The “Hirst Decision”

Streamflow Restoration under Chapter 90.94 RCW WRIA 1 rulemaking – The “Hirst Decision”

Brief History-Here is how we got to this point
In 2016, the Washington State Supreme Court issued the “Hirst” decision which stated that Whatcom County failed to comply with the Growth Management Act requirements to protect water resources.

  • The decision limited landowners’ ability to get a building permit for a new home when the proposed source of water was a permit-exempt well.
  • 90.94 RCW (Streamflow Restoration) was passed in response to the Hirst Decision.
  • Since a plan was not adopted by February 1, 2019, which was the deadline, 90.94 RCW requires Ecology to undertake a rulemaking. Below is a synopsis of the proposed language.

Hirst “Fix”—Proposed Language

  • The basics of what they are proposing are as follows:
  • The fee for a permit exempt well will remain the same – $500
  • Rural homes with wells installed after January 19, 2018, are limited to 500 gallons per day for indoor domestic use and outdoor watering of a lawn and/or garden.
  • Metering is going to be considered as an enforcement tool, not at present, but in the future.

Please note – The Hirst Fix, developed with Ecology’s input, set the withdrawal limit for new permit-exempt wells at 3,000 gallons per day, now they are saying it will be 500. The average household in the hotter months uses just under 3,000 GPD according to studies. ~Info from WCAR Government Affairs

What You Can Do

  • There is still time for public comment before it closes on May 10, 2019. Below is information on how you can submit your comments.

What Comes Next

  • Comments will be reviewed and considered for incorporation in the rule proposal with a planned release in November 2019.
  • Public hearings will happen in early 2020 with a formal comment period on the language published in November of 2019.
  • The law requires that the adoption of a final rule amendment happen no later than August 1, 2020.

How to Comment

To provide comments to this preliminary draft documents, go to

You can also mail your comments to

Annie Sawabini
Department of Ecology Water Resources Program
P.O. Box 47600
Olympia WA 98504-7600

If you have questions, call or email

Kasey Cykler at 360.255.4386,

Annie Sawabini, Rulemaking Lead, 360.407.6878,

Posted on April 25, 2019 at 11:15 pm
Tracie Gulit | Category: Community, Tracie's Thoughts

Caring for your winter plants

Winters in many parts of Western Washington can easily see temperatures that dip down below freezing. For many gardening homeowners, this can be troublesome when precious plants are concerned. Covering your plants with sheets may not be enough to save a plant from succumbing to freezing temperatures. Check out these ways to bring your plants inside for winter:

Take Inventory of Plants
Unless you have planted exotic plants that are definitely not going to survive cold temperatures, there are probably more than a few plants within your yard that should be okay. Healthy native plants are used to the climate of your area and should be able to withstand the winter temperatures without any issue. Those plants that are better suited for a higher growing zone will need to be cared for in order to best survive the season. Consider every plant within your yard and access their health, maturity, and location in order to choose which plants to bring indoors.

Indoor Placement
Exotic plants love the sun and should be placed near southern facing windows that aren’t drafty or cold. Create a spot within your home that is far from drafts or cold breezes from open doors. Spread plastic sheeting to protect flooring and create a little greenhouse group of plants that will still receive plenty of sunlight. Refrain from placing plants too close together in order to allow for equal access to sunlight and air flow.

Container Issues
Many potted plants can easily be moved indoors without having to transplant them. Easily place potted plants in a group to ride out the winter season. In-ground plants within your landscape will need to be transplanted to a container in order to bring them indoors. Make sure that you consider the size of the plant and use a container that is big enough around for the root ball of the plant. Using a container that is much too large for a plant is better than one that is too small and could damage the plant’s root system.

Keep the Fan On
Many indoor plants enjoy being near a window but will also need adequate air circulation to prevent soggy soil conditions. It is a good idea to keep the ceiling fan on in the room, at a low speed, in order to keep the air moving within the room. Don’t place plants too close to heating vents in order to keep them from becoming too hot and overheated. Plants that produce browning leaves will need to be moved to a room with a humidifier in order to keep them in good condition as well.

Keep Pets Away
Many indoor plants can become curious items for an indoor pet. Make sure to keep pets away from plants in order to keep both safe. Some tropical plants are toxic for animals and some pets can prove damaging to plants. Create a barrier between plants and animals so that both are kept safe during the winter season.

Water & Dust
Keeping your plants watered indoors may look different than what it receives in an outdoor environment. Make sure to consider the plant before watering in order to keep it in soil that it prefers. Many winter climates will not see a lot of added water so choosing to water your indoor plants at a minimum will help mimic those conditions that it would receive outside.

Also, check the plants for accumulating dust that can easily be found after a few weeks indoors. Dust off plants on a regular basis in order to keep them healthy and able to absorb important nutrients. Use a wet cloth to gently wipe down leaves in order to keep dust free from indoor plants.

There are many things to consider when choosing to bring plants indoors for winter. Make sure to choose plants carefully and monitor their progress as the winter season wears on. Consider all of these tips for bringing your plants inside for winter in order to keep them from freezing outdoors.

Kelly Holland is a gardening and landscape design writer who loves experimenting in her kitchen. Her quirky nature loves a bright color palette so naturally, her coveted garden is covered in a rainbow of fruits, vegetable, and flowers.

Posted on December 6, 2018 at 12:10 am
Tracie Gulit | Category: Community, Trends

Kicks for Kids!

