York Neighborhood Association General Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

7:07 – 8:45 pm

Garden Street United Methodist Church



Present:  Helen Jackson, Tom Scott, Carolyn Mulder, Lisa McShane, Elliott Smith, Anne Mackie, Jeff Bates, Jon Ostby, Carol Dixon, Cindy Kaufman, David Camp, Greg Robanser, Sarah Bates, Jessica Bandstra, Aaron Bandstra, Sarah Campbell, Dan O’Neill, Eric Baumgarten, Toby and Jillian Steele, Seth Cool.


Barbara Davenport and Libby Stark indicated they would not be in attendance. 


Tom opened the meeting at 7:07pm with introductions and roles of those in attendance.


7:12pm, Historic Preservation Committee, Anne Mackie

Anne Mackie introduced the work of the Historic Preservation Committee and asked for volunteers.  She described their current projects: Historic Designation, Oral Histories, the Reunion of Lincoln and Franklin School alumni, the Design Review Process.  She specified that the Historic Preservation Process will designate three separate areas of York as different historic areas: the Triangle, Area 5 (generally), and the Franklin Park area.


7:18pm, Franklin Park Update, Katie Franks

Katie Franks of the Planning and Community Development Department talked about the NIP grant and encouraged us to think about the Franklin Park Update in terms of the neighborhood Master Plan (with particular regard to the crosswalk on Lakeway).  She said the Happy Valley Park project is similar and we could look to that as a comparison.

--Jeff Bates asked how much a crosswalk would cost.

Katie said between $20,000 and $50,000, but said that feasibility is a bigger issue (i.e. keeping traffic moving but encouraging walking).

Katie encouraged us to be patient and keep working hard.  She said she’ll continue to help us advocate.  She said York is a fantastic, historic, well-organized neighborhood.

--Helen asked for examples of well-done pedestrian overpasses. 

Katie said Coupeville has a good one.

Helen Jackson then joined Katie to talk about Franklin Park, as Jonathan Schilk of the Parks Department was not in attendance.  Helen named the committee members and asked for more volunteers.  She talked about Franklin Park survey results and different options for spending the grant money.

--A question was asked about how to gain more understanding about park possibilities.

Helen referred people to the Parks Department website.

Katie encouraged people to think big.  Even if we don’t have enough money for a part of the park improvement, add it to the Master Plan and plan for it later.

She said construction SHOULD begin in Spring of 2008.

Everyone thanked Katie with applause.


7:43pm, Approval of Bylaws, Tom Scott

Tom explained the change made recently to the bylaws.  Anne Mackie made a motion to approve the change as outlined in the bylaws.  Lisa McShane seconded the motion.  All were in favor.


7:45pm, Traffic Improvement Projects, Elliott Smith

Elliott explained that TIP is a new list of city-wide priorities for major traffic/road infrastructure upgrades (i.e. a wishlist, not guaranteed, with a six-year time frame).  Initially the mayor asked MNAC to pick ten projects to recommend.  Now each neighborhood will submit one major project for the wishlist, and the mayor will pick ten.

Elliott explained that at the last board meeting we chose to recommend a crosswalk on Lakeway as our submission. 

Helen recommended framing our submission as making York a “Walking Neighborhood,” i.e. linking Whatcom Creek Trail through Lakeway and Samish crosswalks all the way to Sehome Hill.

Elliott said the proposal should primarily support traffic.  Someone said that a crosswalk supports increased pedestrian activity, which therefore decreases and improves traffic.  Seth Cool added that the bus stops on Lakeway near Grant make the need for a crosswalk even greater.

Lisa McShane said she likes Katie’s idea of a pedestrian overpass working as a positive design opportunity for entry into the downtown of Bellingham.

Elliott said that WA state law says pedestrians have the right of way (even outside of crosswalks) unless specifically stated otherwise.  Therefore we can frame our request as a formality of an already existing crossing.

The question is asked whether we should combine our submission with the Sehome Neighborhood’s request for a crosswalk on Samish.  After some discussion, everyone agrees that we should.  Tom called Alan Matsumoto of the Sehome Neighborhood to discuss. 

Aspects of our submission:

A)    walkable neighborhood

B)     taking cars off the road

C)    bus stops

D)    Franklin Park

E)     WWU students

Elliott submitted that we could name our concept the “Bicycle/Pedestrian Mobility Corridor.”

If Sehome agrees to a combined proposal of Lakeway and Samish crosswalks, it was agreed that all were in favor of submitting that.  If Sehome does not agree, it was agreed to submit the idea of a crosswalk on Lakeway. 


8:10pm, BREAK


8:18pm, Neighborhood Transportation Safety Program, Elliott Smith

Elliott continued to explain that NTSP is for smaller projects, and that each neighborhood is asked to submit three projects.  NTSP focuses on non-arterial streets.  Options include speed bumps, traffic circles, sidewalks (if a safety issue), but do not typically include stop signs.  The deadline is the end of March.

Tom requested ideas from the group.

--Sidewalks on York.

--Traffic calming mid-block on the long north-south blocks (1400 blocks of Humboldt, Grant, etc.)

--Traffic calming from Whatcom to Grant on the south side

--Traffic calming on Gladstone (currently without any stop signs) and at bottoms of hills on Grant, Franklin, etc.

--Increased signage (“not a thru street” etc.)

--Traffic calming on Humboldt (used as Meador-Lakeway thruway)


8:27pm, Small and Simple Grant, Anne Mackie

Anne told the group about the Small and Simple Grant, and shared ideas for this year’s proposal.

1.)    Money used for trees and beautification.

2.)    Half of money (about $1200) to be used for tree planting; other half ($1200) to go toward funding a Franklin and Lincoln Schools Reunion/Annual Neighborhood Picnic in Franklin Park in September.  Money would be used for publicity, food, music, etc.

Anne made a motion to support the second proposal and said she would write the grant.  Carolyn Mulder seconded the motion.  All were in favor.


8:32pm, Treasurer’s Report, Helen Jackson

The Treasurer’s Report was submitted for approval.  Anne made a motion to approve.  Lisa McShane seconded the motion.  All were in favor.


8:33pm, Board Elections, Tom Scott

Tom read the list of board members for election.  He specified that the only change from the list as published in the newsletter was that Amelia Lunde will step down as Garden Club Chair and Carol Dixon will take her place.

Lisa McShane moved to approve the election of the 2007 board.  Jeff Bates seconded the motion.  All were in favor.


8:35pm, Committee Pitches, Anne Mackie

Planning Committee, Lisa McShane

--Lisa handed out Planning Committee volunteer forms and encouraged people to get involved in the Neighborhood Plan Update process.  She pointed out that the last update was done 27 years ago.  Anne Mackie will be the Neighborhood Plan Update Coordinator.

Newsletter Deliverers, Jessica Bandstra

--Jessica Bandstra thanked all those who helped with newsletter delivery, and encouraged those not involved to volunteer to deliver a block or two.

Garden Club, Carol Dixon

--Carol had nothing to report.

Rock Hill Park, Anne Mackie

--Anne said that George Liepart will take over as Rock Hill Park Steward.


8:45pm, Meeting adjourned.

Minutes submitted by Jessica Bandstra.