Chapter 20.36
INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT

Sections:

20.36.010    Applicability.

20.36.020    Purpose and intent.

20.36.030    Permitted uses.

20.36.040    Development regulations.

20.36.050    Parking.

20.36.060    Loading.

20.36.070    Landscaping.

20.36.080    Special conditions.

20.36.090    Prerequisite considerations.

20.36.100    Signs.

20.36.110    General use regulation.

20.36.010 Applicability.

A. Regulations specified within this chapter shall apply to the use of land within areas which have been designated by the applicable neighborhood plan to have an industrial (I) general use type other than “industrial-planned.” Land within areas designated with a “planned” use qualifier must comply with procedure and standards provided in Chapter 20.38 BMC.

B. This chapter is designed to be used in conjunction with the land use classification system found within the appropriate neighborhood plan. [Ord. 9024, 1982].

20.36.020 Purpose and intent.

A. Generally. The industrial (I) general use type is primarily intended to reserve land exclusively for industrial, and industrial-related uses. In order to lessen traffic congestion, industrial areas should be located in areas with direct accessibility to arterial, railroad, or salt water transportation systems.

B. Light, Use Qualifier. The light industrial (LI) designation is intended to accommodate uses which are not compatible with uses allowed in the central commercial areas but which do not create noise, smoke, odors or other objectionable nuisances to the extent that they may be detrimental to each other or to surrounding areas.

C. Heavy, Use Qualifier. The heavy industrial (HI) designation is intended to accommodate uses which may create a higher degree of hazard or annoyance than those permitted in any other land use classification. Certain uses such as residential and retail businesses are not permitted in order to ensure that heavy industries locate in areas where their operation will neither be injurious to, nor hindered by these uses.

D. Marine, Use Qualifier. The marine industrial (MI) designation is intended to reserve scarce waterfront land for those water dependent or water related industries which require a waterfront location. [Ord. 9024, 1982].

20.36.030 Permitted Uses

A. Uses Permitted Outright. No building or land shall be used within an area designated with an industrial general use type except as permitted below, corresponding to the use qualifier designated for such property.

The following uses shall be permitted outright; corresponding to the designated use qualifier.

Use Qualifier

 

Permitted Use

Light

1.

Warehousing and wholesaling establishments: excluding the storage and handling of explosives, ammonia, chlorine, and any other similarly dangerous or toxic substances.

 

2.

Manufacturing and assembly of any product or material, not prohibited hereunder, is permitted. The manufacture, compounding, processing, refining, and treatment of significant quantities of the following materials, products or operations is prohibited. For the purpose of this section, “significant quantities” consists of a barrel or more at a single time.

 

 

a.

Acetylene.

 

 

b.

Distillation of alcohol.

 

 

c.

Asphalt and tar.

 

 

d.

Brick, tile, terra cotta.

 

 

e.

Concrete, cement, lime, gypsum, and plaster of paris.

 

 

f.

Fats, oils and soap.

 

 

g.

Fertilizer, garbage, offal, bones, and the reduction of dead animals.

 

 

h.

Forging or smelting of metal.

 

 

i.

Lampblack, stove and shoe polish.

 

 

j.

Lumber and planing mills.

 

 

k.

Oilcloth and linoleum.

 

 

l.

Paint, shellac, turpentine, lacquer and varnish.

 

 

m.

Paper and pulp.

 

 

n.

Petroleum processing and storage.

 

 

o.

Any explosive or highly inflammable material.

 

 

p.

Slaughtering and processing of meat or fish products.

 

 

q.

Tannery and curing of raw hides.

 

 

r.

Chemicals such as acid, ammonia, bleach, chlorine, dye stuff, glue, gelatin and size.

 

 

s.

Automotive wrecking, or junkyards.

 

3.

Retail sales of all types except those listed in the conditional use section.

 

4.

Offices.

 

5.

Eating and/or drinking establishments.

 

6.

Service establishments dealing with the following:

 

 

a.

Personal services (such as beauty and barber shops, shoe repair shops and laundry facilities).

 

 

b.

Business services (such as advertising agencies, collection agencies, janitorial services, computer service and consulting).

 

 

c.

Automotive repair, services and garages.

 

 

d.

Miscellaneous repair services (such as radio, TV, watch, clock, and furniture repair).

 

 

e.

Commercial recreation.

 

 

f.

