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Island County > Planning > Glossary


This Glossary has been put together by department staff. They have noted particular acronyms and definitions that are frequently confusing or misused.This is intended to be a solid resource for applicants and those interested to understand the terminology found throughout County Code and commonly used by staff. We hope that this is a helpful resource and new terms will be added over time.


AMP Animal Management Plan APP Appeal
ASR Administrative Setback Reduction BLA Boundary Line Adjustment
BLC Boundary Line Correction BMPs Best Management Practices
CAA Critical Areas Alteration CGP Clearing & Grading Permit
CGV Clearing & Grading Violation COV Code Violation
CPA Comprehensive Plan Amendment CWHPD   Central Whidbey Historic Preservation District
CZC Certificate of Zoning Compliance DIBs Development Information Bulletins
DRA Development Regulation Amendment EDU Earned Development Units
EIS Environmental Impact Statement ENV Environmental Checklist
FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency    FMP Farm/Forest Management Plan
FP/FPA   Forest Practice Application GMA Growth Management Act
JPA Joint Planning Area HRC Historical Review Committee
OPS  Open Space PBRS Public Benefit Rating System
PLA Plat Alteration PLP Preliminary Long Plat
PRD  Planned Residential Development PRE  Pre-Application Conference
RAID Rural Areas of More Intensive Development REZ Rezone - Historic Reference
SAR Sensitive Area Review SDP Shoreline Substantial Dev. Permit
SFR Single Family Residence SEPA State Environmental Policy Act
SHP Short Subdivision SPR  Site Plan Review (See Land Use)
TEM  Temporary Use Approvals VAR Variance
UGA Urban Growth Area WFS Waterfront Setback
WSR Water System Review ZCA Zoning Code Amendments
ZCI Zoning Code Interpretation


impervious surface ​​surfaces that do not absorb water. Examples: buildings, concrete/asphalt parking areas, roads, sidew​​alks, & driveways
Best Management Practices conservation practices or systems of practices and management measures that:

(1) control soil loss & reduce water quality degradation; and

(2) minimize adverse impacts to surface water flow, circulation patterns, and to the chemical, physical, and/or biological characteristics of critical areas.
Clearing The act of removal or destruction of vegetation by mechanical or chemical means, but does not include normal cultivation associated with agriculture.
Conditional Use A use allowed only upon approval of a site plan or the granting of Use Approval
Ordinary High Water Mark (SMP) 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 exists on June 1, 1971, as it may naturally change thereafter, or as it may change thereafter in accordance with permits issued by a local government or the department.

Definition derived from Washington State Dept. of Ecology Glossary
Parcel A legal division or segregation of land including an assessor's parcel established by the Assessor and assigned numbers for assessment purposes
Parcel Number  The number assigned by the county to a piece of land or parcel for identification purposes. In Island County the number is broken into segments identifying that particular piece of land.

The parcel number begins with an 'R' or and 'S' label identifying whether it has been subdivided or not. Under the 'R' label, the next five numbers are the range, township, and section of the parcel. The remaining numbers identify that specific piece of land. For example, parcel number R23328-100-5050 is in Range 2, Township 33, Section 28 and is identified as parcel 100-5050.
Setback The required horizontal distance between every structure/development activity and the property lines or the edge/right of way whichever is greater.