Boards, commissions, and committees offer exciting opportunities to support the community, and several volunteer positions are currently available on City of Bellingham boards and commissions.
Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, get involved, and provide essential support to city projects. Volunteers advise policy makers on a variety of topics, from parks to historic preservation to arts and culture.
Current board and commission vacancies are listed below, and to learn more about the board vacancies, visit the boards and commissions webpage. Anyone interested in serving may pick up an application (PDF) from the front desk at City Hall or print one out and return it to the Mayor's office in person, at email@example.com or by fax.
The Bellingham Planning and Community Development Commission conducts hearings on the Bellingham Comprehensive Plan. It reviews and makes recommendations to the City Council on the City's comprehensive plan, neighborhood plans, and urban village plans, as well as on zoning and development regulations. Meetings are held on the first and third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. and last about 2 hours. The average amount of time spent on preparation outside of meetings is an estimated 1.5 hours. Terms of office are four years with a two term limit.
The Design Review Board encourages building design and planning that enhances the character of the city. The DRB reviews proposed development projects in Bellingham's urban villages as well as certain multi-family zones. Meetings are held on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 3 p.m. and last about one to two hours. Additional time to review plans and reports is required prior to meetings. The term of office is up to four years and members may be reappointed to additional four year terms.
The Community Development Advisory Board advises the City, including City Council and the Mayor, on policies, plans, and projects to carry out the Community Development Block Grant Program and the HOME Investment Partnership Program. Meetings are typically held on the second Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. and last about 1 to 2 hours. The term of office is 3 years and members should serve no more than two consecutive terms.
The Historic Preservation Commission maintains a register of historic places, reviews proposed changes to register properties, and raises community awareness of the city's history. This commission is the City's primary resource in matters of history, historic planning, and preservation. Meetings are held twice per month and last about 1 to 2 hours. Time spent outside of meetings is required to review applications and proposals. The term of office is three years and members may be reappointed.
The Bellingham Arts Commission serves as advisors for the enhancement and integration of the arts in the community. There are two vacancies on the Board. Meetings are held the first Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. in the Mayor's Board Room at City Hall.
The Greenway Advisory Committee identifies, develops, reviews, and recommends specific actions regarding the allocation of Greenway Levy Funds. There is one vacancy on the committee. Meetings are held the first Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. in the Fireplace Room in Municipal Court, 625 Halleck Street.
The Watershed Advisory Board advises the City regarding protection, clean-up, and restoration of the Lake Whatcom Reservoir and the surrounding watershed. There are six vacancies on the board. Meetings are held the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at Public Works Operations, 2221 Pacific Street.
The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board provides recommendations on plans and programs for the Department of Parks and Recreation that help make Bellingham a more vibrant place to live. There are three vacancies opening in December. This board holds meetings the second Wednesday of each month at 7 a.m. at the Beach Pavilion at Bloedel Donovan Park.
The Public Works Advisory Board advises the Mayor and City Council regarding Public Works development standards and policies relating to public and private construction. There is one vacancy on the board for the Architect Representative. The board meets quarterly on the second Tuesday of January, April, July, and October at 3:30 in the Mayor's Board Room, City Hall.
The Tourism Commission helps to establish, maintain, and coordinate relationships between agencies promoting tourism to our region and the City. There are two vacancies on the Commission. A subcommittee of the Tourism Commission will serve as the lodging tax advisory committee and makes recommendations on the use of the lodging tax collected in Bellingham. The commission meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at 3 p.m.
The Transportation Commission helps shape the future of Bellingham by taking a long-range, strategic look at transportation issues and providing recommendations on policy choices and investment priorities. There are three upcoming vacancies on the Commission. The commission meets the second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. in the Mayor's Boardroom, City Hall.
Applications and contacts
Candidates must be current residents of the State of Washington, must presently live within Bellingham City limits, and must be a registered voter and a U.S. citizen. Some residency exceptions may apply to certain boards. For questions about the positions, please contact the Mayor's office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (360) 778-8100.