Hearing Examiner #: HE-13-PL-024
City Contact:Jackie Lynch
Hearing Date: 09/25/2013
Description: Conditional Use Permit request of Bobbie Ruth Langley re 801 W. Orchard Drive; #3 (aka Life Cycle Pet Cremation)
Decision Date: 09/30/2013
Decision Summary:Approved with conditions
This matter came before the Bellingham Hearing Examiner for hearing on the 25th day of September 2013 on the application of Bobbie Ruth Langley for a Conditional Use Permit to operate a pet crematory in an existing building located at 801 W. Orchard Drive, #3 in Bellingham.
Testimony was received from Jackie Lynch, Bellingham Planning and Community Development Department; and Bobbie Ruth Langley, Applicant.
In addition to the Bellingham Municipal Code and Comprehensive Plan, the following documents were considered as part of the record: See Exhibit List.
I. FINDINGS OF FACT
1. Bobbie Ruth Langley applied for a Conditional Use Permit to establish a pet crematory on property located at 801 W. Orchard Drive, #3.
2. The property is legally described as Lot 5, Squalicum Corporate Park Short Plat. It is located in Area 3 of the Cornwall Park Neighborhood and is designated Industrial, Light.
3. The proposed use would be located in the center of an industrial park in an existing building. It would occupy approximately 2,000 square feet of space within the building.
4. Industrial uses are located to the east and west of the subject site. To the south is a wide vegetated railroad easement and stream corridor, medical buildings and Squalicum Parkway. Vacant land is located to the northeast of the site. The nearest non-congregate care residence is located approximately 480 feet northeast of the site. The proposed use is not likely to be significantly visible to the nearest residence.
5. The proposed use would provide citizens with an on-site pet cremation service. This type of use does not currently exist in the city.
6. BMC 20.16.020(4) defines a crematory as a furnace or place of incineration of remains whether animal or human. This use is conditional in the light industrial designation. Special requirements for crematories state that the use shall be screened from any residential use, and all loading and unloading areas shall be screened from the view of surrounding properties.
7. BMC 20.16.010 provides that Conditional Use Permits may be granted when it is clearly shown that the proposed use will promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the community, the proposed use will satisfy the purpose and intent of the General Use Type in which it is located, and the proposed use will not be detrimental to the surrounding neighborhood. Subsection E provides criteria for the application of these standards. These criteria include that the use is harmonious with the general policies and objectives of the Comprehensive Plan, enables the continued orderly and reasonable use of adjacent properties by providing a means for expansion of public roads, utilities, and services, is designed to be compatible with the essential character of the neighborhood, is adequately served by public facilities and utilities, does not create excessive vehicular congestion on neighborhood collector or residential access streets, does not create a hazard to life, limb, or property, does not create influences substantially detrimental to neighboring uses, and does not result in the destruction, loss, or damage to any natural, scenic or historic feature of major consequence.
8. This proposed use will require a permit from the Northwest Clean Air Agency prior to operation. This permit will limit emissions from the facility based on the best available technology to control pollutants.
9. The Applicant estimates that the use will generate less than 10 vehicle trips per day.
10. No public comments were received for the proposal.
11. City staff has recommended approval of the conditional use permit subject to the condition that screening to the north be maintained.
12. The proposal is consistent with the policies and objectives of the Comprehensive Plan. It will provide a beneficial service to the citizens of Bellingham and Whatcom County that is not currently provided within the city, in an appropriate light industrial location.
13. The use is consistent with the industrial character of the neighborhood and is adequately served by public facilities and utilities.
14. The use will not create hazards to life, limb or property or create detrimental influences. It is subject to building and fire codes and environmental regulations that will eliminate or minimize hazards and influences. It will not affect any natural, scenic or historic features.
II. CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
1. The proposed use will promote the health, safety and general welfare of the community by providing a service that is desired by citizens and is not currently available.
2. The proposed use satisfies the purpose and intent of the Industrial use type.
3. The proposed use will not be detrimental to the surrounding neighborhood. It should have minimal impacts on surrounding properties and should not be noticeable to residential uses as conditioned.
4. A Conditional Use Permit should be granted for the proposed use subject to the conditions set forth below.
A Conditional Use Permit is granted for the establishment and operation of a pet crematory at 801 W. Orchard Drive, #3 as proposed, subject to the following conditions:
1. The facility and operation of the use shall be substantially as described in the materials and representations submitted in support of the proposal except as modifications are necessary to comply with code requirements, regulations and this Order.
2. On-site cremations shall be limited to pet animals. Cremation of human, livestock, or wild animal remains shall not be permitted.
3. The facility and use shall comply with all applicable provisions of the Bellingham Municipal Code, and local, state and federal environmental regulations, including, but not limited to, clean air regulations and permit requirements.
4. Screening located north of the site shall be maintained. The facility and use shall comply with the screening requirements specified in BMC 20.16.012C(4).
ENTERED this 30th
day of September 2013.
Bellingham Hearing Examiner