Chapter 20.60
NEIGHBORHOOD COMMERCIAL CENTER (NC) DISTRICT

Sections:

20.60.010    Purpose.

20.60.050    Permitted uses.

20.60.100    Accessory uses.

20.60.130    Administrative approval uses.

20.60.150    Conditional uses.

20.60.200    Prohibited uses.

20.60.250    Minimum lot size.

20.60.255    Minimum lot frontage.

20.60.300    Maximum building size.

20.60.350    Building setbacks.

20.60.400    Height limitations.

20.60.450    Lot coverage.

20.60.500    Open space.

20.60.550    Buffer area. (Adopted by reference in WCCP Chapter 2.)

20.60.600    Sign regulations.

20.60.650    Development criteria.

20.60.651    Facility design.

20.60.652    Landscaping.

20.60.653    Off-street parking and loading.

20.60.654    Sidewalks.

20.60.655    Drainage.

20.60.656    Driveways.

20.60.657    Access.

20.60.658    Lighting.

20.60.659    Binding site plan.

20.60.700    Performance standards.

20.60.010 Purpose.

The purpose of the Neighborhood Commercial District is to provide for small, concentrated land areas intended for retail sales of convenience goods and services to persons residing within or visiting a neighborhood trade or service area, as well as to provide job and economic development opportunities for rural residents. When located outside urban growth areas, the Neighborhood Commercial District shall comply with the rural land use policies and criteria set forth in the Comprehensive Plan. An additional purpose of the district is to provide developmental standards aimed at achieving cohesive, coordinated development within this district and achieving compatibility between commercial and surrounding residential uses. This district may be located in an urban growth area, a rural community, or rural business area, as designated in the Comprehensive Plan. New development or redevelopment in an NC District located in a rural community designation is limited to that which is consistent with the character of the area on July 1, 1990, in terms of building size, scale, use, or intensity. New development in a rural business designation is limited to isolated small-scale businesses. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 2011-043 Exh. A, 2011; Ord. 2011-013 § 2 Exh. B, 2011; Ord. 98-083 Exh. A § 66, 1998).

20.60.050 Permitted uses.

The following permitted uses shall be allowed subject to an evaluation by the zoning administrator pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and Chapter 20.80 WCC. In a rural community designation, nonresidential uses listed below are permitted if a use of the same type existed in that same rural community designation on July 1, 1990, per WCC 20.80.100(1). In a rural business designation all uses are permitted. Residential type uses listed below are permitted in rural community and rural business designations. In addition, each permitted use shall be administered pursuant to the applicable provisions of the Whatcom County SEPA Ordinance, the Whatcom County Subdivision Ordinance and the Whatcom County Shoreline Management Program.

.051 Retail and office type uses.

(1) Barber and beauty shops.

(2) Baker shops.

(3) Drug stores.

(4) Food markets.

(5) Hardware stores.

(6) Stationery stores.

(7) Marijuana retail facility, not greater than 2,500 square feet.

(8) Other convenience retail shops not greater than 2,500 square feet per shop.

(9) Professional offices not greater than 2,500 square feet per business.

.052 Residential type uses.

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

.053 Public and community type uses.

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

(2) Public and community facilities including police and fire stations, libraries, community centers, recreation facilities, and other similar noncommercial uses, excluding correction facilities.

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

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

(5) Adult family homes as defined in Chapter 70.128 RCW.

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

(7) 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. 2015-006 Exh. A, 2015; Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 2009-034 § 1 (Att. A), 2009; Ord. 2005-079 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2004-026 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2004-014 § 2, 2004; Ord. 99-068, 1999; Ord. 99-062, 1999; Ord. 88-13, 1988; Ord. 87-12, 1987; Ord. 87-11, 1987).

20.60.100 Accessory uses.

.101 One residential unit for owner-manager or caretaker when part of a building in which the primary use is located.

.102 Uses incidental to the primary permitted uses.

.103 On-site treatment and storage facilities for hazardous wastes associated with outright permitted uses or approved conditional uses subject to the most current siting criteria under Chapter 173-303 WAC.

.104 Family day care homes and mini-day care homes; provided, that mini-day care homes conform to the definition of home occupation, WCC 20.80.970; and further provided, that the single-family residence is a legally nonconforming use.

.105 Electric vehicle rapid charging stations and battery exchange facilities, accessory to conditionally approved service stations.