Medical and dental laboratories.

 

 

g.

Institutions of higher education.

 

 

h.

Membership organizations.

 

 

i.

Small animal care shops (keeping of three or fewer animals overnight is permitted as an accessory use if animals are kept in an enclosed structure).

 

 

j.

Miscellaneous services (such as engineering, architectural and surveying services).

 

7.

Agricultural nurseries.

 

8.

Advertising devices.

 

9.

Animal hospitals, small.

 

10.

Transportation and public utilities (such as freight operations, terminals, communication services, utility transmission systems, and utility generation systems only as provided in BMC 20.36.030(C)).

 

11.

Construction businesses (such as construction offices and storage yards).

 

12.

Uses similar to the above; however, adult entertainment uses shall be prohibited in the light industrial district.

 

13.

Billboards, subject to the provisions of this chapter, and only within the billboard overlay zones delineated by BMC 20.08.020, Figure 15.

 

14.

Wireless communication facilities, subject to the provisions of Chapter 20.13 BMC.

 

15.

Community public facilities.

 

16.

Art schools.

 

 

 

 

Heavy

1.

Warehousing and wholesaling establishments.

 

2.

Manufacturing and assembly of any product or material not prohibited hereunder is permitted. The operation and manufacturing, compounding, processing, refining, treatment and assembly of significant quantities of the following materials is prohibited. For the purpose of this section, “significant quantity” consists of a barrel or more at a single time.

 

 

a.

Explosives.

 

 

b.

Distillation of bones, rendering of inedible fat, and disposal of dead animals.

 

 

c.

Glue, ammonia, chlorine, and bleaching powder.

 

 

d.

Slaughterhouses and stockyards.

 

 

e.

Petroleum or gas refining.

 

3.

Retail trade limited to the following:

 

 

a.

Lumber and other building materials dealers.

 

 

b.

Paint, glass and wallpaper stores.

 

 

c.

Hardware.

 

 

d.

Motor vehicle and heavy equipment dealers (new and used).

 

 

e.

Boat dealers.

 

 

f.

Eating and drinking establishments.

 

 

g.

Fuel and ice dealers.

 

 

h.

Farm supplies.

 

 

i.

Industrial equipment and supplies.

 

4.

Advertising devices; however, such devices shall not be located within 500 feet of a designated scenic route.

 

5.

Transportation and public utilities (such as freight operations, terminals, communication services, utility transmission systems, and utility generation systems only as provided in BMC 20.36.030(C)).

 

6.

Construction businesses (such as construction offices and storage yards).

 

7.

Uses similar to the above; however, adult entertainment uses shall be prohibited in the heavy industrial district.

 

8.

Billboards, subject to the provisions of this chapter, and only within the billboard overlay zones delineated by BMC 20.08.020, Figure 15.

 

9.

Wireless communication facilities, subject to the provisions of Chapter 20.13 BMC.

 

10.

Community public facilities, with the exception of branch libraries.

 

 

 

 

Marine

1.

Manufacturing of water related goods such as:

 

 

a.

Ship and boat building and repair.

 

 

b.

Canned and cured fish and seafoods.

 

 

c.

Fresh or frozen packaged fish and seafoods.

 

2.

Transportation and public utilities including:

 

 

a.

Motor freight transportation and warehousing.

 

 

b.

Water transportation (includes marinas).

 

 

c.

Utility transmission systems and utility generation systems only as provided in BMC 20.36.030(C).

 

3.

Other uses pertaining to the storage, manufacture or construction of any product which requires or is functionally dependent upon water transport.

 

4.

Eating and/or drinking establishments.

 

5.

Public parks, beaches or aquariums, museums, art galleries, botanical and zoological gardens.

 

6.

Uses similar to the above; however, adult entertainment uses shall be prohibited in the marine industrial district.

 

7.

Wireless communication facilities, subject to the provisions of Chapter 20.13 BMC.

 

8.

Community public facilities, with the exception of branch libraries.

 

 

 

 

Planned

1.

See Chapter 20.38 BMC.

B. Conditional Uses within Light, Heavy, and Marine Use Qualifier Areas.

1. Adaptive uses for historic register buildings as defined in BMC 20.16.020(A)(1).

2. Churches.

3. Within light use qualifier areas only:

a. Monument and stone works.

b. Crematories.

c. Schools.

