Revisionist History In the County Comp. Plan / Facebook post, Whatcom Hawk, Wendy Harris

Adopting Whatcom County comp plan

August 7, 2016  Wendy Harris

The county ordinance which will enact the updated comp. plan fails to reference the Weimer amendments to the Cherry Point UGA. It is not discussed in the comp. plan itself. The amended resolution is not reflected on the county website. In fact, there is nothing at all that discloses that these proposed amendments were removed from the comp. plan process and are now being redocketed and that all of this was decided in executive session. I found that very disturbing. It is an attempt to hide what has happened, and raises even greater questions about the appropriateness of what was done. I filed the below email comment tonight with the county, and made sure the DOC and DOE were copied, just in case they care.

Here is the comment:

There appears to be a material fact which is missing from the 63 page ordinance for the updated comprehensive plan. http://www.whatcomcounty.us/documentcenter/view/20246

Important amendments suggested by council member Carl Weimer for Cherry Point, based on a request from Lummi Nation, who holds treaty rights in this area, would have increased environmental protection of this sensitive land. Instead, the proposed amendments were removed from the comprehensive plan process based on discussion held in executive session. The basis for this unusual procedure has never been officially disclosed to the public, nor was legal authority ever cited to support this action. The amendments are apparently being redocketed for next year and will be sent once again to the planning commission for review, despite the fact that the PC considered and rejected the Lummi Nation request.

The procedures being followed for these amendments were significant enough to require an amendment to a prior council resolution initiating the comp. plan review. Therefore, they must surely be significant enough to warrant mention in the ordinance enacting the comp. plan update. I ask that the county make the necessary revisions because as the record currently exists, there is no discussion or evidence reflecting any of this, which I found very troubling. Someone reviewing the record for the first time would be unable to determine what occurred or why. It does not appear that the county administration intended to advise DOC or DOE of these facts. This entire matter needs to be made transparent, even if the reasons for the removal and redocketing of proposed amendments continue to be withheld from public review.

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