Samish Neighborhood Association

Neighbors in Bellingham, Washington, working together

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Draft Governor Road Alignment Study

Click here to see the city’s draft study of the continuation of Governor Road

Posted 9 years, 1 month ago at 3:18 PM.

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SNA 2009.Fall Newsletter

Neighborhood News



P.O. Box 1551

Bellingham, WA 98227

Annual Samish Neighborhood BBQ/Potluck at Lake Padden Park

Noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, September 20

Plan to bring your family, meet your neighbors and enjoy a great barbecue. We’ll have special guests, information tables and maps of the Samish area so you can discuss what’s going on in the neighborhood with SNA board members and other residents. We’ve also invited current officials as well as new candidates running for office in this fall’s election. This is a great time for a face-to-face to see what these people have to say about what they think our future will bring! SNA will provide barbecued chicken, hotdogs, condiments, soft drinks and coffee. Bring your favorite dish to share and chairs or a blanket for your seating comfort.

Dinner is free with a potluck contribution and yearly dues paid ($12 per household, $10 for seniors). We charge friends and former neighbors $5 each. If you haven’t already paid your 2009-10 membership fees, mail in your registration form and check now or plan to bring them to the registration table at the picnic.

Not sure if you’ve already paid this year’s membership fee?

Just contact SNA treasurer April Markiewicz, 734-4498,

How to Find Us:

Enter the park through the east (golf course) entrance and look for the Samish Neighborhood banner at the large picnic shelter between the play equipment area and the lake.

Potluck Dish Suggestion:

Last name A-M Side Dish N-S Salad T-Z Dessert

President’s Report


If your mailbox is anything like mine, you receive these “chances” at least once a week. This isn’t one of them.

I offer an opportunity that you’ve earned, an opportunity to protect and even increase the investment you made when you chose to live in the Samish Neighborhood.

Join the Samish Neighborhood Association. Twice a year the Samish Neighborhood Association (SNA) posts its newsletter to you with updates of our work on your behalf. In 2009, we planted gardens around two recently installed neighborhood signs. We monitor planned housing developments and changes to traffic patterns. We provide a constant link between the City administration and our residents and have secured grants through the diligent work of SNA treasurer April Markiewicz to make available more services. Our general meetings give you an opportunity not only to hear from but to speak to officials from the City, Port and University.

Following Eric Weight as president in April, I set several goals for the board to complete this year. We needed to take a definitive stance against the City on the “stairsteps” as an arterial road and show our firm opposition to unenforceable housing regulations that allow landlords to rent a house to an unreasonable number of tenants. We vowed to push the City to finish its survey of the future corridor of Governor Road so we can complete the land-use section of our Neighborhood Plan. And we agreed to get a neighborhood website running as soon as possible.

The website — — will be soon online. It will provide you with an efficient and upto- date source of information about Samish Neighborhood and the City. The site will include links and notices, board meeting minutes, a photo bulletin board and a forum in which registered SNA members can exchange thoughts and ideas on a variety of topics relevant to the neighborhood. It will give us a fast means of giving you the information you need. I encourage you to regularly visit this site.

In the near future, I also hope to establish a disaster preparedness program and block watches where they are called for in our neighborhood.

As a resident of the Samish Neighborhood, SNA is here to help you protect your investment and your way of life. If you’re looking for the catch, here it is: the services are provided to all free of-charge, but that does not mean it does not have a cost. The city does cover some operating expenses, but membership fees are essential to our work. The cost alone to publish and mail this newsletter is $385. It goes to every active address in the neighborhood, all 1,353 of them.

Historically, we have had the highest percentage of residents join its neighborhood association of Bellingham’s 24 neighborhoods. Currently our dues-paying membership is 164. Your participation in the association provides us with the resources and the diversity we need to sustain the lifestyle we chose when we moved to Samish Neighborhood.

Please sign up. It’s an opportunity you can’t afford to miss.

Greg McCracken, President,

Samish Neighborhood Association

Mayor’s Advisory Commission Report

Infill Housing Toolkit may affect Samish Neighborhood

By Greg McCracken, SNA President and Samish MNAC Representative

Buzzwords come and go, but the City of Bellingham’s “Infill Housing Toolkit” looks like it is here to stay. How it will affect us in the Samish Neighborhood remains to be seen.

Much of the pertinent discussion at the Mayor’s Neighborhood Advisory Commission (MNAC) has focused on this. MNAC meets once a month with representatives of the City and from other neighborhoods.

The toolkit is a set of nine new housing types including Small House, Smaller House, Cottage, Carriage House, Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit, Duplex/ Triplex, Garden Courtyard, Shared Courtyard and Townhouses. It is intended for areas zoned for multifamily residences.

