2025 Comprehensive Plan Update

Review Requirements

The Washington State Growth Management Act (GMA) requires Whatcom County to review and revise its comprehensive plan and development regulations by June 30, 2025 (RCW 36.70A.130(1)).  Additionally, the GMA requires review of urban growth areas (UGAs) under RCW 36.70A.130(3). The UGAs must be able to accommodate housing and employment growth projected for the 20-year planning period. Therefore, Whatcom County has initiated a multi-year project to update its Comprehensive Plan and development regulations by the state deadline.

The Comprehensive Plan and development regulation update process will include:

  • Formulating a public participation plan
  • Analysis under the State Environmental Policy Act (this will likely include developing an environmental impact statement evaluating several land use alternatives) 
  • Advisory committee meetings 
  • Whatcom County Planning Commission work sessions and hearings
  • Whatcom County Council meetings and hearings

More information, including hearing dates, will be added as it becomes available.


 2025 Comprehensive Plan Update  

Current Comprehensive Plan

Planning Department Recommendation 
(Will be posted in the future)

Planning Commission
Recommendations (Will be posted in the future)

 (Will be   posted in   the future)   
 Revised Maps (Will be posted in the future)
  Findings of Fact and
Reason for Action

Chapter 1
 Chapter 1Chapter 1Chapter 1Chapter 1 
Chapter 2 
Land Use
 Chapter 2Chapter 2Chapter 2Chapter  2 
Chapter 3
 Chapter 3Chapter 3Chapter 3  
Chapter 4
Capital Facilities
 Chapter 4Chapter 4Chapter 4  
Chapter 5
 Chapter 5Chapter 5Chapter 5Chapter 5 
Chapter 6
 Chapter 6Chapter 6Chapter 6Chapter 6 
Chapter 7
 Chapter 7Chapter 7Chapter 7  
Chapter 8
Resource Lands
 Chapter 8Chapter 8Chapter 8Chapter 8 
Chapter 9
 Chapter 9Chapter 9Chapter 9Chapter 9 
Chapter 10
 Chapter 10Chapter 10Chapter 10  
Chapter 11
Climate Change and Resiliency (will be a new chapter)
Chapter 11Chapter 11Chapter 11  
Appendix A
 Appendix AAppendix AAppendix A  
Appendix B
 Appendix BAppendix BAppendix B  
Appendix C  
Countywide Planning Policies
Appendix C Appendix CAppendix C  
Appendix D
 Appendix DAppendix DAppendix D  
Appendix E
20-Year Capital Facilities Plan 
 Appendix EAppendix EAppendix E  
Appendix F
Six-Year Capital Improvement Program
 Appendix FAppendix FAppendix F  
Appendix G 
Airport Overlay Zones
 Appendix GAppendix GAppendix G  
Appendix H 
Airport Imaginary Surfaces
 Appendix H Appendix HAppendix H  





Urban Growth Area Review - Jurisdictional Proposals (will be posted at a later date)

  • Bellingham
  • Birch Bay
  • Blaine
  • Cherry Point
  • Columbia Valley
  • Everson
  • Ferndale
  • Lynden
  • Nooksack
  • Sumas