4. Hazardous waste treatment and storage facilities, subject to the requirements of BMC 20.16.020(G)(1).

5. Wireless communication facilities, subject to the provisions of Chapter 20.13 BMC.

C. Electrical Power Generating Facilities.

1. Electrical Power Generating Facilities Permitted Outright.

a. The establishment of any new permanent natural gas fired electrical power generating facility, provided the combined total output of all systems is not greater than 5.0 megawatts of energy at peak output, and: (i) provisions are made to minimize noise impacts to adjacent areas zoned or developed for residential uses, and (ii) the power generated shall be for use by an on-site or adjacent industrial use only and not for sale on the open power market, and (iii) the project complies with all other industrial designation requirements.

b. The establishment of any alternative energy power generating facility which utilizes solar, wind, tidal, fuel cell or other noncombustive energy source, provided the combined total output of all systems is not greater than 5.0 megawatts of energy at peak output, and (i) provisions are made to minimize noise impacts to adjacent areas zoned or developed for residential uses, and (ii) the project complies with all other applicable industrial designation requirements.

c. The establishment of any emergency back-up electrical power generation system which is not intended for primary continuous use, but rather for use during power supply interruption due to extreme weather events, earthquake, collision, unanticipated accident or related power failure.

2. Electrical Power Generating Facilities Restricted.

a. All types of permanent electrical power generating facilities that utilize any form of nuclear, coal, diesel, heavy bunker oil, wood, wood residuals or other waste material fuels, except steam, shall be prohibited.

b. All new electrical power generating facilities, and expansion of existing lawfully established natural gas fired electrical power generating facilities, producing more than 5.0 megawatts may be considered via the planned development process provided in BMC 20.38.010 subject to the following requirements and considerations:

i. All applications for new power facilities or expansion of existing power facilities shall be required to submit a SEPA checklist and be reviewed for potential environmental impacts and receive an appropriate threshold determination as provided in WAC 197-11-330 and Chapter 16.20 BMC as current or amended by ordinance.

ii. Consideration should be made for siting such systems at a single or limited location(s) in order to limit the impacts attributable to installation or operation of such systems within the city.

iii. Minimize impacts to the Bellingham waterfront.

iv. Minimize impacts to hospitals and health care facilities.

v. Minimize impacts to urban residential concentrations.

vi. Preference should be given to areas adjacent to or with reasonable access to existing corridors for energy transmission systems such as natural gas pipelines and electric power lines.

vii. Facilities should be sized to meet city energy needs.

c. Any planned development application made for any new electrical power generating facility or expansion of any existing power generating facility regulated under this subsection (C)(2) may be denied by the planning director if found to be inconsistent and/or incompatible with the criteria in subsections (C)(2)(b)(i) through (vii) of this section.

d. Normal maintenance, repair, replacement or modification of equipment for lawfully established electrical power generating facilities may occur without requirement for a new planned development application, provided: (i) there is no net increase in air, water or solid waste emission or discharge, and (ii) all other SEPA and industrial requirements are met. This provisional determination shall be made by the planning director and provided in writing prior to any generator equipment replacement or modification.

3. Application and Public Process Expenses. With regard to applications for siting permanent gas fired electrical power generating facilities only, as a condition to acceptance of any such application, an applicant must agree to reimburse the city of Bellingham for the reasonable, actual costs of processing and evaluating the application, including but not limited to the cost of consultants and experts retained by the city.

4. Appeal. Any aggrieved party may appeal any administrative decision of the planning director as provided herein upon submittal of a notice of appeal to the hearing examiner’s office within 14 days of the date of the director’s decision. There is a fee for this appeal process. Review of the determination of the hearing examiner shall be by judicial challenge before the Whatcom County superior court. [Ord. 2014-09-049 § 47; Ord. 2013-12-090 § 8; Ord. 2005-12-094; Ord. 2002-10-070; Ord. 2002-06-045 §§ 5, 9, 19; Ord. 2002-05-036 § 1, 2; Ord. 1998-11-088 §§ 9 – 11; Ord. 1998-07-057; Ord. 10674 § 26, 1995; Ord. 10528 § 6, 1994; Ord. 9814 § 3, 1988; Ord. 9173 § 4, 1983; Ord. 9698 § 4, 1987; Ord. 9024, 1982].

