Save Hoag'sPond!

Sunday, January 4, 1998


To a printable copy of thepetition.

We need your help to put City ordinance #10910 before a publicreview. The ordinance closes public access to Hoag's Pond, andthreatens important park and trail options in the vicinity. It waspassed two days before Christmas at a morning meeting speciallyscheduled to secure the votes of two outgoing councilmembers. Manycitizens managed to attend in spite of work obligations and holidaypreparations. However, the Council chose not to allow public commentand expressly refused to accept new information from the Greenwayscommittee. Over the objections of the Planning Department and Mayor,the Council approved a package of land exchange and street closuresfor which the public cost will be too high. Only Louise Bjornsonopposed the measure.

Thestated purpose of the ordinance is to "enable the efficientconnection" of a "vital link" in the Greenways system of parks andtrails. The problem is that the ordinance acquires properties whichcan't be used for that purpose. Following the intended corridor leadsover very rough ground and into a swamp before dead-ending in privateproperty where additional acquisition would be necessary. The routedepicted in Greenways maps given to the Council does not exist. Worseyet, the ordinance allows the transfer of a beautiful, park-likesetting overlooking the pond, closes all existing street access tothe pond and sets up a situation which threatens the remainingright-of-ways around the pond. One of those right-of-ways leadsstraight to the City lots overlooking the pond and is, ironically,the only route suited to accomplish the stated goals withoutadditional acquisition. We don’t agree with legislating theunnecessary expenditure of Greenways tax levy funds, or with tradingoff our bargaining chips before negotiations begin.

The Mayor, in an eloquent statement, pointed out that no immediateor certain future public interest is served by the deal, and that itputs the public at an incredible disadvantage in negotiating toachieve stated goals. What is important right now is that this is abad deal for the citizens of Bellingham.

Without you, it is a done deal! For a chance to learn more aboutit, and to judge for yourself, WE NEED TWO THOUSAND SIGNATURES IN TWOWEEKS! We wouldn’t ask for your attention to this urgent matterunless we were convinced that important community opportunities areabout to be lost forever.

To learn more, look up Hoag’s Pond at or call Tip Johnson at 733-9211. Petitionsand an informative map may be downloaded from the web site, andE-mail messages left (possibly easier than getting through on thephone). Signatures of registered voters asking for a referendum onordinance #10910 may be sent to Tip Johnson, P.O. Box 4307, B'ham,98227, until January 20. All signatures must be on file with the CityFinance Director by January 23.


Written by:
Tip Johnson
Former Bellingham City Council member, 1986 - 1993

See larger map with explanatorytext.

You can print and freely distribute this flyer. You can alsogo to a printable copy of the petition.

Want to comment? You can emailus at

Back to section index

Home Contents Info Correspondents ©1998