The City of Bellingham has two Code Enforcement Officers that work with property owners to protect the character of the City through the enforcement of Codes relating to the general condition of residential and commercial property and buildings. The officers are responsible for ensuring the more than 24,000 properties within the City are in compliance with the Bellingham Municipal Code (BMC).
The two officers focus on different sections of the BMC. The Neighborhood Code Compliance Officer enforces codes relating to litter, garbage, and junk vehicles, and aids in homeless camp cleanup and recovering found bicycles. The Code Enforcement Officer enforces a variety of codes relating to buildings and construction, land use, environment, business license and registration, parks, streets and sidewalks, and public nuisances. This work is accomplished through a complaint-based system, where the officers respond to complaints from citizens and other City departments. After receiving a complaint, the officer will perform an investigation and determine if a violation has occurred. The officers strive to gain compliance through notification and education, and formal enforcement action is only taken when necessary to gain compliance.