Fairhaven Harbor development’s latest snag

Fairhaven Harbor, the controversial development has run into another problem after 2 years and several legal battles. “The city can’t issue a design permit for the latest 102-foot-tall Fairhaven Harbor proposal, because the nearly two-year-old environmental review is only good for an 85-foot tower, the planning director said. ”

The proposed mixed condominium-commercial development on the block between Eighth and Ninth streets and Harris and McKenzie avenues in Fairhaven has come under fire in the past from neighbors and another developer, because one of the towers is more than 100 feet tall and, they say, out of character with the historic neighborhood.

Bellingham city Planning and Community Development Director Tim Stewart said he noticed a mistake his department made almost a year ago, when it overlooked the environmental review for an 85-foot tower and approved the project’s second incarnation with a 110-foot tower. Stewart said he didn’t know why it had been overlooked.

Stewart gave the developer the following options:

1. Move forward with the tallest building reduced to 85 feet.

2. Build a second, already approved proposal with larger buildings, less open space between them and a 110-foot tower.

3. Go through a process to reevaluate the project’s environmental impacts in order to build the latest, 102-foot-tall development with more open space he now wants. This would put scrutiny on the project’s impact to view, shading, wind and historic preservation, among others.

4. Challenge Stewart’s Wednesday decision in front of a hearing examiner.

You can read more about this in the Bellingham Herald

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