20.36.040 Development regulations.

A. Applicability. The regulations of this section shall apply to all permitted and accessory use construction within the industrial general use type; except where the “planned” use qualifier is designated.

B. Minimum Site Area. Any lot of record.

C. Maximum Size/Density. An individual retail establishment, including but not limited to membership warehouse clubs, discount stores, specialized product stores and department stores, shall not exceed 90,000 square feet of gross floor area.

For the purpose of this subsection, gross floor area shall consist of the sum of the gross horizontal areas of all floors within the inside perimeter of the exterior walls of the structure or tenant space and roofed or partially walled outdoor areas reserved for the display, storage, or sale of merchandise, including accessory uses inside the primary retail establishment. Structured parking is excluded. The gross floor area of adjacent stores shall be aggregated in cases where the stores (a) are engaged in the selling of similar or related merchandise and operate under common ownership or management; (b) share check stands, a warehouse, or a distribution facility; or (c) otherwise operate as associated, integrated or cooperative business enterprises.

A building space occupied by an existing single retail establishment larger than 90,000 square feet may change occupancy to a different retail establishment of the same or smaller size.

D. Lot Coverage and Open Space Requirements. None.

E. Height. No height restrictions, except for signs, see BMC 20.36.100.

F. Minimum Yards. There shall be no minimum yards except when any industrial property abuts upon or is across a right-of-way from property of any residential, commercial, public, or institutional general use type, in which case a 25-foot yard shall be provided measured from any lot lines so abutting. [Ord. 2014-09-049 § 48; Ord. 2007-02-011; Ord. 2002-10-070; Ord. 9024, 1982].

20.36.050 Parking.

A. Applicability.

1. This section is intended to provide parking regulations for all permitted uses which are regulated by this chapter.

2. Off-street parking in accordance with the provisions herein shall be provided whenever:

a. A main building is constructed or relocated upon another lot; or

b. The cost of interior alteration or repair within any 12-month period exceeds 50 percent of the actual valuation; or

c. A change of use, floor area expansion, or modification which affects any other unit of measure used to determine parking requirements, in which case the additional number of parking spaces resulting from the change shall be required, unless already provided.

3. The director shall have the authority to reduce or waive off-street parking required by this chapter as stated in BMC 20.10.010(A)(3) through (5); provided, that the requirements stated therein are met.

4. Shared Parking. The amount of off-street parking required by this chapter may be reduced by an amount determined by the director when shared parking facilities for two or more uses are proposed, provided the requirements stated in BMC 20.12.010(A)(6) are met.

B. Number of Spaces Required.

1. All permitted uses within areas designated with the light, heavy and marine use qualifier areas shall provide, at a minimum, the number of spaces required herein.

2. Any use clearly similar to the uses listed below shall meet the requirements specified. If the similarity is not apparent, then the hearing examiner shall determine the standards which shall be applied.

 

Use

Parking Space Requirement

Commercial

1.

General Business, Personal Service Establishments

One for every 250 square feet of floor area open to the public.

2.

Furniture and Large Appliance Store

Four plus one for every 500 square feet gross floor area.

3.

Eating and Drinking Establishments, Dance Halls

One for every 75 square feet of floor area open to the public with a minimum of seven spaces.

4.

Commercial Recreation

Four for each bowling lane, tennis or racquetball court, pool or billiard table; or one for each miniature golf hole or in the case of a driving range for each tee area; or one for each 100 square feet of open recreational area. Where an eating and/or drinking establishment is located within a main building used as a commercial recreation site and is clearly accessory to the primary commercial recreation use, additional parking shall not be required.

5.

Service Stations

Five.

Health Care

1.

Doctor/Dentist Offices and/or Laboratories

Five for each 1,000 square feet of gross floor area.

2.

Small Animal Hospital

Five spaces for every veterinarian.

Public and Semi-Public Assembly

1.

School, Institution of Higher Education, Art School

One per classroom and office plus one for every four students normally enrolled who are over the legal driving age. Public assembly areas, such as auditoriums, stadiums, etc. that may be adjunct to the school shall provide parking required herein; however, parking provided for the school may be considered as parking for the assembly area.

2.

Museums, Art Galleries, Aquariums

One for every 200 square feet of floor area open to the public.

3.

Bus Stations, Passenger Terminal Facilities

One for every 100 square feet of floor area open to the public.

4.

