Environmental & Land Use Law Blog

What’s Next for Exempt Wells in Whatcom County?

Many Whatcom County landowners are wondering “what’s next” in wake of the Hirst ruling on permit-exempt wells. Since the State Supreme Court’s October 2016 decision, landowners have faced uncertainty in their ability to rely on an exempt well to develop … Read More

Self-Inspection of Rural Septic Systems in Whatcom County Likely to End in Wake of Hirst Ruling

On January 24, the Whatcom County Council introduced an ordinance for consideration that would end self-inspection of rural septic systems, instead, requiring periodic inspections by a licensed professional. Under current policy, homeowners can become certified to complete their own evaluations … Read More

Whatcom County Council Introduces Ordinance Making Interim Amendments to Comprehensive Plan Following Hirst Ruling

At its November 22 meeting, the Whatcom County Council introduced a draft ordinance making interim amendments to the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan and Whatcom County Code. The proposed interim amendments are the County’s response to the Washington State Supreme Court’s … Read More

Building Permits and Exempt Wells in Whatcom County: What Rural Landowners Should Know

Since the Whatcom County v. Hirst decision came down in October, many rural landowners have questions regarding their ability to develop land in Whatcom County using an exempt well. Under Hirst, which is discussed in our earlier blog post … Read More

Washington State Supreme Court Issues Ruling on Permit-Exempt Wells

A recent State Supreme Court ruling strikes a blow to permit-exempt wells in rural Whatcom County and throughout the state.  In Whatcom County v. Hirst, the State Supreme Court struck down portions of Whatcom County’s comprehensive plan relating to … Read More

DNR to Consider Changing Boundary of Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve

The Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has announced its plans to consider a change to the boundary of the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve in response to a request by the Lummi Nation.  The proposed change would incorporate a cutout … Read More