Chapter 20.71
WATER RESOURCE PROTECTION OVERLAY DISTRICT*

Sections:

20.71.010    Purpose.

20.71.020    Application.

20.71.021    Area and applicability.

20.71.050    Permitted uses.

20.71.100    Accessory uses.

20.71.150    Conditional uses.

20.71.200    Prohibited uses.

20.71.300    Open space and impervious surfaces.

20.71.350    Cluster subdivisions. (Adopted by reference in WCCP Chapter 2.)

20.71.351    Cluster design standards. (Adopted by reference in WCCP Chapter 2.)

20.71.352    Open space reserve area. (Adopted by reference in WCCP Chapter 2.)

20.71.354    Tree removal not associated with development activity.

20.71.356    Tree retention associated with development activity.

20.71.400    Building setback/buffer areas.

20.71.600    Development criteria.

20.71.601    Parking space dimensions.

20.71.602    Parking requirements.

20.71.603    Alternative surfacing methods.

20.71.604    Vehicular access.

20.71.700    Roads, curbs, gutters and sidewalks.

*This chapter is adopted by reference in WCCP Chapter 2. Prior legislation: Ord. 2008-035, which expired March 20, 2009, was formerly codified in this chapter.

20.71.010 Purpose.

The Lake Samish and Lake Padden Water Resource Protection Overlay District is an overlay zone that is intended to impose additional controls to preserve and protect unique and important water resources within Whatcom County. This district is designed to protect the long-term viability of the Lake Samish and Lake Padden watersheds while creating a regulatory framework to address the needs of these watersheds that are not otherwise provided for in the underlying zone districts. (Ord. 2016-045 § 1 Att. A, 2016; Ord. 2013-043 § 1 Exh. B, 2013; Ord. 2009-009 Exh. A, 2009; Ord. 2005-085 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2004-007 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002; Ord. 2001-021 § 1, 2001; Ord. 99-086, 1999).

20.71.020 Application.

(Ord. 2013-043 § 1 Exh. B, 2013; Ord. 2009-009 Exh. A, 2009; Ord. 2005-085 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2004-007 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002; Ord. 2001-021 § 1, 2001).

20.71.021 Area and applicability.

(1) The Water Resource Protection Overlay District is an overlay zone that covers the entire geographic area of the Lake Samish and Lake Padden watersheds within Whatcom County’s jurisdiction. For purposes of this title, the Lake Samish watershed shall consist of that portion of the Friday Creek subbasin of the Samish River watershed that lies within Whatcom County.

(2) This district may be expanded to include other areas through the annual zoning text amendment process.

(3) The Lake Samish and Lake Padden watersheds are also designated as stormwater special districts pursuant to WCC 20.80.635 and water resource special management areas pursuant to WCC 20.80.735.

(4) In the event that the provisions of this chapter conflict with the provisions of the Shoreline Management Program (WCC Title 23), Chapter 16.16 WCC, Critical Areas, the Whatcom County Development Standards, the provisions of the underlying zoning district or other applicable county policies or regulations, then the most restrictive shall apply; provided, that the minimum setback provisions established in WCC 20.71.401 shall prevail. (Ord. 2013-043 § 1 Exh. B, 2013; Ord. 2009-009 Exh. A, 2009; Ord. 2005-085 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2004-007 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002; Ord. 2001-021 § 1, 2001; Ord. 99-086, 1999).

20.71.050 Permitted uses.

All permitted uses in the underlying zone districts are permitted except as expressly prohibited, made conditional, or further conditioned by this chapter.

.051 Private noncommercial greenhouses less than 250 square feet. (Ord. 2013-043 § 1 Exh. B, 2013; Ord. 2009-009 Exh. A, 2009; Ord. 2005-085 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2004-007 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002; Ord. 2001-021 § 1, 2001; Ord. 99-086, 1999).

20.71.100 Accessory uses.

All accessory uses in the underlying zone districts are permitted except as expressly prohibited or made conditional, or further conditioned by this chapter. (Ord. 2013-043 § 1 Exh. B, 2013; Ord. 2009-009 Exh. A, 2009; Ord. 2005-085 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2004-007 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002; Ord. 2001-021 § 1, 2001; Ord. 99-086, 1999).

