The Bellingham Neighborhood Coalition (BNC), an alliance of neighborhood advocates, will host a documentary video, “Don’t Ballardize Bellingham,” which chronicles the developer-driven demolition of homes in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood during its building boom of the last five years. All seats for the 40-minute video showing on Nov. 15, 7p.m. at Garden Street United Methodist Church, 1326 N. Garden St. have been booked; however, additional showings may be planned if interest continues to grow. To watch a 4-minute trailer of the video, go to the website at: www.BellinghamNeighborhoodCoalition.com.
Following the video presentation, there will be a community-wide dialogue of issues facing Bellingham residents. To submit a request for a future showing send email to: BhamNeighborhoodCoalition@gmail.com.
The video showing is the coalition’s first public meeting. Bellingham’s Housing Week, held Nov. 6 – 10, did not include neighborhood speakers but only housing and health care professionals, the building industry, and government officials. Neighborhoods need a voice at the table whenever growth, infill, and housing affordability are discussed because neighborhoods are the heart of a community’s healthy future.
The BNC meeting will address questions raised by the Ballard experience: Is it true that to significantly increase capacity in single-family neighborhoods, homes need to be torn down and replaced with higher density multifamily units? Is that Bellingham’s intention? Is that what the city wants?
In a letter to Mayor Linville dated Sept. 26, the BNC asked, “Is it possible that people who have been wrongly labeled ‘anti-growth’ have legitimate concerns about overcrowding, traffic congestion, neighborhood character, loss of open space, loss of non-subsidized affordable housing, and lack of enforcement of development regulations and existing zoning laws? Is it possible that these people are primarily concerned about the City’s approach to growth, including the City’s top-down, cookie-cutter approach to neighborhood planning?” To date no response has been received from Mayor Linville.
The BNC letter to the mayor is attached below.
The Bellingham Neighborhood Coalition’s mission is to create an alliance of community members working together to ensure:
- the vitality and character of established single-family and multi-family neighborhoods are preserved as the city accommodates additional growth and development;
- Bellingham’s urban villages are targeted for future infill projects; and
- existing residents and taxpayers are not unfairly burdened with the costs associated with growth and development.
BNC members include residents of Alabama Hill, Birchwood, Columbia, Edgemoor, Fairhaven, Happy Valley, Puget, Samish, Sehome, South, South Hill, Sunnyland, and York neighborhoods. Residents from all neighborhoods are welcome. To learn more about the BNC visit the webpage at www.BellinghamNeighborhoodCoalition.com.