Sunnyland Planning Process Explained - Partially

Permalink +

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

Mike Rostrom guest writes this.  Mike posted this as a comment to my article - but it is a better summary and deserves to stand alone. - Servais

It was a step in the right direction, largely due to the efforts of councilman Terry Bornemann who pointed out that the Sunnyland neighborhood has worked hard for seven years to get permanent zoning assigned for this sub-area. The council did not send on the illegal “modification” by the city planning department (actually a separate improperly docketed zoning plan in its own right) in spite of the planning department’s effort to promote it, complete with a fancy diagrams and photos, etc. There is still no guarantee we will have single family medium density zoning consistent with neighborhood character in this sub-area. (The former D.O.T. property is a sub-area of 4 acres. This is not a site-specific zoning proposal, although the planning department has changed that language to improperly favor the developer over the residents.). The planning committee may well modify the SNA proposal, or throw it out completely.

One thing some on the council seemed confused about was the owners rights in this issue. Actually, the owner’s rights only properly begin once permanent zoning has been enacted, and the right to set permanent zoning, for very good and democratic reasons, belongs only to the city council. Otherwise, who would devise zoning for the city—developers?! Of course developers who own large parcels certainly have a right and good reason to advocate for zoning that they want on a parcel like the DOT sub-area which has not yet had permanent zoning assigned. The SNA agrees with the developers that the current default zoning, which would only allow two homes to be built, is unreasonable. (Although many in the neighborhood were in favor of a park as the proper use for that sub-area, and were dismayed that D.O.T. was able to cut a deal with the developer without public participation. Here again, at the state level, taxpayers subsidized a for-profit private developer.)

This is a crucial point. Some members of the council seem to think the property owner/developer has the right to demand any zoning they want. Actually, the developer only has the right to build within existing zoning restraints once they are in place, and in this case, that zoning has yet to be set. So the thirty minutes of council time the owner and his consultant and lawyer were allotted, which they spent threatening the council with obscure legalities and spurious claims, were completely specious, fallacious, and deceptive. A certain city council person stated she did not agree with neighborhood associations bringing such proposals to the council for consideration. If not the actual residents of a neighborhood then who else? Profit only motivated developers and corporations? Consultants from other cities? Construction lobbyists? Shouldn’t the folks who reside in and own property in the neighborhoods have a major voice in zoning within the areas they live? If not, how different is our system from a feudal system where large property owners control all, and the peasants and peons are subject to the will of the dukes and barons who control the major tracts of land?

Although the city has now conveniently changed the code language, the Sunnyland neighborhood was originally, seven years ago, asked to participate, and even encouraged to formulate their own proposal. Had we brought forth a multi-family zoning proposal utilizing the consultant’s housing types (consultants who were paid from city coffers out of our tax receipts to essentially advocate for developers against the neighborhood residents) you can bet the planning department and city council would have been singing our praises rather than stalling and opposing our efforts for the past seven years. Of course they want the neighborhoods to participate, but only if they agree with their developer-driven vision of the new Bellevue On The Bay.

Sunnyland Planning Process Explained - Partially

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

Guest writer Mike Rostrom 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

Johns Repair

Specializing in German vehicles...

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.

11 comments; last on Jul 24, 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

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

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

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

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

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

Roosevelt Neighborhood Pleads for Left Turns

Wed, Apr 09, 2014, 9:07 am  //  Riley Sweeney

City pushes for Alabama Street improvements, residents speak out

3 comments; last on Apr 14, 2014

Reid Boiler Works Burns Down

Sun, Feb 09, 2014, 10:13 am  //  John Servais

The old empty Reid Boiler Works industrial building in Fairhaven burned to the ground Saturday night.

0 comments

City too Poor for Power Pennies or Discrimination?

Fri, Dec 27, 2013, 5:00 am  //  Guest writer

Guest writer Barbara Perry writes about Bellingham Parks refusal to allow motorized wheel chairs to recharge at public electrical outlets.