20.71.150 Conditional uses.

All conditional uses in the underlying zone districts shall remain conditional uses unless expressly prohibited, made conditional, or further conditioned by this chapter. In addition, the following uses shall only be conditionally permitted:

.151 On-site storage facilities for hazardous wastes associated with outright permitted uses or approved conditional uses, other than cottage industries as defined in WCC 20.71.215, subject to the most current siting criteria under Chapter 173-303 WAC within the Rural, Rural Forestry, Commercial Forestry, Neighborhood Commercial and Resort Commercial Zone Districts only.

.152 Retail or wholesale plant nurseries or greenhouses for storage, propagation and culture of plants, provided:

(1) Greenhouses shall not be larger than 1,000 square feet.

(2) Greenhouses and cultivated ground shall not be located within 250 feet of Lake Samish, Lake Padden or streams subject to the Shoreline Management Program; 200 feet from fish-bearing streams; or 150 feet from other streams and their tributaries that flow into Lake Samish or Lake Padden.

(3) A monitoring program has been established to ensure that chemical and pesticide quantities in stormwater runoff do not exceed state water quality standards. Complete control of drainage from the operation shall be in effect. Such runoff will be tested for pollutants bimonthly by a licensed water quality testing agency. All requirements will be met at the owner’s expense.

(4) No person shall apply a commercial fertilizer, either liquid or granular, that is labeled as containing more than zero percent phosphorus or other compound containing phosphorus, such as phosphate; provided, that such fertilizers may be used for establishment of new vegetation in the first growing season.

.185 Type I solid waste handling facilities, except:

(1) Moderate risk waste facilities; and

(2) Facilities in the Recreation and Open Space District. (Ord. 2013-043 § 1 Exh. B, 2013; Ord. 2009-009 Exh. A, 2009; Ord. 2005-085 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2004-014 § 2, 2004; Ord. 2004-007 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002; Ord. 2001-021 § 1, 2001; Ord. 99-086, 1999).

20.71.200 Prohibited uses.

In addition to the uses prohibited in the underlying zone districts, the following uses are prohibited, except as per Chapter 20.83 WCC:

.201 Dry cleaning establishments.

.202 Gas stations, service stations, combustion engine repair garages and automotive wrecking yards.

.203 Sod farming.

.204 Aquaculture and mariculture projects.

.205 Operation of fur farms.

.206 Confinement feeding operations.

.207 Asphalt and concrete batch plants.

.208 Gravel bar scalping projects within the jurisdiction of the Shoreline Management Program.

.209 Utilization of sewage sludge on land.

.210 On-site treatment facilities for hazardous wastes.

.211 Type I solid waste handling facilities, except those specified in WCC 20.71.185.

.212 Type II and Type III solid waste handling facilities.

.213 Golf courses.

.214 Cemeteries.

.215 Cottage industries that would require on-site hazardous waste storage facilities.

.216 Surface mining outside of designated Mineral Resource Lands (MRL) Special Districts; provided, that surface mining, rock crushing, washing and sorting subject to the Forest Practices Act (Chapter 76.09 RCW) are permitted.

.217 Major passenger intermodal terminals.

.218 Freight railroad switching yards and terminals.

.219 Agriculture, including animal husbandry, horticulture, viticulture, floriculture, and the cultivation of crops.

.220 Animal hospitals and accessory kennels and stables.

.221 Commercial kennels and stables.

.222 Marijuana production facility. (Ord. 2015-006 Exh. A, 2015; Ord. 2013-043 § 1 Exh. B, 2013; Ord. 2009-009 Exh. A, 2009; Ord. 2005-085 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2004-014 § 2, 2004; Ord. 2004-007 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002; Ord. 2001-021 § 1, 2001; Ord. 99-086, 1999).

20.71.300 Open space and impervious surfaces.

.301 Open space requirements shall be as follows:

(1) For uses in the TC and NC Zones, at least 25 percent of the parcel shall be reserved as open space.

(2) For uses in the RC Zone, at least 40 percent of the parcel shall be reserved as open space.

(3) Open space areas shall be maintained in natural vegetation or landscaped per WCC 20.80.325.

(4) For properties within the jurisdiction of the Shoreline Management Program (WCC Title 23), submerged lands and/or tidelands within the boundaries of any waterfront parcel that are located waterward of the ordinary high water mark shall not be used in open space calculations.

