Samish Neighborhood Association

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SNA minutes 2018-08 DRAFT

Samish Neighborhood Association Board Meeting (DRAFT)
7 PM, Thursday, August 9, 2018  –  Community Baptist Church

The board meeting was called to order @ ~7:10 pm

SNA Board Members Present:  Steve A, Tom R, Nikki L, Jon N. and Tom D.

  • Eric Osterkamp (NPO) in attendance for first 20 minutes of meeting
  • 1 Samish neighbor (Barb Bessire / non-board member) in attendance

Neighborhood Police Officer Report – Eric Osterkamp

  • Made mention of increased car prowls in Samish and nearby neighborhoods
  • Mentioned recent Bellingham events that displayed the BPD Bearcat (armored vehicle) and offered to bring the Bearcat to the Samish Neighborhood picnic gathering

Motion was then made by Tom R to request that BPD display the Bearcat at the upcoming Samish Neighborhood picnic; seconded by Jon N; 5 Yea votes, 0 No votes.

Approve minutes from June 14 BOD meeting

  • Meeting minutes were approved unanimously

Public Comments:  Samish neighbor (Barb Bessire) made mention of a loud, speeding vehicle on Samish Way; discussion ensued about reporting such incidents to the BPD traffic patrol.

Treasurer’s Report

  • Tom Read presented his report on current finances (1 recent expense, several new dues paid since June 2018 SNA meeting):

Checking Balance on 6/14/18                             $3320.04

Expenses (internet site maintenance fee)                  –$95.40

Deposits                                                             +$147.00

Checking Balance on 8/9/18                               $3371.64

Current paid members (2018-19)                          118 members

2017-18 members not renewed                             42 past members

Old Business

MNAC Report:  Steve A. attended the July 18 MNAC meeting – given absence of both the SNA delegate and alternate.  Discussions centered on transportation, parking and land use.  There is an MNAC link on the Samish Neighborhood website that leads to the City of Bellingham website where detailed minutes from all past MNAC meetings can be found.


New Business

Fall Newsletter:  Final drafts of articles (Dohman, Read, Conoboy, Abell) for the upcoming newsletter are due to Steve A. by 8/20; due to editor (Greg M.) by 8/21; to Minuteman Press by 8/28; to Post Office by 9/4; arrive in Samish residents’ mailboxes by ~9/11.


Short Term Rentals:  Proposal to regulate Short Term Rentals (Airbnb, VRBO, FlipKey, etc.) has solicited public comments from citizens; Planning Commission has made their recommendations to the City Council, which is now holding work sessions to finalize the ordinance language before they vote on the final ordinance.


Steve A. offered to pick-up 2 60-qt coolers to utilize at our annual SNA picnics.  A motion was made by Tom R to purchase 2 such coolers; seconded by Jon N; 5 Yea votes, 0 No votes.


Jon N suggested that the SNA board might want to consider updating the Samish Neighborhood website ( to make it more aesthetic, user-friendly and perhaps more functional as (e.g. able to process membership applications & payments).  Jon solicited other interested parties (Tom D has volunteered) who would like to provide input and help critique potential improvements.  The goal in the near term would be to craft a website presentation to the entire board to demonstrate what might be possible.  No motion was proposed nor funds provided at this very preliminary stage.


September 16 SNA Picnic Plans:  Lake Padden Park Pavilion, 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm

The picnic plan includes a menu of salmon filets, burgers and brats plus picnic supplies and beverages; side dishes to be provided by attendees in a pot luck style.

The picnic event replaces the normal board meeting for September.  The next SNA board is scheduled for Thursday, October 11.


The board meeting was adjourned @ ~8:20 pm

Posted 2 months ago.

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SNA minutes 2018-06

Samish Neighborhood Association Board Meeting

7 PM, Thursday, June 14, 2018  –  Community Baptist Church

Meeting was called to order @ ~7:10 pm

BOD Members Present:  Steve A, Tom R, Nikki L, Dick C, Joe C, Kevin P, Jon N. and Joy H.

