Chapter 18.12


18.12.010    Approval required.

18.12.020    Approval – Procedure.

18.12.030    Lot requirements.

18.12.040    Required improvements.

18.12.050    Resubdivision restriction.

18.12.060    Fees.

18.12.010 Approval required.

Any action which will result in a short subdivision of any lot, tract, parcel, or plot of land for any reason whatsoever shall be subject to approval by the planning and community development department. Approval shall be based on standards and conditions set forth in this chapter. [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Ord. 9352 § 5, 1984; Code 1980 at § 18.12.010].

18.12.020 Approval – Procedure.

A. All short subdivisions shall be submitted to the planning and community development department for review and preliminary action. Short subdivision applications shall follow the procedures in Chapter 21.10 BMC.

B. An application for approval of a short subdivision shall be accompanied by two copies of an accurately scaled and dimensioned drawing of the proposed subdivision. Such drawing shall be on a minimum of 8.5-inch-by-11-inch paper. Additional copies of the plat proposal shall be submitted upon request of the planning and community development department.

C. An environmental checklist shall be completed and submitted when required by Chapter 16.20 BMC.

D. In the event a parcel to be subdivided contains an environmentally sensitive area, all environmentally sensitive areas must be accurately identified and located on the submittal drawing.

E. The application shall contain an accurate legal description of the area involved in the subdivision. In the event the boundaries are described by metes and bounds, a deed dated prior to August 17, 1964, shall be submitted with the application containing the same legal description as the subject property along with a copy of the most current deed. Basis of bearings shall be stated.

F. The total property owned by the applicant which is contiguous to the parcel being subdivided shall be accurately indicated on the drawing. All contiguous property under common ownership shall be included in the plat. All existing buildings on the property being subdivided must be accurately illustrated on the drawing with setbacks to new property lines identified. In addition, all adjacent property must be clearly shown on the drawing.

G. In the event the proposed subdivision is not sewered, a recommendation for approval from the health department shall be obtained prior to planning and community development director approval.

H. All short subdivisions shall comply with the provisions of the ordinances of the city relating to development of land within floodplains, shorelines, wetlands and streams, land clearing, grading and stormwater management.

I. In the event the land to be subdivided has a slope or slopes of more than 20 percent and/or has rock or unstable soil conditions, the subdivider shall furnish soils data to the city engineer. If conditions warrant control measures to correct slide, erosion or other similar problems, the subdivider shall be responsible for the design, installation and expense of any device or corrective measure, subject to approval of the city engineer.

J. After preliminary approval, five blue line copies of the mylar (checkprint), lot closures, and a subdivision guarantee or plat certificate shall be submitted to the planning and community development department for review prior to submittal of mylars.

K. After preliminary approval is received from the city, the applicant shall provide a document of mylar quality or better which has been prepared by a Washington State licensed land surveyor based upon a record of survey recorded at the county auditor’s office after the adoption of state subdivision regulation on August 17, 1964. Said mylar shall be 18 inches by 24 inches, clearly indicate the new lot lines, be signed by all property owners in whom title is vested and shall be notarized. A space shall be reserved for legal descriptions, and authorized signatures of the land surveyor, public works department, planning and community development department, Whatcom County health department if necessary and auditor’s office. A reproducible copy of the recorded mylar shall be submitted to the city for their records on the day of recording.

L. Permanent control monuments shall be established at each and every controlling corner on the boundaries of the parcel of land being subdivided, and in the centers of all intersecting streets. Additional monuments shall be installed if requested.

M. For short subdivisions adjacent to the right-of-way of a state highway or within two miles of the boundary of a state or municipal airport, written notice including a legal description of the short subdivision and a location map shall be sent to the Secretary of Transportation. The Secretary shall respond within 15 days of said notice as to the effect that the proposed subdivision will have on the state highway or the state or municipal airport. Notice of intent to short subdivide shall also be sent to the local airport authority.

N. Final approval of a short subdivision shall be accompanied by written findings that appropriate provisions have been made for the public health, safety, and general welfare and for such open spaces, drainage ways, streets or roads, alleys, other public ways, transit stops, potable water supplies, sanitary waste, parks and recreation, playgrounds, schools and school grounds and all other relevant facts including sidewalks and planning features that assure safe walking conditions for students who walk to and from school; and the public use and interest will be served by the platting of such subdivision and dedication. [Ord. 2004-09-065; Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Ord. 10422 § 2, 1993; Ord. 9550 §§ 9 – 13, 1986; Ord. 9390 § 5, 1984; Ord. 9352 § 5, 1984; Ord. 8827 § 20, 1980; Code 1980 at § 18.12.020].

