April 16, 2011, Issue
Yes, we just had a GA Advocate last week – but there are a lot of meetings this week, starting today – some of which have just been announced.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
• UPCOMING MEETINGS
• ELECTION DATES
• JUDGE DENIES INJUNCTION REQUEST on FLOOD INSURANCE
• FAIRHAVEN NEIGHBORHOOD and URBAN VILLAGE PLAN
• PADDEN TRAILS
• BELLINGHAM COMP PLAN – new Environment Chapter
BELLINGHAM CITY COUNCIL
Monday, April 16, 7 p.m.
Planning & Community Development Committee, 1:55-3 pm
1. Update on Homeless Service Center – AB19527
2. Update on 1100 Cornwall Avenue project – AB19528
3. Final consideration of a new City/County interlocal agreement concerning planning, annexation and development review in Bellingham’s urban growth area. (The County Council approved this March 22; the city is taking a final look.) – AB19376
And on Padden Trails – 2 items to be introduced only and then moved to the Regular Meeting in the evening:
4. A Comprehensive Plan Amendment and Rezone for approximately 113 acres in Areas 5 and 6, Samish Neighborhood. Applicant: Free Spirit Enterprises, LLC. Owner: Padden Trails, LLC – AB19483
5. Development Agreement associated with a Comprehensive Plan Amendment and Rezone for approximately 113 acres in Areas 5 and 6, Samish Neighborhood. Applicant: Free Spirit Enterprises, LLC. Owner: Padden Trails, LLC – AB19484
Monday, April 23 – next regular meeting
Thursday, May 3, at noon in City Council Chambers
Joint meeting of the Bellingham City Council and the Port of Bellingham Commissioners.
Monday, May 7, at 7 pm in City Council Chambers
Public Hearing on a rezone of property between Area 5 of the Happy Valley Neighborhood and Area 2A of the Fairhaven Neighborhood in the 1400 block of 14th Street from residential to commercial.
Monday, May 14, at 7 pm in City Council Chambers
Public Hearing regarding an amendment to the City’s Comprehensive Plan to add a new Environment Element Chapter.
WHATCOM COUNTY SURFACE WATER WORK SESSION
Tuesday, April 17, 10:30 a.m.
Civic Center Building, Garden Room
BELLINGHAM PLANNING COMMISSION
Thursday, April 19, at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers
A public hearing on the proposed Fairhaven Neighborhood and Urban Village Plan. To see materials, click here. A work session is scheduled on these plans on April 26.
WHATCOM COUNTY COUNCIL
Tuesday, April 24, regular session at 7 p.m.
Next regular County Council meeting is May 8.
WC PLANNING COMMISSION
Thursday, April 19
• Extra work session on the Rural Element Update – amendments to Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan Chapters One (Introduction) and Two (Land Use); amendments to Whatcom County Code Title 20 (Zoning); amendments to the official zoning map. To see materials, click here.
Thursday, April 26 at 6:30 p.m. in County Council Chambers
• Public Hearing on the Rural Element Update – see above.
• Adoption of Findings of Fact regarding: File #PLN2011-00015-Lake Whatcom Watershed Overlay District
NEXT GAC MEETING – 11:30 a.m. Thursday, April 26
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• May 14: First day for all candidates to file for office
• May 18: Final day for all candidates to file for office
• July 9: Last day for mail in and online voter registrations and transfers for the August Primary.
• July 20: Ballots mailed for the August Primary
• August 7: Primary Election. With Washington's Top 2 primary system, many races could effectively be decided on Aug. 7 rather than Nov. 6, so participation is vitally important.
• October 8: Last day for mail in and online voter registrations and transfers for the November General Election.
• October 19: Ballots mailed for the November General Election
• November 6: General Election. At a state level, are 22 open legislative seats in play and many other vital races on the ballot. We encourage you to register to vote and participate in this year's elections.
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JUDGE DENIES INJUNCTION REQUEST on FLOOD INSURANCE
In a victory for your association, April 12 United States District Court Judge Ricardo Martinez denied a National Wildlife Federation (NWF) request for a Preliminary Injunction against the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from issuing flood insurance policies. Your association, with backing from the National Association of Home Builders, supported a coalition that participated as an intervenor in the case, known as Property Owners for Sensible Floodplain Regulations. Several Puget Sound area cities also intervened in the case.
In denying the request, Judge Martinez wrote "Plaintiff has not provided any specific evidence that jeopardy to listed species will result from FEMA’s updated National Flood Insurance Program.”
NWF charged that FEMA had failed to implement critical aspects of its reasonable and prudent alternative related to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and was therefore violating the Endangered Species Act. NWF was attempting to prevent FEMA from providing flood insurance for any new development and from processing certain floodplain map changes until new rules are implemented to NWF’s liking. Had the request been granted, approximately 75 local jurisdictions throughout Western Washington would have been affected.
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NEW FAIRHAVEN NEIGHBORHOOD PLAN
On Thursday, April 19, at 7 p.m. the Bellingham Planning Commission will hold a public hearing to consider a proposed Fairhaven Neighborhood and Urban Village Plan. To see materials, click here.
ZON2010-00010: To consider a new Fairhaven Neighborhood and Urban Village Plan, design standards and development regulations. The area included in the proposal is the Fairhaven Neighborhood, generally surrounded by Bellingham Bay, Knox St., 13th/14th Sts., and Cowgill Ave.
At its next regular meeting, April 26, a work session is scheduled on these plans.
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The subject of several editorial page pieces in The Bellingham Herald, the Padden Trails rezone is to go to City Council, to be introduced in committee and added to the evening agenda, today – Monday, April 16. This has turned into a public debate on how serious the council is about infill, vs neighborhood concerns. The Planning Commission and planning staff backed the original proposal; the City Council indicated it did not. The proponents resubmitted their plan with slightly lower density and agreement to provide a given amount of subsidized housing. To see council materials, click here.
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BELLINGHAM COMP PLAN – new Environment Chapter
The proposed "Environment Element” of the Bellingham Comp Plan went to a sparsely attended public hearing before the city Planning Commission on April 12, the commission voted to approve it, and the measure will go to City Council on May 14. If you have comments, now is a good time to prepare them. To see related materials, click here. Public comment normally is open until the public hearing ends.
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