Residents organize growth group

Published on Thu, Mar 20, 2003
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Residents organize growth group

Within the last month, some residents of Birch Bay have banded together to form a group focusing on development and growth concerns.

The group, Birch Bay Smart Growth, has a mission. They want residents and officials to recognize that the Birch Bay area has a lot of potential, but that growth needs to be monitored to ensure the area will be there for generations to come. The group�s main ideas include, but are not limited to: encouraging responsible developers, attracting tourism, protecting local habitat, protecting construction jobs and building a year-round community.

�There seems to be a limited vision of what Birch Bay could be,� member Alan Friedlob said. �What are the assets and how do you build on them? We need to think about this.�

Creating a year-round community, the group said, is important due to the myth that Birch Bay shuts down in the winter. �It�s not a myth, it�s a reality,� Bill Bunker said. �Downtown Birch Bay is not even on the radar screen, but it will be,� Friedlob added.

Without a healthy and sustainable bay, any plan becomes valueless and development becomes a liability rather than an asset, the group said. �We love the area,� Kay Schumacher said. �We want to go in a very smart direction. We need to voice ourselves.�

The group will be holding its next meeting on April 1 at 7 p.m. at the Birch Bay Bible Community Church, on 7039 Jackson Road. Anyone interested in the group, can contact Alan Friedlob at 371-3441, citizenscience@attbi.com or Stephen Kozer at 671-4394, abellinghamlawyer@yahoo.com.