News from our neighborhood MNAC Representatives

Dear Edgemoor Residents,

The Bellingham City Council is holding two public hearings on issues which may be of interest to you. The first is a remote hearing on August 29 at 7 pm, on the proposed Hundred Acre Wood Master Plan which includes the 82-acre Chuckanut Community Forest. Draft documents are located at https://cob.org/project/chuckanut-community-forest-master-plan. Staff contact for this project is Nicole Oliver, Parks Director, 360-778-7013, or noliver@cob.org.

The second is a hearing on zoning changes and regulations regarding mobile home parks. This hearing is September 12. Staff contact is Planner, McKayla Dunfey, who can be reached at 360-778-8355, or mjdunfey@cob.org. You may comment online by September 7 or testify live during the public hearing at https:/cob.org/ccsignup. If you want to join the public hearing, you can do so via https://cob.org/cczoom. More information is available at https:/www.cascadiadaily.com/news/2022/Jun24//city-exploring-protections=for=mobile=home parks/.

In addition, your representatives to the Mayor’s Neighborhood Advisory Council (MNAC), Bill Beer and Barbara Ryan, have learned that many neighborhood associations hold neighborhood picnics. Some have regular neighborhood meetings, often with food. Some plant trees. If there is any interest in forming a committee to organize these activities, or other neighborhood events in the Edgemoor Neighborhood, please let either of us know.

Bill Beer (william_beer2003@yahoo.com)

Barbara Ryan (bryanbham@icloud.com)

 

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News update from ENA, April 2022

The ENA Annual Meeting, held on March 23, was a Zoom meeting attended by 32 people. The annual meeting minutes are online at https://edgemoorneighborhood.com/ena-annual-meeting-march-23-2022/.

Thanks to everyone for attending the meeting. Speaker, Ted Carlson, from Sanitary Service Company, talked about single-stream recycling scheduled for a 6-month test in Edgemoor, starting soon. There was also a discussion about the proposed development of the Jones property on Viewcrest Road. Anyone wanting to follow the conversation can join the Jones Edgemoor Subdivision group on Nextdoor Edgemoor at https://nextdoor.com/g/zslhdy6kw/. You can also sign up for updates at https://mudbaycliffs.org/.

The proposed hotel development on 12th and Donovan was also brought up at the meeting. Several people voiced concern about the possibility of increased traffic and lack of parking for events scheduled at the hotel. Here are a few links for further information:

City of Bellingham Application: https://bit.ly/Sycamore_Hotel_Notice

Architectural renderings can be seen at: https://mza-us.com/work/fairhaven-mixed-use/

Other local news of interest…

The City is hosting a volunteer work party on Saturday, April 23 from 9 a.m. to noon to restore habitat and improve water quality in Padden Creek. Volunteers are invited to meet in Fairhaven Park to remove invasive plants and spread mulch, which supports the growth of native plants in the area. All ages and abilities are welcome, and no previous volunteer experience is necessary. Tools, gloves, instruction, and snacks are provided, as well as free coffee donated by Woods Coffee and free pizza donated by Papa John’s Pizza. Please register in advance for this free event. Spots are limited! We hope to see you there. Sign up here: https://www.volunteerbellingham.org/need/detail/?need_id=676965

This is one of several family-friendly activities the City is offering to celebrate Earth Day. Other activities include a community art project, photo contest, Children’s Storytimes, themed book lists for children and adults, self-guided tours, and more. Find a full list and details at www.cob.org/earthday2022.

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ENA Annual Meeting, March 23, 2022

The meeting began at 7:00 pm and was a virtual meeting on Zoom. There were 32 attendees at the meeting. The meeting was managed by ENA Secretary, Sandie Koplowitz.

