Year in Review 2015: Point Roberts Taxpayers Association

By Mark Robbins

Victory in fight against the towers, frustration over the dock

For the second year running, Point Roberts Taxpayers Association (PRTA) focused on opposing the construction of five 150-foot AM radio towers at the entrance to Point Roberts. PRTA directors and members played an active role in the Cross-Border Coalition to Stop the Towers, and PRTA served as the coalition’s treasurer.

In 2015, Whatcom County Council unanimously affirmed the hearing examiner’s rejection of the applicant’s conditional use permit. On appeal, that ruling was once again affirmed in Skagit County Superior Court.

Victory was sealed when the November 30 deadline passed without further appeal. PRTA’s 2013 petition to deny the radio station’s broadcast license renewal is still pending action by the FCC.

At Lighthouse Marine Park, finally, after years of demanding the timely restoration of the floating dock, PRTA cheered the installation of a brand new dock in June 2015 … and groaned when it failed within one month in service.

Our requests for clear and complete information on the cause of this failure and on how and when it will be addressed have yielded more questions than answers. An invitation to county parks and recreation staff to participate in a PRTA-sponsored town hall meeting in October was declined.

In addition to seeking the restoration of the dock, PRTA wants the boat launch pad maintained and improved and the deck repaired, and supports the construction of the proposed lighthouse and whale-watching facility at Lighthouse Park.

During the year, PRTA again hosted fire chief Christopher Carleton and fire commissioner Bill Meursing to provide semi-annual reports on the fire district’s activities and budget.

Our annual general meeting in July was well attended and included a keynote address on zoning and land use by Mark Personius, assistant director of planning and development services.

In August, the PRTA hosted a second annual town hall meeting with Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, also very well attended by members of the community.

The association continued to discuss and refine its ideas about desired economic development in Point Roberts and practical steps that might be beneficial.

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