Chapter 20.35


20.35.010    Purpose.

20.35.050    Permitted uses.

20.35.100    Accessory uses.

20.35.130    Administrative approval uses.

20.35.150    Conditional uses.

20.35.200    Prohibited uses.

20.35.250    Minimum lot size and density.

20.35.350    Building setbacks.

20.35.400    Height limitations.

20.35.500    Open space.

20.35.650    Development criteria.

20.35.651    Design.

20.35.652    Recreational homes.

20.35.653    Bald eagle management plan.

20.35.654    Drainage.

20.35.010 Purpose.

The Eliza Island District has been formed as a separate district due to its unique character. The purpose of this district is to allow for a harmonious mixture of residential, seasonal residential, recreational, and accessory uses. When making a determination about uses, consideration will be given to the rural land use policies as outlined in the Comprehensive Plan, as well as cumulative impacts of uses in this rural area. (Ord. 2015-013 § 2 Exh. B, 2015; Ord. 2011-013 § 2 Exh. B, 2011; Ord. 94-032, 1994).

20.35.050 Permitted uses.

Unless otherwise provided herein, the following permitted, accessory, and conditional uses shall be administered pursuant to the applicable provisions of Chapter 20.80 WCC (Supplementary Requirements) and Chapter 22.05 WCC (Project Permit Procedures).

.051 One single-family dwelling per lot.

.052 Noncommercial community parks and recreation facilities.

.053 The raising of crops, fruits, berries, and horticultural products.

.054 Public reserves, playgrounds, forest preserves, beach activities, wildlife reserves, and natural systems education and/or interpretative areas.

.055 Noncommercial and nonvehicular camping activities (with approval from the Whatcom County health department).

.056 Private, noncommercial mooring buoys.

.057 One one-story detached accessory storage building per lot; provided, that the floor area shall not exceed 200 square feet and shall only be used for personal storage and not for habitation or business; and provided further, that the storage building shall contain no indoor plumbing but may be served with electrical power for lighting.

.060 Trails, trailheads, and associated rest room facilities.

.088 Adult family homes as defined in Chapter 70.128 RCW.

.089 Boarding homes that are similar in size, facilities and occupancy to other residential structures permitted in the zoning district.

.090 Mental health facilities that provide residential treatment and are similar in size, facilities and occupancy to other residential structures permitted in the zoning district.

.091 Substance abuse facilities that provide residential treatment and are similar in size, facilities and occupancy to other residential structures permitted in the zoning district. (Ord. 2011-013 § 2 Exh. B, 2011; Ord. 2005-079 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2004-026 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2004-014 § 2, 2004; Ord. 99-068, 1999; Ord. 99-062, 1999; Ord. 94-032, 1994).

20.35.100 Accessory uses.

.101 Home occupations pursuant to WCC 20.80.970.

.102 Noncommercial community boat docks, ramps, floats, and moorages pursuant to the Whatcom County Shoreline Management Program.

.103 Restrooms, picnic shelters, tool and equipment storage, playgrounds, water storage, and similar buildings and equipment normally associated with low intensity use of community property.

.104 One detached sleeping unit per lot.

.105 Other accessory uses normally incidental to the primary permitted uses.

.106 Solar and wind power plants serving two or less residences.

.107 Day care homes.

.108 Vacation rental units. (Ord. 2023-078 § 1 (Exh. A § 9), 2023; Ord. 2023-041 § 1 (Exh. A), 2023; Ord. 2016-011 § 1 (Exh. D), 2016; Ord. 2010-030 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2009-034 § 1 (Att. A), 2009; Ord. 96-056 Att. A § G1, 1996; Ord. 94-032, 1994).

20.35.130 Administrative approval uses.

.131 Repealed by Ord. 2023-078.

.132 Cottage industries employing no more than two people on site, other than family members residing on the premises; provided, that in addition to the criteria found in WCC 22.05.026 and 20.80.980:

(1) The zoning administrator, at his or her discretion, may place limitations on the square footage in an existing or new structure used for a cottage industry and construction of new buildings to house said activity shall not, in any case, exceed 1,250 square feet of total floor area. The total land area used for buildings and outside storage or other uses related to the cottage industry shall not exceed 10,000 square feet or 25 percent of the site, whichever is less.

(2) The parcel size shall not be less than one acre; provided, that a smaller parcel may be approved by the hearing examiner by conditional use.

(3) In the event materials will be stored outdoors, the zoning administrator shall require adequate landscaping, screening, or other devices in order that the material will not be visible by surrounding uses or roads.

(4) One nonilluminated sign, not to exceed four square feet in size, mounted on the property, is permitted. A larger sign up to 32 square feet may be approved by the hearing examiner as a conditional use. (Ord. 2023-078 § 1 (Exh. A § 9), 2023; Ord. 2016-011 § 1 (Exh. D), 2016; Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013; Ord. 2009-034 § 1 (Att. A), 2009; Ord. 2001-012 § 1, 2001; Ord. 99-068, 1999).

