Another chance at zoning Wireless Communications Towers

The Planning Commission will continue its public hearing on amendments to the permit process for routine wireless communications facility equipment upgrades,  at it’s next meeting, Thursday, June 12, 6:30 pm at the County Annex, NW & Smith Roads.

The proposal involves a major reorganization of the entire section, to align it with the format of the other Zoning sections, and in the process, some things were changed that seemed to have broader impacts than might have been expected. Specifically, routine maintenance was moved from an exempt action to a permitted use, which may mean simple maintenance would require a building permit. The wireless providers are concerned about this.

Another issue yet to be resolved is the requirement of a performance bond intended to cover the cost of removing a tower when no longer in use. Of course, it is a matter of safety to not have abandoned towers rusting until they fall on someone. Industry representatives suggested a lien on the property was a better way to ensure public safety while simplifying the permitting process for staff and the applicant. Here’s a summary of the issue and the full agenda of documents and comments.

Slaughterhouses, deja vu, all over again

The latest word on the Slaughterhouse ordinance is that yet another round of amendments will be considered at the June 17th meeting of the County Council’s Planning Committee, and then introduced at the evening council meeting. A public hearing on that version will happen at some subsequent council meeting. The council meets every other week, and the Planning Commission meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays, so we have gotten out of sync and the council agenda is not available to share yet. Check for the agenda in a few days FULL County Council AGENDA

 Water Planning

The Grange is holding another forum on water issues, Saturday, June 14th, 9:30 am – noon, at the Whatcom County Council chambers. The forum will be moderated by Councilman Rud Browne, with confirmed speakers Ferndale Mayor Gary Jensen; Gary Stoyka, Whatcom Co. Public Works; Glen Smith, representing private well owners; Ryan Ericson, Futurewise; Roger Almskaar, Citizens Alliance for Property Rights. The focus of the program is “What are the major issues with water supplies and uses in Whatcom County? What would a comprehensive and reasonable solution look like?”

Next County Council meeting June 17

FULL County Council AGENDA
Planning Commission AGENDA
Planning Commission Meeting Schedule

–Natalie