Chapter 12.14


12.14.010    Definitions.

12.14.020    Permit – Required.

12.14.030    Permit – Contents.

12.14.040    Required improvements.

12.14.050    Materials within right-of-way.

12.14.060    Signs.

12.14.070    Approvals.

12.14.080    Covenants.

12.14.090    Trail permit standards.

12.14.100    Plans.

12.14.110    Survey.

12.14.120    Dedication.

12.14.130    Illegal subdivision.

12.14.140    Notification to adjacent landowners.

12.14.150    Other permits.

12.14.160    Environmental review.

12.14.170    Fees.

12.14.180    Temporary access permit.

12.14.190    Appeal.

12.14.010 Definitions.

A. “Development approval” means the granting of a building permit, mobile home foundation permit, or county land use approval.

B. “Director” means the director of the county department of public works.

C. “Engineer” means the county engineer.

D. “Temporary access permit” means a permit issued pursuant to Chapter 12.16 WCC authorizing the temporary access use of unopened or unmaintained county road right-of-way for limited, short duration activities.

E. “Trail permit” means a permit issued pursuant to this chapter authorizing construction and permanent use of a privately maintained roadway within the unopened or unmaintained county road right-of-way issued by the director and/or the county engineer. (Ord. 2007-066 Exh. A; Ord. 80-1 § 6 (part)).

12.14.020 Permit – Required.

Unopened and/or unmaintained county road rights-of-way shall not be privately improved or used for access purposes, nor shall development approval necessitating such improvements or use be granted, unless a permit therefor has been issued pursuant to this chapter. Access approvals issued prior to the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter shall remain in effect if improvements were constructed in accordance with the terms thereof. If not so constructed, such prior county approvals shall be null and void on the passage of the ordinance codified in this chapter. (Ord. 2007-066 Exh. A; Ord. 80-1 § 1).

12.14.030 Permit – Contents.

Upon filing of a complete application, payment of the fee and posting of a construction bond or approved letter of credit or dedication of additional right-of-way, if required, the director may issue a permit authorizing the construction of road improvements and permanent use thereof on unopened, unmaintained county road right-of-way for access to the applicant’s property. Such permit shall contain the information required by WCC 12.14.040 through 12.14.080. (Ord. 2007-066 Exh. A; Ord. 80-1 § 2 (part)).

12.14.040 Required improvements.

The permit shall specify minimum improvements required by the director in accordance with the standards of the bureau of engineering, department of public works. Construction of such improvements to the satisfaction of the director shall be completed prior to issuance of an occupancy permit. The permittee shall be responsible for proper notice to the director and/or county engineer requesting the necessary inspection. (Ord. 2007-066 Exh. A; Ord. 80-1 § 2(A)).

12.14.050 Materials within right-of-way.

The permit shall contain a statement regarding the use or disposition of timber, soil, rock, vegetation, or other materials found within the right-of-way. If not utilized in the construction of roadway improvements, such materials shall be disposed of in accordance with the direction of the abutting property owners and/or the county engineer. Any affected fences located within the right-of-way shall be disposed of and/or relocated in accordance with the direction of the director and/or the county engineer. (Ord. 2007-066 Exh. A; Ord. 80-1 § 2(B)).

12.14.060 Signs.

The permit shall require that the authorized roadway be posted at its entrance with “Privately Maintained Road” and/or “End of County Maintained Road.” Required signs are provided by the director, maintained by the county and paid for by the permittee. (Ord. 2007-066 Exh. A; Ord. 80-1 § 2(C)).

12.14.070 Approvals.

Upon completion of the required improvements, the county engineer shall indicate his approval on the permit and make the appropriate notice thereof upon official county road right-of-way records. (Ord. 2007-066 Exh. A; Ord. 80-1 § 2(D)).

12.14.080 Covenants.

The permit shall include a covenant running with the land and for the benefit of Whatcom County which covenant shall be filed with the Whatcom County auditor and contain:

A. A legal description of the lot or parcel to be served by the trail permit;

B. A statement regarding the nature of access to such parcel;

C. A statement that the owners of the parcel will not oppose participation in a county road improvement district if formation of such a district is deemed necessary by the county council;

D. A statement that responsibility for the maintenance of the road rests jointly and equally upon all permit holders;

E. A prohibition against subdividing such parcels without obtaining either plat or short plat approval therefor or, if exempt from platting, a trail permit for the additional lots being created;

F. A statement that the covenant is binding on the successors and assigns of the owners;

G. The acknowledged signatures of the owners of record of such parcel. (Ord. 2007-066 Exh. A; Ord. 80-1 § 2(E)).

12.14.090 Trail permit standards.

Road improvements authorized by trail permits shall be designed and constructed in accordance with the roadway section chart on file in the office of the county engineer. The first permit issued for previously unimproved right-of-way will require the permittee to clear and grub the total right-of-way width, to grade, drain, and surface the roadway in accordance with the roadway section chart and to make such additional improvements as may be required by the director and/or county engineer. Each subsequent trail permit issued for right-of-way improved under prior permits shall require the permittee to further improve the constructed roadway as designated by the director. Such additional improvements may include, but not be limited to, the following:

A. Second Permit. Remove any builtup sod from the existing roadway, regrade ditches and drainageways, provide a minimum of six inches of gravel base, Class B, across the center 20 feet of the roadway.

