city officials regarding the city council discussion of changing the single
family zoning defintition.
"[Although I was not at the council meeting last Monday], I took the time
to review the video of the last city council meeting. Frankly, I was
dumbfounded by the turn of events with regard to the proposals on the
definition of family in the Bellingham city code. First of all, I am not
against the changing of the code to decriminalize initial offenses.
I have said this before in this blog. Nor am I distressed at a proposal
to include domestic partnerships in the code. This also I have said
in my blog on several occasions.
My problem is the changing of the definition to increase the limit of
unrelated persons from 3 to 4. This change has not been called for
by anyone or any group whom I can identify other than Council Member
Weiss. Mr. Weiss said that the number 4 "plays well". My question
is, "To whom?". The only people to gain from such a move are the
If the council changes the number from 3 to 4 it will have, with a
stroke of a pen, increased legal infill in the city's single family
neighborhoods by about 9,500. Think about it. Half of all single
family homes are rented (9,500). [Click here to read city report with
single family home figures.] Today each of those homes can be rented
legally to any group of unrelated people to a maximum of three. If
you change that to four, the potential legal increase in infill is
9,500. Not only is this infill uncalled for, it is uncontrolled.
The city is now trying to convince neighborhoods that they will have
the say regarding "the where" of infill. The idea of changing the
family number is diametrically opposed to the notion of neighborhood
I ask that the council immediately table any further vote on changing
the city code regarding family until such time as an appropriate group,
to include representatives from the neighborhoods, has the opportunity
to voice its concerns."
You can help by writing the members of the Bellingham City Council and
the Mayor to tell them that you do not support such a backdoor method
of increasing infill in single family zoned areas.
Note: To contact the mayor and the council members go to the City of
Bellingham website (www.cob.org) and click on the links to the office
of the mayor and/or the council. There you will find all the necessary
addresses for the mayor and for the individual council members or for
the council as a whole. For council members, there are on-the-page email
forms you can fill out to send emails.