BHC Consultants

1601 Fifth Avenue
Suite 500
Seattle, WA 98101

P: 206.505.3400
F: 206.505.3406



Tacoma Office
950 Pacific Avenue
Suite 905
Tacoma, WA 98402

P: 253.344.5084
F: 253.244.7165



Bellingham Office
1155 N State Street
Suite 528
Bellingham, WA 98225

P: 206.505.3400

Planning - Codes and Current Planning

Project Briefs

Current Planning Services, City of Orting, WA
BHC has served as the “planning department” for the City of Orting since 1992. In addition to long range planning projects, services include participation in the Pierce County Growth Management Coordinating Committee work on updating the county-wide planning policies and preparing the buildable lands reports; representing the City in coordinating with state and local agencies; and assisting in development and land use permit reviews and approvals, including subdivision, master plan review, and conditional use permitting.

On-Call Planning Services, City of Gold Bar, WA
BHC provides current and long range planning services to the City of Gold Bar. Planning services include land use review, preparation of Development Code amendments and SEPA review, and Comprehensive Plan updates. BHC conducted the review of several conditional use permits for recreational and medical marijuana businesses; the process included communication with applicants, review for consistency with the Development Code, Comprehensive Plan and state restrictions, and presentation to the hearing examiner.

Development Code Update, City of SeaTac, WA
BHC Consultants worked closely with City of SeaTac staff on the first major assessment and update of their zoning code since the City incorporated in 1990. This included specific focus areas such as: townhouse development, incentives for smart growth associated with principal use parking within the Town Center and light rail station areas, and permitting procedures for design review, landscaping and tree retention, and infill in existing single-family neighborhoods. In an effort to make the development code more user-friendly for both applicants and administrators, BHC proposed new formatting for the development regulations and overlay zones for the City Center and Station Areas.

Critical Areas Ordinance Implementation Guidebook for Small Cities and Towns, CTED
BHC was selected by the Washington State Department of Community Trade & Economic Development (CTED) in 2006 to create a “toolkit” of information, techniques, and procedures that can be used by small Washington jurisdictions to regulate development in or near identified critical areas.

Critical Areas Guidebook, CTED
BHC prepared model regulations for city and county governments to use in updating their current regulations to meet GMA requirements. The sample regulations were developed integrating best available science provisions for protecting wetlands; fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas; geologically hazardous areas; frequently flooded areas; and aquifer recharge areas. As a part of this project, BHC also adapted the Department of Ecology's model wetlands ordinance to the model critical areas ordinance format to ensure consistency between the two. The model was designed to accommodate the needs of communities in all areas of the state. In response to concerns from local jurisdictions that the model could be interpreted as a mandate, BHC worked with CTED to prepare a critical areas guidebook with general direction on how to develop a critical areas ordinance explaining how the model language can be adapted to each jurisdiction’s needs.

Model Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan Element, CTED
BHC was a member of the consulting team that prepared a guidebook for use by local governments in drafting optional comprehensive plan elements addressing natural hazard mitigation. Guidelines were drafted to aid in linking mandatory GMA plan element provisions to appropriate methods for incorporating hazard avoidance and mitigation within the GMA framework.

Critical Areas Ordinance, City of Sammamish, WA
BHC prepared an update to the City’s critical area regulations that dealt primarily with meeting the best available science requirement. We led a team consisting of planners, geologists, and habitat experts. The assignment was fast-tracked to meet the City’s mandate imposed by the State Growth Management Hearings Board. This included the BAS analysis, public outreach, facilitation of the advisory committee, and drafts for Planning Commission and City Council review and adoption – all within four months. A folio of maps showing critical areas within the city were prepared for the City’s GIS system.