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Anne Elk
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Anne Elk
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PostThu Sep 28, 2023 9:11 pm 
Cyclopath wrote:
What does the developer get out of donating the land?
Per a 2018 article in The Whatcom Watch:
Quote:
Bishop’s original commitment to the nature-reserve property donation was contingent on Bellingham providing city water to the homes on Governors Point and Whatcom County’s grant of necessary development permits. The most uncertain of these contingencies was the provision of city water. Under a Bellingham ordinance, the City Council has the authority to supply city water beyond the city limits and urban growth boundaries if the council determines that to do so is in the best interest of Bellingham. This is strictly a political decision. ...Because Bishop’s proposal for Governors Point created very substantial public benefits, including conservation of a mature coastal forest and the last opportunity in Whatcom County for quality saltwater shoreline public access, WLT decided to actively support Bishop’s application for city water. On August 20, 2018, with the mayor’s support, the Bellingham City Council unanimously approved provision of city water to 16 homes and two supplemental locations on Governors Point. Because of Bellingham’s population density and proximity to the property, the plans for Governors Point would largely benefit Bellingham’s citizens.

"There are yahoos out there. It’s why we can’t have nice things." - Tom Mahood

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Schroder
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PostFri Sep 29, 2023 6:24 am 
Randito wrote:
]I find 429 Pleasant Bay Drive to be rather dominating over the view of the shore.
You can't build on the shore like that any more. State laws require an undisturbed shoreline buffer. My comments were based on the description in their website that ejain posted: https://governorspoint.org/ https://governorspoint.org/architecture/
Quote:
From the water, instead of angular glass architecture, passing kayakers might notice cloud-like silhouettes floating at the forest edge. The seaward facades are clad in tumbled cedar burl offcuts (a waste product from the local logging industry), suspended on metal rods to form an organic, curved wooden skin. Over time, the burls will attract mosses and lichens to create a living veil.
Quote:
Vancouver architect Omer Arbel has designed a blueprint for the residences following a covenant of land first restrictions to ensure any intervention is careful and consistent. Each home is limited to a modest size of 2900 square feet (with an average lot size of 75,000 square feet) to keep buildings in appropriate scale with their surroundings.
Here's their plat map: https://governorspoint.org/files/Preliminary%20Plat%20Map.pdf

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Cyclopath
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PostFri Sep 29, 2023 9:11 am 
Anne Elk wrote:
Cyclopath wrote:
What does the developer get out of donating the land?
Per a 2018 article in The Whatcom Watch:
Quote:
Bishop’s original commitment to the nature-reserve property donation was contingent on Bellingham providing city water to the homes on Governors Point and Whatcom County’s grant of necessary development permits.
So those 16 houses are the price the public paid for this land. There was never going to be the land made public without the houses.

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IanB
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PostFri Sep 29, 2023 11:16 am 
Anne Elk wrote:
Per a 2018 article in The Whatcom Watch
That's an interesting article, and I think the first paragraph says a lot about what can go on behind the scenes (emphasis mine):
Quote:
The Whatcom Land Trust conserves special lands in Whatcom County by working with willing owners. For decades Whatcom Land Trust has sought a willing owner of Governors Point, an iconic 125-acre wooded peninsula separating Bellingham and Samish bays. In February of this year, Randy Bishop purchased Governors Point for $5.7 million, and WLT finally found an owner not only willing, but insistent and eager to conserve a substantial part of Governors Point.
Somewhere previously it was stated that the previous owner would have presumably been happy with selling to preserve the property as long as they got the same revenue, and while that seems perfectly logical it can never be assumed that a property owner shares a common philosophical perspective. Sometimes they just don't. So Bishop got the property as a developer, and will no doubt make a profit as he goes forward. It seems though that he's willing to gamble that at least 16 home buyers will be willing to pay a premium for his vision of clustered, artistic homes with public trails not all that far from the residences. The article also states:
Quote:
When WLT expressed a desire that the public have trail access to the views at the tip of the property, Bishop readily shifted the residential lot line bisecting the tip so that the public trail could skirt the whole end of the peninsula.
My expectation before seeing the map was that the reserved acres would all be at the bottom of the peninsula and the homes on a loop drive around the top. That would have allowed the riff-raff to be easily walled out of an exclusive, gated area. Again, it seems like Bishop is gambling on a premise that homeowners and the public can co-exist respectfully. I hope it works out for everyone. I am still skeptical that an "un-developer" is ever all that he's touted to be in the PR, but this guy might actually be an exception.

