Development Codes and Incentives

2015-2017 Proposed Code Updates

Building Codes

The International Building Code (IBC) became effective in all Washington State cities and counties in July of 2004, and is adopted by reference into the Buildings and Construction (BMC 17) section of the Bellingham Municipal Code. New code editions are published every 3 years, and each current edition is adopted and amended by the Washington State Building Code Council.  

Here is a complete list of codes adopted by the City of Bellingham. 

Design Standards

The City of Bellingham provides guidance through development and design standards to ensure that development is safe, appropriate for the area, and fits well with adjacent properties.

Land Use Codes


The City of Bellingham offers many incentives to encourage sustainable development and projects that implement community goals.