The vast majority of Samish Neighborhood is zoned for single-family residences, so why should we be concerned?

The latest tweaking approved in July by the City Council left standing a provision that a rezone to multifamily would be required to add a toolkit form to single-family areas or “the applicability section of the new code would need to be modified by future Council action.”

Plainly put, the Council can change the rules later on. And some have asked why we need to push this through now. City officials said we need such provisions in place to accommodate growth without causing the city to sprawl. The toolkit is intended to deal with about a third of the expected growth of Bellingham — an increase of close to 32,000 by 2022 — by infilling existing neighborhoods. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the Infill Toolkit will become part of the City Code in September.

MNAC has been a good conduit for information from the City. How effective it is in the other direction is at times questionable, although the City’s neighborhood service coordinator Linda Stewart is a capable and diligent facilitator.

For me, MNAC has provided a forum to meet with other representatives and learn of activities in their neighborhoods. We now have a new addition — the King Mountain Neighborhood — and the Planning Department is considering creating four neighborhoods out of two existing one — Mt. Baker and Guide Meridian/ Cordata. Despite of all the talk of the infill toolkit, the City is preparing for a lot of the new growth in the northern part of the city.

As we are developing the Samish Neighborhood website, I encourage you to visit websites of other neighborhoods for more information about other parts of the city and to garner new ideas for ours.

MNAC’s website is:


Get To Know Your Neighbors

By Kincaid Davidson, Samish Neighborhood

Remember sometime in early March, when you were looking out your window and for the first time this season saw a hummingbird. It was probably a male Rufous hummingbird as they are the first to arrive on Samish Hill. Their arrival usually coincides with the blooming of salmonberry and red currant. The females arrive about two to three weeks after the males begin arriving. These early arrivers have been on a long journey, having migrated from somewhere in Mexico. Some of them will stay here on Samish Hill and others will rest and then continue to Canada and even to Alaska.

The Rufous hummingbird is the most common hummingbird here, but there are three others that live on Samish Hill. The second most common hummingbird living here is the Anna’s hummingbird. These hummingbirds migrate only short distances and some live in Washington all year. The other two hummingbirds which can be seen on Samish Hill are the Black-chinned hummingbird and the Calliope hummingbird. The Calliope hummingbird is the smallest hummingbird in North America. We usually see hummingbirds feeding on the nectar of plants or at our

feeders. Since nectar is a poor source of nutrients, hummingbirds also feed on insects and spiders, some caught in midair. Hummingbirds eat only about

10 to 20 percent of the time and just sit around about 70 to 80 percent of the time. Each day, a hummingbird will consume as much nectar as its body weight.

The Rufous hummingbird is most known for its aerial displays when attracting a female. He will dive close to a female, his wings making a loud buzzing noise as he makes a J-shaped trajectory. It’s also the Rufous that sits and watches the feeder all day chasing all other hummingbirds away. Rather than sing, the Rufous chirps when upset.

The hummingbird nest is small and cup shaped. It’s lined with feathers and held together with spider webs. Did you know that hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backwards and they can hover in mid-air? They generally only live three to four years. They can flap their wings 12-90 times per second. Their heart rate can be as high as 1,260 beats per minute. Hummingbirds are able to slow down their metabolism at night and enter a hibernation-like state called torpor.

Samish Neighborhood Development Update

By Tim Wynn, SNA Board Member

Development in the Samish Neighborhood has slowed to a crawl for a number of reasons. The economy of course has impacted the availability of both public and private funds. That in turn has put a number of projects on hold. One of the public projects on hold is the extension of San Juan Boulevard. (San Juan Boulevard will be extended to tie into Elwood.) This has been a priority concern of the neighborhood association, as we feel it is critical that San Juan Boulevard be extended prior to any more major development on the top of the hill. Unfortunately, because of many uncertainties about funding and the environmental impact of the extension, that project has been taken off the six-year transportation improvement plan. The neighborhood association will be watching the planning for the infrastructure to see how the City will be addressing this priority issue.

Other housing developments are pretty much on hold with the exception of Samish Glenn. This development is located between 34th and 36th streets in the south end of the neighborhood. It will have a total of 13 lots. David Edelstein, the developer, has requested some exceptions to the building conditions imposed by the City. The SNA, after a careful look at the exceptions, has supported Edelstein’s request. If the City approves the exceptions, that development will proceed to final design and, possibly, construction this next year.

Padden Trails, the large development south of Padden Creek which will hold some 200 units, is still trying to get approval of its civil drawings. These are the drawings that detail where the streets and utilities go. Once those meet City Public Works approval, they will be able to start construction.

