Preserve farm and forest lands by preventing urban sprawl.

Whatcom County should direct our future growth in a way that recognizes the links between land use planning, natural resource protection and economic prosperity. 

If we want to maintain the qualities that make our community a desirable place to live, we must limit sprawl into our rural areas. Our citizens have been clear, we value clean air and water, parks, farms and community character. Whatcom County must protect these values by limiting the expansion of urban areas. 

2016 Comprehensive Plan

On August 9, 2016, the Whatcom County Council adopted an updated Comprehensive Plan. The plan includes policies and language that:
  • Protect Critical Areas such as wetlands or habitat conservation areas from environmental degradation while balancing private property concerns (Policy 11A-4)

  • Develop programs that protect and encourage restoration of habitats essential to endangered or threatened species, and habitats with significant biodiversity and connectivity (Policy 11L2 and 11L14 & 15)

  • Develop a process for when to expand or reduce Urban Growth Areas (UGAs), incorporating a Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) program that sends development rights from rural areas to urban areas for more dense development (Policy 2A-14)

  • Deny expansion of Birch Bay and Bellingham Urban Growth Areas (UGAs).