City seeks input on growth options for Comp Plan Update

First open house on March 17

February 26, 2015 - by Lisa Pool

T​he public is invited to join
Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville and City staff for an Open House on March 17
to provide input on where future growth and development should occur in our
community. The meeting is from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17, at the
Squalicum Boathouse, 2600 North Harbor Loop Drive, in Zuanich Point Park.

This open house is one of several opportunities for public input that
will take place as Bellingham updates its

Comprehensive Plan
, a 20-year vision and roadmap for the City's future.
The plan guides City decisions on where to build new jobs and houses, how to
improve our transportation system, and where to make capital investments
such as utilities, sidewalks, and libraries. It is the framework for most of
Bellingham's big-picture decisions on how to grow while preserving and
improving our neighborhoods.

Throughout the next 20 years, the City's population is expected to
increase by 36,000 new residents and 23,000 new jobs. Where will these
people live and work? While the majority of new residents can be
accommodated through existing zoning and approved or pending development
projects, the City needs to develop recommendations for where approximately
3,000 additional people will live.

Preliminary growth options include focusing development within the
existing City and urban growth area boundaries through new urban villages
and increased housing densities or in new areas through targeted expansion
of the UGA boundaries. Preliminary means just that: input from our residents
and businesses is essential to shape the final strategy. Community values
(e.g. a healthy environment, vibrant economy, and quality of life) and
challenges (e.g. the cost of public infrastructure and affordable housing)
need to be weighed with each option.

Following a brief presentation, participants are welcome to visit “topic
tables” to talk with staff and provide feedback on the tradeoffs associated
with growth options. With the help of the community, an approach can be
developed that maintains and enhances the qualities that make Bellingham

Comments/questions are welcome throughout the planning process. Send an
email to

More Information

For more information, visit

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