Samish Heights (Seguin Development) and the 20 acres at the corner of 40th and Adams are both on hold. Both requested rezoning to be able to increase the density in those areas, but have been told that the rezoning will not be considered until the City has the resources to help the Samish Neighborhood (that’s us!) develop its Land Utilization Plan.

San Juan Hills, a 50-unit development that will be located to the southeast of the current end of Adams St., has had its preliminary plat (street layout) approved. It must now submit a full project design for approval by the City. It’s uncertain when that will happen.

We have a lot of potential construction in and around our neighborhood, so please stay in touch with the association for the latest updates.

Membership Benefits

Your dues maintain our ability to host our March annual meeting and the September annual picnic. These two events provide you with the opportunity to meet other interested neighbors, get an update on what is being proposed in the neighborhood, and provide feedback to the SNA Board on these and other issues of concern to you.

Your dues also enable us to provide informative newsletters to you by postal mail twice a year. We look forward to having you join us as a new or renewing member!

Samish Neighborhood News is published twice yearly by the Samish Neighborhood Association, P.O. Box 1551, Bellingham, WA 98227-1551

Editor: Pauline Palmer

Assistant Editor: Ginny Davidson

Meetings: 7 p.m., Community Baptist Church, 810 Samish Way, second Tuesday of the month except March (annual meeting) and September (annual picnic).

Posted 9 years, 1 month ago at 2:47 PM.

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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.


Greg McCracken


Samish Neighborhood Association

Posted 9 years, 1 month ago at 2:42 PM.

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SNA Minutes 2009.01

Samish Neighborhood Association

Meeting Notes  January 13, 2009

Attending. Board Members: Judy Diaz, Glen Hallman, Ned Hannah, Steve Hood, April Markiewicz, Greg McCracken, Pauline Palmer, Tom Roehl, Garey Vodopich, Eric Weight, Tim Wynn. Residents: Brian Dagnealut, Frank Diaz, Alexis Miller, Ruth Molaski, Marie Neubauer.

Public Comment. (1) Brian Dagnealut reported that the Seattle company contracted by Public Works to complete the study of the Governor Road corridor will not finish until August 2009. Tim Stewart has told him nothing can happen until this is done. Some developers in that area have done their site work already and he would like to talk to Stewart about getting the Samish Neighborhood Plan process started even if Governor Road isn’t decided. He noted funding has been pulled on the water tower, and feels that the city needs to look at how to use the land sustainably re community at large. With land-use market as it is, not a pressing issue but a good time to get started, with a 2- to 3-year process ahead. Get started now while things are quiet and stay involved. (2) Garey Vodopich was concerned about the rechanneling of Padden Creek from 30th to 24th. He thought there was no great reason to do this, just for small indigenous fish not salmon. Steve Hood commented that other rebuilt creeks have done well and more fish will be there if this is done  see for information. (3) Tim Wynn said the next stage of the Lincoln Creek Park & Ride, if it proceeds, will break ground this summer but won’t include the projected parking garage. Re December storms, landscaping is under silt right now but realignment held water and the lot didn’t flood.

Secretary’s Report. Moved, seconded and passed to approve the December minutes as presented.

Treasurer’s Report. Checking, $1,175.63 (no changes); savings, $513.26 ($0.37 interest); petty cash, $20. Total assets: $1,708.89.

Mayor’s Neighborhood Advisory Council. Greg reported the city is not accepting transportation improvement and/or traffic calming suggestions this year due to lack of funding. He gave a brief summary of what other neighborhoods are working on and noted that below Boulevard a development company is asking for a rezone from industrial to allow condominiums on a narrow strip of land. The Small & Simple Grant deadline is mid-February, must be used by September, and requires matching funds. Eric noted we have two projects that could use S&SG funding: an SNA website and better signage for the annual meeting and annual picnic. Discussion: These could go under one umbrella, i.e. better communication to/within the neighborhood, and matching can come from volunteer hours on the website. Proposed: Have a committee begin to get general ideas ready. April, Tim and Greg volunteered. Also, a separate website development committee should be functioning before we get the funding. Eric, Greg and Ned volunteered. Possibility of an SNA Yahoo discussion group was brought up. Consensus: This should be considered in context with the website and, if done, should be moderated by an SNA board member. Question: Do we need to move the SNA monthly meeting date to third Tuesdays? MNAC now meets the day after our meeting so the MNAC report reflects month-old activity. Moved, seconded and passed unanimously to move the meeting date to third Tuesdays and begin the change after the annual meeting. Check with church re room availability.

