Chapter 20.24
URBAN RESIDENTIAL MIXED (UR-MX) DISTRICT

Sections:

20.24.010    Purpose.

20.24.012    Density transfer.

20.24.015    Repealed.

20.24.050    Permitted uses.

20.24.100    Accessory uses.

20.24.130    Administrative approval uses.

20.24.150    Conditional uses.

20.24.200    Prohibited uses.

20.24.250    Maximum/minimum density, minimum lot size.

20.24.251    Minimum lot size.

20.24.252    Density and minimum lot size.

20.24.255    Repealed.

20.24.300    Repealed.

20.24.305    Lot clustering.

20.24.310    Repealed.

20.24.320    Reserve tract.

20.24.350    Building setbacks.

20.24.400    Height regulations.

20.24.450    Lot coverage.

20.24.650    Development criteria.

20.24.651    Plat language for proposed subdivisions.

20.24.652    Use of natural resources.

20.24.653    Bellingham Urban Growth Area.

20.24.654    Parking requirements.

20.24.655    Livestock regulations.

20.24.700    Transfer of residential development rights.

20.24.010 Purpose.

It is the purpose of this zone district to provide an orderly transition from rural to urban development by limiting densities and uses until services are available and then to provide for mixed uses in a manner that encourages a range of densities and dwelling unit types and pedestrian access to convenience shopping and jobs while maintaining an overall single-family character and property values for the neighborhoods created within this district. This district is intended to implement the Comprehensive Plan policies for portions of the Bellingham Urban Growth Area and portions of other urban growth areas of the county suitable for mixed use development. In the Bellingham Urban Growth Area, the city of Bellingham’s design and development standards and guidelines shall apply. The district is intended to provide for affordable housing types such as apartments, townhouses, and condominiums. Residential development should be located within walking distance of transit stations, designated commercial centers, parks and recreational areas and other employment centers where appropriate. (Ord. 2016-011 § 1 (Exh. Q), 2016; Ord. 2004-021 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2001-023 § 1, 2001; Ord. 98-083 Exh. A § 66, 1998; Ord. 97-046 § 2, 1997).

20.24.012 Density transfer.

This district serves as a zoning overlay for the purpose of designating a receiving area for transfer of development rights credits pursuant to Chapter 20.89 WCC. (Ord. 2004-021 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2001-023 § 1, 2001; Ord. 97-046 § 2, 1997).

20.24.015 Applicability.

Repealed by Ord. 2016-011. (Ord. 2004-021 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2001-023 § 1, 2001; Ord. 98-083 Exh. A § 66, 1998; Ord. 97-046 § 2, 1997).

20.24.050 Permitted uses.

Unless otherwise provided herein, permitted, accessory and conditional uses shall be administered pursuant to the applicable provisions of Chapter 20.80 WCC (Supplementary Requirements) and Chapter 20.84 WCC (Variances, Conditional Uses, Administrative Approval Uses and Appeals), the Whatcom County SEPA Ordinance, the Whatcom County Subdivision Ordinance and the Whatcom County Shoreline Management Program.

.051 One single-family dwelling per lot.

.052 Single-family attached dwellings; provided, that public sewer, water and, where identified by the appropriate Comprehensive Plan policies, stormwater collection and detention facilities serve the site, not more than four units are attached, and the number of dwelling units conforms to the density requirements of the district. However, additional multifamily development shall not be allowed within the UR-MX Zones identified on Map 2 of the Urban Fringe Subarea Comprehensive Plan.

.053 Public parks and recreation facilities included in an adopted city or county Comprehensive Plan or Park Plan.

.054 Private, noncommercial boat docks when located on a manmade canal designed for boat traffic pursuant to the Whatcom County Shoreline Management Program.

.055 One one-story detached accessory storage building per lot; provided, that the floor area shall not exceed 200 square feet and shall only be used for personal storage and not for habitation or business; and provided further, that the storage building shall contain no indoor plumbing but may be served with electrical power for lighting.

