Planning & Development Services

Due to open staff positions, training new employees and the large volume of incoming applications your permit or land use application and/or property inquiry will take longer than normal to process.  We apologize for this inconvenience; please read this message from Director, Mark Personius which provides more detailed information.

Message from Planning and Development Services Natural Resources Division:

Regarding the *seasonal clearing limitations from October 1, 2023 through May 31, 2024 on parcels within the Lake Whatcom, Lake Samish and Lake Padden Watersheds

Please note that WCC 20.51.410(3) and WCC 20.80.735(2) prohibit Whatcom County from issuing permits from September 15th – May 31st.

Therefore, no development permits in the above mentioned watersheds will be issued after September 14th, 2023. 

Those permits that are not able to be issued prior to September 15th, 2023 will be available for issuance on June 1st, 2024 .

*Seasonal Clearing Limitations: Clearing activities which expose more than 500 square feet of soil (in total) are not permitted during the seasonal clearing activity limitations.

If you have questions about the seasonal closure, please contact PDS-Natural Resources, Watersheds at 360-778-5900.

Permit Center Information

The Washington State Building Code Council (SBCC) has delayed the effective date of the 2021 Building Codes to March 15, 2024.  For more information please visit the SBCC Website.  For more information, please review our Interim Vesting Policy.

Limited In-Person Services

  • General property, permitting and zoning information
  • Assistance and direction on how to submit and apply online.
  • Records Research (capacity for records research shall be limited to one customer at a time). 

Online Services and Resources


  1. Fire Marshal Lifts Burn Ban at 4 p.m. September 27

    Due to the increase in fuel moisture levels and recent rain, the Fire Marshal’s Office will lift the burn ban for outdoor burning. The burn ban will be lifted at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, September 27 for the unincorporated areas of Whatcom County. Read on...
  2. Burn Ban lifted

    WHATCOM COUNTY FIRE MARSHAL’S OFFICE NEWS RELEASE Burn restrictions lifted in Whatcom County Read on...
  3. Fire Marshal Burn Ban Reduction Press Release

    Due to the increase in fuel moisture levels, recreational fires will again be allowed in unincorporated Whatcom County effective 4PM Friday, September 15th, 2023. All other outdoor burning is still banned, including yard debris & land clearing fires! Read on...
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