Edgemoor Neighborhood Association
Monthly Business Meeting
December 4, 2008
The Monthly business Meeting of the Edgemoor Neighborhood Association was called to order by Brad Rose, ENA President, at approximately 7:00 p.m. Lauri Grove recorded the minutes. A quorum was present.
The minutes from the November meeting were approved as submitted.
Reports of Officers
President’s Report: Congratulation to new dad, Brad! – Brad went over the agenda and began his report with a news release sent by Dan Hammill from Bellingham/Whatcom Project Homeless Connect seeking volunteers for a one-day event reaching out to homeless locally. On January 29th about 650 people experiencing homelessness had access to free, confidential healthcare services and housing assistance. Brad concluded his report by extending an invitation sent from Fairhaven Neighbors to attend their Holiday Party that was held on Dec. 12th, from 6-9pm, in the Fairhaven Library Auditorium.
MNAC Report: In Brad’s absence, John Erickson attended the Nov. MNAC meeting and found it interesting that the Mayor wasn’t always in attendance. He reported points of interest from the Director of Communities in School, who stated that 60% of the students not reading at grade level by 3rd grade drop out of school. Bellingham schools have a 72.3% graduation rate and spend about $8500 per student. Volunteers are needed to mentor or tutor at-risk children; provide supplies, eye glasses or even a safe home. Next, John reported that Tim Stewart stated the initial adoption of the Infill toolkit would apply only to multi-family areas and would not be forced into single-family neighborhoods. Urban Villages would take in 25-30% of the growth and the rest would be in urban growth areas as well as infill within existing neighborhoods. JoAnne Peterson (Sehome Neighborhood) brought up an integral point that the city needed to get a better sense of how much infill already existed in neighborhoods with ‘rooming’ houses and rentals. A bus tour was held on Dec 15th to look at in-fill areas applicable for toolkit housing.
Treasurer’s Report: Diane was unable to attend the meeting. There was no change in finances this month.
v Brad noted that all ENA reimbursements must be turned into Neighbor Services by Jan.14th so it was important to get outstanding invoices to Diane as soon as possible.
Communications: No report - Looking for a new contact volunteer for Communications.
Disaster Preparedness: No report. Think about getting a supply kit together for your home in preparation for any disaster. In response a concern was voiced for the lack of permanent monitoring of the Mt Baker volcano.
Growth and Land Use: Pam Went talked about plans for the Caretaker’s House stating the Center for Local Self-Reliance was approved to obtain a lease and to remodel. A fundraiser was held to help cover expenses and save a piece of history. Pam passed around a very nice flier and recommended checking the website for more details. She offered a suggestion to get the South, Fairhaven, and Edgemoor neighbor associations together to pool funds to contribute to refurbishing the house. The Small and Simple Grant was brought up as a possibility with mention of the mid-February application deadline.
Membership: No report.
Neighborhood Safety: No report
Neighborhood Plan Committee: The committee had the draft of the updated Neighborhood Plan posted on the website for review. Submitting a less wordy draft to Jackie Lynch was recommended to get feed-back determining whether we are on track. Martin noted that a letter was circulated with objections to opening access to the Chuckanut Bay waterfront. There were problems in the past that residents in the immediate area worked to put to an end and they do not want to resort back to a situation that took years to resolve – an important consideration. He also offered that Edgemoor does not have 'pure' single-family zoning. The property around Lairmont Manor could be developed as multi family. Review the draft plan and continue to comment. At some point we are going to have to vote on approving the plan.
Chuckanut Mountain Parks District Committee: Dr. Gibb reported that committee planned to meet with the new Land Use Commissioner about the park district. If there is another go-round the two districts, Skagit and Whatcom, would remain separate. Much of the opposition was to the inclusion of 'eminent domain' and steps would be taken to try to remove that wording from the CMPD. Bob voiced concerns about Puget Sound Energy and ownership of the Interurban Trail which could potentially be a problem. It would be wise for the city or park district to acquire that trail property for public use.
AOBN: John Erickson stated there was a discussing about student housing and the Campus Community Coalition. Although there were rules on the books, there was no zoning director and no one to enforce those rules. The only thing one could do would be to document problem situations and report nuisance violations. John went on to mention that Map Your Neighborhood/Disaster Preparedness still had 40 kits left that included hard hats. It would be nice for ENA to get at least one kit to use as an example. He also offered that Northridge Park was the first land to be purchased with Greenway funds. The parks department would like to put in a parking lot and basketball nets however the neighborhood prefers it to remain natural. Opinions were voiced concerning invasive development such as the Interurban Trail switchback and apprehension with plans at Woodstock Farm. John concluded with report of break-ins at Arroyo Park.
CSN: No report. No meeting.
RD: The DEIS for Fairhaven Highlands would be out for review the first week in January. After it is released there would be 22 days until the hearing for public comment. No confirmation was made for the request to extend that period to 45 days. RD lined up experts in all the key areas to study the DEIS findings and CSN plans a forum to help the community develop effective comments about the DEIS.
A motion to approve funds for a new coffee pot was approved.
Keith Wilhauer, County Tax Assessor, stressed the key points about the functioning of the assessor’s office and the role and service it provides. He stated the office provides a mechanism to equitably distribute the burden of taxes throughout the county. Washington State uses a budget based tax system. Which means the amount of needed tax dollars is predetermined and the assessor's office must get that amount from the taxpayers. The assessor’s office must put a fair value on every piece of property in Whatcom County. If one has a concern it is important to file an appeal by the deadline date (Dec. 19th). Filing an appeal reserves the right to talk with the city. The process is user friendly and it isn't necessary to have a lawyer. Of the 1000 or so appeals filed a year (the majority are filed to continue a discussion) about a100 go to hearing and the rest are settled. He offered that about 50% receive an adjustment. Keith continued to talk and answer questions until the meeting adjourned at 9:30.
The next meeting scheduled will be an Edgemoor Neighborhood Association Board Meeting to be held from 7-9 p.m. on February 5th at Fairhaven Park Pavilion. All residents are welcome and encouraged to attend.
Minutes are subject to approval.