Annual Meeting. Eric will contact Elks to confirm a date in March. Glen said Ginny Davidson again volunteers to take care of hospitality (coffee, etc.). Guest speakers and spring newsletter article topics were discussed. Moved, seconded and passed to invite the mayor and WWU President Shepard as speakers, with Kevin Ranker as an alternative. Nominations Committee of April, Greg and Ned was formed to create a slate of SNA residents willing to run for available 2009-11 positions to be voted on at the annual meeting.

Transportation Improvement/Calming. April noted she removed item “d” from the official TIP list. General discussion included Alexis noting that construction drivers on 40th don’t seem to think traffic rules apply to them. Re skate boarders with chase cars, get license numbers if possible and report them.

February Agenda. Suggested items were: Newsletter review; Small & Simple Grant status; Nominations Committee report; MNAC report; review of website status; and annual meeting update.

Next Meetings: February 10. 2009 March Annual Meeting: March 18. April Meeting: April 21.

Posted 9 years, 1 month ago at 2:38 PM.

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SNA Minutes 2009.02

Samish Neighborhood Association

Meeting Notes  February 10, 2009

Attending. Board Members: Bill Baldwin, Joseph Carpenter, Judy Diaz, Shirley Forslof, Glen Hallman, Steve Hood, April Markiewicz, Greg McCracken, Pauline Palmer, Tom Roehl, Garey Vodopich, Eric Weight, Tim Wynn. Residents: Dick Conoboy, Frank Diaz, L. Trinn Murray.

Public Comment. (1) Dick Conoboy reported that he met with WWU Vice President for External Affairs Steve Swan about the no-more-than-three issue. Swan seemed open to conversation about the issue, and Dick will post comments on his ZoneMaven blog. (2) Trinn Murray expressed concern about the homeless encampment near Fred Meyer on Lincoln Street and said she is willing to proactively address the issue. Tim also noted a second neighborhood encampment at Elwood/Samish and Garey a third in the 34th Street area.

Secretary’s Report. Moved, seconded and passed to approve the January minutes as corrected to read under Public Comment: “Tim Wynn said the next stage of the Lincoln Creek Park & Ride, if it proceeds depending on the stimulus bill, will break ground this summer but will not include the projected parking garage.”

Treasurer’s Report. Checking, $1,201.63 (room rental expense $10, membership revenue $36). Savings, $513.63 ($0.37 interest). Petty cash, $20. Total assets: $1,715.26. Moved, seconded and passed as submitted.

Mayor’s Neighborhood Advisory Council. Greg reported the city will no longer send out its electronic Neighborhood News due to economic cutbacks. Garey requested that Greg find out what the phrase (used in a Bellingham Herald article) “cementing single-family residential status” in neighborhood plans actually means. Was this strictly a Herald term? April noted that the city’s stand is that there is no staff available to work on neighborhood plans during the next year. Greg said that the next MNAC meeting had a light agenda with a specific allotment of time to discussion of Chuckanut Ridge.

Small and Simple Grant. April is completing the forms to request funds for new meeting signs and development of a Web site. Eric noted he has two potential Web design companies and is looking for a third.

Nominating Committee Report. There are four board members who don’t plan to renew their terms and currently one new nominee, Dick Conoboy, who has agreed to run.

Annual Meeting. Revisions to the newsletter proof were discussed and it was moved, seconded and passed to approve as amended with no additional proof needed. The meeting agenda was discussed. Consensus was that the treasurer’s report should be a simple annual statement, not detailed by month, and that the open discussion period should be at the end of the meeting not the beginning. Tim will bring the laminated maps, and set-up will be 5:30 to 5:45. Wording for the neighborhood signs was discussed; Pauline will look up what was agreed to for last year’s signs and forward that along with the list of current sign holders to Eric.

Development Update. Joe said the last house in the 55-home Greenbrier development (previously known as the Lazy E, started in 2000) is now being built. He also noted that Edelstein has acquired the mobile home park property on Samish near the nursing home.

No-More-Than-Three Rule Enforcement. Garey reported that our 34th Street residents are now so frustrated with the absentee landlord/loss of property value situation on their street that they are banding together to hire an attorney. He would like the board to authorize him to say they have support of the Samish Neighborhood Association. The city is willing to enforce noise and litter complaints there, but not its own code. Dick Conoboy commented the city doesn’t have “the political will” to enforce their code. April said we should be more creative and not try to get a flawed law enforced. After considerable discussion, there was absence of agreement. Motion for approval to say that SNA supports this effort to enforce the law failed with 5 votes for and 6 against. Joe suggested something specific in writing to the city and signed by the board, to the effect that we’re tired of nothing being done, we’ve protested previously but the problem keeps coming back, and it needs to be dealt with. Garey liked this; Eric noted that with time we could develop consensus; Tim volunteered to start putting a letter together to bring to the board to work on. Tom Roehl suggested working with other neighborhoods to get them to send similar letters; Joe said we should set a deadline where we go ahead even without other neighborhood support. Dick noted that landlord licensing will come up in City Council again sometime this spring.