  • 20 residents signed, additional ~10 neighbors were present including several residents from the Puget Neighborhood
  • Samish residents had been previously informed – both at the May 2018 SNA meeting as well as via a Nextdoor Samish Hill notice – that additional details about the Samish Neighborhood Docketing Proposal would be presented by Ron Jepson (Jepson & Associates) who represents the property owners involved with the Docketing Proposal.
  • Public Comment period was skipped to allow more Q&A time after the presentation

Approved minutes from May 10 BOD meeting

  • Meeting minutes were approved unanimously

Treasurer’s Report

  • Tom Read presented his report on current finances (no new expenses, no new dues paid since May 2018 SNA meeting):

Checking Balance on 5/10/18                             $3320.04

Expenses                                                                 $0.00

Deposits                                                                  $0.00

Checking Balance on 6/14/18                             $3320.04

Current paid members (2018-19)                          110 members

2017-18 members not renewed                             47 past members

Neighborhood Police Officer (NPO) Presentation – Eric Osterkamp

  • Eric gave an overview of the Neighborhood Police Officer program
  • Discussed plans for Move Out Madness event re: WWU students
  • Provided advice to keep firearms locked up at home
  • Described his personal experience with the BearCat armored vehicle (protection from shooters)

Noted the availability of safe drug drop-off programs sponsored by BPD:  1) unused prescription medications can be dropped off at several local pharmacies, 2) prescription narcotics can only be dropped off at the BPD station @ 505 Grand Ave, M-F, 8 am–5 pm  (see link to program details )

Samish Neighborhood Docketing Proposal – Presented by Ron Jepson

  • Ron Jepson distributed map handouts, presented a summary of the Samish Neighborhood Docketing Proposal (REZ2018-0004) and fielded related questions.
  • A spirited discussion took place between Ron and the neighbors in attendance which lasted ~75 minutes
  • There was general agreement that abandonment of the San Juan Blvd extension would degrade the traffic situation if no other East-West arterial is identified and built
  • There was much concern and resistance to simply allowing future increased pass-through traffic on existing neighborhood streets
  • Bellingham City Council public hearing on docketing REZ2018-0004 is on July 9
  • While the council is expected to approve the docketing proposal, concerned residents were advised to make their concerns known via written comments to as well as personal contacts with council members
  • The point was made that it’s important to register our concerns prior to Public Hearings since council members are likely to make up their minds early on these issues
  • Consideration of amendments to the Comprehensive Plan and Samish Neighborhood Plan will come up for discussion & debate in the Fall/Winter 2018/2019 in a Type VI process.
  • Long term council members (Knutson and Borneman) are likely to be sympathetic to the neighborhood concerns; newer council members are likely to push growth regardless of expressed neighborhood concerns
  • Dick C. cited upcomingcity deliberations on a subdivision ordinance and the infill toolkit as potential threats to single family home zoning, including any new development(s) on Samish Hill
  • Separate consideration of multiple items (ADUs, STRs, Subdivisions, Toolkits) is likely to lead to shortsighted decisions and will tend to mask possible overall detrimental impacts / effects on existing residential neighborhoods and their character

Old Business

MNAC Report:  Kevin P. was part of a group that toured the new Waterfront Park (under construction & not yet open to the public); there is no opening date available yet

Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Ordinance:  Nothing new since the ordinance was passed by the City Council in May 2018

Short Term Rentals (STR):  Council reviews the proposed ordinance on June 18 with a Public Hearing.  It is important to note that the proposed ordinance prohibits Detached Accessory Dwelling Units (D-ADUs) from being used as Short Term Rentals (STRs)

New Business

Fall Newsletter:  There is a need for articles for the upcoming newsletter; articles will be due to the editor (Greg M.) no later than August 20, 2018

Steve A. will solicit board members to write suitable articles and coordinate the process

September 16 SNA Picnic Plans:  Lake Padden Park Pavilion, 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm

Joe C. has again offered the use of his barbecue grill; the picnic plan includes a menu of salmon filets and brats plus trimmings

Meeting was adjourned @ ~8:45 pm

Posted 3 months ago.

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SNA minutes 2018-05

Samish Neighborhood Association Board Meeting
7 PM, Thursday, May 10, 2018  –  Community Baptist Church

Meeting was called to order @ ~7:00 pm

BOD Members Present:  Steve A, Tom R, Tom D, Nikki L, Dick C, Joe C, Kevin P, and Joy H.

