We have met the enemy and [s]he is…Permalink +
Thu, Jul 26, 2012, 7:18 am // Larry Horowitz
The enemy - of established single-family neighborhoods in Bellingham - is the person who recently had this to say about the Sunset Commons rezone application for the former DOT property on the south side of Sunset Drive in the Sunnyland Neighborhood:
“You know, a lot of the feedback we got about this neighborhood proposal talked about multi-family not matching the existing development pattern. I understand the concerns about neighborhood character. I really, really do.
“We have the pressure of trying to figure out how to accommodate population in all of our neighborhoods, including Sunnyland.
"So we have to figure out what we’re going to do when opportunities like this [application for increased density and multi-family zoning] present themselves in a single family neighborhood.
“And, to be perfectly honest, the argument that multi-family doesn’t match the existing development pattern is the number one reason to consider multi-family - because we have to put some multi-family in single family neighborhoods. Not everywhere in them, and not unilaterally; sensitively and thoughtfully, but we do have to consider that for the livability of all of our neighborhoods.”
So, let’s break this down:
First, instead of focusing on the “vitality and character of established residential neighborhoods,” our enemy chooses to focus on the “existing development pattern.” Huh? Since when is the existing development pattern equivalent to the vitality and character of a neighborhood?
Second, when our enemy talks about the “pressure of trying to figure out how to accommodate population,” exactly what pressure are we talking about? In terms of accommodating population, does the GMA require the city to do any more than to “identify sufficient land for housing?” [RCW 36.70A.070(2)]
Is our enemy claiming that the city has not identified “sufficient land for housing?”
Really? Then wouldn’t our Comp Plan be out of compliance with the Growth Management Act (GMA)? Is it?
Third, our enemy acts like a developer’s application for an upzone to increase density and allow multi-family development is such a rare and unique thing. What? Aren’t these “opportunities” presented on a regular basis? And doesn’t our Comp Plan already comply with GMA requirements whether or not rezones are applied for and approved? Are density and multi-family upzones actually required for the city to meet its GMA obligations? If not, then where is this pressure coming from?
Fourth, our enemy claims that “the argument that multi-family doesn’t match the existing development pattern is the number one reason to consider multi-family.” Really? The # 1 reason?
Is it possible that our enemy is not familiar with the March 1995 State Senate Bill (SSB) 5567 that amended the same section of the GMA requiring the city to “identify sufficient land for housing?” You know, the same bill that admitted that the GMA wasn’t working? The bill that stated,
“There is concern that these [GMA planning] requirements not only do not adequately protect single-family residential neighborhoods, but increase pressure to rezone established single-family neighborhoods to allow development of apartment buildings and commercial uses.”
So, what did the legislature do? They amended the GMA to require that the housing element of the Comp Plan ensures the “vitality and character of established residential neighborhoods” so as to “protect single-family residential neighborhoods” and prevent the pressures described by our enemy from wrongfully causing “our leaders” to rezone “established single-family neighborhoods to allow development of apartment buildings and commercial uses.”
Is our enemy not familiar with SSB 5567 and the GMA?
Mon, Nov 23, 2015, 5:41 am // Dick ConoboyThe student housing project for 648 individuals called NXNW (North by Northwest) on Lincoln Street is moving forward briskly. This is an update.
6 comments; last on Nov 27, 2015
Mon, Nov 16, 2015, 10:41 pm // John ServaisCouncil to allow three weeks for written comments on tax exemption proposal for high density buildings in quiet Fairhaven neighborhood
9 comments; last on Nov 19, 2015
Mon, Nov 16, 2015, 4:30 am // Dick ConoboyThere is no reason to rush an updated ordinance on ADUs when we do not even know what the current number is or where existing illegal units are…
8 comments; last on Nov 25, 2015
Sat, Nov 14, 2015, 5:33 pm // Guest writerBy Shannon Maris. Detached ADUs - the 'mother in law' mini cottages - are being considered by the city of Bellingham. This impacts every home owner.
3 comments; last on Nov 19, 2015
Wed, Nov 11, 2015, 4:23 am // Dick ConoboySome personal thoughts on thanking our veterans for their service
1 comments; last on Nov 11, 2015
Sun, Nov 08, 2015, 9:25 pm // Guest writerAn overview of Whatcom County's method of processing ballots and counting votes.
2 comments; last on Nov 14, 2015
Fri, Nov 06, 2015, 4:37 pm // John ServaisSatpal Sidhu wins council seat. Virtually all the ballots are now counted. Challenges and a few special are left.
1 comments; last on Nov 06, 2015
Thu, Nov 05, 2015, 9:17 pm // John ServaisJail sales tax is being rejected - and the NO vote is increasing. Sidhu - Kerschner still undecided. Props 2, 3, 9 and 10 all should pass.
1 comments; last on Nov 06, 2015
Wed, Nov 04, 2015, 6:45 pm // John ServaisSecond tally of 10,000 more ballots is in. Jail sales tax is now being rejected. Probably 15,000 or more ballots to go.