Next Meetings: April 14, May 12.

Posted 9 years, 1 month ago at 2:35 PM.

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SNA Annual Meeting Minutes 2009-04

Samish Neighborhood Association

Annual Meeting Notes  April 1, 2009  Bellingham Elks Lodge

The 2009 SNA annual meeting was attended by approximately 50-60 people. Scheduled speakers were Mayor Dan Pike and WWU President Bruce Shepard. Other city officials also attending included City Council at-large representative Louise Bjornson and COB Neighborhood Coordinator Linda Stewart.

SNA President Eric Weight called the business meeting to order at approximately 7 p.m. April Markiewicz gave the 2008-09 treasurer’s report including: Revenue: $1,500 membership and $4,500 COB support. Expenses: $100 meeting room rental, $10 non-profit registration, $58 post office box rental, $1,200 printing and mailing expenses for postal newsletter (two per year), $500 annual September barbecue/picnic, $4,070 neighborhood signs. Carry-over: $1,733.53. Eric followed with a review of SNA activities during the 2008-09 fiscal year. In particular, he noted that:

  • • There has been a slow-down on completion of neighborhood plans with no funds available from the city, so final work on the SNA plan is on hold.
  • • Our “Welcome to the Neighborhood” signs have been completed and are now in place.
  • • The board is working toward development of an SNA Web site and is looking for volunteers who would be able to help with this effort.
  • • Public comment period at the board’s monthly meetings has been moved to the beginning of the meeting as is done at City Council meetings.
  • • Thank you to the Elks Lodge for their support of our annual meeting by providing meeting space.
  • • Recognition of long-term board members who are retiring from the board: Bill Baldwin, Glen Hallman, Pauline Palmer, Ted Perry.

Board Election. Each year, SNA elects one-half of its Board of Directors for two-year terms. Candidates for 2009-11 were announced as follows: New board nominees: Dick Conoboy, David Gilbertson, Trinn Murray. Re-election: Joe Carpenter, Garey Vodopich, Eric Weight. There were no nominations from the floor. Moved and seconded to vote on the slate of candidates as a whole, and passed by unanimous vote.

WWU President Bruce Shepard made some general comments, noting that one of the unique features of WWU is the amount of research that faculty and students, including undergraduates, work on together. Also: there is “maybe over a million” hours per year of community service provided by students; many students would like to stay in this area, but there aren’t enough opportunities for them to do so; and the University is working with the city on development of the waterfront. Q: Free parking for events on campus so community members can attend? A: A huge challenge he hears mentioned often. He has a group now looking into weekend/evening parking at no charge. Q: What’s happening with the budget crisis? A: Still trying to figure out what it means. With 200-250 projected job losses, would no longer be the county’s largest employer. Could also affect enrollment. Q: Is the campus less diverse? A: No. Admission activity is up with 18 percent students of color. Q: Various neighborhoods have issues with “party houses” and students need to be motivated to become better citizens. A: There is a campus-community connections group working on this. Part of the challenge is quality of landlords.

Linda Stewart noted that the mayor was at another meeting and would be here as soon as possible. She made brief comments on the infill toolkit process and the initial meeting re the Fountain Urban Village. Q: When will Planning move again on neighborhood plans.? A: No idea. Some that have carried over may be gotten to. Re Samish, Governor Road, etc., pieces are coming slowly but not yet fitting together. Q: Capacity to investigate code compliance? A: Notify Police Department if there are immediate problems, or contact her at and she will check things out.

