County reviewing proposed changes to Title 20 code

By Meg Olson

Whatcom County staff are reviewing code changes that are being proposed by the Point Roberts Community Advisory Committee (PRCAC) and will send their recommendations back for final approval by the committee.

“I have forwarded them to other people in other departments,” said senior planner Cliff Strong. “The proposed changes touch on other aspects of the code,” ranging from fire protection to public works, he said. With a multi-department review, the process is expected to take several months.

At their special meeting on August 29 PRCAC members reviewed and voted to forward 15 specific changes to chapter 20.72 of Whatcom County Code, rules specific to Point Roberts. Changes range from increasing allowing two outbuildings per lot in all zones to more flexible rules about parking requirements. A new provision would allow businesses to have up to two trailers or moveable storage units, provided they are screened.

With Stephen Falk opposed, committee members voted to recommend uses now prohibited in the Small Town Commercial Zone – which includes dog kennels, additional RV parks and motor vehicle repair, washing sales and storage – be changed to conditional uses.

“We felt that would give people plenty of opportunity to comment if someone wanted to do something like that,” said committee member David Gellatly.

Several members of the public commented in person at the meeting or submitted correspondence, many concerned with how proposed changes would impact the business area along Gulf Road if currently prohibited uses were allowed.

There was also concern that the public needed to have access to proposed changes so they could form their own opinions before the changes come back for final approval by the committee.

The minutes of the August 29 meeting and proposed changes can be found on the Whatcom County website at bit.ly/2luTM00

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