Herald Distorts Facts In Favor Of Developer

By John ServaisOn Oct 20, 1996

Chuckanut Ridge will not have 14.5 homes per acre, as reported by the Herald today, but rather double that figure. The density will be 28.4 homes per acre that is allowed to be developed.

And - Happy Valley does not have 43.5 homes per acre. It is far less. We expect it to be less than 12 per acre when we finish calculating the number. Expect it to be up later this week.

The Herald does not say how they arrived at their numbers. Perhaps they just took the word of the developer. The Herald tends to take the word of large organizations or government bureaucrats for their figures without independently checking them. (We have caught them doing it for the Port on many wrong numbers.)

How did we figure the density? Simple. Divide 1464 units (“homes” in the double speak of the developer) by the 51.5 acres - the number of acres that will be developed. How did the Herald get the lower number? They divided the 1464 by 101 acres. This includes streets, open space, park land, sidewalks, etc. In other words, to make their numbers even lower, they could have included green areas from around the site.

Where did they get the 43.5” homes” per acre for Happy Valley? Look carefully at their little map. They used a small portion of Happy Valley with apartments for student housing on 21st Street. For South Hill they used the apartments below State Street. For Birchwood, they used the apartments along NW Avenue. The lie is the Herald labels these as if the entire neighborhoods were calculated.

After reading the Herald, one can wonder what those “ex-hippies” in Fairhaven are so mad about. The density of the development is lower than their treasured Happy Valley according to the Herald. The truth is the density will be the same as several dense blocks of apartments. In the middle of swamp land.

We will post more information as we get it together.

About John Servais

Writers • Fairhaven, Washington USA • Member since Feb 26, 2008

John is super cool, and knows more about the news and internet-news business than just about any other guy around. He runs this website, and keeps an eye on everything. Read some of his articles, and let him know what you think.

Tip Johnson

Dec 20, 2013

Brutal analysis, Wendy, and spot on.

“Mr. Stoner alleged that at the time of the 2004 consultant report, Georgia Pacific was responsible for the cost of site remediation under the Model Toxic Control Act and its NPDES stormwater permit.  The evidence to support this claim is a “very public discussion under the multi-agency Bellingham Bay Demonstration Pilot.”“...

“Mr. Stoner’s asserts that GP’s remediation liability was certain, and provided the basis for necessary corrections to marina cost estimates.”

Oops, but then the Port pulled the plug on the “very public discussion” and in May of 2004 moved to condemn and seize the ASB, removing it from G-Ps responsibility.  So the costs should probably have gone back in back in, right?  I mean, the Makers document is dated 11/19/13, nine years after the Port took over the ASB.

It’s time for some depositions to see who is telling the truth. Will no authority step up to address this fiasco?

USC Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 47 - FRAUD AND FALSE STATEMENTS
Section 1001. Statements or entries generally (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully - (1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact; (2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or (3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry; shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.


Wendy Harris

Dec 20, 2013

Tip, the Maker’s report is from April, 2004, but your points are well taken. It is extremely frustrating that the public has no recourse, even though concerns were raised before the port and the city approved the waterfront plan. In my mind, Stoner’s response indicates that the port engaged in improper tampering. However, please keep in mind that the information technically came from the consultant, rather than the port.


George Dyson

Dec 20, 2013

Somewhat peripherally: a bit earlier (ca 2002?) the same consultants, Makers, were commissioned by the Port (for $50,000 as I recall) to do a conceptual study of how to rehabilitate the inner Whatcom Waterway (assuming it was cleaned up) for small craft use—effectively delivering the Downtown Bellingham short-term visitor’s marina we have all been waiting for. The results looked just wonderful—and were promptly buried from public view.


Terry Wechsler

Dec 21, 2013

Tip, Ch. 47 expressly states it applies to crimes by federal officials. I highly doubt it has been (or could be) expanded to include acts by local officials. If you think a similar state law has been violated, you should talk to the state AG’s office.


Tip Johnson

Dec 21, 2013

@Wendy - I guess I knew it was from before the acquisition.  So there must be a macro in the footer that changes the date, or the Port changed that too. 

All more reason for whoever is charged with investigating this stuff to start the depositions before stories are coordinated, folks paid off and evidence disappeared.

@Terry - Just saying this is criminal conduct, federally.  Don’t know who will investigate or what statutes they will cite, but I would be surprised to learn this was not illegal.

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