Speaker Ted Carlson, with Sanitary Service, was introduced by Barbara Ryan. Ted provided the following information:

Sanitary Service Company (SSC) provides residential garbage and recycling services under a contract with the City of Bellingham. The contract requires them to evaluate recycling and see if there are ways to find efficiencies in the collection method as well as reduce truck-driven miles as it relates to labor and emissions. SSC is planning to test “single-stream” recycling in Edgemoor, starting in April, for a six-month period. An informational mailing from SSC will be sent to residents of Edgemoor. 90-gallon recycling toters will be delivered around the 23-24th of April. The last pick up with the 3-bins will be Friday, April 22. The first pick up using the single stream 90-gallon toter will be Friday, May 6. Glass, cans, plastic, cardboard, and paper will go into this single toter. Recycle collection will be on every other Friday. Residents will keep their three separate recycle bins until the test period is complete.

An application has been submitted to the City to develop 38 lots off Viewcrest  Rd on a 38-acre parcel owned by the Jones family.. If people want to participate in the conversation, they can join the Jones Edgemoor subdivision group on Nextdoor. There is a Steering Committee that has been meeting every Tuesday evening and working with experts to review the technical reports in the 800-page application. They have raised $3,000 so far but will probably look to the larger community for donations to cover expenses for legal and technical assistance. Concerns about the development include the steep cliffs, the impact of deforestation, stormwater impacts, and traffic through Edgemoor neighborhood. During the discussion when asked what residents can do, it was mentioned that sending letters to the City by mail listing concerns and asking for an environmental impact statement is the best way to get their attention. Send letters and or emails to Kurt Nabbefeld (knabbefeld@cob.org), Kathy Bell kbell@cob.org), Steve Sundin (ssundin@cob.org), Mayor Seth Fleetwood (mayorsoffice@cob.org), and City Council (ccmail@cob.org). The mailing address is: City of Bellingham, 210 Lottie Street, Bellingham, WA 98225.

The minutes from the last annual meeting were approved.

Bob McCarthy gave the treasurer’s Report. Currently, there is $1580.26 in our bank account. These funds are left over from previously collected dues. Since the City of Bellingham now provides up to $500 per year for organizational expenses, we no longer collect dues. However, ENA is a 501-C-3 Non-Profit, so donations are tax-deductible.

There was a $150 expense for website hosting and a $10 fee for our Annual Corporations Report to the State of Washington.

Communications Report: Sandie Koplowitz takes care of the website at www.edgemoorneighborhood.com and is the Lead (moderator) for Nextdoor Edgemoor. She can use help monitoring posts on Nextdoor, so if anyone would like to be a Lead, please send us an email to enaboard@edgemoorneighborhood.com.

Other topics of discussion:

There was concern about blind corners and speeding traffic through the neighborhood. See the report from the meeting with City Planner, Eric Johnson at https://edgemoorneighborhood.com/meeting-with-eric-johnson-city-planner-on-7-7-21/

Concern was voiced about the hotel proposed on Donovan and 12th which will have 75 rooms, 8 residential units on the top floor, a Conference Center, and underground parking. It was suggested to contact Fairhaven Neighbors at https://www.fairhavenneighbors.org/ to join a committee looking into the project.

The current Board of Directors were elected for another year’s term. Terry Montonye offered to be replaced on the Board if needed.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:40 pm.

Meeting minutes submitted by ENA Secretary, Sandie Koplowitz

Meeting attendees:

ENA Board Members: Sandie Koplowitz, Barbara Ryan, Larry Horowitz, Bill Wright, Terry Montonye, Bill Beer, Bob McCarthy, and Paul Scott.

Barbara Craigie, Cassandra Carr, Cheryl, Collander, Fred Rhodes, Gary Ranz, Gretchen, Jan Wisner, Kate Grinde, Keith, Lori, Mike Ryan, Paul Brock, Ross Craigie, Susan, Susie, Thom Prichard, Vania, Bruce, Lydia Tillman, Marjorie Varner

 

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ENA Annual Meeting via Zoom on Wednesday, March 23th at 7 pm.

You are invited to an Edgemoor Neighborhood Association (ENA) Annual Meeting via Zoom on Wednesday, March 23th at 7 pm.

