University Ridge Student Housing - What is it?

Permalink +

Mon, Feb 25, 2013, 7:54 pm  //  Dick Conoboy

Coming soon (fall of 2014) to the Samish and Puget Neighborhoods may be a privately-owned student housing project of four buildings. It will have 164 units (allowed density is 176 units) and be designed to hold nearly 600 students, there will be parking for 433 automobiles.  The complex, named University Ridge, would occupy about 11 acres of land in a now-wooded area between Puget St and Nevada St. just north of Consolidation Avenue.  The multi-family zoned area is entirely within the Puget Neighborhood, however, the single viable entrance to the housing area is on Consolidation Ave. at the extreme southeast corner, and thus cars would enter and exit into Samish Neighborhood via Consolidation or 44th Street as most seek to travel to the WWU campus or the Lincoln Park-n-Ride.  (See the site aerial photo above and proposed site layout below.)

According to their own documents, the developers, the Ambling University Development Group (AUDG), are providers of private student housing with more than 60 such developments nationwide.   In the case of University Ridge, AUDG claims there is no connection between WWU and this development that would house not only WWU students but also those from WCC and BTC. This seems problematic given the distance from the campuses of WCC and BTC. Student status would be verified with the various schools. This notably upscale complex would contain both two and four bedroom furnished units, each with a common living area.  Each bedroom, rented separately, would have its own bath.  Likely monthly rents according to AUDG, would begin around $650 per bedroom for the 4 bedroom units and somewhat higher for the 2 bedroom units. The developers assert that on-site management would be provided by the Ambling Management Company that manages student housing in 22 states.

With respect to this development, several issues of importance to residents of both Puget and Samish Neighborhoods leap to mind immediately.  They include, but are not limited to: water runoff, traffic and noise with likely resultant loss in property values. The acreage is a transition zone between purely single-family zoned neighborhoods to the east and south and the apartments/commercial development west and north at Lakeway Dr. and Lincoln St.  Approval of this development would place very high density housing directly adjacent to single family homes with no intermediary buffer. Much more suited to the area is some transitional, affordable, owner-occupied housing in the form of cottage homes, duplexes, triplexes or town homes. These housing types are already defined in the Infill Tool Kit, a package especially designed for use in such transitional areas to help create the much sought after “urban village.”  The city has been pushing for the use of the Tool Kit and this location would be an ideal fit under the rationale for creating the Tool Kit in the first place – urban villages.  Indeed, the Puget Neighborhood Plan calls for working toward the creation of an urban village around the intersection of Lincoln St. and Lakeway Dr. 

The water runoff matter may be very much underestimated by the developers.  Already the runoff from impervious surfaces from the Pacific View development to the east causes sheets of water to cascade down Consolidation onto Puget St. and wash out the dirt and gravel at the road edges.  Overflow from this water further descends onto the 11 acre parcel below causing drainage issues for the existing homes along the east side of Nevada St.  Creating substantially more impervious surfaces between Puget St. and Nevada St. with the construction of large parking lots and buildings with extensive footprints does not make sense.  The developers are counting on containing the runoff in a large vault to be built under one of the parking lots on the Nevada St. side of the complex.

The traffic produced by over 400 vehicles is likely to prove excessive for the existing street system.  All cars must enter and exit the development from a single point on Consolidation Ave. where it meets 44th St. and Nevada St.  These roads serve essentially a single family zoned neighborhood, with the exception of a short portion of Nevada St. near Consolidation Ave. They were not designed for such heavy use. The northern portion of Nevada St. that leads to Lakeway Dr. has no sidewalks and the paved roadway is very narrow, with either limited shoulders or, in some places, none at all.  Exiting westbound onto Lakeway Dr. in heavy commuter traffic would necessitate the placement of a traffic signal at the very minimum.  Additionally, there will be the constant thrumming of traffic as vehicles pour onto Consolidation in the morning and return through the same constricted entrance in the late afternoon and evening.  [Note: Emergency access would be provided by an existing right-of-way onto Nevada St between two single family homes.] Given the varied nature of student schedules, traffic may be constant throughout the day. School is not a 9-5 job. It is a good bet that traffic will be considerable even into the late night on weekends and holidays. Quiet enjoyment will be out the window for the present homeowners.

