Plan would enhance Marine Park shoreline

Published on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 by By Tara Nelson

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Visitors to Marine Park could see more shoreline access and park enhancements if a proposal by the city’s planning department is approved by Blaine City Council.

During a special work session Monday, Blaine city planners unveiled a preliminary proposal to improve shoreline stability in Marine Park as well as enhance the aesthetic experience and increase beach access for park users.

The measures were required as a condition of approval for the Lighthouse Point Water Reclaimation facility when it was approved by the city council.

Part of the council’s concern was the protection of the facility from the constant beach erosion nearby, said Paul Pittman, earth science manager for Element Solutions engineering firm in Bellingham.

The current shoreline is littered with broken, “rubbilized” concrete and most of the beach areas are designated as wildlife viewing areas, he said.

“There are shoreline stability issues there,” he said. “The other aspect is to carry out the city’s vision to enhance the shoreline for public use, which are called for in the shoreline master plan.”

Blaine planning director Michael Jones said the next step will be introducing the plan to the city’s park and cemetery board during their next meeting April 21.

After that, it will likely go to the city council for final approval, and then planning staff can research funding mechanisms and develop a construction plan.

Because many of the provisions are already planned under the city’s parks and recreational improvement plan, Jones said city crews have already started some preliminary work, such as implementing the noxious weed control plan last fall. They will also be installing some of the habitat restoration plantings this spring.

“So we’re able to begin implementing some of the first stages as we’re finalizing the plan,” he said.