Samish Neighborhood Association

Neighbors in Bellingham, Washington, working together

SNA 2009.11 Rental Housing Letter

Samish Neighborhood Association

P.O. Box 1551

Bellingham, WA 98227

RE: Rental Housing Regulations

Nov. 30, 2009

To Bellingham City Council members

The Samish Neighborhood Association Board would like to applaud the City of Bellingham for considering proposals to reform the regulation of rental units.  Our desire is to protect the characteristics of our neighborhood as a safe and welcoming place zoned primarily for single families to live while accommodating the need to increase the density in the city.  Two proposals seem especially important for maintaining the character of our neighborhood.

The first is the regulation of rental housing, which should be classified as a business, through licensing.  Rental businesses conducted in a single family residential neighborhood should be regulated in a way that is compatible with the character of single family neighborhoods, as are other businesses are regulated consistent with the underlying zoning.  Licensing the businesses would ensure that the city has an effective enforcement tool.

The second is changes in BMC Title 20 to alter code violations to make them civil infractions instead of criminal misdemeanors are strongly recommended.  Many of the nuisance issues are not criminal problems.  We believe the city will save significant time and resources addressing them at the civil level allowing for more rigorous and uniform enforcement.

As the Board of the Samish Neighborhood Association, we encourage you to move quickly on these important issues addressing residential rentals to promote the health and welfare of families in all neighborhoods throughout the city.

Sincerely,

Greg McCracken

President

Samish Neighborhood Association

Posted in General 7 years, 10 months ago at 2:42 PM.

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