News from the Blaine Planning Commission meeting on August 23 and the Blaine City Council meeting on August 27.

Commission OKs permit amendments for Bridges Plat, Sea Smoke

Planning commissioners voted to recommend that Blaine City Council approve amendments to separate Planned Unit Development (PUD) permits for two large-scale development projects.

The first project discussed, Bridges Plat, consists of a 40-lot subdivision planned on 10 acres along D Street, east of Lincoln Park.

Skeers Construction, based in Bellingham, wants to build the first phase of the project, which includes 18 lots, a small playground and a stormwater open-space tract.

During the meeting, Dave Monks of Skeers Construction advocated for the PUD permit amendment, which updates the architectural standards for single-family homes and changes the setbacks for side yards and requirements for lot coverage.

“Really, we believe our business plan in the future is to look someplace else to do our business,” he said. “Why Blaine? The culture and the atmosphere felt right for us.”

Also discussed was Sea Smoke, a project consisting of 119 residential units, a neighborhood commercial space and a storage facility planned on 19.4 acres at the southwest corner of Semiahmoo Parkway and Drayton Harbor Road.

The PUD permit amendment allows for an office and maintenance building facility for the Semiahmoo Resort Association and makes changes to the maximum building height limit in ‘Tract A.’ It also includes changes to the width of future internal roadways, architectural materials, hours of operation for commercial spaces, landscaping maintenance requirements and exterior color choices.

Both PUD permit amendments will move on to the Blaine City Council for final approval.

Port of Bellingham has what it needs to build a web house at 207 Milhollin Drive

Planning commissioners granted the Port of Bellingham a Shoreline Substantial Development permit to build a 20,600-square-foot web house at 207 Milhollin Drive.

The port currently owns two web houses at the location and plans to demolish an existing web house at the end of Marine Drive.

As part of the project, the Port of Bellingham plans to reconfigure the parking area, replace the asphalt around the web houses, install a new stormwater treatment facility and build a new public trail along the marina.

“This is a very valuable project to our commercial fishing fleet in Blaine,” said Blaine harbormaster Andy Peterson.

City to rent Blaine Senior Center, Pavilion to Christ the King Church

For six months starting in October, Christ the King Church will rent the Blaine Senior Center and Pavilion at 763 G Street for church services for four hours on Sundays.

Blaine City Council voted to approve a short-term lease agreement with the church, which would eventually like to establish a permanent location in Blaine.

According to a city staff report, in 2018 the senior center was used twice on Sundays, one time before noon, and the pavilion was used 14 times on Sundays, nine times before noon.

“However, eight of these reservations were for a Zumba class that will likely no longer be offered after summer,” state the report in regard to the Pavilion. “There are no scheduled events in the senior center starting October 2018 on Sundays.”

The agreement will generate revenue for the city, while moderately increasing the cost of maintenance.

Councilmembers approve mid-year budget amendment

Accounting for new expenditures, the city council approved a mid-year budget amendment.

The amendment made adjustments to the ESCO capital improvement fund, municipal capital improvement fund (REET), general government capital improvement fund, stormwater fund and the general fund.

Some noteworthy expenditures include $38,000 for Olympia-based lobbying services and $30,000 for federal lobbying services. Blossom Management Corporation has agreed to $15,000 toward the effort; it owns the Grandis Pond development project in east Blaine.

“There is sufficient revenue to cover these expenditures,” read a city staff report.

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