Private Club and Lodge

One for every 150 square feet of floor area devoted to assembly or meeting area. If eating/drinking facilities are included there shall be one space required for each 75 square feet devoted to such activity.

5.

Parks/Playgrounds

The director shall determine the required number based on the type and extent of the particular facility.

Industrial

1.

Manufacturing

One for every 5,000 square feet of gross floor area or one per employee (working at the same time), whichever is greater.

2.

Warehousing and Wholesale

One for every 20,000 square feet of gross floor area or one per employee (working at the same time), whichever is greater.

3.

Mini-Storage

One space for every 2,000 square feet of storage area plus three spaces for the manager’s office.

Miscellaneous Uses

1.

Crematories/Mortuaries/Funeral Parlors

One for every 100 square feet of floor area open to the public.

2.

Agricultural Nurseries Wholesale/Retail

To be determined by office of planning and development.

Residential

1.

Single-Family/Manufactured Home

Two parking spaces; single-family attached units shall provide one additional parking space for each bedroom over three. No more than two enclosed garage parking spaces per unit may count toward meeting parking requirement.

2.

Duplex/Multifamily

a. One for each studio unit.

 

 

b. One and one-half for each one- or two-bedroom unit.

 

 

c. Two for each three+ bedroom unit.

 

 

d. Duplex with four or more bedrooms: one parking space per bedroom. No more than two parking spaces per unit may be located in an enclosed garage.

 

 

e. Multifamily: one additional space for each bedroom over three per unit. No more than two parking spaces per unit may be located in an enclosed garage. This provision shall not limit the number of parking spaces that may be provided in common areas in an enclosed under-building parking floor or structure.

3.

Boarding House

One for every two bedrooms

4.

Live/Work Unit

One parking space per live/work unit or one parking space per 500 square feet of gross floor area of all units in a project, whichever is greater.

C. General Provisions.

1. Whenever off-street parking facilities are constructed, whether required or not, the facility shall meet the standards and requirements within this section.

2. All required parking shall be located off street and on the subject property in areas which meet the minimum requirements of this section. Parking on the public right-of-way shall not be considered as off-street parking unless approved pursuant to BMC 20.12.010(A)(3) and (4). Shared parking may be allowed pursuant to regulations found in BMC 20.12.010(A)(6).

3. The provisions of off-street parking and loading in the manner and extent required herein shall be a continuing obligation to the owner of a given use so long as the use is in existence. It shall be unlawful to discontinue, change, or dispense with parking and/or loading facilities unless alternative facilities are established which meet the requirements of this section.

4. Scaled parking plans shall be provided which indicate ingress, egress, grade, base and surface material, as well as parking lot dimensions.

5. Off-street parking for single-family and duplex dwellings shall be a minimum of nine feet in width by 18 feet in length with 22 feet of maneuvering aisle depth behind each space. Off-street parking dimensions for other uses shall not be less than shown on BMC 20.08.020, Figures 10, 11 and 12.

6. Unapproved revision to any approved parking facility which would affect the design, or failure to maintain the facility in accordance with good practice, shall be deemed a violation of the land use development ordinance, subject to the penalties as established. Failure to keep the parking lot surface reasonably clean of debris, failure to replace dead plant material or to remove noxious weeds shall be specifically included in the phrase “failure to maintain the facility in accordance with good practice.”

D. Design Provisions.

1. The parking facility shall be located totally within property lines except for egress, ingress and maneuvering areas as permitted below.

2. a. Alley right-of-way may be utilized toward meeting the maneuvering area required herein.

b. Where Required by Special Regulation in Chapter 20.00 BMC – Zoning Tables. When access is available from a city maintained alley, no vehicular access shall be taken from the street frontage except when the planning director determines that alley access is impractical or environmentally constrained.

3. No portion of any open parking facility shall be located within five feet of any front property line or within any required yard except for a lane for ingress and egress.

4. a. All required parking spaces shall be designed such that any vehicle parking in any space may enter and exit without interference or blocking any other vehicle parking in any other required space, except as allowed in subsection (D)(4)(b) of this section.

b. Tandem parking (two cars maximum) as allowed when enclosed within a structure.

i. Tandem parking garages shall be set back a minimum of four feet from the front face of a building.

