Bellingham launches 2-year update to downtown master plan

The city of Bellingham recently launched a two-year community outreach and planning effort focused on the Central Business District. The project will create a new Downtown Plan to replace the 2002 City Center Master Plan.

The first phase of the outreach effort, dubbed “myDowntown,” was launched in late September and includes an online survey and activities and prizes at the Bellingham Farmers Market.

“We want to hear what you love about downtown and what you wish for downtown,” Bellingham Mayor Dan Pike said in a press release. “We want to hear how you use downtown, how you get around downtown, and what your business needs to thrive downtown. We want to know what investments you think the city, community groups and private organizations can make to boost our downtown, to make a great place even better.”

Information gathered this fall about what is and is not working downtown will feed into the next phase of the Downtown Plan process, when Bellingham residents, business owners and others will be invited in early 2012 to come together to absorb feedback offered by the community, share more ideas and create solutions.

By mid-2012, city officials expect to be formulating a draft Downtown Plan for review by community members, stakeholder groups and city advisory committees. A final plan is expected to be presented to the Bellingham Planning Commission and Bellingham City Council for consideration during the first half of 2013.

When completed in 2013, it will be a framework for future investments, amenities and improvements to be made by the city and others. The new Downtown Plan will incorporate and reinforce broad Comprehensive Plan goals and policies, formalize a sub-area plan for the downtown core district and revise development regulations.

For more information about the Downtown Plan, visit

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