********* nwcitizen note: The following is verbatim thePlanning Department packet as available over the counter at theiroffice in City Hall. This was made available on Friday, March 19. Ihave only added clearly indicated notes and reduced excessive spacingbetween some items to make this more readable. As this is a publicdocument, please feel free to print and distribute as you wish. Youmay also electronically copy and do as you wish with it. -- JohnServais of www.nwcitizen.com




Happy Valley Neighborhood PlanUpdate

Neighborhood Meeting

For March 25, 1999

This packet includes the following: the firstdraft neighborhood plan outline, the goals and comments from thevisioning process at the March 4, 1999 neighborhood meeting, andcopies of petitions signed by Happy Valley neighbors. At the March25th meeting we will also have information on build-outpotential and other real estate information for HappyValley.

The comments received verbally and in writingare listed first under each issue heading. These are followed by alisting of the goals that appear to be in conflict with the GrowthManagement Act (GMA), or city goals, codes, or plans. Only thosegoals or comments clearly in conflict were addressed. Finally, citystaff has made a first attempt at distilling the neighborhood goalsby writing draft goals and policies for the beginnings of a draftneighborhood plan. We will use consensus building to establish goalsand policies to be included



March 25, 1999

  1. Neighborhood Announcements ñ Wendy Scherrer, Happy Valley Neighborhood Representative
  2. Introduction ñ Kim Spens, City Planner
  3. Proposed Neighborhood Plan Outline ñ Chris Koch, City Planner
  4. Consensus Building (define) ñ Chris Koch, City Planner
  5. Develop Neighborhood Vision Statement -- ALL
  6. Continue Developing Goal Statements (including signed petitions from HV) -- ALL:
    1. WWU
    2. Transportation/Circulation/Parking
    3. Density/Design Guidelines/Crime Prevention
    4. Infrastructure (sidewalks)/Drainage/Utilities
    5. Parks/Trails/Open Space/Schools/Community Resources
    6. Land Use/Zoning

At the next meeting we will continue withwhere weíve left off in the above agenda

NEXT MEETING: Thursday, April 8, 1999 in theCommons Area at Fairhaven Middle School, 110 Parkridge Road. NOTE:THIS IS A NEW MEETING LOCATION. THE LOCATION WAS CHANGED TO MEET ADAREQUIREMENTS. If you have any questions about theVisioning Results or the meeting on March 4, 1999, please call JackieLynch or Kim Spens at (360) 676-6982 or talk to city staff at theMarch 25th meeting.





A. Overall VisionsGoal

In the year 2020 the Happy ValleyNeighborhood Neighborhood will_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.


B. Neighborhood Description, includingcommunity features (landmarks, other).


C. Neighborhood Statistics

1. Housing Growth

2. Land Use

3. Other Statistics


D. Density



A. Greenbelts

B. Parks

1. PlayLots

C. Trails

1. Underdeveloped Rights of Way

D. Sensitive Areas

1. Creeks, Wetlands, Slopes



 A. Streets andTransportation

  2. Arterials


  3. Neighborhood Streets


  4. Bicycle Circulation


  5. Sidewalks


  6. On-Street Parking


B. Transit

C. Utilities

  2. Drainage/Stormwater
  4. Water


  5. Sanitary Sewer


  6. Private Utilities
    2. Celltowers


  2. Public Facilities
    2. WWU
    3. Schools 
    4. Fire Protection
    5. Library



  • A. Transportation/Circulation

    B. Land Use (Zoning)

    C. Public Open Space

    D. Drainage


    A. Design guidelines/ RM landuses

    B. Single-Family Residential landuses

    C. Commercial land uses


    *********** nwcitizen note: End of Neighborhood Plan Outline

    Western WashingtonUniversity

    Introduction:The following essay was received beforethe 3/4/99 visioning meeting. It very clearly expresses manyneighbors' feelings about WWU. Staff has included it in the visioningcomments as an introduction and overview of the issues involving WWUin the Happy Valley Neighborhood:

  • Problems -- What seems (to me) to be the problem(s) with WWU acquiring land in Happy Valley? One problem with WWU is that it has a history of getting whatever it wants -- it doesn't know any limits or restrictions. It is something of an independent (almost "rogue") entity. This process can feel "pushy" (uncaring, uncooperative). Every entity needs to know limits (check and balances), be sensitive, in order to be responsible (kids in candy stores do not make such good models for wise behavior).

    There are many signs that it will be growing. This growth, this change, effects everyone, but especially the adjacent neighborhoods. Any change tends to build resistance. Fast change seems overwhelming. Forced change builds a lot of emotions, especially resentment. "Unplanned" change seems less acceptable than planned change. (The university's plans aren't "together" yet, and so, they seem less planful. A pictorial representation tends to be most persuasive, and can appeal to our idealism, to suppress immediate, personal interests.)

    There is a psychodynamic of having a singular campus, even if such isn't best for the city as a whole.

    All growth has to stop some time, at some point. It would be best if

    Western made a long-range plan, that said that it will stop growing at a certain point. At some time in the future, the university system will have to have more branches, scattered about. Single campuses should not continually devour their surroundings, like beings from outer space.

    We need to recognize that parking garages will not be built, unless they are forced upon the school -- other avenues of expansion are easier and cheaper (and we all tend to do, at nearly every instance, whatever is easiest and cheapest). Neighborhoods should not be razed, just to provide flat parking areas for students and staff. An on-campus transit system could free up some of Western's present design limitations, and it could make better use of its present acreage.