.106 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. (Ord.

2016-011 § 1 (Exh. D), 2016; Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 2012-001 § 1 (Exh. A), 2012; Ord. 2010-030 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2009-034 § 1 (Att. A), 2009; Ord. 89-10, 1989; Ord. 88-29, 1988).

20.60.130 Administrative approval uses.

.131 The zoning administrator may administratively permit pursuant to WCC 20.84.235 other uses similar in nature to the permitted uses listed in WCC 20.60.050 that the zoning administrator determines to be consistent with the purpose and intent of the district, have similar effects on surrounding land uses, and can meet the performance standards for this district. (Ord. 2016-043 § 1 Exh. A, 2016).

20.60.150 Conditional uses.

In a rural community designation, uses listed below may be conditionally permitted if a use of the same type existed in that same rural community designation on July 1, 1990, per WCC 20.80.100(1). In a rural business designation all uses listed below may be conditionally permitted. Unless otherwise provided herein, conditional uses shall be administered pursuant to the applicable provisions of Chapter 20.84 WCC (Variances, Conditional Uses and Appeals), the Whatcom County SEPA Ordinance, the Official Whatcom County Subdivision Ordinance and the Whatcom County Shoreline Management Program.

.151 Retail and office type uses.

(1) Service stations.

(2) Laundry and dry cleaning establishments.

.152 Restaurant/lodging type uses.

(1) Eating and drinking establishments.

.153 Storage and warehousing type uses.

(1) Commercial storage of personal recreational boats and trailers, recreational type vehicles and accompanying mini-storage; provided, that:

(a) Security for the site shall be provided by the applicant;

(b) No engine repairs or oil changes shall be made on the subject site;

(c) Adequate water supply and wastewater disposal for washdown facilities shall be demonstrated by the applicant.

.154 Recreational type uses.

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

(2) Trailheads with parking areas for more than 30 vehicles.

(3) Athletic fields.

.155 Public and community type uses.

(1) Activity centers.

(2) State education facilities.

(3) Type I solid waste handling facilities.

.156 Other uses.

(1) 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. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 2005-068 § 2, 2005; Ord. 2004-026 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2004-014 § 2, 2004; Ord. 98-020 § 1, 1998).

20.60.200 Prohibited uses.

All uses not listed as permitted, accessory, 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. (Ord. 2016-011 § 1 (Exh. L), 2016; Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 99-070 § 2, 1999).

20.60.250 Minimum lot size.

The minimum lot size shall be consistent with the area required to meet the building setback, lot coverage and development standards of this district. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012).

20.60.255 Minimum lot frontage.

For the purpose of dividing property, minimum lot frontage shall be sufficient to provide adequate access and utility development, and meet applicable building setback, buffer, open space and development standards of the district. In no case shall the frontage be less than 30 feet. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 99-045 § 1, 1999).

20.60.300 Maximum building size.

.301 In a rural community designation, maximum allowable floor area for a building shall not exceed the floor area of the largest building of a use of the same type that existed in that same rural community designation on July 1, 1990, per WCC 20.80.100(1) except as provided in WCC 20.80.100(2).

.302 In a rural business designation, the maximum allowable floor area is 7,000 square feet per building except as provided in WCC 20.80.100(3) and (4). (Ord. 2017-030 § 1 (Exh. G), 2017; Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 2011-013 § 2 Exh. B, 2011).

20.60.350 Building setbacks.

Building setbacks shall be administered pursuant to WCC 20.60.550 and 20.80.200. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 96-056 Att. A § L1, 1996).

20.60.400 Height limitations.

Maximum building height shall not exceed 25 feet. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012).

20.60.450 Lot coverage.

.451 On a lot in a rural community designation, combined floor area of all buildings shall not exceed that of a use of the same type that existed on a lot in that same rural community designation on July 1, 1990, per WCC 20.80.100(1) except as provided in WCC 20.80.100(2).

.452 In a rural business designation, building or structural coverage of a lot shall not exceed 30 percent of the total area. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012).

20.60.500 Open space.

At least 15 percent of the site shall be kept free of buildings, structures, hard surfacing, parking areas and other impervious surfaces. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012).