5. There shall be no parking in any yard required in BMC 20.36.040(F).

E. Improvement Standards.

1. Hard surfacing shall be required of all parking facilities including those portions within the right-of-way. Single-family homes, duplexes, churches, agricultural nurseries, industrial and manufacturing uses are exempt from this requirement, provided the facility is surfaced with no less than three inches of crushed gravel and is maintained in a dust free condition.

2. When parking facilities are surfaced with gravel, the driveway and approaches shall nevertheless be paved with hard surfacing.

3. Permeable pavement shall be used for hard surface ground cover areas unless infeasible per the infeasibility criteria listed within BMP T5.15 of the Ecology Manual. Projects that include less than 2,000 square feet of new or replaced impervious surface are exempt from this requirement.

4. A portion of a standard parking space may be landscaped instead of paved, provided the requirements in BMC 20.12.030(C)(4)(e) are met.

5. Any lot used in whole or part as a retail parking facility shall install a city sidewalk across the full width of the lot abutting the street.

6. Wheel stops shall be provided to protect landscape areas and city sidewalks from encroachment by vehicles.

7. All parking facilities shall be clearly marked as to stalls and traffic flow and for handicapped and compact spaces.

8. Drainage systems for parking facilities shall be designed and approved in accordance with Ordinance No. 8827, as amended.

9. Retail parking facilities shall install adequate lighting in accordance with standards approved by the public works director.

10. All parking facilities open to the general public with more than 50 parking spaces shall provide a bicycle storage area in which to temporarily store bicycles. Bicycle storage space shall consist of a conveniently located and sturdy rack, hooks, bar or locker permitting locking or enclosure of the bicycle frame and both wheels to prevent thefts. With the exception of hanging hooks, bicycle storage facilities shall be designed so as not to support the full weight of the bicycle on one or both wheels. The bicycle storage area shall have the capabilities to hold at least 10 percent of the number of parking spaces. This requirement may be waived by the director if it can be demonstrated that the rack would not be reasonably utilized due to the location of the facility.

11. The public works department shall approve the location of all curb cuts. No single curb cut shall be wider than 30 feet. For parking lots with less than 10 spaces, the curb cut shall be no wider than 12 feet. Parking lots with separate points of ingress and egress shall have no more than a 12-foot curb cut separated by a distance of at least 20 feet and shall comply with arterial street access, Chapter 13.52 BMC, Driveways Giving Access to Arterial Streets. [Ord. 2017-03-009 § 33; Ord. 2006-12-122; Ord. 2006-12-121; Ord. 2003-03-010; Ord. 2002-10-070; Ord. 2002-10-069 § 55; Ord. 2002-06-045 § 23; Ord. 9582 §§ 9, 11, 1986; Ord. 9024, 1982].

20.36.060 Loading.

A. Applicability. All new buildings and uses shall meet the loading requirements herein specified.

B. Number Required.

1. Any building intended to be used for retail, wholesale, warehouse, freight, hospital, industrial and manufacturing uses shall be provided with off-street loading berths according to this schedule:

a. One berth for each building containing 10,000 to 25,000 square feet of floor area.

b. Two berths for each building containing 25,000 plus square feet of floor area.

2. Any building intended to be used for hotel, eating or drinking establishment, community center, convention hall, or other similar use shall be provided with off-street loading berths according to this schedule:

a. One berth for each building containing 20,000 to 50,000 square feet of floor area.

b. Two berths for each building containing 50,000 plus square feet of floor area.

C. Loading Design Standards.

1. Off-street loading facilities shall be designed and maintained in accordance with the standards herein.

2. Each loading berth shall be at least 10 feet wide and 45 feet long.

3. Loading berths shall not be located in any required yard.

4. Loading berths shall be located entirely on the property they are intended to serve and designed in such a way that the street does not serve as a maneuvering area.

5. Access to loading berths shall be from an alley when such exists.

6. If it is desirable, two or more buildings having a common wall may locate their required loading berths in one location, provided the number of berths shall not be less than the sum of the required berths for all the buildings concerned, and further, there shall be access from each building to the loading berth.

7. Loading areas shall be so designed that traffic congestion and interference is avoided and the highest possible degree of safety is maintained. [Ord. 9024, 1982].

20.36.070 Landscaping.

A. Applicability. This section is intended to provide the landscaping requirements for all uses permitted within this chapter.

B. General Provisions.

1. The provisions of this section shall apply to all new construction and to the remodeling of same when the cost of remodeling exceeds 50 percent of the assessed valuation of the structure to the extent that there is space available.

