Words

YIMBY

Putting the ‘happy’ in Happy Valley

Do It

What: YIMBY: Yes in My Backyard!

When: 9 am Sat., Apr. 29

Where: Firehouse Performing Arts Center, 1314 Harris Ave.

Cost: Free

Info: http://www.sustainableconnections.org

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The issues of housing affordability, of infill, of neighborhood character are frequently in collision. Acknowledged successes to bring these public goals into harmony are few, and can be slow and difficult to achieve. And—without meaning to be glib about a thorny problem—one reason may be that efforts to approach these convergent public goals are seldom welcomed. They’re resisted. We term it NIMBY, Not in My Backyard. And even that term draws growls of annoyance as we reduce complex concerns to terms of derision.

But what if we embraced the problem? What if, going in, we addressed the issues with better design and a greater sense of neighborliness, happy instead of annoyed?

The Happy Valley Neighborhood Association decided to work on solutions to its housing problem and volunteered to be a pilot project for detached accessory dwelling models and to test out assumptions of the city’s Infill Housing Toolkit.

“YIMBY (Yes in My Backyard) is an idea that our Happy Valley Neighborhood Association (HVNA) Board has been working on, with the goal to promote smaller, more affordable housing infill within our neighborhood,” Wendy Scherrer relates. A Huxley graduate who helped grow the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association and became its executive director, Scherrer serves on the board of HVNA.

“HVNA was one of 30 local organizations that received a grant from the Whatcom Community Foundation. The grant was targeted for projects to increase connections, build trust among area residents, and develop a sense of community and promote neighborliness,” she said.

It’s not surprising Happy Valley would take the lead on the issue. The neighborhood immediately south of campus already boasts the city’s highest density of rental dwellings and multifamily housing forms.

Those rare successes? You’ll find a lot of them in Happy Valley—Bellingham Cohousing, Millworks CoHousing, Matthei Place, McKenzie Green Commons, Parkway Gardens, and similar intentional communities of small lots and tight design.

The neighborhood association decided to take their $5,000 grant to sponsor a series of events and information to demonstrate examples of building collaborations for increasing affordable housing stock, and the diverse development, walkability and positive aspects of living in Happy Valley.

A Saturday workshop will presentations, roundtable discussions and a trip through the neighborhoods where the group will examine alternative types of infill (such as single-family houses, cottages, ADUs and detached ADUs, tiny homes, cohousing, housing with smaller footprints, etc.).

A highlight of the day will be presentations from Bill Kreager, the architect behind “Honey I Shrunk the Lots!,” the initiative that touched off the conversation about infill and unique housing forms in Whatcom and Skagit counties in the past decade.

Focusing on the integration of sustainable site planning and building design, Kraeger’s work runs the spectrum from small, contextual infill development to large master-planned and resort communities. His passion for affordable and workforce housing is reflected in the successful completion of communities for housing authorities, nonprofit and for-profit developers across the nation.

“We are all in this together. Let’s work together to find solutions that do work for each neighborhood and create a model with great alternatives for housing a diverse set of demographics and people,” residential designer Shannon Maris recently wrote in Whatcom Watch. “Bellingham is a great place to live—let’s keep it that way (or make it even better!) and find ways to share that with others within our present boundaries. It might not be easy, but it will be worth it.”

YIMBY is a project of the Happy Valley Neighborhood Association in collaboration with Sustainable Connections, City of Bellingham Planning and Community Development Department, NAM Films, LightSource Residential Design, Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, Firehouse Performing Arts Center, Building Industry Association of Whatcom County, Whatcom County Association of Realtors, and the Kulshan Land Trust.

Photo courtesy of Max Illman – Landscape Architect I.T.

SVCR Wynnona
More Words...
The Last Ballad
Finding the courage to create change

Working the night shift six nights a week to support her four kids (with another on the way), Ella May Wiggins is tired, and desperate, and her $9-a-week paycheck barely keeps enough food on the table.

Her oldest daughter, Lilly, takes care of the younger children while Ella is at work.…

more »
Skillshare Faire
Give as good as you get

Got a skill? Want a skill? Got a thing? Want a thing?

