Chapter 20.64
RESORT COMMERCIAL (RC) DISTRICT

Sections:

20.64.010    Purpose.

20.64.050    Permitted uses.

20.64.100    Accessory uses.

20.64.130    Administrative approval uses.

20.64.150    Conditional uses.

20.64.200    Prohibited uses.

20.64.250    Minimum lot size.

20.64.256    Minimum lot frontage.

20.64.260    Maximum density.

20.64.270    Density, lot size and lot configuration by method of subdivision.

20.64.271    Maximum density and minimum lot size.

20.64.300    Lot clustering, and reserve tract.

20.64.305    Lot clustering.

20.64.310    Design standards.

20.64.320    Reserve tract.

20.64.350    Building setbacks.

20.64.400    Height limitations.

20.64.450    Lot coverage.

20.64.500    Open space.

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

20.64.600    Sign regulations.

20.64.650    Development criteria.

20.64.651    Facility design.

20.64.652    Landscaping.

20.64.653    Off-street parking and loading.

20.64.654    Sidewalks.

20.64.655    Drainage.

20.64.656    Driveways.

20.64.657    Access.

20.64.658    Lighting.

20.64.659    Binding site plan.

20.64.660    Site design.

20.64.700    Performance standards.

20.64.010 Purpose.

The purpose of the Resort Commercial District is to provide land areas which, through their natural location and setting and manmade attributes, attract resort activities. The district shall be located and implemented consistent with the goals, objectives and policies of the Comprehensive Plan. The district should be located in such areas where adequate public services such as roads, sewer, water and drainage are available, and be of such size that a viable resort can be established and maintained. The district should provide for uses normally found in resort areas and encourage the type of development which occurs in a cohesive fashion and which promotes open space and other amenities considered significant for viable resort areas. 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 RC 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 § 52, 1998).

20.64.050 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.

.051 Retail and office type uses.

(1) Retail shops and resort related uses with or without drive through service no greater than 5,000 square feet in area per shop, except as provided by WCC 20.64.151(2).

(2) Barber and beauty shops.

(3) Laundromats.

(4) Banks no greater than 2,500 square feet in area.

(5) Professional offices.

(6) Public markets, subject to the following, only:

(a) The applicant submits a plan which includes name, address, and phone number of the contact person; hours of operation; site layout indicating location of vendor stalls and plans for the stalls including provision for temporary tiedowns, trash disposal, and restroom facilities.

(b) The use is seasonal, restricted to a maximum of 150 consecutive days per calendar year.

(c) Permanent or portable restroom facilities are made available.

(d) Provision is made for one parking space per 100 square feet of merchandise display area, sized in accordance with WCC 20.80.500.

(e) Perimeter stalls are oriented away from adjacent properties, with any outdoor equipment, trash receptacle or portable toilets screened from adjacent uses as per WCC 20.80.355.

(f) Hours are limited to 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

(g) Accessible parking and restroom requirements of Chapter 51-30 WAC are complied with.

(h) Buffering or screening is provided from residences when a parcel adjoins an Urban Residential, Urban Residential Medium Density, Rural, or Rural Residential District.

(i) Signage is consistent with WCC 20.80.440, except that, in addition, one placard not to exceed two feet by two feet shall be allowed for each individual stall.

(j) The use complies with the performance standards of WCC 20.64.700.

(j) No overnight camping or vehicle parking is allowed on site.

(l) Restrooms are adequately set back and buffered from adjacent properties.

.053 Restaurant/lodging type uses.

(1) Restaurants or coffee shops with or without drive through service; provided, that a minimum of 50 percent of the seating is inside and any outdoor seating is screened from adjacent properties and streets, except as provided by WCC 20.64.151(2).

(2) Taverns; provided further, that up to 50 percent of seating may be in an outdoor area screened from adjacent properties and streets.

(3) Hotels or motels and time share condominiums accommodating 16 or less sleeping units.

.054 Residential type uses.

(1) One single-family dwelling per lot of record.

(2) One duplex per lot of record.

