Chapter 20.67
GENERAL MANUFACTURING
(GM) DISTRICT

Sections:

20.67.010    Purpose.

20.67.050    Permitted uses.

20.67.100    Accessory uses.

20.67.130    Administrative approval uses.

20.67.150    Conditional uses.

20.67.200    Prohibited uses.

20.67.250    Minimum lot size.

20.67.251    Repealed.

20.67.255    Minimum lot frontage.

20.67.300    Maximum building size.

20.67.350    Building setbacks.

20.67.400    Height limitations.

20.67.450    Lot coverage.

20.67.500    Open space.

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

20.67.600    Sign regulations.

20.67.650    Development criteria.

20.67.651    Landscaping.

20.67.652    Off-street parking and loading.

20.67.653    Drainage.

20.67.654    Driveways.

20.67.655    Access.

20.67.656    Maintenance.

20.67.657    Enclosure.

20.67.700    Performance standards.

20.67.701    Pollution control and nuisance abatement.

20.67.702    Heat, light and glare.

20.67.703    Ground vibrations.

20.67.704    Odor, dust, dirt, and smoke.

20.67.705    Noise.

20.67.706    Toxic gases and fumes.

20.67.707    Liquid pollutants.

20.67.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this district is to provide for rural general manufacturing activities which by their nature are less intensive uses than those of heavy industry but of greater intensity than uses associated with the Rural Industrial and Manufacturing District, and to provide employment opportunities for residents of the rural area. General manufacturing uses are primarily related to fabrication, manufacture, storage and distribution of products which have minimal off-site impacts on adjacent nonindustrial zone districts. It is a further purpose of this district to encourage proper design of developments in order to minimize use conflicts within and beyond the district’s boundaries as enabled through the district’s performance and development standards, as well as buffer and setback requirements. This district shall comply with the rural land use policies and criteria set forth in the Comprehensive Plan. 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 a GM 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).

20.67.050 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. 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.

.051 Manufacturing/fabrication type uses.

(1) The manufacture and processing of food including meat, dairy, fruit, vegetable, seafood, bakery and beverage products.

(2) Fabrication of apparel including clothing, hats, caps, millinery, fur products; and miscellaneous fabricated textile products.

(3) Fabrication of furniture and fixtures including household, office and public building furniture; and partitions, shelving and lockers.

(4) Fabrication of paper products including paperboard containers, boxes, carryon boxes and paper containers.

(5) Printing and publishing newspapers, periodicals and books; commercial printing; book binding; and manufacture of manifold business forms and greeting cards.

(6) Fabrication of leather products including belting; packing; cut stock and findings for shoes and boots; shoes; footwear; gloves and mittens; luggage; personal leather goods and handbags.

(7) Fabrication of stone, clay and glass products including glassware; glass products from prepared materials; pottery and related products; stone cutting; monuments; and manufacture of fiberglass products.

(8) The manufacture of transportation equipment including boat building; and bicycle and motorcycles, and related parts.

(9) Processing and packaging of drugs, pharmaceuticals, perfumes, cosmetics, supplements, remedies, or similar types of products.

(10) Fabrication of electrical equipment including radio and television sets; communications equipment; electronic components and accessories; and electric lighting equipment and lamps.

(11) Fabrication of instruments, photographic goods, optical goods, watches and clocks, and including engineering, scientific, surgical, medical, dental and ophthalmic products.

(12) Manufacture and fabrication of jewelry, silverware, plated ware, musical instruments and parts, toys, sporting and athletic goods; pens, pencils and other office and artistic supplies; novelties, buttons and notions; and miscellaneous manufacture.

(13) Manufacture of office, computing and accounting machines.

(14) Retail automobile wrecking yards where determined by the zoning administrator to be adequately screened from adjacent properties and streets.

(15) The fabrication of metal products including metal cans, hardware, hand tools, cutlery, heating apparatus, plumbing fixtures, structural metals, screws and bolts, and stamping.

(16) The manufacture of machinery including engines; turbines, farm machinery and equipment; construction, mining and materials handling equipment; machine tools and dies; and special and general industrial equipment.

(17) The manufacture of electrical machinery including transmission and distribution equipment, and industrial apparatus.

