Division 4. Land Division and Major Developments

Chapter 17.50


17.50.010    Title.

17.50.020    Purpose.

17.50.030    Scope.

17.50.035    Limitation on subdivision.

17.50.040    Sale of noncomplying land prohibited.

17.50.050    State enabling legislation.

17.50.060    Administering authority.

17.50.065    Appeals.

17.50.070    Notification of other agencies.

17.50.080    Recordation of documents.

17.50.010 Title.

This code is established and shall be known as the Blaine land division and major developments code, hereinafter “this code.” (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.50.020 Purpose.

The purpose of this code is to provide rules, regulations, requirements and standards for the creation or adjustment of lots and parcels of land within the city, ensuring that the public health, safety, general welfare, and aesthetics of the city shall be promoted and protected; that orderly growth, development, and the character of the developing area are safeguarded and promoted; that appropriate provisions for all public facilities including circulation, utilities, open space, and public amenities and public services necessary to serve the development shall be made or planned for within six years of development approval; and that the goals and policies of the comprehensive plan are furthered through the subdivision of land, and to require uniform monumenting of land subdivisions and conveyance by accurate legal description. Further, these regulations are established to effectuate the policy of the prescribed state law referring to the platting and dedication of lands and shall not preclude full compliance thereto. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.50.030 Scope.

A. This code shall apply to the division of any land for sale, lease, transfer, or building development into two or more parcels, the dissolution of any property boundary for the purpose of joining parcels, and the adjustment of property lines between two or more existing parcels within the corporate boundaries of the city of Blaine.

B. No person, firm or corporation proposing to make, or having made, any division of land as described above within the city limits shall enter into any contract for the sale of, or shall offer to sell, any part of the division without having first obtained its approval as a general or specific binding site plan, short subdivision or subdivision in accordance with this code. City building permits shall not be issued concerning construction on any lot or lots created by land divisions within the city without evidence that the necessary city approval has been obtained and required improvements have been completed or necessary bonds have been posted for the completion of improvements.

C. Exceptions. The provisions of this division shall not apply to:

1. Cemeteries and other burial plots while used for that purpose;

2. Divisions made by testamentary provisions, or the laws of descent;

3. Portions of property deeded to the city for the limited purpose of providing a right-of-way and/or utility facilities, such as, but not limited to, a pumphouse, reservoir or well site; provided the remaining property is not reduced in size below the minimum square footage required by applicable zoning, that no conflict is created with any applicable design standards for the property, and that written approval from the community development director or designee is received.

D. Applicability – Ordinance 09-2737.

1. Standards.

a. Permit Applications and Amendments to Previously Approved Permits. The ordinance codified in this chapter, as adopted and amended, applies to every development, use, action or activity commenced or engaged in after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter or ordinance amendment.

b. The standards as established by the effective date in the ordinance codified in this chapter shall not apply to those specific development permits which, prior to the city’s adoption of said ordinance, have received specific permit approval from the city. Approved permits include, but are not limited to, any of the following permits: boundary line adjustments, general and specific binding site plans; planned unit developments; short plats; preliminary and final long plats; and plat variances. The standards as established by this code shall apply to these approved permits only if a new application for a permit or amendment is submitted for review and approval. Upon application submittal for a permit or amendment, all standards of said code are applicable to the project or development.

c. The standards established by this code shall apply only to those project applications submitted after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter. Those complete project applications received before the effective date shall comply with the standards existing at the time of the complete application.

2. Procedures. All the procedures established by the adoption of this code shall be applicable to all new development review proposals as well as all development review proposals that are currently within the development review process. Interpretations regarding a current proposal’s review process shall be made by the community development director or designee. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.50.035 Limitation on subdivision.

The subdivision and short subdivision of land in wetlands and associated buffers is subject to the following:

A. Land that is located wholly within a wetland or its buffer may not be subdivided;

B. Land that is located partially within a wetland or its buffer may be subdivided; provided, that an accessible and contiguous portion of each new lot is:

1. Located outside of the wetland and its buffer; and

2. Meets the minimum lot size requirements of BMC Title 17;

C. Access roads and utilities serving the proposed subdivision may be permitted within the wetland and associated buffers only if the city determines that no other feasible alternative exists and when consistent with this chapter;

D. Subdivision and short subdivision developments that contain a wetland or wetland buffer shall not result in degradation of the wetland or its buffer nor significantly change its hydrology. (Ord. 2729 § 2 (Exh. A), 2009)

17.50.040 Sale of noncomplying land prohibited.

Sale of land is prohibited unless it is a duly platted parcel of land or lot created under the provisions of this code, or is a legal lot of record at time of passage of the ordinance codified in this chapter. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.50.050 State enabling legislation.

This code is adopted pursuant to Chapter 58.17 RCW and to allow lot consolidation and boundary line adjustment. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.50.060 Administering authority.

A. Authority to administer project review is as depicted in Table 17.06.A.

B. The community development director or designee shall review Type I-ADM applications and make the decision whether to approve, approve with conditions or deny.

C. The community development director or designee shall ensure the review of all Type II-HE applications by appropriate city departments. Based upon the staff review, the hearing examiner shall hold a public hearing on all Type II-HE applications and make the decision whether to approve, approve with conditions or deny.

D. The community development director or designee shall ensure the review of all Type II-CC applications by appropriate city departments. Based upon the staff review, the hearing examiner shall hold a public hearing on all Type II-CC applications, except final plats. The hearing examiner shall forward a recommendation and written findings to the city council. The city council shall conduct a closed record public meeting after which they shall approve, approve with conditions or deny the application.

E. Final plats shall be reviewed by the city council at a public meeting, wherein the decision to approve, approve with conditions, or deny shall be made. No public hearing is required for a final plat decision. (Ord. 2970 § 1 (Exh. A), 2021; Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.50.065 Appeals.

The land use decisions illustrated in Table 17.06.A are subject to appeal as Type I-ADM, Type II-HE or Type II-CC decisions as regulated by BMC 17.06.180 and 17.06.190, as applicable. (Ord. 2970 § 1 (Exh. A), 2021; Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.50.070 Notification of other agencies.

A. Notice of application for a preliminary plat, short plat or general binding site plan which is conterminous with the municipal boundaries, or which contemplates the use of or receipt of services from a special purpose district including water, sewer, school, fire or public utility district, or such services from another jurisdiction, shall be given to the appropriate special districts and/or county authorities.

B. Notice of application for a preliminary plat, short plat or general binding site plan located adjacent to the right-of-way of a state highway shall be given to the State Department of Transportation. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)

17.50.080 Recordation of documents.

A. All documents for adjustment of boundaries or division of land shall be filed with the Whatcom County auditor and shall not be deemed finally approved until so filed. The filing of the document, including all cost of document preparation and recording, shall be the responsibility of the applicant.

B. Every plat submitted to the city for signature prior to filing for record must be accompanied by a title report or plat certificate not less than 14 days old confirming that the title of the lands as described and shown on the plat is in the name of the owner as designated on the face of the drawing.

C. Two mylar copies of the recorded documents, two paper copies, and one electronic format copy on a media acceptable to the city shall be submitted to the community development services department after filing. Line work shall be projected in State Plane Coordinate System NAD 83 Washington North. No building permits shall be accepted for newly created lots before said documents have been submitted to the city. (Ord. 2737 § 2 (Att. A), 2009)