Bellingham City Council Approves Rental Inspections

Permalink +

Tue, Dec 16, 2014, 3:51 pm  //  Dick Conoboy

One must catch one's breath!

The vote of the Bellingham City Council on Monday night is a stunning reversal of the consensus of the council from earlier this year, at which time only a weak rental registration program was under consideration.  Much of the credit for the passage of this ordinance surely goes to the Western Washington University students who have worked hard over the past 4-5 years.  They spoke the truth to the opposition (the landlords) whose arguments to defeat this measure were astoundingly repudiated by the 7-0 vote.  No stronger message could have been sent.

Also in for thanks are council members Jack Weiss and Michael Lilliquist who worked hard behind the scenes to shepherd this measure to passage.  Dozens of Bellingham citizens also worked diligently over the last 10 years to speak to the reality of renting in Bellingham.

Based on a meeting I had several weeks ago with our new planning director, Rick Sepler, I expect we will see rapid action in putting this measure into effect.  Rick seems to me to be a no-nonsense manager who will meet deadlines and develop accurate information for the council.   Nevertheless, we still need to be vigilant about a process that has yet to be developed to register rentals and then begin inspections in 2015.

Again, thanks to our City Council for this measure to ensure the health and safety of the tenants in Bellingham.

Vince Biciunas  //  Tue, Dec 16, 2014, 4:16 pm

Thank YOU, Dick, for moving this vote on, and on, and on.
It was a herculean effort, and I am so pleased at your success.

Walter Haugen  //  Wed, Dec 17, 2014, 12:35 pm

Can I assume after this vote that the Bellingham City Council has decisively repudiated the “invisible hand of the market” nonsense?

I just read a review of “Seven Bad Ideas: How Mainstream Economists Have Damaged America and the World” by Jeff Madrick (2014). The “invisible hand” is one of them (along with efficient markets, etc.). I also requested it from the Whatcom County Library System. I suggest others take a look at this book too.

Dick Conoboy  //  Wed, Dec 17, 2014, 1:37 pm


In the Army we used to say “Assumption is the mother of all f**k-ups”.  Time and time again I observed the direct and highly negative consequences of violating that maxim.

Walter Haugen  //  Thu, Dec 18, 2014, 12:29 pm

Dick - Correctomundo. It was a rhetorical question.

However, if there is no paradigm shift, it argues for some other driver in what seems to be a significant change in policy. My next question is whether there is some way the big developers can finesse this to their advantage. To steal a line from Warren Zevon, “Poor, poor, cynical me.”

Scott Wicklund  //  Sat, May 02, 2015, 5:34 pm

I will be passing the “NOTICE” I just received from the Rentals Program Specialist today to my four tenants.  While it is true that actual registration will be open July 1st—August 1st, it is just unfair to hold this information secret when my tenants shelters are unlikely to qualify.  I am also in a bind since passive failure to respond could be very expensive.  Others have said the same thing, but the days of the low cost rental are over.  No better proof is needed than the yellow card just received from

Bellingham City Council Approves Rental Inspections

7-0! City Council Unanimous. Rentals Will Be Inspected in Bellingham. Thanks go to WWU students for speaking out to city council.

Dick Conoboy
Tue, Dec 16, 2014, 3:51 pm
5 comments; last on May 03, 2015

The Bellingham “Riot” - Let’s Expand the Conversation

The post "riot" conversation is terribly lacking in several areas. We must expand the discussion or risk learning little from the experience.

Dick Conoboy
Thu, Dec 05, 2013, 6:00 am
3 comments; last on Dec 15, 2013

Anatomy of a Development Proposal - Part IV Geology, Stormwater, Wetlands and Watershed

The proposed development ought not proceed without a more extensive geological assessment and a thorough evaluation of the impacts on the Lincoln Creek watershed.

Guest writer
Mon, Jul 15, 2013, 9:08 am

Reader paid for ads. Click to see all choices.

Anatomy of a Development Proposal - Part III University Ridge - Where Do I Park?

Ambling University Development has substantially underestimated the role of the car in the lives of its eventual student renters and their visitors.

Guest writer
Mon, Jul 08, 2013, 1:30 pm
2 comments; last on Jul 09, 2013

Anatomy of a Development Proposal - Part II Predictions of Dormitory Traffic Impacts Unrealistic

The traffic analysis for the University Ridge dormitory development in the Puget Neighborhood lacks realistic data and leads to incorrect conclusions that the city must address.

Guest writer
Wed, Jul 03, 2013, 12:02 pm
2 comments; last on Jul 04, 2013

Anatomy of a Development Proposal - Part I The Variance

A variance request without merit is the centerpiece of a development proposal to construct a complex of four dormitory-style buildings among single family homes in the Puget Neighborhood

Dick Conoboy
Wed, Jun 26, 2013, 8:04 pm

University Ridge Dormitory, The Infill Tool Kit and Our Neighborhoods

Some very important issues with respect to the University Ridge private dormitory project in the Puget Neighborhood will not be considered in the approval process.

Dick Conoboy
Mon, May 13, 2013, 3:50 am
10 comments; last on Jun 30, 2013

Update on University Ridge Student Dormitory Development

Ambling University Development has proposed building private, off-campus dormitory buildings in the Puget Neighborhood. Their revised proposal was submitted on 29 April.

Dick Conoboy
Wed, May 08, 2013, 9:53 am

University Ridge Height Variance Hearing Postponed

Several complaints to the city seem to have occasioned a postponement of a height variance hearing until a complete development proposal is submitted.

Dick Conoboy
Tue, Mar 12, 2013, 11:50 am
1 comments; last on Mar 12, 2013

Troubling Implications of Variance Request

A variance request pending before the City could create a loophole for developers seeking to avoid compliance with development standards.

