PRCAC rolling out its zoning revisions

By Meg Olson

The Point Roberts Community Advisory Committee (PRCAC) is ready to roll out its proposed revisions to county code specific to the Point.

At a July 9 special meeting beginning at 6 p.m., the committee will review the results of months of special meetings combing through the text of Whatcom County Code Chapter 20.72: Point Roberts Special District and taking public suggestions on how to change it.

“We’re going to go through it on a screen so everyone can see it,” said PRCAC chair Linda Hughes. “We expect Cliff Strong from Whatcom County Planning and Development to attend as we review the entirety of progress we have made to date on this matter and receive his guidance toward continued progress.”

At their June 20 regular meeting, PRCAC members limited the agenda to wrapping up their review of the document, which Hughes estimated had taken over 50 hours of deliberation. The intent of the review was to update the code and add extra flexibility.

In some sections, such as those dealing with recreational vehicles, accessory uses and parking, PRCAC members are recommending eliminating language that make the rules for Point Roberts more restrictive than they are elsewhere in the county. One option being considered is to scratch all restricted uses in the small town commercial area that aren’t already restricted in the county code, which would eliminate restrictions on vehicle and general storage facilities.

Wrapping up their review of 20.72, the committee agreed to not revise the design guidelines, appended to the code when the Point Roberts Character Plan or, as Hughes called it, “the document that cannot be named,” was eliminated.

“Have we learned of any of the wording of these guidelines that has caused hardship?” Hughes asked fellow committee members. “So far the designs that have come before us have complied.” She speculated that community consensus on changes was not attainable. “Maybe we just let it exist as an imperfect document if it’s not hurting anyone.”

Once PRCAC approves changes to the code they will be forwarded to Whatcom County for public hearings and formal adoption.

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