Since 1980, the guide for Bellingham's growth and development has been the Comprehensive Plan. The Plan is a 20-year vision and roadmap for Bellingham's future that sets the framework for the physical, social and economic development of the City. The plan guides decisions on issues such as land use, transportation, housing, capital facilities, parks and the environment. It also sets standards for roads and other infrastructure, identifies how they will be paid for, and establishes the basis for zoning and development regulations. 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.
From 2014-2016, Bellingham leaders engaged residents in conversations about the City's future. Neighbors, business owners, community groups and students provided input on important issues that will shape the character of the community. Visit the 2016 Comprehensive Plan Update webpage for more information on the planning process.