Fairhaven Harbor developers turn in new design to city

 

Developers of the controversial Fairhaven Harbor project on the corner of 8th Street and Harris Avenue have submitted a new design-review permit application to the city of Bellingham.

The new design, submitted by developers Ted Mischaikov and Rick Westerop to the city on Sept. 17, is similar to the project’s second incarnation, which they submitted in December 2006 as an amendment to the project’s first design. The new plans do not exceed 85 feet in height.

When reviewing the project’s second incarnation, city planners found that a mistake had been made in approving the first design’s SEPA checklist. While the original and second set of plans featured towers higher than 100 feet, the SEPA had only approved an 85-foot-tall project.

The city would allow the first design, with its already approved design permits, to move ahead, but would have required the developers to perform a second environmental review in order to move forward with the second set of plans.

Instead, the developers have decided to go with an entirely new design, Mischaikov said.

These new plans include two separate buildings — an eight-story and a five-story structure — and enhanced view corridors, he said. The approximately 120,000-square-foot mixed-use project includes six brownstone-type townhouses, six flats over 12,000-square-feet of commercial space, and 43 condo units.

“We had long, hard discussions with [planning director] Tim Stewart to understand the parameters in which the project could, and should, go forward, and we decided this was the best way to accomplish that,” Mischaikov said.

Mischaikov said he is confident this design will be approved and said he hoped to begin construction on the project in spring 2008.

City planner Jackie Lynch said the application had been received by the city, but that it is incomplete. She said the city is waiting for more information from the applicants before being able to officially accept it for review.

If the design-review permit is approved, the developers will still have to apply for new building permits.

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