Samish Neighborhood Association

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SNA minutes 2015-04

Samish Neighborhood Association Meeting
April 9, 2015, Community Baptist Church

Meeting called to order by Secretary Abell.

Board members present: Steve Abell, Garey Vodopich, Dick Conoboy, Don Hale, Joy Hale, Judy Brightman, Nikki Long
Board members absent: Joe Carpenter, Kevin Probasco, Junga Subedar
Guests: Ken & Sue Lingbloom, Tom Read, Amanda Milner (WWU), Fred Dayton

Public Comments: Amanda Milner is a student at WWU. She is here in conjunction with her class in reporting.

President’s Announcements: New board members Judy Brightman and Joy Hale were welcomed. Board members and guests all introduced themselves.

Old business:

Meeting minutes from February and March were approved.

Treasurer’s report: Collected and deposited $1,440.50 in dues. Expenditures included $1,041.50 to Speedy Automated Mailers for printing and mailing the Spring Newsletter, and $21.57 for food offered at the Spring meeting. Received and deposited the city neighborhood grant money of $500.00. Checkbook balance on April 9 is $2,615.18. We currently have 112 paid members. 74 memberships expired on April 1 and have not been renewed. We can expect a few more dues payments over the next month or two.

Zoning update: Public hearings for Area 9 (rezone to remove non-retail restriction) and 801 Samish Way (rezone from single family residential conditional use to commercial planned offices only to allow Pacific Harbor Holdings to convert church building to the home of their psychology practice) come before the City Council on April 13 (postponed from April 6). Interested parties are encouraged to attend and offer their input to the Council.

Public hearing for Ashley Street (rezone from commercial auto to commercial planned) property between the WWU park & ride lot on Lincoln and Ashley Street comes before the Council on May 4.

This proposal includes a group of 7 new single family homes on a new 36th Street cul de sac from Fielding/Samish intersection. The developer’s plan meets current zoning code (single family residential) therefore required only a review by the Hearing Examiner. As far as we know there was no testimony in opposition and this project will move forward, although the timing is unknown at this time.

MNAC update: Dick participated in a focus group that reviewed the ongoing issue of a new ordinance that will regulate ADU-detached housing units (accessory dwelling units separate from an existing house but on the same property). Consideration of this will continue with City Council.

We now have ten board members. Our by-laws allow 9 to 15. It was the feeling of the board that we would like to recruit more board members but it has proven difficult to do this. The best way, by consensus of the members present, is to approach neighbors person-to-person. The item published in the Spring newsletter failed to generate any visible interest among neighbors. We don’t really have a neighborhood-wide cause to help capture interest. Current board members can approach their own neighbors to try to generate interest in joining the board. We see advantages in having a larger board and more diversity in board membership, especially from 38th Street and above, an area with little representation currently.

Steve reported that his project to create a planning document for the March meeting and September picnic was nearly finished and will be used for picnic planning this fall.

Back in November Joe suggested that we create a log of neighborhood responses to rezone proposals that have come up. We all agreed that this would be valuable so that future support for or opposition to new rezone proposals would have some history to look at. Much of the information is now available on by searching the website archives. Also, assembling and organizing these records would be a very heavy lift. It was thought that just a summary document would require less time but would still be worthwhile. Collect a log of just the basics – what happened and how it came out – with dates and links to available information. There were no volunteers to take this project on.

New business:

Our by-laws require nomination and election of officers to occur at the April meeting. Garey nominated Steve Abell for president and Dick for vice president. The nominations were seconded, and both individuals were elected by unanimous vote of board members present. No nominations were made for secretary or treasurer, so these offices are unfilled. Our by-laws allow both offices to be filled by the same person. Steve, having served in both capacities since November, pointed out that a single person can easily do both jobs if that person has the time (i.e. retired or with a part time job). In many ways keeping records and mailing lists up to date is easier if the same person does both jobs. We will reopen the nomination process at the May meeting. We need to fill these offices.

We currently only have one person (Steve) on the approved list of check signers for our North Coast CU account. For safety and convenience we need two. The two people normally on this list are the president and the treasurer, so we really do need a treasurer.

We discussed how we might attract more neighbors to our monthly meetings. Some of the ideas discussed were developing an interesting guest speaker program, broadly sending out our meeting agenda in advance to develop interest, changing the location of our meeting (we decided the church is still the best, and maybe only, place available), having fewer meetings, or having food available at meetings. No decisions were made, although several neighbors in attendance said they liked the idea of seeing an agenda ahead of time so we’ll try to continue doing that and see if it helps increase attendance.

