Court orders Whatcom County to re-examine densities

 A state appeals court ruled on Monday that Whatcom County will have to re-examine the number of houses or businesses it will allows in certain  parts of the county, including the Guide Meridian and Chuckanut Drive and near Toad Lake,

Whatcom County allows higher-than-usual levels of rural development in some areas. This zoning  is being challenged by Futurewise, a state anti-sprawl group.

There are 13,555 acres throughout the county that could be affected. In some areas, as many as three housing units per acre are allowed.  

The ruling Monday by a three judge panel supports a September 2005 state growth board decision telling the county to update its plan for those higher-density areas in light of new laws from the legislature.

It seems like the county will have to shrink the size of some higher density areas and eliminate others.

“Bob Martin, Land Use & Natural Resource Services manager at the county planning department, said the review may find some of those higher-density areas meet the state’s criteria, while others may be too large and allow too much development. “

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