News from the September 11 Blaine City Council meeting.
Electrical comprehensive plan
City council approved a $49,200 contract for Braaksma Engineering to update the drafted 2026 Electrical Comprehensive Plan. Braaksma, a Bellingham-based company, will evaluate the current system, update the service area, system characteristics and include financial planning, according to city documents.
Planning department help
City council approved two contracts that will provide support to Blaine’s Community Development Services (CDS) while it is understaffed.
The two contracts hire Perteet as well as David Evans and Associates to assist CDS with permit review, technical review and long-range planning, such as zoning text amendments and comprehensive planning, according to city documents. The contracts won’t cost the city more than $40,000 each. The funding is part of the 2023 budget for CDS professional planning services.
CDS staffing is currently halved as the department is without the planning director, building official and a planner.
Electrical powerline cleanup
City council approved a $114,000 contract with Davey Tree Surgery Co. to provide tree pruning and brush removal along city power lines.
City council approved a $129,400 contract with Aquatech Well Drilling and Pumps Inc. to drill and test a new well at the Blaine wellfield site at the end of Pipeline Road. The well will be shallow with a 200-foot depth.
Sea Smoke Tract D
City council approved the Sea Smoke Tract D preliminary plat, which will divide Tract D into eight single-family detached lots.
The city’s hearing examiner, Rajeev Majumdar, who reviewed the project, asked council to determine whether the previous planning director acted within her purview to issue a planned unit modification for the development in March 2022. If council had not approved the plat, Majumdar recommended the plat be denied and redesigned with seven lots.
Sea Smoke is located at the corner of Semiahmoo Parkway and Semiahmoo Drive. The eight lots are in addition to the housing development’s first phase with 40 units, according to earlier reporting from The Northern Light.
Planning commission appointment
In a 4-3 vote, city council approved Donald Kruse to fill a vacant position on planning commission for three months. Kruse is a fifth generation Blaine resident who has advocated against the zoning code text amendment request that would allow manufactured home parks in east Blaine. Kruse’s term will end December 31, 2023.
Mayor Mary Lou Steward and councilmembers Mike Hill and Rhyan Lopez voted against Kruse’s appointment.
Gurdeep Bains also applied for the position. Bains is the finance director for the city of Ferndale and owns several buildings in downtown Blaine.
Park and cemetery board appointment
City council unanimously appointed Jacob Soileau to the park and cemetery board until the term ends December 31, 2025. Soileau works for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Three other vacancies remain on the board.
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