Chapter 21.03
EXEMPT LAND DIVISIONS AND BOUNDARY LINE ADJUSTMENTS

Sections:

21.03.010    Purpose.

21.03.020    Repealed.

21.03.030    Pre-approval.

21.03.040    Certificate of exemption.

21.03.045    Required disclosures.

21.03.050    Access on state highways.

21.03.060    Boundary line adjustments.

21.03.070    Inactive applications.

21.03.080    Requirements for a fully completed exempt land division application.

21.03.085    Requirements for a fully completed boundary line adjustment application.

21.03.090    Repealed.

21.03.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to establish or reference the procedure and requirements for the application, review and approval of exempt land divisions, pursuant to WCC 21.01.040, and boundary line adjustments. The procedure is intended to provide orderly and expeditious processing of such applications. (Ord. 2013-040 Exh. 1; Ord. 2009-007 § 1; Ord. 2000-056 § 1).

21.03.020 Exemptions.

Repealed by Ord. 2009-007. (Ord. 2004-031 § 1; Ord. 2003-058 Exh. A; Ord. 2003-033 Exh. A; Ord. 2001-027 § 1; Ord. 2000-056 § 1).

21.03.030 Pre-approval.

Applicants may request that their proposed exempt land division be reviewed by the subdivision administrator and pre-approved using forms supplied by the planning and development services department. (Ord. 2013-040 Exh. 1; Ord. 2009-007 § 1; Ord. 2000-056 § 1).

21.03.040 Certificate of exemption.

(1) A certificate of exempt land division shall be obtained from the planning and development services department for exempt land divisions under WCC 21.01.040(2)(b) and (k). A certificate of exempt land division shall consist of a suitably inscribed stamp on the instrument conveying land title and shall be certified prior to the recording of the instrument with the county auditor. County review and/or a county certificate of exemption stamp shall not be required for WCC 21.01.040(2)(a) and (c) through (j).

(2) A certificate of exempt land division shall be approved, approved with conditions, or denied as follows:

(a) Applications shall include information required by WCC 21.03.085.

(b) The exempt land division results in a lot(s) that qualifies as a valid land use pursuant to the Whatcom County Code, including but not limited to lot area, lot width, building setbacks, critical areas protection or shorelines protection.

(c) The exempt land division will not detrimentally affect access, access design, sight distance, grade, road geometry or other public safety and welfare concerns.

(3) An exempt land division is not considered approved until said instrument has been duly stamped as exempt and is filed for record concurrently with all applicable disclosures of WCC 21.03.045 within 12 months of pre-approval. Failure to record within 12 months of pre-approval means the exempt land division application is expired and must be resubmitted for review and approval. The time periods of this section do not include the time during which the exempt land division was not actually pursued due to the pendency of administrative appeals or legal actions or due to the need to obtain any other government permits and approvals for the development that authorize the development to proceed, including all reasonably related administrative or legal actions on any such permits or approvals. (Ord. 2013-040 Exh. 1; Ord. 2009-007 § 1; Ord. 2004-031 § 1; Ord. 2002-017 § 1; Ord. 2000-056 § 1).

21.03.045 Required disclosures.

The following disclosures, if applicable, shall be recorded in the county auditor’s office and shall be filed concurrently with all conveyances of property subject to this title:

(1) Right to farm, right to practice forestry, or mineral resource disclosures.

(2) Boundary discrepancies.

(3) Protective covenants, conditions and restrictions.

(4) Latecomers’ agreements.

(5) Significant pipeline in vicinity disclosure when the subject property is within 500 feet of a pipeline shown on Map 5-2, Chapter 5 of the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan. (Ord. 2016-035 § 1 (Exh. A), 2016; Ord. 2013-040 Exh. 1; Ord. 2009-007 § 1; Ord. 2004-031 § 1; Ord. 2002-017 § 1).

