County to revise urban growth areas

Published on Wed, Apr 21, 2010 by Pat Grubb

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Whatcom County Council voted 4-3 to have county executive Pete Kremen revise the county’s urban growth boundaries.

The current boundaries, adopted by council last year, removed land from the growth area and were hotly opposed by various groups and parties in the county, several of whom instituted legal challenges against the move.

The state growth hearings board had given the petitioners and the county until June 1 to resolve their differences.
Council members took the action at their regular meeting April 13 after meeting with the opponents the previous day.

Following a series of straw votes, council determined there was sufficient interest in making changes to the boundaries that would satisfy many of the petitioners’ objections.

Voting against the changes were Barbara Brenner, Ken Mann and Carl Weimer.

Land to be added in Blaine are the Beachmont, Windward and Foster properties while the Anchor Manor property is restored to the urban growth area in Birch Bay.

In Bellingham, the entire Cordata North/CAITAC USA and the Yew Street Road area is placed under the growth umbrella.

Ferndale, Nooksack and Sumas also had land restored to the urban boundaries.

Asked why she voted against the resolution, council member Barbara Brenner told The Northern Light, “I voted against the new urban growth area (UGA) package because I cannot support the CAITEC proposal for Bellingham at this time. CAITEC is an enormous proposal unwanted by Bellingham. I don’t believe any city has ever been forced to take property into its UGA that it didn't want...The “all-or-nothing” growth decisions are increasingly polarizing the county. They end up costing us lots of money and usually do not improve the environment nor the economy.”