Chapter 20.70


20.70.010    Purpose.

20.70.050    Permitted uses.

20.70.100    Accessory uses.

20.70.150    Conditional uses.

20.70.200    Prohibited uses.

20.70.250    Minimum lot size.

20.70.350    Maximum density.

20.70.400    Height regulations.

20.70.450    Lot coverage.

20.70.500    Open space.

20.70.550    Buffer area.

20.70.600    Building setbacks.

20.70.650    Development criteria.

20.70.651    Landscaping.

20.70.652    Off-street parking and loading.

20.70.653    Drainage.

20.70.654    Driveways.

20.70.655    Access.

20.70.656    Maintenance.

20.70.657    Enclosures.

20.70.700    Performance standards.

20.70.701    Pollution control and nuisance abatement.

20.70.702    Heat, light and glare.

20.70.703    Ground vibration.

20.70.704    Odor, dust, dirt and smoke.

20.70.705    Noise.

20.70.706    Toxic gases and fumes.

20.70.707    Liquid pollutants.

20.70.708    Electrical interference.

20.70.010 Purpose.

The purpose of the Airport Operations District is to provide sufficient area exclusively for existing and future regional airport operations needed for Whatcom County. The district shall be located and implemented consistent with the goals, objectives and policies of the appropriate subarea Comprehensive Plan. The district should accommodate regional airport facilities and be served by adequate public services such as roads, sewers, water and drainage. The district should provide uses directly related to the operation of an airport. Other support uses should be allowed only upon land designated by the port’s periodically updated master plan as not necessary for essential airport operations. (Ord. 98-083 Exh. A § 66, 1998; Ord. 91-074, 1991).

20.70.050 Permitted uses.

Unless otherwise provided herein, 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), the Whatcom County SEPA Ordinance, the Whatcom County Subdivision Ordinance and the Whatcom County Shoreline Program.

.051 Runways.

.052 Taxiways.

.053 Aprons:

(1) Service aprons.

(2) Parking aprons.

.054 Hangars.

.055 FAA facilities.

.056 Terminals (including eating and drinking establishments), but excluding freight railroad switching yards and terminals.

.057 Fixed base operations:

(1) Airlines.

(2) Flying schools.

(3) Aircraft service, sales and maintenance.

.058 Internal services and maintenance:

(1) Roads.

(2) Parking areas.

(3) Walks.

(4) Fire and rescue operations.

(5) Maintenance facilities.

(6) Utilities facilities.

.059 Air carrier traffic, both passenger and freight, scheduled and chartered, public and private.

.060 Helicopter operations.

.061 Military flying.

.062 Fuel storage as permitted by FAA regulations.

.063 Public and community facilities including police and fire stations, and other similar noncommercial uses, excluding state education facilities and correction facilities.

.064 Hotels and motels.

.065 Restaurants.

.066 Ground transportation services such as taxis and airporter stations.

.067 Customs.

.068 Banks and/or bank machines.

.069 Indoor commercial recreation facilities.

.070 Tourist information centers.

.071 Any use allowed as a permitted use in the LII chapter, WCC 20.66.050, except those uses in WCC 20.70.201 and 20.70.202 of this chapter; provided, that such use does not conflict with the performance standards of this chapter.

.072 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.

.075 Trails, trailheads, restroom facilities and associated parking areas for no more than 30 vehicles.

.080 Major passenger intermodal terminals.

.085 Type I solid waste handling facilities, except for operations that handle putrescible waste. (Ord. 2005-079 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2004-026 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2004-014 § 2, 2004; Ord. 99-062, 1999; Ord. 91-074, 1991; Ord. 88-13, 1988).

20.70.100 Accessory uses.

.101 All accessory uses normally incidental to the primary permitted use.

.102 On-site treatment and storage facilities for hazardous wastes associated with outright permitted uses or approved conditional uses subject to the most current siting criteria under Chapter 173-303 WAC.

.103 Other accessory uses and buildings, including security and caretaker residences, customarily appurtenant to a principally permitted use.

.104 Employee recreation facilities and play areas.

.105 Temporary buildings for construction purposes for a period not to exceed the duration of such construction.

.106 Mini-day care centers, and day care centers operated by, maintained by or funded by business in the district for the purpose of serving the child care needs of employees whose place of employment lies within this zone district.

.107 Electric vehicle charging stations and battery exchange facilities. (Ord. 2019-013 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 2012-001 § 1 (Exh. A), 2012; Ord. 2009-034 § 1 (Att. A), 2009; Ord. 99-068, 1999; Ord. 91-074, 1991; Ord. 89-10, 1989).

20.70.150 Conditional uses.

.151 Freight consolidation, warehouse and distribution.

.152 Golf courses.

.153 Outdoor commercial recreation facilities.

.154 Resort oriented hotels.

.155 Any use allowed as a conditional use in the LII chapter, WCC 20.66.150, except those uses in WCC 20.70.200; provided, that such use does not conflict with the performance standards of this chapter.

.156 Trailheads with parking areas for more than 30 vehicles.

.157 Athletic fields.

.183 State education facilities that are related to airport operation training.

.184 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. 2005-068 § 2, 2005; Ord. 2004-026 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2004-014 § 2, 2004; Ord. 91-074, 1991).