Wendy Harris
Fri, Mar 01, 2013, 5:19 pm
5 comments; last on Mar 08, 2013

University Ridge Student Housing - What is it?

There is a private sector development proposal to house approximately 600 students in the Puget Neighborhood on 11 acres to the east of Nevada St.

Dick Conoboy
Mon, Feb 25, 2013, 7:54 pm
5 comments; last on Feb 27, 2013

From a Political Junkie: Buy Local, support your local campaign managers!

Riley Sweeney makes the case for investing and supporting local campaign managers

Riley Sweeney
Mon, Nov 22, 2010, 5:00 am
4 comments; last on Dec 05, 2010

Cooperation no substitute for small libraries

A library card from any Whatcom County library can now be used at any library in the county

John Servais
Sat, Aug 07, 2010, 10:18 am
5 comments; last on Aug 15, 2010

Racism and Western’s Late College of Ethnic Studies

Profiles WWU's College of Ethnic Studies and racism during the 60s

Kamalla Rose Kaur
Mon, Jan 18, 2010, 7:00 am
2 comments; last on Jan 19, 2010

Rolling Rolling In Their Graves - What happened to WWU?

Interim Editor's Note: Hi. John Servais, the esteemed publisher, will be back from vacation soon and I had very little to do while appointed interim editor of Northwest…

Kamalla Rose Kaur
Wed, Jul 01, 2009, 7:39 pm
9 comments; last on Jul 12, 2009

The Fall of the West(ern): Perry Mills gets a new roll in the barrel

Guest writer Paud de Armond has followed this issue closely.

Tuesday, May 26, Division One of the Washington Appeals Court handed down a ruling in the case of Perry…

Guest writer
Wed, May 27, 2009, 4:58 pm
7 comments; last on Jun 04, 2009

Police favoring city hall friends

This week's issue of the Whatcom Independent has a front page story on the Bellingham Police targeting WWU students who park their cars overnight - or technically 24…

John Servais
Sat, Mar 08, 2008, 4:07 pm
4 comments; last on Mar 10, 2008

Judge finds WWU acted illegally

Western Washington University administrators - starting with President Karen Morse - have been abusing their power for years. Below is an example. This article first appeared in slightly…

John Servais
Wed, Dec 12, 2007, 3:55 am

Democrats erring; remembering Paul Roley

OK, my Democratic Party friends. Deal with this - like Barney Frank would not. He shouted down a Senator who dared to reveal this on the Senate floor.…

John Servais
Sat, Jan 13, 2007, 6:51 pm

Traffic and Western Washington University

If WWU gets their way, $20 million in state taxes will be spent on jack-hammering out good roads and building new ones a hundred yards away. No increase…

John Servais
Mon, Mar 01, 2004, 8:20 pm

Western needs common sense

Know how to stop Western Washington University from repeatedly trying to destroy the neighborhoods around it? By limiting its potential size and by starting a new university in…

John Servais
Tue, Feb 03, 2004, 9:17 pm


We Thank Our Sponsors

Click to See All Sponsors

About NWCitizen

Donations maintain site

Our writers
Thru the years

League of Women Voters

Calendar of Events

Home page

Local Online News

Bellingham Herald

Bham Business Journal
Bham Politics & Econ
Cascadia Weekly
Coal Stop
Ferndale Record
KPLU fm radio
Latte Republic
Lynden Tribune
Noisy Waters
Northern Light
Seattle Times
Twilight Zoning
Western Front - WWU
Whatcom Watch

Local Causes

Chuckanut C. Forest

City Club of Bellingham
Community Wise Bham
Conservation NW
Futurewise - Whatcom
Lake Whatcom
N. Cascades Audubon
NW Holocaust Center
Powder River Basin R. C.
RE Sources
Salish Sea Org.
Save the Granary
Transition Whatcom
WA Conservation Voters
Whatcom Peace & Justice

Our Governments

- Whatcom County

Port of Bellingham
Skagit County
US House
US Senate
US Supreme Court
US The White House
WA State
Whatcom COG

NWCitizen 1995-2007

Early Northwest Citizen

Weather & Climate

Cliff Mass Weather Blog

Climate Audit
EPIC World Photos
Nat Hurricane Center
NW Radar
Two day forecast
Watts Up With That?

Local Leisure

Adventures NW

Bellingham Wins
Entertainment NNW
Recreation Northwest

Good Web Sites

Al-Jazeera online

Alaska Dispatch
Arab News
Asia Times
Atlantic, The
Change The Mascot
Common Dreams
Crosscut Seattle
Daily Kos
Daily Mirror
Drudge Report
Edge of Sports
Foreign Policy in Focus
Gulf News
Huffington Post
Innocence Project
Irish Times
James Fallows
Jerusalem Post
Joel Connelly
Juan Cole
Julia Ioffe/New Republic
Le Diplo
Media Matters
Michael Moore
Middle East Times
Nation, The
New American Century
News Trust
Online Journal
Palestine Daily
Palestine News
Paul Krugman
Personal bio info
Portland Indy Media
Progressive Review
Project Vote Smart
Sea Shepherd
Stand for the Troops
Ta-Nehisi Coates
Talking Points Memo
The Crisis Papers
The Intercept
the Oatmeal
War and Piece
Washington Votes

Quiet, Offline or Dead

Bellingham Register

Bhm Herald Politics Blog
Bob Sanders
Carl Weimer
Chuckanut Mountains
Citizen Ted
Citizens of Bellingham
Cordata & Meridian
David Hackworth
Facebook Port Reform
Friends of Whatcom
Get Whatcom Planning
Intrnational Herald Tribune
Jack Petree
N. Sound Conservancy
No Leaky Buckets
Northwest Review
Protect Bellingham Parks
Sweeney Politics
The American Telegraph
Wally Wonders