York Neighborhood Association

Planning Committee Meeting

4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., February 12, 2006 @ Nelson’s Market



Tom Scott, Committee Chair, Anne Mackie, Lisa McShane, Judy Bachman, Dan McShane, Helen Jackson


Tom Scott went over inquiries he has made into the Letter of Intent to Update the York Neighborhood mailed to the Planning Department. He has not yet received notification that the Planning Department has received the document. The Letter of Intent to Rezone was acknowledged as received. Both letters were mailed on November 30, 2005 to meet the December 1, 2005 deadline.


The $500,000 in funds made available by the Bellingham City Council for updating neighborhood plans was discussed. With a portion of this money, the city may assign a sub-group to aid neighborhoods in their process of rewriting. This was analyzed as to how help could best be utilized. Anne M. mentioned several areas where help might be required, involving technical skills, such as: streets and lighting or Greenways.


According to the requirements on the flow chart for the Comprehensive Plan Update (Neighborhood Plans are included in the Comp Plan) we have met the requirements of Pre-application meeting with Planning Staff and submitted two letters of intent. Since the York plan has not been amended after 1995, the next step is screening by City Council.  According to Lisa McShane’s experience, this procedure will entail meeting with three Planning Committee members and answering their questions.  At this time, YNA would appoint members to meet with the Planning Committee members.


Zoning for Area 5 was presented by Helen J and discussed. The present qualifiers for the high density zoning limits multi-family housing to six units with 3000 sq. ft. required for each unit. It was concluded that large apartment housing complexes could be constructed with this zoning in groups of, for example, 6 units of 4 dwellings. This would require removal of existing homes. A second alternative of combining Area 6 on Lakeway, where a 1000 sq. ft. zoning per unit exists, with lots north or south of Lakeway in Area 5 and requesting a variance, could result in large apartment houses was, also, suggested.


Anne Mackie suggested that Lisa McShane write a letter to Jay Lynn Walker, secretary for the City Council, requesting the status of the Rezone Letter of Intent, and when we might expect it to be docketed into the City Council Planning Committee agenda. Lisa will draft it and email it to YNA Planning Committee members for suggestions and approval. Tom Scott will inquire into the status of the Letter of Intent for the York Neighborhood Plan. Lisa suggested inviting Council Planning Committee members to York’s Area 5 to walk through portions of the neighborhood, so they could see first hand what exists on the ground.


The next meeting was scheduled for Sunday, March 12, 2006 at 6 p.m. at Nelson’s Market.


Following the YNA Planning Committee meeting, Judy Bachman, Anne Mackie and Helen Jackson related to Tom Scott, a proposed grant for the island that exists in the 1200 block of Franklin. This island has grown into a bramble of berry bushes, trash and a hidden haven for drinking away from public viewing. York residents have contacted the police department because people drink there and pass out. The Small Projects Grant provided by the city would enable York to remove brambles, weeds, trash and neglected trees and replace them with low, native ground covers, fruit and nut trees, benches for viewing Mt. Baker and the Bay. A path would be established across the length of the island to connect it with Franklin Park to the south, and, eventually, with the northern portion of York Neighborhood, the Greenways and Rock Hill Park. Tom Scott, President of YNA, will present this at the General Meeting on Wednesday, February 15, for approval.