Our speaker will be Ted Carlson, General Manager of Sanitary Service Company, who is proposing to test a single-stream recycling program in Edgemoor beginning this spring. Ted will explain how this system might work and solicit opinions from residents. A presentation to the City Council can be viewed on YouTube at SSC Single Stream Recycling.

Other topics for the annual meeting include discussion on the proposed 38-lot subdivision on Viewcrest Road and our annual Board of Director elections.

On March 2, 2022, the Bellingham Planning Department received application materials from the Jones family for a 38-lot subdivision on Viewcrest Road. You can view and download these online at Jones Application Documents.

All Edgemoor residents are members of the Edgemoor Neighborhood Association. We would like to be able to communicate with you via email, so please sign up to receive email notifications at https://edgemoorneighborhood.com/ena-mailing-list/.

We hope to see you at the Zoom meeting on Wednesday, March 23th at 7 pm.

Click this link to join the meeting: Join Zoom Meeting

ENA Board of Directors: Sandie Koplowitz, Secretary; Bob McCarthy, Treasurer; Bill Beer, Larry Horowitz, Terry Montonye, Barbara Ryan, Paul Scott, and Bill Wright. We need more Board members! If you are interested, please email ENABoard@edgemoorneighborhood.com  for more information.

Link to Meeting Agenda

Link to Annual Meeting Minutes 2020

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Meeting with Eric Johnson, City Planner, on 7/7/21

The meeting on 7/7/21 took place at the home of Bob McCarthy. Eric Johnson, from the City of Bellingham Planning Department, Bob McCarthy, ENA Treasurer, and Sandie Koplowitz, ENA Secretary, attended the meeting.

Sandie gave a brief history of the safety concerns in Edgemoor Neighborhood which have been raised in previous years at ENA meetings and in a neighborhood survey. The main issues have been vehicles speeding through the neighborhood, blind corners due to vegetation, and unsafe places to walk along roadways where sidewalks should be extended to the next street such as on Fieldston where the sidewalk ends to the corner of Willow and around the blind corner on Bayside Road to Hawthorne.

Regarding the vegetation issues, Eric Johnson, City Planner, said right-of-way maintenance between the pavement and property is the responsibility of the property owner. The City does not like to get involved. However the process is as follows:

  • 1. Complaint is filed
  • 2. Code compliance looks at the issue.
  • 3. Letter is sent to the homeowner giving 30 days’ notice.
  • 4. If the homeowner doesn’t comply, additional letters may be sent with a final letter stating they may be charged with a potential violation.
  • 5. There may be a site visit from a technician to determine what action to take.
  • 6. They may get a letter from the police department stating the city will now take action.

Regarding sidewalks, the City has a Bicycle Network Plan and a Pedestrian Plan created in 2012-13. There is a Transportation Fund which generates revenue to cover sidewalk improvements and both plans will come up for review this fall at which time the public process will go into effect. Encourage residents to participate in order to move up the priority list. Currently, Edgemoor is on the bottom of the list for sidewalk improvements.

Regarding speeding issues, there are no funds for speed limit signs and residents are not permitted to install our own signs. This can cause issues of other neighborhood wanting the same signs but are unable to afford the expense, and can create friction between neighborhoods. Eric stated speed limit signs don’t work because people tend to drive at speeds they are comfortable with depending on their vehicle, current road conditions and their surroundings. There are currently only 6 traffic safety officers in the city.

Sandie Koplowitz, Edgemoor Neighborhood Association Secretary

Bob McArthy, Edgemoor Neighborhood Association Treasurer

 

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ENA Board Meeting – March 14, 2021, 2 PM

The Zoom meeting was attended by Sandie Koplowitz, Terry Montoyne, Curt Thor, Bob McCarthy, Larry Horowitz, Bill Wright and Paul Scott.

Curt mentioned he had other names of individuals who wanted to attend the meeting, but we forgot to invite them. Sandie suggested we start a Google sheet to add names of people who would like to attend meetings in the future.

Minutes: The minutes from the previous meeting were approved without the need for corrections. Sandie will post the minutes on Edgemoor Connections.

