PRCAC puts finishing touches on Title 20 review

By Meg Olson

As the All Point Bulletin goes to press for the September edition, the Point Roberts Community Advisory Committee (PRCAC) intends to vote on what they will send to Whatcom County as proposed changes county codes specific to the Point.

“We have a fairly good agreement across the board,” said committee member David Gellatly prior to the meeting.

August saw three more meetings of the committee devoted all or in part to reviewing chapter 20.72 of the county code, the Point Roberts Special District. The code has not been revised in almost 20 years and the committee has spent months combing through the document and listening to public testimony to come to the conclusion that less is best.

“We don’t have evidence to warrant wholesale changes, we have anecdotal evidence,” said committee member Stephen Falk at PRCAC’s August 15 regular meeting. “We can clean up a lot of things here that will make a difference now without making wholesale changes.”

A significant change being proposed is the elimination of specific rules for Gulf Road in the small town commercial district, making all properties in the district along Tyee Drive and Gulf Road subject to the same rules.

“Most of the dissenting votes, I think, will be on the issue of restrictions to uses along Gulf Road,” he said. “We are also looking at moving from prohibited uses to conditional uses so that it would come to PRCAC, and the community would have the ability to speak to the issue before it goes before the hearing examiner.”

Minor changes to language are also being proposed to allow more flexibility for landowners wanting to develop. “Where it says parking has to be in the back, we’re saying it should be if feasible.”

Once the committee has approved the proposed revisions, the document will go to county planning staff for review before going to the county planning commission and eventually to Whatcom County Council for approval.

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