Did you know that under the Washington Shoreline Management Act, each section of shoreline is designated a certain environment category meant to guide land use activities?
Take, for example, the “Urban conservancy” environment. The purpose of the “urban conservancy” environment is to protect and restore ecological functions of open space, flood plain and other sensitive lands where they exist in urban and developed settings. Uses that preserve the natural character of the area or promote preservation of open space, flood plain or sensitive lands either directly or over the long term should be the primary allowed uses. Uses that result in restoration of ecological functions should be allowed if the use is otherwise compatible with the purpose of the environment and the setting.
So it is hard for me to understand how the new Fairhaven Harbor development, with 2 five story multi use buildings, which includes parking spaces for 59 vehicles, meets the policy goals for urban conservancy. This is being built in Reach No. 1, Padden Creek shoreline, on a large tract of open space near the current Bellinghan Tennis Club. There is no mention of anything being done to restore ecosystem functions. In fact, it would be difficult to mitigate the amount of new impervious surface being constructed.
The shoreline permit review should be coming up and I urge people to raise these concerns with the city.
Are you starting to see a pattern here, Bellingham? This city administration is hell bent on destroying all that makes Bellingham healthy and special.