Treasurer’s Report: Sandie reported for Diane MacLean. There is $1590 in our checking account. Diane MacLean is outgoing Treasurer. She has filed the annual reports with the State and IRS as well as the reports required by the City of Bellingham for reimbursement of expenses. Bob McCarthy has agreed to take over the position of ENA Treasurer.

Communications: Sandie Koplowitz. Nextdoor has been easier to manage with the new addition of community helpers to review reported content. Things have settled down after many posts requiring monitoring the past year and we now are letting people talk and only removing the occasional post which crosses the line of Nextdoor’s standards. Sandie is the only Lead and we are always looking for additional Leads from Edgemoor.

Jones Development: Larry Horowitz reported he created a group on Nextdoor for the Jones Development which has about 150 members. The owners of the Jones property is proposing  44 new lots in Edgemoor off Viewcrest Road. Members in the Jones Development group will receive notifications when there is a new post to the group.

ENA sent a letter to the City of Bellingham asking for an EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) which also lists concerns of Edgemoor residents. The letter was also accompanied by results from a neighborhood survey in 2017. 

Below are links to key documents.

Currently we are waiting for the applicant to complete the preliminary plat application process, which includes the SEPA checklist, environmental checklist, and technical reports. The proposal presented at the neighborhood meeting is very likely to be changed. There are concerns by neighbors about the houses being close together, the steepness of the cliffs, the instability of the area shown by boulders on the beach and increased traffic through the neighborhood. Clarkwood and Briza are also concerned about the development. Several surrounding neighborhood associations and property owners associations have sent letters to the city requesting an EIS. Once the application is submitted there are only 14 days to comment. The difference between requiring an EIS and only technical reports is the EIS must be performed by a neutral party, whereas the technical reports are submitted by the applicant. An EIS also extends the time it takes to approve the application because it takes additional time for the EIS to be completed and there is a separate comment period for the EIS. Requirement of an EIS would allow for a neutral review and also includes commentary, which would give the City more information to base their decision.

Jones Development documents:

The applicant’s “Pre-Application Narrative” provides an introduction to the project

Aerial of the revised 44-lot site plan

Overlay of the site plan on a LIDAR map

In 2011 there was a Chuckanut Marsh Restoration Project, managed by Renee Lecroix, to renovate Chuckanut Bay Tidelands (formerly Chuckanut Mudflats). A few of the mitigation efforts where to stop allowing cars to drive on the beach, put a parking lot and improve a culvert for salmon habitat upstream.

Bill mentioned a post he put on the Jones Subdivision group on Nextdoor Edgemoor about viable alternatives for the Jones’ property. He mentioned Governor’s Point, which was originally proposed for 310 homes on 124 acres and now has 16 homes and 90 acres of wildlife reserve with public access on 2 miles of trails. Clark’s Point was originally surveyed for 105 homes on 71 acres and there are now 4 homes and 61 acres of private wildlife reserve with 2 trails on the north end with public access to 2 viewpoints. Proposed development on the 100 Acre Woods was to have a population equivalent to the size of Ferndale and the property is nearly paid for because of the formation of the Chuckanut Community Forest Park District. The City is currently developing a master plan for the Chuckanut Community Forest. More information is at https://engagebellingham.org/chuckanut-community-forest-master-plan. Bill suggests we keep talking about alternatives to see if the owners can turn to other viable plans for the property.

Larry suggested people reach out to the Jones family to talk to them directly about plans for the property.

MNAC: Curt Thor reported they talked about simple grants for neighborhood associations. Is there any place for an Edgemoor neighborhood sign? We have talked about this many times over the years at ENA meetings, but it has never seemed viable. The most likely location would be at the corner of Hawthorn and Chuckanut on the Fairhaven Middle School property, but almost anything discussed in the past would create a line-of-sight issue for traffic on Hawthorn.

Curt mentioned at the meeting that since there are so few sidewalks in Edgemoor, we walk on streets and there are lots of potholes and pits needing to be fixed.