.057 Family day care homes subject to the requirements of WCC 20.97.180 for home occupations.

.058 Trails, trailheads, restroom facilities and associated parking areas for no more than 30 vehicles.

.088 Adult family homes as defined in Chapter 70.128 RCW.

.089 Boarding homes that are similar in size, facilities and occupancy to other residential structures permitted in the zoning district.

.090 Mental health facilities that provide residential treatment and are similar in size, facilities and occupancy to other residential structures permitted in the zoning district.

.091 Substance abuse facilities that provide residential treatment and are similar in size, facilities and occupancy to other residential structures permitted in the zoning district. (Ord. 2016-035 § 1 (Exh. A), 2016; Ord. 2016-011 § 1 (Exh. Q), 2016; Ord. 2005-079 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2004-026 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2004-021 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2004-014 § 2, 2004; Ord. 2001-023 § 1, 2001; Ord. 99-068, 1999; Ord. 99-062, 1999; Ord. 98-083 Exh. A § 66, 1998; Ord. 97-046 § 2, 1997).

20.24.100 Accessory uses.

.101 Home occupations pursuant to WCC 20.80.970.

.102 Private noncommercial boat docks, launches, ramps, floats, moorages and boathouses pursuant to the Whatcom County Shoreline Management Program.

.103 Other accessory uses incidental to the primary permitted uses.

.104 Temporary dwelling units which have full living accommodations including sleeping, self-contained cooking, bathing, and toilet facilities where the plumbing is connected to permanent site sewage and water systems, including those travel trailers and recreational vehicles that meet the above description, for use by owners during the period of construction of a permanent dwelling while building permit is valid, not to exceed two years.

.105 Family day care homes.

.106 Bed and breakfast establishments. (Ord. 2016-011 § 1 (Exh. D), 2016; Ord. 2010-030 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2009-034 § 1 (Att. A), 2009; Ord. 2009-033 § 1 (Att. A), 2009; Ord. 2004-021 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2001-023 § 1, 2001; Ord. 97-046 § 2, 1997).

20.24.130 Administrative approval uses.

The following uses are permitted subject to administrative approval pursuant to WCC 20.84.235.

.131 A temporary second dwelling unit of no more than 1,248 square feet in floor area, in the form of a manufactured home, a fully serviced travel trailer or motor home, to provide:

(1) A temporary dwelling space for family members who, due to professionally documented physical or mental disorders, or risks of such disorders, require supervision and care where such care is provided by members of the family who reside on the property; or

(2) A temporary dwelling space for a person providing care for the resident owner of the subject property when said owner needs supervision and care as described in (1) above.

Approval Requirements:

Administrative approval for temporary second dwelling units shall be approved if it is determined that the proposal meets the following requirements:

(1) Temporary second dwelling units shall only be permitted on fully serviced parcels on which the applicant can meet setback, ingress, egress, height restrictions, and lot coverage requirements.

(2) The size of the temporary dwelling shall be appropriate to the use and size of the parcel and shall be limited so as to comply with the standards set forth in (1) above.

(3) The temporary home shall be connected to an approved water supply and adequate capacity sewage disposal system approved by the Whatcom County health department.

(4) When care is no longer necessary, the temporary home shall be removed within 60 days.

(5) The permit shall be valid for one year. The permit may be extended on a yearly basis; provided, that an affidavit is furnished by the permittee affirming that the circumstances allowing the original permit remain in effect.

(6) A covenant shall be filed that restricts sale of the property while the temporary dwelling is in place.

(7) The use will not be hazardous or disturbing to existing or future neighboring uses.

(8) Evidence of adequate off-street parking space shall be provided.

(9) There shall be no occupancy of the temporary dwelling outside the conditions under which the temporary dwelling is permitted pursuant to this section.

(10) All mobile homes must demonstrate compliance with minimum HUD Fire Safety Standards and compliance with current Washington Administrative Code (WAC).

Penalties: False statements on supporting documentation submitted with the application or failure to comply with any of the approval requirements may be cause for revocation of the permit and prosecution.

