Birch Bay Steering Committee
By Kathy Berg
on six years now, the Birch Bay Steering Committee has
been meeting on a regular basis so that the people in
the Birch Bay community, in an atmosphere of civility,
respect, responsibility and resourcefulness can address
issues, take advantage of opportunities and plan input
to their own local future. The steering committee is
not empowered by any official authority, does not answer
to any constituency and does not have any mechanism to
enforce it’s recommendations. The Birch Bay
Steering Committee is as representative as those who
choose to participate and is a direct communication from
the people, by the people and for the people.
After adoption of the Birch Bay Community Plan as the Birch Bay Subarea Plan of the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan in September, 2004, the community has been working through subcommittees to implement the plan. To that end, the Task Force for Stormwater Management/Shellfish Protection is working with a consultant hired by Whatcom County Planning to develop a watershed-wide action plan for stormwater management which should lead to improved water quality in the bay itself.
Whatcom County planning has received a grant so that design guidelines will be developed for the resort commercial, general and neighborhood commercial areas in cooperation with the Design Guidelines implementation subcommittee and in public workshops involving the entire community. This in a effort to bring cohesion and continuity to appearances in Birch Bay.
As Birch Bay continues to grow at a great pace, the land use/economic development/infrastructure subcommittee continues to devise effective new methods to have input to and interface with the permitting process in an effort to pass along/implement the values the community has developed over the last several years.
The county executive has agreed to fund in the near future, a feasibility study of incorporation for the Birch Bay urban growth area with oversight from the governance/incorporation implementation subcommittee.
The other implementation subcommittees who continue their work are transportation/public safety; shoreline enhancement; parks, recreation and open space and public school for Birch Bay.
The community is especially thankful and appreciative of Sharon Roy’s representation of this community on the Whatcom County Council for the last four years. The community did elect two Birch Bay residents to the Northwest Parks & Recreation Commission, Jeralyn Smith and Ted Morris this last November.
As chair of the Birch Bay Steering Committee, it is a genuine pleasure to work with so many of my fellow residents and property owners of Birch Bay who choose to get involved in this unique place to live, work and play. They care enough to volunteer their very best to their community.