County approves higher density
Whatcom County Council voted unanimously last Tuesday to change a piece of Birch Bay�s growth area from long term to short term planning. The change simply means four homes can be built per acre, instead of one per five acres.
The decision affects 90 acres of land on the south end of Birch Bay, at the corner of Grandview and Point Whitehorn.
A total of 360 houses can now be built in the area, instead of just 45. County planners recommended the change citing more developable land is needed in Birch Bay because of the area�s growth. The 90 approved acres are not only close to the Birch Bay border, but also have services.
The council did express concern about buffer zones and impacts on law enforcement and schools, but also said these concerns have been discussed considerably. �This is consistent with the Birch Bay plan and what have they have been working on for the last year. Birch Bay could some day become a city,� council member Dan McShane said.
All council members agreed that Birch Bay and the surrounding area is growing and more housing will be needed there. Malibu Associates, a California-based company, is already interested in the land for housing development. However, the project would probably start in 2004, not this year.