2. Prior to issuance of a building permit, a scaled landscape site plan shall be submitted and approved by the planning department consistent with the provisions herein. Said plan shall specify species name, size and location.

3. Landscaping pursuant to the approved site plan shall either be installed or bonded for (in an amount no less than 150 percent of cost of material and installation) prior to issuance of a certificate of occupancy or if no certificate is required prior to final inspection approval.

4. Existing trees which will be saved and which meet the minimum specification herein specified, shall count toward meeting the requirements herein, provided they are an acceptable species as to their location.

C. Requirements (See Figure 20.36.070(A)).

1. Street Trees. One street tree shall be provided for every 50 feet of street frontage abutting the property. Said trees shall be installed adjacent to the right-of-way within the property lines or within the right-of-way subject to the approval of the public works and parks department.

2. All required yards shall be installed with a wall of trees.

3. Areas between the parking facility and adjacent property as required in BMC 20.36.050(D)(3) shall be landscaped if the adjacent property is of the same general use type.

4. One tree shall be required and installed for every 25 feet of freeway frontage abutting the property.

D. Standards.

1. Trees.

a. Species.

i. Street Trees. As recommended in the Bellingham street tree plan and approved by the parks department.

ii. Other Required Trees. Species shall be native to the area or recognized as being easily adaptable to the climate.

b. Size (Unless Otherwise Specified).

i. Street trees shall be no less than 10 feet in height at time of installation with a minimum diameter of two and one-half inches measured one foot above grade.

ii. Other required trees shall be no less than six feet in height at time of installation with a minimum diameter of one inch measured one foot above grade.

c. Spacing and Location.

i. Street trees shall be spaced and installed as recommended in the Bellingham street tree plan subject to approval of public works and parks department.

ii. Other required trees may be installed where desired by the applicant within the requirements of this section.

2. General Planting.

a. No landscape bed shall have artificial impervious material placed underneath the surface bed.

b. i. Provisions should be taken to ensure each landscape bed has proper drainage.

ii. The excavation pocket should be dug 12 inches below the root ball and six inches larger in circumference around the root ball. The excavation pocket should be filled with an approved planting mix.

iii. Each excavation pocket should take provision to ensure proper drainage. If the subsoil is impervious, an additional foot of excavation backfilled with gravel to lower the water table should be required or an auger hole sunk down to porous material and the hole sack filled with gravel to the bottom of the planting pocket.

iv. All trees over eight feet high should be securely staked or guyed until the roots become established but in no case less than one year. Street trees should be staked according to the staking guidelines of the street tree plan.

Figure 20.36.070(A)

Figure 20.36.070(B)

Figure 20.36.070(C)

Figure 20.36.070(D)

[Ord. 2014-09-049 § 49; Ord. 9024, 1982].

20.36.080 Special conditions.

A. Special Districts. The following terms identified as special conditions in the land use classification system refer to overlay zones or additional regulations which may be applicable to a land use area where the term appears:

1. Shoreline.

2. Flood.

3. View.

4. Clearing.

Where no ordinance covering one of the above terms has been passed or shoreline master plan has been approved by the city, these terms shall not be applicable. In areas where one of the following terms are stated in the land use classification system, compliance with the provisions of the respective regulation will be required pursuant to the terms of that program or ordinance:

Term

Regulation

“Shoreline”

Shoreline Management Master Program

B. Special Concerns. The remaining words identified as special conditions in the land use classification system are special concerns which re site-specific in nature. The designation of a special concern in an area will not result in any requirements being imposed on development proposals in that area pursuant to this title other than those which require discretionary permits. Rather, these special concerns identify problems which may form the basis of conditions to be attached to a development proposal pursuant to discretionary approval under this title (variance, conditional use, or approval pursuant to the planned or institutional development regulations), subdivision approval (long plat), or the State Environmental Policy Act (Chapter 43.21C RCW as implemented by city Ordinance No. 8515, as amended).

Any conditions attached to discretionary approval of a project pursuant to this section shall be based upon the special concern as explained by language (if any) contained in either the introductory paragraph to the area classification system or in the preceding text as well as the goals of the comprehensive plan and shall be attached only to satisfy the appropriate standards for issuance of such approval; provided, that any conditions to proposals which are based upon such special concerns shall be formulated so as to allow the reasonable use of property for a purpose to which it is suitably adapted. [Ord. 9024, 1982].