21.03.050 Access on state highways.

For parcels that will access onto a state highway, the applicant shall provide evidence of an approved access from the State Department of Transportation prior to approval of the exempt land division. (Ord. 2013-040 Exh. 1; Ord. 2009-007 § 1; Ord. 2000-056 § 1).

21.03.060 Boundary line adjustments.

The purpose of this section is to provide procedures for the review and approval of adjustments or alterations to boundary lines of existing lots of record which do not create any additional lot, tract, parcel, site or division nor create any lot, tract, parcel, site or division which contains insufficient area and dimension to meet minimum requirements for width and area for a building site.

(1) Procedures. Boundary line adjustments shall be approved, approved with conditions, or denied as follows:

(a) Applications shall include information required by WCC 21.03.085.

(b) Any adjustment of boundary lines must be approved by the subdivision administrator prior to the transfer of property ownership between adjacent lots.

(c) The subdivision administrator shall make a preliminary decision on boundary line applications within 45 days following submittal of a complete application or revision, unless the applicant consents to an extension of such time period.

(d) A title insurance certificate updated not more than 60 days prior to application, which includes all parcels within the adjustment, must be submitted to the subdivision administrator with boundary line adjustment applications.

(e) All persons having an ownership interest within the boundary line adjustment shall sign the final recording document in the presence of a notary public.

(2) Decision Criteria. In reviewing a proposed boundary line adjustment, the subdivision administrator or hearing examiner shall use the following criteria for approval:

(a) The boundary line adjustment shall not result in the creation of an additional lot.

(b) With the exception of those boundary line adjustments located within the agricultural zone, the boundary line adjustment shall result in lots which contain sufficient area and dimensions to meet minimum requirements for width and area for a building site pursuant to this title.

(c) The boundary line adjustment shall be consistent with any restrictions, depictions or conditions regarding the overall area in a plat or short plat devoted to open space, environmental mitigation or conservation.

(d) The boundary line adjustment shall be consistent with any restrictions or conditions of approval for a recorded plat, short plat, zoning permit, or development permit.

(e) The boundary line adjustment shall not cause boundary lines to cross on-site sewage disposal systems or their reserve areas, prevent suitable area for on-site sewage disposal systems, or prevent adequate access to water supplies unless suitable mitigation including, but not limited to, the granting of utility easements is provided to the satisfaction of Whatcom County; provided, however, in the agricultural zone only those lots with existing on-site sewage disposal systems or potable water supplies are subject to this provision.

(f) The boundary line adjustment will not create a new access which is unsafe or detrimental to the existing road system because of sight distance, grade, road geometry or other safety concerns, as specified in adopted Whatcom County road development standards.

(g) The boundary line adjustment on lots without an existing farmstead home site shall demonstrate adequate septic and potable water suitability. Applicants shall demonstrate adequate potable water availability per Chapter 24.11 WCC. Applicants shall demonstrate septic suitability approval pursuant to Chapter 24.05 WCC.

(3) Final Approval and Recording Required. To finalize an approved boundary line adjustment, the applicant must submit to the subdivision administrator within one year of preliminary approval final review documents meeting the requirements of approval.

(a) All persons having an ownership interest within the boundary line adjustment shall sign the final recording document in the presence of a notary public.

(b) Certified legal descriptions of the lots after the boundary line adjustment, together with conveyance document(s) and language clearly binding the property which is conveyed to the remainder portion of the property, shall be prepared by a title company or licensed surveyor for all lots affected by the boundary line adjustment.

(c) A title insurance certificate updated not more than 60 days prior to recording of the adjustment, which includes all parcels within the adjustment, submitted to the subdivision administrator with boundary line adjustment final review documents.

(d) A final boundary line map, prepared by a licensed surveyor, along with legal descriptions, shall be prepared and submitted for review and approval. Two map copies shall be provided for review demonstrating compliance with the preliminary boundary line adjustment approval.

