Birch Bay planning takes a break

Published on Thu, Jul 12, 2001
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Birch Bay planning takes a break

The Birch Bay planning process is moving into its next stage, hanging the flesh on the basic plan developed by the Birch Bay steering committee and neighborhood committees through dozens of meetings held since January.

“Now we’ve got all the baseline data,” said consultant Pat Milliken who has been coordinating community input during the drafting of the plan. “The next step is to get into the heart of planning – arterials and traffic patterns, parks, commercial centers. That’ll go on throughout the summer and early fall.”

The steering committee is taking a break in July after a busy early summer. At their last meeting at the end of June, they agreed on target population, employment and housing forecasts for Birch Bay in 2020 to use in planning for the projected growth. The area is forecast to have 11,500 residents in 20 years, more than twice the 4,961 living there today. The population boom is predicted to need 8,635 housing units, including the 3,362 which exist in the area today, and 2,960 local jobs will be needed to support the population.

Milliken said committee members also agreed on a land-use scenario for he and consultant Martin Kask to develop. Of four options proposed by consultants – leaving things as they are, expanding commercial growth on Birch Bay Drive, concentrating commercial growth at one or two shopping centers or developing neighborhood nodes – committee members decided on a compromise. “They decided to combine the idea of larger commercial centers with neighborhood commercial nodes,” Milliken said.

The next steering committee meeting will be scheduled for August and further neighborhood meetings will be announced as work on the plan proceeds..

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