.302 Impervious surface requirements shall be as follows:

(1) For uses in the UR, URM and RR Zone Districts, at least 80 percent of the lot or parcel shall be kept free of structures and impervious surfaces.

(2) For uses in the R Zone District, at least 90 percent of the lot or parcel shall be kept free of structures and impervious surfaces.

(3) Where subsection (1) or (2) of this section does not allow 2,500 square feet of total impervious surface area, 2,500 square feet shall be allowed.

(4) Two or more lots of record consolidated pursuant to the provisions of WCC 20.83.070 shall be treated as one undivided parcel for the purpose of calculating total allowable impervious surface. Where two or more lots or parcels are consolidated; are not subject to the provisions of WCC 20.83.070; and are not subject to a permanent restrictive covenant that precludes development of buildings, structures or other improvements not otherwise identified by said covenant, 4,000 square feet of impervious surface shall be allowed.

(5) Preexisting nonconforming impervious surfaces may be routinely maintained/repaired or redeveloped; provided, that if 50 percent or greater of the preexisting nonconforming impervious area is to be redeveloped, then the applicable impervious surface limitations of subsections (1), (2) and (3) of this section shall apply. However, if a legal nonconforming structure is destroyed, the nonconforming use may be reconstructed using the pre-existing footprint. Expansion of nonconforming impervious surfaces shall be prohibited.

(6) A mobile home within an existing mobile home park may be replaced with a larger mobile home (not to exceed a maximum of 1,500 square feet), provided there is not an increase in the overall number of mobile homes in the park or any increase in other impervious surfaces beyond the new mobile home footprint.

(7) For properties within the jurisdiction of the Shoreline Management Program (WCC Title 23), submerged lands and/or tidelands within the boundaries of any waterfront parcel that are located waterward of the ordinary high water mark shall not be used in impervious/pervious surface calculations.

(8) Any portion of a roof overhang or other overhanging architectural feature which projects further than three feet from the footprint of a structure shall be calculated as impervious surface.

(9) Alternative surface methods described in WCC 20.71.603 may be used. (Ord. 2013-043 § 1 Exh. B, 2013; Ord. 2009-009 Exh. A, 2009; Ord. 2005-085 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2005-079 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2004-007 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002; Ord. 2001-063 § 1, 2001; Ord. 2001-021 § 1, 2001; Ord. 99-086, 1999).

20.71.350 Cluster subdivisions. (Adopted by reference in WCCP Chapter 2.)

The purpose of cluster subdivision is to provide a method of creating building lots with spatially efficient sizes. Clustering is intended to consolidate development and associated infrastructure, reduce development costs, and increase infrastructure efficiency. Clustering is also intended to help preserve open space and the character of areas, reduce total impervious surface area, and minimize development effects on critical areas and associated buffers, as defined in Chapter 16.16 WCC, and resource lands. Preservation of open space is thereby intended to reduce potential stormwater runoff and associated impacts while assuring protection of viable, undeveloped, and naturally vegetated corridors for wildlife habitat, protection of watersheds, preservation of critical areas, preservation of aesthetic values including view corridors, and preservation of trail and/or recreation areas. (Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013; Ord. 2013-043 § 1 Exh. B, 2013; Ord. 2009-009 Exh. A, 2009; Ord. 2005-085 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2005-048 Exh. A, 2005; Ord. 2004-007 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002; Ord. 2001-021 § 1, 2001; Ord. 99-086, 1999).

20.71.351 Cluster design standards. (Adopted by reference in WCCP Chapter 2.)

The creation of new building lots within the Lake Samish and Lake Padden Water Resource Protection Overlay District shall be subject to the following design standards:

(1) Cluster subdivisions shall be required for all land divisions resulting in lots less than five acres in size, with the exception of boundary line adjustments.

(2) A cluster subdivision shall include a permanent open space reserve area meeting the criteria established in WCC 20.71.352.

(3) The minimum cluster lot size requirements of the underlying zone district shall apply.

(4) The maximum number of building lots in a lot cluster shall be 10.

(5) Clusters containing two or more lots of less than one acre within a proposed development shall be separated by at least 80 feet.

(6) Clustered building lots may only be created through the subdivision, short subdivision or binding site plan process pursuant to WCC Title 21.

