Since 1980, the guide for Bellingham’s growth and development has been the Comprehensive Plan. The plan is a broad statement of the community’s 20-year vision for the future and includes goals and policies to achieve the vision. It guides decision-making and directs implementation actions that support the vision. The plan also demonstrates how the various elements, such as land use, housing, multimodal transportation, economic development, the natural environment and parks, work together to achieve the vision. The next plan update is due in 2025.
Amendments to the plan are allowed only once a year through the establishment of an annual docket.
2016 Comprehensive Plan (Ordinance No 2016-11-037)
On November 14, 2016, the Bellingham City Council adopted the 2016 Bellingham Comprehensive Plan via Ordinance 2016-11-037. The updated plan meets the Growth Management Act (GMA) requirement for cities and counties to update their plans at least every eight years.
2016 Bellingham Comprehensive Plan (Full Version – 29,531k PDF)
- Front Cover
- Land Use Chapter
- Community Design Chapter
- Housing Chapter
- Multimodal Transportation Chapter
- Economic Development Chapter
- Environment Chapter
- Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan
- Capital Facilities and Utilities Chapter
- Whatcom County Land Capacity Analysis Report (2016)
- System Development Charges Survey (2016)
- Countywide Planning Policies (2016)
- Final EIS: Whatcom County 2016 Comprehensive Plan and Development Regulations Update and Urban Growth Areas Review
- City Council Resolution No. 2015-14 regarding 20-year population and employment growth forecasts and UGA boundaries.
- North Bellingham and Urban Growth Boundary Wetland, Stream, Habitat Conservation Area and Buffer Assessment (2015) (1299k PDF)
- Memo on 2014 Comparative Fees and Costs for New Single-Family Residence (2015) (PDF)
- Transportation Impact Fee Staff Report (2015)
- 2016 Comprehensive Plan Update: Public Participation Plan (2014)
- Whatcom County Council’s Nonbinding Multi-jurisdictional Resolution Relating to Population and Employment Growth Allocations (2014)
- Background Research on Selected Economic, Demographic and Housing Trends (2013) – by Berk Consulting
- Whatcom County Population and Employment Projections and UGA Allocations – Phase I Technical Report (2013)
- Interlocal Agreement between Bellingham and Whatcom County concerning Planning, Annexation and Development within the Bellingham UGA (2012)
- Urban Fringe Subarea Plan (2009)
- Environmental Plans
- Stormwater Plan
- Transportation Planning
- Urban Villages
- Wastewater Plan