Interim Marijuana Zoning ordinance adopted

Now that the Council has adopted an Interim Marijuana Zoning ordinance, the planners will see how it works as marijuana license holders apply for building permits. The ordinance lasts for six months, so before it expires, the planners will make whatever recommendations they have to tweak it, and bring those to the Planning Commission for consideration in a permanent ordinance. The Planning Commission will get a briefing on the interim ordinance at our next meeting, Thursday, May 8, 6:30 pm at the County Annex, NW & Smith Roads.

The PC recommended the repeal of three Subarea Plans that are out of date and inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan. These plans cover Lake Whatcom, South Fork Valley, and Eliza Island. No citizens came to our public hearing on this issue.

Water Planning

The recently formed Ag District Coalition is asking for support from the County Council for their effort to set up Watershed Improvement Districts to focus water planning work in the ag lands of Whatcom County. This resolution will be discussed at the Natural Resources Committee meeting Tuesday morning. See Council agenda below.

The next Grange water forum will be next Tuesday, May 13th, 7-9 pm at the Ten Mile Grange, 6958 Hannegan Rd. You can see their first forum here.

As a follow up to their two forums on water, the League of Women Voters is showing the film Water Blues Green Solutions, Monday, May 19, 6:30-8:30 pm, at the Pickford Film Center, 1318 Bay Street. Explore ways to work with Nature to create a Sustainable Water Future! Seating is limited for this event Click Here for Reserved Seat Tickets Suggested Donation is $5

Items on the May 6 County Council Agenda

County Council Natural Resources Committee, May 6, 9:30 am, Council Chambers:
Resolution declaring the Whatcom County Council’s support of the Ag District Coalition and the formation of watershed improvement districts to encompass agricultural lands in Whatcom County to provide a voice for the agriculture committee regarding water issues (AB2014-153). Also on the Council’s evening agenda for consideration.

County Council Planning and Development Cmte, May 6, 3 pm, Council Chambers
Presentation by Planning and Development Services staff on issues effecting County Code compliance and enforcement (AB2014-177). This is a fascinating list of issues that may find their way to the Planning Commission for fixes.

County Council Committee of the Whole, May 6, 6:30 pm, Council Chambers
Discussion with Senior Deputy Prosecutor Karen Frakes regarding appeal of Growth Management Hearings Board Case No. 12-2-0013 (AB2014-018) Discussion of this item may take place in executive session (closed to the public). Because this is about litigation, the council agenda doesn’t give any details. Jean Melious, the plaintiff’s attorney, fills us in a little over at Get Whatcom Planning. Hint: the County is reminded it is non-compliant with the Growth Management Act.

Public Hearing, 7 pm, Council Chambers:
Packinghouses and slaughterhouses in the Agriculture Zoning District as administrative approval uses (AB2014-060B) Here’s the Bellingham Herald review of the changes to the ordinance

FULL County Council AGENDA
Planning Commission AGENDA
Planning Commission Meeting Schedule