(7) Building lots shall be designed and located to be compatible with, and avoid disturbance of, critical areas or other valuable or unique natural resources or known archaeological sites, as well as physical constraints of the site.

(8) Building lots shall be arranged in a cluster/concentrated pattern.

(9) A cluster subdivision shall have no more than two common encroachments on existing county roads unless site constraints require additional road access. The arrangement of clustered building lots shall be designed to avoid development forms commonly known as linear, straight-line or highway strip patterns.

(10) As applicable, interior streets shall be designed to allow future vehicular access to any portion of the reserve tract which may be divided into future building lots; provided, that the required permanent open space reserve area, pursuant to WCC 20.71.352, shall not be further subdivided. (Ord. 2016-045 § 1 Att. A, 2016; Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013; Ord. 2013-043 § 1 Exh. B, 2013; Ord. 2009-009 Exh. A, 2009; Ord. 2005-085 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2005-048 Exh. A, 2005; Ord. 2004-007 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002).

20.71.352 Open space reserve area. (Adopted by reference in WCCP Chapter 2.)

(1) For purposes of this title, an “open space reserve area” shall be defined as that portion of a subdivision or short subdivision set aside in accordance with this chapter, and permanently dedicated for active or passive recreation, critical area protection, natural resource or archaeological site preservation, wildlife habitat and/or visual enjoyment, and shall be consistent with the definition of “open space” pursuant to WCC 20.97.275.

(2) The open space reserve area shall be subject to the following provisions:

(a) The minimum open space reserve area shall be determined by the minimum cluster subdivision reserve area requirements of the underlying zone district.

(b) A permanent open space reserve area shall be protected using one of the following mechanisms:

(i) Placement in a separate nonbuilding tract owned in common by all lots within the subdivision; or

(ii) Covered by a protective easement or public or private land trust dedication which protects at least the minimum required cluster reserve area specified in the underlying zone district; or

(iii) Preserved through an appropriate permanent protective mechanism that provides the same level of permanent protection as subsection (2)(b)(i) of this section as determined by the county zoning administrator or hearing examiner which applies to at least the minimum required cluster reserve area specified in the underlying zone district.

(c) The boundaries of the open space portion of the reserve area may be altered only if the county finds that in dedicating adjacent reserve areas it would further the objectives listed in WCC 20.71.350 by altering the reserve area and increasing the area of reserve proportionately on the adjacent land being subdivided so that there is no net reduction in open space reserve area.

(d) The purpose of the open space reserve area as defined in subsection (1) of this section shall be recorded on the face of the final plat or short plat.

(e) The remaining unused development density and/or impervious surface allowances remaining on the parcel containing the open space reserve area, based on the gross density of the parent parcel, may be assigned to that portion of the reserve tract not subject to the minimum area requirements of subsection (2)(b) of this section. The density shall be recorded on the face of the final plat or short plat. The development rights assigned to the reserve tract in accordance with this subsection may not be transferred if the pervious surface area associated with the reserve tract has been transferred to the other building lots within the subdivision.

(f) The requirements stated in subsections (2)(c) and (d) of this section shall be recorded as a restriction on the face of the final plat or short plat, and shall constitute an agreement between Whatcom County and the current/future owner(s) of record that shall run with the land. Said restriction(s) 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.

(g) For cluster subdivisions approved after December 7, 1999, that portion of the reserve tract which is kept in pervious open space may be counted toward pervious surface area requirements for the building lots in the subdivision on a prorated basis. (Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013; Ord. 2013-043 § 1 Exh. B, 2013; Ord. 2009-009 Exh. A, 2009; Ord. 2005-085 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2005-048 Exh. A, 2005; Ord. 2004-007 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002).

20.71.354 Tree removal not associated with development activity.

(1) Permit Required for Removal of Trees. No person, directly or indirectly, shall remove any significant tree(s) on any property within the Lake Padden and Lake Samish watersheds, or any tree(s) in the public right-of-way, without first obtaining a tree removal permit as provided in this section, unless the activity is exempted below:

(a) Removal of any hazard trees or as necessary to remedy an immediate threat to person or property, pursuant to the requirements in subsection (5) of this section;

(b) Pruning and maintenance of trees of up to 25 percent of the foliage.