20.60.550 Buffer area. (Adopted by reference in WCCP Chapter 2.)

.551 When parcels situated within this district adjoin an Agriculture, Urban Residential, Urban Residential Medium Density, Rural or Residential Rural District, side and rear yard setbacks shall be increased to 25 feet along the property line(s) adjacent to the named district. Unless adjoining an Agriculture Zoning District, said area shall be landscaped consistent with the requirements of WCC 20.80.345.

.552 When parcels situated within this district are between an interstate highway and a Residential Rural or Rural District, the setback on sides adjoining the Residential Rural or Rural District and paralleling the interstate shall be increased to 100 feet. This buffer shall not be altered from existing dense natural vegetation or, where vegetation is lacking, shall be landscaped so as to provide a dense vegetative screen. (Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013; Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord.

2011-013 § 2 Exh. B, 2011; Ord. 96-056 Att. A § L1, 1996; Ord. 89-117, 1989; Ord. 86-29, 1986).

20.60.600 Sign regulations.

Sign regulations shall be administered pursuant to WCC 20.80.400. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012).

20.60.650 Development criteria.

(Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 96-056 Att. A § A1, 1996).

20.60.651 Facility design.

Individual development within a Neighborhood Commercial Zone District shall be designed to accommodate additional commercial development on adjacent property in an integrated manner. Consistent architectural treatment among structures is encouraged. Each development shall screen roof-mounted mechanical equipment so as not to be visible by surrounding uses or roads.

If located outside an urban growth area, design of the proposed use in the Neighborhood Commercial Zone District shall be consistent with the scale and intensity of the existing uses in the area and consistent with the Comprehensive Plan rural land use chapter. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 2011-013 § 2 Exh. B, 2011).

20.60.652 Landscaping.

Refer to WCC 20.80.300 for landscaping requirements. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 89-117, 1989).

20.60.653 Off-street parking and loading.

(1) A bicycle parking area at a rate of one space per 1,000 square feet of floor area or a minimum of one space, whichever is greater, shall be provided for each use. Each bicycle parking space shall consist of a rack or other structure designed for the lock-up of a bicycle.

(2) If two of more businesses adjoin each other or are otherwise designed and developed in a coordinated fashion as determined by the zoning administrator in order to utilize shared parking facilities, then the total number of required parking spaces for all the uses involved shall be reduced by 30 percent or not less than five spaces per retail establishment, whichever is greater.

(3) Except as provided in this section, off-street parking and loading shall be administered pursuant to WCC 20.80.500. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 89-117, 1989).

20.60.654 Sidewalks.

Sidewalks shall be installed pursuant to the requirements of the county engineer. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012).

20.60.655 Drainage.

All development activity within Whatcom County shall be subject to the stormwater management provisions of WCC 20.80.630 through 20.80.635 unless specifically exempted.

No project permit shall be issued prior to meeting submittal requirements relating to stormwater management in the appropriate chapters of the Whatcom County Code. (Ord. 2017-045 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013; Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 96-056 Att. A § A2, 1996; Ord. 94-022, 1994).

20.60.656 Driveways.

Consistent with WCC 20.80.640, driveway plans shall be reviewed by the county engineer or State Department of Transportation, as applicable. (Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013; Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 84-38, 1984).

20.60.657 Access.

Access shall conform to the provisions of WCC 20.80.565. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012).

20.60.658 Lighting.

Lighting shall be designed to avoid excessive glare onto neighboring properties, and to create safety hazards or unreasonable interference with adjacent uses. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012).

20.60.659 Binding site plan.

Should the commercial use be developed as part of a binding site plan, it shall be administered pursuant to WCC Title 21 (Land Division Regulations) and additional requirements, as applicable. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012).

20.60.700 Performance standards.

The following provisions shall apply to all uses within this district:

.701 There shall be no storage or handling of hazardous, explosive, highly flammable materials which would cause fire, explosion or safety hazards, except the storage and dispensing of gasoline in service stations.

.702 There shall be no production of noise at any property line of any use in this district in excess of the average intensity of street and traffic noise found in the district.

.703 There shall be no emission of dust, dirt, odors, smoke, or toxic gases and fumes.

.704 There shall be no production of heat, glare or vibration perceptible from any property line of the premises upon which such heat, glare or vibration is being generated.

.705 There shall be no storage or merchandising outdoors, with the exception of recreational boats, trailers and vehicles in an approved recreational vehicle storage facility. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 2011-013 § 2 Exh. B, 2011; Ord. 98-020 § 1, 1998; Ord. 82-58, 1982).