The SNA Board of Directors has several activities ongoing simultaneously, as the group reacts to city actions and proposals or suggestions & input from Samish neighborhood residents. Various members who have particular interests or are passionate about various topics may – upon board approval – provide leadership in focused areas.
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.
City Council Issues for 2019
Coming before Bellingham city council in 2019 are two issues that may have profound effects on neighborhood zoning and livability. The Samish Neighborhood may be extensively affected given its large tracts of undeveloped land for housing. The council will be reviewing Housing Infill provisions in the Bellingham Municipal Code. This involves increasing density by the use of housing forms (town houses, carriage houses, duplexes, triplexes, etc.) that are not now permitted in single family zoned areas. The council will also review what is known as the “rule of three” which limits the number of unrelated occupants in single dwelling units. Units with more than three unrelated occupants are known as “illegal rooming houses”. This is based on the city’s definition of family (20.08.020 Specific definitions.) which is legal but contested. You can keep informed by regularly checking the city council meeting site.
Provide Input to WTA Bus Routing
WTA has proposed significant changes to the 533 bus route that currently navigates the outer perimeter of Samish neighborhood on its route to downtown Bellingham. The points of service would be greatly diminished and provide little service to our neighborhood residents. SNA has provided a neighborhood perspective in a letter sent to WTA and others – listing our concerns about the current routing proposal and making some constructive suggestions. Early 2019 WTA responded by reinstating the original bus route to Samish neighborhood. This new route, still called 533, will go into service in mid-June 2019. We are grateful to neighborhood residents and to the neighborhood Board for making enough noise to not just preserve bus service to our neighborhood but to improve it.
Soft Opening of Ridgemont Park (810 38th St)
The Ridgemont Park renovation project – that began on November 30, 2018 - has proceeded steadily over the last 60+ days and the major renovation work is now complete. While there are a few items still to install including: park signage, a picnic table and hydro-seeded lawn, the playground equipment was opened for use on Tuesday, 2/5/19. The orange construction mesh fencing is still present around the perimeter of the park (to prohibit access thru the lawn areas), but the paved walking path and entrance off 38th Street is open.
Samish Heights Logging Project (2018-2019)
Samish Heights, Inc. (a private landowner group) filed a Class III Application for a 10-Year Forest Management Plan with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for a parcel of private land (within the Bellingham Urban Growth Area) situated above both Wildwood Drive and Whitewater Drive. The application was approved on 12/6/2018 by the DNR and allows for various forest activities to proceed. It’s important to note this application relates to a logging & reforestation plan and will require adherence to a 10-Year Moratorium on conversion of this land to any use other than Commercial Forest Product Operations. Other land-use activities cannot proceed until late 2028. The landowner is Samish Heights, Inc. (Jack Seguin); the logging operator is Janicki Logging & Construction (Rob Janicki).
Check out our MAP for the logging project.
Mitigation of Speeding on 40th St. (between Samish Crest Dr. and Elwood Ave.)
A group of concerned Samish neighbors who connected via Nextdoor.com are meeting periodically to discuss serious safety concerns related to speeding vehicles and stop-sign runners on a hilly section of 40th St. The focus is primarily on what types of tangible mitigation measures can be realistically implemented to mitigate these unsafe and illegal behaviors before a serious accident occurs.
Once this group has agreed on a few specific and feasible suggestions for presentation to the COB Public Works team, this group will schedule a face-to-face meeting between a few of these neighbors and the appropriate city staff. If others would like to demonstrate their concerns and join in this grass-roots effort, please contact Tom Dohman (firstname.lastname@example.org 509-308-0370).
Planning for Annual SNA Events
1. Annually create a Plan & Agenda for the SNA General Meeting in mid-March at the Elks Club.
2. Annually create a Plan & Date for a Summertime SNA Event – typically a Picnic BBQ at Lake Padden or perhaps a future shift to a simpler event, e.g. an Ice Cream Social.