    "Student communities" -- enclaves of student residences, off of the campus, proper. Somewhat problematic, in nature, it seems to me. I sense that student housing should either be built integrally as a

    community, or more dispersed than it often is. Student housing usually

    evolves, and grows, and is not planned for, adequately.


    Student housing, taking over householder neighborhoods, doesn't work so well, either for the students, or for the householders. Their interests and lifestyles can clash. There is generally less interest in yard maintenance. Students tend to be noisier. They tend to drive faster. Often, there is more alcohol consumption. There can be an attraction for property crime. Huge, cheap, dehumanizing apartment complexes are often built, and these are not in the best interest of either the students, nor the larger community.

    The growth of WWU, not fully integrated (and thoroughly planned) into the surrounding community, can be a negative aspect (except for those people who would like to make money from rental income).

    It would be best if there could be some kind of partnership, between the university (and state), city, and private developers, to make a responsible student-housing community. The key word, here, is "responsible". I feel that the university has the onus to take the lead on this, and be responsible for housing the majority of students it attracts. Failing that, I would like to look for (but not knowing if it could be found) a city regulatory action that would disperse student housing throughout a larger area.


    The problem of traffic-growth, related to a growing university, is almost inevitable, almost no matter what else happens or what steps are taken. I believe that the university has said that they are taking "marketing steps" to make an effect on student vehicles -- I take this to mean that they are using the written word to try and persuade students (a short-term, and weak-effect approach, at best).

    University-associated traffic growth is a big push for changing the traffic patterns in Happy Valley (such as the extending 21st Street to the south). Come to think of it, it's my sense that the extension of 21st Street would almost solely to connect WWU with the expected growth south of Old Fairhaven Parkway -- it wouldn't work that well for traffic going "through" the city itself.

    A small (but unlikely) solution might be if student communities were built, it would then be possible to better control how many cars to be allowed in the residential area. Also, public transportation, to and from the school, could be greatly enhanced.

    On the plus side.

    It is not altogether a bad neighbor. The campus is quiet and pleasant (to the eye, for the most part); provides intellectual and cultural inputs; is of great economic value.

    The proposed acquisition boundary consists mostly of apartment buildings. There isn't the sense, for the most part, of displacing a community, nor households.


    How many households currently exist within the boundary, and where?

    How do these people feel about the encroachment?

    How do the apartment owners feel, by and large?

    How do the apartment dwellers feel?


    A. Verbatim Comments that comply withGMA:

    I. WWU Coordination:

    1. Encourage WWU to approach neighborhood about proposals first.
    2. Form oversight committee to monitor off campus housing.
    3. Ensure that WWU has to consider its impact on the neighborhood in any of its future expansion. (visual, environmental, economic, traffic, etc.)
    4. Create policy changes that mandate full disclosure of any plans WWU is considering that would impact the community beyond the campus.
    5. Establish design standards that would integrate any new development into the existing neighborhood. These standards should apply to both WWU and the private sector.
    6. Western needs to be actively involved in our planning process as what they do dramatically affects our neighborhood.
    7. In the year 2020, Western will better understand the value of neighborhoods.

    II. WWU Expansion:

    1. WWU should not pursue RM development in the HV neighborhood
    2. No encroachment into neighborhood
    3. Acquire and improve existing RM development in Area 1 / 3 (North of neighborhood) including replacing poorly designed buildings with new ones and no further encroachment.
    4. In the year 2020, Western will infill greatly if needed and co-work with city for athletic fields.
    5. In the year 2020, Western reduces the area of land it uses for parking lots. Parking garages would help alleviate this ridiculous use of property.
    6. Ensure that WWU future expansion is only done in conjunction with adjacent neighborhoods and downtown.
    7. Encourage WWU to consider other options for expansion.
    8. In the year 2020, Western will recognize the integrity and importance of the HVN and will not have attempted to push its institutional presence into the neighborhood.
    9. In the year 2020, Western will have built some dorms at the north end of the HVN under multi-multi zoning which the HVN accepts in exchange for downzoning more of the neighborhood to single and duplex.


    III. WWU Non-contiguous campus:

    1. Compel WWU to consider off campus expansion and opposed to their current concept of a contiguous campus (Everything must be a 10 minute walk from the library.
    2. In the year 2020, Western recognizes the benefits of a non-contiguous campus, utilizing areas that would welcome their presence, especially downtown.
    3. WWU should pursue expansion alternatives in downtown (3 min. shuttle ride to WWU)
    4. Political - WWU to actually include neighbor concerns - expand elsewhere City to listen to neighbors
    5. Use the Albertsons on 32nd for WWU extension services.
    6. In the year 2020, Western will have satellite facilities in downtown Bellingham and elsewhere to deal with its growth while preserving some of its open space.

    IV. WWU Parking:

    1. In the year 2020, Western will manage its tremendous parking problems much more successfully.
    2. In the year 2020, Western will reduce the number of cars students bring to town. Incentives to discourage auto use will be significant and worthwhile.

    V. Other:

    1. Improve existing infrastructure.
    2. Current master plan is not compatible with comp plan.
    3. WWU should encourage year round classes to prevent students transient population. Students could live in one place four years instead of moving out every summer. The implications of this could mean involvement of students in their neighborhood and community.

    B. Verbatim Comments that may conflict withGMA or City Goals, Codes, and Plans:

    Another state university may be built if neededbetween Bellingham and Seattle.

  •  Comment: If WWU is to meet the State's needs, some expansion may be necessary. Expansion to the north or west may be acceptable to the Sehome or South Hill neighborhoods. Off-campus expansion or electronic education may also fulfill these needs.
  • WWU should take responsibility for housingneeds and impacts (streets, garbage, etc.) for all multifamilyhousing in the north end of Happy Valley.