(3) Rooming houses accommodating eight or less nonfamily members.

(4) Multifamily dwellings containing eight or less sleeping units.

(5) One private, noncommercial, recreational vehicle and one accessory guest RV per lot; provided, that the following minimum requirements and standards are met and/or followed:

(a) All recreational vehicles that remain on the site for more than 14 consecutive days shall be connected to a permitted on-site sewage system or public sewer.

(b) Maximum length of stay of a recreational vehicle on a lot located outside of a recreational vehicle park shall not exceed 120 days per calendar year; provided, that no accessory guest recreational vehicle shall stay on the lot for more than 14 consecutive days nor more than 30 days total per calendar year.

(c) All recreational vehicles shall be screened from neighboring properties not using RVs and from public roads. Such screening may consist of landscaped buffer areas, suitable native vegetation or a fence.

(d) Outside of an approved recreational vehicle park, lots shall not be leased or rented out on a daily or overnight basis for recreational use.

(e) The locations of parked RVs on vacant lots shall observe normal building setback standards for a single-family residence.

(f) All recreational vehicles shall be supported by their own wheels or camper jacks, and not be fastened to accessory structures. Placement of a recreational vehicle on a foundation or removal of the wheels of a recreational vehicle, except for temporary purposes for repair, is prohibited.

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

.055 Public and community type uses.

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

(2) Parking lots or garages.

(3) Mini-day care centers and day care centers.

(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. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 2011-013 § 2 Exh. B, 2011; Ord. 2011-009 Exh. A, 2011; Ord. 2009-034 § 1 (Att. A), 2009; Ord. 2005-079 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2004-026 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2004-014 § 2, 2004; Ord. 2001-024 § 1, 2001; Ord. 2000-040 § 1, 2000; Ord. 99-068, 1999; Ord. 99-062, 1999; Ord. 97-035 Att. A; Ord. 96-056 Att. A § O1, 1996; Ord. 96-002, 1996; Ord. 95-028, 1995).

20.64.100 Accessory uses.

.101 Docks.

.102 Resort administrative offices.

.103 Uses incidental to the primary permitted uses.

.104 Home occupations pursuant to WCC 20.80.970, except that one person other than family residing on the premises may be employed.

.105 Any retail or personal service establishment, including self-service laundry, may be located within a building occupied by a hotel or motel; provided, that such use shall have no separate outside entrance and no sign visible from outside the building; and provided further, that the total floor space devoted to such uses shall not exceed 15 percent of the floor space of the building in which they are located; and provided further, that such use is not specifically prohibited in WCC 20.64.200.

.106 Assembly or crafting of items of a type related directly to the character of a permitted use and sold at retail on the premises; provided, that no piece of machinery used in such work exceeds three horsepower.

.107 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 the building permit is valid, not to exceed two years.

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

.109 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.

.110 Bed and breakfast establishments and bed and breakfast inns.

.111 Other accessory uses and buildings, including dedicated employee housing, customarily appurtenant to a principally permitted use.

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

.120 Family day care homes and mini-day care homes; mini-day care homes shall conform to the requirements of home occupation, WCC 20.80.970.

.121 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. 2011-013 § 2 Exh. B, 2011; Ord. 2010-030 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2009-034 § 1 (Att. A), 2009; Ord. 2009-033 § 1 (Att. A), 2009; Ord. 89-10, 1989; Ord. 88-29, 1988).

20.64.130 Administrative approval uses.

In a rural community designation, uses listed in this section may be administratively permitted pursuant to WCC 20.84.235 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 in this section may be administratively permitted.

The zoning administrator may administratively permit other uses similar in nature to the permitted uses listed in WCC 20.64.050 or this section 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.