Larry suggested Curt bring up the fact to Mayor Seth Fleetwood that the City has not delt with the issues brought up in the 2017 Edgemoor Neighborhood  survey about traffic safety, vegetation mitigation due to line of sight concerns, and sidewalks needed on the blind curve on Bayside Road as well as on Viewcrest down the hill to Clark Road.

There was discussion about the vacant lot on the corner of Willow and Fieldston, which is owned by Bayside Swimming Club. Board members wondered if we should approach them to see if they might be interested in developing that property into a park space for Edgemoor Residents.

Election of Officers: Sandie moved we appoint Bob McCarthy as Treasurer. All attendees were in favor.

We still need a President.

Standing Rules: Proposed changes:

Dues will not be collected are not required while the association is being reimbursed by the city.

There will be one Annual ENA Meeting (Time/Place/Date TBD) each year in May.

Updated ENA Officers.

ENA Standing Rules 2021

Sandie sent a Dropbox link to Board Members where historical ENA documents are located. It includes the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and other corporate/historical documents.

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ENA Annual Meeting 2020

The Annual Meeting of Edgemoor Neighborhood Association (ENA) on September 9, 2020 was a virtual meeting using the Microsoft Teams communication portal. President, David Lebow opened the meeting at 6:30 PM to resolve any issues with connectivity. The meeting started at 7:00 PM and David asked those in attendance to introduce themselves:

David LeBow, Bayside Road, Current (outgoing) ENA President and MNAC Rep for past few years.

Sandie Koplowitz, Middlefield Road, Current ENA Secretary, website manager for www.edgemoorneighborhood.com, and Lead for Nextdoor Edgemoor

Bill Wright, South End of Fieldston Road (Clark’s Point) – ENA Board member

Larry Horowitz, Briza – ENA Board member and Land Use Chair

Kate Grinde – Clark Road

Joseph and Molly Trimble – Clark Road

Vernon Berry – Briza

Paul and Carolyn Scott – Briza

Molly Ware, with her neighbors, Karen and Janet joined the meeting as a group

Charles Prosper – Shorewood Drive

Hart Hodges – Willow Road

Naomi, Venue Coordinator at Lairmont Manor

A few other people appeared to attempt to join the meeting but were unable to do so, perhaps due to connectivity issues.

The meeting was recorded to assist the secretary with the meeting minutes.

While we waited for the meeting to begin, Joseph Trimble mentioned he is a ham radio operator and a member of the Whatcom Emergency Radio Group that is in close contact with St. Joseph Hospital, as well as the Bellingham Police Department and Whatcom County Sheriff’s office. He believes the neighborhood association should give more attention to how we will stay in touch with one another during a major disaster, such as a tsunami. Larry asked Joseph to post information on Nextdoor Edgemoor about this subject, as well as information about long-range walkie talkies.

The minutes of the 2019 ENA Annual meeting were approved.

ENA Treasurer, Diane McLean was not able to attend, so the treasurer’s report was not available at the meeting, but it will be included in these minutes for informational purposes. The Non-profit Corporations Annual Report was filed with the state and Sandie will be the new corporate contact. Diane is stepping down as Treasurer.

The following Treasurer’s Report was submitted after the meeting:

Beg. Bank Balance 6/1/2019       $1,590                               End Bank Balance 9/20/20               $1,412

2020 Expenses:

WA Sec’y of State – filing fee        $10       

ENA Web Site Services                  $168     

2020 Income:                  

COB       0 (Reimbursement form for 2020 expenses will be sent soon – Annual limit is $500)

David spoke about MNAC (Mayor’s Neighborhood Advisory Committee). He has been the MNAC rep with Diane MacLean as alternate for the past few years. He will be stepping down and paperwork has been filed with the city of Bellingham for Curt Thor to become MNAC Rep, with Barbara Ryan as MNAC Alternate.

