The Building Industry Association of Whatcom County (BIAWC) is a private, non-profit trade organization of builders, remodelers and other businesses related to the home building and construction industry. Founded in Bellingham in 1978, BIAWC serves the interests of the industry in governmental affairs, professional development, social and networking opportunities and community service. Our Master Remodelers® Council focuses on programs of particular interest to those who specialize in remodeling.
BIAWC is governed by a Board of Directors elected annually by the membership. Standing committees and specially appointed member groups assist and advise the President and the Board on programs and policy development. A professional staff carries out the day-to-day needs of the Association and its members.
WHY BECOME A MEMBER
Meetings, Events & Announcements
Gov. Inslee’s veto will slow economic recovery: With new housing construction starts at 1981 levels, the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) is surprised and disappointed that Governor Inslee vetoed legislation on May 21 that would have created jobs, improved the economy and increase local and state revenues – all critical issues he has consistently heralded as his top priorities. The bill in question would have deferred impact fee payments statewide. The fees would not have changed, just the timing,
Action steps for Bellingham -- Building a Stronger Industry & Community: The BIAWC approached Bellingham’s Mayor Kelli Linville in January 2013 with a proposed action list of items we feel could improve conditions for the local homebuilding industry, and in turn support our local community and economy. The mayor’s reaction was positive, and some of these items were passed on to city staff. On April 30, 2013, BIAWC presented this, more formalized list.
Keep citizens involved in water resource planning: On March 21, years of effort by many local water interests got results as Whatcom County Executive Jack Louws stated publicly that the proper vehicle for local public participation in water resource planning, known as the Water Resources Inventory Area No. 1 planning unit, should be restored to its statutory role per the state Watershed Planning Act. An analysis by BIAWC member Roger Almskaar.
Progress on Comp Plan Rewrite: The 2016 Comp Plan rewrite process is getting started earlier this time around than it did back when this area’s current plans were drawn up, and seems much better organized. There was an introductory session March 19 in Lynden – here’s a report. ?xml:namespace>
Waterfront Planning: A two-month schedule of Waterfront District development meetings began March 14 with a city/port staff introduction to the Planning Commission. Here’s a report and a meetings schedule in which you can participate. ?xml:namespace>
Reconveyance passes: The Whatcom County Council held a 5-hour hearing March 12 on the reconveyance of 8,844 acres of state trust land on Lake Whatcom, returning the land to Whatcom County for use as a park. The Council voted at the end to approve the resolution favoring reconveyance. Here’s a report on that meeting.
VOTE "No” on PROP. 1: A little-discussed election is coming up Feb. 12 in Bellingham. Voters on the South Side are being asked to create the "Chuckanut Community Forest Park District,” purportedly to raise property taxes in southwest Bellingham to help pay for Chuckanut Ridge. We are hearing the comment, "Don’t worry, this is just like the Greenways levy.” But it is nothing like the Greenways levy.
BIAW’s 2013 Legislative Priorities: Our state organization, the Building Industry Association of Washington, will be pursuing these issues during the upcoming legislative session. Contact your senator and representatives if you have comments or concerns.
Metropolitan Park District – Feb. 12 ballot issue: Southside Bellingham residents are being asked to create a new junior taxing district, the "Chuckanut Community Forest Park District,” which would tax them to help pay for the city’s purchase of Chuckanut Ridge. Ballots will be sent out Jan. 24. Here’s information to consider.
BIAWC Blog: Bellingham is making its first allocation from the city's new "Low Income Housing Levy," and the money will not be used for housing. Taxes that voters were told would be earmarked for rental assistance to low-income residents will instead be set aside for use in a variety of other social service projects.
Oct 24 BIAWC letter to the Gateway Pacific Terminal "scoping" agencies. BIAWC has not taken a stand for or against the proposed export terminal. We do, however, oppose a cumulative EIS, because of the issues involved with obtaining accurate data for such an analysis, and because setting such a precedent could prohibit any local industrial projects in the future. For a "sustainable" future, we need a strong and sustainable tax base and continuing source of living wage jobs.
June 5th Report on Homelessness. This was prepared by the Health Department's Housing Program, which coordinates programs and money with a host of other local agencies and services. They do a homeless count every January that staff believes is accurate.
July 3 2012 BIAWC letter to County Council on the proposed Rural Elementchanges to the county's Comprehensive Plan,
Growth, Sprawl, and Infill – The Padden Trails project
By Ken Mann, Whatcom County Council member, April 5, 2012.
BIAWC's Linda Twitchell on "Infill or Sprawl in Bellingham?"
BIAWC has written a paper on Gateway Pacitic Terminal, in an attempt to answer members' questions about the project. The intent is not to take sides, but to present facts as we understand them about the proposed bulk commodity port at Cherry Point.
BIAWC supports a variety of professional designations -- Certified Graduate Remodeler/Builder/Associate, Graduate Master Builder, Certified New Home Sales Professional, Residential Construction Superintendant, Certified Aging In Place Specialist, and Certified Green Professional -- by offering credited courses in cooperation with BIAW. To request that training for any of these professional designations be scheduled in Whatcom County, contact Linda Twitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 671-4247.