Harbor Shores development agreement reached

Published on Wed, Jun 29, 2011 by Jeremy Schwartz

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Whatcom County Council has approved an agreement that could expedite the growth of the Harbor Shores development just southeast of Blaine.

On June 21, county council unanimously approved a development agreement between the county and Harbor Shores LLC that will allow wetlands mitigation for the Harbor Shores development to take place in an area across Blaine Road rather than in the development itself. Harbor Shores is located at the intersection of Blaine and Hall roads just south of Dakota Creek.

The agreement details what wetlands mitigation is necessary if more homes are to be built, said Skip Jansen, president of Harbor Shores LLC. The company will now be able to construct wetlands in a large area of land – the plot across Blaine Road – instead of potential landowners having to add wetlands to smaller areas within the development.

The mitigation work planned for the area across from Harbor Shores is slated to start this fall and finish next spring.

Harbor Shores is also close to getting the necessary sewer system permits through the Whatcom County Health Department, Jensen said. The sewer systems, which Jensen predicts will be installed by this fall, will act in a similar way to septic tanks, but each home will not need a drainage field. Instead, the sewer water will be diverted into the city of Blaine’s sewer system. Jensen said this system makes the most sense for Harbor Shores because it is less likely than septic systems to leak untreated water into Drayton Harbor.

However, the seven homeowners currently living in the development will not be forced to hook into the new sewer system and pay a connection fee, Jensen said. These homeowners, who are currently served by septic systems, will be able to switch if they want.

“It’s really the best of both worlds for the [existing homeowners],” he said.

Jensen said the current homeowners in Harbor Shores are basically supportive of the direction the development is heading.
Earlier in the year, Jensen held two neighborhood meetings that helped Harbor Shores and the county figure out a sewer system plan that would not adversely affect the current homeowners and yet encourage future development.

The Harbor Shores area was first approved and platted in 1965, when Jensen’s parents owned the development. He bought the land from his parents five years ago.

Though the development agreement with the county was only recently approved, the 43 lots in Harbor Shores can be developed now. Jensen has not seen much interest in the vacant lots in Harbor Shores, most likely due to the economy.

Jansen was also involved in the development of the Bay Crest community in Birch Bay.