2 comments; last on Nov 05, 2015
Wed, Nov 04, 2015, 12:05 am // John ServaisThe first returns - probably 60% of the final vote - shows contradictory propositions passing and most candidate races decided.
7 comments; last on Nov 04, 2015
Mon, Nov 02, 2015, 8:04 am // Dick ConoboyGrowing Veterans was created to empower military veterans to grow food, communities, and each other.
2 comments; last on Nov 04, 2015
Sun, Nov 01, 2015, 9:31 am // John ServaisWhere more substantial evidence is presented against proposition 9 - and why you should vote REJECTED on it.
24 comments; last on Nov 04, 2015
Sat, Oct 31, 2015, 2:02 am // John ServaisAs an independent citizen and political junkie, here is how I am voting - with brief reasons for my choices.
8 comments; last on Nov 03, 2015
Tue, Oct 27, 2015, 6:56 pm // Tip JohnsonThe latest addition and the issue in review
Mon, Oct 26, 2015, 11:39 pm // Whatcom CitizenA perspective on the our changing news system, the consequences, and the challenges for the future. With a suggestion of the solution.
5 comments; last on Oct 28, 2015
Mon, Oct 26, 2015, 3:32 pm // Tip JohnsonWhen they feel you just don't need to know
4 comments; last on Oct 28, 2015
Mon, Oct 26, 2015, 1:57 pm // Tip JohnsonWherein the operative information is $$$ECRET
3 comments; last on Oct 29, 2015
Sat, Oct 24, 2015, 1:26 pm // John ServaisWhatcom group plans meeting workshop to submit comments to Washington Dept of Ecology against Skagit/Bakken oil trains.
6 comments; last on Oct 26, 2015
Tue, Oct 20, 2015, 2:53 pm // John ServaisAfter 126 years in business, Fairhaven Pharmacy closes for the last time at 6 p.m. today. Historic Fairhaven Association to do Halloween photos.
1 comments; last on Oct 20, 2015
Tue, Oct 20, 2015, 9:25 am // John ServaisCounty Executive - and candidate for reelection -Jack Louws has written county officials with his regrets over jail mailer.
8 comments; last on Oct 24, 2015
Sun, Oct 18, 2015, 11:37 am // John ServaisThe jail sales tax proposition is a road to perdition for our county. It is a waste and has been deceptively promoted.
4 comments; last on Oct 20, 2015
Fri, Oct 16, 2015, 4:52 pm // Tip JohnsonWith a smarmy October Surprise
9 comments; last on Oct 19, 2015
Thu, Oct 08, 2015, 7:14 am // John LesowA Canadian radio station is trying to install huge radio towers in Point Roberts for a Canadian audience. Citizen movement has fought them.
Sat, Oct 03, 2015, 2:47 pm // John ServaisJames King to return to Alaska and take job with U.S. Forest Service. Mayor will appoint a new parks director.
1 comments; last on Oct 04, 2015
Fri, Oct 02, 2015, 10:48 am // David CampThe "... new jail just doesn't pencil out", writes a well qualified accountant. A look at the future costs of the proposed jail.
11 comments; last on Oct 09, 2015
Tue, Sep 22, 2015, 4:54 pm // John ServaisThere is a good alternative for a decent jail - but we first must vote down the jail sales tax proposal in November.
5 comments; last on Sep 24, 2015
Sat, Sep 19, 2015, 3:37 pm // John ServaisWendy DeFreest, of Avenue Bread, will open a new "burger joint" called The Filling Station by late October in Fairhaven. It will not be a sandwich cafe.
Tue, Sep 15, 2015, 5:26 pm // Tip JohnsonFEMA camp or new county seat?
13 comments; last on Oct 15, 2015
Sun, Sep 13, 2015, 8:42 am // John ServaisBeware walking RR tracks on the Fairhaven waterfront in the event of unexpected encounter with a high speed train
2 comments; last on Sep 18, 2015
Mon, Sep 07, 2015, 8:06 pm // Tip JohnsonMains a' bursting - Avast!
Wed, Aug 26, 2015, 9:17 am // John ServaisPadden Creek daylighting project strays far from city promises to homeowner that his property would remain intact.
4 comments; last on Sep 05, 2015
Mon, Aug 24, 2015, 4:11 am // Guest writerChristopher Brown guest writes how traditional communal warrior reintegration practices could help our returning combat veterans.
Wed, Aug 19, 2015, 6:55 pm // Whatcom CitizenA Whatcom Citizen writes of protest movements and how our proposed county mega jail is related to them.
15 comments; last on Sep 04, 2015
Wed, Aug 19, 2015, 4:00 am // Dick ConoboyMoves to set the minimum wage to $15, even if successful, are woefully insufficient. And why aren't people speaking out about abusive work scheduling?
2 comments; last on Sep 17, 2015
Mon, Aug 17, 2015, 11:17 pm // Guest writerBruce Radtke, a retired Bellingham librarian, reported to be assaulted by police for handing out leaflets
5 comments; last on Aug 27, 2015
Sun, Aug 16, 2015, 2:39 pm // Guest writerIs the tail wagging the dog? Edward Alexander guest writes on why predictive software for our police needs basic questions answered before purchase.
