PDFRCW 47.42.020


The definitions set forth in this section apply throughout this chapter.
(1) "Commercial and industrial areas" means any area zoned commercial or industrial by a county or municipal code, or if unzoned or zoned for general uses by a county or municipal code, that area occupied by three or more separate and distinct commercial or industrial activities, or any combination thereof, within a space of five hundred feet and the area within five hundred feet of such activities on both sides of the highway. The area shall be measured from the outer edges of the regularly used buildings, parking lots, or storage or processing areas of the commercial or industrial activity and not from the property lines of the parcels upon which the activities are located. Measurements shall be along or parallel to the edge of the main traveled way of the highway. The following shall not be considered commercial or industrial activities:
(a) Agricultural, forestry, grazing, farming, and related activities, including, but not limited to, wayside fresh produce stands;
(b) Transient or temporary activities;
(c) Railroad tracks and minor sidings;
(d) Signs;
(e) Activities more than six hundred and sixty feet from the nearest edge of the right-of-way;
(f) Activities conducted in a building principally used as a residence.
If any commercial or industrial activity that has been used in defining or delineating an unzoned area ceases to operate for a period of six continuous months, any signs located within the former unzoned area become nonconforming and shall not be maintained by any person.
(2) "Department" means the Washington state department of transportation.
(3) "Erect" means to construct, build, raise, assemble, place, affix, attach, create, paint, draw, or in any other way bring into being or establish.
(4) "Interstate system" means any state highway which is or does become part of the national system of interstate and defense highways as described in section 103(d) of Title 23, United States Code.
(5) "Maintain" means to allow to exist.
(6) "Person" means this state or any public or private corporation, firm, partnership, association, as well as any individual or individuals.
(7) "Primary system" means any state highway which is or does become part of the federal-aid primary system as described in section 103(b) of Title 23, United States Code.
(8) "Roadside area information panel or display" means a panel or display located so as not to be readable from the main traveled way, erected in a safety rest area, scenic overlook, or similar roadside area, for providing motorists with information in the specific interest of the traveling public.
(9) "Scenic system" means (a) any state highway within any public park, federal forest area, public beach, public recreation area, or national monument, (b) any state highway or portion thereof outside the boundaries of any incorporated city or town designated by the legislature as a part of the scenic system, or (c) any state highway or portion thereof outside the boundaries of any incorporated city or town designated by the legislature as a part of the scenic and recreational highway system except for the sections of highways specifically excluded in RCW 47.42.025 or located within areas zoned by the governing county for predominantly commercial and industrial uses, and having development visible to the highway, as determined by the department.
(10) "Sign" means any outdoor sign, display, device, figure, painting, drawing, message, placard, poster, billboard, or other thing that is designed, intended, or used to advertise or inform, any part of the advertising or informative contents of which is visible from any place on the main-traveled way of the interstate system or other state highway. "Sign" does not include a display authorized under RCW 47.36.030(3) promoting a local agency sponsored event that does not include advertising.
(11) "Temporary agricultural directional sign" means a sign on private property adjacent to a state highway right-of-way, or on a state highway right-of-way, to provide directional information to places of business offering for sale seasonal agricultural products on the property where the sale is taking place.
[ 2010 c 138 § 1; 2005 c 398 § 2; 1993 c 430 § 10; 1991 c 94 § 1; 1990 c 258 § 1; 1987 c 469 § 2; 1985 c 376 § 2; 1984 c 7 § 222; 1977 ex.s. c 258 § 1; 1974 ex.s. c 80 § 1; 1971 ex.s. c 62 § 1; 1961 c 96 § 2.]


Reviser's note: The definitions in this section have been alphabetized pursuant to RCW 1.08.015(2)(k).
Legislative findings and intent1990 c 258: See note following RCW 47.40.100.
Legislative intent1985 c 376: "It is the intent of the legislature that state highway information and directional signs provide appropriate guidance to all motorists traveling throughout the state. Such guidance should include the identity, location, and types of recreational, cultural, educational, entertainment, or unique or unusual commercial activities whose principle source of visitation is derived from motorists not residing in the immediate locale of the activity. Such informational and directional signs shall comply with Title 23, United States Code and the rules adopted by the department under RCW 47.42.060." [ 1985 c 376 § 1.]