Living

Columbia Valley

Bob Smith, left, Ruth Dunn, center, and Jelita Morris enjoy lunch at Paradise Market, 6476 Mount Baker Highway. “I’ve met more people here than I’ve met anywhere else,” said Dunn. Free Internet service and a Subway restaurant are two of the attractions at the market near Kendall Road and Mount Baker Highway.
Bob Smith, left, Ruth Dunn, center, and Jelita Morris enjoy lunch at Paradise Market, 6476 Mount Baker Highway. “I’ve met more people here than I’ve met anywhere else,” said Dunn. Free Internet service and a Subway restaurant are two of the attractions at the market near Kendall Road and Mount Baker Highway. NIKI DESAUTELS THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

OVERVIEW

More than 2,500 people live in Columbia Valley, including in Paradise Lakes and Peaceful Valley. With few local businesses, plans for many more homes have raised concerns about urban sprawl in a rural enclave. Many houses were built as getaways for Canadians, but were sold to year-round residents happy to pay prices lower than elsewhere in the county.

With long response times by law officers, crime became a concern in the 1990s. A group, Kendall Watch, arose to address such problems.

A community anchor is Kendall Elementary School. A county library branch might be built near the school. Some residents hoped a community center would go there, too, but county officials prefer a site north on Kendall Road.

HISTORY

German immigrant Peter Zender claimed a homestead in Columbia Valley in 1889. By the 1950s, Zender’s descendants numbered more than 300, including enough baseball players to form a minor league team made up of brothers and cousins.

SCHOOLS

Kendall Elementary, Mount Baker Junior, Mount Baker High, Timber Ridge High.

District: Mount Baker School District, www.mtbaker.wednet.edu.

PARK

Silver Lake.

QUOTE

“I like the small-community feel and we’re so close to the woods and what we like to do. We step out our back door and can go fishing in Beaver Pond.”

Anne Watson, Kendall Valley resident for 20 years

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