(e) A boundary line adjustment is not considered approved until the conveyance documents have been duly stamped as exempt and is filed for record concurrently with all applicable disclosures of WCC 21.03.045 within 12 months of approval of final documents. Failure to record within 12 months of approval means the boundary line adjustment application is expired and must be resubmitted for review and approval. (Ord. 2013-040 Exh. 1; Ord. 2009-030 § 1 (Exh. 1); Ord. 2009-007 § 1; Ord. 2000-056 § 1).

21.03.070 Inactive applications.

An applicant may place an exempt land division or boundary line adjustment application, which has not yet received preliminary approval, on hold for a cumulative maximum of 180 days. This 180-day period shall not include time the applicant is performing studies required by the county when the study is provided within the time frame agreed to by the county and the applicant. Applications which fail to meet these time limits will be considered expired and void. The time periods of this chapter do not include the time during which the exempt land division was not actually pursued due to the pendency of administrative appeals or legal actions or due to the need to obtain any other government permits and approvals for the development that authorize the development to proceed, including all reasonably related administrative or legal actions on any such permits or approvals. (Ord. 2013-040 Exh. 1; Ord. 2009-007 § 1; Ord. 2000-056 § 1).

21.03.080 Requirements for a fully completed exempt land division application.

The following, and any other information on a form prescribed by the subdivision administrator, is required for a complete application for exempt land divisions under WCC 21.01.040(2)(b) and (k).

(1) Written Data and Fees.

(a) Name, address and phone number of land owner, applicant, and contact person.

(b) Intended uses.

(c) A current title report or update of title report issued no more than 60 calendar days prior to application.

(d) Assessor’s parcel number (of the parent parcel).

(e) Fees as specified in the Unified Fee Schedule.

(f) Signature of all owners as shown on title report, and authorization for any agent to act on behalf of owners.

(2) Map Data.

(a) Name of land owner.

(b) Name of proposed land division (if an original drawing is prepared).

(c) General layout of proposed land division.

(d) Common language description of the general location of the land division.

(e) Approximate location and names of existing roads identified as either public or private.

(f) Vicinity map.

(g) Common engineering map scale/north arrow/sheet numbers (on each sheet containing a map).

(h) Section, township, range, and municipal and county lines in the vicinity.

(i) General boundaries of the site with general dimensions shown.

(j) Legal description of the land. (Ord. 2013-040 Exh. 1; Ord. 2009-007 § 1; Ord. 2000-056 § 1).

21.03.085 Requirements for a fully completed boundary line adjustment application.

The following, and any other information on a form prescribed by the subdivision administrator, is required for a complete application.

(1) Written Data and Fees.

(a) Name, address and phone number of land owner, applicant, and contact person.

(b) Intended uses.

(c) A current title report or update of title report issued no more than 60 calendar days prior to application.

(d) Assessor’s parcel numbers of existing parcels.

(e) Fees as specified in the Unified Fee Schedule.

(f) Signature of all owners as shown on title report, and authorization for any agent to act on behalf of owners.

(2) Map Data.

(a) Names of land owners.

(b) Name of proposed boundary adjustment.

(c) Common language description of the general location of the land division.

(d) Map at a common engineering scale of boundaries of existing parcels that are contributing to or receiving land from the proposed adjustment.

(e) Approximate location and labeling of any disputed or undetermined property lines proposing to be resolved by the adjustment.

(f) Clear depiction of property lines proposed for adjustment which identifies existing property lines and proposed property lines.

(g) Legal description and area of original parcels.

(h) Legal description and area of proposed adjusted parcels.

(i) Approximate location and names of existing roads identified as either public or private.

(j) Approximate location of existing buildings and existing on-site septic systems.

(k) Approximate locations of existing utilities and infrastructure.

(l) Vicinity map.

(m) Common engineering map scale/north arrow/sheet numbers (on each sheet containing a map).

(n) Section, township, range, and municipal and county lines in the vicinity.

(o) General boundaries of the site with general dimensions shown. (Ord. 2013-040 Exh. 1; Ord. 2009-007 § 1).

21.03.090 Original drawing.

Repealed by Ord. 2009-007. (Ord. 2000-056 § 1).