WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. -- A Whatcom County councilman fears that some rural landowners may have lost potential property value after a decision this week. The Council on Tuesday passed a package of changes to the local law that defines the character of rural areas. The vote was four to three. Councilman Bill Knutzen says the changes mean that several properties along the Guide Meridian between Smith and Axton roads can no longer be used for businesses. He says some people bought that land expecting it to be developed. The new rules are designed to stop the expansion of developed areas in rural Whatcom County, and bring the county into compliance with the State Growth Management Act.