.132 Accessory apartments or detached accessory dwelling units to single-family dwellings; provided, that all of the following 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) Outside of an urban growth area, the minimum lot size for detached accessory units shall be on a lot of record no less than 4.5 acres, unless the parcel is large enough to accommodate two dwelling units consistent with the underlying zoning density;

(11) 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;

(12) 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;

(13) All mobile homes must demonstrate compliance with minimum HUD Fire Safety Standards and compliance with Washington Administrative Code (WAC). (Ord. 2016-043 § 1 Exh. A, 2016; Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 2010-016 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2006-061 § 1 (Att. A)(7), 2006; Ord. 98-018 § 1, 1998; Ord. 95-031, 1995; Ord. 87-12, 1987; Ord. 87-11, 1987).

20.64.150 Conditional uses.

Unless otherwise provided herein, 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 Official Whatcom County Subdivision Ordinance and the Whatcom County Shoreline Management Program. 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.

.151 Retail and office type uses.

(1) Service stations and automobile repair garages; provided, that:

(a) All storage tanks shall either be above ground and completely screened from neighboring uses; or

(b) Shall have a full separate containment structure and shall have monitoring devices that will indicate any leakage; or

(c) Shall have an independent engineer’s certification that the installation meets all requirements of the federal regulations contained in 40 CFR Part 280 in effect at the time of application;

(d) In addition to either (b) or (c) of the above requirements, all underground storage tanks shall meet the financial responsibility and reporting requirements of 40 CFR Part 2 in effect at the time of application.

(2) Retail shops, resort related uses and restaurants or coffee shops on Birch Bay Drive with drive through services, with a 5,000-square-foot maximum per shop.

.152 Restaurant/lodging type uses.

(1) Hotels and motels totalling more than 16 sleeping units.

(2) Time share condominiums totalling more than 16 sleeping units.

(3) Campgrounds and recreational vehicle parks. See WCC 20.80.950 for mobile home and recreational vehicle park standards.

.153 Residential type uses.

(1) Multifamily dwellings including residential condominiums totalling more than eight sleeping units.

(2) Mobile home parks. See WCC 20.80.950 for mobile home and recreational vehicle park standards.

(3) Rooming and boarding houses totalling more than eight sleeping units.

.154 Recreational type uses.

(1) Marinas, public or commercial launching ramps, and docks.

(2) Commercial amusement and recreation establishments and clubs.

(3) Golf courses.

(4) Athletic fields.

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

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

.155 Public and community type uses.

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

(2) Public schools and parochial or private schools; provided such schools shall be approved by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

(3) Churches, educational and religious training institutions, summer camps, and cemeteries.

(4) Retirement and convalescent homes; social and health rehabilitation centers; and adult care centers in a building not used as a residence; and other health-related services consistent with the purpose of the district.

(5) State education facilities.

(6) Type I solid waste handling facilities.

(7) Boarding homes that are larger than other residential structures permitted in the zoning district.

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

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

.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.

(2) Any use which seeks a comparative value exchange for the open space requirement outlined in WCC 20.64.502 and 20.64.503. (Ord. 2017-030 § 1 (Exh. J), 2017; Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 2011-009 Exh. A, 2011; Ord. 2009-034 § 1 (Att. A), 2009; Ord. 2005-068 § 2, 2005; Ord. 2004-026 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2004-014 § 2, 2004; Ord. 2001-024 § 1, 2001; Ord. 99-043 § 1, 1999; Ord. 98-018 § 1, 1998; Ord. 95-031, 1995; Ord. 94-002, 1994; Ord. 90-41, 1990; Ord. 88-13, 1988).

20.64.200 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. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 2004-014 § 2, 2004; Ord. 99-070 § 2, 1999).

20.64.250 Minimum lot size.

Minimum lot size varies according to the availability of public water and/or public sewer. Where public water service is not provided, the minimum parcel size shall be five acres. Where public water service is provided but public sewer is not provided, the minimum parcel size shall be 18,000 square feet when the conventional method is utilized and 15,000 square feet when the cluster method is utilized but may be greater if the Whatcom County health department finds that conditions require the larger size. The following lot sizes apply only where both public sewer and public water serve the project:

.251 Single-family dwellings and duplexes shall have a minimum net parcel size of 6,000 square feet per dwelling.

.252 Multifamily dwellings including all condominiums except time share condominiums shall have a minimum net parcel size of 8,000 square feet and shall have a site of at least 2,000 square feet for each dwelling unit.

