York Neighborhood Association

Historic Preservation Committee Meeting Minutes

August 9, 2006, 7-8:30 pm Nelsonıs Market, 514 Potter St.


Attended: Kirsti, Anne, Libby, and Barbara


1. Historic Research

a.      Volunteers from WWU. Kirsti will check on service learning students from WWU who would help us research more old homes.

b.      Toni Nagelıs interns continue to work on researching the houses in the triangle area


2. 506 Potter Discussion regarding 506 Potter


Issues: Hall Arnason Jr. has been granted Non-conforming use NCU)permit for 5 units at 506 Potter with the intention of tearing it down and rebuilding a 5 unit building, which exceeds the allowed size and makes no provision for alley parking, also will cut down the Maple tree.


The purpose of the meeting was for Darby G. of Planning to explain process and Hal Arnason Jr and his architect to present plans for new structure.


Most of us in attendance opposed the 5 unit structure and disagreed with the NCU permit.


3.. Summary of July 12, the first Neighborhood Preservation Coalition meeting.


About a dozen folks from York, Lettered St. and South Hill and Broadway, met to discuss issues involved in becoming local historic districts. Mostly we aired our frustrations with historic preservation attempts. Consensus was we lack clear info from Planning Department and need to meet with Planning Director Tim Stewart to get clarity on costs, time tables, and guidelines.


Next Neighborhood Coalition meeting Aug. 30 7-8-30 Garden St. Methodist Church with Tim Stewart, and others from Planning.


Goal: Get clarity on process of neighborhoods applying for local historic designation. Provide input.


Appendix B lists the questions Toni Nagel sent to Tim Stewart. He will

comment on these at the Aug. 30th meeting.


4. Researching our own homes and other historic neighborhood buildings. Lynn and Ray Gobushıs house will be used as working example of how to research your home, in Aug. 19 workshop ( see info below in Upcoming Events.


5. Heritage tree preservation updates . Barbara is working on an ordinance.


6. Revisit issue of local/national designation

Cost for local $340 per house. Issue of "non participating houses" (see Appendix A).


7. Update on York rezone


Upcoming events


Saturday, August 19th

8:30 am 12:30 pm

Washington State Archives Building

808 25th Street on the WWU campus


Researching the History of your Home or Property

an introduction to methods, resources and repositories


AUG 30 7-8:30 Neighborhood Preservation Coalition Meeting.

Garden St. Methodist Church. 7-8:30


Sept. 13 7-8:30 York Preservation Committee Meeting

 (2nd Wed of the month) Nelsonıs Market


Historic Preservation Commission met on Aug. 8.

Design Review materials are available at the Planning Department in City Hall. Anyone wishing to comment in favor of or in objection to the proposal is invited to send written comments to the Planning Department.


Department contact: Marilyn Vogel, 360-676-6982 or email: MVogel@cob.org.




Submitted by,

Barbara Davenport, Chair

York Historic Preservation Committee

Aug. 15, 2006




Appendix A.


Cost of Neighborhood Historic District ($340 times the number of houses)


Email correspondence between Jackie Lynch and Barbara Davenport regarding cost of becoming a historic district.


Barbara: How much does it cost to apply for one house to be on the local historic register?

Jackie: $340, today.

Barbara: About how many have applied or are listed?

Jackie: Single-family homes on the local register? The Roeder Home at 2600 Sunset, now a County park building and the Wolter/Tweit home at 1314 Old Fairhaven Parkway, now offices. Single-family homes on the National register? the George Bacon House at 2001 Eldridge, the Alfred Black house at 158 S. Forest, the JJ Donovan House at 1201 N. Garden, the Edward Eldridge Homesite at 2915 Eldridge, the Roland Gamwell House at 1001 16th, the Robert Morse House at 1014 N. Garden, the Picket House at 910 Bancroft, the Roeder Home at 2600 Sunset, and Wardner's Castle at 1103 15th are on the National Register.






Appendix B.


1. On a scale of 1 - 10, with 1 being the highest, what is the City's/Planning Department's current OVERALL priority level regarding the establishment of distinct enforceable policies and procedures for older established neighborhoods to attain Historic District designation?


Listed below are 13 specific questions and areas of concern expressed by representatives of various neighborhood associations at a recent joint meeting:


2. When will the Planning Dept. have written guidelines in place that relate to local District Status per the Historic Preservation Ordinance  passed in February of this year (2006)? By what date?



  1. What specific areas are covered in the current code work revisions?
  2. How will these revisions affect our historic neighborhoods? (c) what is the expected date of completion for these code revisions?


4. Is it possible to obtain an historic/zoning overlay district in older neighborhoods prior to local or national designation?


5. Will the City apply for a Certified Local Government (CLG) status?  By when?


6. Will the City then take charge to obtain funding through this program to spearhead Historic Inventories in older neighborhoods through their neighborhood associations to assist in determining boundaries for historic districts?


7. What are the current INCENTIVES in place for older neighborhoods to obtain historic status?



  1. What is the fee structure for listing individual properties and/or districts at the LOCAL level?
  2. Could the CLG grant -- or is other  funding available -- to cover this cost as an incentive to apply and/or  assist low income residents?


9. The city-wide Citizen View survey of 2002 clearly demonstrates that existing views are important to citizens/property owners in Bellingham whether the view is of water, mountains, islands, trees. Is it possible to obtain a zoning overlay district in older neighborhoods to protect views for historic districts and/or structures within the district? What's involved to make this process happen?


10. Will there be any workshops, charettes, dialogues, exchanges of information between neighborhood association representatives and developers, planning dept. staff that will actually provide a mutual understanding of the multi-family/multi-use design guidelines and codes in older neighborhoods and their application? Currently, we all seem to view the guidelines differently.


11. When will the City Planning Department bring Michael Houser (State Office of Historic Preservation [OAHP] back to Bellingham for a more specific step-by-step instructional interactive workshop about National Register designation AND Local designation in order for interested neighborhood reps. to understand the processes for application to both organizations? Once we fully understand the processes connected to both National and Local designation, we can explain and educate other neighborhood residents.


12. Why does the SEPA review for new construction not take into consideration a property listed on the National Register of Historic Places that may be within the block or across the street? Should SEPA review include an evaluation of the potential impact the proposed project would have on an identified historic resource? Is the wording on Item #13, page 14 of the current SEPA checklist reflective of the state code? It only encourages City staff to look at properties "next to" new construction not "surrounding" In older neighborhoods, SEPA review should also take into account the impact the action will have on surrounding properties.