For those of you who are following the Comprehensive Plan process for the City of Bellingham, there is a revised schedule of work sessions as the city council moves the sessions to the Committee of the Whole which meets in the afternoon. Also, the Land Use/Housing chapter session has been switched with the Transportation session to accommodate a scheduling conflict with Terry Bornemann who expressed his desire to be able to attend the Transportation session. Here is the new(est) schedule: Revised tentative City Council review schedule for the draft 2016 Bellingham Comprehensive Plan:
• June 27 – Committee of the Whole Work Session (not a regularly scheduled Council date) – Transportation Chapter and Capital Facilities and Utilities Chapter
• July 11 – Committee of the Whole Work Session – Land Use Chapter and Housing Chapter
• July 25 – Committee of the Whole Work Session – Environment Chapter and Economic Development Chapter
• August 8 – Committee of the Whole Work Session – Community Design Chapter and Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan
• TBD – Parks Committee Work Session (PRO Plan, level of service)
Check here for the agenda bill and staff comments.
Read Dick’s post in the Whatcom Hawk Facebook group here.
Also, here is additional perspective that Dick provided in a comment on this post on the Hawk:
Some thoughts on the Monday city council planning committee session where staff presented comments on some of the public comments received recently on the comp plan. It appears that t the almost decade-old county-wide CHAT [Countywide Housing Affordability Task Force] report on affordable housing is on the way out as an adopted reference. It appears that Terry Bornemann will lance that boil. Lisa Pool emphasized that there is no place in the comp plan that puts the Infill Tool Kit into SF zoned areas – not that the city would not like to see that happen. On the other hand, there are other pushes to increase density with a revised ADU [Accessory Dwelling Unit] ordinance and changes to the subdivision rules. Builders and developers are still asking for not only ADUs but smaller lots and MORE LAND to build on (UGAs [Urban Growth Areas] – the municipal Godzilla) It is beginning to dawn on some that housing costs are largely a factor of conditions beyond the city’s control and that the market determines the size and cost of homes [unless there are other forces such as laws to change that]. Incentives – the staff did not really answer the question regarding the need. Michael pointed out that his research indicated the incentives are not directly related to price of homes. Bellingham’s building fees are not out of line but pretty much in the middle for the state. For trans impact fees B’ham is in the lower zone for WA. And so it goes…tiddly pom. You can watch the video of the planning committee on the comp plan here: http://www.cob.org/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=626…