Today the Port of Bellingham released a draft environmental study of the possible impacts of the 220-acre waterfront redevelopment that will span at least 20 years. This study is an essential step as the port and City of Bellingham consider rezoning and redeveloping the property.
This environmental analysis will be used by the port and City of Bellingham in the coming months as they develop a master plan and development agreement that will guide long-term redevelopment of the project site. Based upon preliminary DEIS findings’particularly those regarding traffic impacts’the port and city will recommend modifications to the Draft Framework Plan, which was adopted by the Port Commission and City Council in 2006 as the basis for preliminary site planning.
Formal public hearings on the Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS) will be from 1-4 p.m. and from 6 p.m. until closing on Thursday, Jan. 31, in the Whatcom County Council Chambers, 311 Grand Ave.
In addition to the public hearings, people can submit written comments by Feb. 8, to the port’s designated State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) official Andrew Maron via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by regular mail to:
Andrew Maron SEPA Responsible Official Port of Bellingham PO Box 1677 1801 Roeder Avenue Bellingham, WA 98227-1677
This approximately 1,300-page Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) measures potential environmental impacts for development in The Waterfront District at a range of densities over a 20-year period.
Although the full document is lengthy, the first chapter is a summary of all of the environmental findings. The remaining chapters look more in-depth at each of the 14 areas of study.
The DEIS analyzes a range of future development alternatives for the site over two time periods (2016 and 2026). The alternatives include high, medium and low density redevelopment under mixed use zoning, in contrast to continued use as an industrial site.
Although each density analysis forecasts acreage for parks or certain transportation improvements, the port and city expect to ‘mix and match’ elements from each of the alternatives in the final master plan, based upon information learned from the DEIS.
After the written comment period ends on February 8, 2008, the port will prepare and issue a Final Environmental Impact Statement. The Final EIS will include responses to comments received on the DEIS.
The draft environmental analysis can be reviewed and downloaded at the Port’s web site under Latest News at: www.portofbellingham.com or by clicking here. The document includes a detailed summary of the environmental findings in Chapter One. The website also will have a fact sheet description of the DEIS.