The city [of Bellingham] has been getting very sloppy with its public documents, failing to having appropriate documents related to hearings or work sessions available, or available in adequate time before a public hearing.
At the last planning commission work session for the CAO, the city cited the final habitat restoration plan, but it was not available for public review and I have yet to see a copy. (I was told it was really, really final, but they were tweaking a few sentences and it was not released publicly yet..i.e, it was not really “final.”) You can not cite BAS if there is no final work product.
And It is my understanding that for the UGA hearing announced below, the final findings of fact and conclusions of law by the planning commission, which is recommending the largest size UGA boundaries, which includes Caitec and Yew Street, will not be available for review until later next month.
With regard to other materials, we are supposed to hunt around for documents that were posted for four different PC meetings. Why doesn’t the planning department put all the relevant documents together in one place for ease of public review? This upcoming hearing is important and sending us on a scavenger hunt for documents that may or may not exist is not good service.. Maybe if the city was less concerned about improving application services for developers, it would have more time to focus on public needs and due process rights.
BELLINGHAM CITY COUNCIL NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
Notice is hereby given that the Bellingham City Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, July 27, 2015, at 7:00 p.m., or as soon thereafter as possible, in the City Council Chambers, City Hall, 210 Lottie Street, Bellingham, Washington, to take public comment on the following:
A PUBLIC HEARING TO DEVELOP RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE CITY’S 20-YEAR POPULATION AND EMPLOYMENT PROJECTIONS AND URBAN GROWTH AREA (UGA) BOUNDARIES AS PART OF THE 2016 COMPREHENSIVE PLAN UPDATE PROCESS. IF NEEDED, TENTATIVE PLANNING COMMITTEE WORK SESSIONS ON THIS TOPIC ARE SCHEDULED FOR 8/10/15 AND 8/31/15. COUNCIL’S RECOMMENDATIONS WILL BE FORWARDED TO WHATCOM COUNTY FOR A FINAL DECISION.
Materials from the 4/23/15, 4/30/15, 5/7/15 and 6/11/15 Planning Commission meetings on this topic can be found by searching for those dates at: http://www.cob.org/government/meeting-materials.aspx.
Staff Contact: Greg Aucutt, Assistant Planning Director, (360)778-8344 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyone wishing to comment is invited to attend or send comments to the Council Office (210 Lottie Street), email@example.com, or fax 778-8101 prior to 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, July 22, 2015, to be included in the agenda packet. Comment received after that will be distributed to Council but not included in the published packet.