Chapter 14.06


14.06.010    Policy and purposes.

14.06.020    Definitions.

14.06.030    Disclosure.

14.06.010 Policy and purposes.

A. It is the declared policy of this county to encourage the protection and conservation of designated mineral resource lands and discourage future incompatible uses from these areas.

B. The purpose of this chapter is to promote a good neighbor policy between mineral and non-mineral property owners by requiring notification to purchasers and users of property adjacent to or near mine operations of the inherent potential problems associated with such purchase or use, including but not limited to the noises, odors, dust, chemicals, smoke, truck traffic, and hours of operations that may accompany mine operations. Through mandatory disclosures purchasers and users will better understand the consequences of living near mine operations and be prepared to accept attendant conditions as the natural result of living in or near mining areas. (Ord. 94-029 Exh. A).

14.06.020 Definitions.

A. “Discretionary development permits” means permits requiring discretionary review, including but not limited to subdivision permits, short subdivision approvals, binding site plan approvals, planned unit developments, special use permits, variances, conditional use permits, and shoreline substantial development permits.

B. “Designated mineral resource area” means areas that have been designated by Whatcom County as mineral resource areas.

C. “Mining operations” means conditions or activity which occurs on or around a mine.

D. “Best management practices” means current management practices available as defined by Whatcom County, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, the United States Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service, Washington State University Cooperative Extension Service in Whatcom County, and other land based professional or industrial mineral organizations. (Ord. 94-029 Exh. A).

14.06.030 Disclosure.

A. The statement set forth in subsection B (notice of disclosure) of this section shall be used under the following circumstances and in the following manners:

1. Upon the conveyance of a fee interest in real property the seller shall require that the notice of disclosure be signed by the purchaser and recorded in the county auditor’s office in conjunction with the deed conveying the real property when the real property is on or within 500 feet of the area designated as mineral resource land on the map or maps comprising the Whatcom County comprehensive plan.

2. Upon the issuance of a discretionary development permit for land on or within 500 feet of the area designated as mineral resource land on the map or maps comprising the Whatcom County comprehensive plan, the discretionary development permit shall include a condition that the owners of the property be required to sign a statement of acknowledgment containing the notice of disclosure on forms provided by Whatcom County, which shall then be recorded in the county auditor’s office.

3. All building permits and discretionary development permits for land on or within 500 feet of the area designated as mineral resource land on the map or maps comprising the Whatcom County comprehensive plan shall contain the notice of disclosure.

B. The following shall constitute the disclosure required by this section:

The subject property is on or within five hundred feet of designated Mineral Resource Land upon which a variety of mining related activities may occur that are not compatible with residential development for certain periods of limited duration. Within a Mineral Resource Land designation, an application may be submitted for mining and mining-related activities, including extraction, washing, crushing, stockpiling, blasting, transporting, and recycling of minerals. Whatcom County has determined that the use of real property for mineral operations is a priority use in designated Mineral Resource Lands and will not consider to be a nuisance those inconveniences or discomforts arising from mine operations, if such operations are consistent with commonly accepted best management practices and otherwise comply with local, state, and federal laws. Copies of these laws are available at the Whatcom County Planning and Development Services office.

(Ord. 2003-061 § 1; Ord. 94-029 Exh. A).