Survey open on Birch Bay incorporation


Community organizers who have posted a survey to gauge Birch Bay residents’ interest in incorporation are looking for feedback through Monday, May 8. 

Birch Bay native Matt Berry recently started the Birch Bay Community Political Action Committee with fellow residents to explore the feasibility of incorporating Birch Bay as a city. The survey is the first step in the process to incorporate Birch Bay, something Berry sees as taking years.

“There have been a couple of attempts in the past to do so but now seems like the timing is more right than ever with the amount of growth we’re seeing in the area and concerns of residents that would be better handled by a more directly representative government of people in our area,” Berry said.

The survey had over 110 responses as of April 14, Berry said, adding that many of those have included detailed responses. 

Birch Bay has a population of about 10,000 people, according to the 2020 U.S. Census. This means, if incorporated, it would be the fourth largest city in Whatcom County behind Bellingham, Lynden and Ferndale. 

Berry is following the incorporation guide from the Municipal Research and Services Center (MRSC), a nonprofit that helps local governments in Washington with legal and policy guidance. The survey also asks about annexation to Blaine, which Berry said has been suggested at the county level.

Berry said the residents can provide contact information if they would like to give more input or help with an incorporation attempt if the survey results are positive. 

“The more participation we get, the better to get a feel on the will of the people,” he said.

If the survey has enough support for incorporation, the committee would have many steps to see incorporation including submitting a notice of intent to Whatcom County, circulating an incorporation petition requiring the signatures of at least 10 percent of voters within the proposed city boundaries, deciding on the governing structure, having a feasibility study taken and having the incorporation proposal reviewed by the Whatcom County Boundary Review Board.

“I see it more as the old saying, ‘The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is now;’” Berry said. “This is going to take some time. The conditions seem right now, so why not begin because this is going to take a while?”

The seven-question survey is expected to take no more than five minutes to complete. Visit to take the survey. 


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  • BirchBayNative20

    Just curious if when facts are given, and honest questions are asked.... Are those not considered "Comments" ?

    Friday, April 28, 2023 Report this