(18) Manufacture of millwork and structural wood members; wood containers; wood buildings and mobile homes; resawed cants and lumbers; dressed ceiling lumber; lath; snow fence lath; cut stock; dressed lumber flooring and dressed lumber siding; and sawmill activities including sawmills; and independent planing mills.

(19) Construction contractors including general building, heavy construction and special trade.

(20) Rail, truck and freight terminals, warehousing and storage; parcel delivery service, freight forwarding; inspection and weighing service; and packing and crating.

(21) Wholesale trade of durable and nondurable goods including automotive parts and supplies; tires and tubes; furniture and home furnishings; lumber and other construction materials; sporting goods, toys and hobby goods; metal service centers and offices; electrical goods; hardware, plumbing and heating equipment; machinery, equipment and supplies; jewelry, watches and precious stones; other durable goods; paper and paper products; drugs, proprietaries and sundries; apparel, piece goods and notions; groceries and related products; beer, wine and distilled beverages; and miscellaneous nondurable goods; automotive wrecking scraps; bag reclaiming; waste bottles; waste boxes; fur cuttings and scraps; iron and steel scrap; general line of junk scrap; nonferrous metals scrap; rags; and waste paper.

.052 Public/community type uses.

(1) Public uses and community facilities including police and fire stations, libraries, activity centers, community centers, park and recreation facilities identified in an adopted city or county Comprehensive Plan or Park Plan, and other similar noncommercial uses, excluding state education facilities and correction facilities.

(2) Other uses similar in nature to the uses listed above which are consistent with the purpose and the intent of the district, have similar effects on surrounding land uses, and can meet the performance standards for this district.

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

.053 Retail/office/restaurant/lodging type uses.

(1) Eating establishments, convenience grocery stores, vehicle washes and facilities, and gas stations operating primarily for the convenience of employees, clients and customers of the district; providing the following criteria are met:

(a) Maximum floor area is 2,500 square feet per use;

(b) No more than two pump islands for each gas station;

(c) Centrally located within the district to primarily serve the uses of this district and not to primarily serve the uses in adjacent Residential, Rural, or Commercial Zone Districts. (Ord. 2017-030 § 1 (Exh. C), 2017; Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 2011-013 § 2 Exh. B, 2011; Ord. 2004-026 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2004-014 § 2, 2004; Ord. 99-062, 1999; Ord. 95-009, 1995; Ord. 91-075, 1991; Ord. 88-13, 1988; Ord. 87-12, 1987; Ord. 87-11, 1987).

20.67.100 Accessory uses.

.101 Employee recreation facilities and play areas.

.102 Deleted by Ord. 95-009.

.103 Temporary buildings for construction purposes for a period not to exceed the duration of such construction.

.104 Testing and experimentation in connection with a principally permitted use.

.105 Other accessory uses and buildings, including security services, customarily appurtenant to a principally permitted use.

.106 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.

.107 Mini-day care centers and day care centers operated by, maintained by or funded by business in the district for the purpose of serving the child care needs of employees whose place of employment lies within this zone district.

.108 Retail trade of merchandise manufactured, assembled or stored on site within the definition of accessory uses as defined in Chapter 20.97 WCC; provided retail facilities do not exceed 15 percent of the total floor area of all buildings located on site.

.109 Electric vehicle rapid charging stations and battery exchange facilities, accessory to gas stations.

.110 One storage building per lot; provided, that the storage building shall not exceed the exempt criteria stated in the current code as adopted and amended per WCC Title 15, Buildings and Construction, 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. 2017-030 § 1 (Exh. C), 2017; Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013; Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 2012-001 § 1 (Exh. A), 2012; Ord. 2011-013 § 2 Exh. B, 2011; Ord. 2009-034 § 1 (Att. A), 2009; Ord. 99-068, 1999; Ord. 95-009, 1995; Ord. 89-10, 1989; Ord. 87-12, 1987; Ord. 87-11, 1987).

20.67.130 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 20.67.050 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. 2017-030 § 1 (Exh. C), 2017; Ord. 2016-043 § 1 Exh. A, 2016).

20.67.150 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.

.151 Public/community type uses.

(1) Public and private parks facilities 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.

(4) State education facilities.