B. Third Permit. Remove any builtup sod from existing roadway, regrade ditches and drainageways, regrade existing roadway, provide a minimum of two inches of crushed surfacing top course across the center 14 feet of roadway.

C. Additional Permits. Subsequent permittees shall add such additional crushed surfacing top course, regrade ditches and roadway and make such further improvements as may be necessary in the opinion of the director. If considered appropriate, the director may recommend to the council the formation of a road improvement district (RID or LID). (Ord. 2007-066 Exh. A; Ord. 80-1 § 3).

12.14.100 Plans.

Detailed engineering plans and/or a drainage study may be required when considered necessary by the county engineer. Costs for the development of such plan and conduct of required studies shall be borne by the permit applicant. When required, such plans and study shall be in accordance with the requirements for plat development. (Ord. 2007-066 Exh. A; Ord. 80-1 § 4(A)).

12.14.110 Survey.

When considered necessary by the director to adequately define the limits of right-of-way, the permit applicant shall cause the right-of-way to be surveyed by a licensed land surveyor. Such survey shall be recorded in accordance with the Survey Recording Act. (Ord. 2007-066 Exh. A; Ord. 80-1 § 4(B)).

12.14.120 Dedication.

A permit applicant shall be required to deed additional right-of-way across property under his authority when necessary to fulfill the minimum road right-of-way width prescribed by RCW 36.85.010. (Ord. 2007-066 Exh. A; Ord. 80-1 § 4(C)).

12.14.130 Illegal subdivision.

A permit shall not be issued to provide access to a lot or parcel created in violation of the existing platting law. (Ord. 2007-066 Exh. A; Ord. 80-1 § 4(D)).

12.14.140 Notification to adjacent landowners.

A permit applicant shall provide certification that all owners of the property abutting on each side of the right-of-way have been contacted. Any objections of such property owners shall be stated along with the manner in which the applicant proposes to resolve the objections. (Ord. 2007-066 Exh. A; Ord. 80-1 § 4(E)).

12.14.150 Other permits.

It shall be the responsibility of the permit applicant to obtain all other required permits and approvals. (Ord. 2007-066 Exh. A; Ord. 80-1 § 4(F)).

12.14.160 Environmental review.

The permit process prescribed in this chapter may be subject to the county environmental policy ordinance (see Chapter 16.08 WCC). (Ord. 2007-066 Exh. A; Ord. 80-1 § 4(G)).

12.14.170 Fees.

A fee in the amount set forth in the Unified Fee Schedule shall be paid to the public works department at the time of the application for a trail permit. Such fee is nonrefundable and must accompany each application. For an individual temporary access permit, a revocable encroachment permit shall be obtained from the public works department, with payment of fees as required in WCC 12.16.090. (Ord. 2007-066 Exh. A; Ord. 80-1 § 5).

12.14.180 Temporary access permit.

A “temporary access permit (revocable encroachment permit)” means a permit issued pursuant to Chapter 12.16 WCC authorizing temporary access use of unopened or unmaintained county road right-of-way for limited, short duration activities. (Ord. 2007-066 Exh. A; Ord. 80-1 § 6 (part)).

12.14.190 Appeal.

A permittee may appeal the action of the director and/or the county engineer in denying conditions or otherwise acting upon a permit; provided, that a written request for reconsideration must first be filed with the director within 30 days of the action complained of. The request shall state what action is being questioned and the reason for the disagreement. Upon receipt of this request, the director may choose to affirm, reverse, or modify his or the county engineer’s prior action. Notice of the director’s response shall be mailed to the permittee within 10 working days of the receipt of the request for reconsideration. The director’s action may thereafter be appealed to the county council by filing a written notice of appeal with the clerk of the council within 30 days of the date of response from the director to the written request for reconsideration. The clerk, upon receipt of an appeal, shall schedule a public meeting or place before the regular council meeting at which time testimony will be taken from the permittee and from the director. Based upon the data supplied at this meeting and such other information as the council may request, the council may either sustain, reverse, or modify the action of the director. The decision of the council shall be final and binding and not subject to further appeal. (Ord. 2007-066 Exh. A; Ord. 80-1 § 7).