  •  Comment: The City does not have the authority to require WWU to maintain facilities they do not own.
  • No fast tracking or MOA's except for grossemergencies.

  •  Comment: A Memorandum Of Agreement (MOA) has been made between WWU and the City of Bellingham. It addresses the stormwater facility and the expansion of the Viking Union complex. Review of these two developments will involve a neighborhood meeting and Planning Commission Hearing. The decision can be appealed to the City Council. All other expansions on-campus must follow the Institutional Master Plan, which is being developed.
  • Only residential in acquisitionarea.

  •  Comment: This would require a change to the Multifamily section of the Land Use Code, and affect all multifamily areas in the City. This Multifamily section includes non-residential uses via a Conditional Use Permit, such as Churches, Neighborhood Clubs, Medical Care Facilities, and Day Cares. Other types of uses, such as offices and warehouses, are not allowed.

    Note: The neighborhood has received a rezone request to add "Offices Allowed" to a block bound by Douglas, 25th, Bill McDonald Parkway, and 26th. As well, WWU has indicated that they have "more specific plansÖ the block immediately west of the University's Physical Plant, bounded by 26th, Douglas, 25th, and Taylor Streets. The University currently owns all but two lots in this block, and intends to acquire the remaining two lots. The University's plans for this block are to develop an additional area for its Physical Plan office functions, as well as relocation of related business functions like the Purchasing Office, Mail Services, and Central Stores."

  • In the year 2020, Western provideswell-designed on-campus housing at a price comparable to, privatesector housing. This will reduce the role of "industrial housing" inHappy Valley

  •  Comment: According to WWU's Housing and Dining office, WWU has to meet more stringent housing codes than the private sector. It seems unlikely they will be able to produce housing, which is less expensive than private. The state legislature does not subsidize student housing.
  • In the year 2020, WWU will better control theirown traffic so use of 21st and especially 24this greatly reduced as access roads to the University.

  •  Comment: WWU can limit employees and contractors use of streets only while they are on the job. Major off-campus traffic impacts are due to commutes to and from home.
  • C. Recommended Goals andPolicies:


  • - Alternative A: WWU should accommodate growth in satellite facilities off-campus.

    - Alternative B: WWU should divest itself of all properties within the Happy Valley neighborhood.

    - Alternative C: WWU should pursue development and management of multi-family properties in their acquisition area. Allow office development compatible with the neighborhood in the acquisition area.

  • Policies:

    1. WWU should only locate parking for adjacent uses in Happy Valley. Off-campus parking should not locate in Happy Valley.
    2. Form a public-private partnership including WWU, the State, the City, the neighborhood, and private developers, lead by WWU. This group should meet regularly to discuss off-campus needs, including WWU and City proposals, spearheading infrastructure construction, influencing the State Legislature, and monitoring/supporting a responsible student-housing community.
    3. WWU should encourage year round classes, share athletic fields with the City, build parking garages, reduce the number of cars students bring to town, and expand into the Central Business District and the old Albertson's site at 3oth and Old Fairhaven Parkway.
    4. Limit offices to adjacent to Bill McDonald Parkway or northeast of Douglas and 25th.
    5. Alternatives:
    6. I.
      1. WWU should acquire the area north of Knox Street and east of 20th. Existing multifamily uses in this area should be improved or demolished and replaced with quality multifamily development. A clear separation should be designed and built along Knox by WWU to separate WWU and residential uses. Clearly indicate where the campus area stops and the residential neighborhood begins.
      2. WWU should acquire the area north of Douglas and east of 24th Street. WWU offices, related uses, and their required parking should be built in this area.
      3. Properties north of Douglas should not be used for off-campus parking or athletic field development.


  • II. WWU should acquire and improve existing privately owned multifamily residences south of Bill McDonald Parkway. WWU should not acquire any more vacant property in the Happy Valley neighborhood.

    III. Existing WWU-owned properties in the proposed acquisition area should be sold. Zoning should not be changed to accommodate WWU.




    A. Verbatim Comments that comply withGMA:

    Neighborhood Plan to have teeth to be able toenforce laws written in plan, very specific things to get to goals ofplan.

    Residential diversity; kids and adultdiversity; low income housing

    Apartment buildings should have to haveinfrastructure; neighborhood input

    Larrabee school and small schoolsstay

    Nice for older people - safety

    Infill nice if fits neighborhood

    24th go through inevitable; resist21st going through

    Provide/encourage methods to get people andstudents (non-motorized) through neighborhood.

    Ensure dominance of nature along streets and inunimproved right of ways

    Preserve diversity of people - ages,cultures

    Explore other uses in neighborhood as long asconsistent with neighborhood

    Slow traffic on Old Fairhaven Parkway; stoplight/sign crosswalk at 20th; traffic calming measures;also 22nd Street and 24th Street

    Design Streets for access, so not adrive-through; stop grid system

    Huge parking lots discouraging to see; not agood use of land - inefficient.

    Use LIDís as a way for developers toconnect sidewalks - pedestrian friendly/safer; make sure people knowwho has to start LID process


    No increase in impact of cars; safer andquieter if cars slow down; install planters/traffic calmingdevice

    Implement paving tax

    City to listen to neighbors

    City livable = neighborhood livable = kids andsafety

    Initiate LID's for sidewalks where no protestshave been signed

    Need more accountability in filling potholes,cleaning up garbage along streets

    WWU mitigate student overflow intoneighborhood

    Predominately SF and compact with diversity andpedestrian/cycle friendly; mother-in-law houses (Accessory DwellingUnits); narrow streets = reduction in cars; traffic circlesmaintained by neighbors = desireable residentialneighborhood

    Ensure residential character with quality anddiversity

    Close off some streets; eliminate throughtraffic

    Crosswalks on Donovan at 21st and24th Streets

    Enforce speed limits (get the patrol boxes outthere).

