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Things have been rather quiet in Sudden Valley since December 2001.

But that is changing, and in both directions.

The application to become a city has been denied. We believe that is a good thing, since being a city would allow them to allow more density - now, the County Council controls that.

But even the current Association is trying to increase density (and their income) by Measure #3 on their Community Association ballot for this November.

We say "Vote Against Measure #3".

Here is the entire Voters' Packet, with the details.


Want more building in Sudden Valley? I say no.

Please contact all your friends who live in (own property in) Sudden Valley, and ask them to vote environmentally Against Measure #3 (in the Nov 3rd 2007 Annual General Meeting and election). There are 6 measures on the ballot.

Measure #1: (no position)
Measure #2: (no position, but may relate to the building reductions)
Measure #3: Vote Against !
Measure #4: (no position, but may relate to the building reductions)
Measure #5: (no position)
Measure #6: (no position)

These have been proposed by the management of the SVCA, who now appear to be rather pro-growth and pro-urban-density (a new flavor over the last 4-6 years.)

"Vote Against" Measure 3, please.
It would allow new building on currently vacant lots (some which may have a fuzzy covenant, as best I understand.) This would be a reversal of the density reduction program of the last several years. It remains very important for the vacant land to remain vacant (with well-managed forest cover, even on single houselots.)

This SVCA-management proposal says that the "goal" of a specific density percentage reduction "has been reached". This may or may not be entirely true (and I do not dispute it at this moment, I say it is irrelevant.)

NO new density:
But the larger goal - a reversal of the decline of the water quality in the Lake Whatcom Reservoir, and the main means to achieve that - no further urban development within the watershed lands - have NOT been achieved. Thus, a renewal of building within Sudden Valley is contrary to actions needed for preservation of the Reservoir. Vote NO new building on restricted lots - NO new density in Sudden Valley.

The SVCA says it is in (or approaching) a budgetary crunch, and makes proposals to grow its budget, so it can do the capital investments and maintenance it says is needed (and which may indeed be true - I have no position on these.) But I also note that these needs are at least somewhat the result of bad decisions made in the distant past, especially the decision by the County in the 1960's to approve the project in the first place. Can't we learn that short-sighted actions to resolve some seeming immediate need, can have dire long-term consequences?

The world would be far better off if we all judged decisions on the "triple bottom line": Economy, Ecology, Ethics;
or variously:
People, Planet and Profit.

More discussion will be added here soon - this is the essence.

Photos: Sudden Valley, December 2001

It rained.

Rain is supposed to run in creeks and culverts, and sometimes in it's own storm sewer pipelines. Sanitary sewerage has a separate network of pipelines, to keep the hazardous content of the sewerage water away from people and send it only to the sewerage treatment plant. But as anyone who has lived here for any length of time and paid attention knows, in Sudden Valley and Water District 10, they do things differently. Now don't take us wrong, we can approve and even applaud doing something differently when the method accomplishes the agreed goals and especially if it economizes the community's scarce resources. But no, WD10 simply seems to ignore that community goal.

Somebody, years ago, built a sanitary sewerage system that also catches lots of rainwater. This has been known since "the beginning". When there is inflow to the system (from non-sanitary sewerage sources) that's "I". And, when there is infiltration into the system (from non-sanitary sewerage sources) that's "I". Together, they are known as "I&I" or "I/I" -- "inflow and infiltration".

WD10 knows that, but they chose to implement....

a Dec 14th Sewerage Release

and a Dec 16th Second Sewerage Release

and yet again a Dec 17th THIRD! Release

On December 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th, 2001 there were people who did not know what this water was, walking through RAW SEWERAGE running across areas accessible to the public and into the Lake.

Who put it there?

Water District 10, that's who!

More: The Water District made a management decision to release raw sewerage onto the public areas of Sudden Valley, and into Lake Whatcom!

not just ONCE!  or  TWICE!  but  THREE-TIMES!
in four days.

See the sewerage discharges; the "stinking-gun"!

See the sewerage actually flow - with a
5-second video (478KB; video player needed)

Is this hazardous to public health?
Is it illegal?
Shouldn't it be prohibited, by common sense even if not by law?

The State thinks so:....
A pretty picture, a nice place for kids to splash around as they wander through...

.... until you know about the water....
kids in sewerage on the golf course
....flowing unannounced across the Golf-cart path....
untreated raw sewerage on the golf course
....that was coming from here......
Valve open releasing untreated raw sewerage.
On Tuesday, December 18, 2001,
Washington State Department of Ecology
issues an Administrative Order to WD-10:
"Comply immediately!"

The order: "....describes actions which must be taken immediately by WD10 to halt all sewage and wastewater overflows....[and]...submit to the DoE a revised plan for special operating procedures to eliminate any and all sewage and wastewater overflows...."

But, can it be done?

Well, other communities have addressed I&I very well.
Look at this plain-language webpage about how stormwater gets into the sanitary sewer system, and what one community has done about it:

Click to see MMSD program
( Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District )
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edited  2001.12.26:18   -- mgb --

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