Samish Neighborhood Association

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SNA Minutes 2012-12

 Samish Neighborhood Association Meeting

Tuesday, December 11, 2012, Community Baptist Church

 Meeting called to order by President Carpenter.

Board members present: Joe Carpenter, Steve Abell, Garey Vodopich, Tom Roehl, Dick Conoboy, Don Hale, David Gilbertson, Christopher Morrison

Board members absent: Tim Wynn (excused), Suneeta Eisenberg

Guests: David Bruner (Community Baptist Church)

Public Comments: None

President’s Announcements: None

Old business:

Meeting minutes from November were approved.

Treasurer is out of town, so no Treasurer’s Report was available.

Dick Conoboy updated the board on the MNAC meeting November 14. The meeting was not well attended. Absent were most of the representatives from neighborhoods that have had major issues with the city and felt that they were helped by MNAC input into the city process. The revised code proposed by the mayor for the scope of MNAC, which effectively eliminates direct, unfiltered access of MNAC to the City Council, was approved 11-3 with one abstention. To become effective, the proposed code changes would require passage of an ordinance by the Council.  It was not clear what formal neighborhood or public input could be made when the ordinance comes up for a vote, but at least the Council’s public comment agenda item would be available.
Dick had previously emailed to the SNA Board a copy of a letter from the York Neighborhood to the Council clearly stating its opposition to the code change. After a discussion in our meeting, a motion was made by Morrison to draft a letter to the City Council stating Samish’s objections to the code change based on our belief that Bellingham neighborhoods need direct access to the Council regarding review of proposed Comprehensive Plan Amendments. The motion was seconded and passed 8-0. Abell will draft a letter to be signed by Carpenter as President of SNA.
During the discussion Tom Roehl envisioned that MNAC might take on a more meaningful role than simply reacting to events. It could unite neighborhoods and share ideas in a way that would allow it to be more proactive. If MNAC representatives would be willing to take on the responsibility (might be a big “if”), MNAC could provide leadership to the city and its agencies. This would make it even more important to preserve the direct, unfiltered access of MNAC to the City Council.

Vodopich described an idea for creating a gravel pathway along 40th St between Broad and Wilkin Sts, a project suggested by Dianne Pfundt at our October meeting. The objective would be to improve safety for pedestrians. His thought is that the city might supply the materials and the neighborhood could supply the labor. It would involve leveling with fill and then applying a layer of gravel to a 500-ft strip of uneven shoulder. Board members were supportive of the idea but not sure what the city’s response to this idea might be. Another thought is that the neighborhood might undertake this project on our own. No firm decision was made and no activity is envisioned until summer.

Our by-laws still need to be updated. SNA membership will vote on proposed changes at the General Meeting in March, so we need to get any drafts of changed articles to the full membership at least thirty days before the meeting. That means we need to finalize proposed changes by early February. Abell will contact the Elks Club and try to reserve 13Mar2013 for this meeting. [Update on 12Dec: club not available on Wednesday 13Mar, but Thursday 14Mar will be reserved for us.]

New business:

Carpenter and Conoboy attended a meeting at Jepson & Associates in which the plans proposed by Ambling University Development Group for a new student housing complex were outlined. The steeply sloped 11-acre parcel of land involved, between Puget and Nevada Streets, is currently zoned for multifamily. It is in Puget Neighborhood, not in Samish, but it borders on Samish and some Samish residents may feel its effect. The plans include 164 units (40 2-br/2-ba 856 ft2, 124 4-br/4-ba 1371 ft2) with a total capacity of 576 residents (restricted to upperclassmen students only, no freshmen), approx. 432 parking places, and a clubhouse at the main entrance on Consolidation Avenue. Emergency access would be available from Nevada St. Completion is targeted for Fall 2014. Further details will be presented by AUDG at an official meeting for Puget and Samish neighborhoods at Carl Cozier Elementary School, 1330 Lincoln St., on 3Jan2013 from 6:30 to 8:00 PM. Carpenter pointed out that AUDG has a substantial track record in doing projects like this and a good reputation.

Abell reviewed a new program from Habitat for Humanity of Whatcom County to repair and rehab existing houses. He will ask HfH to have a table display at the March meeting and make a brief presentation of program details. Some Samish residents may qualify.

Meeting adjourned.

Steve Abell, Secretary

 

Posted 4 years, 10 months ago at 10:11 AM.

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