Chapter 18.04


18.04.010    Title.

18.04.020    Purpose of provisions.

18.04.030    Administrative officer.

18.04.040    Scope.

18.04.050    Compliance – Subdivisions generally.

18.04.060    Compliance.

18.04.070    Sale restriction.

18.04.080    Building permit issuance restrictions.

18.04.090    Exceptions.

18.04.100    Expiration of application.

18.04.010 Title.

The ordinance codified in this title shall be known as the subdivision ordinance of the city of Bellingham, Washington. [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Code 1980 at § 18.04.010].

18.04.020 Purpose of provisions.

The purpose of this title is to regulate the subdivision of land and promote the public health, safety and general welfare in accordance with the standards established by the city of Bellingham; to further the goals and policies of the Bellingham comprehensive plan and prevent the overcrowding of land; provide for orderly growth and development; conserve and enhance property values; lessen congestion in the streets and on the highways; provide for adequate light and air; facilitate adequate provisions for water, sewerage, parks, and recreation areas; sites for schools and school grounds and other public requirements; provide for proper traffic circulation; and to require uniform monumenting of land subdivisions and conveyancing by accurate legal description.

Further, these regulations are established to effectuate the policy of the prescribed state law referring to the platting and dedication of lands and shall not preclude full compliance thereto. [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Code 1980 at § 18.04.030].

18.04.030 Administrative officer.

The director of planning and community development is designated and assigned the administrative and coordinating responsibility for approval or disapproval of plats and subdivisions within the city. [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Ord. 9352 § 5, 1984; Code 1980 at § 18.44.010].

18.04.040 Scope.

The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all division, subdivision, short subdivision, binding site plans and lot line adjustments of land within the corporate limits of the city of Bellingham. If the provisions of this title conflict with the provisions of Chapter 20.28 BMC, Infill Housing, the provisions of Chapter 20.28 BMC shall prevail. [Ord. 2009-08-047; Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Code 1980 at § 18.04.040].

18.04.050 Compliance – Subdivisions generally.

Hereafter, all division, subdivision, or resubdivision of land within the corporate limits of the city of Bellingham into lots, tracts, parcels, sites, or divisions for any purpose whatsoever shall be in full compliance with the provisions and specifications of this title. [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Code 1980 at § 18.04.050].

18.04.060 Compliance.

Division of land into nine or fewer lots shall be in compliance with the regulations and standards of this title governing “short subdivision” as set forth in Chapter 18.12 BMC. Division of land into 10 or more lots shall comply with regulations and standards dealing with subdivision and must follow the preliminary and final platting procedures as set forth in Chapters 18.16 and 18.20 BMC. [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Ord. 9550 § 1, 1986; Ord. 9390 § 2, 1984; Code 1980 at § 18.04.060].

18.04.070 Sale restriction.

Sale of land is prohibited unless it is a duly platted parcel of land or lot, or is a tract of record (established prior to February 5, 1973), or is a parcel of land approved under short subdivisions, Chapter 18.12 BMC, or is approved for sale under a specific binding site plan approved under Chapter 18.24 BMC. [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Code 1980 at § 18.04.070].

18.04.080 Building permit issuance restrictions.

A. No building permit shall be issued for construction of any kind unless:

1. Such lot was of record prior to August 17, 1964; or

2. Such lot is a division of a recorded subdivision; or

3. Such lot was created with approval of the city in accordance with Ordinance Nos. 7483 and/or 7995; or

4. Such lot was created in compliance with the provisions of this title.

B. It shall be the responsibility of the property owner to establish the status of the lot as it pertains to subsection (A) of this section. [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997].

18.04.090 Exceptions.

The provisions of this title shall not apply to the following:

A. Cemeteries and other burial plots while used for that purpose.

B. Divisions of land into lots or tracts where the smallest lot is 20 acres or more and not containing a dedication of a public right-of-way.

C. Divisions made by testamentary provisions, or the laws of descent.

D. Divisions of land into four or fewer lots, tracts, or parcels by the city of Bellingham for public purposes such as parks, trails, open space, drainage, street, and utility purposes; provided, that a mylar depicting the division, meeting the requirements of BMC 18.10.030, shall be filed for record. The remaining lot(s) shall comply with the provisions set forth in the Bellingham subdivision ordinance and land use development ordinance and shall constitute a legal building site(s). Nonresidential structures constructed for public purposes shall be allowed on lots created for the city of Bellingham. [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Ord. 10527, 1994; Ord. 9550 § 2, 1986; Code 1980 at § 18.04.080].

18.04.100 Expiration of application.

An application for a lot line adjustment, short subdivision, or binding site plan shall expire by limitation three years after the date of written preliminary approval unless an extension, not to exceed one year, is granted, in writing, by the director.

Any period of time which an administrative or judicial appeal is pending shall not be counted in the three-year or one-year period. If an application is remanded to the city for action at the conclusion of an appeal, a one-year extension shall automatically be granted. [Ord. 2008-08-080; Ord. 2004-09-065; Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997].