Chapter 23.70


23.70.010    Administrator.

23.70.020    SEPA official.

23.70.030    Hearing examiner.

23.70.040    Planning commission.

23.70.050    County council.

23.70.010 Administrator.

A. The administrator, as defined in WCC 23.110.010, is hereby vested with the authority to:

1. Overall administrative responsibility for this program.

2. Determine if a public hearing should be held on a shoreline permit application by the hearing examiner pursuant to WCC 23.60.130.

3. Grant or deny statements of exemption.

4. Authorize, approve or deny shoreline substantial development permits, except for those for which the hearing examiner or county council is the designated decision maker.

5. Issue a stop work order pursuant to the procedure set forth in WAC 173-27-270 upon a person undertaking an activity on shorelines in violation of Chapter 90.58 RCW or this program; and seek remedies for alleged violations of this program’s regulations, or of the provisions of the Act, or of conditions attached to a shoreline permit issued by Whatcom County.

6. Decide whether or not a proposal is subject to the consolidated review process of Chapter 22.05 WCC and determine what other permits are required to be included in the consolidated review.

7. Make field inspections as needed, and prepare or require reports on shoreline permit applications.

8. Make written recommendations to the county council or hearing examiner as appropriate and, insofar as possible, assure that all relevant information, testimony, and questions regarding a specific matter are made available during their respective reviews of such matter.

9. Propose amendments to the planning commission deemed necessary to more effectively or equitably achieve the purposes and goals of this program.

10. The administrator shall perform the following administrative responsibilities:

a. Advise interested persons and prospective applicants/proponents as to the administrative procedures and related components of this program;

b. Collect fees as provided for in WCC 23.60.070; and

c. Assure that proper notice is given to interested persons and the public through news media, posting or mailing of notice.

11. Review administrative and management policies, regulations, plans and ordinances relative to lands under county jurisdiction that are adjacent to shorelines so as to achieve a use policy on such lands that is consistent with the Act and this program.

12. Review and evaluate the records of project review actions in shoreline areas and report on the cumulative effects of authorized development of shoreline conditions. The administrator shall coordinate such review with the Washington Department of Ecology, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe and other interested parties.

13. Make recommendations to the planning commission for open space tax designations pursuant to Chapter 84.34 RCW.

B. The director of planning and development services shall have the authority to develop administrative guidance materials related to the interpretations of principles and terms in this program as required to provide for consistent and equitable implementation of this program. Such administrative guidance documents shall be developed in consultation with the Washington State Department of Ecology to ensure that any formal written interpretations are consistent with the purpose and intent of Chapter 90.58 RCW, the applicable guidelines, and the goals and objectives of this program. (Ord. 2009-13 § 1 (Exh. 1); Ord. 2008-034 § 1 (Exh. 1)).

23.70.020 SEPA official.

The Whatcom County SEPA responsible official is designated by WCC 16.08.040. The responsible official or his/her designee is hereby authorized to conduct environmental review of all use and development activities subject to this program, pursuant to Chapter 197-11 WAC and Chapter 43.21C RCW. (Ord. 2009-13 § 1 (Exh. 1); Ord. 2008-034 § 1 (Exh. 1)).

23.70.030 Hearing examiner.

The Whatcom County hearing examiner is hereby vested with the authority to conduct open record hearings and prepare a record thereof pursuant to WCC 2.11.210. (Ord. 2018-032 § 1 (Exh. C); Ord. 2009-13 § 1 (Exh. 1); Ord. 2008-034 § 1 (Exh. 1)).

23.70.040 Planning commission.

The Whatcom County planning commission is hereby vested with the responsibility to review the program from time to time as a major element of the county’s planning and regulatory program, and make recommendations for amendments thereof to the county council. (Ord. 2009-13 § 1 (Exh. 1); Ord. 2008-034 § 1 (Exh. 1)).

23.70.050 County council.

The Whatcom County council is hereby vested with authority to:

A. Initiate an amendment to this program according to the procedures prescribed in WAC 173-26-100.

B. Adopt all amendments to this program, after consideration of the recommendation of the planning commission and pursuant to the procedural requirements of Chapter 2.02 WCC; provided, that substantive amendments shall become effective immediately upon adoption by the Department of Ecology.

C. Make final decisions with regard to shoreline permit, shoreline variance or shoreline conditional use applications that require county council action on a consolidated review as provided by Chapter 22.05 WCC.

D. Review and decide appeals to hearing examiner decisions pursuant to the procedures of WCC 23.60.150. (Ord. 2009-13 § 1 (Exh. 1); Ord. 2008-034 § 1 (Exh. 1)).