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Bellingham Herald March 04, 2009
Architects suggest blend of port, Bellingham waterfront plans
By John Stark
BELLINGHAM - Nine local architects will present a plan Wednesday, March 4, that they hope will resolve differences between the city and Port of Bellingham over waterfront redevelopment issues.
"We are optimistic that this report will enable the final pieces of a master plan to reach a successful conclusion," the report states.
At the meeting of the Bellingham City Council and Port of Bellingham commissioners it may become apparent if the architects' recommendations will succeed in helping port and city officials reach agreement on issues that have divided them on redevelopment of 220 acres of mostly-idle waterfront industrial land on the central waterfront. Much of that land was formerly occupied by Georgia-Pacific Corp.'s pulp and paper operations.
The architects' report also contains some new suggestions:
The architects also urge port and city officials to revive the idea of a pedestrian bridge over Whatcom Waterway. Such a bridge had been part of original community waterfront visions but has been absent from planners' waterfront maps and drawings for well over a year. The architects say such a bridge is an important link between the main waterfront area and the new marina the port expects to build inside the old G-P treatment lagoon.
Terry Brown, one of the architects who worked on the report, said he's convinced that its recommendations could be implemented using existing information in the lengthy environmental impact statement that has already received many months of public review and comment.
Other architects who participated were Sharon Robinson, Terry Moore, Bob Ross, John Stewart, Brad Cornwell, Doug Landsem, David Christensen and Curt Carpenter.
"We are confident that a revised master plan layout can be achieved that is not so much as a compromise, but achieves true synergy that is greater than the sum of the parts," the report concludes. "The revised layout must create a 'Wow!' excitement factor, that will create desire for economic development and the community's connection to our waterfront."