Mayor Dan Pike noted this was his third meeting of the night and invited questions and comments. Q: What’s on your mind? A: (1) Trying to manage the budget crisis; trying to be transparent with city employees and the public. (2) Longer-term issues such as growth management  a more robust transit system, water quality involving more than just Lake Whatcom, growth in cities rather than open county areas. Q: Your attitude toward tax increases? A: Taxes shouldn’t be taken off the table but are not a good solution. The city has “structural challenges”   sustainability is important; we need to size government better; service provision needs to be looked at. We need to talk about the hard stuff  there is no magic way to get more resources. We need a model that stops the cycle of having to do a fix on a regular basis. Q: Comments on the city promoting growth in urban villages with neighborhoods keeping zoning as is? A: Not every neighborhood will want to use all of the infill toolkit options. People want to have confidence that what they accept will be appropriate growth for their neighborhood. Q: Re Bruce Shepard’s comments on landlord responsibility, where do we stand on having tools to deal with this? A: Landlord licensing isn’t allowed  solution has to be revenue neutral. The city is now looking at different options; we should expect a public comment session on that to be scheduled later this year. Q: Port vs. city re waterfront? A: Still in discussion; still some challenges. Biggest change: port and city are communicating better and working together. He still wants to keep development site lines pulling from the city out, with the city building enough for the developers to continue.

Public Comment: Question was: The stairsteps issue has been tabled, but for how long? How do we keep it on the agenda? Dan Pike noted that Public Works has an idea about how to solve this issue. April Markiewicz said that it’s on the Samish Transportation Improvement Program request and in the SNA Neighborhood Plan, so the board will keep this issue open.

Next Meetings: April 14, May 12.

Posted 9 years, 1 month ago at 2:32 PM.

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SNA Minutes 2009.04

Samish Neighborhood Association

Meeting Notes  April 14, 2009

Board Members: Attending. Ned Hannah, Trinn Murray, Greg McCracken, Tom Roehl, Eric Weight, Tim Wynn, David Gilbertson, Joseph Carpenter, Dick Conoboy. Absent. Steve Hood, Judy Diaz, Garey Vodopich, Shirley Forsloff, April Markiewicz. Residents: Pauline Palmer, Rick Anderson, Ruth Molaski, Marie Neubauer, Alexis Miller, Dave Brogan.

Opening Comments. President Eric Weight welcomed new board members Trinn Murray, David Gilbertson and Dick Conoboy. He also explained the new procedure for turning on the alarm system when leaving Community Baptist Church after board meetings (hold down the AWAY button, one then has 60 seconds to exit the door before the alarm is armed).

Public Comment. Rick Anderson said one of the partners of Pacific Crest Partners may have resigned from the company. Pacific Crest Partners has a 50-lot development on San Juan Blvd. He also noted that the Bellingham City Council deleted from its budget carryover money from last year for designing San Juan Blvd. There was discussion about the appropriateness of building infrastructure of a development site and then letting it sit for a time, but it was decided there was no law against it. Eric asked what the board’s role is when there is a slowdown in development. Tim Wynn suggested the board should continue on our own land-use plan so we aren’t playing catch-up when it is needed. Tim stated we are not yet together as a neighborhood in our land-use values. Greg McCracken said the city does have a study in place of Governor Road corridor, which is supposed to precede the Planning Department’s assistance with the land-use section of the neighborhood’s comprehensive plan. He also said the public comment period is not the time to discuss such issues in depth. Eric said we should study this formally.

Dave Brogan asked for the difference between city zoning laws, the land-use plan and the neighborhood plan. Tim explained the land-use plan as a part of the neighborhood comprehensive plan, which describes the neighborhood’s character and density. Eric said zoning is mandatory; the neighborhood plan is a guide.

Secretary’s Report. There was no secretary’s report.

Treasurer’s Report. There was no treasurer’s report.

Election of Board Officers. Eric announced that he was not running for a second term as president and nominated Greg. Tim seconded the motion and the board was unanimous in its vote. Tom Roehl said he would remain as vice-president for another year and was approved with a unanimous vote. Pauline Palmer said that after 12 years as secretary she was stepping down from the position and the board for personal reasons. Tim lauded her service as one of the reasons for the board’s success. After some discussion of secretarial roles (Pauline said she would continue with the association’s biannually printed newsletter), Joe Carpenter volunteered for the position but stipulated that his duties must only include note-taking and issuing of the minutes. He was unanimously elected to the position. Although absent, April Markiewicz has previously indicated her desire to stay on as treasurer and was unanimously elected.

Mayor’s Neighborhood Advisory Commission. As MNAC representative, Greg first asked about newsletter advertising after receiving two inquiries about it. Board members decided that while advertisements in the printed newsletter were not cost-effective, it may be a good idea for the website with a one-year commitment. He reported news of a halfway house opening downtown for ex-convicts and reported on MNAC’s proposed review of the city’s infill toolkit plan.

For the Good of the Neighborhood. Tim spoke of a quote for sandwich-board signs (two worded 24-inch by 32-inch sides for $85) and said he would bring in an example to the next meeting. Eric said he would email the board by-laws to new members.

Suggestions for May Agenda Items. Select date for the 2009 picnic to reserve park. Examine communication through signs and website development. Review the drafted letter to the city about housing rules.

