The monthly meeting of the
Interim Vice President,
The minutes of the last monthly meeting (and the character of the organization) were questioned and discussed. The point of concern was the Hospitality Committee plan to offer assistance to neighbors in emergency situations. It was established that this was included in the original proposal and therefore correctly written in the minutes.
The Minutes of the January 6th Monthly Meeting were approved as recorded.
Interim President, Sue Tercek brought up issues about the present ENA website that is actually the property of Sandie Koplowitz. She proposed ENA develop and maintain a separate site that will contain just civic business of the association (no links or advertising). This format will reduce maintenance to allow time better spent on important matters, and diminish liability concerns. It was suggested that Sandie could continue to develop her website as a community information center with a one way link to the new official site.
Motion by Sue Tercek that ENA separate the official business of ENA
At this time, Sandie Koplowitz expressed her views in a letter read to the membership. It stated that she developed the present website to connect Edgemoor neighborhood and to provide residents with news and information about our local community. This site contains several links to outside websites and a neighborhood forum.
The motion on the table was brought to a vote and approved 10 to 9.
Planning Director, Jorge
Vega attempted to define the Growth Management Act (GMA) which mandates
planned, controlled growth in the state of
Environmental Planner, Chris Spens emphasized that the GMA is a statewide law that “has the potential to save us from ourselves”. The Act addresses five areas: land use, housing, capital facilities (public services), transportation, and environment. He reiterated the Neighborhood Plan is a guide that allows the community to become alive by expressing what is treasured and envisioned for the future. He characterized the Shoreline Master Plan as insurance to protect marine tidelands and marine life. He also explained the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) as a process to determine the significance of development on the environment. He continued with brief terminology that might aid in understanding the development process as follows:
v Municipal Code is the rulebook that applies citywide. Code = law.
v Zoning is the map of areas designated for a range of uses.
v Variances are exceptions to the rule granted as relief from hardship or to better an area.
v Ordinances are implementation mechanisms or legal instruments.
Our city managers inferred that people make the codes and people could also execute change in plans and codes though public process. It is a difficult course to change the rulebook. It was strongly suggested to address city official not only with the problem, but also with alternative solutions. Phone calls and letters could be helpful. Emphasis was placed on getting involved from the beginning of a project. Check the city website www.cob.org often and attend meetings.
Now the question is who do we contact? Jorge Vega outlined the key players and their role in planning and development as follows:
v State Legislature is the lawmakers.
v State Agencies (ex: Dept. of Ecology) allocate funds. If the city is not in compliance they lose funds.
v The Mayor (Mark Asmundson) is the chief executive city officer.
v The Public Works Director (Dick McKinley) deals with the transportation infrastructure.
v The Planning Director (Jorge Vega) interprets ambiguity in the codes.
v The Planning Commission makes recommendations to City Council.
v The Hearing Examiner is the land use judge. Conditional use permits, height restriction issues, etc… are arbitrated here.
v City Council makes final decisions and controls the city budget.
v Ordinary Citizens get on advisory committees, neighborhood committees, ABN, attend meetings, and do their best to influence final decisions of all of the above.
v The Courts handle appeals.
Dick McKinley, Public Works Director, reminded the
membership that individuals have the right to sell and develop property in
accordance with zoning. Zoning protects communities
and enforces developers to use land and build as designated. When questioned about a connector for the
Several other questions were posed in an attempt to gain understanding of where citizens could effect the process to positively influence growth and development. The presenters stressed getting involved early in the process. Check the city website often, attend meetings, write letters, and contact city officials with concerns.
A reminder that ENA meetings
are held from at
the Fairhaven Pavilion in
v The next meeting is on March 3, 2005
The meeting was adjourned by general consent at .
Thank you for attending.
These minutes are subject to corrections and additions at the next ENA meeting.