1 comments; last on Aug 22, 2015
Thu, Aug 13, 2015, 10:29 am // John ServaisNothing in the Herald this morning, so NWCitizen is informing citizens of shootout at Cornwall Park.
1 comments; last on Aug 13, 2015
Sun, Aug 09, 2015, 10:52 am // Guest writerBarbara Perry has been researching the secretive election processes of the Whatcom Conservation District. Really secretive. Probably fraudulent.
1 comments; last on Aug 12, 2015
Tue, Aug 04, 2015, 7:09 pm // John Servais9:52 - final post for tonight. A running blog about the election results on this August evening. Feel free to comment.
8 comments; last on Aug 06, 2015
Tue, Aug 04, 2015, 9:14 am // Dick ConoboyWhile the city deals with permitting on the Hansen rental megaplexes, the council has asked for proposals from staff on design standards for historic areas.
9 comments; last on Aug 07, 2015
Tue, Jul 21, 2015, 11:42 pm // Guest writerEric Hirst provides us all with a well researched report on Whatcom County water issues - rights, Lake Whatcom, ground water and more.
10 comments; last on Aug 12, 2015
Tue, Jul 14, 2015, 3:13 pm // John LesowThe fight to keep Point Roberts from becoming a Radio Tower Farm is not over.
3 comments; last on Jul 22, 2015
Mon, Jul 13, 2015, 4:38 am // Dick ConoboyBellingham police are obviously trained to de-escalate armed confrontations. This is the way it should be.
6 comments; last on Jul 14, 2015
Thu, Jul 09, 2015, 7:27 am // John ServaisLois Garlick has died. For many decades, she and George served as environmental stewards and leaders in preserving wildlife and nature.
2 comments; last on Jul 10, 2015
Wed, Jul 08, 2015, 8:27 am // John ServaisLast minute political maneuvering by liberal council seeks to counter conservative review commission ballot proposals.
1 comments; last on Aug 12, 2015
Tue, Jul 07, 2015, 8:13 am // John ServaisThe Charter Review Commission made Monday evening's meeting their last - and forwarded 8 charter amendments to the County Council
3 comments; last on Jul 08, 2015
Tue, Jul 07, 2015, 4:34 am // Dick ConoboyFor Rent: York neighborhood, new, 7 bedroom single-family home, near WWU. Only $44,000 a year. City planning not paying attention.
6 comments; last on Jul 09, 2015
Mon, Jul 06, 2015, 3:30 pm // John ServaisTwo dirty tricks by the uber-conservative minority on the Charter Review Commission aimed to put their agenda before the council.
3 comments; last on Jul 07, 2015
Thu, Jul 02, 2015, 1:55 pm // David CampTrees are dying for lack of water! Only citizen action can save them.
Thu, Jul 02, 2015, 6:47 am // Dick ConoboyIf your 4th of July holiday is much more quiet this year, you can thank Clay Bulter who passed away at the end of May.
Mon, Jun 29, 2015, 4:00 am // Dick ConoboyThe Samish Neighborhood Plan has been the subject of three undesired rezones in the last year. The city ignores its own guidelines to the detriment of all.
Thu, Jun 25, 2015, 5:00 pm // John ServaisUpdated at 6 pm. Our county justice system has spent 6 years trying to teach Luba Pekisheva that she should not defend herself. Justice denied and miscarried.
8 comments; last on Jul 22, 2015
Mon, Jun 22, 2015, 4:00 pm // David CampA look at the proposal in historic financial context with projections and several questions for the proponents.
8 comments; last on Jul 10, 2015
Mon, Jun 01, 2015, 2:49 am // Dick ConoboyThree extraordinarily large (7-bedroom) single family home rentals are proposed by developers Dave and Jon Hansen on Iron St. in the York Neighborhood.
7 comments; last on Jun 10, 2015
Mon, May 25, 2015, 7:17 pm // John ServaisYoung Chiara spent 3 nights hanging from the anchor chain of Shell Oil's Arctic Challenger as a protest to arctic oil drilling.
Thu, May 21, 2015, 10:50 pm // Tip JohnsonWherein we ponder the fate of humanity
Mon, May 18, 2015, 10:17 pm // John ServaisJoy Gilfilen is challenging incumbent Jack Louws for County Executive.
4 comments; last on May 20, 2015
Fri, May 15, 2015, 5:10 pm // John ServaisRunning update of who is filing for office in Whatcom County. Posts during day Friday and final update Friday evening.
4 comments; last on May 17, 2015
Wed, May 13, 2015, 4:30 pm // John ServaisUpdated | Ski to Sea race does not need to race through sensitive Chuckanut Community Forest Park for special mountain bike leg. City did not renege.
10 comments; last on May 15, 2015
Sun, Apr 26, 2015, 1:05 pm // Guest writerTani Sutley writes a second article on the increasing number of vacation rentals - and the County Council bill to let them expand dramatically.
4 comments; last on May 02, 2015
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