Public comment sought on how fast Bellingham should grow


BELLINGHAM - The public will have an opportunity to make a case for how much Bellingham should grow in the next 20 years.

The City Council will hold a hearing on city population forecasts at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4, at City Hall, 210 Lottie St.

City staff and the Planning Commission have recommended different projections to the council. Staff is calling for the "medium growth" scenario of 121,505 Bellingham residents in 2036, saying it is the most likely. The Planning Commission recommended the "high growth" number, 129,025. The current population of Bellingham is 93,107.

A majority of the Planning Commission agreed the high-end projection was more in line with the recent growth trend and would reduce sprawl into rural areas by making room for more city residents.

The County Council makes the final decision on growth planning. The plan update is due mid-2016.

Reach Ralph Schwartz at 360-715-2289 or Read his Politics Blog at or follow him on Twitter at @bhamheraldpolitics.

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