Open letter to Bellingham Planning Director Jeff Thomas re: Fairhaven Highlands application deadlinePermalink +
Sun, Oct 31, 2010, 7:20 pm // Larry Horowitz
Update Oct 31:
Upon further review of the correspondence between the applicant’s attorney and Interim Planning Director Jeff Thomas, it’s not clear whether there has been any meeting of the minds.
In the attorney’s Oct 28 letter, he observes that the revised estimate for the EIS of $345,000 substantially exceeds the initial contract amount of $75,000. I agree. But is anyone really surprised by the cost overrun?
When the city went out to bid back in 2007, five consulting firms submitted proposals, which ranged from an estimate of 489 hours (ESA Adolfson) to 2,082 hours (Wheeler Consulting Group). ESA Adolfson was the consultant hand-picked and recommended by the developer. Wheeler was a primary author of the 1995 Chuckanut Ridge EIS and was very familiar with the property.
It was obvious to everyone that ESA’s bid, which was less than one-fourth of Wheeler’s, was insufficient. As it turns out, the final estimate of $345,000 is about 4 ½ times the initial estimate, or roughly what Wheeler proposed. Why is anyone surprised that ESA’s estimate was way too low? And how can the developer complain now when the city selected the developer’s hand-picked consultant?
The attorney goes on to assert the applicant’s right to seek mediation or other informal alternative dispute resolution if the applicant does not agree to the projected, additional expenses to complete the EIS. So, the applicant “sets aside” its request for an extension only to implement an alternate delay tactic. The attorney has asked the city to compile time and expense records, a task estimated to take at least 30 days. Then, after that’s complete, the applicant will likely seek mediation to delay the process further. An obvious stall tactic.
Finally, the attorney indicates that the applicant may “wish to revisit ‘suspension’ of these processes” at some point in the future. WTF?
In Mr. Thomas’ Oct 29 letter, he enumerates the terms of this new “agreement” with clear deadlines for items 1-3 and a vague, unenforceable provision for item 4. He also states that the city does not agree to any future “suspension” of the EIS process (nice work, Jeff).
Finally, in the attorney’s Oct 29 letter, he states that the applicant, Greenbriar NW Associates, “does object to the proposed contract revision” and wishes “to exercise its contractual rights of review and negotiation.”
And so the stall begins. Who needs an extension when you can game the system so easily?
- Has there been any meeting of the minds?
- Is the EIS process moving forward?
- Has the applicant violated the city’s 120-day deadline?
- Are these applications now null and void?
Update Oct 29, 6:00 pm:
Open letter to Bellingham Planning Director Jeff Thomas re: Fairhaven Highlands application deadlineUpdated Sun, Oct 31. An open letter to Bellingham Planning Director Jeff Thomas re: Fairhaven Highlands application deadline
Sun, Oct 31, 2010, 7:20 pm
12 comments; last on Oct 29, 2010
Kamalla Rose Kaur
Sun, Oct 31, 2010, 2:32 pm
2 comments; last on Nov 03, 2010
Fri, Oct 29, 2010, 1:25 am
2 comments; last on Nov 01, 2010
Mon, Oct 18, 2010, 5:33 am
9 comments; last on Oct 26, 2010
Sun, Oct 17, 2010, 7:01 am
Thu, Oct 14, 2010, 10:32 am
4 comments; last on Oct 16, 2010
Kamalla Rose Kaur
Tue, Oct 12, 2010, 11:54 am
1 comments; last on Oct 20, 2010
Wed, Oct 06, 2010, 1:23 pm
We Thank Our SponsorsClick to See All Sponsors
About NWCitizenDonations maintain site
Thru the years
League of Women VotersCalendar of Events
Local Online NewsBellingham Herald
Bham Business Journal
Bham Politics & Econ
KPLU fm radio
Western Front - WWU
Local CausesChuckanut C. Forest
City Club of Bellingham
Community Wise Bham
Futurewise - Whatcom
N. Cascades Audubon
NW Holocaust Center
Powder River Basin R. C.
Salish Sea Org.
Save the Granary
WA Conservation Voters
Whatcom Peace & Justice
Our Governments- Whatcom County
Port of Bellingham
US Supreme Court
US The White House
NWCitizen 1995-2007Early Northwest Citizen
Weather & ClimateCliff Mass Weather Blog
EPIC World Photos
Nat Hurricane Center
Two day forecast
Watts Up With That?
Local LeisureAdventures NW
Good Web SitesAl-Jazeera online
Change The Mascot
Edge of Sports
Foreign Policy in Focus
Julia Ioffe/New Republic
Middle East Times
New American Century
Personal bio info
Portland Indy Media
Project Vote Smart
Stand for the Troops
Talking Points Memo
The Crisis Papers
War and Piece
Quiet, Offline or DeadBellingham Register
Bhm Herald Politics Blog
Citizens of Bellingham
Cordata & Meridian
Facebook Port Reform
Friends of Whatcom
Get Whatcom Planning
Intrnational Herald Tribune
N. Sound Conservancy
No Leaky Buckets
Protect Bellingham Parks
The American Telegraph