Scenic View Protection
Cities and counties may consider aesthetics in regulating the use of land. The legal basis for aesthetic zoning has been established in caselaw for many years. The Washington State Court of Appeals affirmed this by stating that "aesthetic standards are an appropriate component of land use governance." Anderson v. Issaquah, 70 Wn. App. 64, 82 (1993). Zoning for aesthetics includes view protection regulations, historic preservation ordinances, design review standards, sign controls, and tree protection measures. MRSC recommends that the city or county support any height restrictions or other view protection provisions on as many grounds as possible, since it is not clear in this state if aesthetics alone will justify a view protection ordinance.
Reference Sources - State Statutes
- RCW 90.58.320 - Height limitation respecting permits. Statutory basis for protection of views on shorelines of the state.
City and County Ordinance Provisions
These examples address a variety of view protection issues, including hillside development regulations, view corridors, and billboard location restrictions. Some of the examples address shoreline views in particular.
- Clark County Code Ch. 40.240 - Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Districts (see especially Sections 40.280.800 and 40.280.810)
- Everett Municipal Code Ch. 16.20.040 - Billboard location restrictions
- Kent Municipal Code Section 15.08.060 - View corridor protection regulations on hillside development
- Klickitat County Code Ch. 2.21 () - View Protection District
- Lake Forest Park Municipal Code Section 16.06.200 () - Public view protection
- Olympia Unified Development Code Ch. 18.10 - Height Overlay Districts and Section 18.06.100
- Port Orchard Municipal Code Section 16.20.700 - View Protection Overlay District
- Redmond Zoning Code Ch. 21.42 - Public View Corridors and Gateways
- Seattle Land Use Code Ch. 23.60.162 - View Corridors
- Spokane Municipal Code Ch. 17C.170 - Special Height Overlay Districts
Out-of-State Code Provisions
The following are general articles and documents that address view protection and hillside development: