City council approves preliminary plat for 353 dwellings in east Blaine

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At a June 22 regular meeting, the Blaine City Council approved a planned unit development and preliminary plat for an east Blaine housing project that would develop 353 housing units.

The approval allows the developer to go on to the next step, which is to get approval on a construction plan.

The project applicant, East Maple Ridge LLC, proposed developing 353 units in an 88.45-acre forested area north of H Street, east of Jerome Street and west of Harvey Road, near Pipeline Fields. The development would include a mix of single-family, cottage and multi-family housing. The project also includes a neighborhood commercial center consisting of 24,000 square feet of commercial space, a park site, a playground and open space.

Doug and Louise Connelly  own the properties, according to the Whatcom County Assessor’s Office.

The East Maple Ridge project began in 1996 after the city annexed the property. The city adopted its east Blaine infrastructure plan, which guided the development of utility lines to the area, in 2009. Currently, electric conduit, and water and sewer lines go through the East Maple Ridge area.

An earlier version of the project was approved in 2010 and was granted an extension by city council in 2018.

After a public hearing on June 11, the city’s planning commission recommended that the council approve the planned unit development and preliminary plat, subject to conditions. On July 7, Blaine community development services director Stacie Pratschner said the city had already received a construction plan application from the developer. Those are typically approved within a month or two, she said.

The east Blaine area is projected to support almost 40 percent of the city’s needed housing stock over the next 20 years, Pratschner told city council in a presentation at the meeting.

Another project in the area, called Grandis Pond, would develop 387 residential lots in its first phase and about 1,000 total lots within the next 20 to 30 years. That project is east of Harvey Road.

The preliminary plat and planned unit development for the first phase of that project is working its way through the city’s approval process and will be on the agenda at city council’s July 13 meeting, Pratschner said.

The city’s planning commission recommended to council that the preliminary plat and planned unit development be approved with some conditions after a June 25 public hearing.

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