    Provide adequate signage (residential,schools)

    Address speed and volume of traffic - slowdown

    Discourage through traffic on non-arterials;use existing arterials.

    Provide stop sign at 21st andKnox

    Accommodate Bus stops with trash cans(21st and Donovan)

    Change Old Fairhaven Parkway name back toValley Parkway

    24th Street has volume and speedproblems; lots of people (kids) on it, need street calming devises,make 24th compatible with all pedestrians onit.

    32nd Street ñ Provide bufferbetween single family and multi family developments inarea.

    32nd Street has faster traffic, getit to slow down

    Deprioritize cars - no big streets, no parkinglots, install traffic calming devises

    Facilitate LID's

    Improve bus services to area.

    If 21st goes through MANAGEit

    Growth targets; what is Happy ValleyNeighborhoodís fair share

    Focus on noise reduction, i.e., noise barriersalong I-5 and maybe Old Fairhaven Parkway

    Provide Bike lanes from WWU down21st; up on 24th

    Remove some parking along 21stStreet to accommodate bike lanes

    Increase Park and Ride usage


    B. Verbatim Comments which may conflict withGMA, City Goals, Codes or plans:

    Lobby for Monorail on I-5.

  • Comment: Though it may be a desirable amenity for the I-5 corridor, it is not possible to achieve through the neighborhood plan update process.

    C. Recommended Goals andPolicies:


  • 1) Happy Valley Neighborhood will preserve its residential character and enhance its quality by discouraging through traffic and automobile usage and encouraging a development pattern that is pedestrian friendly
  • Policies:

  • 1) Discourage development of a through arterial system that will encourage cross hill (Sehome) traffic between Old Fairhaven Parkway and the Central Business District. Development of a north/south arterial shall be intended primarily to facilitate traffic both internal to the Happy Valley Neighborhood and between south half of WWUís campus and Old Fairhaven Parkway.

    2) Arterials should be enhanced with traffic calming devices and mixed uses in designated nodes or neighborhood districts that encourage pedestrian activities.

    3) Provide enhanced non-motorized facilities including bike lanes, sidewalks and trails.

    4) Use No Protest LIDís and initiate new LIDís along targeted pedestrian corridors to provide necessary infrastructure including streets, sidewalks, bike lanes and trails.

    5) Encourage WWU to contribute toward street improvements in the neighborhood to accommodate traffic generated by the university.

    6) The Happy Valley Neighborhood and WWU should determine if a Residential Parking Zone (RPZ) south of campus would significantly benefit the Happy Valley Neighborhood. If so, WWU should fund the establishment of this RPZ.

    7) Streets in the high density residential zone should be developed on either side with a parking strip, curb, gutter and setback sidewalk. The improvement of on street parking may count toward the on site parking requirements for new and existing developments.


    Safety, Crime Prevention, DesignGuidelines


    A. Verbatim Comments that comply withGMA:

    In the year 2020, an improvement in the qualityof life is achieved through design guidelines that are used in thereview of new multi family developments to ensure quality,attractiveness, and a reduction in the incidence and fear ofcrime.

    In the year 2020, there will be designrequirements on all residences bigger than duplexes and allcommercial buildings to assure a traditional look in the neighborhoodand reduce the negative visual impact of big buildings.

    Implement design guidelines for new multifamily development to ensure a safe and attractive environment thatis appealing to a variety of lifestyles.

    Provide residential diversity; kids and adultdiversity; low income housing, attached and detached accessorydwelling units.

    Preserve diversity of people ñ ages andcultures.

    Establish design codes for multi-familyresidences to mitigate effects of increasing density.

    Development in the area should follow some kindof design process so that it actually is in character with themajority of homes in the area.

    Overall design guidelines - What can we doabout design review

    Establish Conditional Use Permits formulti-family residences that allow neighbor input before finalconsideration.

    In the year 2020, a "design review board" willapprove new construction/remodels (to prevent Stebnerís "NYNY"debacles). Members of neighborhoods will sit on the board.

    Multi family residential development will haveinfrastructure installed by developers and design review will berequired for multi family development.

    Compel developers to cover costs of improvingstreets, drainage, etc, associated with theirdevelopments.

    Enforce LIDís that multi familydevelopments began.

    New multi family development to contribute toopen space; make it so developers would want to live there (niceenough for all)

    Open space requirements for multi familydevelopments are expanded to include surrounding areas and enhanceright of ways.

    Induce WWU to provide housing for students,instead of leaving it up to the private sector.

    Persuade WWU to mitigate student housing fromoverflowing into neighborhood.

    Make existing apartments "familyfriendly."

    Appropriate mix of apartments and single familyresidences

    Infill is nice if it fits neighborhoodcharacter

    Huge parking lots discouraging to see; not agood use of the land ñ inefficient.

    No increase in impact of cars; safer andquieter if cars slow down; install planters/traffic calmingdevices.

    Deprioritize cars ñ no big streets, noparking lots, install traffic calming devises.

    Implement paving tax

    Encourage single family housing

    Regulate density

    Require Height limits on newstructures

    Update height requirements

    Residential ñ mix is fine, overallimprovement in quality, not quantity donít requiremaximum street sizes, curbs and sidewalks ñ ditches arenice.

    Large apartment buildings need to have on-sitemanagers!!!!!! that can be called when problems with noise, garbage,etc. occur.

    In the year 2020, neighborhood values willwelcome a diversity of lifestyles.