.132 Duplex and multifamily dwellings subject to the following limitations and the developer has conducted at least one neighborhood meeting prior to application for the purpose of hearing neighborhood concerns and suggestions regarding the proposal. Where being developed in an existing neighborhood characterized by residential development at densities of one dwelling per acre or greater, the uses listed in this section shall be administered as conditional uses rather than administrative approval uses; and are subject to the same criteria, requirements, bonuses and restrictions as if they were administrative approval uses:

(1) Duplex and multifamily dwelling units do not comprise more than 25 percent of the total dwelling units allowed for the entire site.

(2) Duplex and multifamily dwelling units are constructed at the same time as, or after, at least 50 percent of the single-family units in an approved development.

(3) Multifamily development shall not be allowed within the UR-MX Zones identified on Map 2, Bennett Drive Residential Area of the Urban Fringe Subarea Comprehensive Plan.

.133 Accessory apartments or detached accessory dwelling units to single-family dwellings; provided, that all of the following approval requirements are met:

(1) In addition to an existing or permitted dwelling, there shall be no more than one accessory apartment or detached accessory dwelling unit per lot;

(2) The owner(s) of the single-family lot upon which the accessory apartment or detached accessory dwelling unit is located shall occupy as their primary domicile at least one of the dwelling units on that lot;

(3) Proof that adequate provisions have been made for potable water, wastewater disposal, and stormwater runoff for the additional dwelling unit must be obtained prior to application for a building permit;

(4) There shall be only one front entrance to the house visible from the front yard and street for houses with accessory apartments and only one additional entrance visible from the front yard for detached accessory dwelling units;

(5) Accessory apartments and detached accessory units shall be clearly a subordinate part of an existing residence;

(6) In no case shall an accessory apartment or detached dwelling unit be larger than 1,248 square feet in floor area;

(7) Long plats and short plats which are granted after January 25, 1994, shall be marked, specifically designating lots allowed to be developed with accessory apartments or detached accessory dwelling units at the option of the developer for future individual owners. Accessory apartments and detached accessory dwelling units shall be prohibited on:

(a) All lots in long plats which received preliminary plat approval after January 25, 1994, unless those lots have been specifically marked for such use through the long plat process;

(b) All lots within short plats which received approval after January 25, 1994, unless those lots have been specifically marked for such use through the short plat process;

(c) All reserve tracts within long plats and short plats created by the cluster subdivision method;

(8) A common driveway serving both the existing unit and any accessory unit shall be used to the greatest extent possible;

(9) A deed restriction is recorded with the Whatcom County auditor prior to building permit issuance, stating:

(a) Detached accessory dwelling units and associated land cannot be sold separately from the original dwelling, except in the event the zoning permits such a land division; and

(b) One of the dwellings must be the primary domicile of the owner;

(10) Accessory apartments and detached accessory dwelling units to single-family dwellings are allowed within the Lake Whatcom watershed, only under the following circumstances:

(a) Development of the parcel with the primary residence and accessory apartment or detached accessory dwelling shall conform to the density of the zoning district in which it is located. Adjacent properties in the same ownership may be bound by covenant to comply with the underlying zoning density; and

(b) All of the above approval requirements shall be met for so long as the accessory unit remains;

(11) Detached accessory dwelling units shall be located so as to minimize visual impact to the public right-of-way and to adjacent properties. Location in immediate proximity to the primary residence is preferred. Location closer to property lines than to the primary residence may be considered by the administrator when such location serves the goal of reducing overall visual impact to public right-of-way and adjacent properties, and such location still meets the setback requirements as stated in Chapter 20.80 WCC. To minimize environmental and visual impact the applicant may be required to provide fencing and/or planting to screen the unit from public right-of-way and adjacent properties;

(12) All mobile homes must demonstrate compliance with minimum HUD Fire Safety Standards and compliance with Washington Administrative Code (WAC).

.134 Mini-day care homes. (Ord. 2016-035 § 1 (Exh. A), 2016; Ord. 2010-016 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2009-034 § 1 (Att. A), 2009; Ord. 2006-061 § 1 (Att. A)(7), 2006; Ord. 2005-079 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2004-021 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2001-024 § 1, 2001; Ord. 2001-023 § 1, 2001; Ord. 99-068, 1999; Ord. 98-018 § 1, 1998; Ord. 97-046 § 2, 1997).

20.24.150 Conditional uses.

.151 Public and community facilities including police and fire stations, libraries, community centers, recreation facilities, and other similar noncommercial uses outside of centers, excluding correction facilities other than those listed in WCC 20.24.184.

.152 Public schools; and parochial or private schools, provided such schools shall be approved by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

.153 Churches, educational and religious training institutions, summer camps, and cemeteries.

.154 Retirement and convalescent homes; social and health rehabilitation centers; day care centers; mini-day care centers; and adult care centers not in a family dwelling; and other health-related services consistent with the purpose of the district.

.155 Mobile home parks. See WCC 20.80.950 for mobile home and recreational vehicle park standards.

.156 Deleted by Ord. 2001-023.

.159 Bed and breakfast inns.

.160 Private, noncommercial boat docks, launches, ramps, floats, moorages and boathouses pursuant to the Whatcom County Shoreline Management Program for owners of legal lots of record abutting the shoreline. The conditional use permit shall be approved if the hearing examiner finds that the proposal will not be hazardous or disturbing to neighbors and all applicable zoning requirements are satisfied. The criteria of WCC 20.84.220 shall not apply.

.161 The following uses may be approved within a neighborhood center where the locational criteria (subsection (2) of this section) and site criteria (subsection (3) of this section) are met; the floor area per nonresidential use does not exceed 2,500 square feet; and the developer has conducted at least one neighborhood meeting prior to application for the purpose of hearing neighborhood concerns and suggestions regarding the proposal.

(1) Uses.

(a) Commercial uses with a neighborhood or specialty nature including, but not limited to, barber and beauty shops, bakeries, drugstores; provided, that food markets may have no more than two gasoline pump islands, hardware stores, restaurants and coffee shops with or without drive-up service, electric vehicle rapid charging stations and battery exchange facilities (accessory to food markets with gasoline pump islands), stationery stores, laundromats, video rental, bookstores, frame shops and other small convenience retail, rental, or repair shops.

(b) Professional offices.

(c) Adult care centers, mini-day care centers, and day care centers.

(d) Residential units located on the upper floor(s) of buildings containing the uses listed above. Such units will be counted toward minimum densities and maximum percentage of multifamily units, but shall not be counted toward maximum densities.

(2) Locational Criteria. Uses must be clustered in a single center which is no larger than two acres, excluding areas used for duplex and multifamily dwellings, and:

(a) Fronts on an arterial or collector street; or

(b) Is located adjacent to a public square or neighborhood park; and

(c) Is no closer than one-half mile from an existing or approved commercial center or other commercial use or zone;

(d) Neighborhood centers shall not be developed in areas characterized by residential development at less than one dwelling unit per acre except as part of a mixed residential development.*

(3) Site Criteria.

(a) Parking shall be located at the rear of the buildings with access from alleys or side streets. On-street parking may be counted toward the parking requirements in Chapter 20.80 WCC.

(b) Buildings are located adjacent to the right-of-way or sidewalk, or as close as allowed in WCC 20.80.200, Setback requirements.

(c) Commercial development shall occur in nodes; linear strips will be discouraged.

(d) Centers should be visible and accessible to pedestrians from the streets and clearly defined through lighting, landscape, landmarks, and/or open space.

(e) In the Urban Fringe Subarea, specific wetland systems and sensitive environmental areas shall be preserved and incorporated into the development site design plan consistent with Bellingham city ordinances.*

(f) Sidewalks are a minimum of eight feet wide.

(g) Street trees are located on the curb side of the sidewalk in accordance with city of Bellingham street tree standards.

