hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Monday, March 18, 2013

Lily Point Beach Club: Back Again

Back in January, the formerly optioned 50+ acres between Claire Lane and Pauls Road on the Lily Point side of Point Roberts were finally sold to the two developers (Wayne Knowles and Anders Kruus) who were formerly involved in plans for the Point Roberts Beach Club, and their new partner, Mengfa International which appears to be a Vancouver-located company with three Directors.  As a result, the project is back before the County Planning people.

It has been redesigned some: there are fewer houses (62 total) and they are smaller, many with only one bedroom.  The problem has been insufficient soil that would adequately accommodate the needed septic systems; the smaller number of houses and smaller houses themselves are the solution to the problem.  The new design establishes the main entrance on Pauls Road, with the secondary entrance back on APA.  It is generally thought that the County is likely to want some road-widening to be done, but it appears the lower section of APA road would be subject to that widening (Pauls Road to South Beach) if the County were to insist since that would hold the main traffic, rather than the upper section near the canopy of maple trees.

However, the guys from Planning and from Health and Safety at the Voters' meeting last Monday night said that there would need to be considerable removal of trees along the canopy section of APA because that was where the septic system would need to be installed.  Knowles says (in a private communication) that trees would be left as a buffer between the septic system and the road, and that the maple canopy section of APA road would not have to be widened.

There appear to be different opinions among those who were at the Voters' meeting with the County folks on Monday night about the Planning Division's need for APA widening in the vicinity of the canopy .  I did not think they said that APA would need to be widened in the canopy area; others think they said it would.

The Point Roberts Conservation Society is trying to get together a meeting on the issue (they took the lead opposing the project last time it came round).  The County guys insisted in replies to several questions that the Hearing Officer is obliged to take into account the views of the community.  Those views need to be sent to the Planning Dept. and it can be done via email: to Amy Keenan at akeenan@co.whatcom.wa.us

The current status of the application is that the developers were asked to supply additional information and the Planning Division is assessing that information.  When they have developed a position (which could be various levels of approval/disapproval), it then goes to the Hearing Officer.  The Planning Division will gather public comments and submit them to the Hearing Officer at that time.  Presumably, there will also be a public hearing at some time.  You can see the information provided by the developers here:  http://www.whatcomcounty.us/pds/plan/current/current-projects.jsp.

This is all I know (or at least think I know) about this right now, with caveats as noted.  Most of the people I've talked to think that if the project is approved, there will be few lots sold and that the area in question, beloved by many here, will be harmed by the preparation to sell the lots: a loss for no purpose at all.  Others are opposed to developments this large, whether or not successfully sold.  Others just want the canopy preserved, leaving the County to figure out what people can otherwise do with land they own.  There's room for opinion here, but the one thing everyone seems to agree on is that the canopy must be preserved.  That includes the developer.  So that should be possible.  Let Amy Keenan at Planning know your views, ok?


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