    Reduce light pollution (streetlights)

    In the year 2020, apartments will line busystreets, buffering single family housing within a neighborhood. Smallbusiness could also line the busier neighborhood streets like Harris.Envision a retail condo combination, retail downstairs and livingquarters upstairs.

    Explore other uses in neighborhood as long asconsistent with neighborhood.

    Small size businesses will allow economic lifeon an appropriate scale within the neighborhood.

    In the year 2020, Sehome Village could be morelike a courtyard mall with parking around the perimeter. TheUniversity Village by the University of Washington is a model forsmall neighborhood shopping areas.

    In the year 2020, light pollution will bereduced through better design guidelines. We will not rely on methodsof lighting up the night to reduce crime. Workshops to help preventcrime will be held at the resource center.

    In the year 2020, car prowls will decrease asfewer students bring cars to town and large parking lots are phasedout.

    In the year 2020, fear will be reduced aspeople become better acquainted via neighborhood facilities,functions, and community interaction.

    In the year 2020, "Bellinghamís Finest"(Police) will be more visible (not just in patrol cars) in ourneighborhood (meetings, picnics, etc.)

    In the year 2020, we will see our Police andFire Department persons who are assigned to Happy Valleyparticipating in all Happy Valley Neighborhood events like the annualpicnic, historical day, etc.

    More police patrol in neighborhood

    Density seems to encourage crime. People do notget to know their neighbors when they change every year. Police onbikes or who walk a beat in high crime areas can make adifference. Neighborhood involvement to scrub and paint overgraffiti helps eliminate gang mentality. Street layouts help curbcrime by using more cul-de-sacs.

    City livable = neighborhood livable = kids andsafety.

    Nice for older people - safety

    Ensure safety for kids


    B. Verbatim Comments which may conflict withGMA, City Goals, Codes or plans:

    Stop apartments and high densityhousing.

    Encourage SF and stop Multi Residential andDuplex development.

  •  Comment: Infill consistent with local zoning is a required part of the GMA. For the City to accommodate its share of population growth while avoiding sprawl, certain areas need to be designated for higher density development. Design guidelines can be used to improve the character and infrastructure in existing high density areas when new development takes place.
  • In the year 2020, strong design criteria willset guidelines for businesses who would develop and run (likeAlbertsonís). They will face fines for lack of commitment to abuilding project once it is developed. The city will tear downmonstrosity, half built structures (like the one next toSycamore Square), and use that space for retail, housing or parking.The city will require a developer to stick with a project and see itthrough or face substantial fines. It is irresponsible to allowstructures that are half built, or that simply stand empty. We needmore developers like Mr. Robert Hall.

  •  Comment: The City cannot condemn a building unless the structure is determined to be a safety or health hazard. Also, the City does not have the ability to require that a vacant building be used for a specific use as long as there are a range of uses allowed by the zoning code.
  • In the year 2020, the head of Public Works andCity Council representatives will have talked to us every two yearsabout neighborhood concerns and needs.

  •  Comment: This can happen now. Neighbors can invite City Council representatives or Public Works staff at any time to obtain information about their neighborhood. The Mayorís Neighborhood Advisory Commission has devoted meetings to host individual departments in a dialog of neighborhood concerns.
  • C. Recommended Goals andPolicies:


  • 1) Enhancement and retention of the neighborhoodís special assets and qualities continue to support diverse lifestyles and households.
  • Policies:

    1. Develop design standards that will integrate new development into the existing neighborhood and ensure quality, attractiveness, and a reduction in the incidence and fear of crime.
    2. Require planned contracts in high density residential zones. The planned contract process will use established design guidelines and address public concerns. Flexibility in setbacks and parking design should be allowed to achieve a better overall project including improved building design, decreased automobile dependence, enhanced pedestrian interface and greater open space.


    Infrastructure (Sidewalks),Utilities, Drainage


    A. Verbatim Comments that comply withGMA:

    Harris Ave. will be a handsome neighborhoodentry, with bump-outs(containing trees) that flow into crosswalks andbetween the bump-outsóplaces to park.

    Harris Ave. will look park-like with lots oftrees along the road, bump-outs for crosswalks, and good parkingbetween them

    In the year 2020, developers will beresponsible for 100% of the costs of infrastructure, utilities,drainage required by their developments.

    Developers must provide infrastructure withneighborhood involvement.

    Strive to maintain livable spaces in both hillyand low areas.

    Planning continues to permit development thatcontributes to dependence on automobiles with no account forpedestrians. An example is the complexes completed along the alley of20th and Knox and Taylorówe want a pedestrianneighborhood.

    Initiate the LID for areas with no protestagreements

    Use LIDs to tie in sidewalks.

    Encourage City to support mini-LIDís fordrainage.

    I want to see better provision for runoff fromthe hills down in to the valley floor. Every tree that is cut allowsmore runoff down the hills. Street improvements need better drainagefacilitiesóculverts and not allowing water to just run downstreets into the yards. Utilities should all be underground,especially if more trees are being planted so limbs donítknock out service. Stormwater runoff needs to be accommodated. Goodwaste water management needs planning.

    We will still have many of our drainage ditchesbecause of the traditional appearance, the rural image, they convey.(Theyíre also the best place for our kids to find frogs andour cats to find mice).

    Design housing but have less parking tominimize drainage problems.

    Infiltration - even SFR

    Plan for low flows

    New buildings on hill makes valley runoffworse.

    Natural drainages have beendisrupted.

    Stop water from coming throughyards.

    Need culverts on streets on thehills

    Tax per square feet for newdevelopment.

    Ask City to review drainagepatterns.

