Councilman Donovan was the lone vote opposed. The Council Chambers was filled with concerned property owners who need a permit which allows for a private-well to build on their property. Many of those affected testified, Perry Eskridge and Roger Alsmskaar gave wise testimony which several council members mentioned when it came time to vote.
Linda Twitchell of BIAWC sums it up very well:
Whatcom County Council adopted the emergency interim ordinance (good for 60 days) on their January 30, meeting which adopts the rules spelled out in ESSB 6091.
The lone negative testimonies came from Whatcom County Planning Commissioner, Natalie McClendon, who attempted to persuade the Council that there was no need for this emergency interim ordinance. Ms. McClendon strongly urged them to consider removing the restriction and begin to allow for permitting on property’s dependent upon a private-well, because there is no need to rush their decision. Robin Dexter, Pro-Whatcom, an organization dedicated to slowing the growth of Whatcom County, asked the Whatcom County Council to slow down and take their time in removing the permit restrictions on well dependent properties.
The County has adopted the spelled out in ESSB 6091 and is now in compliance with state law. Wells which existed before January 19, are grandfathered in (whether they were in ‘beneficial’ use or not). WCC and staff is meanwhile working on a permanent ordinance which would require Planning Commission input and a WCC hearing. WCC will take the permanent ordinance up at their Feb. 13, meeting.
In short, 6091 grandfathers in all wells prior to Jan, 19, at 5000 gallons per day, all new wells must average 3000 gallon per day, and there is a state mandated $500 fee. County Planning are taking permits starting today, January 31. For questions contact Mark Personius, at County Planning Services, at Northwest and Smith Roads.
Whatcom County Councilman, Tyler Byrd is doing a great job for all County people; support and encourage him, contact Tyler for concerns you may have, he listens and thinks very well while serving.