Local Election

Voters asked to form park and rec district in northeast Whatcom

The Bellingham Herald

Voters in parts of northeast Whatcom County will decide Nov. 8 whether to form the Columbia Valley Park and Recreation District and elect its first five commissioners.

The measure to form the district needs a simple majority of yes votes to pass.

Five candidates are running unopposed for the volunteer commissioner posts.

Residents in the Kendall, Peaceful Valley, Limestone Junction and Columbia areas – located roughly between Mount Baker Highway and South Pass Road – will vote on the measure.

If approved, the measure would create a taxing district so property taxes can be used to build parks. However, the measure going before voters doesn’t include a tax request or a specific park project.

Supporters said the park and recreation district was needed to create parks closer to the area’s residents, given that the Columbia Valley Urban Growth Area has nearly 4,000 people. About 25 percent are younger than 18 years of age.

“We have no neighborhood parks or gyms. The nearest park is seven to nine miles away. Depending on where you live, this travel time and expense limit access to outdoor recreation for more vulnerable residents, including elders and youth,” the committee of supporters told The Bellingham Herald in an email.

The committee is made up of those running for the five commissioner posts.

Kie Relyea: 360-715-2234, @kierelyea