopted the following terms through WAC 173-26-020:

"Act" means the Washington State Shoreline Management Act, RCW 90.58

"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, RCW 34.05, thereby incorporating the adopted shoreline master program or amendment into the state master program.  

"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;   

"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;  

"Agricultural equipment" and "agricultural facilities" includes, but is not limited to:  (a) 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; (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; and  

"Agricultural land" means those specific land areas on which agriculture 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.  

"Amendment" means a revision, update, addition, deletion, and/or reenactment to an existing shoreline master program.  

"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 program.  

"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.  

"Department" means the state department of ecology.  

"Development 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 under chapter 90.58 RCW, planned unit development ordinances, subdivision ordinances, and binding site plan ordinances together with any amendments thereto.  

"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 90.58.190.  

"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.  

"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.

"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.   

"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.

"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.

"Flood plain" is synonymous with one hundred-year floodplain 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.

"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.

"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.

"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 programs.

"Local government" means any county, incorporated city or town which contains within its boundaries shorelines of the state subject to chapter 90.58 RCW.

"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.

"May" means the action is acceptable, provided it conforms to the provisions of this chapter.

"Must" means a mandate; the action is required.

"Nonwater-oriented uses" means those uses that are not water-dependent, water-related, or water-enjoyment.

"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 non-priority fish and wildlife.  

"Priority 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.

  • Criterion 1. State-listed or state proposed species. State-listed species are those native fish and wildlife species legally designated as endangered (WAC 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 232-12-297.

  • 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.

  • 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.     

  • Criterion 4. Species listed under the federal Endangered Species Act as either proposed, threatened, or endangered.  

"Provisions" means policies, regulations, standards, guideline criteria or environment designations.   

"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 re-vegetation, 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.  

"Shall" means a mandate; the action must be done.  

"Shoreline areas" and "shoreline jurisdiction" means all "shorelines of the state" and "shorelands" as defined in RCW 90.58.030.  

"Shoreline master program" or "master program" means the comprehensive use plan for a described area, and 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. As provided in RCW 36.70A.480, the goals and policies of a shoreline master program for a county or city approved under RCW 90.58 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 RCW 90.58, including use regulations, shall be considered a part of the county or city's development regulations.   

"Shoreline 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 chemicals.  

"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.  

"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 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 removal.  

"State master program" means the cumulative total of all shoreline master programs and amendments thereto approved or adopted by rule by the department.  

"Substantially degrade" means to cause significant ecological impact.  

"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 operations.    

"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.   

"Water-oriented use" means a use that is water-dependent, water-related, or water-enjoyment, or a combination of such uses.  

"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 90.03.340.  

"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. 

Contact Us

Interested Parties: If you would like to be added to our Web Mail list, please click here. Staff contact: Cynthia Wilson, Senior Planner. Phone: (360) 754-3355, x5475 E-mail: smp@co.thurston.wa.us. 

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