    Ask City to create a comprehensive storm watersystem.

    Encourage City to use natural drainagesystems.

    Combine the above with researching thedaylighting of areas creeks.

    In the year 2020, improved drainage systemswill mean less flooding inside residentís buildings, yards, inthe roadways and side walks and less sedimentation and pollution instreams.

    In the year 2020, a high percent of drainageneeds will be accomplished through measures enhancing the environmenti.e. daylighting creeks, preserving and enhancing wetlands, retentionponds, reducing impervious surfaces, etc.

    In the year 2020, above ground utility wireswill be located underground creating a better visual environment andallowing native trees (like cedars and firs) to grownunimpeded.

    In the year 2020, small-scale alternativeinfrastructure will be encouraged i.e. composting toilets; solar andwind power; techniques for utilizing gray water; etc. We will try toreduce our reliance on large-scale infrastructure throughsustainable, low-impact living.

    In the year 2020, HVN will not accommodate celltowers.


    B. Verbatim comments that may conflict withGMA, City goals or codes, or with other known plans:

    The City must provide infrastructure for thegrowth that they are promoting to the neighborhoods with properstormwater collection systems, sidewalks and crosswalks,etc.

  •  Comment: The Growth Management Act (GMA) says "Encourage development in urban areas where adequate public facilities and services exist or can be provided in an efficient manner." The City requires developers to provide infrastructure. However, single family development does not have requirements for off-site infrastructure improvements (unless an access road does not exist). Multi-family is not always required to provide curb, gutters, and sidewalks, for example, when they donít exist in the area. 
  • The City needs to start the LID process or dowhatever it takes to get existing multi-residential developmentowners to connect sidewalks in the HV area. It is my understandingthat there is an existing agreement of no-protest on LIDs. Make ithappen.

  •  Comment: LIDís are initiated by citizens, starting with a petition to be signed by abutting property owners. At least 50 percent of the owners must sign the petition in order for the City Council to "consider" it. The no-protest LIDís are also initiated for Councilís consideration, by a citizen petition. LIDís present an opportunity for making public improvements where they are lacking. Getting the required majority support can be difficult because itís typically the abutting property owners that have to pay for the LID.
  • C. Recommended Goals andPolicies:


  • 1) Require the infrastructure needed in new developments to prevent drainage problems.


    1. Identify specific areas in the neighborhood where drainage improvements are needed and find a funding source for them.




    A. Verbatim comments that comply withGMA:


    In the year 2020, HVN will have a communitycenter, will have a number of private and public schools, moregreenspace, and play areas.

    The neighborhood will be green and retain itsnatural vistas, both on private and public lands.

    We will still walk everywhere and there will betrails which keep us safe from traffic.

    Require developers to provide off-sitelandscaping, trails, etc.

    Developers more responsible for open space,tree planting, environment enhancement related to thedevelopment.

    Happy Valley is special: dominance of nature,tradition of green spaces, green

    As the population naturally increases the needfor parks and trails will increase and it will be impossible toachieve them then, we must create them now. Police on bikes andhorses would help control crime in these areas.

    In the year 2020, trails, open space, playareas will continue to be purchased and maintained.

    Lots of parent involvement.

    Lots of native vegetation

    HV is natural. Restore native vegetation, downlight pollution, greenbelts within 3 blocks, all creeksdaylighted.

    Light pollution a problem.

    In the year 2020 as much open space as possibleis essential to keep air fresh. This should be thought of as aCommunity Air IRA, we need to save now for later. I grew up in LosAngeles, and I want to emphasize this as a health need. Green Waysare really important to buffer dense zones of traffic, maintainexcellent air quality, and help rainfall disperse. They also createhabitat for wildlife.

    Neighborhood greenbelts.

    Tie density to open space.

    In the year 2020, undeveloped right of wayswill support parks, open space and

    natural vegetation, as well aspedestrian/bicycle corridors.

    Plant trees and vegetation along ditches andopen spaces.

    Tax incentive for native vegetation.

    Lots of big trees

    Connect open spaces and green spaces withadjacent neighborhoods.

    In the year 2020, many small parks/openspace/conservation easements will exist in HV created troughmitigation, donation, surplus property, etc. This will be necessaryto balance increased density resulting from GMA mandatedin-fill.

    Weíll have small neighborhood pocketparks, º to 1 block in size where children can play and adultscan relax in natural surroundings.

    Plan parks for kids and with shelters foradults.

    Use street right-of-ways for habitat andpedestrian corridors.

    Weíll have several trail systemstraversing our neighborhood that are natural and rural inappearance.

    Provide either a stoplight or stop sign andcrosswalk on OFP at 20th Street.

    Make whole valley pedestrianfriendly.

    Convert selected streets from primarily autouses to pedestrian use only.

    Connect Sehome with a vegetated corridor toPadden Creek

    Find methods for students to ride bikes andwalk but not on streets.

    Connect South Hill to FairhavenPark.

    We will have a community center and park nearthe fire station.

    In the year 2020, a resource center will existproviding a meeting/social facility for the neighborhood. Volunteeropportunities and a social calendar will be posted here.

    More signs - "Children at Play",etc.

    "Kidsí paradise." No arterials willdisrupt our neighborhood. More sidewalks will allow safe passagethroughout the neighborhood.

    Neighbors know each other.

    We want small neighborhood schools that ourchildren can walk to safely on sidewalks.

    See Larrabee School here in 20years.

    Larrabee School will serve as a communityresource for life-long learner during non-elementary schooltimes.

