So here we go again… the Point Roberts Gentrification Brigade strikes again. Whatever happened to “live and let live?” It’s upsetting to read once again of people with too much time on their hands worrying about other people’s property. People live here because of the peace and quiet and the last thing we need are a bunch of nosy neighbors turning each other in.
This has always been a resort community whether snooty people like it or not, so it naturally lends itself to being a place where having guest accommodations such as RVs on one’s property fits. If you want to live in a city with all their rules, why not move to the city? The rest of us like our charming, eclectic little community just the way it is, thank you, and we love to share our slice of heaven with visitors.
I feel very badly for Dr. Robert Woods and his family. How disheartening that they now have a sour taste in their mouths about what should be a lovely, peaceful and relaxing home away from home and a place for family and friends to join them on vacation. I can promise you, Dr. Woods, not everyone here is a nitpicky snob. Most of us prefer to love and respect our neighbors – not snitch on them.
Last month’s Point Roberts Community Advisory Committee (PRCAC) meeting was well attended and I was heartened to see so many new faces at the meeting. It quickly became clear that attendees were there to express their concerns about the impact of the revised Character Plan on their businesses and livelihoods. What also became quickly apparent was that quite a few folks were confused as to the focus, scope and intention of the Character Plan.
The Character Plan applies only to the areas known in county lingo as the “small town commercial district,” i.e., those properties that front onto Tyee Drive down to Gulf Road and along Gulf Road to the shoreline.
Nothing in the current Character Plan applies to your home built on a rural-residential-zoned lot, or to any future homes built on these lots. For those contractors who are involved in the construction of residential properties, the Character Plan would have no effect on their business.
As the Character Plan (CP) was being revised it was, first and foremost, in the minds of the committee that Point Roberts’ economic viability must be supported and encouraged. Every revision was weighed against the question, “are we, in any way, inhibiting growth in our commercial zone with this provision?”
We removed expensive aesthetic requirements and substituted more practical ones. As we were doing this, we also strove to not only enhance the character of Point Roberts but also protect it from developers who might prefer to build cheap and shoddy structures over those with integrity. We believe we struck a balance.
The clause that we wrote into the plan, requiring all development in resort commercial zones to comply with the CP was seriously considered.
As more and more absentee owners purchase properties (both residential and commercial) in Point Roberts, and because there are only two as-yet undeveloped parcels of land remaining in the resort commercial zone, (the property surrounding the marina and the 25 acres on the bluff across from the golf course) we wanted to ensure that those areas would be built out with structures that would require lots of local workers and that would attract tourism business to Point Roberts.
It is already clear that the county has little compunction about making decisions that will impact the quality of life in Point Roberts without bothering to consult with us regardless of PRCAC’s existence: the CUP issued for the five 150-foot radio towers being one example and the latest spat of issuing 25 CRVs all at one time. The character plan and the sub-area plan are our only lines of defense to prevent Point Roberts from looking like a series of strip malls on Meridian in Bellingham.
It seems that most of the concerns are issues that the Whatcom County Sub-Area Plan addresses. The Sub-Area Plan was written in 2001. Perhaps it’s time to create a task force to study its applicability and make recommendations to the county for changes that are more in alignment with the current economic and development needs of Point Roberts.
As one of the older seniors of our community who lives on their own, I took the plunge for a long-put-off knee replacement surgery. With the grace of knowing that the newly established Circle of Care would likely be available for some of those days I may need care, I was encouraged.
Circle of Care organized a schedule with many caring volunteers and caregivers including personal friends and church members. In addition to several visits each day, volunteers brought meals, ice and other items I needed, coached me on exercise regimes, tidied the kitchen and other areas, and made sure I had healthy meals to add to my healing. Even a master gardener came to help in my garden!
Additionally, I am thankful for volunteers who took me into Bellingham for pre-op appointments, delivered me to the hospital on the day of surgery and release at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Hospital, then again the post-op appointment to assure me I was on to a successful recovery.
I am grateful to those volunteers who drove me to those physical therapy sessions in both Blaine and Point Roberts. How many kind and thoughtful people brought comfort and reassurance to days when I needed the support. We live in an exceptional community. For those that are newly becoming aware of Circle of Care, remember them for your family when you need assistance in the future.
About time. That new library!
I was at the Marketplace on March 7. I lost my wallet in the parking lot and didn’t realize it until I got home.
While I was panicking, my phone rang and it was an angel by the name of Tom Hollett calling me to say he had my wallet. Needless to say I’ll be forever grateful that he found it.
Thank you again, Tom.
This is fantastic news! Way to go Whatcom County Library System for stepping up in an unexpected and abundant way for our community in a time when we really need it! I believe the parks board will make the deal work out as it would be foolish to not. The Point needs this new piece of community infrastructure.