Enforcing our noise ordinances is not a hallmark of the city of Bellingham.  Unfortunately, this complex would become a noise maker of major proportions.  Din from the city and Interstate 5 below already drifts up the hillside to Puget St. and beyond.  600 residents going about daily living, having parties, driving cars and playing outdoors (the developer wants to create common areas outdoors for grills and heated spas, etc.) will produce racket (loud conversations, shouting, singing, music, etc.) that cannot realistically be stopped at the property line. A parking overflow of cars along Nevada St. is sure to follow as non-residents visit by the hundreds on the weekends or in the evenings with the door banging, horn honking, shouting, littering and public urination that comes with many off-campus student gatherings.  A good deal of this disturbance may well be in the streets around the complex, making problem behaviors out of the jurisdiction and control of the on-site managers.  All they can do is call the police, as do residents now. Regrettably, law enforcement in Bellingham usually does not have sufficient personnel to respond effectively to such “low priority” calls. 

The agent for the developer held a meeting on January 3rd with the Puget and Samish Neighborhood residents that was well attended.  Homeowners along Nevada St., immediately to the west of the planned complex are particularly incensed about the enormous consequences of a project this size, literally looming over their houses and backyards.  A recent Puget Neighborhood meeting, at which city planner Kathy Bell was in attendance, was quite animated as homeowners vented their concerns. 

The developers are not without hurdles and have applied for a variance in order to increase the allowable height limit on the two buildings nearest Puget St.  The code limit is 35 feet and the developers want a variance to allow buildings with a height of 58 feet.  This 60% increase in building height will have view consequences for Puget St. homeowners.  Surely the developers knew of this restriction when they acquired the property. Now, they want a rescue in the form of a variance from the city to the detriment of the neighborhood. Since the developers have already spent time and money on this project, presumably with a confidence that the variance will be granted, one detects a certain arrogance on their part that we frequently see in these cases.  The attempt to rezone Padden Trails from single family to multi-family was one such example. Fortunately, those developers bet and lost, but only with enormous pushback from the Samish Neighborhood and several abutting neighborhoods. There will be a hearing on the University Ridge variance in front of the hearing examiner on March 20th.  Unfortunately, the hearing is on the question of height only and NOT on the feasibility/desirability of the project as a whole.  Without this variance, the developer faces a serious problem that limits the building height of the two structures nearest to Puget St. to the equivalent of three floors. The loss of two floors will substantially reduce the number of units for AUDG and will likely bring into question the project’s viability. 

The developers are scheduled, as of now, to submit a formal application for the project on February 27th.  The city then has 28 days to determine if the application is complete.  After that period, a notice will go out asking for public comments. This comment period is 14 days. If substantial issues are raised during this time, they could trigger a Planning Commission meeting (likely with more public comment) on the project after the planning staff has submitted its recommendation. Planning Commission involvement or not, the city’s Planning Director is the final arbiter on issuing a permit to proceed with the construction although appeals can be made to the hearing examiner and eventually to the court system, if need be.  Regrettably, we all know how costly these appeals can be for the individual neighborhoods that are supported only by volunteers and that do not have the financial means to pursue such litigation in face of well-financed developers with permanent staffs.

One can assume the developers have done their homework and there is a market for these units.  $650 for a bedroom is not cheap.  That translates to nearly $8,500 per year per bedroom, on top of the ballooning tuition of the last several years at WWU. This upscale complex is not likely to attract students now renting in the $300-$400 range where multiple renters pool their assets to be able to afford the monthly cost.  You can now rent a home for about $1500 per month and share the cost.  You could move into a 4 bedroom unit at University Ridge but the effective, combined monthly cost for that unit will be over $2500. Moreover, how many students will be willing to move into an apartment that is, according to the developers’ claim, to be tightly managed with on-site personnel 24/7?  Doesn’t this sound a lot like the controlled dorms at WWU that most students avoid like the plague after their freshman year?  Freedom calls.

