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Building Permit Allocation

RD Endorses a Building Permit Allocation Program:  RD promotes and supports a Building Permit Allocation process that can both pace growth over 20 years and set priorities for the types of development the community values.


Implementing a Building Permit Allocation (BPA) system would regulate the pace of new growth by limiting the number of building permits granted in a given year to a percentage of the projected growth of new residents in 20 years. By spreading growth more evenly over time, a tiered BPA would create stability and protect our construction trades workers from the boom-or-bust cycles experienced by our local fishing and logging industries. We would also be able to set land-use priorities among the proposed projects and provide incentives for different types of development the community wants and values, for example adequate numbers of variably priced homes in our city, while preserving green space and protecting rural land from urban sprawl. The laws of supply and demand can work for the community to create a range of housing prices, so first home buyers have real options in Bellingham for the future.


Building Permit Allocation Program Needed:  In an August 2006 article, John Leslow (an RD board member) discusses the advantages of a building permit allocation program and how it worked it other places.  Building Permit Allocation Program


County Rejects Building Permit Limits:  This 2006 Whatcom  Independent article discusses the County Council's refusal to impose building permit restrictions.  Known as the 5% solution, the proposed ordinance would authorize 5% of the building permits to be issued each year for 20 years. No Limit on Building Permits


Quality of Life Standard for Development:  Dave Pros wrote a short article urging the adoption of a "quality of life" standard for development.  He recommends determining the environment the public wants decades in the future and then plan now to achieve that goal.  Quality of Life Planning