The mission of Planning and Development Services (PDS) is to ensure growth and development occurs in a manner that protects public health, safety and welfare, preserves the natural environment, and ensures the quality of life enjoyed by citizens and visitors in Whatcom County is preserved and enhanced. An important aspect of what PDS does is to review, issue and inspect building projects, our numbers have been on a slow increase over the last few years. Building permits are only a portion of what we do at PDS on our website you can view all of our permit activity reports.
The valuation on building projects is determined by Plans Examining staff during the Building Permit review process. The square footage of the structure is used as a multiplier and the per square foot rate is dependent on the type of project. For example a new single family residence per square foot rate is higher than the rate used for a detached garage. This valuation factors into the fees charged for the permit. You can get more information about how to determine valuation and the permit fees by visiting our permit fee page on our website where you will find a fee estimate worksheet.For Supporting Data Click Here: Excel or PDF
The department provides management and oversight for over 16,000 acres of land comprised of parks, water access sites, preserves, natural areas, greenways and special use areas. Within the parks system there are over 60 miles of hiking, bicycle and equestrian trails. Visitation is tracked at most developed park areas and used to monitor activity, demand and capacity. Visitor counts are also used to assess trends and generally reflect responses to conditions and improvements.
For Supporting Data Click Here: Excel or PDF
Senior Centers provide opportunities for older adults to socialize and maintain active and healthy life styles. Participants can take part in a variety of programs, classes and activities, obtain information on other community resources, and participate in the congregate meal programs.
Attendance is gathered from 8 senior centers in Whatcom County including four full-time centers in Bellingham, Blaine, Ferndale and Lynden and four part-time centers located in Everson, Welcome, Point Roberts and Sumas. The Parks & Recreation Department contracts for services at the full-time centers and provides coordinators at the four part-time facilities. The centers in Bellingham, Ferndale and Welcome are owned and operated by the department. Use of other facilities and locations are in partnership with the various municipalities and park districts. For Supporting Data Click Here: Excel or PDF
The Parks & Recreation Department conducts an annual survey at all 8 senior centers where participants are asked to evaluate a variety of items including overall satisfaction, staff performance and programming. Survey results are used to assess services and trends to better serve participants. For Supporting Data Click Here: Excel or PDF
Moving goods and services by road in a county as watery as Whatcom means bridges - 159 of them to be exact. Our bridges must be maintained structurally safe and functionally adequate to accommodate a rapidly growing number of passenger vehicles and heavier freight traffic than ever before. Our bridges are inspected every year for structural integrity and periodically evaluated for their capacity to meet the demands of a growing community. Click here for more information.
Reducing accidents on our roadways is one of Whatcom County government’s biggest concerns. We do that by enforcing traffic laws, responding rapidly to road emergencies, and improving road infrastructure to safely accommodate the modern mix of cars, trucks, bicycles, and pedestrians. Notable road safety improvements include the use of roundabouts instead of four-way stops, improving poorly functioning intersections, and properly locating crosswalks and bike lanes. Whatcom County has seen a reduction in fatal and serious injury vehicle accidents in recent years.
What is APMVM? APMVM is accidents per million vehicle miles traveled.
What is a serious injury? In Washington State, a serious injury is defined as an injury which prevents the injured person from walking, driving, or continuing normal activities at the time of the collision.
Click here for more information.