David spoke about the status of the ENA. In the past ENA held regular meetings and with the neighborhood becoming more involved in Nextdoor Edgemoor, fewer meetings have been necessary. ENA has not met since last year’s annual meeting. David mentioned there are quite a few board positions available, since he, Diane and Lauri are going off the board. David asked if anyone present at today’s meeting is interested in becoming an ENA Board member and Paul Scott agreed to do so. David moved that Sandie Koplowitz, Larry Horowitz, Bill Wright, Barbara Ryan, Curt Thor, Terry Montonye, Paul Scott be elected and the motion was approved by those in attendance.

It was moved that Curt Thor be approved as Edgemoor Neighborhood’s MNAC Representative and Barbara Ryan be approved as MNAC Alternate and the motion was approved by those in attendance.

Nextdoor Edgemoor is our neighborhood’s primary communication channel and our two Leads are Sandie and David. They explained how it works to be a Lead and moderate reported content. David is stepping down and anyone who is interested in becoming a Lead is asked to send an email to the ENA Secretary, sankop@comcast.net, with a little information about themself. Leads for Edgemoor must be approved by the ENA board.

There have been cougar sightings recently in Edgemoor and an article was posted recently on Nextdoor Edgemoor with links to informative articles from the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Bill Wright mentioned cougars have been sighted during the 30 to 40 years he’s been in the neighborhood. He said many years ago on Viewcrest Road there was “Cougar Sighting Here” sign.

Larry spoke about the proposed Jones development south of Viewcrest, west of the Sea Pines Road cul-de-sac and east of the Clarkwood area. The proposed plan is for 45 lots which will not encroach on the 200-foot shoreline setback. There will be two roads, the West road and the East road, both accessed from Viewcrest. There will be one lot accessed from Sea Pines Road. Larry spoke with Bellingham planner, Kathy Bell and she said before the project moves much further, the applicant will be required to have a meeting with the neighbors and a letter will be sent to residents within 500 feet of the development.  The 20-page pre-application letter submitted to the city includes a few reports that were 10 years old, so these will need to be completed again before going forward. This has been in the works for a while, so Larry will ask Kathy Bell to set up a formal list to be notified if there are any updates on the development. 

Links to proposed Jones development:

SUBDIVISION PLANS: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1P2vb_WQtC7_FU0lLwYa4D061F4qACJPM/view F

INAL COMMENTS: https://drive.google.com/file/d/16NOznvHS60LGXdyLtKpFKZxPd1q4Mmt0/view PRE-

APPLICATION NARRATIVE: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HhONA1SLZZIqpXDm12w8gZSwkoC5Sl1A/view CRITICAL

AREAS REPORT (JANUARY 2010): https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AXgZFHizbARxtR_0eACXpUF2QuxCJfFV/view GEOLOGIC

INVESTIGATION (DECEMBER 2009):      https://drive.google.com/file/d/1v17k3zn1HSABBk-InYhkbR4saDYX4y29/view

TRANSPORTATION REQUIREMENTS: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1a61f_GFZMiOCGj77V2GgT8_i-ogd1Q0Q/view

Since there was no further business, Larry thanked David for his time on the ENA Board and as ENA President. Thanks also to Diane for her time as Treasurer, and to Lauri for her many years as Secretary in the past. Both Diane and Lauri were involved in the formation of the Edgemoor Neighborhood Association. Thank you to David for organizing the format for the virtual meeting using Microsoft Teams. The format worked well.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:10 PM.

Sandie Koplowitz,

ENA Secretary

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2019 ENA Annual Meeting

ENA Annual Meeting Minutes July 31, 2019. 7-9 PM

(Please see Homes Now – Unity Village Presentation Summary for information about the presentation prior to the ENA Meeting)

The meeting was held at Lairmont Manor. 35 people attended.

President, David LeBow thanked Curt Thor for arranging the Homes Now – Unity Village speakers.

Minutes: Motion to approve minutes from the last meeting made by Bill Wright. Seconded by Laurie Grove. Motion passed.

Treasurer’s Report: Sandie Koplowitz gave a summary, since Diane MacLean could not attend the meeting. The current balance in the account is $1,580.26. There have not been any expenses since the previous meeting.