  • Approximately 20-25 neighbors attended, primarily to learn more details about the Samish Neighborhood Docketing Proposal
  • Michael Lilliquist, Ward 6 City Council Member, was also in attendance

Approved minutes from April 12 BOD meeting

  • Meeting minutes were approved unanimously

Treasurer’s Report

  • Tom Read presented his report on current finances:

Checking Balance on 4/12/18                             $3179.09

Expenses (reimbursement for Mar 15 items)          ($266.05)

Deposits (from Dues Paid)                                    $407.00

Checking Balance on 4/12/18                             $3320.04

Current paid members (2018-19)  110 members

         2017-18 members not renewed      47 past members

Annual Samish Neighborhood Picnic – Sunday, September 16; 12 noon – 3:00 p.m.

  • Lake Padden Playground Pavilion has been reserved from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Upcoming Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center (WDRC) Workshop

  • Workshop particulars presented by Tom Dohman
  • Title:          Comfort with Conflict
  • Date / Time: Thursday, May 24; 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
  • Location:          Community Baptist Church

Samish Neighborhood Docketing Proposal Discussion

  • Steve A. outlined the city process involved in a Docketing Proposal
  • Focus of Samish Neighborhood Docketing Proposal (REZ2018-0004) includes proposed amendments to the Comprehensive / Neighborhood Plan
  • Amendments are related to the east-west Yew-Samish Arterial Connector (San Juan Blvd extension) and the north-south arterial (Governor Road extension); both are parts of the circulation map from the Samish Neighborhood Plan
  • Much spirited discussion ensued during which concerns were expressed about the potential negative impacts related to any abandonment of the San Juan Blvd extension without any consideration of a solid alternative plan for an east-west connector
  • Additional discussion focused on concerns related to water run-off (related to new home and street construction) and other infrastructure considerations
  • Samish neighbors present were encouraged to attend the May 17 Public Hearing with the Bellingham Planning Commission – during which 4 Docketing Proposals would be reviewed, including the Samish Neighborhood Docketing Proposal (REZ2018-0004)
  • Samish neighbors present were also encouraged to write letters to the Planning Commission before May 15 to express their general concerns, despite the fact that decisions about Docketing do not require detailed planning at this current stage
  • Samish neighbors present were also encouraged to remain engaged in this lengthy process, emphasizing the importance of many steps and decisions yet to be made

Old Business

MNAC Report

  • Brief description of the MNAC involvement by Samish Board members (Representative and Alternate) was described; topics included Code Compliance and Homeless Encampment Cleanups, Urban Villages updates and Neighborhood Roundtable updates
  • For further details of recent MNAC meeting minutes, neighbors present were directed to the MNAC meeting minutes link on the SNA website

DADU / ADU Update

  • During the Bellingham City Council meeting on May 7, 2018, they voted 5-2 to approve a 1st & 2nd reading of a city-wide ordinance amending Bellingham’s ADU Regulations (aimed at making DADUs legal in all neighborhoods – subject to pertinent guidelines)
  • The 3rd & Final reading & passage of the ordinance is on the meeting docket for 5/21/18.

New Business

Discussed possible projects to support (using a portion of SNA funds) – comments added

  • Refurbish neighborhood welcome signs ($2,350); new ($2,650) – deemed too expensive
  • Potential pump track (for bicycles) being considered near the corner of 40th St & Dumas Ave – design ideas are very preliminary, additional city / neighborhood feedback will be sought, concerns raised about preserving open space and walking trails through property

(For more info, check web link at

Date for the next SNA board meeting is set for Thursday, June 14, 2018

  • Plans have been made to have Ron Jepson (Jepson & Associates) speak to the meeting attendees about the Docketing Proposal (REZ2018-0004)
  • Ron represents the property owners as clients who want to develop properties and want to make amendments to the current Comprehensive / Neighborhood Plan

A Samish resident living near the top of Samish Crest Way raised serious behavior concerns

  • Non-residents have been parking vehicles and utilizing the roadside with behaviors including under-age drinking, illicit drug use and other potentially criminal behavior
  • Board members encouraged the resident to continue her efforts with neighbors & police

Meeting was adjourned @ 8:45 pm

Posted 5 months ago.