(2) Tree Removal Permit Application. The Department of Planning and Development Services shall establish and maintain a tree removal permit application, which shall at a minimum require the following to be submitted by the applicant:

(a) A sketch for this purpose may be prepared by the homeowner or other lay person and shall depict:

(i) The approximate location of significant trees, indicating those to be removed;

(ii) The species and canopy area (as determined pursuant to WCC 20.51.440(4));

(iii) The location of structures, driveways, access ways, and known easements.

(b) Canopy calculations (existing and proposed).

(c) For required replacement trees, a planting plan showing location, species, and 20-year canopy area of the new trees in accordance to standards set forth in WCC 20.71.356(4) for calculating 20-year canopy coverage.

(3) Tree Removal Permit Application Procedure and Appeals. Applicants requesting to remove any significant trees must submit a completed permit application on a form provided by the county. The county shall review the application within 21 calendar days and either approve, approve with conditions or modifications, deny the application, or request additional information. Any decision to deny the application shall be in writing along with the reasons for the denial and the appeal process.

(a) The decision of the director is appealable pursuant to WCC 20.84.240.

(b) Time Limit. The removal shall be completed within one year from the date of permit approval.

(4) Tree Removal Allowances. With a tree removal permit, any property owner may remove up to 35 percent or 5,000 square feet, whichever is greater, and as measured cumulatively, of the existing canopy area of on-site significant trees on their property; provided, that:

(a) There is no active application for development activity for the site; and

(b) The tree(s) were not required to be retained or planted as a condition of previous development activity.

(5) Removal of Hazard Trees. Any property owner seeking to remove any number of significant trees that are a hazard shall first obtain approval of a tree removal permit and meet the requirements of this subsection.

(a) Tree Risk Assessment. If the hazard condition is not obvious, a tree risk assessment prepared by a qualified professional explaining how the tree(s) meet the definition of a hazard tree is required. Removal of hazard trees does not count toward the tree removal limit if the hazard is supported by such a report and approved by the county.

(b) Trees in Critical Areas or Critical Area Buffers. For hazard trees in critical areas or their buffers, tree removal shall be in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 16.16 WCC.

(6) Penalties and Enforcement. Removal of significant trees without obtaining a tree removal permit may be subject to replacement at a ratio of three trees for each tree removed without a valid permit. Failure to replace removed significant trees may be subject to a fine as determined under Chapter 20.94 WCC. (Ord. 2016-045 § 1 Att. A, 2016).

20.71.356 Tree retention associated with development activity.

(1) Tree Canopy Retention.

(a) Tree canopy retention shall be required for all development applications and building permits within the Lake Padden and Lake Samish watersheds, unless the activity is exempted below:

(i) Removal of any hazard trees, and as necessary to remedy an immediate threat to person or property, pursuant to the requirements of this subsection.

(A) Tree Risk Assessment. If the hazard condition is not obvious, a tree risk assessment prepared by a qualified professional explaining how the tree(s) meet the definition of a hazard tree is required. Removal of hazard trees does not count toward the tree removal limit if the hazard is supported by such a report and approved by the county.

(B) Trees in Critical Areas or Critical Area Buffers. For hazard trees in critical areas or critical area buffers tree removal shall be in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 16.16 WCC.

(ii) Construction or maintenance of public or private roads and public or private utilities including utility easements not related to development. Protection of trees shall be a major factor in the location, design, construction, and maintenance of streets and utilities. These improvements are subject to the purpose and intent of this section.

(b) Pruning and maintenance of trees of up to 25 percent of the foliage.

(2) Tree Retention Plan Required.

(a) An applicant for a development permit must submit a tree retention plan that complies with this section. A qualified professional may be required to prepare certain components of a tree retention plan at the applicant’s expense. The tree retention plan shall contain the following information:

(i) A site plan with the following components:

(A) North arrow;

(B) Property boundaries;

(C) Existing structures;

(D) Site access;

(E) Tree canopy areas to be removed;

(F) The outer dripline of tree canopy areas to be retained;

(G) Critical areas including, but not limited to, slopes, wetlands, and habitat conservation areas;

(H) Protection measures to be used for areas that will be undisturbed; and

(I) Areas to be replanted pursuant to subsection (4) of this section;

(ii) For required replacement trees, a planting plan showing location, species, and 20-year canopy area of the new trees and calculations of 20-year canopy coverage in accordance with the standards set forth in subsection (4) of this section;

(iii) Provisions for maintenance and monitoring.

(3) Minimum Tree Canopy Retention. Development subject to the requirements of this section may remove up to 35 percent or 5,000 square feet, whichever is greater, and as measured cumulatively, of the existing tree canopy areas, as defined by the dripline of the tree(s), for the purposes of a building site, driveways, parking areas, and areas to be landscaped. Existing tree canopy areas shall be prioritized for retention as provided in subsection (5) of this section. In the event that tree canopy areas in excess of the applicable threshold must be removed to facilitate reasonable use of the site, or to eliminate hazard trees, new plantings shall be required to attain the removed tree canopy coverage, calculated according to projected growth at 20 years maturity consistent with Table 20.71.356(4).

(a) Tree canopy areas shall include all trees, excluding invasive species or noxious weeds, within the gross site area.

(b) Existing or planted tree canopy may include street trees and may be located within buffer landscaping, site landscaping, critical areas and their buffers, open space reserve areas, reserve areas, reserve tracts or easements where permanent restrictions are recorded on the face of the plat ensuring their retention in perpetuity.

(4) Measuring Tree Canopy. Site tree canopy shall be measured according to Table 20.71.356(4). Calculation of existing and new tree canopy shall be submitted in writing by a qualified landscape designer or a licensed land surveyor.

 

Table 20.71.356(4). Measuring Tree Canopy

Existing Canopy

New Canopy

Option 1 Tree Survey

Option 2 Aerial Estimation

20-Year Canopy Calculation

•    Measure average canopy radius (r) for each tree to be retained

•    Calculate existing canopy area using the formula: Canopy Area (CA) = πr2

•    Total the sum of tree canopy areas and divide by gross site area to obtain canopy coverage percentage

•    Obtain aerial imagery of site

•    Measure site boundaries

•    Measure canopies of individual trees or stand area using leading edges as the forest boundary

•    Divide total canopy measurement by the gross site area to obtain canopy coverage percentage

For each proposed species:

•    Calculate radius (r) of canopy at 20 years maturity

•    Calculate canopy coverage using the formula: CA = πr2

•    Multiply by the proposed quantity to be planted to obtain total species canopy area

•    Total the sum of species canopy area for all proposed species and divide by gross site area to obtain 20-year canopy coverage percentage

(5) Tree Canopy Credits. To assist in the preservation and retention of significant trees and existing tree canopy outside of critical area protection areas and required buffers and buffer landscaping, the applicant may use the following credits:

(a) Individual significant trees retained on site shall be counted at 125 percent of their actual canopy area.

(b) For clusters or stands of five or more trees, each tree shall be counted at 150 percent of its actual canopy area.

(c) For clusters or stands of five or more significant trees, each tree shall be counted at 200 percent of its actual canopy area.

(d) The minimum required lot size in subdivisions or short subdivisions may be reduced by 20 percent when at least 20 percent of the site, not including any open space reserve areas, reserve areas, reserve tracts, or critical areas or their buffers, is put into a separate tract or tracts that have at least 20 significant trees per acre and where at least 60 percent of the significant trees within the tract or tracts are retained. This does not change the tree canopy requirements.

(6) Tree Replacement Requirements. In addition to the requirements of WCC 20.80.320 through 20.80.345, trees planted to meet tree canopy requirements in subsection (3) of this section shall meet the following criteria:

(a) Sites must be planted or replanted with a minimum of 50 percent evergreen species, except:

(i) The evergreen portion of the required planting mix may be reduced by 25 percent when the deciduous mix contains exclusively indigenous species to the Puget Sound region, not including alder; and

(ii) Sites obtaining tree canopy requirements solely through street trees are exempt from the requirement to include evergreen species in the planting mix;

(b) Sites requiring replanting of tree canopy must plant no more than 30 percent of trees from the same species and no more than 60 percent of trees from the same taxonomic family.

(c) Replacement trees shall be planted in locations appropriate to the species’ growth habit and horticultural requirements;

(d) When preparing the landscaping plan, applicants are encouraged to meet the requirements of subsection (3) of this section by conserving existing tree canopy, including significant trees and other vegetation located on the site, and by placing new plantings in protected areas, such as street trees, buffer landscaping, open spaces, and critical areas and their buffers at healthy spacing densities before placing trees within individual lots or yards; and

(e) Replacement trees shall be located in such a manner to minimize damage to trees or structures on the project site and on properties adjoining the project site.

