Samish Neighborhood Association

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March 2013 Annual Meeting


Samish Neighborhood General Meeting
Bellingham Elk’s Club
March 14, 2013
Attendance: 61 residents plus 3 guests.

The Samish Neighborhood Spring General Meeting was called to order by President Carpenter at 7:07 PM. He welcomed everyone by noting that March 14 was Pi (as in π, 3.1415926535…) Day, to be celebrated by the young members of our families with pie for dessert. Unfortunately only cookies were available at our meeting, but the cookies were excellent and the significance of the day did not go unobserved.

Joe asked all current board members present to stand and be recognized, and then asked former board members to stand for recognition. He thanked Greg McCracken for his efforts to edit and format the Spring Newsletter, and invited anyone who did not receive a copy to pick one up on the way out. Joe also commented briefly on the Ambling University Development Group’s plans for new student housing on Consolidation Avenue, which lies along the northern border of Samish Neighborhood. Although the housing site is in Puget Neighborhood, it is expected to impact Samish neighbors living close by. He also commented on the planned new gravel path along the east shoulder of 40th Street from Broad to Wilkin that the city will undertake later this year. Several neighbors who walk along this route welcomed the addition of an off-road path that will make walking safer on this stretch at the top of the “Samish Steps”. A number of neighbors pointed out that the entire length of the Steps has the same safety issue, but there is no current plan, beyond this new gravel path, to improve the situation. Joe reminded the audience about the Fall picnic in September and encouraged all to attend.

Our first guest speaker was Mr. John Moon, the Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County. He described some of the current Habitat activities, including home construction and a new program of home repair and maintenance available to families who qualify.

Mr. Cliff Cook, our new police chief, was the second guest speaker. The Chief gave us some background on his law enforcement career, and shared with us his enthusiasm about leading what he sees as a fine police force. He answered a number of questions from the audience about some current law enforcement issues in Bellingham. One of his areas of emphasis will be outreach to the community and he mentioned a new team led by Don Almer to address neighborhood crime concerns. He is interested in getting input from residents, and would much prefer to hear from us what the community’s needs are rather than try to tell the community what he thinks our needs are.

Our third guest speaker was Mayor Kelli Linville. She spoke at length about her vision of current conditions and the future of Bellingham and answered many questions from us about zoning, the city planning process, city finances, value of maintaining Bellingham neighborhood character during city growth, use of the Infill Toolkit, plans for new waterfront development, and the upcoming revision of the city’s Comprehensive Plan due in 2016. As part of the new Comp Plan she would like to see better definition of what type of housing is appropriate for which neighborhoods, thus avoiding the piecemeal approach like what happened with Padden Trails. By spelling out more clearly what the city would accept in each neighborhood area, developers would have a better idea of what they can ask for and neighborhoods would have a better idea of what they can expect from growth and new construction. Members of the audience pointed out that home buyers who choose to buy in a single family residence neighborhood need to have some assurance that it will stay that way and not be subject to spot zoning changes.

Three new board members, including Brian Benjamin, Junga Subedar, and Kevin Probasco, were nominated, seconded, and elected to office by vote of attending residents. Four current board members whose terms are expiring, Dick Conoboy, Garey Vodopich, Joe Carpenter, and Tom Roehl, were nominated, seconded, and re-elected for another term. The Association now has 11 board members. Tim Wynn is leaving the board and we thank him for many years of service as officer and board member. David Gilbertson is leaving the board and we thank him for his service.

Meeting adjourned.

Steve Abell, Secretary

 

Posted 4 years, 5 months ago at 10:44 PM.

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