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SNA minutes 2018-04

Samish Neighborhood Association Board meeting

7 PM, Thursday, April 12, 2018 Community Baptist Church

Called to Order @ 7:15 pm (delayed as the church building was not unlocked)

BOD Members Present:  Steve A, Tom R, Joy H, Dick C, Joe C, Jon N, and Tom D.

Public comment period (limit to 3 minutes each, please)

  • No attendees present from the neighborhood (outside of BOD members)

BPD police report – NPO Eric Osterkamp

  • Eric O was not present

Approve minutes from March meeting

  • Annual Meeting (3/15/18) minutes were approved unanimously

Treasurer’s report

  • Tom Read presented his report on current finances:

Checking Balance on 3/15/18           $2,168.09

Expenses (none)

Deposits (from Dues Paid)                $1011.00

Checking Balance on 4/12/18           $3179.09

Current paid members (2018-19)        80 members (20 new)

         2017-18 members not renewed  70 past members

MNAC report

Old business

Review of March 15th General Business Meeting & newsletter

  • Feedback from several SNA members in attendance was positive
  • Guest speakers & topics were of good general interest to attendees

ADU update – Council meeting April 9th

  • 1st Hearing completed on 4/9
  • Both supporters of the city-wide DADU proposal and concerned citizens who are against a city-wide adoption of DADUs (as opposed to one that is considered on a neighborhood basis) spoke at the council meeting

New business

Election of officers for 2018-19

Current slate of nominated officers: Steve Abell (President), Dick Conoboy (Vice-President), Tom Dohman (Secretary), Tom Read (Treasurer) – all were approved unanimously

Also, new 2-year terms were extended for Kevin Probasco (as MNAC representative) & Dick Conoboy (as MNAC alternate)

Reviewed contact needs for board members

  • An updated list of contact info for board members (for internal board use) was reviewed for accuracy
  • All board members have submitted contact info – for use by Samish neighbors – that is published on the neighborhood website

Expressed a desire to determine interest in Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center 2-hr class

  • Workshop is offered at no cost by the WDRC
  • “Comfort with Conflict: Communication and Conflict Resolution Skills for Your Home and Your Community”
  • BOD will solicit interest level among Samish neighbors in order to justify scheduling such a class

Discussed possible projects to support (using a portion of SNA funds) – comments added

  • Refurbish neighborhood welcome signs ($2,350); new ($2,650) – deemed quite expensive; thoughts of considering a less expensive approach
  • Improve house number visibility – individual numbers quite expensive; painted curbs not practical given the lack of curbs in many parts of Samish neighborhood
  • Scholarship award – funneling neighborhood association funds to individual recipients considered inappropriate; preference is for donations to be targeted for a broader community benefit
  • Potential pump track being considered near the corner of 40th St & Dumas Ave – design ideas are very preliminary, additional city / neighborhood feedback will be sought, concerns raised about preserving open space and walking trails through this property

(for info check web link at

  • Others?

Sept 16, 2018 – tentative date for the 2018 SNA summer picnic

Meeting was adjourned @ 8:20 pm


Posted 6 months ago.

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SNA minutes 2018-03 General Meeting

SNA BOD Minutes – Annual Meeting, March 15, 2018

Meeting was called to order at 7:05 pm.  Board members present included Steve Abell, Tom Read, Tom Dohman, Kevin Probasco, Nikki Long, Joy Hale and Dick Conoboy.  Numerous additional members and non-members (44 people signed in) were present as this was the SNA Annual March meeting which was advertised in the Spring 2018 Newsletter, on folding A-frame curb signs and via phone notification of most members the previous week.

Addie Candib, staff member from the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center or WDRC (which is the designated dispute resolution agency for all of Whatcom County) provided an overview of their services.  She provided several examples of the effectiveness of efforts made by WDRC as well as the cost-saving nature of their services – in terms of money saved, court services potentially avoided and client-centered interventions that achieved amicable resolutions.  Free training in Dispute Resolution for neighborhood groups is available as a result of grants received.

Bellingham Police Chief Dave Doll, our new chief of police since late October, provided an animated presentation of his police career and his vision for the police department.  Dave is a lifetime employee of the BPD, having joined as a Police Cadet in 1980 and hired as a commissioned police officer in 1984.  He has served as Deputy Chief since 2005 and in numerous police department capacities and leadership roles in his now nearly 34 years of service to Bellingham.  Given Chief Doll’s involvement in developing and supporting many BPD programs, he does not envision significant changes from the core emphasis on community policing and adherence to an overall BPD Strategic Plan.