MNAC:  David described MNAC – Mayor’s Neighborhood Advisory Commission

Communications and Membership: Sandie reported she manages the website at www.edgemoorneighborhood.com and will update the pages with links to meeting minutes. There have been some contentious conversations on Nextdoor about the Homes Now/Tiny Homes called Unity Village, which is scheduled to move to McKenzie Avenue the last week of August. As a monitor for Nextdoor Edgemoor, Sandie finds it difficult to monitor the increased flagged content. There have also been negative comments about the monitors on Nextdoor, which makes posting uncomfortable, so she has been reluctant to do so. As Membership chair, she maintains the email contact list on MailChimp and there are 450 email addresses.

Annual Elections of Board Members: The current ENA Board members have agreed to stay on the Board. New member, Barbara Ryan was elected. It was suggested to appoint Larry Horowitz to the Board, since he is Planning and Land Use Chair. Sandie will reach out to Larry to ask him if he would like to remain as Planning and Land Use Chair and if he would like to be on the ENA Board. (Larry has since agreed and was appointed to the Board.

The current ENA Board Members are Barbara Ryan, Bill Wright, Curt Thor, David LeBow, Diane MacLean, Larry Horowitz, Lauri Grove, Sandie Koplowitz and Terry Montonye.

ENA Bylaws: Proposed changes to the ENA Bylaws were discussed. Motion to approve the bylaws was made by Bill. Seconded by Barbara. Motion passed. Sandie will post the updated version on the website and send a copy to board members.

Homes Now Discussion: Curt made a motion to donate $500 to Homes Now. After discussion, it was decided to table the motion. Bill suggested we write a letter to describe how residents of Edgemoor (and surrounding neighborhoods) can welcome Unity Village and information about donating to Homes Now will be included. Barbara volunteered to write the letter and Sandie will send to the email list and post on Nextdoor Edgemoor.

ENA Board Meeting to Elect officers (held after the Annual Meeting)

The current slate of officers agreed to continue in their positions on the ENA Board; David LeBow as President, Diane MacLean as Vice President and Treasurer, Sandie Koplowitz as Secretary. Barbara made a motion to accept the slate as presented. Motion passed.

Meeting adjourned at 9:20 pm.

These Minutes are respectfully submitted pending approval by the ENA Board.

ENA Secretary, Sandie Koplowitz

8/22/19

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Homes NOW – Unity Village Presentation Summary

There were 35 people in attendance at Lairmont Manor for the Homes Now-Unity Village presentation at the ENA Annual Meeting on July 31, 2019. Four speakers made presentations. The presentation lasted one hour.

ENA President, David LeBow introduced Rick Sepler Director of Planning and Community Development for the City of Bellingham. Rick talked about the history of the homeless encampments. First there was Winter Haven, behind City Hall, then Safe Haven in the Sunnyland Neighborhood. Now there are plans for Unity Village, scheduled to move in near the Post Point Water Treatment Plant, on or near August 28th. It will be a gated community of 20 tiny homes with up to 25 residents. Tiny homes are simply tents with walls. They do have electricity, but they have no running water or bathrooms.

The next speaker was Jim Peterson president of Homes Now. Jim was homeless for 17 years and wanted to use his experience and to help others. He worked in Washington DC with the National Coalition for the Homeless. Jim moved to Bellingham 7 years ago and kept hearing there was a need for helping the homeless. He started Homes Now in 2017 with the goal of building tiny homes for homeless people. He said, “We don’t need to fix these people, we need to give them the tools and safety for them to help themselves.” Homes Now has placed 17 people out of their 48 residents in homes since it was formed.

Rachel Duval is vice president of Homes Now and she was the first resident who was placed in a home. She suffers from severe panic attacks and she is now 14 years clean and sober. She talked about her experience with being homeless and how Homes Now has changed her life.

The next speaker, Chief Doll had quite a bit of anxiety and apprehension about Winter Haven, when it was first proposed. This anxiety has lessened a great deal since the homeless camps were implemented. He attends weekly meetings at the homeless camp and personally vets persons who want to be housed in the encampment. They hold residents accountable who don’t follow the rules, hold a search for drug and alcohol, and do some drug testing on a regular basis. There was some concern that the camps would draw outside negative elements to the area but conversely, the camp residents have taken responsibility for what’s going on around them.

