By knowing the zoning of the property, its size, wastewater type (septic / public sewer), water (public / private well), and how it was created (legal lot of record) you can determine if your property is eligible to be subdivided. To determine the allowable density (the number of dwelling units / lots allowed per acre or acreage) please refer to the maximum density and minimum lot size section of the applicable zone district. If shown, the number associated with the zone designation is also an indicator to determine the allowable density.
For example, a property that is zoned R5A is rural and has a base density of 1 dwelling unit per 5 acres. This can be verified by reviewing the maximum density and minimum lot size table for the rural district, which is found in section 20.36.253 of the Whatcom County Zoning Ordinance. Please be aware that each zone district is different and it is always best to refer to that specific zone district’s maximum density and minimum lot size section.
Other factors can affect the ability to subdivide such as the availability of water, the ability to obtain an on-site septic system or public sewer hookup, the property’s access to public roads, the presence of critical areas and the type of soils (i.e. agricultural protection overlay). In some cases it may be best to consult with a Whatcom County Current Planner at 360-778-5900 or at our office to discuss the possibility of subdividing a particular property. A pre-application meeting is required prior to the submittal of all subdivision applications.