Steve Abell, SNA President, announced the re-nomination of 3 board members (Steve Abell, Dick Conoboy & Nikki Long) for another 2-year term.  Also, a new member (Jon Neville) was nominated to join the SNA Board.  All 4 nominated board members were approved by a hand raise / voice vote.  Tom Dohman, Joy Hale, Tom Read, Joe Carpenter & Kevin Probasco will continue in the 2nd of their 2-year terms as SNA board members.  This brings the grand total to 9 SNA board members in 2018.  Officers will be elected at the April 2018 BOD meeting.  Steve also thanked Greg McCracken for his continued assistance in publishing the Spring & Fall SNA Newsletters.

Tom Read, SNA Treasurer, provided the Treasurer’s Annual Report.  From April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018; Beginning Checking Balance of $1703.92, Total Income of $2325.00, Expenditures of $1860.83, Current Checking Balance of $2168.09  These figures do not include new Income from recent membership renewals.

Tom Dohman provided a brief update on the status of the Ridgemont Park Project, involving new playground equipment and pedestrian amenities.  The new playground equipment and site improvements (essentially covering the same existing playground footprint) will then meet accessibility and safety requirements mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The site renovation is expected to begin in July 2018 and be completed by November 2018 or possibly sooner.

The annual meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:35 pm.

Posted 6 months, 4 weeks ago.

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SNA minutes 2018-01

SNA BOD Minutes January 18, 2018

Meeting called to order. Board members present include Steve Abell, Tom Read, Tom Dohman, Kevin Probasco, Nikki Long, Joe Carpenter, Joy Hale, and Dick Conoboy. Others present were Robin Dexter, Mary Wilson, Chris Koch, Sara McCauley, Julia Howard, Gary Coye, Ryan Wilson, Carmen Gilmore, Seth Fleetwood, Anne Mackie, Garey Vodopich, and Eric Osterkamp.

Agenda Change: Steve moved Officer Osterkamp presentation to the start of the meeting.

Bellingham Neighborhood Police Officer Eric Osterkamp gave a BPD update to board. Chief Doll will be at our annual meeting on March 15th to give a presentation. There have been some recent arrests for burglaries. In our neighborhood there have been break-ins to outdoor garden sheds and shops. Some of these have been during the day, which is more unusual. He recommended increasing security by locking gates, increasing lighting, and even adding cameras. Eric also noted a steady decline in party noise complaints. This may be due to increased proactive outreach and coordination between WWU and BPD. Residents that were problems in the past have been visited as a follow up to prevent future problems.

Chris Koch from the COB’s Planning and Community Development Dept. gave a presentation on the forthcoming proposal to update local zoning laws to allow both Attached and Detached Accessory Dwelling Units.

Anne Mackie, one of the founding members of the Bellingham Neighborhood Coalition, gave a presentation on why  her group was formed to oppose changes to the COB’s zoning changes of Attached and Detached Accessory Dwelling Units.

March Newsletter: Steve asked each board member to write 100 word article on an issue in the SNA for the Spring Newsletter. Deadline is early February.

SNA General Meeting: Meeting is scheduled for March 15th 2018 at 7PM at the Elks Lodge on Samish Way.


Posted 8 months, 2 weeks ago.

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SNA minutes 2017-10

SNA Minutes October 12, 2017 Meeting

Meeting called to order. Board members present include Steve Abell, Tom Read, Tom Dohman, Kevin Probasco, Nikki Long, and Joe Carpenter. Don Hale, Joy Hale, and Dick Conoboy notified the board of their absence at this meeting. Others present include Shirley Forslof, Izzy Juell, Craig & Barbara Bessire, and Garey Vodopich.

Public Comment: Shirley said she agreed with current proposals allowing Attached Dwelling Units as long as the main residence was owner occupied. She said she was against ‘detached’ units.

ReStore Presentation: Izzy has been meeting with neighborhoods to educate them on the services provided by the ReStore. They engage in deconstruction, job training, accept donations, and re-sell construction material.

BPD Police Report: Officer Eric Osterkamp is in a class on Thursdays and cannot attend meetings at this time.

