Samish Neighborhood Association

Neighbors in Bellingham, Washington, working together

You are currently browsing the archives for May, 2013.

SNA minutes 2013-05

Samish Neighborhood Association Meeting

May 9, 2013,  Community Baptist Church

Meeting called to order by Secretary Abell sitting in for President Carpenter.

Board members present: Kevin Probasco, Junga Subedar, Tom Roehl, Steve Abell, Garey Vodopich, Dick Conoboy, Christopher Morrison. Quorum present.

Board members absent: Joe Carpenter (excused), Don Hale, Suneeta Eisenberg (excused), Brian Benjamin (excused)

Guests: Nikki Long

Public Comments: none.

President’s Announcements: The date for our Fall picnic, September 8, has been reserved. The Parks & Recreation Dept. added a note to our reservation approving the use of the gravel driveway leading from the parking lot to the Playground Picnic Shelter only for unloading and loading rented equipment. Parking is allowed only in the parking lots.

Old business:

Board meeting minutes from April were approved.

Treasurer’s report: May 9 ending balance in checking account is $2,130.79. Total of all accounts is $2,135.79. After meeting room rent ($10) is paid and $42 in deposits clears, total available funds will be $2,167.79.

Ambling University Ridge development update: The developer submitted a revised proposal that includes three variance requests, two more than the first proposal. Dick scanned the documentation in the Planning Department offices. After the Department conferences with the developer and deems the proposal complete, the documents will be available on the city website,, and the public approval process will begin. The developer requested, and was granted, consolidated process, which means that after SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) compliance is reviewed, the Hearing Examiner will have the full proposal package to inform her decision on the variances. The date for the Hearing Examiner public meeting is not set, but is likely to be in mid-June or later, possibly as early as June 12. The city will give public notice of the date. As a reminder, because multi-family zoning is already in place for the development site, the decision to proceed with or without proposal modifications is entirely up to the Planning Director and Hearing Examiner. City Council approval is not required.

Dick stated his intention to oppose the Ambling student housing development as proposed and suggested we re-examine the proposal from a Samish Neighborhood point of view. An informal poll taken by Steve of some Samish residents whose property on South 41st, 42nd, 43rd, and 44th streets is close to the development site indicates considerable opposition based on traffic, parking, and drainage concerns.  We note that the Puget Neighborhood Board has decided not to take a specific position on the development, but is encouraging Puget residents who will be affected to voice their concerns to the city.

Tom suggested three ideas we should incorporate into our thinking. First, respect the property rights of the landowners and their developers to do what current zoning allows. Tom sees this as a major difference from the situation that existed last year in Padden Trails where the owners had to request a rezone to allow them to execute their plans for development. Second, communicate our concerns regarding drainage, parking, and traffic cut-through problems for Samish residents and link these to broader future issues all along Samish Hill as development occurs near the top of the hill. Third, push for mitigation of these problems as a requirement of approval. Approval of University Ridge without mitigation is likely to set a bad precedent for future development in Samish. The concerns of property owners downhill from development must be respected at least as much as the plans of builders and developers. It’s clear from experience that development uphill can lead to problems downhill, particularly drainage and run-off problems. Several board members expressed their feeling that trying to stop all multi-family development on the site is inappropriate given the fact that current zoning permits it. A more appropriate goal may be to re-shape whatever development is ultimately approved in a way that mitigates problems for Samish neighbors.

A motion was made, seconded, and passed for the team of Junga, Dick, and Tom to draft a letter to the city that includes issues we identify as important to Samish. They will distribute the draft via email to board members, and unless we need to submit the letter sooner, we will discuss it at the June 13 board meeting.

MNAC update from Dick: the April meeting featured a talk from a local attorney, Karen Funston. about forming and maintaining a non-profit organization. Dick expects to receive a copy of a handout from this meeting that he will email to board members.

Joe needs to write a letter to Mayor Linville requesting that she appoint Kevin Probasco as the Samish alternate to MNAC meetings.

New business:

Garey updated the board on proposed revisions to our by-laws to include a provision to discharge a board member for cause. Current by-laws provide termination only for excessive unexcused absences. Garey drew from by-laws of other neighborhoods to model what we need in Samish by-laws. We had a brief discussion of board members’ responsibilities. They include abiding by board majority decisions, maintaining integrity of board deliberations, and speaking as an individual, not a board member, if a board member holds a dissenting opinion and speaks publicly. Failure to fulfill any of these responsibilities can be cause for removal from the board. Removal requires a majority vote from board members. Garey will send by-law revisions to Steve, who will forward them to board members for review. Ultimately, a change to by-laws requires a vote of the full membership. We hope to take this vote at the September picnic.

Brian Benjamin was nominated for the office of Treasurer. The nomination was seconded and Brian was elected by unanimous vote (7-0).

By unanimous vote the following signature authority changes are made to the North Coast Credit Union Account #xxxxxxxx:

Added to signature authority for the account is Brian Benjamin.

Removed from signature authority with the thanks of the board for faithful service is Donald T. Wynn.

Steven Abell continues as a signature authority for the same account.

Tim Wynn’s resignation from the board before the expiration of his term left a vacancy in board membership. Association by-laws allow the board to elect a new member to finish out the unexpired term. Edward Alexander was nominated, seconded, and elected by unanimous vote to finish out the remaining 1-year term. Edward’s term will therefore expire in March 2014.

Meeting adjourned.

Steve Abell


Posted 5 years, 9 months ago at 11:08 PM.

Add a comment

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Categories