What is the difference between a legal lot of record and a taxable lot?

A legal lot of record means a lot which is described by final plat, short plat, or metes and bounds, and is established pursuant to applicable local and state regulations at the date a legal instrument creating the lot is recorded at the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office. Whatcom County code states that only legal lots of record are allowed to be built on with permitted, accessory, administrative and/or conditional uses.

A determination of legal lot of record status is made by staff from Whatcom County Planning and Development Services. If in question, you can contact a Current Planner at 360-778-5900 to discuss if your parcel is a legal lot of record. A Lot of Record Application and associated fees will need to be submitted if staff is unable to quickly determine how your described parcel was created. Please note that a determination of how your parcel was created is required prior to the submittal of any building permit application.

A taxable lot is a parcel which appears on the Whatcom County Assessor's map and has been assigned a tax parcel (geographic) number by the Assessor. Tax parcel (geographic) numbers are typically assigned for billing purposes. These parcels are not necessarily an indication that the lot was legally created and/or able to be developed on.

Lot of Record Application (PDF)

Show All Answers

1. How do I find out the zoning of my property?
2. What does that zone designation mean?
3. How can I find the building setbacks for my property?
4. What is the difference between a legal lot of record and a taxable lot?
5. Can my property be subdivided?
6. Can I have a second home on my property?
7. What is an administrative use permit?
8. What is a zoning conditional use permit?
9. Can I schedule a zoning pre-application meeting?
10. How do I rezone my property?