MNAC Report: Kevin reported a presentation by Bellingham Schools Superintendent Greg Baker. The new ‘Options’ High School is open. There is a new School Bond up for election soon that would fund (4) School Remodels.

Old Business

No minutes for approval for August meeting

Treasurer’s Report: Tom reported a Checking Account Balance of $2,849.04. We currently have 126 paid members. There are, however, 51 members that did not yet renew from the previous year.

Update on Samish Logging: The last logging should be done by October 20th. Tom D. and Steve informed the BOD about the number of trucks exceeding what was previously reported by Janicki Logging. Trucks were freely using 40th & Elwood to get to southbound I-5 despite our request and Janicki’s written commitment to minimize the use of this route. Tom and Steve reached out to Janicki and did not get any information on why these two issues occurred.

September Picnic Review: Low turnout due to poor weather. Try to ensure picnics occur the 1st weekend after Labor Day.

New Business

Our next general meeting will be held Thursday March 15, 2018 at the Elks Lodge on Samish Way. The next board meeting will be November 9 with discussion of STRs (Short Term Rentals) on the agenda.

BOD discussed ADU ordinance and letter to city. Reviewed South Hill Letter, which was similar to our own concerns. Steve will review and edit a letter for BOD to discuss.

Meeting adjourned



Posted 12 months ago.

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Samish ADU letter 10-20-2017

October 20, 2017

To: Bellingham Planning Commission

From: Samish Neighborhood Association

Copy to: Mayor Linville, Bellingham City Council

Subject: Revisions to the ADU ordinance

Setting aside the area included in Lake Padden Park, and except for a very small amount of residential multi and commercial property, Samish Neighborhood is a residential single neighborhood. This residential single character is what has attracted homebuyers to our neighborhood for many years, and continues to do so. Our neighborhood does not oppose growth but we do not want to sacrifice our neighborhood character in order to grow. Samish residents attracted to the single family residential character of our neighborhood need to have confidence that the investment in their homes and their quality of life will not be degraded by growth-driven changes.

We support attached ADUs (A-ADUs) for existing single family homes consistent with current city code. We see these as both useful and supportive of neighborhood character as long as they are well designed and constructed in a way that blends in with the main house and surrounding houses. We see detached ADUs (D-ADUs) as potential threats to neighborhood character and quality of life in a number of ways. Therefore, we ask that the following requirements and recommendations be considered as the City of Bellingham contemplates revisions in the code governing ADUs.

  • Complete the inventory of existing ADUs. Regardless of how a revised ordinance may be written, the city must have a baseline for how many ADUs exist (including unregistered ones) and their locations. In other words, fully document current ADU density. It makes little sense for the city to revise ADU density regulations without knowing where it started. We believe the city has already set this goal in place. Finish it.
  • Maintain the owner occupancy requirement for properties that include an ADU. Eliminating this requirement would create an “open season” on real estate speculation, particularly by out-of-town landlords who want to turn reasonably priced single family homes with ADUs into rental cash cows. This has no benefits for the long term neighbors surrounding the property and would, in fact, be a giant step toward turning a comfortable family neighborhood into a rental slum. An owner constrained to live in either the main house or the ADU will have a stronger interest in maintaining property appearance and in contributing to community. An absentee landlord will have neither.
  • Ensure adequate provision for parking. Parking seems to be a growing problem in many areas of the city now, especially if the location is close to one of our post-secondary schools. Inadequate on-site parking for additional ADUs is likely to squeeze the vehicles of current residents into fewer and fewer spaces, possibly leading to the inability to find a spot close to one’s home. Streets crowded with parked cars can also interfere with access for emergency and delivery vehicles, raising safety concerns for residents.
  • Maintain the prohibition of D-ADUs in single family neighborhoods. D-ADUs change neighborhood character in ways that are subtle but significant to homeowners. Required minimum lot size in Samish Neighborhood residential single zones is either 12,000 or 20,000 square feet. There is a sense of space and a feeling of openness to our neighborhood that will be increasingly lost as D-ADUs pop up on existing residential single lots. A sense of crowding will replace that feeling of openness. This sense of openness is a large and desirable part of neighborhood character.
  • Develop enforcement procedures that include detection of violations and non-compliance penalties that have teeth. Without enforcement there is no incentive to comply. An example of this is the conversion of moderately priced single family homes into rooming houses for five to eight unrelated persons. The city has chosen not to enforce the current definition of family with regard to housing. As a result, some landlords have no compunction about adding three bedrooms to the basement of a normal three bedroom home and charging $3600 per month rent. Such a house – an otherwise affordable home for an actual middle-income family – has been made out of reach to them.

