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Update on University Ridge Student Dormitory Development

By On
• In Bellingham, Planning, WWU,

The revised University Ridge dormitory apartment proposal was submitted by Ronald Jepson and Associates on behalf of Ambling University Development to the Planning Department on April 29th. The most basic piece of information is that the “revised” proposal has not changed much. We are still looking at 164 units arranged in four buildings as per the previous plan (see the site plan above). One “clubhouse” will be at the southwest corner near the project’s entrance on Consolidation St. There will be 92 two bedroom units and 72 four bedroom units. Parking lots within the area will allow for 423 parking spaces for nearly 600 residents. You can read earlier reports on this development by clicking on the links here, here, and here.

The developer will still be asking for a variance on the height of the two buildings that will border Puget St. on the east side of the property. Two other variances have also come into play. One is to waive improvements along Puget St. and the other to waive improvements along Consolidation St. The revised justification for the height variance was in the submittal, however, I pointed out to staff while reviewing the documents, that there were no papers for the other two variances. In any event, the planning department will likely hold a conference with the developers next week to review the submission and, if it is complete, agree to the consolidated review by the hearing examiner. This starts the planning process clock. This also means that all but the SEPA (STATE ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT) review would eventually be up for approval by the hearing examiner after the SEPA determination has been made.

In a consolidated review, the portion of the developer’s submission with the longest timeline will determine the scheduling of the process. In this case, the variances will dominate the scheduling, so we are probably looking at a hearing in June. The materials (with few exceptions) that have been submitted by the developer will be put on the city’s website after a determination of completeness has been made by the planning department. This will likely include the basic plan, the justifications for the variances, the traffic analysis, the environmental documents, storm-water assessment, critical areas assessment, etc. Keep tuned…

About Dick Conoboy

Citizen Journalist and Editor • Member since Jan 26, 2008

Dick Conoboy is a recovering civilian federal worker and military officer who was offered and accepted an all-expense paid, one year trip to Vietnam in 1968. He is a former Army [...]