City of Blaine could make east Blaine developers pay their own way

Published on Mon, Feb 13, 2012 by Jeremy Schwartz

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If developers in east Blaine want fully fledged utility service, they’re going to have to pay for it themselves.

That’s the message Blaine city officials want to send with a resolution set to be voted upon at tonight’s (February 13) city council meeting. City staff used the costs associated with surveying the Robert D. Martin Family property for a utility corridor in east Blaine as an example of the money developers would have to reimburse the city for.

“Resolution 1603-12 sets forth the City’s intent to require development to pay it [sic] own way rather than requiring existing citizens to pay for studies and improvements needed for future growth and development,” city staff wrote in the proposed resolution.

As I reported here, the city has agreed to pay approximately $54,000 to Bellingham-based Wilson Engineering to survey and study the wetlands on 144 acres of property owned by the Martin family between Harvey Road and the proposed Grandis Pond development. As city council discussed this contract at a past meeting, Blaine city manager Gary Tomsic said he would be discussing a possible reimbursement plan with the Grandis Pond developers.

Here’s the thrust of what the policy would say, if city council adopts it:

“The City hereby adopts a policy that property owners and developers seeking to connect to or utilize City Infrastructure or to develop their property by obtaining any form of City approval shall be responsible for the costs (including all direct and indirect costs) of planning, designing, acquiring, and constructing the Facilities outlined in the East Blaine Infrastructure Plan and; property owners and developers shall be required to enter into any agreements or contracts deemed necessary by the City Council to ensure the reimbursement for funds expended by the City in actions taken to complete the Facilities.”

Among the “whereas”es in the full text of the resolution, which can be found here, city staff explain that the East Blaine Infrastructure Plan appoints future developers in east Blaine as the funding source for expanding water and sewer utilities to the area. The resolution also mentions that the Washington State Growth Management act requires future Blaine development to fill in the east Blaine area before it can expand to any other part of the city.

Blaine City Council will vote on this resolution at tonight’s meeting, which starts at 6 p.m. at Blaine city hall. Click here to see the council’s full agenda for tonight.


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