(h) Individual businesses or establishments must be joined by common walls unless the applicant can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the administrator that unique site circumstances dictate some other form.

(i) Storage areas shall be located entirely within the structure and outside trash receptacles shall be enclosed and screened from public view.

(j) All lighting shall be designed and installed to prevent the illumination of adjacent properties during business hours; however, security lighting may be permitted during nonbusiness hours if it is designed to prevent the illumination of adjacent properties.

(k) In accordance with WCC 20.80.465, Urban Residential-Mixed (UR-MX) District sign regulations, not more than two identification signs, with a maximum of 32 square feet total area for each storefront shall be permitted; provided, that said sign(s) shall not project above any part of the roof line. Signs may extend 24 inches from the wall or to the edge of a permanent canopy or awning of the building to which it is attached. At least one of the signs for an individual business must be readable to pedestrians on the adjacent sidewalk. Said sign(s) shall be harmonious and compatible in appearance with the character of the surrounding area. Signs may only be illuminated by an indirect external source.*

(l) Use of shared parking areas is encouraged. The minimum parking requirement shall be 50 percent of the parking requirements in WCC 20.80.580, but shall in no case exceed two-thirds of the requirements in WCC 20.80.580.

* Code reviser’s note: Sketches will be available in a future supplement.

.162 Activity centers.

.163 Public or private parks that are not included in an adopted city or county Comprehensive Plan or Park Plan.

.164 Public campgrounds.

.165 Trailheads with parking areas for more than 30 vehicles.

.166 Athletic fields.

.183 State education facilities.

.184 Transitional correction facilities for juveniles and adults with 10 or less residents. These facilities include “juvenile rehabilitation administration” (JRA) facilities run by the state and residential adult work release facilities.

.185 Type I solid waste handling facilities.

.186 Type II solid waste handling facilities.

.189 Boarding homes that are larger than other residential structures permitted in the zoning district.

.190 Mental health facilities that provide residential treatment and are larger than other residential structures permitted in the zoning district.

.191 Substance abuse facilities that provide residential treatment and are larger than other residential structures permitted in the zoning district.

.192 Mitigation banks as a form of compensatory mitigation for wetland and habitat conservation area impacts when permitted in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 16.16 WCC; provided, applications for mitigation banks shall be processed as a major development project pursuant to Chapter 20.88 WCC. (Ord. 2017-030 § 1 (Exh. J), 2017; Ord. 2012-012 Exh. A, 2012; Ord. 2012-001 § 1 (Exh. A), 2012; Ord. 2011-008 Exh. A, 2011; Ord. 2009-034 § 1 (Att. A), 2009; Ord. 2009-033 § 1 (Att. A), 2009; Ord. 2005-068 § 2, 2005; Ord. 2004-026 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2004-021 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2004-014 § 2, 2004; Ord. 2001-023 § 1, 2001; Ord. 99-068, 1999; Ord. 97-046 § 2, 1997).

20.24.200 Prohibited uses.

All uses not listed as permitted, accessory, administrative approval, or conditional uses are prohibited, including but not limited to the following, which are listed here for purposes of clarity:

.201 Reserved.

.202 Adult businesses.

.203 Mental health facilities that provide crisis care.

.204 Substance abuse facilities that provide crisis care.

.205 Outpatient mental health facilities.

.206 Outpatient substance abuse treatment facilities, including opiate substitution treatment clinics.

.210 Secure community transition facilities for sex offenders. (Ord. 2016-011 § 1 (Exh. L), 2016; Ord. 2004-021 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2004-014 § 2, 2004; Ord. 2001-023 § 1, 2001; Ord. 99-070 § 2, 1999; Ord. 97-046 § 2, 1997).

20.24.250 Maximum/minimum density, minimum lot size.

(Ord. 2004-021 § 1, 2004).

