BirchBay steering committee revamped

Published on Thu, Oct 28, 2004 by ack Kintner

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Birch Bay steering committee revamped

By Jack Kintner

The Birch Bay Steering Committee (BBSC) met last Saturday to re-invent itself. Having had its community plan approved last month by Whatcom County Council, the group is now charged with overseeing its implementation.

The meeting was held to elect new neighborhood representatives and establish priorities for implementing the plan’s recommendations which range from land use and preserving sensitive areas to the question of incorporation and building new roads in what is now known as the Birch Bay Urban Growth Area (UGA).

The Whatcom County Council modified the plan before accepting it, changing the steering committee’s make-up slightly in the process by removing all or part of three of the original 10 neighborhoods (Terrell Creek, Birch Point and West Cherry Point) from the UGA. The three, along with a fourth adjacent neighborhood to the east known as Loomis Trail/Kickerville, are now called “adjacent non-UGA neighborhoods” with ex-officio representation.

One new neighborhood, Bay View, was designated on the north side of Birch Bay and Shore View drives west of the Cottonwood Reach Neighborhood for a total of eight neighborhoods inside the UGA and four others that border it to the west, south and east.

After hearing from county planning staff, including department head Hal Hart and manager Sylvia Goodwin, the 100 or so present for the meeting broke up into neighborhood groups and elected 28 out of a possible 36 representatives and alternates, eight of whom are hold-overs from the original committee.

Blaine native Genée Haws Kay, who was elected president of the Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce on Monday, October 25 met with the Central Reaches neighborhood. “I was very impressed with all the work [the committee] has done. Growth will be happening, so we need to have a plan.”

Goodwin said that the committee will be expected to “give input on what they want to see happen, help select consultants and supporting grant applications, attend public meetings and so on, depending upon what’s being done. They might form a local improvement district (LID), for example, to help raise money for a particular improvement such as the Birch Bay Berm project.”

BBSC vice-president Kathy Berg said the new committee plans to meet monthly, alternating between meeting as a whole one month and in subcommittees the next. The first meeting involves the entire committee and will take place Wednesday, November 17 at the Birch Bay Fire Station on Birch Bay-Lynden Road.