6 comments; last on Jan 03, 2014

Larrabee School; Its Future

Mon, Dec 09, 2013, 1:24 pm  //  Guest writer

Barbara Perry writes about the closed nature of the Bellingham School Board on the future of the Larrabee School.

1 comments; last on Dec 15, 2013

On Monday, City Council Votes “third and final” Approval of Waterfront Plan

Sat, Dec 07, 2013, 1:33 pm  //  Wendy Harris

Local activist calls on Bellingham City Council to table the unpopular waterfront plans and engage in meaningful public process

2 comments; last on Dec 08, 2013

Lecture on County Water Issues Draws Crowd

Sat, Dec 07, 2013, 12:03 am  //  Wendy Harris

The county will be required to consider water quality and water quantity when planning rural growth.

3 comments; last on Dec 10, 2013

Video Exposes City Council Dysfunction on Waterfront Plan

Thu, Dec 05, 2013, 12:58 pm  //  John Servais

The Political Junkie has posted a 3 minute video showing Bellingham City Council members explaining their idiocy for all of us to watch.

2 comments; last on Dec 06, 2013

The Bellingham “Riot” - Let’s Expand the Conversation

Thu, Dec 05, 2013, 6:00 am  //  Dick Conoboy

The post "riot" conversation is terribly lacking in several areas. We must expand the discussion or risk learning little from the experience.

3 comments; last on Dec 15, 2013

Cascadia Weekly Blasts Waterfront Plan

Wed, Dec 04, 2013, 11:53 am  //  John Servais

Bellingham City Council and Port of Bellingham finalize the waterfront plan. In his weekly Gristle, Tim Johnson blasts the corrupt public process.

4 comments; last on Dec 05, 2013

Election Results - November 2013

Tue, Nov 05, 2013, 9:21 pm  //  John Servais

With lots of outside county money flowing in to our local races, this election is weird. But real - and we county residents have spoken.

11 comments; last on Nov 09, 2013

Boulevard Park Reopens

Sat, Oct 26, 2013, 8:36 pm  //  John Servais

Beach reconstruction is done at Boulevard Park on the Bellingham waterfront. Paths along shore are again open - and it looks good.

6 comments; last on Nov 01, 2013

Treaty Rights and Public Rights Ignored In Overwater Walkway

Tue, Oct 08, 2013, 3:22 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The city staff considers the overwater walkway a done deal before official approval or resolution of treaty right conflicts

4 comments; last on Oct 16, 2013

Wildlife Impacts Missing In COB Waterfront District EIS

Sat, Sep 28, 2013, 6:05 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The city and port have not addressed wildlife impacts from waterfront development and this should be done before a waterfront plan is enacted.

0 comments

Over $330,000 raised and spent on elections in Whatcom County

Thu, Sep 19, 2013, 7:08 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley examines who is donating to which candidates

0 comments

Riley Covers Anti Syria War Demo

Sat, Aug 31, 2013, 3:10 pm  //  John Servais

Saturday afternoon - and a rally is taking place in downtown Bellingham against bombing Syria. Riley Sweeny and his Political Junkie site cover it.

0 comments

Water Agreement Fails Scrutiny

Wed, Aug 14, 2013, 12:31 am  //  Wendy Harris

The City of Bellingham memorandum of agreement with Lynden does not make sense. What is going on?

4 comments; last on Sep 11, 2013

Council Chooses Reasonable Regulation on Retail Marijuana

Tue, Aug 13, 2013, 10:26 am  //  Riley Sweeney

After attending the public hearing on the marijuana ban, Riley breaks down the good, the bad and the ugly

4 comments; last on Aug 20, 2013

Anatomy of a Development Proposal - Part IV Geology, Stormwater, Wetlands and Watershed

Mon, Jul 15, 2013, 9:08 am  //  Guest writer

The proposed development ought not proceed without a more extensive geological assessment and a thorough evaluation of the impacts on the Lincoln Creek watershed.

0 comments

Celebrations More Racist than Verdict

Sun, Jul 14, 2013, 11:25 am  //  John Servais

The explosion of hate and racist rhetoric is the saddest aspect of the verdict. The evidence was complicated and the verdict difficult to make.

