Let's do the Public's business in public.
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The Email showing Western's rejection of Bellingham Jurisdiction
Planning Process? What planning process. Growth Management Act? We are not subject to any authority outside ourselves. How dare anyone suggest we obey state laws. So goes Western's thinking.
Western Washington University does not accept City of Bellingham authority for planning and construction projects, including buildings and roads - and parking structures. Now, WWU is loathe to admit this in public, so we have to post documents that begin to show this.
Below is an exchange of email between Gregg Aucutt and Chris Koch of city planning with Rick Benner of WWU Planning. Note the dates - they progress backwards from the top. Chris starts out (bottom of second page below) notifying Western of the need for public planning processes. The exchanges progress with Western trying to show how they don't have to do any public process for their proposed huge 450 car, $10 million dollar parking garage on Garden Street - in a residential neighborhood.
This post should be of particular interest to state officials in the Higher Education Coordinating Committee, the Growth Management Board, the Attorney General's office and our state representatives and senators. At least we citizens would like to think someone in Olympia in interested in seeing Western obey state laws. Posted June 17, 2002. See bottom for more info.
You can also download a pdf file of the two pages. It is large, 750K. This email should be of value to state agencies charged with making sure Western obeys state laws. It would help if citizens would either send the addres of this page to agencies or state elected officials or send them the pdf file. Ask why they don't tell Western that WWU is subject to city of Bellingham laws and planning authority. If this just sits on this web site then Western will not be made accountable. State officials only seem to act when pushed by citizens. Lets push.
This was received per a public disclosure request of Tom Ashton and entered
into the record at the Public Hearing for Western's request to vacate S. College Drive
on June 12, 2002.