We also need to ask ourselves a larger question about infill and the apparent incoherence when viewing some recent events.  The recent attempt to stuff the Infill Tool Kit into the Padden Trails development at the extreme south edge of the city was defeated, as I alluded to above, only after a protracted series of city council meetings and a vociferous challenge by the Samish Neighborhood. The city’s planning staff and the Planning Commission provided few objections to this inappropriate “edgefill” project even in the face of its violation of the city’s own policies on infill (read the Comprehensive Plan). The move to create anything that looks like an urban village at Barkley was, in effect, trumped by the building of an enormous cinema with acres of parking that goes unused most of the time.  This would have been an ideal location for the Infill Tool Kit, but instead we have created an auto-centric “entertainment” spot that will eventually attract investors to add strip-mall type buildings to justify and maximize the use of the now empty parking lot.  At this time, we have an upscale University Ridge high density development proposal that necessitates a variance to be built. This plan does not respect the transitional nature of the site and prevents using the Infill Took Kit as it was intended to be used. The Tool Kit is an ideal solution and avoids all the folderol with respect to a variance. There is talk on the council of revisiting the code on the Infill Tool Kit for use in single family neighborhoods, as it has not been used by developers to date.  I would first ask for a review of the coherence of the entire infill planning process and a study of the current and definite density of the neighborhoods before any additional densification is approved.

 In the meantime, the city needs to put the kibosh on this super-dorm.

Rick Anderson  //  Tue, Feb 26, 2013, 1:54 pm

Dick,
Are the developers allowed to restrict rentals to students only?  At the proposed rental rates this project could likely end up something quite different than student housing


Dick Conoboy  //  Tue, Feb 26, 2013, 5:01 pm

Rick,

I asked the same question to Ron Jepson, who is spearheading this project for Ambling.  He said it fell under dormitory use. 

I found the following in the BMC under conditional uses in Residential-Multi:  BMC 20.16.020 B 3:

a. Definition—a structure used for the purpose of providing lodging or lodging and meals, for persons other than those permitted under the “family” definition. This term includes dormitories, cooperative housing and similar establishments but does not include hotels, motels, medical care facilities, or bed and breakfast facilities.

b. Conditional in Residential Multi general use type.


c. Special requirements:

i. The maximum occupancy shall not exceed one person per 250 square feet of ground area.

ii. Parking shall be provided off an alley if one is available. Such alley must be improved to a standard where it is dust free, well drained, and at least 10’ in width.

I assume the attorneys for Ambling have done their homework.  I am not about to hold their hand.


Wendy Harris  //  Wed, Feb 27, 2013, 1:30 am

This project caught my attention because a variance is a very unusual permit. I have listed below the code provision that applies. You can see how difficult it should be to satisfy the variance criteria. The applicant has no special circumstances and is not being deprived of property rights and privileges. The only reason the applicant wants to build up, rather than out, is because it is cheaper.  The whole design is cheap and ugly.. intended to maximum how many people can be squeezed into smaller than otherwise permissible units, in an inappropriate location. And according to the revised variance application, you would think that the neighborhood has embraced this project. And all of this on an undeveloped lot.

Please comment as part of the variance process based on applicant’s failure to meet the below requirements. If approved, this will set a very bad precedent. The applicant should be forced to file an application for a zoning amendment to increase building height.


