A new apartment project, called CityView, has been submitted to the city’s Planning Department for the 11- acre parcel known as the Hawley Tract located at the northeast corner of Nevada St. at Consolidation Ave. The parcel was previously of interest to an out-of-town student dormitory corporation known as Ambling whose plans to put four dormitory-style buildings (University Ridge) there were ultimately deemed unfeasible by the company six years ago after a limiting decision from the Hearing Examiner. This time a local developer, Morgan Bartlett of Madrona Bay Real Estate Investments, has drawn up plans for a single 5-6 story edifice with 136 three-bedroom, three-bathroom units (408 total). The developer’s plan also provides 395 parking spaces. Although the developer would not specifically state that the apartments would be for students, the fact that each bedroom of the 136 units has its own bath provides a hint about the use. The developer held a pre-application meeting with the neighbors on July 8th and received some vehement and specific feedback. [He has since filed a formal application, however, the city has responded with a list of additional requirements that the developer must answer prior to December 9th 2019.] Since the parcel lies on the border between the Puget and Samish neighborhoods, residents from both were out in force at the meeting. As with the last apartment proposal (University Ridge) this one is fraught with many of the same issues. The property is on a hill and heavily suffused with ground water runoff and infiltration. Where this runoff will go after a huge building is added is problematic. The effect of an additional 395 vehicles in what is now a quiet neighborhood has implications for pedestrian safety, traffic congestion and an increased number of vehicular accidents. The current residents will discover increased noise and light pollution at all hours from a population (student) whose habits and schedules are incompatible with those of working families with schoolchildren. A workgroup of residents from the Samish and Puget neighborhoods is monitoring the CityView proposal and developing possible responses.
Monitor Samish Hill Proposed Housing Developments
Our group stays connected to City of Bellingham plans for development of additional areas of Samish Hill, related logging projects in forested tracts of land and the construction of roads that may be used / built for ingress and egress from the new homesites and areas that are being developed.