Since 1980, the guide for Bellingham’s growth and development has been the Comprehensive Plan. This 20-year plan includes goals and policies that help city leaders make decisions that support the community’s vision of a more sustainable, equitable, and healthier community. The plan goes through a major periodic update every 8-10 years, with the next due in 2025. Work on this update is underway. More information can be found on the project webpage.
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 (PDF)
- 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