Review & Evaluation Program (Buildable Lands)

The Washington State legislature amended the Growth Management Act (GMA) in 1997 to include a “review and evaluation program,” also known as the buildable lands program (RCW 36.70A.215). At that time, the review and evaluation program applied to six counties: Clark, King, Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish, and Thurston. The State legislature amended the GMA in 2017 to add Whatcom County to the list of counties required to undertake a review and evaluation program (ESSSB 5254).

The review and evaluation program has two main purposes, which are summarized below:

  • Determine whether a county and its cities are achieving urban densities within urban growth areas by comparing growth and development assumptions contained in the county and city comprehensive plans with actual growth and development that has occurred; and
  • Identify reasonable measures, if necessary, to reduce the differences between growth and development assumptions contained in the county and city comprehensive plans with actual development patterns.

Components of the Review and Evaluation Program include updating county-wide planning policies, annual collection of data, developing a buildable lands program methodology, reviewing achieved densities, evaluating land suitable for development, and issuing a final report by June 30, 2022. The information contained in the final Review and Evaluation Program Report will inform the next update of the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan, which is due by June 30, 2025.  

Documents

Documents developed for the Review and Evaluation Program may be accessed by clicking the links below:

*  Stakeholder Interview Summary (May 2019)

*  Background Information and Key Issues Report (June 2019)

*  Public Participation Plan (April 2020)

     *  Final Draft Countywide Planning Policies (October 2020)

     *  Land Owners Survey (September 2020)


Contacts 

Whatcom County and the cities are working together on the Review and Evaluation Program.  If you have questions about the Program, please contact the appropriate planner for your jurisdiction, as shown below:

Bellingham

Chris Behee, Senior GIS Analyst, cbehee@cob.org or 360-778-8346

Blaine

Stacie Pratschner, Community Development Services Director, spratschner@cityofblaine.com or 360-332-8311

Everson

Rollin Harper, Everson City Planner, rollinh@sehome.com or 360-733-6033

Ferndale

Haylie Miller, Community Development Director, hayliemiller@cityofferndale.org or 360-685-2367

Lynden

Heidi Gudde, Planning & Community Development Director, guddeh@lyndenwa.org or 360-354-5532

Nooksack

Rollin Harper, Nooksack City Planner, rollinh@sehome.com or 360-733-6033

Sumas

Rollin Harper, Sumas City Planner, rollinh@sehome.com or 360-733-6033

Whatcom County (for properties outside city limits)

Matt Aamot, Senior Planner, maamot@co.whatcom.wa.us or 360-778-5939

Contact Us

Matt Aamot
Senior Planner
Email
Phone: 360-778-5939
Staff Directory