COMMUNITY CONVERSATION: Readers discuss port development

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDDecember 11, 2013 

Facebook comments about a Dec. 8 news story headlined "Bellingham waterfront developers could be chosen soon" by Bellingham Herald reporter John Stark:

Stephan Michaels:

"How can the port project making the recommendation of developer so soon?"

Douglas Tolchin:

"Until sometime after a majority of City Councillors vote 'third and final' regarding the three subject ordinances, new Bellingham Waterfront Zoning and Development Regulations are not in place, and city tidelands and street rights of way are not yet conveyed to the port (without adequate compensation, and without the prior informed consent of Bellingham taxpayers and other citizens). And, hopefully, our elected representatives (?) will not do such a thing until this waterfront master un-plan's myriad and major deficiencies and errors are corrected.

"This 'un-masterful un-plan' makes little if any sense in so many ways...

"Why should Bellingham city taxpayers pay over 65 percent of the costs (about $80 million-plus) related to land ready for development with the port ending up owning well over 80 percent of the land ready for development, which with the pending fastball windfall of city zoning mega-entitlements for dozens of 10- to 20-story high-rise buildings should and could amount to well over $100 million of profit for the port, in addition to the port recouping all of its investment, mostly at city taxpayer expense). Shouldn't city taxpayers at least get their $80 million back before the port starts plundering profit Donald Trump-style?

"Why are we getting a least-cost cover-up, aka capping, of the vast majority of GP's chlorinated mercury, phenolic and other toxic soils, sediments and other materials left behind, when the vast majority of engaged citizens have been crystal clear that they want a bona fide clean-up? Wherein clean-up means actual removal and proper disposal of most or all toxics - which should be extra-economical nowadays with all the empty coal freight containers going right by the Roosevelt Toxic Waste Facility in Eastern Washington on its way through Bellingham from Canada to coal mines in Montana, the Dakotas, Wyoming and such."

Lisa Papp:

"The Bellingham City Council should vote no on the Waterfront Development Plan at the Dec. 9 final vote meeting. The current plan does not adequately address water treatment issues, public access to the waterfront, open office space currently available downtown, current and future needs of a working waterfront, protecting waterfront habitat, and creating a beautiful, usable waterfront for locals and tourists. We should not settle for this highly flawed plan."

Jim Davidson:

"Gee such cute pictures these folks have drawn with folks strolling where the railroad tracks are? I guess I have missed the part where were going to stop the trains here in Bellingham? Please enlighten us all to the master plan. Or are you admitting that these so-called visions are just a joke and will never happen."

Caroline C. Chamblin:

"So the rendering of the nice little pleasure craft tied to the floating dock across the street from what is now Jalepeno's and used to be the location of Big Daddy's used to get such high waves/wind that it would be often closed. How has the wind/water there changed to make it actually useful for tying up small boats?"

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