20.35.150 Conditional uses.

.151 Community centers.

.152 Aircraft runway strips.

.153 Solar and wind power plants serving more than two residences.

.154 Day care centers and mini-day care centers.

.155 Activity centers.

.163 Athletic fields.

.185 Type I solid waste handling facilities.

.186 Mitigation banks as a form of compensatory mitigation for wetland and habitat conservation area impacts when permitted in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 16.16 WCC; provided, applications for mitigation banks shall be processed as a major development project pursuant to Chapter 20.88 WCC. (Ord. 2009-034 § 1 (Att. A), 2009; Ord. 2005-068 § 2, 2005; Ord. 2004-026 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2004-014 § 2, 2004; Ord. 99-068, 1999; Ord. 94-032, 1994).

20.35.200 Prohibited uses.

All uses not listed as permitted, accessory, administrative approval, or conditional uses are prohibited, including but not limited to the following, which are listed here for purposes of clarity:

.201 Single-family residential on platted community tracts is prohibited, except for one single-family dwelling for the island’s caretaker.

.202 Adult businesses.

.203 All docks not permitted in WCC 20.35.102.

.204 All other uses not permitted, accessory, or conditional.

.205 Storage or occupation of recreational vehicles. (Ord. 2016-011 § 1 (Exh. L), 2016; Ord. 99-070 § 2, 1999; Ord. 94-032, 1994).

20.35.250 Minimum lot size and density.

.251 For purposes of creating new building lots within the Eliza Island District, the minimum lot size shall be five acres. (Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012; Ord. 94-032, 1994).

20.35.350 Building setbacks.

.351 Minimum front, side, and rear yard setbacks shall be five feet. (Ord. 2023-078 § 1 (Exh. A § 1), 2023; Ord. 94-032, 1994).

20.35.400 Height limitations.

.401 Maximum height of structures shall be limited to 25 feet when within 100 feet of the marine shoreline ordinary high water mark, and 30 feet elsewhere. Height of structures shall also conform to the general requirements of WCC 20.80.675 where applicable. (Ord. 94-032, 1994).

20.35.500 Open space.

.501 At least 75 percent of any lot shall be utilized as open space (50 percent for community tract E).

.502 Vegetation clearing on the face of shoreline bluffs and banks is prohibited; provided, that pruning of branches for view is permitted if no more than 30 percent of the live crown is removed. (Ord. 94-032, 1994).

20.35.650 Development criteria.

(Ord. 96-056 Att. A § A1, 1996).

20.35.651 Design.

(1) No structure or combination of structures, including accessory buildings, shall have a total square footage of more than 1,800 square feet on any private lot.

(2) Exterior sidings shall consist of or resemble natural wood or masonry materials. (Ord. 94-032, 1994).

20.35.652 Recreational homes.

Due to the preference for seasonal use of many homes on the island, some flexibility with construction requirements is allowed; provided, that (1) the floor space of the vacation home does not exceed 800 square feet; and (2) the applicant shall record with the deed a covenant stating that the structure is for part-time use only. Upon meeting these requirements, the following is allowed with approval of the building official:

(1) Pier and post foundations.

(2) Wood heat as the primary heat source.

(3) Exposed beam ceilings with minimum R-10 insulation beneath roofing.

(4) Reduced insulation and ventilation requirements. (Ord. 94-032, 1994).

20.35.653 Bald eagle management plan.

(1) Between January 1st and August 15th, there will be no external construction or land clearing within 660 feet of a viable nest site. If the nest site is determined to be inactive by the WDW in April, construction or land clearing may begin on May 1st.

(2) On any lot between 400 and 660 feet of a viable nest site, no conifer greater than six feet tall will be taken; provided, that such conifers may be cleared for a building site and path and an area within 25 feet of the building site. Conifers may only be removed for drainfields if no reasonable alternative exists.

(3) On any lot 400 feet or greater from a viable nest site, a minimum of 50 percent of the pre-construction or clearing stand with stems/acre and size classes representative of the conifer stand greater than six feet tall must remain. In addition, on any shoreline lot a minimum of three conifers greater than 18 inches d.b.h. must remain within 75 feet landward of the survey staking line on the plat map. Pruning of branches for view is acceptable if no more than 30 percent of the live crown is removed.

(4) Any landowner objecting to the above conditions can negotiate an individual site management plan with the WDW. Any construction or land clearing within 400 feet of a viable nest site will also require an individual bald eagle management plan with the WDW. The WDW will provide locations of viable and active nest sites to Whatcom County and the Eliza Island Beach Club by May 1st annually. (Ord. 94-032, 1994).

20.35.654 Drainage.

All development activities are subject to the stormwater management provisions of WCC 20.80.630 through 20.80.635. No project permit shall be issued prior to meeting those requirements. (Ord. 2019-013 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019).