BirchBay forum will examine incorporation

Published on Thu, Nov 29, 2007 by ara Nelson

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Birch Bay forum will examine incorporation

By Tara Nelson

Birch Bay residents will examine the feasibility of incorporation next week during a community forum scheduled with the regional planning firm Berk and Associates.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, December 3 at the Birch Bay Bible Community Church and will discuss the draft findings of a recent study that examines the economic feasibility of an incorporation. The meeting will also be a final chance for residents to give their input and to hear answers to frequently asked questions.

Last September, the Birch Bay Steering Committee’s incorporation subcommittee mailed a survey to all residents within the Birch Bay urban growth area (UGA) which encompasses 5,600 residences. The survey was part of a larger study that is evaluating the economic feasibility of an incorporation.

Of the 402 respondents, nearly half said they felt that local control over how tax dollars are spent was “very important.” Even more (58 percent) said control over land use decisions was “very important.”

Respondents also indicated that Birch Bay is in need of a post office, library, school and more retail – especially a grocery store.

More than a quarter of respondents were part-time residents and seven of those 114 live outside Washington or British Columbia the rest of the year.

Berg said the survey was not meant to gauge whether the community was in favor of incorporation but rather to gather information about residents’ questions about incorporation.

“We want to find out what people want to know so those issues are addressed,” she said.

For more information about the incorporation feasibility study, call the Whatcom County planning services department at 676-6707 ext. 50686.

For more information about the meetings of the Birch Bay Steering Committee and its various subcommittees, visit www.birchbayinfo.org.