20.70.200 Prohibited uses.

.201 Schools, churches, auditoriums, community centers and other similar noncommercial places of public assembly.

.202 Adult businesses.

.203 All other uses.

.204 Any use which could create a hazard or endanger the landing, takeoff, or maneuvering of aircraft.

.205 Correction facilities.

.206 Type I solid waste handling facilities that handle putrescible waste.

.207 Type II solid waste handling facilities.

.208 Type III solid waste handling facilities.

.209 Sewer treatment plants.

.210 Aerial application of chemicals, including but not limited to pesticides and insecticides, previously regulated by the DNR as Class I, II, III or IV-Special forest practices, when located within an urban growth area.

.211 Slash burning, when located within an urban growth area. (Ord. 2022-035 Exh. A, 2022; Ord. 2004-014 § 2, 2004; Ord. 99-070 § 2, 1999; Ord. 91-074, 1991).

20.70.250 Minimum lot size.

The minimum lot size shall be consistent with the area required to meet the building setback, lot coverage, buffer, open space and development standards of this district. (Ord. 91-074, 1991).

20.70.350 Maximum density.

.351 Hotels and motels shall not exceed a floor area ratio (FAR) of .60. (Ord. 91-074, 1991).

20.70.400 Height regulations.

Height of structures shall be consistent with the general requirement of WCC 20.80.675.

20.70.450 Lot coverage.

The maximum building coverage shall not exceed 50 percent of the lot size for those uses not necessary for essential airport operations. There is no lot coverage requirement for essential airport operations. (Ord. 91-074, 1991).

20.70.500 Open space.

At least 25 percent of the lot size for those uses not necessary for essential airport operations. There is no lot coverage requirement for essential airport operations. (Ord. 91-074, 1991).

20.70.550 Buffer area.

Where adjacent to the Urban Residential, Urban Residential Medium Density, Residential Rural and Rural Zone District, a 200-foot buffer containing native vegetation shall be maintained except where such buffer interferes with the requirements of Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) Part 77.

20.70.600 Building setbacks.

Building setbacks shall be administered pursuant to WCC 20.80.200. (Ord. 91-074, 1991).

20.70.650 Development criteria.

(Ord. 96-056 Att. A § A1, 1996).

20.70.651 Landscaping.

Refer to WCC 20.80.300 for landscaping requirements.

20.70.652 Off-street parking and loading.

Off-street parking and loading provisions shall be administered pursuant to WCC 20.80.500. In addition, loading areas must be located in such a manner that no loading, unloading and/or maneuvering of trucks associated therewith takes place on public rights-of-way.

20.70.653 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; Ord. 96-056 Att. A § A2, 1996; Ord. 94-022, 1994).

20.70.654 Driveways.

Consistent with WCC 20.80.640, driveway plans shall be reviewed by the county engineer or State Department of Transportation. (Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013).

20.70.655 Access.

Access shall conform to the provisions of WCC 20.80.565.

20.70.656 Maintenance.

The owner, lessee or user shall be responsible for maintaining an orderly appearance of all properties and shall be responsible for assuring the care and maintenance of any natural growth where appropriate. All required yards, parking areas, storage areas, operation yards and other open uses on the site which are adjacent to a public right-of-way shall be maintained in a neat and orderly manner appropriate for the district at all times.

20.70.657 Enclosures.

All manufacturing or fabrication processes which produce physical off-site impacts of a detrimental nature shall be sufficiently enclosed to mitigate the impact. (Ord. 91-074, 1991).

20.70.700 Performance standards.

20.70.701 Pollution control and nuisance abatement.

Each industry is required to continuously employ the best pollution control and nuisance abatement technology when reasonably and practicably available for each particular industry; provided, that where federal, state or regional laws or regulations provide for the level of technology to be employed, the appropriate standards shall apply. Smoke or steam pollution sources and open burning which interferes with aircraft visibility shall be prohibited.

20.70.702 Heat, light and glare.

All operations and facilities producing heat, light or glare, including exterior lighting, shall be so constructed, screened or used as to not unreasonably infringe upon the use and enjoyment of property beyond the boundaries of the district. Artificial lighting or reflective surfaces resulting in glare in the eyes of pilots or impairing visibility shall be prohibited.

20.70.703 Ground vibration.

No ground vibration other than that caused by air transportation, highway vehicles, trains or construction activity shall be permitted which is discernible, without instruments, at or beyond the property line for the use concerned.

20.70.704 Odor, dust, dirt and smoke.

No odor, dust, dirt, or smoke shall be emitted that is detectable at or beyond the property line, for the use concerned, in such a concentration or of such duration as to cause a public nuisance, or threaten health or safety, or to unreasonably infringe upon the use and enjoyment of property beyond the boundaries of the district.

20.70.705 Noise.

No use in this district shall exceed the maximum environmental noise level established by Chapter 173-60 WAC.

20.70.706 Toxic gases and fumes.

There shall be no emission of toxic gases of fumes.

20.70.707 Liquid pollutants.

There shall be no off-site release to soil or surface drainage ways of water borne or liquid pollutants.

20.70.708 Electrical interference.

No electrical interference sources such as radio transmitting apparatus or other devices which interfere with aircraft radio and navigation equipment shall be permitted. (Ord. 91-074, 1991; Ord. 84-38, 1984).