20.18.020 - VARIANCE CRITERIA

A. Variances can be granted by the Hearing Examiner if the applicant proves to the Hearing Examiner that the following criteria are satisfied:

      1. Because of special circumstances, not the result of the owner’s action, applicable to the subject property, (including size, shape, topography, location, or surroundings) the strict application of the provisions of this ordinance is found to deprive the property of rights and privileges enjoyed by other property in the area and under the identical land use classification; and

      2. That the granting of the variance will not be unduly detrimental to the public welfare nor injurious to the property or improvements in the vicinity and subarea in which the subject property is located.

      3. That the subject property cannot be reasonably used under the regulations as written.


Wendy Harris  //  Wed, Feb 27, 2013, 1:39 am

The link for the revised variance application is provided in Dick’s post.  Check out page 6 to see the pathetic justification provided for why the applicant is entitled to a variance.


Dick Conoboy  //  Wed, Feb 27, 2013, 9:33 am

Wendy,

Thanks for your comments which were, as usual, spot on. The reality is that the neighbors are enraged at the prospect of this monstrosity and that the justifications under the variance criteria are empirically unsupportable.  When I was in the Army, we referred to such things as a blivit. + Link


Something Gristly to Chew On: The rest of the story -

Thu, Oct 23, 2014, 11:01 am  //  Tip Johnson

It's just how things roll in Whatcom County

3 comments; last on Oct 25, 2014

Point Roberts vs. the FCC:  Modern David and Goliath

Wed, Oct 22, 2014, 2:44 pm  //  John Lesow

Update Oct 22: John Lesow has posted a comment with considerable more information on this issue.

1 comments; last on Oct 22, 2014

Johns Repair

Specializing in German vehicles...

Tune in TONIGHT for Political Comedy

Tue, Oct 14, 2014, 6:36 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley does a local political comedy show

1 comments; last on Oct 15, 2014

Bham Planning Director - Rick Sepler Chosen

Wed, Oct 08, 2014, 6:24 pm  //  John Servais

Three final candidates for Bellingham Planning Director spoke today at a cozy 'meet and greet' of government employees and developers.

6 comments; last on Oct 11, 2014

The Business of Government

Sat, Oct 04, 2014, 12:23 pm  //  Tip Johnson

Wherein we see that sometimes government can do what business can't.

9 comments; last on Oct 07, 2014

Rental Conditions -  A Real Estate Inspector’s View

Fri, Oct 03, 2014, 10:26 am  //  Dick Conoboy

An experienced real estate inspector provides a window to the dangeroous conditions found in rentals in Bellingham

3 comments; last on Oct 05, 2014

Few Surprises at the Tea Party Debate

Thu, Oct 02, 2014, 2:33 pm  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley files a full report of the Tea Party debate for State Leg candidates

1 comments; last on Oct 04, 2014

Satpal Sidhu, Candidate for State Representative, 42nd District

Tue, Sep 30, 2014, 8:00 am  //  Guest writer

Wherein a Fulbright scholar, professional engineer and successful business owner files for public office

4 comments; last on Oct 02, 2014

Hickory, Dickory, Docketing…Yet Another Spot Rezone

Mon, Sep 22, 2014, 5:07 am  //  Dick Conoboy

Last Thursday, the Planning Commission voted to recommend the docketing of the spot rezone of 801 Samish from Residential Single to Commerical Planned (non-retail)

6 comments; last on Oct 03, 2014

Samish Way Experience - Drug Dealing Dangers?

Wed, Sep 17, 2014, 10:26 am  //  John Servais

We post a disturbing report of a personal encounter along Samish Way, with the permission of John Stark, who experienced it.

2 comments; last on Sep 17, 2014

Who Will Be Appointed to Lehman’s City Council Seat?

Tue, Sep 09, 2014, 8:21 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley and John share the short list of who might replace Cathy Lehman on the Bellingham city council on January 5.

8 comments; last on Sep 10, 2014

An Imminent Threat:  The State Plans for CBR Disaster While Counties Punt

Mon, Aug 25, 2014, 11:48 am  //  Terry Wechsler

While the state spends hundreds of thousands of dollars defining risks of crude by rail, Skagit County finds no significant adverse impacts of a crude-by-rail proposal.