Questions from the audience:

Question: “Does this put additional stress on the police force?”

Chief Doll replied that enforcement is minimal at the encampments.

Comment from the audience, “I think this is a wonderful idea and I’m looking forward to volunteering.”

Question: “Jim, is this a drop in the bucket?” Jim replied they plan to have 80 tiny homes built by 2020.

Question: “What are we doing about the larger homeless population?”

Rick Sepler replied. It’s a challenging problem. Several city resources are looking into the problem, but there’s a wide range of issues that have to be dealt with. Jim said moms with kids are a high priority and they hope to have a “mom’s with kids” village by next year.

Question: “Why did you choose the site at the Post Point Water Treatment Plant?

Rick Sepler replied. They looked at all available city-owned properties and because of the location and availability of services this was the best site for a temporary encampment. The city hopes that a private individual or non-profit organization will provide a permanent encampment space in the future.

Question: “Why is Unity Village only scheduled to be in the location at McKinsey Ave for six months?”

The Post Point treatment plant is going to be enlarged in the near future and that space occupied by Unity Village will be needed. Where else are you looking for camps locations? And how will it be permitted? Rick Sepler replied the City Council has approved a chapter in the zoning code for temporary housing, which states if they could find a location it could be permitted for up to 5 years .

Question for Rachel: There are going to be only up to 25 people in this encampment. Are you seeing this as hopeful? Rachel replied…”Just like Jim and myself who were homeless and now we are helping others who are homeless, we are enlisting other homeless residents who were helped to continue to volunteer and help. So yes we see this as very hopeful.”

Who monitors the homeless camp? Jim told us he is there on weekdays and Rachel is there on the weekends. The residents are required to participate in monitoring themselves. At weekly meetings, they hold elections for mayor, clean-up committee, security, food preparation and other duties. Residents voted to pay $150 or 10% of their income to go towards utilities.

You can visit the homes now website at www.homes.now.org. Unity Village residents will move into their new location on McKinsey Avenue the last week of August. Donations are welcome.

The Annual Edgemoor Neighborhood Association meeting followed the presentation. A meeting summary will be posted separately.

 

 

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ENA 2018 Annual Meeting and followup Board Meeting Summary

The Annual Meeting of Edgemoor Neighborhood Association (ENA) was held on May 31, 2018 at Lairmont Manor. The meeting was attended by 15 people and topics included a lively discussion on the future of ENA. Due to the fact attendance has been quite low at neighborhood meetings, it was decided to hold one annual meeting per year, as per the requirements for a non-profit corporation, and hold special meetings when issues of importance to Edgemoor residents arise. The ENA Board will hold meetings as needed to manage the organization. There are 11 Board positions and currently only 6 are filled. Board members elected at the annual meeting are David LeBow, Sandie Koplowitz, Diane MacLean, Bill Wright, Terry Montoyne, Curt Thor and Bob Gibb (who passed away on July 16, 2018). The complete minutes of the meeting can be read at ENA Annual Meeting 2018.

At the ENA Board Meeting, held on July 29, 2018, elections for officers were held. The new officers are David LeBow, President, Diane MacLean, Vice-President, Sandie Koplowitz, Secretary, Diane MacLean, Treasurer, David LeBow, Mayor’s Neighborhood Advisory Committee (MNAC) Rep and Diane MacLean, MNAC Alternate. The ENA Standing Rules were updated and it was noted that the ENA Bylaws will need to be updated in the future to reflect changes to our meeting schedule. We shared our wonderful memories of Bob Gibb’s participation in ENA and we are grateful for his many contributions to our community over the years. The ENA Board voted to send a $100 donation in Bob Gibb’s memory to The Chuckanut Center, located at the recently renovated Caretakers House for the former Fairhaven Rose Garden. Complete minutes of the meeting can be read at ENA Board Minutes July 29, 2018 .

 

 

 

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