Alert On Development Proposal: 2706 Mill Avenue

15 new townhouses, out-of-town developer, build-and-run, in south side Happy Valley neighborhood of Bellingham.

15 new townhouses, out-of-town developer, build-and-run, in south side Happy Valley neighborhood of Bellingham.


Guest writer Amy Johnston, who is a community member in favor of connecting community and positive land stewardship. 

The public needs to be aware of developments unfolding on a three-acre parcel of land at 2706 Mill Ave in the Happy Valley Neighborhood. 

This land is surrounded by green space, old growth trees (that the developer recently removed), and wetlands. 

The original proposition by the new owner of this land was to build eight new homes. The latest proposal is to have 15 townhomes stacked in on this small parcel. 

The footprint has grown, but the neighborhood doesn’t have the ability to accommodate a development this large. This neighborhood does not have lighting, sidewalks, paths, or parking adequate to service this influx of potentially 40 new cars of traffic. 

Happy Valley Elementary School is brand new. Yet it is using portable buildings to house its students because enrollment is already over and above the building’s ability to accommodate them. 

Why does this impact our Bellingham Community? This is a “get rich quick” endeavor by the developer, a real estate investment firm in Lynden, along with the builders from Texas Lynden, (see second comment below) a company called “Chili Peppers, LLC.”  We don’t have the infrastructure to withstand this density. 

Zoom meeting - Monday, Dec 4th, 6 p.m. 

Zoom link on the Public Notice - click on this link and add your name. The developer is holding this Zoom meeting - any/all voices encouraged. You must register to be on the Zoom - again, do this through the link. 

About Guest Writer

Citizen Journalist • Member since Jun 15, 2008

Since 2007, this moniker has been used over 150 times on articles written by guest writers who may write once or very occasionally for Northwest Citizen, but not regularly. Some guest writers [...]

Comments by Readers

Tip Johnson

Dec 01, 2023
The former owner retired and downsized.
There were some mature trees that have been cut but I don’t believe there was any old growth.  I do wonder if the trees were removed with permits.
There are definitely wetlands, which appear to be mostly spared in the design, but they still count as area for the density.  They will likely get wetter with the increase in impervious surface.
Increase from 8 to15 units? Are we seeing the first unfolding of the new state housing laws?
Traffic generation for this type of development has traditionally been figured at 7-10 trips per unit per day, so maybe up to 150 trips.  this is under study and revisions are being/have been made to the ITE standards.
The current street standard can be witnessed at the Mill St co-housing, sidewalks, etc. Otherwise most of Mill Street is substandard and in need of substantial improvement.  Probably this project will be required, as was co-housing, to improve only their property’s frontage.

John Servais

Dec 03, 2023

A bit more info on the developer.  It is Chili Peppers, L.L.C. and is a Lynden corporation owned by Chet Kenoyer, a long time real estate agent and developer in Whatcom County.  His son Jess says he is the actual developer, although the company appears in legal documents to be owned by his father, Chet.  We shall see who is at the zoom meeting. The AVT Consulting firm shown on the public notice is an outfit run by Ali Taysi and not the actual developer.  He is often the front or point person for developers on new projects.  Taysi is very well networked with city hall and takes on many development projects where there will be public concerns. So one or any of these three persons may be at the Zoom meeting.  Hopefully all three so definitive answers can be given to the neighbors.

The writer Amy quickly notified me after the article was posted that there was a mistake showing the developer as being in Texas.  And I volunteered to research and get this more accurately posted via this comment.  

My take on the notice is it seems to be very incomplete.  The plan shown is probably impossible to build as there is no turnaround at the end of the cul de sac.  Is additional development - and more living units - planned if this initial project is approved?  Has the fire department approved this narrow dead end street for a development?  Has the fire department even been contacted on this yet?  There are many questions for this.  Let us hope the Zoom meeting on Monday evening provides answers.

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