    Local schools, close enough for kids to walkto, are an advantage for traffic control. After school activities canbe offered ñ Sports, Art and Music classes would be a plus.This would round out kids education and appreciation of the worldaround them and would also supervise their activity so they avoidgetting into trouble. Youth centers based in the schools could offerweekend activities.

    In the year 2020, a variety of small schools(Lowell & Larrabee included) will provide a diverse opportunityfor education. The parks, trails, and open spaces will be asignificant element of these schools.

    Small schools kids can walk to, keep LarrabeeSchool.

    Schools as activity centers.

    Plan for salmon.

    All our streams will be daylighted and inappearance clearly be important, natural amenities for theneighborhood.

    We want both Padden and Taylor Creeksdaylighted.

    Connect Burns Creek to Padden Creek anddaylight corridor.

    In the year 2020, a Padden, Mill, Taylor andConnelly Creeks will be daylighted.

    Use these corridors for habitat and limitedrecreational use.

    Use environmental interpretation techniques toteach people to care for these areas.

    Provide stream buffers.

    Preserve Joe's Garden: make it a neighborhoodtreasure.

    In the year 2020, several community gardenswill provide ample area for neighbors to grow food. Organic gardeningworkshops will be held at the resource center.

    More community gardens, for instance21st and Larrabee

    B. Verbatim comments that may conflict withGMA or City goals, codes, or plans:

    Declare all unused street rights-of-waygreen/open spaces with trails and native plantingsencouraged.

  •  Comment. Unless the City needs a ROW for roadway or utility construction, undeveloped rights-of-way (ROW) have a number of potential uses. In most cases, ROWs are owned by abutting property owners, requiring property owner permission for any proposed development or use. Use of ROWs for trail development in the neighborhood should be a coordinated process, with the City Parks Department and neighborhood representatives working together on a neighborhood-wide trail plan. Without Parksí involvement, resources for the construction and maintenance of trails would have to be arranged by the neighborhood. Furthermore, there may be other better options identified by Parksí for certain pedestrian links.
  • Everyone within four blocks of apark.

  •  Comment: The Parks Dept. believes that there should be another neighborhood park in Happy Valley. Currently, there is no funding for one and a suitable location has not been determined. The Parks Dept. will be updating their Parks and Recreation Master Plan in the year 2000. New ideas from the Happy Valley Neighborhood Plan have the potential to be added. The Parks Dept. would like to explore the possibility of expanding on the elementary schools for "park type" uses
  • Trail north side of Padden Creek throughCohousing to 24th.

  •  Comment: This particular trail connection is in conflict with the wetland mitigation plan being developed by the City in conjunction with the Cohousing group. The Cohousing residents will have a single, unimproved trail across the wetland, linking the homes to the creek. Because of the importance of this wetland and creek corridor to wildlife, a public trail is not compatible. There is a new City trail just to the east that connects to OFP, crossing Connelly and Padden Creeks. This site will, however, contribute 4.6 acres (80 percent of site) of open space to Happy Valley.
  • Larrabee School will continue to serve as anelementary school kids can walk to.

  •  Comment: The Bellingham School District says they donít intend to keep Larrabee open because of its low population. Their target population is now 500 students/elementary school. Their Elementary School Plan calls for preserving Lowell and Larrabee for "community or school uses". It also includes the construction of two new elementary schools in southern Bellingham. 
  • Daylight all creeks.

  •  Comment: There is a public-private effort underway to explore the feasibility of daylighting the section of Padden Creek that flows through a 2,000í long culvert. Padden Creek supports a variety of fish and aquatic species so it has a high value. Daylighting all other creeks in the neighborhood would have to be examined under a similar process. The feasibility determination is a cost-benefit analysis that looks at costs, funding sources, land acquisition needs, habitat, regulatory requirements, and a number of other factors involved in such an undertaking.
  • C. Recommended Goals andPolicies:


  • 1) Designate a centrally located building that can be used as a neighborhood meeting place.
    1. Provide open space in the neighborhood and enhance undeveloped areas with native vegetation, especially as the neighborhood develops.
    2. 3) Keep neighborhood schools intact.


  • 1) Create neighborhood greenbelts by planting native plants in ROWís where possible, acquiring open space, establishing a Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary Program, and requiring native tree planting in un-built areas of new development.

    2) Develop another neighborhood park, with picnic shelter and grassy play area, and identify opportunities to establish pocket parks.

    3) Establish an agreement with the Bellingham School District to make school property more available for neighborhood use.

    4) Work with the City Parks Dept. to identify areas for trails and trail links that allow the neighborhood to walk safely from residential areas to the Connelly Creek Nature Area, commercial areas in Fairhaven, WWU, and Sehome High School.

    5) Establish a safe pedestrian crosswalk on OFP, allowing people to get to the Interurban Trail from Happy Valley. 

    6) Enhance trail corridors as greenbelts and open space.

    7) Restore and enhance Padden and Connelly Creeks through planting native vegetation along their corridors, increasing development setbacks, and preserving adjacent wetlands.

    8) Improve salmon habitat in Padden Creek by removing obstacles to fish passage, providing better stormwater treatment, and ensuring natural flow rates.

    9) Create a mechanism for doing a feasibility analysis to daylight neighborhood creeks such as Taylor (or Burns) Creek. If feasible, use daylighting creeks as a means to create greenbelts and open space in the neighborhood.

  • 10) Preserve Joeís Garden as aneighborhood garden in perpetuity.
    11) Develop another community garden in Happy Valley. Larrabee and21st Street is a possible location

    Land Use/Zoning

    A. Verbatim Comments that comply withGMA:

    Infill okay if appropriate; Scale andrespectful of existing character of the neighborhood.