1 comments; last on Aug 28, 2014

You can’t fight city hall: city hall doesn’t fight fair

Fri, Aug 22, 2014, 2:06 pm  //  Guest writer

Patrick McKee of the Sunnyland Neighborhood guest-writes about the August 11 City Council slap-dash zoning changes.

2 comments; last on Aug 23, 2014

Good Friends and Neighbors:  What $54 Million Doesn’t Buy, Part 2

Wed, Aug 20, 2014, 4:54 pm  //  Terry Wechsler

Not content with causing massive inconvenience, BNSF is now literally dumping on county residents.

10 comments; last on Aug 26, 2014

Devil In the Details

Sat, Aug 16, 2014, 3:48 pm  //  Guest writer

Judith Green of the Sunnyland Neighborhood guest writes this brief summary of what went wrong with the planning last week.

1 comments; last on Aug 22, 2014

Good Friends and Neighbors:  What $54 Million Doesn’t Buy

Fri, Aug 15, 2014, 7:12 am  //  Terry Wechsler

A massive upgrade of the Cascade [rail] Corridor has left residents stranded and the sheriff asking Washington, DC, to intervene.

7 comments; last on Sep 02, 2014

Reliable Prosperity

Thu, Aug 14, 2014, 3:13 pm  //  Guest writer

Sandy Robson guest writes of the need for real prosperity at Cherry Point, not a destructive short term coal port that destroys the fishing grounds.

5 comments; last on Oct 02, 2014

Fleetwood versus Ericksen: What Happened in Round One?

Tue, Aug 12, 2014, 10:52 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Some Context for the Primary Results

0 comments

The Rule of Law - Bellingham Style

Mon, Aug 11, 2014, 11:31 pm  //  John Servais

Bellingham City Council abruptly changes zoning codes to force Planning Department plan on Sunnyland residents.

7 comments; last on Aug 14, 2014

Final Updated Election Results

Fri, Aug 08, 2014, 10:10 am  //  John Servais

Updated Wed evening. The Tuesday evening 8:20 pm Auditor report on the election is in.

5 comments; last on Aug 08, 2014

Councilmember Murphy’s Proposed Rental Ordinance Is Deeply Flawed

Fri, Aug 01, 2014, 8:00 am  //  Dick Conoboy

Councilmember Murphy's proposal is based on a complaint-based rental ordinance from Tacoma, demonstrated to do little for the health and safety of tenants.

14 comments; last on Oct 01, 2014

Trial by Fire:  A Rising Tide of Civil Disobedience

Fri, Aug 01, 2014, 4:47 am  //  Terry Wechsler

Carefully planned actions are rolling across the state to make the point that it's not OK to expose us to risks associated with CBR.

7 comments; last on Aug 04, 2014

Northwest Citizen Releases Polling of Whatcom Voters

Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 11:40 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Northwest Citizen has conducted a phone poll of likely voters, with some surprising results!

9 comments; last on Jul 29, 2014

Plan Commission & Samish Neighbors Bypassed on Rezone Docketing

Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 7:52 am  //  Dick Conoboy

In contravention of the Bellingham Municipal Code, the City Council will consider on 4 August a last minute docketing request that ignores the Planning Commission and Samish Neighborhood.

1 comments; last on Jul 30, 2014

Sunnyland Planning Process Explained - Partially

Wed, Jul 23, 2014, 10:47 pm  //  Guest writer

Guest writer Mike Rostron explains how Bellingham city planners played loose and illegal with planning processes.

0 comments

City Council Approves Resident’s Sunnyland Plan

Tue, Jul 22, 2014, 7:22 pm  //  John Servais

Sunnlyland residents win one - after a seven year effort. Planning Department failed them and all of us.

2 comments; last on Jul 23, 2014

What Landlords Need to Know about Rental Registration

Mon, Jul 21, 2014, 5:30 am  //  Guest writer

Landlords are so caught up opposing a licensing and inspection ordinance, they cannot see the upside for them in ridding the city of bad rentals.