.253 Mobile home and recreational vehicle parks shall have a minimum net parcel size of at least 8,000 square feet.

.254 Hotels and motels and time share condominiums shall have a minimum net parcel size of 8,000 square feet and shall have a site of at least 1,600 square feet for each sleeping unit.

.255 Nonhabitation commercial uses shall have a minimum lot size 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; Ord. 2011-013 § 2 Exh. B, 2011; Ord. 2005-037 § 1 Exh. A, 2005; Ord. 2001-024 § 1, 2001; Ord. 88-93, 1988).

20.64.256 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).

*Code reviser’s note: Ord. 99-045 added this section as 20.64.255. It has been editorially renumbered to avoid duplication.

20.64.260 Maximum density.

Maximum density varies according to the availability of public water and/or public sewer. Where public water service is not provided, the maximum density for dwelling units, or dwelling unit equivalent as determined by the Whatcom County health department, shall be one dwelling/five acres. Where public water service is provided but public sewer is not provided, the maximum density for dwelling units, or dwelling unit equivalent as determined by the Whatcom County health department, shall be two per acre unless the health department finds that conditions require a lower density. The following densities apply only where both public sewer and public water serve the project:

.261 Single-family dwellings and duplexes shall not exceed a density of seven units per acre.

.262 Multifamily dwellings including all condominiums except time share condominiums shall not exceed a density of 22 units per acre.

.263 Mobile home parks shall not exceed a density of seven units per acre.

.264 Recreational vehicle parks shall not exceed a density of 15 units per acre.

.265 Nonresort-oriented hotels and motels shall not exceed a floor area ratio (FAR) of .60.

.266 Resort-oriented hotels and motels including time share condominiums shall not exceed a floor area ratio (FAR) of .56.

.267 Nonhabitation commercial uses shall not exceed a floor area ratio (FAR) of .70. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 2005-037 § 1 Exh. A, 2005; Ord. 2001-024 § 1, 2001; Ord. 88-93, 1988).

20.64.270 Density, lot size and lot configuration by method of subdivision.

(Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 2005-037 § 1 Exh. A, 2005).

20.64.271 Maximum density and minimum lot size.

District

Gross Maximum Density

Minimum Lot Size

Min. Reserve Area (Cluster

Subdivisions)

Conventional

Cluster

RC: without public water

1 dwelling unit/5 acres

5 acres

Not applicable

Not applicable

RC: with public water but without public sewer

2 dwelling units/1 acre

18,000 sq. ft.

15,000 sq. ft.

10%

RC: with both public sewer and water and stormwater collection and detention facilities

7 to 22 dwelling units/acre as given

6,000 sq. ft.

Not applicable

Not applicable

(Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 2005-037 § 1 Exh. A, 2005; Ord. 98-083 Exh. A § 53, 1998; Ord. 88-93, 1988).

20.64.300 Lot clustering, and reserve tract.

(Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012).

20.64.305 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 agriculture, forestry, open space or possible future development.

(2) The clustering option is also intended to help preserve open space and the character of areas and reduce total impervious surface area thereby reducing runoff while assuring continued viable undeveloped natural vegetated corridors for wildlife habitat, protection of watersheds, preservation of wetlands, preservation of aesthetic values including view corridors, and preservation of potential trail and recreation areas. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 90-45, 1990).

20.64.310 Design standards.

The creation of new building lots, pursuant to this section, shall be governed by the following recommended design standards:

(1) Clustered building lots shall be created only through the subdivision or short subdivision process.

(2) Building lots should be designed and located to the fullest extent possible to be compatible with valuable or unique natural features, as well as physical constraints of the site.

(3) Where practical, the majority of building sites should be arranged in a cluster or concentrated pattern to be compatible with physical site features, allow for the efficient conversion of the “reserve tract” to other uses in the future, and have no more than two common encroachments on existing county roads. The arrangement of clustered building lots is intended to discourage development forms commonly known as linear, straight-line or highway strip patterns.

