Complex PRD, and appeal, a test in RS-100 big-lot zoning

  LYNDEN ­— Neighbors have already raised objections, and their appeal of a needed shoreline permit is part of the package set to come to the Lynden Planning Commission for a virtual hearing later this month.

  The project is to configure 3.05 acres at the east end of Cedar Drive to contain nine residential units, including the existing large house there.

  It’s mostly green space now along popular Jim Kaemingk Sr. City Trail and Fishtrap Creek. 

  Applicant Shane Bajema, for Cedarbrook Partners LLC, brought forward this proposal for city approvals almost 10 months ago, but COVID-19 intervened and has delayed the process.

  Even the idea of having a contentious issue handled via technology and not in-person could delay things more, said Dave Timmer, planner with the city.

  “It all goes together. It’s in the legal world right now,” he said Monday.

  At least Aug. 26-27 and possibly four evenings are allocated to handle the three aspects of the Cedarbrook proposal:

  • the legal appeal of 11 neighbors of the Planning Department’s determination of environmental non-sigificance of the project.

  • the application for a shoreline substantial development permit, since the site is within 200 feet of Fishtrap Creek.

  • the Planned Residential Development itself within the dominant RS-100 large-lot zoning of the surrounding area.

  The application argues that the clustering of seven houses achieves density goals while common open space is preserving on a four-tenths-acre untouched natural area. Plantings and buffers are also part of the plan.

  But neighbors are not happy with reductions of perimeter setbacks from the 25 feet norm, and they claim they would lose the open spacious environment they expected to be guaranteed in the zoning that has been in force across decades.

  “Approval of the PRD will detrimentally impact the environment and the neighbors’ quality of life,” wrote attorney Dannon C. Traxler for her clients.

  Neighbors also wrote letters raising issues, printed in the July 29 Tribune.

  Cedarbrook Partners LLC is the property owner. The partnership consists of Bajema, Lynden developer Robert Libolt and their wives, according to state records. 

  The property was owned by Roger and Marlene Van Dyken until last year, and many years ago Van Dyken sought an even higher density development on it.

  In the proposal, the existing house remains on one of three lots exceeding 14,000 square feet. The other six lots range in size from 5,925 to 8,378 square feet. Their access is via a created new driveway from the end of Cedar Drive.

  Timmer said the Planning Commission has now conducted several virtual hearings amid COVID-19 restrictions, following state guidelines for doing so. However, the appeal might be up to those appealing, whether they want to do so. 

  Those who want to participate in the virtual public hearing must notify Planning Director Heidi Gudde before noon on Aug. 26 at 360-354-5532 or guddeh@lyndenwa.org.

Rezone at Main, Guide to higher density up for Aug. 13 hearing

  LYNDEN ­— A proposal coming next week to the Planning Commission is another attempt to rezone former church property at Main Street and the Guide Meridian to a higher density of residential.

  Mannahouse Church of Portland brings the request to go from RS-100 zoning (10,000-square-foot) lots RMD (Residential Mixed Density on 21.8 acres at 1990 Main St.

  Property records show separate parcels of land at the corner still in the name City Bible Church, which had operated in buildings there until a few years ago.

  However, the 2.42 acres containing buildings was sold off in 2019 to an LLC of (Lucas Ridnour and his wife), and Ridnour operates (basketball courts) there. (Also, a /.//-acre corner tract at Main and N. 19th Street was sold off (when) and has been approved for (apartments))).

  This hearing is also due to be conducted remotely, according to a (date) legal notice.