The Birch Bay attitude towards development and growth within our unincorporated urban growth area (UGA), the short version:
The following values have been identified by the Birch Bay Community through an extensive public review and democratic decision making process since January 2001. These values are those things that will make built-Birch Bay most livable, sustainable and harmonious with the natural environment which are the characteristics that attracted the majority of people to this area in the first place. While these values are in the process of being codified, careful consideration of these values will make new development far more attractive to buyers, customers, visitors and the neighbors and render the area the most livable in the long run. Whatcom County Planning and Development Services has been asked to apply these values to the greatest extent possible when evaluating development projects in the Birch Bay UGA and watershed.
Transportation and Connectivity - All development must be connected to the rest of the community by a grid of bicycle/pedestrian trails as well as roads. Special consideration must be given for safe access to the shoreline by all development, especially if shoreline access is used as a selling point for a development.
Plan now for present and future multi-modal streets and roads that are designed to safely serve motor vehicles, transit riders, pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as for older people, children and people with disabilities. See http://www.completestreets.org/
Stormwater Management - Apply low impact development standards wherever appropriate and always use best management practices/best available science.
Preserve natural resources, view sheds, open space and wildlife habitat.
Use cluster housing, the natural landscape and carefully consider the "Look and Feel" of a place.
Provide pocket/neighborhood parks and pedestrian/bicycle trails for recreation and connectivity within a development.
Provide for the responsible exercise of the family pets including clean-up.
Preserve trees, especially mature trees. Replace trees that have been destroyed by development, add trees wherever possible and recognize that trees add value to property development.
Shoreline Aesthetics - Along the shoreline, protect views with the use of setbacks, height restrictions and the under grounding of utilities. Provide an additional measure of open space, public access and a sense of "Shoreline Aesthetics."