We will make a reservation for the playground pavilion at Lake Padden park for our fall neighborhood picnic. This is usually the first or second Sunday after Labor Day, so the first choice is September 13, with September 20 as a backup date. Steve will make the reservation.

We discussed the availability of a neighborhood group. This is a way to facilitate communication among Samish neighbors. There is a group already in place although not many residents are aware of it. Any Samish resident can create a free account at and join the Samish Hill group. One advantage of joining is that our NPO’s (Neighborhood Police Officers) Eric Osterkamp and Dante Alexander post news of police and criminal activity on this site.

Meeting adjourned.

Steve Abell
President and acting secretary/treasurer

Posted 3 years, 10 months ago at 11:04 AM.

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SNA Annual Business Meeting 2015-03

Samish Neighborhood Association Annual Business Meeting
March 12, 2015, Elk’s Lodge

Meeting called to order by President Hale at 7:00 PM.

Board members present: Joe Carpenter, Steve Abell, Garey Vodopich, Dick Conoboy, Don Hale, Nikki Long
Board members absent: Junga Subedar , Kevin Probasco

Guests: Police Chief Cliff Cook, Officer Eric Osterkamp, Planning Director Rick Sepler, Cara Anderson (Pacific Harbor Psychology), 38 members signed in (quorum present)

Cookies, coffee, and water were available for refreshments. We thank Terry Myers, of Heritage Health & Rehabilitation on Samish Way, for donating some of the refreshments.

Public Comments: Chief Cook presented information on the new Neighborhood Police Officer program. Officer Osterkamp spoke briefly as the NPO for the southern Bellingham neighborhoods including Samish. The NPO program is aimed at promoting better communications and long term relationships between Bellingham neighborhoods and the police. The two NPO’s are dedicated to the NPO program. They are not assigned to respond to 9-1-1 calls, but will be responsive to non-emergency calls, comments, and suggestions from city residents. Reporting suspicious or unusual activities in and around neighborhoods is encouraged as a way to give police a heads-up on possible criminal activity. Officer Osterkamp told us that citizen input had already been helpful in detecting criminal activity in Bellingham. This is one of the major goals of the program.

Director Sepler spoke to the group about the upcoming Comprehensive Plan revision process and the importance of citizen input to the planning process. Rick has published several articles in local media regarding how the Bellingham quality of life can be maintained or even improved through good long term planning. He invited all city residents to provide comments and ideas on how this might be done.

Both speakers fielded questions from the audience.

President’s Announcements: Don mentioned the development issues that have been addressed by Samish in the past year, including the University Ridge student housing development (the developer has withdrawn his proposal), a rezone proposal for an Ashley Street parcel, two proposals along Samish Way (Area 9 and 801 Samish) which come before the Council on April 6, and one off of Samish Way and Fielding Avenue for single family residential development. He also reported that our annual neighborhood picnic held in early September was successful with good weather and a good turnout. Don mentioned board efforts to support the new rental registration and licensing city ordinance, which has now been passed by the City Council and will be implemented in 2016.

Business meeting section:

Treasurer’s report: Steve gave the annual treasurer’s report. Association income from dues and a grant from the city came to $2,438. Expenses, including our biggest expense of $2,022 for two newsletters per year, amounted to $2,409. Current balance in our checking account stands at $1,221. We currently have 180 members in good standing but many members have not renewed their memberships. We expect more dues to be received in the next several weeks. We are now collecting all dues in March/April, and future dues will carry the same deadline.

Election of board members was held. Three board members, Joe Carpenter, Junga Subedar, and Kevin Probasco, whose terms are expiring, were re-nominated for another 2-yr term. Two nominations were made from the floor, including Judy Brightman and Joy Hale. A motion was made and seconded to elect this slate of 5 nominees as a group. The motion passed unanimously. We now have ten board members. Election of Association officers will take place at our board meeting on April 9.

President Hale expressed the Association’s thanks to the Elk’s Lodge for allowing us to use their meeting room at no charge, and thanked everyone in the audience for attending the meeting. He encouraged all Samish neighbors to feel free to approach any board member with comments or suggestions about how we might maintain or improve the quality of life in our neighborhood.

Meeting adjourned.

Steve Abell,  Secretary/Treasurer

Posted 3 years, 10 months ago at 2:05 PM.

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