Save Hoag's Pond!

Sunday, January 4, 1998


To a printable copy of the petition.

We need your help to put City ordinance #10910 before a public review. The ordinance closes public access to Hoag's Pond, and threatens important park and trail options in the vicinity. It was passed two days before Christmas at a morning meeting specially scheduled to secure the votes of two outgoing councilmembers. Many citizens managed to attend in spite of work obligations and holiday preparations. However, the Council chose not to allow public comment and expressly refused to accept new information from the Greenways committee. Over the objections of the Planning Department and Mayor, the Council approved a package of land exchange and street closures for which the public cost will be too high. Only Louise Bjornson opposed the measure.

The stated purpose of the ordinance is to "enable the efficient connection" of a "vital link" in the Greenways system of parks and trails. The problem is that the ordinance acquires properties which can't be used for that purpose. Following the intended corridor leads over very rough ground and into a swamp before dead-ending in private property where additional acquisition would be necessary. The route depicted in Greenways maps given to the Council does not exist. Worse yet, the ordinance allows the transfer of a beautiful, park-like setting overlooking the pond, closes all existing street access to the pond and sets up a situation which threatens the remaining right-of-ways around the pond. One of those right-of-ways leads straight to the City lots overlooking the pond and is, ironically, the only route suited to accomplish the stated goals without additional acquisition. We don’t agree with legislating the unnecessary expenditure of Greenways tax levy funds, or with trading off our bargaining chips before negotiations begin.

The Mayor, in an eloquent statement, pointed out that no immediate or certain future public interest is served by the deal, and that it puts the public at an incredible disadvantage in negotiating to achieve stated goals. What is important right now is that this is a bad deal for the citizens of Bellingham.

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

To learn more, look up Hoag’s Pond at or call Tip Johnson at 733-9211. Petitions and an informative map may be downloaded from the web site, and E-mail messages left (possibly easier than getting through on the phone). Signatures of registered voters asking for a referendum on ordinance #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 City Finance Director by January 23.


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

See larger map with explanatory text.

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

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