20.36.090 Prerequisite considerations.

A. Purpose. Prerequisite considerations are enumerated in the neighborhood plan land use classification system of the comprehensive plan in order to prevent the overcrowding of land in relation to the existing provision of essential services, to lessen congestion of streets, to provide for orderly and coordinated development, to conserve and restore natural beauty and other natural resources and facilitate provision of adequate transportation, water, sewerage, and other public services.

B. Effect.

1. Prerequisite considerations are items which shall be addressed by the responsible official in conjunction with any proposal not exempt from the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) or by the decision-making body in regard to those projects which require discretionary approval.

2. Any conditions attached to discretionary approval of a project pursuant to this section shall be based upon the prerequisite consideration as explained by language (if any) contained in either the introductory paragraph to the area classification system or in the preceding text of the neighborhood plans, as well as the goals of the comprehensive plan.

3. Conditions based upon prerequisite considerations shall be formulated to correspond to the degree of impact which the specific development proposal is anticipated to have upon the situation giving rise to the prerequisite consideration; provided, that conditions to proposals which are based upon such prerequisite considerations shall be formulated so as to allow the reasonable use of property for a purpose to which it is suitably adapted.

4. In the event a mechanism exists which will ensure that a prerequisite consideration will be satisfied at an appropriate time, the responsible official or decision-making body may approve the development proposal conditioned upon such future performance. Where prerequisite consideration is inapplicable to a development proposal and attaches no corresponding condition, the rationale for such decision shall be specifically set out in findings of fact.

C. The city of Bellingham shall adopt a capital improvement plan which shall address specifically the prerequisite considerations delineated in the Bellingham plan and include a priority within which the developmental problems recognized by the prerequisite considerations should be resolved. (User information: If there are any prerequisite considerations listed in the applicable neighborhood plan land use classification system, consult the office of planning and development for guidance prior to project plan preparation.) [Ord. 9024, 1982].

20.36.100 Signs.

A. Light and Heavy.

1. No off-premises signs shall be permitted. Billboards are permitted in the billboard overlay zones when in accord with the provisions of this code.

2. No sign or any portion of a sign hereafter erected shall be located on or over public property; however, signs on existing buildings abutting a right-of-way may protrude over the right-of-way for a distance not greater than six feet nor closer than two feet from the curb. There shall be a minimum eight feet vertical clearance.

3. Freestanding signs shall not exceed 35 feet in height unless oriented to I-5, in which case the sign shall be no higher than 20 feet above the elevation of the nearest driving lane.

4. Signs shall not exceed 300 square feet in area.

5. Unlighted temporary building signs shall not exceed 64 square feet.

6. Real estate signs shall be limited to one sign per street frontage, shall be unlighted, and shall not exceed 64 square feet.

7. Specific service signage as defined herein shall be permitted on the public right-of-way consistent with the policies and approval of the public works department.

8. See BMC 20.12.080(D) for sign regulations for nonconforming adult entertainment uses.

B. Marine.

1. No off-premises signs are permitted.

2. Signs shall not exceed 150 square feet in area.

3. Signs shall not exceed 25 feet in height.

4. Unlighted temporary building signs shall not exceed 64 square feet.

5. Real estate signs shall be limited to one sign per street frontage, shall be unlighted, and shall not exceed 64 square feet.

6. Specific service signage as defined herein shall be permitted on the public right-of-way consistent with the policies and approval of the public works department.

7. See BMC 20.12.080(D) for sign regulations for nonconforming adult entertainment uses. [Ord. 10674 §§ 27, 28, 1995; Ord. 10528 §§ 14, 15, 1994; Ord. 10339 § 5, 1990; Ord. 9545 § 2, 1986; Ord. 9024, 1982].

20.36.110 General use regulation.

A. Pollution standards set up by any regional, state or federal pollution control boards or other applicable bodies shall apply to all uses.

B. The fire marshal of the city of Bellingham shall be apprised by the owner of any storage, handling, shipping, or manufacturing of any dangerous or hazardous material and shall have the authority to place any necessary restrictions thereon to ensure public safety.

C. New residential buildings and uses shall be prohibited except as an accessory use to provide quarters for a night watchman or caretaker. [Ord, 2014-09-049 § 50; Ord. 2002-10-070; Ord. 9024, 1982].