(4) Common access to clustered building lots should be provided by short length roads or loop roads. In addition, interior streets shall be designed to allow access to the “reserve tract” for the purpose of future approved development. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 90-45, 1990).

20.64.320 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 such lot is included in the overall density calculation of the original parcel of record. If the “reserve tract” is not included in the overall density calculation, it can only be developed with an open space use allowed by WCC 20.22.053.

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

(a) The county finds that in developing adjacent tracts it would help to further the objectives listed in WCC 20.64.305(2) 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.

(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 project) 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.

(4) The purpose of the reserve tract as stated in subsections (1), (2) and (3) 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.”

(5) At the time of filing of any final plat or short plat containing a “reserve tract,” the subdivider shall execute a covenant limiting the use of said “reserve tract” consistent with the requirement of subsections (2) through (4) of this section. This covenant shall be enforceable by Whatcom County and be recorded at the time of final plat approval as a covenant running with the land; provided, that it may be later 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. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 98-083 Exh. A § 54, 1998; Ord. 90-45, 1990; Ord. 88-93, 1988).

20.64.350 Building setbacks.

Building setbacks shall be administered pursuant to WCC 20.64.550 and 20.80.200 except as provided below.

.351 Commercial uses shall be allowed to reduce the front yard setback to 15 feet and the side yard setback to zero feet where the site and landscape plans promote pedestrian access to the building.

.352 Any single-family development, for internal lots, may use a side yard setback of zero feet where the lot line setback on the opposite side yard is 10 feet; however, side yard setbacks adjacent to parcels not being developed under this exception shall be those provided in WCC 20.80.200.

.353 An additional five feet shall be added to each side yard and rear yard for each 10 feet of building height, or fraction thereof, in excess of 15 feet. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 96-056 Att. A § O2, 1996).

20.64.400 Height limitations.

.401 Building height shall not exceed 35 feet.

.402 Under a conditional use permit, building height may reach 75 feet. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012).

20.64.450 Lot coverage.

.451 Buildings or structures for single-family dwelling and duplex uses shall not occupy more than 35 percent of a parcel.

.452 Buildings or structures for multifamily dwellings including all condominiums except time share condominiums shall not occupy more than 35 percent of a parcel. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 2001-024 § 1, 2001).

20.64.500 Open space.

.501 For uses other than single-family dwellings or duplexes, a minimum of 40 percent of the site shall be reserved as open space, unless otherwise provided in WCC 20.64.502.

.502 The 40 percent requirement in WCC 20.64.501 may be reduced to as little as 10 percent when the applicant agrees to and performs a comparative value exchange in open space or recreational amenities and when the exchange fosters the open space and recreation goals of the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan, relative subarea plans, the Natural Heritage Plan and other related county plans. The exchange can be achieved in two ways:

(1) An exchange of land through acquisition or dedication of a public access easement; provided, the exchange results in land or amenities that equal or exceed the recreational and/or open space value of the replaced on-site open space. The following criteria shall be considered in assessing recreation and open space value:

(a) Utility of land for recreation/open space purposes;

(b) Unique or culturally significant natural habitat;

(c) Wildlife habitat;

(d) Views;

(e) Shoreline access;

(f) Integration with existing recreation/open space areas;

(g) High value natural resource areas using the criteria established in the Whatcom County critical areas regulations (Chapter 16.16 WCC).

(2) Provision of recreational amenities; provided, the exchange results in land or amenities that equal or exceed the recreational and/or open space value of the replaced on-site open space. Acceptable amenities may include, but not be limited to:

(a) Public access to shorelines;

(b) Pedestrian or bicycle paths;

(c) Bicycle lanes;

(d) Enhancement of existing park facilities;

(e) Trails.

.503 Criteria for approval of a comparative value exchange.

(1) The exchange will meet applicable conditional use criteria in WCC 20.84.220.

(2) The exchange will provide open space or recreational amenities within the same subarea in which the proposed project lies.

