Chapter 2.42


2.42.010    Established – Authority.

2.42.020    Membership.

2.42.030    Organization – Meetings – Records.

2.42.040    Powers and duties.

2.42.050    Relation to council and planning staff.

2.42.060    Jurisdiction over previous commission.

2.42.010 Established – Authority.

A. There is established a planning and development commission, referred to in this chapter as the commission.

B. The authority of the city to engage in planning and implementation of planning is derived from Article XI, Sections 10 and 11 of the State Constitution and is in accordance with the City Charter. [Ord. 12-89 § 3; Ord. 8304 §§ 1, 2, 1974].

2.42.020 Membership.

A. The commission shall consist of seven members all of whom shall serve without compensation. No member of the commission shall be an elected official of the city or an employee of the city. The members shall be appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the city council. The term of each member shall be four years and no member shall serve more than two consecutive terms; provided, however, where the city council finds it appropriate and in the best interest of the city, the mayor shall have the authority to extend a member’s second term for such period of time beyond the second term as he deems appropriate which in no event shall exceed one year. Present members of the commission shall continue to serve as members until the expiration of their current terms, as provided in this section prior to this amendment.

B. Any vacancy occurring on the commission shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment, and the appointment shall be for the remainder of the unexpired term. The person filling the unexpired term may be reappointed twice. After a public hearing and with the approval of the city council, commissioners may be removed by the mayor for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office.

C. The membership of the commission, should, to the extent practical, reflect a broad range of opinion, experience and expertise with the objective of providing sound advice representative of the citizenry. To achieve that purpose, the membership of the commission should, to the extent practical, include residents from different neighborhoods within the city, citizens of underrepresented and diverse communities, and citizens active in neighborhood or community affairs. Commission members must be qualified electors of the city of Bellingham.

D. No more than three voting members of the commission may engage principally in the buying, selling, developing, construction of, or investment in real estate for profit as individuals or be members of any partnership, or officers or employees of any corporation, that engages principally in the buying, selling, developing, construction of, or investment in real estate for profit. This subsection also applies to professionals, consultants, and advisors for whom a majority of clients and customers engage principally in the buying, selling, developing, construction of, or investment in real estate for profit. The limitation of this subsection includes, but is not limited to: real estate investors (land and real property), realtors, real estate developers, development and environmental consultants, architects, appraisers, construction contractors, and landscapers. This limitation also applies to those who actively engaged in any of these activities or occupations within the last five years.

E. No more than two members shall be engaged in the same kind of occupation, business, trade or profession.

F. The desired composition and limitations regarding membership set forth in subsections (C), (D), and (E) of this section are for the purpose of the mayor appointing and city council confirming members. Subsections (C), (D), and (E) of this section shall not provide a basis for challenging any activity of the commission in the execution of its powers or duties. [Ord. 2018-03-006 § 5; Ord. 2016-12-045 § 1; Ord. 2010-03-020; Ord. 10414, 1993; Ord. 8730 § 1, 1979; Ord. 8304 § 3, 1974].

2.42.030 Organization – Meetings – Records.

A. The commission shall adopt its own rules or procedures and such rules shall be of public record.

B. The commission shall hold at least one regularly scheduled meeting each month. Additional meetings may be called when deemed necessary by the chairman of the commission. All meetings shall be open to the public.

C. Written records of meetings, resolutions, transactions, findings, and determinations shall be kept and such records shall be public. A secretary and other staff shall be provided by the department of planning and community development to prepare minutes, keep records, and perform other duties as prescribed by the director. [Ord. 9352 § 2, 1984; Ord. 8304 § 4, 1974].

2.42.040 Powers and duties.

A. The commission has the responsibility for the preparation and maintenance of the comprehensive plan of the city. The comprehensive plan should provide goals, policies, and guidelines for orderly development of the city to provide a healthy and safe environment for the people of Bellingham. The comprehensive plan must include land use and circulation elements; in addition, the plan may include, but not be limited to, the following:

1. Conservation;

2. Open space, parks, and recreation;

3. Transportation;

4. Public buildings and uses;

5. Public utilities;

6. Redevelopment plans;

7. Urban design; and

8. Other elements that either the commission or the council deems necessary to the plan. The maintenance of the plan is to keep it current and responsive to the needs of the citizens as a whole.

B. The commission has the duty to provide implementation measures to assure compliance with the comprehensive plan. These measures shall include zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations, and any other rules, actions, or regulations deemed necessary to implement the plan.

C. The commission has the responsibility of holding public hearings and inviting public comments and response. To that end, the commission is empowered to organize citizen groups for study and reaction to proposed plans and studies, and engage in any activity that will aid and assist in increasing public awareness and response.

D. The commission is authorized and empowered to cooperate with other commissions and public agencies of the city, county, state or federal governments in planning, conservation and development. [Ord. 8304 § 5, 1974].

2.42.050 Relation to council and planning staff.

The commission shall be advisory only and may communicate directly with the council. The city director of planning shall furnish staff and assistance to the commission in the normal course of events and shall be responsible for the administrative functions of the commission. At the request of the commission, the director may serve as liaison between the commission and council. [Ord. 8304 § 6, 1974].

2.42.060 Jurisdiction over previous commission.

The commission shall have jurisdiction over all matters previously the business of the land use commission. Wherever the terms “planning commission” or “land use commission” appear in any ordinance they mean planning and development commission. [Ord. 8304 § 7, 1974].