Port applied for marina permits in November


The Port of Bellingham has applied for permits for its marina on the Waterfront District site, marking the port’s first non-demolition-related application for the site.

The shoreline and SEPA permit applications include:

  • Installation of up to 460 moorage slips and approximately 240 marina parking stalls.
  • Creation of approximately 3.2 acres of new near-shore habitat.
  • Construction of a five- to eight-lane boat launch and approximately 90 boat-trailer parking stalls.
  • Installation of approximately 300 concrete piles and 106,000 square feet of floats.
  • Construction of a new gatehouse with offices, storage, showers, laundry.
  • Construction of new access road and load/unload area and approximately 40 parking stalls.
  • Improvement to portions of C and F Streets.
  • Reduction and resloping of the ASB breakwater in order to provide intertidal habitat areas.
  • Relocation of clean breakwater materials to other portions of marina and Whatcom Waterway.
  • Contaminated sediments will be removed and disposed of per the September 2007 Consent Decree between the port and the Dept. of Ecology (DOE).
  • A public walkway along the perimeter on top of the breakwater.
  • 4,200 feet of shoreline, which will become 8,500 feet of shoreline when the breakwater is re-sculpted and breached.

The port applied for the permits on Nov. 17 and the city’s planning department accepted the application on Dec. 12. However, the port requested that review of the application not be conducted until the final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Waterfront District redevelopment project is published.

The application comes before the EIS, master plan and development contract have been completed for the site.

Dan Stahl, the port’s director of marine services, said the marina, which totals 60 acres including upland facilities, is included in all options of the EIS, including the “no-action” alternative, and would therefore be constructed no matter what. The application is a placeholder, and is considered a signal to the DOE that the port is moving forward with the site, he said.

It is just the first of several permits the port will need in order to build the marina. The project would also require permits from the DOE, the Army Corp. of Engineers, and both state and federal fisheries departments, said city planner Steve Sundin.

The port would also need to apply for building and storm-water permits at the city, he said.

On the city planning department’s Web site, the application material states that the written public comment period for the application would end on Jan. 23, but Sundin said that was just for the application’s minimum comment period. He said there would be at least two more opportunities for public comment during the application’s review period, and would likely end up in front of the city’s planning commission, as well.

“This will have its real day in the sun,” he said.

A copy of the marina application will be available for public viewing at the planning department’s front counter at City Hall.

Meanwhile, on Jan. 8, the Port Commission approved a contract with Anchor Environmental LLC for approximately $1 million to begin pre-design and pre-permitting activities for the Whatcom Waterway site cleanup and marina project.

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