Short Subdivisions


A short subdivision is a land division of a legal lot of record into less than 5 lots consistent with zoning. The short subdivision process involves submittal of a Short Subdivision Pre-application Meeting Application (PDF) for a meeting with representatives of Planning and Development Services (PDS), the Health Department, Public Works, and the Fire Marshal’s Office.

After the preapplication meeting the applicant can then submit a Short Subdivision Application (PDF) to PDS including all application materials, maps prepared by a surveyor, and appropriate fees. Staff will then review the application with the Technical Review Committee and either issue preliminary approval, a request for more information or a denial of the application.

After preliminary approval the applicant can then make improvements consistent with the preliminary approval conditions and submit the Short Subdivision Final Application (PDF) for review and approval. The final drawing (mylar) is then recorded with the Auditor and the applicant can sell the lots created through the subdivision process.

Agricultural Short Subdivision

An Agricultural Short Subdivision (PDF) (AG Short Subdivision) is similar to a short subdivision, except that 1 lot can be created that is between 1 and 3 acres with the remainder lot at least 10 acres pursuant to Whatcom County Code 20.40.250. The small lot must contain an existing single family residence and the remainder lot must contain a deed restriction prohibiting single family residential development.

The review process for an AG Short Subdivision is abbreviated and includes minor review by Critical Areas, Public Works, and the Health Department.