BirchBay defines area for incorporation study

Published on Thu, Aug 23, 2007 by ara Nelson

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Birch Bay defines area for incorporation study

By Tara Nelson

Birch Bay residents can get involved in deciding the details of a possible incorporation with a series of meetings scheduled over the next five months.

In their regular meeting Monday, the Birch Bay Steering Committee’s incorporation study committee unveiled the draft schedule for the development of a feasibility study for the community’s possible incorporation.

The meeting was the first in a series that sought public comment and to educate property owners within the Birch Bay urban growth area about the study.

“We want to make sure the study answers all the questions people have about incorporation,” said Kathy Berg, chair of the steering committee. “We’re trying to ask the questions ‘What is incorporation all about?’ and, ‘What is the logical point in which we can do it?’”

Committee members also voted to define the boundaries for a community survey scheduled to be mailed to property owners of U.S. citizenship in September. The boundaries will correlate with existing boundaries of the UGA as defined by Whatcom County, said Brett Sheckler, an economist with Berk and Associates planning firm of Seattle who was hired to coordinate the survey as part of the final incorporation study.

“Incorporations are strictly voter-driven,” he said. “It’s not driven by assessed value.”

Canadian property owners will not be eligible to vote in the survey, he said.

The study was funded by a $100,000 allocation from the Whatcom County Planning and Development Services department approved by the Whatcom County Council earlier this month.

The next scheduled meeting is a community forum at 7 p.m., September 24 at the Birch Bay Bible Community Church at 7039 Jackson Road.

Participants will be invited to ask questions regarding the possible incorporation and have the opportunity to contribute their input to the plan.

A second public forum is scheduled for December 3 at the church to present the draft findings from the study.

The incorporation subcommittee meets the first Monday of the month at 7 p.m. at the church.

For more information about the meetings of the Birch Bay Steering Committee and its implementation subcommittees, visit www.birchbayinfo.org.