19 comments; last on Aug 01, 2014

Sunnyland Deja Vu

Fri, Jul 18, 2014, 1:24 pm  //  Guest writer

Judith Green explains how the Bellingham Planning Department is trying to cram their plan onto a neighborhood.

5 comments; last on Jul 21, 2014

Trial by Fire:  Call to Action to Comment on the BP Pier Expansion

Sun, Jul 13, 2014, 2:26 pm  //  Terry Wechsler

Years after BP completed its north dock, the Army Corps of Engineers released a draft EIS and it's really really stupid.

0 comments

Intrado Not to Intrude in Bellingham

Tue, Jul 08, 2014, 8:20 am  //  Dick Conoboy

The city council "persuades" the city administration to withdraw a request for an intrusive police threat warning system

2 comments; last on Jul 08, 2014

Power to the Permit! (or Closely Hold This!)

Mon, Jul 07, 2014, 6:54 am  //  Terry Wechsler

It is time we stop allowing corporations to externalize the costs associated with their risky business practices, and demand more from our regulators who hold the keys to…

3 comments; last on Jul 13, 2014

Manifest Clandestine-y

Mon, Jul 07, 2014, 5:04 am  //  Guest writer

Guest writer Sandy Robson breaks the story of officials from Washington treated to a coal-promoting junket to Wyoming.

2 comments; last on Jul 13, 2014

A Question of Freedom

Fri, Jul 04, 2014, 5:00 am  //  Guest writer

Ferndale's most famous landmark is frequently commented on and is often in the news. Here is their side of the story.

4 comments; last on Jul 07, 2014

Trial by Fire: Lessons Not Learned One Year after Lac-Megantic

Wed, Jul 02, 2014, 5:14 pm  //  Terry Wechsler

On the anniversary of the Lac-Megantic disaster, communities throughout North America rally in solidarity to remember and protest wholly inadequate government response to crude-by-rail's risks.

4 comments; last on Jul 12, 2014

Sins of Omission

Fri, Jun 27, 2014, 9:01 pm  //  Guest writer

In the Weekly, Tim Johnson left out three words in quoting Craig Cole - and his story misleads readers. Guest article by Sandy Robson.

11 comments; last on Jul 01, 2014

DOJ Grant Brings Confusion and Anger to City Council Meeting

Tue, Jun 24, 2014, 10:24 am  //  Dick Conoboy

The Bellingham Police Department wants to purchase "threat assessment" software with federal monies. Citizen comments were vehement and negative. City Council confused.

5 comments; last on Jul 03, 2014

Widespread Slaughter Won’t Work

Tue, Jun 17, 2014, 10:18 pm  //  Tip Johnson

Wherein the failings of a bad policy framework are revealed

1 comments; last on Jun 19, 2014

Fireworks Ban in Bellingham in Effect as of 18 June

Tue, Jun 17, 2014, 7:53 am  //  Dick Conoboy

The possession and use of consumer fireworks are no longer permitted within the city limits.

1 comments; last on Jun 19, 2014

Herald and Weekly Withhold the News

Wed, Jun 11, 2014, 11:39 am  //  John Servais

Wyoming Senators and coal honchos were in Whatcom County June 10 - to hold a news conference with select reporters.

7 comments; last on Jun 20, 2014

Dawn Sturwold Retiring End of Month

Tue, Jun 10, 2014, 11:20 am  //  John Servais

Bellingham Hearing Examiner, Dawn Sturwold, retires in three weeks. Successor selection is hidden from all of us.

3 comments; last on Jun 11, 2014

Stay the Frack Out of Our Forearc Redux

Fri, Jun 06, 2014, 2:07 pm  //  Terry Wechsler

Part 2: Following Ken Oplinger to California, and Home Again

4 comments; last on Jun 19, 2014

The Road to Perdition

Sun, Jun 01, 2014, 12:39 am  //  Guest writer

A Venn diagram where coal, the Endangered Species Act, Republicans, and Wyoming’s Board of Education collide.