20.24.251 Minimum lot size.

For the purpose of creating new building lots within the Urban Residential Mixed District, several land use densities are herein provided. The minimum lot size requirements for new construction vary according to whether or not public sewer, water, and, where identified by the appropriate Comprehensive Plan policies, stormwater collection and detention facilities serve the project site. Where public sewer and water are not provided, the minimum lot size shall be 10 acres. If public sewer and water, and, where specified by the Comprehensive Plan, stormwater drainage facilities are provided, the minimum lot size shall be as presented in WCC 20.24.252. (Ord. 2009-071 § 2 (Exh. B), 2009; Ord. 2009-024 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009; Ord. 2004-021 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2001-023 § 1, 2001; Ord. 98-083 Exh. A § 66, 1998; Ord. 97-046 § 2, 1997).

20.24.252 Density and minimum lot size.

District

Gross Density

Minimum Lot Size – Conventional

Minimum Lot Size – Cluster

Maximum Lot Size

Minimum Reserve Area (Cluster Divisions)

Clustered Lots

URMX: all densities without public sewer and water

Maximum density: 1 dwelling unit/10 acres

N/A

4,000 sq. ft.

22,000 sq. ft.

80%

URMX: all densities with public sewer or water

Maximum density: 1 dwelling unit/10 acres

N/A

4,000 sq. ft.

22,000 sq. ft.

80%

URMX: with public sewer and water, and stormwater collection and detention facilities

Maximum gross density: 10 dwelling units/1 acre

Minimum net density: 6 dwelling units/1 acre

4,000 sq. ft.

N/A

N/A

N/A

URMX (6 – 10): with public sewer and water, and stormwater collection and detention facilities

Maximum gross density: 10 dwelling units/1 acre

Minimum net density: 6 units/1 acre

4,000 sq. ft.

N/A

N/A

N/A

URMX (6 – 12): with public sewer and water, and stormwater collection and detention facilities

Maximum gross density: 12 dwelling units/1 acre

Minimum net density: 6 units/1 acre

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

URMX (10 – 24): with public sewer and water, and stormwater collection and detention facilities

Maximum gross density: 24 dwelling units/1 acre

Minimum net density: 10 units/1 acre

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

(1) Minimum density shall be calculated as net density, after deducting the areas restricted from development by critical areas regulations and infrastructure requirements.

(2) For development with densities over a zone’s minimum net density, transferable development rights (TDRs) from the Lake Whatcom watershed sending area must be used, pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 20.89 WCC, Density Transfer Procedure. Each development right transferred from the Lake Whatcom watershed may be used to develop three dwelling units in the UGA. TDRs must be used to attain any density greater than the minimum net density of a zone. (Ord. 2016-011 § 1 (Exh. Q), 2016; Ord. 2009-071 § 2 (Exh. B), 2009; Ord. 2009-024 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009; Ord. 2004-021 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2001-023 § 1, 2001; Ord. 99-087 § 1, 1999; Ord. 97-046 § 2, 1997).

20.24.255 Density bonuses.

Repealed by Ord. 2004-021. (Ord. 2001-023 § 1, 2001; Ord. 99-087, 1999; Ord. 98-083 Exh. A § 66, 1998; Ord. 97-046 § 2, 1997).

20.24.300 Lot clustering and reserve tract.

Repealed by Ord. 2004-021. (Ord. 2004-021 § 1, 2004).

20.24.305 Lot clustering.

(1) The purpose of lot clustering is to provide an alternative method of creating economical building lots with spatially efficient sizes. Clustering is intended to reduce development cost, increase energy efficiency and reserve areas of land which are suitable for forestry, open space or future development.

(2) Lot clustering is required for residential land divisions except when both public water and sewer are available. (Ord. 2016-011 § 1 (Exh. Q), 2016; Ord. 2009-024 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009).

20.24.310 Design standards.

Repealed by Ord. 2004-021. (Ord. 2001-023 § 1, 2001; Ord. 97-046 § 2, 1997).