2 comments; last on Jul 16, 2013

Anatomy of a Development Proposal - Part III University Ridge - Where Do I Park?

Mon, Jul 08, 2013, 1:30 pm  //  Guest writer

Ambling University Development has substantially underestimated the role of the car in the lives of its eventual student renters and their visitors.

2 comments; last on Jul 09, 2013

The Irony of City Council Attitudes

Wed, Jul 03, 2013, 12:06 pm  //  John Servais

Public process ignored. Citizen commenting castigated. Paranoid city legal department. Our city council merrily goes through another session.

6 comments; last on Aug 06, 2013

Anatomy of a Development Proposal - Part II Predictions of Dormitory Traffic Impacts Unrealistic

Wed, Jul 03, 2013, 12:02 pm  //  Guest writer

The traffic analysis for the University Ridge dormitory development in the Puget Neighborhood lacks realistic data and leads to incorrect conclusions that the city must address.

2 comments; last on Jul 04, 2013

Greenways Levy Money Used for AstroTurf

Sun, Jun 30, 2013, 11:28 am  //  John Servais

Bellingham City Council ready to approve $500,000 of trails money for resurfacing plastic grass on Civic Field.

15 comments; last on Jul 02, 2013

Anatomy of a Development Proposal - Part I The Variance

Wed, Jun 26, 2013, 8:04 pm  //  Dick Conoboy

A variance request without merit is the centerpiece of a development proposal to construct a complex of four dormitory-style buildings among single family homes in the Puget Neighborhood

0 comments

Intersection Art Comes to Happy Valley

Sun, Jun 09, 2013, 10:37 pm  //  John Servais

Intersection art - the painting of a design on the actual streets - is being developed in the Happy Valley neighborhood.

1 comments; last on Jun 15, 2013

Bellingham Passes Fireworks Ban

Mon, Jun 03, 2013, 10:05 pm  //  John Servais

City Council passes long-debated ban 4 to 3. It is effective in 2014.

0 comments

Our Water - War or Pieces?

Fri, May 24, 2013, 1:18 am  //  Guest writer

Marian Beddill provides a general guide for the public, with a look at the history of water rights in Washington state.

4 comments; last on May 26, 2013

Who is filing for elective offices???

Fri, May 17, 2013, 5:44 pm  //  John Servais

Tuesday morning and nothing in today's Bellingham Herald. Nor online. We provide the basics to fill in this latest omission by our "daily" newspaper.

9 comments; last on May 23, 2013

Help Save Larrabee Elementary School

Sat, May 04, 2013, 1:09 pm  //  Guest writer

Wendy Scherrer reminds all who support modest sized grade schools to try and attend the meeting Wed, May 8, in the evening.

3 comments; last on May 11, 2013

Waterfront “Planned Action Ordinance” Limits Restoration and Public Input

Tue, Mar 26, 2013, 9:59 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The City Planning Department has included a technical document in the waterfront proposal without disclosing important impacts.

1 comments; last on Mar 30, 2013

No City Housing Hearing on March 20

Tue, Mar 19, 2013, 10:05 am  //  John Servais

The Bellingham Herald article today is wrong. There is no hearing tomorrow, March 20

0 comments

Valuable Article in the Whatcom Watch

Sun, Mar 17, 2013, 9:42 pm  //  John Servais

Wendy Harris writes about the proposed $8 million concrete bridge along the Bellingham waterfront - using Greenways funds to build.

3 comments; last on Mar 20, 2013

PeaceHealth Merger Threatens Women’s Health in Whatcom County

Tue, Feb 26, 2013, 7:39 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley details upcoming merger between PeaceHealth and a much more conservative entity

1 comments; last on Feb 26, 2013

Petition to Establish a Bellingham Art Market

Mon, Feb 25, 2013, 6:51 pm  //  Tip Johnson

Wherein artists have to eat, too!