2 comments; last on Jun 02, 2014

Feint, Calumny, Solidarity

Wed, May 28, 2014, 3:15 pm  //  Guest writer

A perspective by guest writer Ellen Murphy reflects on the Whatcom Watch and the threatened law suit by Craig Cole.

22 comments; last on Jun 01, 2014

Extracting Profit and Destroying Experience: The Waterfront Plan

Tue, May 27, 2014, 1:23 am  //  Wendy Harris

Why was so little consideration given to the concept of developing the waterfront for eco-tourism?

5 comments; last on Jun 11, 2014

How Park Improvements Generate Heat

Mon, May 26, 2014, 7:51 pm  //  Wendy Harris

City park improvements have implications on the local and global scale.

2 comments; last on May 29, 2014

Montana & Wyoming to WA: Permit Coal Export Terminals… Or Else

Thu, May 22, 2014, 12:10 am  //  Guest writer

Wyoming is ready to try and legally force us to limit our environmental scoping for the Cherry Point coal terminal

4 comments; last on Jun 17, 2014

The Trojan Slaughterhouse and the Scrivener’s Errors

Sun, May 18, 2014, 11:57 pm  //  Wendy Harris

Reckless rezones and far-fetched explanations result in more slaughterhouses and meat packing plants

3 comments; last on May 20, 2014

Who Filed for Charter Review Commission?

Sat, May 17, 2014, 2:34 pm  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley takes a closer look at the Charter Review Commission candidates

2 comments; last on May 21, 2014

Bellingham’s 2013 Water Quality Report: The Facts But Not the Truth

Tue, May 13, 2014, 5:04 pm  //  Wendy Harris

Bellingham's annual water quality report indicates that city hall's propoganda machine is going strong

1 comments; last on May 14, 2014

Stay the Frack Out of Our Forearc

Sun, May 11, 2014, 2:20 pm  //  Terry Wechsler

Part 1: Introduction to the Bellingham Basin’s Potential for Fracking, Earthquakes, and Earthquakes Due to Fracking

3 comments; last on May 14, 2014

Riley scoops Herald - again

Fri, May 09, 2014, 10:02 am  //  John Servais

The Political Junkie for Whatcom County - that would be Riley Sweeney - has Overstreet not running for reelection in the 42nd.

1 comments; last on May 13, 2014

An Imminent Threat

Fri, May 09, 2014, 6:10 am  //  Terry Wechsler

Why Washington must step in and assume lead agency status in Skagit County for the Shell crude by rail proposal.

6 comments; last on Jun 21, 2014

The Whatcom Republicans’ Huge PCO Advantage

Tue, May 06, 2014, 5:52 pm  //  Riley Sweeney

The value of a Precinct Committee Officer . . .

1 comments; last on May 07, 2014

‘Legislative Sausage” or “Slaughter this Ordinance”

Mon, May 05, 2014, 3:34 pm  //  Tip Johnson

Wherein the gyrations of the bid for widespread county slaughter are exposed.

2 comments; last on May 07, 2014

Move To Amend - Persons vs Corporations

Thu, May 01, 2014, 10:21 pm  //  Guest writer

Move to Amend is a national movement to amend the U.S. Constitution and define persons as people and speech as not money.

7 comments; last on Jun 02, 2014

SweenyPolitics:  Fleetwood files against Ericksen

Wed, Apr 30, 2014, 8:20 am  //  John Servais

Riley posted this morning that Seth Fleetwood has decided to challenge Doug Ericksen for state senate in the 42nd District.

1 comments; last on Apr 30, 2014

Planning or Development Commission?

Mon, Apr 28, 2014, 6:28 am  //  Dick Conoboy

Every Bellingham Planning Commission member has ties to development or development-related businesses.