Skill-sharing is about teaching and learning all kinds of useful, handy and practical skills. Bartering is about offering things you have and know to receive things you do not have and do not know.

“Years ago, lots of people knew how…

more »
The Upcycle
From words to action

In The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability; Designing for Abundance, architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart continue the work begun in Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, where they set forth various ingenious schemes for recycling, endlessly, everything humans…

more »
Events
Today
Eat Local Month

10:00am|Whatcom County

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

The Addams Family Musical

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Wild Things

9:30am|Whatcom Falls Park

Ferndale Farmers Market

3:00pm|Centennial Riverwalk Park

Foof Not Bombs

4:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Farm Tunes

6:00pm|BelleWood Acres

Oktoberfest Cruises

6:30pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

The Last Outrageous Women

7:00pm|Village Books

Forever Plaid

7:30pm|Conway Muse

The Mousetrap

7:30pm| Bellingham Theatre Guild

Friday Night Flicks

7:30pm|Van Zandt Community Hall

Young Frankenstein

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

7-Day Dance Festival Finale

7:30pm|Firehouse Performing Arts Center

Figmentally, Circus for All

8:00pm|Cirque Lab

Welcome Back Students Shows

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

MBT Janis Joplin
Tomorrow
Eat Local Month

10:00am|Whatcom County

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

The Addams Family Musical

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Oktoberfest Cruises

6:30pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Forever Plaid

7:30pm|Conway Muse

The Mousetrap

7:30pm| Bellingham Theatre Guild

Young Frankenstein

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Welcome Back Students Shows

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Figmentally, Circus for All

8:00pm|Cirque Lab

South Whatcom Birding Walks

8:00am|South Whatcom Library

Harvest Happens

8:00am|Bellewood Acres

Pancake Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Hall

Southside Rummage Sale

8:30am| Our Saviour's Lutheran Church

Twin Sisters Farmers Market

9:00am|North Fork Library, Nugents Corner

Mount Vernon Farmers Market

9:00am|Riverfront Plaza

Anacortes Farmers Market

9:00am|Depot Arts Center

Make It and Take it

9:00am|Garden Spot Nursery

Blaine Gardeners Market

10:00am|H Street Plaza

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Little Mountain Trail 10K

10:00am|Carpenter Creek Winery

Salmon Sighting

10:00am|Thompson Creek Bridge

Pesto Perfecto

11:00am|Ferndale Library

Council of the Animals

11:00am|Boulevard Park

Trial Vineyard Open House

12:00pm|Cloud Mountain Farm Center

Sedro-Woolley Brewfest

2:00pm|Hammer Heritage Square

The Art of Living

3:00pm|Deming Library

River Walk

3:00pm| Horseshoe Bend Trailhead.

Nooksack River Walk

3:00pm|Horseshoe Bend Trailhead

Kulshan CLT Community Party

5:00pm|Boundary Bay Brewery

BowEdison Anniversary Party

5:30pm|BowEdison

Democrats Dinner

5:30pm| Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa

Fall Demo Derby

6:30pm|Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

Contra Dance

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Moment

7:30pm|Firehouse Performing Arts Center

Salsa Night

9:30pm|Cafe Rumba

Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 BOB_2017
Sunday
Eat Local Month

10:00am|Whatcom County

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

The Addams Family Musical

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Forever Plaid

7:30pm|Conway Muse

The Mousetrap

7:30pm| Bellingham Theatre Guild

Figmentally, Circus for All

8:00pm|Cirque Lab

Harvest Happens

8:00am|Bellewood Acres

Bellingham Bay Marathon

7:30am|Gooseberry Point

Rabbit Ride

8:00am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Rabbit Ride

8:00am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Eat Local Month's Restaurant Week

8:00am|Whatcom County

Oyster Run Motorcycle Rally

9:00am|Anacortes

Audubon at the Museum

1:30pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Whatcom Chorale Benefit Concert

3:00pm|St. Paul's Episcopal Church

see our complete calendar »

BOB_2017 Village Books Trove Bellingham Farmer’s Market Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 2020 Solutions Sept 2017 MBT Janis Joplin