Chapter 17.24


17.24.010    Definitions.

17.24.020    Unauthorized use of motorized vehicle.

17.24.030    Violation – Penalty.

17.24.010 Definitions.

The definitions set forth in this section shall apply throughout this chapter.

A. “County” means Whatcom County, unless otherwise noted.

B. “Flood control structure” means any structure, whether natural or manmade in origin, that operates, or is intended, to contain, channelize, direct or otherwise control the flow of water along or near the banks of the Nooksack River.

C. “Motorized vehicle” means any vehicle that is motor-driven, whether by internal combustion engine or electric motor, and any attachments thereto.

D. “Nooksack River” means the river commonly known as the Nooksack River, along with its North, Middle, and South Forks, as more precisely defined in WAC 173-18-410, as now written or hereinafter amended, and the channels within which this river and its forks flow, within Whatcom County.

E. “Proper authorization” means use of a motorized vehicle for purposes of inspection, maintenance, improvement, or construction of flood control structures, or for access for legitimate agricultural purposes:

1. By immediate family members or current employees of the owner or tenant of the land upon which the flood control structure is located, under the authority and direction of that owner or tenant; or

2. Under the authority and with the current permission of the public agencies responsible for flood control activities within the county.

The claim of proper authorization is an affirmative defense which must be pled prior to hearing or trial, and which the defendant must prove by a preponderance of the evidence. (Ord. 2019-005 Exh. A; Ord. 2017-056 Exh. A; Ord. 2003-002).

17.24.020 Unauthorized use of motorized vehicle.

It is unlawful for any person to operate, or to ride upon, a motorized vehicle on any flood control structure within 3,000 feet of the Nooksack River, unless done with proper authorization. (Ord. 2019-005 Exh. A; Ord. 2017-056 Exh. A; Ord. 2003-002).

17.24.030 Violation – Penalty.

Violation of this chapter shall constitute a Class 1 civil infraction under the authority granted the county in Chapter 7.80 RCW. Each violation hereof shall be punishable by a maximum penalty or default amount as set forth in RCW 7.80.120, or any successor statute thereto. All violations shall be charged, heard, and determined in accordance with the procedures set forth in Chapter 7.80 RCW. Employees of the Whatcom County public works department, river and flood division, or its successor agency, if any there be, as well as all others who are otherwise authorized to enforce ordinances of this county, are hereby authorized to enforce the provisions of this title, consistent with the provisions of Chapter 7.80 RCW.

After having been found to have committed two infractions for violations of the provisions of this chapter, any person who further violates the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be subject to criminal penalties including a fine of not more than $1,000, together with statutory assessments and any costs of action, and imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not more than 90 days.

In addition to the civil and criminal remedies provided for above, the county or the owner(s) of the land affected by the violation of the provisions of this chapter may bring such injunctive, declaratory or other actions as deemed necessary, and as otherwise allowed by law, to ensure that violations are prevented or cease, and to otherwise enforce the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 2019-005 Exh. A; Ord. 2017-056 Exh. A; Ord. 2003-002).