4 comments; last on Apr 30, 2014

“Friends and Neighbors”?

Mon, Apr 21, 2014, 1:59 pm  //  Terry Wechsler

A closer look at Whatcom County's industrial "stewards of the environment."

4 comments; last on Aug 28, 2014

Action Alert for Tonight: Waterfront Wildlife and Habitat Threatened

Mon, Apr 21, 2014, 11:43 am  //  Wendy Harris

The public needs to support city council and request that a waterfront habitat assessment include terrestrial species and habitat connectivity.

0 comments

Water, Water Everywhere, but ...

Sat, Apr 19, 2014, 2:57 pm  //  Terry Wechsler

or How Not to Plan for Future Generations' Water Needs

12 comments; last on Jun 30, 2014

 

Election Info

Candidate Filings

Primary election results

Whatcom Auditor

Coal, Oil & Trains

Community Wise Bellingham

Powder River Basin R. C.

Local Blogs & News

Bellingham Herald

Bham Herald Politics Blog
Bham Politics & Economics
Cascadia Weekly
Ferndale Record
Friends of Whatcom
Get Whatcom Planning
KGMI
Latte Republic
League of Women Voters
Lynden Tribune
MikeatthePort
Northern Light

Twilight Zoning
Western Front - WWU
Whatcom Watch

Local Causes

Chuckanut Community Forest

City Club of Bellingham
Conservation NW
Futurewise - Whatcom
Lake Whatcom
Lummi Island Quarry
N. Cascades Audubon
NW Holocaust Center
RE Sources
Reduce Jet Noise
Salish Sea Org.
Save the Granary Building
Transition Whatcom
WA Conservation Voters

Governments

Bellingham

Port of Bellingham
Skagit County
US - The White House
WA State Access
WA State Elections
WA State Legislature
Whatcom Auditor
Whatcom Auditor
Whatcom County

Weather & Climate

Cliff Mass Weather Blog

Climate Audit
Nat Hurricane Center
NW Radar
Two day forecast
Watts Up With That? - climate

Leisure

Adventures NW

Edge of Sports
Entertainment NNW
Famous Internet Skiers
Recreation Northwest
Sailing Anarchy

Good Web Sites

Al-Jazeera online

Alaska Dispatch
AlterNet.org
Antiwar.com
Arab News
Asia Times
Atlantic, The

Common Dreams
counterpunch
Crosscut Seattle
Daily Kos
Daily Mirror
Doonesbury
Drudge Report
FiveThirtyEight
Foreign Policy in Focus
GlobalPost
Guardian Unlimited
Gulf News
Haaretz
Huffington Post
Innocence Project, The
Intrnational Herald Tribune
James Fallows
Jerusalem Post
Joel Connelly
Juan Cole
Julia Ioffe/New Republic
Le Diplo
Media Matters
Michael Moore
Middle East Times
MoveOn.org
Nation, The
New American Century
News Trust
NMFA
numbers
Online Journal
Palestine Daily
Palestine News
Paul Krugman - economics
Personal bio info
Portland Indy Media
Progressive Review
Project Vote Smart
Reuters
Sea Shepherd
Slate
Stand for the Troops
Ta-Nehisi Coates
Talking Points Memo
TED
The Crisis Papers
The Intercept
the Oatmeal
Tom Paine.com
truthout
Vox
War and Piece
Washington Votes
WikiLeaks.ch
ynetnews.com

NwCitizen 1995 - 2007

Early Northwest Citizen

Quiet, Offline or Dead

Bellingham Police Activity

Bellingham Register
Bob Sanders
Carl Weimer
Chuckanut Mountains
Citizen Ted
Citizens of Bellingham
Cordata & Meridian
David Hackworth
Facebook Port Reform
HamsterTalk
Jack Petree
N. Sound Conservancy
No Leaky Buckets
Northwest Review
Orcinus
Post-Oklahoman Confessions
Protect Bellingham Parks
The American Telegraph
Wally Wonders