(7) Tree Protection Measures. The following tree protection measures shall be taken during clearing or construction:

(a) Tree protective fencing shall be installed along the outer edge of the drip line surrounding the trees retained in order to protect the trees during any land disturbance activities, and fencing shall not be moved to facilitate grading or other construction activity within the protected area;

(b) Tree protective fencing shall be a minimum height of three feet, visible, and of durable construction; orange polyethylene laminar fencing is acceptable; and

(c) Signs must be posted on the fence reading “Tree Protection Area.”

(8) Tree Canopy Retention Modifications. An applicant may reduce the tree canopy requirements of subsection (3) of this section by no more than five percent through a tree canopy retention modification when all of the following criteria and those in this section are met:

(a) The applicant demonstrates in writing that they have made a good faith effort to comply with the tree canopy requirements within the physical constraints of the site by:

(i) Retaining as much of the tree canopy as possible on site consistent with best management practices for maintaining the health of trees; or

(ii) Replanting as much of the tree canopy as possible on site consistent with best management practices for maintaining the health of trees;

(b) The applicant proposes to plant additional understory vegetation or ground cover area, excluding lawn cover, invasive species or noxious weeds, to fulfill the remaining canopy requirement in Table 20.71.356(4) not met by retention or replanting of tree canopy; and

(c) When critical areas and their buffers exist on site and those buffers are not highly functioning, the applicant proposes to enhance the buffers by removing invasive species and noxious weeds and/or planting vegetation indigenous to the Pacific Northwest, spaced for maximum survivability.

(9) Street Trees. The county engineer may modify required frontage improvements to retain significant trees as street trees.

(10) Retained Significant Trees as a Condition of Development Approval. Retained significant trees, trees planted as replacements for significant trees, and trees planted to meet requirements in subsection (3) of this section may not be removed except when determined in writing by a certified arborist to constitute a hazard. Any replacement or significant trees removed without proper documentation from a certified arborist shall be subject to a fine as determined under Chapter 20.94 WCC.

(11) Penalties and Enforcement. Any significant trees identified in a landscape plan to be retained, and subsequently damaged or removed during site development shall be replaced at a rate of three trees for each one damaged or removed. Failure to replace damaged or removed significant trees shall be subject to a fine as determined under Chapter 20.94 WCC. (Ord. 2016-045 § 1 Att. A, 2016).

20.71.400 Building setback/buffer areas.

.401 Setbacks for all properties within the overlay district shall be as follows: roads classified as state highways, principal arterials, minor arterials, and collector arterials or major collectors shall have a minimum setback of 30 feet; and roads classified as minor collectors, local access streets, neighborhood collector or minor access streets shall have a minimum setback of 20 feet; provided, that the road right-of-way meets the minimum standard for road rights-of-way pursuant to the Whatcom County Development Standards.

.402 Roof overhangs or other overhanging architectural features shall not project further than 18 inches into the side or rear yard setbacks. Such overhangs may extend three feet into the front yard setback; however, in no case shall they extend more than one-half the depth of the front yard setback. (Ord. 2016-011 § 1 (Exh. O), 2016; Ord. 2013-043 § 1 Exh. B, 2013; Ord. 2009-009 Exh. A, 2009; Ord. 2005-085 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2004-007 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002; Ord. 2001-062 § 1, 2001; Ord. 2001-021 § 1, 2001; Ord. 99-086, 1999).

20.71.600 Development criteria.

(Ord. 2013-043 § 1 Exh. B, 2013; Ord. 2009-009 Exh. A, 2009; Ord. 2005-085 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2004-007 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002; Ord. 2001-021 § 1, 2001).

20.71.601 Parking space dimensions.

A standard parking space shall have the rectangular dimensions of 10 feet in width and 20 feet in length; provided, that for any parking area of six or more spaces, 50 percent of all spaces may have the rectangular dimensions of eight feet in width and 15 feet in length; and further provided, that these spaces are marked for use by compact automobiles. Except in single-family residential areas, all dimensions shall be exclusive of driveways, aisles and other circulation areas required under WCC 20.80.560 and 20.80.570. (Ord. 2013-043 § 1 Exh. B, 2013; Ord. 2009-009 Exh. A, 2009; Ord. 2005-085 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2004-007 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002; Ord. 2001-021 § 1, 2001; Ord. 99-086, 1999).

