This is an aerial view of the property at Main Street and Guide Meridian Road proposed for a Mixed Density Residential rezone. (Courtesy visual/City of Lynden) 


Mixed Density Residential is sought on 21.8 acres — with potentially 134 dwelling units  

LYNDEN ­— A proposed rezone of 21.8 acres at Main Street and Guide Meridian Road to Mixed Density Residential came to the Lynden City Council and was approved on Monday, Sept. 21.

This is a spot that has been through some battles in the past over what the future of the intersection of key arterials should be, ranging from high-level retail to more intense housing. The acreage has been zoned for years with Lynden’s standard single-family housing of minimum 10,000-square-foot lots.

The application is from Mannahouse (formerly City Bible) Church of Portland, Oregon, with AVT Consulting of Bellingham as agent.

The city Planning Department supports the idea, said Planning Director Heidi Gudde, and the Planning Commission gave its assent on a 4-0 vote in August.

The City Council did not have a hearing on the rezone matter. “This is a closed-record issue, so no new public comment will be accepted,” Gudde said last week.

Along with the rezone, a proposal for a Master Planned Residential District on the acreage also came to the council on Monday. It is a neighborhood concept showing 134 housing units of various types on the 21.8 acres — single-family, small cottages, townhomes and four-plexes. It is “in concept only,” Gudde said.

A second step of the PRD process will include more details in regard to specific development standards, covenants and a development agreement.  This package will return to the Planning Commission in an open hearing (public comment accepted) and then again to the City Council for approval, Gudde noted.

“The August 13 decision gave a nod to the 134 units, but the Planning Commission raised some concerns about the smallest lots as well as maximum lot coverage. The applicant will now be able to work on project details with the input from the Planning Commission in mind,” Gudde said.

Until about 2016, a City Bible Church and its predecessor Word of Life World Outreach Center operated at the corner. Now the buildings have different uses. 1986 Main St. is home to the Lynden School District’s homeschooling partnership program, Lynden Academy, as well as Ridnour Athletic Courts.

The property now rezoned does not have any structures on it, but it is tight to the west end of buildings and does include part of what is now parking lot. It goes tight to the Guide-Main Street corner.

Two years ago, there was a rezone request by City Bible Church for retail use of 11 acres along the Guide and mixed-density and multi-family residential on the remaining 15.9 acres. That did not happen.

A year ago, Lukas and Katherine Ridnour completed their purchase of the 2.42 acres with buildings.

City Council meetings are now being held in remote format.