The Lake Whatcom “reconveyance” makes sense on many levels, as explained in this compelling Bellingham Herald opinion column.
And once the reconveyance has been achieved, as we can hope that it will be soon, what will we have?
A polluted drinking water source that faces the prospect of additional pollution from residential development.
At the beginning of 2012, the Growth Management Hearings Board concluded that Whatcom County’s planning for residential development had not protected the water quality of Lake Whatcom:
The County‘s unsupported assertion that its regulations are adequate to provide the needed protection rings hollow. The County provides no information about the [development regulations] that allegedly address these issues, but the current report on Lake Whatcom water quality demonstrates that the existing regulations have not protected Lake Whatcom and that the problems are actual and proven, not speculative.
At the beginning of 2013, the Hearings Board found that the County still had not protected Lake Whatcom. Although around 1,700 lots can be developed in the portion of the Lake Whatcom watershed that the County has designated as “Rural,” the Hearings Board concluded, “[t]he stricter stormwater recommendations advocated by Ecology and promised by the former County Executive. . . have not been adopted.”
The County Council’s response?
Use taxpayer funds to hire a Seattle law firm to appeal this decision in Skagit County Superior Court. That appeal was filed on February 1st.
Yes, we are all paying for the County’s multiyear fight against protecting Lake Whatcom.
Council member Carl Weimer voted against both the plan and the expenditure of funds for the Seattle law firm. If anybody cares about Lake Whatcom water quality, you might ask the rest of the County Council members, and the County Executive:
When will the County get to work to protect Lake Whatcom?