There is room for growth within Samish Neighborhood. We welcome this but want growth to be consistent with current zoning requirements. Growth that is inconsistent with our single family residential character betrays current residents who bought homes here because they wanted their families to enjoy what they found here. This is true for recently arrived residents as well as those who have lived here for decades.

Samish residents deserve protection from code changes that will lead to the gradual loss of our neighborhood character. Forces within the city that want growth by any means and try to label neighborhoods that resist as exclusionary are simply wrong. The Samish Neighborhood Association, along with many other neighborhood associations in Bellingham, is trying to provide stability and predictability to our residents.


Steve Abell, President
Samish Neighborhood Association

Posted 12 months ago.

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SNA minutes 2017-04

SNA BOD Meeting April 13, 2017

Call to order, BOD members present: Steve Abell, Tom Read, Nikki Long, Joe Carpenter, Dick Conoboy, Tom Dohman, Don Hale, Joy Hale, and Kevin Probasco.

Public Comment Period: Mary Boynton, WWU Journalism student, attended the meeting and will be writing about our neighborhood for her Journalism class this quarter.

BPD Police Report: NPO Eric Osterkamp gave the board a presentation on the history and use of COB Police Department ‘Bearcat’ vehicle.

MNAC Report: Most recent MNAC meeting was cancelled. Connecting Communities Day of Service connects volunteers from WWU via a neighborhood grant program.

Old Business

BOD talked about annual meeting, what went well, what we could do better. Discussed Janicki logging on Samish and traffic concerns on the corner of 40th and Elwood Ave.

Treasurers Report: $2,345.86 is current balance, $824 dues collected so far in 2017. Last newsletter cost $661.00

SNA BOD Officers re-elected unanimously for 1-year terms: Steve Abell President, Dick Conoboy Vice President, Tom Reed Treasurer, and Joe Carpenter Secretary.

New Business

Annual September Picnic at Lake Padden Park will be either on September 10th or September 17th.

Ridgemont Annual Garage Sale is September 9th.

Discussed Newsletter and mailing cost. Multiple BOD noted they would not be on the board now if not for a printed and mailed newsletter.

May BOD Meeting Cancelled due to multiple BOD being out of town.

Meeting adjourned.





Posted 1 year, 6 months ago.

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SNA minutes 2017-03 Annual meeting

SNA Annual Meeting
Elk’s Lodge, March 16, 2017

Cheesecake with several topping choices was available as  refreshments for the meeting. Thanks to Judy Brightman for organizing and presenting this treat.

Steve Abell started the meeting by thanking Greg McCracken for his continuing service as our newsletter editor, the Elk’s Lodge for hosting our meetings for free, and Janicki Logging for having an information table on their summer project in Samish.

Tom Reed gave a Treasurers report of our balance of $1,700.

SNA BOD Election:

Steve noted we elect board members at the Spring general meeting and officers at the April board meeting.

There were no nominations from the floor. Kevin Probasco, Tom Reed, Joe Carpenter, Nicki Long, and Tom Dohman, who were nominated previously at the February meeting, were elected unanimously. We now have nine board members.

Officer Eric Osterkamp of BPD, our Neighborhood Police Officer, gave a presentation. He talked about crime statistics in our neighborhood and the city as a whole. Questions were asked of him regarding officer involved shootings, body cameras, and department hiring and training of police officers.

Scott Hendrickson, Volunteer coordinator of “Bellingham Neighbors Together” (BNT) discussed the program, its training and goals within the city.

Chalice Johnston from Whatcom County Sheriffs Emergency Management Department gave a presentation. She discussed ‘map you neighborhood’ and the steps after a disaster.

Greg Hope gave a presentation on Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

Gayle Shipley, volunteer at the Mobilization Center, discussed the group and its volunteers and training.

Meeting adjourned


Posted 1 year, 6 months ago.

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