0 comments

City Controls Chuckanut Park - Not New Park District

Fri, Feb 22, 2013, 3:47 pm  //  John Servais

The election created a new park district with taxing power - but with NO control over Chuckanut Ridge - the 100 acre woods.

1 comments; last on Feb 23, 2013

Waterfront EIS Revised Without Public Process

Tue, Feb 19, 2013, 10:40 pm  //  Wendy Harris

An "Updated Preferred Alternative" reduces the number of waterfront jobs and expands the boundary of the waterfront district.

0 comments

Thoughts on the Park District Vote

Wed, Feb 13, 2013, 4:42 pm  //  John Servais

The Park District vote is close and we will not know final results until late ballots are counted.

6 comments; last on Feb 19, 2013

Time to Vote on Park District

Sat, Feb 09, 2013, 1:14 am  //  John Servais

The proponents have avoided the issues on the Park District as the close of voting nears this weekend.

2 comments; last on Feb 12, 2013

Check the Protect Bellingham Parks Website

Wed, Feb 06, 2013, 11:42 pm  //  John Servais

When is a vote No the most positive and common sense action? Check the park district opponents website to learn why.

15 comments; last on Feb 10, 2013

Ironies With the Park District

Tue, Feb 05, 2013, 1:59 pm  //  John Servais

This Park District proposal has several ironic twists and facets - some involving the advocates.

10 comments; last on Feb 07, 2013

The Big Picture on Chuckanut Ridge

Sun, Feb 03, 2013, 4:05 pm  //  Guest writer

Nicholas Zaferatos explains why he is concerned about the park district and looks at the long and short term views if the issue.

11 comments; last on Feb 06, 2013

Chuckanut Mountains and the Park District

Fri, Feb 01, 2013, 4:16 pm  //  Guest writer

Dr. Gibb explains some history to the issue in a brief article.

8 comments; last on Feb 03, 2013

Former Park Directors Against Park District Proposal

Thu, Jan 31, 2013, 1:36 pm  //  Guest writer

Paul Leuthold and Byron Elmendorf explain why to vote NO on the Chuckanut Park District ballot measure.

19 comments; last on Feb 12, 2013

It Is Not a Vote to Save The Forest

Thu, Jan 31, 2013, 1:26 am  //  Guest writer

Guest post by long time south side resident Marci (Hanson) Haskell on why to vote no on the Park District

5 comments; last on Feb 01, 2013

Why I am voting NO on the Park Disttict

Wed, Jan 30, 2013, 10:40 am  //  John Servais

The Park District is a panic action that over taxes a small group. A city wide solution is by far the better way to proceed.

13 comments; last on Feb 01, 2013

Wise Owl Knows What to Do

Tue, Jan 29, 2013, 6:25 pm  //  Guest writer

Bill Geyer explains Transfer Development Rights and how they can be applied to the Chuckanut Ridge.

17 comments; last on Feb 06, 2013

Aquatic Invasive Species Plan for Lake Whatcom

Mon, Jan 28, 2013, 2:52 am  //  Wendy Harris

Improving ecosystem functions holistically is the best form of protection for the Lake Whatcom.

1 comments; last on Jan 29, 2013

Why to vote NO on proposed Park District

Sat, Jan 26, 2013, 9:18 pm  //  Guest writer

Phyllis McKee on why to oppose and the importance of voting no if you are against the Park District.

13 comments; last on Jan 29, 2013

Prop 1: New Parks District is Wrong Approach

Thu, Jan 24, 2013, 10:49 am  //  Guest writer

By Bill Geyer. South Bellingham citizens vote over the next couple weeks on a self tax to form a park district and pay the Chuckanut Ridge debt.

30 comments; last on Jan 31, 2013

Is Noncompliance Addicting?

Fri, Jan 11, 2013, 2:35 pm  //  Wendy Harris

A proposed amendment to the Lake Whatcom watershed moratorium will increase water quality degradation

1 comments; last on Jan 12, 2013

 

Election Info

Candidate Filings


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
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
Talking Points Memo
TED
The Crisis Papers
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