CSN (Coalition of Southside Neighborhoods) Report
It has been an active several weeks since our last Edgemoor Neighborhood meeting, and most of the news came out of the Coalition of Southside Neighbors meeting attended by John Erickson and Lylene on January 17th. CSN is an organization of representatives from 6 southside neighborhoods: South, South Hill, Fairhaven, Happy Valley, Samish & Edgemoor.
The first issue was raised by the Samish Neighborhood regarding the Padden Trails development. They are opposed to both the rezone allowing higher density and the application of the Infill Housing Toolkit in the development, and have asked CSN for support. After discussion, CSN members agreed to support opposition to the higher density, but felt the Infill Housing Toolkit was appropriate in that area and could result in a smaller environmental impact. These links will take you to the Padden Trails website, a Letter in Opposition, the City of Bellingham’s Infill Housing Toolkit and the letter proposed by CSN.
CSN support for a neighborhood’s position involves discussion of the issue by the presidents and representatives of the 6 neighborhoods and drafting a letter to the city stating that position. The neighborhood presidents then get input from their members and, if appropriate, sign the letter. In the past this discussion has been held and the decision made at an Edgemoor Neighborhood meeting. As a result, a small number of Edgemoor neighbors have made decisions representing the entire Neighborhood. In an effort to more accurately represent Neighborhood sentiment, we will instead be polling Neighborhood members for opinions via a very short survey at the following link http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/M9RJR7V. Please exercise your right to vote!
The second issue was raised by the Fairhaven Neighborhood regarding their new neighborhood plan. It has been reviewed by the city and is moving forward in the process. The planning department proposed building height limits greater than those requested by the draft plan, and the Neighborhood asked for CSN to go on record supporting the lower limits. After discussion, there was not consensus regarding this support, so no letter was drafted. These links will take you to the letter from Fairhaven Neighbors to the City of Bellingham Planning Department regarding the Fairhaven Plan and City of Bellingham website regarding that plan. .
The third topic discussed concerned an Edgemoor Neighborhood proposal to sponsor another forum on the Gateway Pacific project. This idea had been raised earlier as a possible meeting with a BNSF representative. During the CSN discussion, it was expanded to a meeting with representatives from Gateway Pacific, ReSources, BNSF, Whatcom County Planning Department and Department of Ecology. CSN agreed to work collaboratively toward this meeting, with the Edgemoor Neighborhood taking the lead. At this point, we have set a date of March 27th. Watch the blog and the newsletter for updates.