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J.E. “Sam” Ryan, CBO

5280 Northwest Drive
Bellingham, Washington 98226
Telephone: (360) 676-6907


Long Range Planning - Urban Growth Areas

Urban growth area (UGA): An area designated, within which urban growth will be encouraged and outside of which growth can only occur if it is not urban in nature. Urban growth areas around cities are designated by the county in consultation with the cities; urban growth areas not associated with cities are designated by the county.

In 2009, Whatcom County completed a review of the County's 10 Urban Growth Areas (UGAs):

7 cities: Bellingham, Blaine, Everson, Ferndale, Lynden, Nooksack, Sumas.
3 unincorporated areas: Birch Bay, Cherry Point, Columbia Valley.
The Ferndale and Birch Bay UGAs were amended in 2010.

For information about this process, please click on the links to the left.

Questions about this project? Please contact Planning and Development Services at or (360) 676-6907