20.24.320 Reserve tract.

For the purposes of this section, “reserve tract” is defined as that portion of a proposed subdivision or short subdivision which is intended for agricultural, forestry, open space or future development purposes. All reserve tracts created through the subdivision process shall be subject to the following provisions:

(1) After a site is initially subdivided pursuant to this chapter, the reserve tract may be retained by the subdivider, conveyed to residents of the subdivision or conveyed to a third party.

(2) The reserve tract may be considered as a building lot; provided, that it is included in the overall density calculation of the original parcel of record.

Where public water and sewer are not available, the reserve tract may be considered a building lot only under one of the following additional conditions:

(a) Residential construction and accessory structures are restricted to a building envelope that is delineated on the final plat or short plat. The building envelope shall:

(i) Be contiguous with the outside boundary of the clustered lots; and

(ii) Be entirely located 200 feet or less from the outside boundary of the clustered lots; and

(iii) Not exceed the maximum lot size for clustered lots in the zone.

(b) Residential construction and accessory structures are restricted to a building envelope that is delineated on the final plat or short plat. The building envelope shall:

(i) Be contiguous with an exterior property line of the original parcel of record; and

(ii) Be entirely located 200 feet or less from an exterior property line of the original parcel of record; and

(iii) Not exceed the maximum lot size for clustered lots in the zone.

(c) An existing residential use and accessory structures may be located anywhere on the reserve tract. Clustered lots shall be located adjacent to such existing residential use, unless the zoning administrator determines that:

(i) Because of physical circumstances applicable to the site, clustering adjacent to the existing residential use would hinder access to the reserve tract for future urban development; or

(ii) Protection of environmental features would be negatively impacted; or

(iii) Existing agricultural structures would be negatively impacted.

(3) The reserve tract may be further subdivided only through the long subdivision process and only under one of the following circumstances:

(a) The county finds that in developing adjacent tracts it would help to further the objectives listed in WCC 20.20.305 by dividing the reserve tract and increasing the area of reserve proportionately on the adjacent land being subdivided so that there is no net reduction in reserve area; and when the reserve tract is owned by the original developer or a third party, no property owner within the original subdivision will be significantly adversely affected or suffer a substantial decrease of property value as a result of dividing the reserve tract; or

(b) When the Comprehensive Plan and zoning have been updated as part of the normal process (other than a revision initiated by the private sector or done for a specific area) and the public process has been gone through, subject to findings that there is no adverse impact to critical areas and when the reserve tract is owned by the original developer or a third party, no property owner within the original subdivision will be significantly adversely affected or suffer a substantial decrease of property value as a result of dividing the reserve tract; or

(c) Public water and sewer serve the proposed development on the reserve tract.

(4) For sites located within urban growth areas, wells, sewage disposal systems, and associated easements may be located on the reserve tract only if:

(a) The applicant demonstrates to the Whatcom County health department that there is not adequate space on the clustered lots for such facilities and/or easements; and

(b) A note is placed on the face of the plat stating that, prior to filing a final plat with the county auditor that divides the reserve tract for urban density development:

(i) Owners of clustered lots and the reserve tract shall hook up to public water and sewer; and

(ii) Easements and restrictive covenants for wells and/or sewage disposal systems on the reserve tract shall be extinguished, with health department approval; and

(iii) Wells on the reserve tract shall be decommissioned in accordance with Washington Department of Ecology regulations and sewage disposal systems on the reserve tract shall be abandoned.

The intent of this provision is to ensure that the reserve tract can be developed to its fullest potential, and such development will not be restricted by the existence of wells, sewage disposal facilities and easements associated with these facilities.

(5) The purpose of the reserve tract as stated in subsections (1), (2), (3) and (4) of this section shall be communicated in writing on the face of the plat or short plat. The number of developable building sites remaining (if any) with the original parcel of record, based on the assigned density, shall also be prominently displayed on the plat or short plat. Whatcom County shall make every effort to assist all agents in communicating clearly such information to all purchasers and prospective purchasers of building lots or reserve tracts.