20.71.602 Parking requirements.

Parking shall conform to the requirements of WCC 20.80.500 through 20.80.590 unless otherwise specified in this section. Minimum parking requirements may be reduced through any of the following methods:

(1) A shared parking agreement has been filed with the county auditor establishing a shared parking lot for land uses with noncompeting hours of operation, or for multitenant retail and commercial facilities; provided, the parking lot is not located further than 700 feet from any of the uses it is intended to serve.

(a) The minimum required parking in shared facilities shall be based on the land use with the highest parking demand.

(b) Mixed use developments with similar operating hours may be required to submit a parking demand study to determine if parking can be combined.

(2) A 20 percent reduction may be approved if an establishment is located within 1,000 feet of any regularly scheduled bus stop.

(3) The zoning administrator determines that a reduced requirement will reduce overall impervious surfaces while maintaining consistency with this title. (Ord. 2013-043 § 1 Exh. B, 2013; Ord. 2009-009 Exh. A, 2009; Ord. 2005-085 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2004-007 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002; Ord. 2001-021 § 1, 2001; Ord. 99-086, 1999).

20.71.603 Alternative surfacing methods.

Alternative surfaces including, but not limited to, bark or wood mulch, washed gravel, grid/lattice systems, permeable interlocking pavers, pervious concrete, porous asphalt, and other similar approved materials are encouraged. Alternative surfacing methods may be approved for fringe or overflow parking areas; emergency parking areas, private roads, fire lanes, road shoulders, bike paths, walkways, patios, driveways, and easement service roads in residential or commercial zones unless site constraints make use of such materials detrimental to water quality. Utilization of alternative surfacing methods shall be subject to review and approval by the Whatcom County public works department, the fire marshal and/or the county ADA coordinator for compliance with other applicable regulations and development standards. Surfaces shall be considered impervious surfaces under WCC 20.71.300 unless the following conditions are met:

(1) Bark, wood mulch, and washed gravel shall be designed and installed so that all rain water falling upon the alternative surface will be infiltrated directly beneath the alternative surface without generating surface runoff based on the one-year, 24-hour storm event.

(2) Other alternative surface methods shall be designed and installed in accordance with the guidelines in the 2005 Low Impact Development Technical Guidance Manual for Puget Sound or subsequent version, prepared by the Puget Sound Action Team (Publication No. PSAT 0503), as applicable. No pervious surface credit shall be given for projects utilizing an underdrain system. (Ord. 2013-043 § 1 Exh. B, 2013; Ord. 2009-009 Exh. A, 2009; Ord. 2005-085 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2004-007 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002; Ord. 2001-049 § 1, 2001; Ord. 2001-021 § 1, 2001; Ord. 99-086, 1999).

20.71.604 Vehicular access.

Driveways and curb cuts shall be minimized along all arterial and collector roads. Each existing lot shall be allowed only one driveway or curb cut; adjacent lots are encouraged to share access points. In new developments, lots or leased sites shall be oriented toward internal driveways, parking areas, or roads with limited access to arterial or collector roads. (Ord. 2013-043 § 1 Exh. B, 2013; Ord. 2009-009 Exh. A, 2009; Ord. 2005-085 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2004-007 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002; Ord. 2001-021 § 1, 2001; Ord. 99-086, 1999).

20.71.700 Roads, curbs, gutters and sidewalks.

The intent of this section is to reduce impervious surfaces and stormwater runoff. Innovative street sections, which do not compromise public safety, shall be encouraged in the watershed. Narrow streets and reduced sidewalk standards that satisfy pedestrian and vehicular circulation requirements may be implemented with the approval of the Whatcom County public works department. Unless specifically required, roads shall not be wider than the minimum applicable standard. A rural road standard may be approved by the Whatcom County public works department for urban density residential areas where the developer provides adequate off-street parking and pedestrian walkways. (Ord. 2013-043 § 1 Exh. B, 2013; Ord. 2009-009 Exh. A, 2009; Ord. 2005-085 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2004-007 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002; Ord. 2001-021 § 1, 2001; Ord. 99-086, 1999).