"Forget gaining a little knowledge about a lot and strive to learn a lot about a little." - Harvey Manning

Cyclopath
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Schroder
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PostFri Sep 29, 2023 12:43 pm 
Logbear wrote:
From the article:
Quote:
Development of the peninsula will also include a dock on the Pleasant Bay side, Keenan said at the meeting.
Which article is that? Whatcom County has no authority to permit a dock. That's controlled by the State Department of Ecology and I doubt they would ever allow it for a private development if one didn't exist there already.

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Logbear
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PostFri Sep 29, 2023 3:33 pm 
Schroder wrote:
Logbear wrote:
From the article:
Quote:
Development of the peninsula will also include a dock on the Pleasant Bay side, Keenan said at the meeting.
Which article is that? Whatcom County has no authority to permit a dock. That's controlled by the State Department of Ecology and I doubt they would ever allow it for a private development if one didn't exist there already.
It's funny that you would question an article that I quoted from. Do you think I made up the quote? I found the article in a link you posted. The link you posted had an article that had several other links. I read all the links in the article. Here's the full paragraph from the article.
Quote:
Canadian business owner Randy Bishop, who bought Governors Point in February 2018 for $5.7 million, has also agreed to limit size, clearing and development on each individual lot, and has developed a detailed habitat management plan for the entire site, Keenan said the Dec. 8 committee meeting. Development of the peninsula will also include a dock on the Pleasant Bay side, Keenan said at the meeting.
Read more at: https://www.bellinghamherald.com/news/local/article247962975.html#storylink=cpy Would you like to see the plans for the pier? I'm sure they're available somewhere. From Whatcom County planning and development services:
Quote:
A float, pier and gangway will be constructed on Pleasant Bay and improved gravel paths and an 800 square foot storage and bathroom building will be constructed within 200 feet of the shoreline

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” – Sir Ranulph Fiennes
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Logbear
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PostFri Sep 29, 2023 7:03 pm 
I went up to see Governors Point today to see what the real deal is.
First of all, you can't go there. And the public won't be able to go there as long as there is construction activities going on. 1 to 2 years according to a news article. But when you ask about the construction of 16 homes that will occur one home at a time, that time frame changes. But nothing concrete. Speaking of concrete. Yup, the road is made with concrete. The weird pattern on the road looks like it's wet, but it's not. It's art. Concrete roads are incredibly expensive, and they produce a lot of runoff. I read this..
Quote:
We recommend that the branches removed from the trunks of any cut trees be retained in the preserved forest portions of the lots or within the adjacent Reserve Tract A in the form of small woody debris habitat piles that are sized and placed to minimize contribution to fire hazard or chipped used to “heal-in” areas of temporary disturbance or distributed in the forest understory
and I found this..
The question that was posed to me was which method hides a stump better. Chips or branches? Since I couldn't see the stump under the branches I chose branches. Chips and stump grinding is pretty obvious. Hide the stump and create wildlife habitat enhancement. Nobody will ever know that a tree was there. The big maple stump needs to be hidden better. But they're just getting started. Other stuff. The roads around there were all covered with pine needles. I was told they came down during the recent rains. The dry needles, and all the dry brush this year was a concern to the locals. The closest fire station to Governors Point is 2 miles away and it's a volunteer station. The closest manned fire station is 5 miles away in Bellingham. How will these homes get fire insurance?

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” – Sir Ranulph Fiennes
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Logbear
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PostFri Sep 29, 2023 9:33 pm 
Well, I thought there would be only one dock on the east side of the peninsula. It sounds like the west side may get one too. These quotes are from the "DECLARATION OF EASEMENTS, COVENANTS, CONDITIONS, RESTRICTIONS AND RESERVATIONS FOR GOVERNOR’S POINT HOMEOWNERS’ ASSOCIATION"
Quote:
1.5.Only one dock or float shall be constructed on the east side of Governors Point, on or adjacent to the Remainder Property, and that dock or float shall not exceed 12 feet by 50 feet, not including any access ramp or boardwalks, and will be constructed to blend into the natural environment. 1.6.One joint-use dock may be sited on the west side of the Property which will be designed so as to blend into the natural environment at a future date and location to be determined by the Declarant prior to the expiration of the Declarant’s rights reserved in Article 2. Such joint-use dock shall be no longer than thirty feet (30’) in length and can serve up to two Lots.
And just so we know what to expect, the dock will not allow public use. The public can access the peninsula from the east side by means of non-motorized watercraft. But we won't be allowed to use the private dock/pier. I sure wish some agency would step up to stop this, but so far the county, and WDFW have signed off. https://www.whatcomcounty.us/DocumentCenter/View/50599/lss2018-00003-aei-dock-site-plan-20190710

