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Code Violation Process
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J.E. “Sam” Ryan, CBO

5280 Northwest Drive
Bellingham, Washington 98226
Telephone: (360) 676-6907

How We Process Code Violations
Upon receipt of a completed Code Violation Report This document is a pdf and requires the Adobe Reader application (CVR)form, enforcement staff will complete a combination of the following:
  • Open a new enforcement case or update an existing case:
    • Prioritize cases based on urgent life/safety concerns and/or severe environmental damage.
  • Check permit history, mapping software and aerial photography:
    • Has a permit been issued that authorized the work?
    • Do the mapping/aerials suggest areas of concern? (e.g. critical areas or a building constructed without permits)
  • Conduct site inspection:
    • Document any violations.
    • Attempt to make contact with the landowner/violator.
    • Interview property owners and/or neighbors.
  • Take formal enforcement action by issuing any of the following:
    • Notices of Violation, Notices of Penalty, Orders to Abate, Stop Work Orders, or Civil Citations.
    • Penalties are up to $1,000 per day per violation.
    • Penalties related to clearing activity may exceed $1,000.
    • In rare instances when the violator refuses to comply, the matter is referred to the Whatcom County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for criminal prosecution.
  • Close the case:
    • No violation exists or permits on record.
    • Corrective action successfully met.