A stand must be taken to protect water quality

Posted here because the Bellingham Herald has now ignored this for two days. Of very high importance to Bellingham - and with significant developments.

On Monday evening, the Bellingham City Council voted 4-2 to support the appeal of the Clean Water Alliance - CWA - against Whatcom County and the Sudden Valley Association in Snohomish County Superior Court. The city will file a motion to intervene, thus greatly aiding the CWA in their appeal.

Why? The County designated Sudden Valley as a future city without any required studies and in such a way as to seriously damage our city drinking water. Sudden Valley got state funds to help put in the $5 million sewer line and is going to town permitting more construction - right on the delicate watershed.

The CWA challenged the “future city” designation before the state Growth Management Hearings Board - and that board acted so outside the law that the CWA is appealing to the Snohomish Superior Court where it hopes to get a fair hearing. This is what the city is joining.

The Board had only one member- of the three - presiding at the hearing and he made a mockery of the proceedings, blatantly showing his contempt for the CWA. The Sudden Valley attorney, Phil Sharpe (ah yes, the city Public Facilities District chair - the ultimate government-paid hack) went on before the board about fine housing in Sudden Valley and ignored the laws involved. The Board voted 1-1, which supported the county.

The effort to help the CWA was led by council member Gene Knutson, hardly a person the Building Industry Assoc. - BIA - would label as an environmental radical. Gene - and the other three council members - fully realize a stand must be taken now to protect water quality for Bellingham. They also did a bit of homework and learned how the one Hearings Board member - Les Eldrege - showed total disregard for the law and fairness.

What is most troubling in this entire affair are the four supposed environmental county council members who support the Sudden Valley buildup - Dan McShane, Seth Fleetwood, Sharon Roy and Laurie Caskey-Schreiber. Dan is up for re-election this year.

So - you may agree or disagree with my opinion, but you can probably agree that the Herald should be telling you about all this. It is of vital interest and importance to Bellingham and Whatcom County. What I try to do at this website - this blog - is post information on important issues being ignored by the media.

If you want to support the Clean Water Alliance and their effort to protect our drinking water, then send them a check. The legal costs should be shared by all of us who will benefit - including developers who can sell new homes for more because of the good water. Send checks to:
CWA, c/o Lois Garlick President, 3014 Lynn St., Bellingham, WA 98225.

About John Servais

Citizen Journalist and Editor • Fairhaven, Washington USA • Member since Feb 26, 2008

John started Northwest Citizen in 1995 to inform fellow citizens of serious local political issues that the Bellingham Herald was ignoring. With the help of donors from the beginning, he has [...]

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