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​Buff Black

Urban Village Incentives

​​​A major part of our Comprehensive Plan involves master planning for urban villages. These villages give our community the opportunity to develop a vibrant mix of residential and commercial uses, create a unique redevelopment vision for Bellingham, boost economic development and encourage a safe and attractive pedestrian experience. In short, urban villages offer a smart and sustainable way to grow and improve our community.


Get Fee Reductions, Tax Exemptions and More 

Our experienced Urban Village Team is here to help you through the process! They offer priority review of land-use permits, and will walk you through available financial incentives, such as:

  • Reduced Development Fees: Qualifying projects in Downtown and Old Town are eligible for an up to 50% credit on Permit Fees and System Development Charges, available on a first-come, first-served basis. Qualifying projects must be new construction, at a minimum of 3-stories or 35-feet, or existing buildings of at least 10,000 square feet that comply with the adopted urban village plan.  
  • B & O Tax Reduction: New businesses and branches that locate in Downtown, Old Town, Waterfront, Samish Way or Fountain are eligible for a graduated tax credit of 90% for the first year, 75% for the second year, and 50% for the third year of operation.  Contact the Business License Services / Tax line at 360-778-8012 for more information.
  • The Downtown Main Street Program: This program allows any business to write-off a portion of their State B&O taxes in support of the Downtown Bellingham Partnership (DBP). Contact the DBP at 360-527-8710 for more information.

For more information, contact business@cob.org  or 360-778-8105.


Learn More about Bellingham's Urban Villages