Mickey McDiarmid prepared an agenda and Hank Bledowski led the meeting in the absence of a chair-person.
Mickey McDiarmid moved to approve the October 15th SNA Meeting minutes; Hank Bledowski seconded – minutes were approved.
Hank Bledowski, treasurer, reported that the SNA has $611 and change in the newly renamed West Edge Credit Union.
Patrick McKee reported on the DOT site at 510 East Sunset Drive:
He sent a letter (below) to Mayor Kelli Linville on January 17, 2014
January 17, 2014
To: Mayor Linville
Cc City Council, Sunnyland Board
Dear Mayor Linville,
On July 23, 2012, the City Council voted to place a Sunnyland Neighborhood Plan amendment on the annual docket for review during the 2012-2013 docket period. According to City code, the first requirement to consider before an amendment can be placed on the docket is : “Does the Planning Dept. have the resources and staff time to process the amendment during the following year?” The Planning Dept. told the Planning Commission and the City Council that they had the resources and staff to process the Sunnyland amendment in the 2012-2013 docket period.
Shortly after the Sunnyland amendment was placed on the docket by the City Council, I called the Planning Dept. and asked for the name of the staff member who was working to process our amendment. I was told that no one was assigned and I would be notified when a staff member was chosen. It is now January 2014. Last week, I spoke with Senior Planner Greg Aucutt and asked him for a date on which the Planning Commission would consider the Sunnyland amendment. Aucutt said he didn’t know when,
As far as I can determine, the Planning Dept. has done nothing to process the Sunnyland amendment. Planning Director Jeff Thomas is ignoring the 2012 City Council vote to docket and the Municipal Code which lays out how Neighborhood Plan Amendments are to be considered. Mr. Thomas is simply making up his own rules.
Mayor Linville, I am asking you to step in here and instruct your staff to comply with City Law. I would like a Planning Commission hearing on the Sunnyland amendment scheduled by March 31, 2014. The Sunnyland Neighborhood Association is entitled by law to a hearing.
2801 Grant St, 98225
Patrick spoke with Gene Knutson the Ward 2 representative (Ward 2 includes the north half of the Sunnyland neighborhood – the south half is in Ward 3) and asked why a hearing before the Planning Commission had not taken place. Mr. Knutson’s response was “maybe early this year (2014)”. Mayor Linville also indicated that a hearing should have taken place.
Greg Aucutt said that a re-write of the Infill Tool kit was in process and needed to be finalized before the Sunnyland amendment would be considered. Patrick thought this was unreasonable since there is no assurance that the City Council would approve the re-write and that there is no timeline for the toolkit re-write completion. Patrick reiterated his assertion that Bellingham Municipal Code requires that once an amendment is on the docket a hearing must occur and was concerned that the infill tool kit re-write may include more than single family detached zoning and this would be a change to the current language. Patrick stated that he had sent the (above) letter asking the Mayor to step in.
For more information about the Sunnyland amendment see:
Judith Green attended the meeting and suggested that the Sunnyland Neighborhood Association should update the e-mail list in order to facilitate communication of important issues among neighbors. She suggested compiling e-mail addresses from previous meeting attendance lists and other neighborhood public meetings. Door to door canvassing of neighbors was proposed and Scott Roberts suggested that once a hearing is scheduled for the DOT site this would be an appropriate time for the door to door effort.
Both Mickey McDiarmid and David Rogers indicated that the Sunnyland Neighborhood Association website: (http://www.sunnyland.org/) now has the capability for neighbors to add their names and e-mail addresses to a distribution list to receive the latest information regarding our neighborhood.
Patrick McKee reported that the Mayors Neighborhood Advisory Commission had met in the previous week however the Mayor was sick and did not attend.
We discussed updating the SNA meeting announcement signboards to include the accurate website address. Polly Gilbert offered to find out what this would cost and report back to the board.
David Rogers discussed ideas to improve the SNA website including; links to facebook and our google group, adding photos, and combining pages to reduce redundancy. Also links to neighborhood events e.g., the Sunnyland stomp and neighborhood businesses. Mickey McDiarmid suggested archiving some of the website material, having it still be accessible, but only displaying recent issue information. An accurate list of current board members was also an issue that needed attention on the website.
Neighborhood projects were discussed including: Additional painting of Sunnyland school and the possibility of using Puget Sound Energy transmission poles for an art project. Mickey McDiarmid has promoted the latter idea after seeing a similar project in Victoria, BC. Doug Couvelier mentioned that he had contacted PSE about this idea and that he would be proposing a pilot project this spring.
The next meeting was tentatively scheduled for March 4th with additional meetings scheduled for June 17th and October 21st.
In attendance were: Racquel Arceo, David Rogers, Doug Couvelier, Polly Gilbert, Pat McKee, Judith Green, Mickey McDiarmid, Hank Bledowski, and Scott Roberts.
The meeting adjourned at 8:20.
Please send additions or corrections to these minutes to Doug Couvelier email@example.com .