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J.E. “Sam” Ryan, CBO

5280 Northwest Drive
Bellingham, Washington 98226
Telephone: (360) 676-6907


Long Range Planning - Docket Projects - 20

2014 Docket
Boundary Line Adjustments
Amend Section 20.83.110 to allow boundary line adjustments to nonconforming parcels.
Repeal Lake Whatcom Subarea Plan
Repeal the Lake Whatcom Subarea Plan which was adopted prior to the Growth Management Act.
Repeal South Fork Valley Subarea Plan
Repeal the South Fork Valley Subarea Plan which was adopted prior to the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan.
Repeal the Eliza Island Subarea Plan
Repeal the Eliza Island Subarea Plan which was adopted prior to the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan.
Capital Facility Planning-Special Purpose Districts
Review and amend provisions of the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan relating to capital facilities. 
Broadcast Towers in Point Roberts
Amend Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan Policy 2VV-9 and section 20.72.200 of the Whatcom County Zoning Code to prohibit radio towers with signal strength of greater than 1,500 watts in the Point Roberts Special District.
Six-Year CIP and LOS Amendments
Review and update the Six-Year Capital Improvement Program for Whatcom County Facilities. Review and amend the park and recreation level of service standards in the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan.

Slater/Elder Rd. Rezone (NC to RGC)

Amend the Whatcom County Zoning map from Neighborhood Commercial Center to Rural General Commercial for approximately six acres at the corner of Slater Rd. and Elder Rd.
WCC/Title 20 Amendments
Review and, if needed, revise the Whatcom County Zoning Code and other sections of the Whatcom County Code to address issues identified in the administration of the codes. 
Wireless Communication Facilities
Update Whatcom County Zoning Code text relating to Wireless Communications Facilities. Add new language in Chapter 20.13 that exempts certain projects from Wireless Communication Facility permit requirements when such structures or improvements do not substantially change the physical dimensions of such facilities.
Road Setback Amendments
Amend setback provisions to provide the zoning administrator authority to modify the front yard setback when located between two parallel roads or at the corner of two roads.
Weddings & Special Events

Amend the Zoning Ordinance to allow “Weddings and Special Events” in specific zone districts through a conditional use permit.  Amend WCC 20.97 to define “Special Events” and amend the parking space requirements in WCC 20.80.580.

Marijuana Regulations

Amend Zoning Ordinance relating to growing, processing and retail sales of marijuana as authorized by Washington State Initiative 502 and in compliance with Ordinance No. 2014-009.


Amend Zoning Ordinance relating to regulations and conditions for the allowance of small-scale packinghouses in the Agriculture zone.

2013 Docket
Capital Facility Planning-Level of Service (LOS)for Correction Facilities
Review and modify the LOS for correction facilities (jails and juvenile detention) in the Capital Facilities chapter of the Comprehensive Plan.
Bellingham Development Standards
Review and revise the Whatcom County Code to adopt City of Bellingham Development Standards for the Bellingham Urban Growth Area (UGA).
MRL Policies and Surface Mining Regulations
Amend the mineral resource land (MRL) polices and MRL designation criteria in the Comprehensive Plan. Amend the Zoning Ordinance to change certain surface mining uses from and administrative approval use to a conditional use permit that requires a public hearing.
2012 Docket
Specified Fittings
Amend the Comprehensive Plan designation from Rural to Rural Community and amend the zoning from Rural one dwelling/five acres (R5A) to Rural Industrial and Manufacturing for approximately 1.86 acres located on the north side of Smith Rd., west of the Guide Meridian
Agricultural Strategic Plan Implementation
Various Agricultural Issues


MRL Expansion - North Star Road
Amend the comprehensive plan designation from Rural to Mineral Resource Lands (MRL) and amend the zoning map to expand a MRL overlay zone on approximately 19.7 acres on the west side of North Star Rd., south of Brown Rd.
Rural Element Update
Amend the Rural element of the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan, including provisions relating to limited areas of more intensive rural development, in response to a decision of the Growth Management Hearings Board.  Make related amendments to the Official Whatcom County Zoning Ordinance and maps.