Community Development Metrics

Building Permits

Annual Number of Building Permits Issued

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.

Annual Building Permit Valuation

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
Transportation Metrics From
The County Road Administration Board

County Owned Arterial Surface Condition
Whatcom County operates approximately 960 miles of public roads. Arterial roads are the backbone of the system, enabling much of the commercial and domestic activity that we rely on for our high standard of living. Good arterial maintenance is the key to a healthy transportation system. 
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Bride Sufficiency Ratings

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.

Transportation Safety Metrics From
The County Road Administration Board

Fatal and Serious Injury Collisions

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.

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Number of Fatal Collisions Involving Target Zero Priority Factors

While we cannot prevent all accidents, we do our best to focus our resources on causes that have the most serious outcomes. That means paying special attention to how drivers interact with our road system. Most fatal accidents in Whatcom County involve running-off-the road, speeding, impairment, or youth. While the number of impaired drivers involved in fatal accidents in unincorporated Whatcom County is down, we are seeing an uptick in deadly run-off-the road accidents. During the past two years, Whatcom County has focused energy on improving the placement and visibility of signs that mark dangerous curves and corners. 

What is Target Zero? Collision and injury data collected by the Washington State Department of Transportation is used by the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission to create the federally required Washington State Highway Safety Plan "Target Zero". "Target Zero" sets statewide priorities for all traffic safety partners, provides strategies to address identified priorities, and monitors outcomes. 

What is a priority factor? A priority factor is a factor that contributes to a certain level of fatal or serious injury collisions. Priority Level One factors contribute to at least 30% of fatal or serious injury collisions; Priority Level Two factors contribute to at least 10%, and; Priority Level Three factors are associated with less than 10%. Priority Level One and Two factors on county roads include factors such as impairment, speeding, young drivers, and runofftheroad collisions. A fatal collision may involve more than one priority factor, which means that there are more priority factors than total fatal collisions.

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