Here we are tonight…the purveyors of paranoia as some have recently said.
Is it paranoid to think that the industries at Cherry Point are at risk?
The soon to be finalized Whatcom County Comp Plan is the plan for which the residents and businesses of this County should be able to rely upon.
The letter sent to WC Planning about inserting a moratorium on exporting fossil fuels and future growth at Cherry Point is a cause for great concern to thousands of families and hundreds of businesses.
When 25% of the tax base comes from the current industries at Cherry Point, and much more when you factor in the hundreds of businesses and people who work at or derive their economic stability from these industries…I hope and trust that these things will not be ignored.
The comp plan update needs to include Cherry Point industrial zoning and growth, as well as many other items if you are to do your due diligence for the entire community.
The comp plan update must include:
- Proper planning for land growth to keep housing affordable
- Proper planning for resource lands such as farming, manufacturing, mineral extraction, forestry, and industry is an important factor too.
Whatcom County suffers from a lack of affordable housing, yet we continue to fail to plan for sustainable levels of growth in Bellingham and Whatcom County.
Whatcom County has and continues to lose a lot of good paying jobs as CH2M Hill closed their doors (120 living wage jobs gone), Alcoa is downsizing and looks to shut down (465 living wage jobs at risk), Haggen’s corporate jobs are in jeopardy (approx. 500 living wage jobs at risk), and recent downsizing of Faithlife (48 living wage jobs gone) here too.
As the Council is aware, Whatcom County has more than 4 times the amount of park land than any other county in Washington State.
Why wouldn’t the people who work here be concerned?
The purveyors of paranoia are justified in their concern…and I ask, no trust that you will look out for the people who are not comfortable coming before you to speak, beg, ask, or demand that you plan for Whatcom County, a future that includes them too.
What does the future of Whatcom County look like? Will it be Cherry Point Park? Will it be Cherry Point Heritage Preserve? Or, will be preserve the economic engine of Whatcom County, Cherry Point Industries?
Dear Whatcom County Council are you listening?
~ Kris Halterman