    Residential ñ mix is fine, overallimprovement in quality, not quantity (donít require maximumstreet sizes, curb and sidewalks ñ ditches arenice.

    Encourage low/moderate incomehousing.

    Encourage cluster/cohousing.

    Encourage uses to utilize alternative energysources.

    Tax incentives for planting and encouragenative vegetation.

    Encourage Accessory Dwelling Units includingdetached ones.

    Encourage boarding rooms fordiversity.

    Discourage RMM zoning at 32nd &Taylor. Leave as low density buffer.

    Discourage additional apartmentconstruction.

    Encourage detached ADUís , with sizelimits.

    Decrease density bonus for clusterzones.

    Happy Valley should be primarily residential ofquality and diversity.

    In the year 2020, zoning will have beendownzowned to stop the creep of multi-family units south into HVN andto make up for the ill-effects of the big multi units alreadyestablished. The ill effects include crime, noise pollution, lightpollution, and increased fast traffic.

    In the year 2020, alternative low impacthousing, such as yurts, will be encouraged. Also clusters of verysmall houses (400-800 sq. ft.) will be encouraged. Safe, comfortable,very affordable dwellings of all types should beconsidered.

    In the year 2020, effective land use will beachieved through public input on all development other than singleresidential. This will include neighborhood participation in animportant process. Developers will have to work with the people wholive here to create neighborhood friendly development.

    In the year 2020, we will have establishedseveral small neighborhood parks where kids can play and neighborscan go sit and talk and enjoy the trees, etc. Especially with all themulti-family units we have there is a need for more small-scatteredparks.

    Encourage small scale commercial to serveneighborhood-to serve walking traffic; Ex. 21st and Harrismore diverse uses, Youth Club, Medical Services, Art gallery,Consignment shop.

    Smoke free tavern at 21st &Harris, i.e. Archers Ale House.

    Evolve as a Freemont or Wallingford area likein Seattle.

    Limit small commercial by size of buildings(square feet).

    Albertsonís site - multi agency servicecenter.

    In the year 2020, leave commercial developmentson the outskirts and not into neighborhoods. Fairhaven is a goodcommercial area ñ keep it there.

    In the year 2020, small size businesses willallow economic life on an appropriate scale.

    Commercial - small scale. Locally ownedbusinesses, lots of home businesses.

    In the year 2020, an increase in theavailability of small neighborhood commercial activities along Harrisand 21st increases the availability of services within theneighborhood, decreases the need to drive to services elsewhere, andcreates an attractive atmosphere for pedestrian activity.

    Preserve Joe's Garden through zoning/taxbreaks.

    In the year 2020, agricultural zoning will bedesignated for neighborhood farms like Joeís Garden. A few ofthese farms would be a welcome addition to theneighborhood.

    In the year 2020, HVN will have been downzonedin exchange for allowing WWU to acquire lands in the north of HV tobuild dorms.

    In the year 2020, all land in HV owned by WWUwill remain part of HV and not be annexed into the WWUneighborhood.

    In the year 2020, WWU will not expand into HVNand not request Institutional zoning.

    In the year 2020, industrial housing will bezoned as such. Developers will be responsible for measures to offsetthe impacts. High density, transient housing is a real problem inthis neighborhood because of its proximity to WWU.

    Be accountable for drainage impacts.

    Happy Valley has already absorbed a great dealof the transient population in the multitude of multi-residentialcomplexes, as with cities in growth management, other neighborhoodsneed to make more room too (example South Hill andEdgemoor).

    Community benefit matrix in place ofzoning.

    Develop growth target for neighborhood(question would be how many more units should HVN get).


    B. Verbatim Comments that may conflict withGMA or City goals, codes, or plans:

    In the year 2020, HVN will be downzoned tosingle family, with smaller lots being acceptable. There are enoughapartments/duplexes.

  •  Comment: Downzoning the entire neighborhood would mean all apartments and duplexes would become non-conforming uses, creating future regulatory problems. Completely excluding multiple family developments would be inconsistent with GMA goals #1 (Urban Growth), #2 (Reduce Sprawl), and #4 (Housing) as well as the Cityís adopted Visions for Bellingham. A variety of housing types and densities is both encouraged and required, consistent with adopted zoning. This issue can better be addressed by ensuring both multi-family and single family choices as a variety of densities are provided in the neighborhood.
  • Need agricultural zoning.

  •  Comment: GMA goals call for urban levels of development in the urban growth areas. Agricultural nurseries are permitted as conditional uses in residential zones. Preservation of agricultural uses, such as Joeís Garden, may be achieved through public land trust, easements, or covenants.
  • C. Recommended Goals andPolicies:


  • 1) Emphasize healthy single family districts within the neighborhood to preserve opportunities for family oriented housing in the neighborhood. characteristic of Happy Valley.

    2) Integrate multi-family housing into the neighborhood in a way that provides for a diversity of housing types and densities for a diverse residential population

    3) Establsih clear guidelines and defined areas for pedestrian-oriented neighborhood businesses to avoid land use speculation and traffic impacts that can result from introducing non-residential use along neighborhood arterials.

  • Policies:

    1. Preserve the neighborhoodís stable family-oriented character by encouraging a variety of affordable single family uses, including ADUís, cluster housing, boarding houses, co-housing, smaller lot sizes, and other approaches that provide opportunities for home ownership.
    2. Allow small neighborhood commercial uses to border designated residential areas along 21st and Harris Avenue to increase availability of services within the neighborhood and create more pedestrian activity.
    3. Preserve the character of each sub-area and prevent "zoning creep" by incorporating buffers or other designs that clearly separate districts or sub-areas within the neighborhood.

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