(6) That the above stated requirements in subsections (2) through (5) of this section shall be recorded as a deed restriction at the time of filing of the final plat or short plat, and shall constitute an agreement between Whatcom County and the owner of record. Said deed restriction may be amended by mutual agreement between said parties after review for consistency and compliance with the Official Whatcom County Zoning Ordinance, the Whatcom County Subdivision Ordinance and the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan. (Ord. 2016-011 § 1 (Exh. Q), 2016; Ord. 2009-024 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009).

20.24.350 Building setbacks.

Building setbacks shall be administered pursuant to WCC 20.80.200 (Setback requirements) except as otherwise indicated in this chapter. (Ord. 2004-021 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2001-023 § 1, 2001; Ord. 97-046 § 2, 1997).

20.24.400 Height regulations.

Maximum height shall be limited to 35 feet for single-family development and 45 feet for multifamily development. Height of structures shall also conform, where applicable, to the general requirements of WCC 20.80.675. (Ord. 2004-021 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2001-023 § 1, 2001; Ord. 97-046 § 2, 1997).

20.24.450 Lot coverage.

No structure or combination of structures, including accessory buildings, shall occupy or cover more than 2,500 square feet or 40 percent, whichever is greater, of the total area except as otherwise permitted in this chapter. (Ord. 2004-021 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2001-023 § 1, 2001; Ord. 97-046 § 2, 1997).

20.24.650 Development criteria.

(Ord. 2004-021 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2001-023 § 1, 2001).

20.24.651 Plat language for proposed subdivisions.

When a proposed subdivision, binding site plan, short subdivision or exempt land division will be located adjacent to or across a right-of-way from an existing Forestry District, the developer and any subsequent purchasers or successors in interest shall agree to refrain from any legal action to restrain or collect damages from the owners of such adjacent properties, or from Whatcom County, arising out of any reasonable and lawful activity on said forestry lands which occurs in the normal course of their established use. The agreement shall appear as a covenant or deed restriction upon the plat, tract or instrument of conveyance and shall run with the land. (Ord. 2004-021 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2001-023 § 1, 2001; Ord. 99-058, 1999; Ord. 97-046 § 2, 1997).

20.24.652 Use of natural resources.

All discretionary project permits for land on or within one-half mile of the area designated as Agriculture, Rural, Commercial Forestry or Rural Forestry or within 300 feet of an area designated as Mineral Resource Lands in the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan, or upon which farm operations are being conducted, shall be subject to the right to farm, right to practice forestry and mineral land disclosure policies contained in WCC Title 14, Use of Natural Resources. (Ord. 2004-021 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2001-023 § 1, 2001; Ord. 98-083 Exh. A § 24, 1998; Ord. 97-046 § 2, 1997).

20.24.653 Bellingham Urban Growth Area.

In the Bellingham Urban Growth Area, the city of Bellingham’s design and development standards and guidelines and impact fees shall apply. (Ord. 2004-021 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2001-023 § 1, 2001; Ord. 97-046 § 2, 1997).

20.24.654 Parking requirements.

Parking shall conform to the requirements of WCC 20.80.500 except as otherwise provided for in this chapter. However, recreation vehicles, and boat parking and storage shall be limited to side and rear yard areas. (Ord. 2004-021 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2001-023 § 1, 2001; Ord. 97-046 § 2, 1997).

20.24.655 Livestock regulations.

The keeping of livestock shall be administered pursuant to WCC 20.80.800 (Supplementary Requirements). (Ord. 2004-021 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2001-023 § 1, 2001; Ord. 97-046 § 2, 1997).

20.24.700 Transfer of residential development rights.

.710 Areas designated in the Comprehensive Plan and assigned a UR-MX Zone District, with the exception of the Bennett Drive Residential Area designated on Map 2 of the Urban Fringe Subarea Plan, are considered receiving areas for transfer of development rights from any sending area or base zone which has been established as linked to these areas. (Ord. 2016-035 § 1 (Exh. A), 2016; Ord. 2004-021 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2001-023 § 1, 2001; Ord. 98-083 Exh. A § 66, 1998; Ord. 97-046 § 2, 1997).