Next Meeting: May 12.

Posted 9 years, 1 month ago at 2:29 PM.

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SNA Minutes 2009.05

Samish Neighborhood Association  Meeting Notes-May 12, 2009

Board Members Attending:  Ned Hannah, Trinn Murray, Greg McCracken, Tom Roehl, Dick Conoboy, April Markiewicz, Shirley Forsloff, Steve Hood, David Gilbertson, and Joseph Carpenter. Absent, Tim Wynn, Eric Weight, Garey Vodopich, and Judy Diaz. Residents, Emily Pacheco, Ruth Molaski, Marie Neubauer, and Brian Dagneaeut.

Board Called to Order, April Meeting Notes approved unanamously.

Public Comment: Student Painters representative Kati passed out information about her company. Emily Pacheco expressed her concerns about the watershed and inquired about a ‘win-win’ situation between recreation on the lake and protection of Lake Whatcom.

Opening Comments: Greg noted that Tim Wynn was ill, Shirley had other commitments and would be late, and asked members to inform someone if we would not be able to attend the meeting. Greg noted that Judy Diaz has resigned from the board and read her letter of resignation. As president he expects us to show civility and respect for one another and stay focused on our agenda and issues within our neighborhood. He noted that having long board meetings does not necessarily mean we have accomplished what we set out for and could have done the same in a short meeting. Greg outlined (5) goals during his term that are the following: 1) establish website, 2) take action on housing rule/letter, 3) ensure future development does not create problems like those being experienced along the ‘stair-steps’, 4) push through land use section of Neighborhood Plan when opportunity arises, 5) inquire as to tax status of SNA, consider 501 (c) 3, noting the financial assistance we could receive from companies like Conoco Phillips. April noted we are a 501 (c) 3 and have an EIN. Greg distributed 2001 Articles of Incorporation to members and April noted she will get him a more recent copy of Bylaws for new members. Treasurers Report: $432 in deposits, with a total balance in savings, checking, and petty cash of $1,936.15. We had 9 new members, 161 dues paying members, and 488 current/past members. April will send letter when member is three years in arrears asking for renewal. Treasurer’s report was approved by board unanimously.

MNAC Update: Greg noted ‘Water Watcher’s Program to protect water supply and residents should call police to protect safety and security of water supply. In-fill tool kit motion to change single family status was not approved by MNAC and Greg was one of the members voting against its approval.

New Business: Discussed letter to COB regarding illegal ‘rooming houses’/multi-family housing, i.e. home with more than 3 unrelated individuals living. Board agreed to continue working on letter and sought timeline for completion. SNA will need to give presentation to COB/MNAC on the development of our SNA website. This was a condition on being approved for the COB ‘Small and Simple Grant’. 2009 Neighborhood picnic will be on Sunday Sept. 13th from 11-3PM. Sept. 20th is the back-up date. Landscape party around SNA signs will be on Saturday May 30th from 10-12. Brian Dagneaeut provided an updated map of the Governor Road and San Juan Blvd connection.

Posted 9 years, 1 month ago at 2:26 PM.

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SNA Minutes 2009.06

Samish Neighborhood Association Draft Meeting Notes-June 9, 2009

Board Called to Order: Board Members Attending, Ned Hannah, Trinn Murray, Greg McCracken, Dick Conoboy, April Markiewicz, Shirley Forsloff, David Gilbertson, Garey Vodopich, Tim Wynn, Eric Weight, and Joseph Carpenter. Absent Tom Roehl, Steve Hood, and Judy Diaz. Residents Pauline Palmer, Christopher Morrison, Sheila Rhodes, Steve Abell, Emily Pacheco, Ruth Molaski, Marie Neubauer, Michael Lilliquist, and Catherine Ren-Uzara.

Public Comment Period: Christopher Morrison, an “artist and business owner” is running for Bellingham City Council Ward 6. Michael Lilliquist is also running for Ward 6. Each talked briefly about themselves and the visions for the area. The board asked them to consider returning at the July meeting to talk more about their candidacy.

Approval of June Meeting: Notes approved unanimously.

Presidents Announcements: Greg thanked April, Shiela Rhodes her son Seth, and Rich Bowers for helping plant around the neighborhood signs and water the plants. Greg asked that attendance of the SNA BOD be verified to ensure bylaws are adhered too, i.e. (3) consecutive absences. He also inquired about our interest in having a SNA BOD meeting in August. A motion was made, seconded and approved unanimously to not hold an August meeting.