(5) Type I solid waste handling facilities.

(6) Type II solid waste handling facilities.

(7) Type III solid waste handling facilities; provided, that:

(a) The facility or site will not be located within the 100-year floodplain or the Lake Whatcom watershed. The facility or site will not be located within any area identified in an adopted critical areas ordinance unless outside of the floodplain and at least three feet in elevation higher than the floodway elevation;

(b) Solid waste handling facilities shall be located at least 1,500 feet from the following:

(i) All zoning district boundaries, except Commercial Forestry and Industrial Zones;

(ii) Public parks, public recreation areas, or publicly owned wildlife areas;

(iii) Archaeological and historical sites that are registered with the State Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation;

(iv) Shorelines that are within the jurisdiction of the Shoreline Management Program;

(v) Rivers, streams or creeks that contain documented threatened or endangered fish species;

(vi) This 1,500-foot buffer does not apply to:

(A) Structures used for offices, storage areas for equipment, and weigh scales. These facilities shall be set back from the property line 100 feet or the standard zoning district setback, whichever is greater;

(B) Inert landfills;

(c) Inert landfills shall be located at least 500 feet from the following:

(i) All zoning district boundaries, except Commercial Forestry and Industrial Zones;

(ii) Public parks, public recreation areas, or publicly owned wildlife areas;

(iii) Archaeological and historical sites that are registered with the State Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation;

(iv) Shorelines that are within the jurisdiction of the Shoreline Management Program;

(v) Rivers, streams or creeks that contain documented threatened or endangered fish species;

(vi) This 500-foot buffer does not apply to:

(A) Structures used for offices, storage areas for equipment, and weigh scales. These facilities shall be set back from the property line 100 feet or the standard zoning district setback, whichever is greater;

(d) The facility or site will not result in filling or excavation, location of structures or buildings, driveways or machinery use except for vegetation maintenance within 100 feet of any property line and except for driveways within 150 feet of any county or state road right-of-way;

(e) The facility or site will have vehicular approaches designed to minimize conflict between automobile and truck traffic, will maintain the carrying capacity of county roads, and will be located on a road classified as all weather, except where use is shown to be intermittent and easily delayed until emergency conditions have passed;

(f) The facility or site has complied with the provisions of WCC 20.84.200 and all other ordinances and laws regulating solid waste facilities and sites, such as but not limited to WCC Title 24, the Whatcom County SEPA Ordinance, as well as state and federal regulations concerning solid waste facilities and sites;

(g) All landfills have a final closure plan meeting the requirements of WCC Title 24 and of Chapter 173-350 WAC, and the closure plan includes:

(i) Reclamation in two- to 10-acre increments, as appropriately responsive to the size and intensity of the particular activity, with seeding to be accomplished annually but no later than September 30th; and

(ii) Permanent vegetative cover that will maintain in healthy growing condition with the level of maintenance that is covered through the financial assurance for post-closure activities;

(h) The buffer areas and visual screening shall include a minimum of 50 feet wide of landscaping meeting the requirements of WCC 20.80.300 (Landscaping);

(i) Solid waste facilities or sites shall be located outside the 10-year time of travel boundary of a public water system’s delineated wellhead protection area;

(j) Solid waste facilities or sites that handle putrescible waste will be located at least 10,000 feet from airports serving turbine-powered aircraft and at least 5,000 feet from airports serving piston-powered aircraft. These buffers shall be measured from the boundary of the Airport Operations Zone or, if the airport is not within an Airport Operations Zone, from the boundary of the airport property; and

(k) In addition, the Whatcom County hearing examiner may impose conditions of approval which may be necessary to protect the value and enjoyment of existing adjacent uses.

(8) 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. C), 2017; Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 2005-068 § 2, 2005; Ord. 2004-026 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2004-014 § 2, 2004; Ord. 91-013, 1991; Ord. 88-76, 1988; Ord. 88-52, 1988).

20.67.200 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).

20.67.250 Minimum lot size.

The minimum lot size shall be consistent with the area required to meet the building setback, lot coverage, buffer and development standards of the district. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 97-057 § 1, 1997; Ord. 96-046 § 1, 1996).