(3) In addition to meeting the goals and recreation values set forth in WCC 20.64.502, the economic value of exchanged property or the cost of constructed amenities must exceed 50 percent of the value of the land being exchanged to meet the 40 percent requirement of WCC 20.64.501.

(4) When an amenity is proposed on site in exchange for a reduction in open space, the value considered must be above and beyond the minimum requirements contained in subsection (3) of this section.

(5) The applicant has demonstrated that a neighborhood meeting has been held or other method used to inform affected neighbors prior to the formal notification process.

(6) There shall be a mechanism in place to ensure that a permanent exchange takes place, including such items as maintenance agreements, dedications, easements, conservation easements, or other appropriate tools acceptable to both the applicant and the county which shall be filed with the county auditor’s office.

(7) In addition to information provided by the applicant, staff and the public, the hearing examiner may also consider a recommendation from the Whatcom County parks commission, when appropriate, or regionally specific recreational organizations when arriving at a design regarding comparative value. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 2001-024 § 1, 2001; Ord. 99-043 § 1, 1999).

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

.551 Except for single-family residences, when a parcel situated within this district adjoins an Urban Residential, Urban Residential Medium Density, Residential Rural or Rural District, side and rear yard setbacks shall be increased to 25 feet along the property line(s) adjacent to the named district. Said area shall be landscaped consistent with the requirements of WCC 20.80.345. (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 § O2, 1996; Ord. 89-117, 1989).

20.64.600 Sign regulations.

Sign regulations shall be administered pursuant to WCC 20.80.400 except that no off-premises advertising signs are allowed other than those specified in WCC 20.80.470. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 90-85, 1990; Ord. 90-66 § 1, 1990).

20.64.650 Development criteria.

The requirements of WCC 20.64.651, 20.64.652, 20.64.653 and 20.64.654 do not apply to single-family or duplex residences. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 96-056 Att. A § A1, 1996).

20.64.651 Facility design.

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

Design of a proposed use in the Resort Commercial Zone District outside of urban growth areas shall be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan rural land use chapter. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 2011-013 § 2 Exh. B, 2011).

20.64.652 Landscaping.

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

20.64.653 Off-street parking and loading.

(1) For interior lots, no vehicular parking or driveways shall be allowed between a commercial use and public right-of-way; and for corner lots, no parking or driveway shall be allowed between a commercial use and the right-of-way the use fronts.

(2) 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.

(3) If two or more developments adjoin each other or otherwise are designed and developed in a coordinated fashion as determined by the zoning administrator in order to utilize shared parking facilities, the total number of required parking spaces for all the uses involved shall be reduced by 30 percent or no less than five spaces per retail establishment, whichever is greater.

(4) 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).

20.64.654 Sidewalks.

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

20.64.655 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).

20.64.656 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).

20.64.657 Access.

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

20.64.658 Lighting.

Lighting shall be designed to avoid excessive glare onto neighboring properties, and to not create safety hazards or unreasonable interference with adjacent uses. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012).

20.64.659 Binding site plan.

Should the 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).

20.64.660 Site design.

Any two adjacent buildings on the same site shall be separated from each other by a distance not less than one-half the height of the taller building. Building configuration may be staggered as well as angled to follow contours and street alignment. This spacing requirement does not preclude the possibility of ground level connection between neighboring structures. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012).

20.64.700 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 outdoors.

.706 There shall be no off-site release to soil or surface drainageways of water borne or liquid pollutants.

.707 Applicable health department permits must be secured before permit is issued.

.708 Proposed development or redevelopment in Resort Commercial Zone Districts located within a rural community designation will be consistent with the character of the area in July 1, 1990, in terms of building size, scale, use, or intensity of existing uses, per WCC 20.80.100(1) except as provided in WCC 20.80.100(2).

.709 In a rural business designation, the maximum allowable floor area is 7,000 square feet except as provided in WCC 20.80.100(3) and (4). (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 2011-013 § 2 Exh. B, 2011; Ord. 97-035 Att. A; Ord. 96-002, 1996; Ord. 95-028, 1995; Ord. 87-65, 1987; Ord. 82-58, 1982).