On April 1, two new areas totaling 249 acres will be added to the City of Bellingham through annexations. The first is the Bennett/Bakerview/Airport Drive annexation area (174-acres), next to the Birchwood neighborhood and west of Interstate 5. The second is the Mt. Baker Highway/Britton Road annexation area (75-acres), next to the Barkley Neighborhood.
Annexation is the procedure for bringing unincorporated areas of a county into an adjacent incorporated city. If an area is annexed, the city becomes the primary provider of local government services. In order to be eligible for annexation, the subject properties must be located within the city's Urban Growth Areas (UGAs), which have been designated by Whatcom County as appropriate for annexation and urban development.
Each time a new area is annexed, the City of Bellingham is required to prepare a population census of all the residents living in that area. In the coming weeks, census takers from the Planning and Community Development Department will be visiting the annexed areas to obtain population and housing counts. The population count is added to the City's total population and allows Bellingham to receive a share of State revenues based on the City's population. These revenues are used to provide municipal services throughout the City.
“The number of people in Bellingham and the surrounding areas is growing. With these annexations, the City will be providing urban-level services to these residents, as well as a say in City government and the policies in our City,” Mayor Kelli Linville said.
Two other areas are currently pending annexation to the City of Bellingham. The Alderwood annexation would include 802 acres near the Birchwood Neighborhood, and the Meridian/Kline/Kelly Road annexation would include 169 acres adjacent to Cordata and Meridian neighborhoods.
The City is inviting the public to attend a community meeting on the Alderwood annexation at 7 p.m. on April 9 at Alderwood Elementary School, 3400 Hollywood Ave. For the Meridian/Kline/Kelly Road annexation, City staff has requested that the petitioners prepare a utility study and address necessary waterline upgrades. This information is still pending submittal to the City.
For more information
The 2018 Annexation Strategy helps provide reference for decisions regarding annexation and UGA boundaries.
For more information on the two areas currently being annexed into the City, as well as the two that are pending, visit www.cob.org/services/planning/annexations/Pages/bellingham-annexations.aspx.
For information for new residents on City of Bellingham services, visit www.cob.org/services/planning/Pages/Welcome-to-Bellingham.aspx.