A Condensed History of Governors Point

Compiled by Laura Leigh Brakke

1947  Pacific Reality (Larrabee) sells land to Lee Simenson Logging Company.

1953  Governors Point Development Company forms, buys land, logs the land and installs water pipes.

1958  Carl Sahlin buys out all other partners of Governors Point Development Company.

1961  The land is logged again with additional roads and water lines put in.

1962  George McCush builds his house on Governors Point on land he acquired as the lawyer for Governors Point Development Company.

1971  Interim zoning begins to define density in Whatcom County. The Shoreline Management Act is passed into law in Washington.

1973  Carl Sahlin submits a long plat application for 310 houses. The city of Bellingham water board gives preliminary approval for water with conditions. These conditions were never met.

1974  Carl Sahlin dies and the plans for his development do not move forward.

1979  City of Bellingham finalizes their urban services ordinance with maps of the service zone. Governors Point is outside the water service zone.

1985  Subarea Comprehensive Plan is updated. RR3 zoning for Governors Point is considered a “spot zone” and the staff opposed this designation. Roger Sahlin, the son of Carl, threatens to sue Whatcom County so Governors Point is the only area in the county with this zoning density.

1989  The city of Bellingham replaces the old water main down Chuckanut Drive with a 12-inch water main to service Larrabee State Park and residents. The Shoreline Management Plan is updated with Roger Sahlin’s lawyer, Bob Tull, wielding undue influence at the County Planning Commission.

1990  County Council holds public hearing on Shoreline Management Plan. Citizen outcry creates the formation of a new Citizens’ Advisory Committee to review the Shoreline Management Plan. Roger Sahlin is on the committee as well as representatives of Friends of Chuckanut.

1992  Governors Point Development Company submits an application for a long plat for 141 houses and a series of nine docks. This application lists the city of Bellingham as the water source.

2006  The Bellingham City Council at the March 6 meeting, vote #62, passes an ordinance restricting new water and sewer service extensions outside the city limits. Governors Point Development Company representatives over the next 15 years publicly proclaim it is their position that they have city of Bellingham water based on the 1973 Bellingham water board decision.

2009  On February 13, the Governors Point Development Company requested a water contract for a proposed 141-lot subdivision on Governors Point. The city denied the request on March 6. The company filed an appeal, the city denied the appeal on March 20.

2009  At the June 29 meeting, vote #140, the City Council hears testimony regarding the request by Governors Point Development Company and the Sahlin family. The council unanimously denied the request.

2010  The Sahlin family and Governors Point Development Company sue the city of Bellingham in Whatcom County Superior Court for water, and they do not prevail. Later, Roger Sahlin appeals the decision to the state appeals court and loses.

2015  Governors Point Development Company ends up in bankruptcy, and the 125-acre piece of land goes up for sale and auction.

2018  Randy Bishop buys Governors Point for $5,700,000 at the last offering by the bankruptcy court.

2018  At the August 20 meeting, the Bellingham City Council votes to grant water to Governors Point for 16 homes through a yet-to-be-formed water district. This procedure did not require public notice or a public hearing, and was granted due to the promise of public access.

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