Rezoning property is different than getting a permit. Rezoning is changing the law applicable to your property, while getting a permit involves applying the existing law to your property. Rezoning property involves submitting an application, paying applicable fees, review by the Planning and Development Services staff, Planning Commission review (which includes a public hearing), and a final decision by the County Council.
Comprehensive Plan Amendment
Sometimes a comprehensive plan amendment is required along with the rezone. For example, if you are proposing to rezone property in the rural comprehensive plan designation for urban land uses, it would needed to be added to an urban growth area.
Other times, a rezone application can be submitted without an associated comprehensive plan amendment. For example, if you are proposing to rezone property in the rural comprehensive plan designation from rural 1 dwelling / 10 acres to rural 1 dwelling / 5 acres.
You can call Long Range Planning Staff at 360-676-6907 to discuss whether a comprehensive plan amendment would be needed along with your proposed rezone.
Suggested Zoning Amendments
Interested persons may suggest amendments to the Whatcom County zoning code or map by completing an application form and submitting the completed form to County Planning and Development Services. All suggested amendments will be forwarded to the County Council for review.
Suggested amendments do not require a fee, but will not proceed unless they have first been initiated by the County Council, Planning Commission or Planning & Development Services Department under WCC 20.90.030. These parties are not obligated to initiate suggested amendments for further review.
If a comprehensive plan amendment is required with your rezone, the forms can be accessed at our Long Range Division Comprehensive Plan
If a comprehensive plan amendment is not required with your rezone application, the forms can be accessed below:
Procedure for Amending Zoning Text and Official Map
State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Checklist