Whatcom County Considering Misguided Proposal Prohibiting Development at Cherry Point

SEATTLE – A proposal currently under consideration in Whatcom County could prohibit new development at the Cherry Point Industrial Site, overstepping due process rights and property rights and ultimately jeopardizing hundreds of family-wage jobs.

Kathryn Stenger, spokeswoman for the Alliance for Northwest Jobs and Exports, released the following statement today following Tuesday’s Whatcom County Council meeting that postponed consideration for the proposal until July 12.

“This last-minute proposal, void of any commonsense or legal basis, will stop in its tracks the development of projects essential in creating more jobs and a stronger economy for Whatcom County residents,” said Stenger. “The overreaching plan is a textbook example of the flawed and concerning agenda of those determined to undermine needed infrastructure advancements in Whatcom County and ultimately the state of Washington. This has the potential to impact not only the working families of Whatcom County, but the business climate for our entire state. We should all be concerned about this kind of politics playing out right now.”

The proposal, introduced by Whatcom County Council member Carl Weimer, has caused policymakers, stakeholders, labor, and industry to sound the alarm due to a number of questionable factors, including:

The plan has failed to receive any legal analysis proving compliance with state and federal laws;

  • There has been no fiscal assessment to analyze its potentially devastating economic impacts;
  • It will significantly impact the County’s employment projections for Cherry Point over the 20-year planning period; and
  • It directly contradicts the very purpose of Cherry Point’s Industrial Site.

The Bellingham-based Northwest Jobs Alliance echoed the shortcomings of the plan and underscored the need for industrial innovation in the region.

“It’s unclear why the Whatcom County Council would consider instituting policies that suffocate the county’s industrial sector – a core component of our current tax base,” said Brad Owens, president of Northwest Jobs Alliance. “Ill-conceived and legally questionable plans, like the one proposed by Mr. Weimer, will only harm our region’s ability to attract new family wage jobs and improve our quality of life. It also fails to provide local residents with the confidence that the elected officials responsible for this situation have any grasp on how to build and grow a healthy, balanced economy.”

For more on efforts by the Alliance for Northwest Jobs and Exports to support a stronger economy in Washington, visit our website at: http://createnwjobs.com.

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