hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Good Neighbors and All That...

A year ago, there was a lot of concern about the Point Roberts Beach Club Development (out on APA Road).  Now, it's become The Cottages at Seabright Farm and they've become, in some sense, our neighbors, with their Seabright signs conveniently located on our streetcorners, their open invitation to visit them and learn about what they are planning, their Seabright Farm! shopping bags, and even their organizing of a concert this past weekend to help raise money to fight off the dreaded radio towers.  (Full disclosure: The developer has also had some preliminary talks with the Library Fundraising Committee about support for that project.)

They have not yet received their permits from the Whatcom County Planning Department (which would be followed by a public hearing and a final decision by a Hearing Examiner, which could then be appealed to the County Council).  The slowdown appears to be about the need to find an acceptable balance between the number/size of the lots and the requirements for septic systems.  The property has a lot of wetlands that make that balancing a complex achievement. Without all that county action, they cannot actually sell anything.  Nevertheless, they seem to be doing an excellent job of advertising their eventual product.

Although there are still pockets of opposition on the Point to the development, my sense of it is that people have moved on.  Their very big concern was about saving the maple canopy on APA Road and, once that was assured, their confidence in the county doing 'the right thing' (whatever that might be) was if not restored at least encouraged.  In talking with people, I find that many seem more concerned that it will be a disaster for the developer than a disaster for Point Roberts.  Perhaps that's because they can't imagine that a lot of houses/lots at $400,000 are actually going to be sold.  Or perhaps because it's hard to keep up a sense of high dudgeon over a long period of time when nothing is actually happening.  Perhaps the oxygen of outrage is all being consumed by opposition to the radio towers.  Or perhaps the likelihood that the development will be smaller than originally planned (that is, fewer houses/lots) makes it seem less problematic.

Or perhaps it's because this project this time has presented a plan that people find less offensive.  The developer (Wayne Knowles), who has lived here at least part-time for many years, probably understands more about Point Roberts than outsiders usually do when they arrive with grand plans for improving our locale.  Knowles' vision of a bucolic 'development' community within a community, with vegetables growing in every yard, may evoke a calmness and serenity that we would all like to achieve in our lives.  And that outlanders will be willing to pay substantially for, while looking at the sun setting into the ocean, at least on sunny days.

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