Treasurer’s Report: No new deposits, with a total balance in savings, checking, and petty cash of $1,891, versus a balance the end of $1,936.15. There were minor cost associated with topsoil for around the signs, room rental, and new file box. A motion was made, seconded and approved unanimously to approve the Treasurer’s report.

MNAC Report: Greg noted strategic planning for legacy planning, i.e. 20-50 years. Mayor Pike updated the MNAC on the Waterfront.

Communications: Tim Wynn gave an update on the sandwich board signs from Safety Signs Inc. (6) signs, text on both side, $125 each. We budgeted $4,200 for signs and website. April noted that we have enough to cover this and the money must be spent by Sept. 15 via guidelines of the Small and Simple Grant. April and Greg gave the BOD an update on the web design and agreed that Ritama will give us more details on what is included in the $1,000 quoted cost, plus $100 domain name of or Eric noted he may be able to get the domain for less through a service he has. For info on Ritama websites, please do a search for “Ritama design Bellingham”.

For profit speakers at SNA board meetings: Greg asked if organizations like Student Painters can or cannot come speak to the SNA. The SNA board agreed that they should not be able to solicit us but we also need to have ‘Policies and Procedures’ for the SNA that explicitly outlines this issue. The first step is to take a look at other Neighborhood Assoc. to see what they do, via MNAC.

Housing regulations draft letter: Tim will revise letter and email out again for review.

For the Good of the Neighborhood: Greg asked for more help planting next to the other neighborhood sign this coming Saturday at 10AM. Tim noted large dumpsters available for students this weekend to prevent illegal dumping. Gary noted that one of his neighbors is moving out of the area due to the rooming houses next to them.

Adjourn: Meeting was adjourned.

Posted 9 years, 1 month ago at 2:24 PM.

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SNA Minutes 2009.07

Samish Neighborhood Association Draft Meeting Notes-July 14, 2009

Board Called to Order: Board Members Attending, Ned Hannah, Tom Roehl, Greg McCracken, Dick Conoboy, April Markiewicz, Shirley Forslof, David Gilbertson, Tim Wynn, , and Joseph Carpenter. Absent, Trinn Murray, Garey Vodopich, Eric Weight and Steve Hood. Residents Pauline Palmer, Clay Butler and Marilou Butler.

Public Comment Period: Clay and Marilou Butler, residents of the South Neighborhood, commented on the noisy 4th of July. Councilwoman Barbra Ryan recommended they approach the neighborhood associations for input. The Butlers would like SNA’s support for a “Total Ban” on fireworks in Whatcom County. They noted some other WA counties have bans and fires and injuries have went down because of it.

Approval of agenda: A motion was made, seconded and approved unanimously to approve agenda.

Approval of June 2009 minutes: A motion was made, seconded and approved unanimously to approve June Minutes with minor changes.

Presidents Announcements: Greg informed BOD that Garey, Steve, and Trinn called to inform him of tonight’s absence. Greg thanked Tim, and April for the help with the SNA sign garden on Elwood and Samish.

Treasurer’s Report: Deposits of $58, with a total balance in savings, checking, and petty cash of $1,191.04. Cost for the website, picnic, PO Box, and landscaping brought the balance down from the previous months total of $1,891. Forthcoming revenue for website and newsletter reimbursements and membership dues should bring balance back up within the next couple months. A motion was made, seconded and approved unanimously to approve the Treasurer’s report.

MNAC Report: Neither Greg, nor alternate Eric were able to make meeting. Dick attended meeting but didn’t bring notes. Greg said he didn’t recall any emails from MNAC of substance.

Communications: Tim said the signs are $150 each for 10 with a total after tax cost of $1,627.50 and will be ready for pick up next week. Greg and Ritama have been working on website and should have something by this Friday.

Newsletter: Pauline said the article deadline is July 31st. It will go to the printer on August 15th and be mailed the first week of September in time for the picnic Sept. 20th. Article ideas discussed by the BOD were rental letter update, website, new neighborhood signs, announcement signs, and an update on developments.

Picnic: Lake Padden Shelter Sept. 20th from 11-3PM. We’ll cook chicken and hotdogs, rent 10 tables and between 20-30 chairs. Announcement signs go up week before. Joe will bring his grill and propane. A membership table will be set up. Ginny will be contacted regarding the food. Greg will contact candidates and elected officials for invitation. Greg will bring SNA banner for shelter.

For the Good of the Neighborhood: BOD discussed the Butler’s Fireworks concerns. No consensus among BOD though most support status quo. We agreed to contact the Butler’s and have them return to us with additional information.

Housing Regulations Draft Letter: Tim will review and email out to BOD.


Posted 9 years, 1 month ago at 2:20 PM.

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