20.67.251 Large commercial retail.

Repealed by Ord. 2011-013. (Ord. 2008-039 § 1 (Exh. A), 2008).

20.67.255 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, 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).

20.67.300 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 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).

20.67.350 Building setbacks.

Building setbacks shall be administered pursuant to WCC 20.80.200. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012).

20.67.400 Height limitations.

No maximum height is established; however, when building height exceeds 35 feet, the setback requirements of WCC 20.80.200 shall be increased by one foot for each foot of building height in excess of 35 feet, as applicable to all setbacks. Height of structures shall also conform, where applicable, to the general requirements of WCC 20.80.675. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012).

20.67.450 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 50 percent of the total area. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 2011-013 § 2 Exh. B, 2011).

20.67.500 Open space.

At least 10 percent of the site shall be kept free of buildings, structures, stored materials, hard surfacing, parking areas and other impervious surfaces. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 2011-013 § 2 Exh. B, 2011).

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

.551 When a parcel situated within this district adjoins an Agriculture, Urban Residential, Urban Residential Medium Density, Rural or Residential Rural District, or county or state roads designated as or proposed for improvements to principal arterial status, setbacks shall be increased to 25 feet. Unless adjoining an Agriculture Zoning District, said area shall be landscaped consistent with the requirements of WCC 20.80.345.

.552 If any part of the buffer area is separated from or sold to any contiguous or adjacent owner, lessee or user, the parcel so separated or sold shall be used only as a buffer area in accordance with the above requirements. (Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013; Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 2011-013 § 2 Exh. B, 2011; Ord. 89-117, 1989).

20.67.600 Sign regulations.

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

20.67.650 Development criteria.

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

20.67.651 Landscaping.

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

20.67.652 Off-street parking and loading.

Off-street parking and loading provisions shall be administered pursuant to WCC 20.80.500. In addition, loading areas must be located in such a manner that no loading, unloading and/or maneuvering of trucks associated therewith takes place on public rights-of-way. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012).

20.67.653 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).

20.67.654 Driveways.

Pursuant to 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).

20.67.655 Access.

Access shall conform to the provisions of WCC 20.80.565 and 20.80.660. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012).

20.67.656 Maintenance.

The owner, lessee or user shall be responsible for maintaining an orderly appearance of all properties, and shall be responsible for assuring the care and maintenance of any natural growth where appropriate. All required yards, parking areas, storage areas, operation yards and other open uses on the site which are adjacent to a public right-of-way shall be maintained in a neat and orderly manner appropriate for the district at all times. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012).

20.67.657 Enclosure.

All manufacturing or fabrication processes which produce physical off-site impacts of a detrimental nature shall be sufficiently enclosed to mitigate the impact. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012).

20.67.700 Performance standards.

(Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012).

20.67.701 Pollution control and nuisance abatement.

Each industry is required to continuously employ the best pollution control and nuisance abatement technology when reasonable and practicably available for each particular industry; provided, that where federal, state, or regional laws or regulations provide for the level of technology to be employed, the appropriate standards shall apply. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012).

20.67.702 Heat, light and glare.

All operations and facilities producing heat, light or glare, including exterior lighting, shall be so constructed, screened or used as to not unreasonably infringe upon the use and enjoyment of property beyond the boundaries of the district. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012).

20.67.703 Ground vibrations.

No ground vibration other than that caused by highway vehicles, trains or construction activity shall be permitted which is discernible, without instruments, at or beyond the property line for the use concerned. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012).

20.67.704 Odor, dust, dirt, and smoke.

No odor, dust, dirt, or smoke shall be emitted that is detectable at or beyond the property line, for the use concerned, in such a concentration or of such duration as to cause a public nuisance, or threaten health or safety, or to unreasonably infringe upon the use and enjoyment of property beyond the boundaries of the district. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 91-075, 1991).

20.67.705 Noise.

No use in this district shall exceed the maximum environmental noise level established by Chapter 173-60 WAC. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 91-075, 1991).

20.67.706 Toxic gases and fumes.

There shall be no emission of toxic gases or fumes. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 91-075, 1991).

20.67.707 Liquid pollutants.

There shall be no off-site release to soil or surface drainage ways of water borne or liquid pollutants. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 91-075, 1991; Ord. 84-38, 1984).