Capital Facilities, Public Participation, EIS

Comp Plan update Chapter 4 – Capital Facilities

Today’s Planning Commission meeting will involve a work session on Chapter 4 of the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan, titled “Capital Facilities.”  This work session will be held Thursday, April 9, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. in the Northwest Annex Conference Room, 5280 Northwest Drive, Bellingham. We will re-visit this chapter on May 14th to consider edits and try to “put it to bed.” See the calendar, below.

We took a long look at Chapter 2 (Land Use) at our our last meeting, We will re-visit it on April 23rd to consider proposed edits. Commission members are encouraged to provide their proposed edits in writing by April 13. If members of the public would like to propose specific edits, they can submit them directly to the commission at PDS_Planning_Commission@co.whatcom.wa.us.

Public Participation Plan

The meeting will actually start with a Public Hearing on the annual Public Participation Plan. This plan lists the topics and issues that have been “docketed” by the County Council to be considered this year, and describes the public process we will use to consider them. Because zoning and long-term planning is supposed to be predicable and “long-term,” the process is set up so people can’t just quickly get their pet code changes considered under the radar of the community. This Public Participation Plan is designed to give the community notice of anticipated issues to be considered.

EIS for Comp Plan this Monday, April 13

Because the Comp Plan probably will have significant environmental impacts, such as the growth in population, we are also required to do an Environmental Impact Statement. The draft EIS is complete and ready for public comment. A public hearing will be held by the Department of Planning and Development Services (not the Planning Commission) on April 13, 7 pm in Council Chambers.

The Draft EIS describes the existing conditions and identifies probable significant environmental impacts, mitigation measures to mitigate these impacts, and any significant unavoidable adverse impacts from the proposal. Four alternatives are studied in the Draft EIS addressing a range of population and employment growth levels and patterns.

The project website has the complete draft document, HERE. You can send comments now until April 24th to pds@co.whatcom.wa.us

Handy calendar to keep track of the Comp Plan schedule

I’ve created a google calendar so I can keep track of topics and deadlines for submitting edits for various chapters. You can view it, too HERE. As I have said before, the adopted schedule is subject to change, because we don’t really know how long things will take. I will try to update this calendar as soon as I know of changes.

Sign up for email notification of county government activities

There’s a bushel of lists you can get on, if you feel you don’t get enough email, HERE.

Next County Council meeting April 14
FULL County Council AGENDA
Planning Commission AGENDA
Planning Commission Meeting Schedule