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” – Sir Ranulph Fiennes
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Logbear
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PostFri Sep 29, 2023 9:54 pm 
Schroder wrote:
Current shoreline development regulations require a 100 ft buffer zone where nothing can be disturbed behind the Ordinary High Water Mark and these guys have gone to extraordinary lengths to design something inconspicuous from the water.
100 ft sure sounds nice, but...
Quote:
1.4.Setbacks. 1. The shore setback for Lots 1-7 on the Plat shall be seventy feet (70’) measured from the Ordinary High-Water Mark (OHWM). The shore setback for Lots 8-16 on the Plat shall be seventy-five feet (75’) measured from the OHWM

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” – Sir Ranulph Fiennes
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Logbear
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PostFri Sep 29, 2023 11:26 pm 
Why did the developer donate the land? What's in it for him? Bellingham City water. That's what. This development is not in the City of Bellingham. https://www.whatcomcounty.us/DocumentCenter/View/39073/Wholesale-Service-Agreement
Quote:
The City shall not provide water to the Property until.....The Partnership conveys to the Whatcom Land Trust the Donated Property.

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” – Sir Ranulph Fiennes
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Randito
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PostSat Sep 30, 2023 6:41 am 
If the developer consider city water that important, I speculate that well water may be difficult to obtain in that area. I wonder how many of the 16 parcels will "perk" You need to be able to get rid of water as well to obtain a building permit. Perhaps the developer is going to build a sewage connection as well.

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altasnob
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PostSat Sep 30, 2023 7:18 am 
Geologically, it's solid glacier scoured bedrock. Similar to Mt Erie near Anacortes. No well water but I read they are going to be on septic. The developer wants everyone to think they are a hero yet they had no other choice but do donate the land in exchange for city water. Greenwashing at its finest. Those new homes will probably be sold to the ultra wealthy as a vacation home. So they sit vacant half the year as Bellingham's homeless situation reaches crisis levels.

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Logbear
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PostSat Sep 30, 2023 8:42 am 
Randito wrote:
If the developer consider city water that important, I speculate that well water may be difficult to obtain in that area. I wonder how many of the 16 parcels will "perk" You need to be able to get rid of water as well to obtain a building permit. Perhaps the developer is going to build a sewage connection as well.
The septic tank will be near the house and if the area near the house won't perk, the effluent will be pumped to a common drainfield that will be placed on the donated land.

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” – Sir Ranulph Fiennes
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Logbear
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PostSat Sep 30, 2023 9:02 am 
Sanitary Waste Water:
Quote:
Sanitary waste water from the sixteen homes and two non-residential tracts (if required) will be treated either by (1) individual on-site septic systems on the lots created by this long subdivision or (2) individual septic tanks on the lots with effluent pumped to individual drainfields located on the Tract A utility easement provided for in Exhibit D, Section 1.6 of the Donation Agreement (“…This reservation for a development-related infrastructure easement shall also include without limitation the permanent right to place, maintain, and replace water storage and distribution infrastructure over the Donated Property such as a water tank, pumphouse, water mains and appurtenances, septic system infrastructure such as septic system tanks, septic system drainfields, and associated equipment, including all required setbacks therefrom (emphasis added), and other utility infrastructure.”); or (2a) individual on- site septic tanks on the proposed lots with effluent pumping to a common drainfield located within the Tract A utility easement provided in the Donation Agreement. During construction of the roadway on Tract A providing vehicular and utility access to the lots, conduits will be installed at each lot across the roadway to provide a route for pumped effluent to Track A if required. Note that Track A abuts each lot so no additional easements will be required.

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” – Sir Ranulph Fiennes
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Schroder
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PostSat Sep 30, 2023 9:02 am 
Logbear wrote:
Schroder wrote:
Current shoreline development regulations require a 100 ft buffer zone where nothing can be disturbed behind the Ordinary High Water Mark and these guys have gone to extraordinary lengths to design something inconspicuous from the water.
100 ft sure sounds nice, but...
Quote:
1.4.Setbacks. 1. The shore setback for Lots 1-7 on the Plat shall be seventy feet (70’) measured from the Ordinary High-Water Mark (OHWM). The shore setback for Lots 8-16 on the Plat shall be seventy-five feet (75’) measured from the OHWM
After researching this a little further I found that Whatcom County has been at odds with the state DOE for a number of years over its Shoreline Managment Plan & a number of lawsuits have ensued. Buffer zone requirements are not a fixed number as they are in other counties. Whatcom County has specified the shoreline zoning of Governors Point as "Conservation" - their most protected status but it seems the setback is negotiable. In Island County, for example, you look at the zoning and refer to a table for the specified setbacks. Not so in Whatcom County ordinances.

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