18.12.030 Lot requirements.

All lots created by a short subdivision shall abut upon a dedicated or deeded street and such street to have no less than 60 feet of right-of-way width if a through street, or 50 feet of width if a cul-de-sac; in the event the abutting street does not meet these minimum width standards, additional right-of-way shall be required prior to approval of a short subdivision; provided, that this requirement may be waived if, in the opinion of the planning and community development director and city engineer, such additional right-of-way will not be necessary for the future traffic circulation of the city.

The technical review committee may approve a reduction in the cul-de-sac right-of-way width to 40 feet if in the opinion of the TRC the applicant can demonstrate:

A. That utilities, safety clear zones, stormwater management and other intended functions of the right-of-way can be met within the reduced right-of-way area.

B. The reduced right-of-way is consistent with the overall plat design and does not compromise legitimate functions.

C. The reduced right-of-way does not result in an increase in total dwelling unit count.

Short subdivisions that contain a dedication of land to the public shall be surveyed, monumented and recorded with the county auditor. The monumentation requirement may be waived, if the center line of the right-of-way is already monumented. [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Ord. 9550 § 14, 1986; Ord. 9390 § 6, 1984; Ord. 9352 § 5, 1984; Code 1980 at § 18.12.030].

18.12.040 Required improvements.

A. Before final approval may be granted for any short subdivision, the following improvements shall have been made or installed for each parcel created by the division of land:

1. City water.

2. Sanitary sewer. In the event that there is no public benefit by extending sewer facilities to serve property, a septic tank may be used if the design is approved by the Whatcom County health department. Septic systems are not permitted in the Lake Whatcom watershed.

3. Appropriate dedications or easements made if required.

4. Streets, Curbs, Gutter, Sidewalk.

a. For short subdivisions, consisting of four or fewer lots:

i. When the principal frontage street providing access to a newly created lot is below the standard for an existing street, the installation of a minimum standard street is required prior to approval of a short subdivision. The newly installed street shall have a minimum traveled way brought to line and grade of not less than 20 feet of width with four-foot shoulders on each side. The surface shall be at least of asphaltic concrete quality and there shall be adequate provision for storm drainage.

ii. In the event the principal frontage street is not currently improved and is being created by full width dedication by the short division then a street constructed to minimum neighborhood standards shall be required.

b. For short subdivisions consisting of five to nine lots:

i. All abutting street rights-of-way shall be constructed to neighborhood standards or three-fourths full city standards, whichever is the lesser standard.

ii. All interior streets shall be constructed to full neighborhood standards.

iii. At least one street providing access to the short subdivision shall be improved to minimum city standards to the nearest arterial street (street improved to at least minimum standard).

B. All improvements shall be constructed in accordance with a contract between the subdivider and the city, providing at least:

1. Terms and conditions satisfactory to the city, including design and construction standards;

2. Requiring a permit to be issued before commencement of construction; and

3. In the discretion of the director of public works, appropriate security may be required, covering construction performance and guaranteeing the construction after completion for a period of one year.

C. Appropriate security to ensure completion may be accepted in lieu of actual installation of the required improvements, if acceptable to the director of public works. This provision shall not apply to required private access and private water and sewer service lines for infill housing lots approved under Chapter 20.28 BMC.

D. For all short subdivisions, when an extension to electric power and communication facilities is necessary, all such extensions shall be placed underground.

E. For all short subdivisions, staff and the technical review committee shall have the authority to require reasonable improvements and conditions to control storm drainage runoff, preserve regulated wetlands, and to address any matters identified under prerequisite considerations and special conditions identified in the applicable section of the neighborhood plan. [Ord. 2009-08-048; Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Ord. 9550 § 15, 1986; Ord. 9390 §§ 1, 7, 1984; Ord. 9352 § 5, 1984; Ord. 9234 § 2, 1983; Ord. 1992 § 2, 1979].

18.12.050 Resubdivision restriction.

Any short subdivision or land involved in a short subdivision shall not be resubdivided for a period of five years from the date of approval of the short subdivision without the submission and approval of a final plat done in accordance with Chapter 18.20 BMC. In instances where the original short plat contains fewer than four lots, nothing in this chapter shall prevent the owner(s) of all property within the short plat from filing an alteration within the five-year period to create up to a total of four lots within the original short plat boundaries. [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Code 1980 at § 18.12.060].

18.12.060 Fees.

Any person making application for a short subdivision shall at the time of application pay a base fee as established by council resolution. The filing fee shall be paid prior to recording the short plat with the county auditor. Such fees shall be nonrefundable, unless such obligation is specifically waived by the city council. [Ord. 10833 § 1, 1997; Ord. 10169 § 3, 1991; Ord. 9630 § 2, 1986; Ord. 8724 § 1, 1978; Code 1980 at § 18.12.070].