Whatcom County Limited Amendment

On April 3, 2018, we provided Whatcom County with recommended changes to the county’s proposed amendment to their Shoreline Master Program (SMP). The amendment addresses use of single-family residences as short-term vacation rentals.

The changes are based on our review of whether or not the proposed update complies with state laws and rules, and a public comment period held January 3 through February 2, 2018. 

We used mail and email to notify interested parties about the public comment period. We also issued a news release to encourage additional public participation and comment. We received a total of 11 comment letters from 15 individual citizens.

Comments focused on concerns regarding the overuse of homes for parties or large events, degradation of existing neighborhood character, inadequate parking requirements, increased risk of introducing invasive aquatic plant and animal species, water quality impacts due to overloaded septic systems. and a lack of enforcement by the county. On February 7, 2017, we sent a summary of comments to the county for their response. The public comments, along with responses by us and the county have been incorporated into Attachment C: Responsiveness Summary.

The recommended changes have been sent to the county for their review and response. The county may agree to these changes or offer alternative language. Final Ecology approval will occur when the county and Ecology agree on language that meets state requirements.

Documents related to approval

Note: All documents are PDF If you have trouble accessing documents, please contact Chad Yunge.