Remember what it felt like the last time you realized you had a hole in your ? Or even worse when your feet weren’t supported by the you’d had for way too long and your feet hurt?

It breaks my heart to think there are kiddos that wake up everyday and put shoes and/or socks on just like I described above. Feel the same way?

I have an opportunity for you to help make a big impact on one of our local communities this holiday season!
@windermerewhatcom is supporting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Whatcom County and buying socks and shoes for Lynden Kiddos in need on December 12th and December 13th. I can’t wait to help a kiddo shop!

We’ll have our Kicks for Kids box in the Lynden Windermere lobby until December 11th. You can drop by a pair of new there or at any Windermere Whactcom Office and say they are for me. All socks will go to the Boys & Girls Club.

Thank you for helping me support this great cause!


Posted on December 2, 2018 at 12:28 am
Tracie Gulit | Category: Community, Tracie's Thoughts

Whatcom County Holiday Craft Fairs & Events

Holiday Craft Fairs & Events…

November 2 – 3:

  • Sarah’s What Knots Fall/Winter Bazaar!
    8am – 4pm 585 W Hemmi Rd, Bellingham
  • Holiday Bake Sale & Bazaar
    9 a.m. – 3 p.m. -401 Grover Street, Lynden, WA
    Lunch at noon, Friday $6

November 3rd –

  • Holiday Arts & Crafts Fair
    9am – 4pm 1400 Larabee Ave, Bellingham
  • Daughters of Norway 19th Annual: Scandinavian Fair
    10 a.m. – 4 p.m. 4260 Mitchel Way, Bellingham, WA
  • Assistance League: Yule Boutique
    9 a.m. – 3 p.m. – 2408 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham, WA
  • 6th Annual Craft Bazaar & Bake Sale
    9 a.m. – 3 p.m. 1688 W. Bakerview Rd. Bellingham, WA
  • Community Fall Craft Fair
    10 a.m. – 3 p.m. 2750 McLeod Rd. Bellingham, WA
  • Trinkets & Treasures Holiday Craft Market
    9 a.m. – 4 p.m. 5830 Golden Eagle Dr., Ferndale, WA

November 10th

  • Lynden High School Craft Fair
    9am – 4pm
  • South Fork Winterfest
    10am – 4pm Van Zandt Community Hall
  • Wilson’s Holiday Home
    5-8pm. Wilson’s Furniture
  • Bellingham Covenant Church: Annual Holiday Bazaar
    9 a.m. – 4 p.m. 1530 E. Bakerview, Bellingham, WA
  • Share the Spirit Bazaar
    9 a.m. – 3 p.m. 495 E. Bakerview Rd. Bellingham, WA
    Beverages & Cinnamon Rolls 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Lunch 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • 4th Annual Kendall Holiday Bazaar
    10 a.m. – 3 p.m. 7547 Kendall Rd., Kendall, WA

November 11th

  • Holiday Bazaar
    11am – 4pm Blodel Donovan Park

November 15th – 17th

  • Home for the Holidays
    Nov. 15: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
    Nov. 16: 9:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.
    Nov. 17: 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    Ferndale Events Center, 5715 Barrett Rd, Ferndale, WA

November 16th – December 24th

  • Allied Arts: Festival of the Arts
    10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Closed Thanksgiving Day, and closing at 3 p.m on Christmas Eve)
    1530 Cornwall, Ave., Bellingham, WA

November 17th

  • Christmas in the Woods Open House
    9am – 4pm Bellingham Garden Spot Nursery
  • Holiday Bazaar 2018
    9am – 3pm Hillcrest Church
  • Home for the Holidays
    9:30am – 5pm. Ferndale Events Center
  • Kendall Community Holiday Bazaar
    9 a.m. – 3 p.m. 7547 Kendall Rd., Kendall, WA

November 23rd

  • Fairhaven WinterFest Art Walk
    3 p.m. – 8 p.m. 1000 Harris Ave, Bellingham, WA

November 25th

  • Santa Pictures at Tracie’s Office (1894 Main St. Ferndale)
    12 – 3pm Open House Style 1894 Main St. Ferndale
  • Pioneer Meadows Montessori: Holiday Craft Market
    9 a.m. – 4 p.m. 2377 Douglas Rd. Ferndale, WA

November 30th

  • Christmas Bazaar
    9am – 4pm. Blaine Senior Center

December 1st

  • Ebenezer Christian School’s Annual Wreath & Bake Sale
    10 a.m. – 2 p.m. 1816 18th St., Lynden, WA

December 7-8, 8-10, 14-16, and 21-23

  • Pacific Arts Market
    10 a.m. – 6 p.m. 1125 E. Sunset Dr. Ste. 115, Bellingham, WA


Posted on November 1, 2018 at 6:11 pm
Tracie Gulit | Category: Community, Tracie's Thoughts

Client Appreciation Cruise

On Thursday, August 16th we invited our clients and friends on a 2-hour cruise around the bay. We had delicious food, good drinks and even spotted some whales! We loved getting to see everyone who has believed in us and helped us grow the past 2 years. Click on the button below to view all the photos taken by Dawn Matthes Photography. You will need to enter your email address in order to view the photos. No password is needed.

Whatcom County Real Estate Broker

Posted on September 1, 2018 at 6:12 pm
Tracie Gulit | Category: Community, Tracie's Thoughts

Read Across America Day: Assisting Our Communities with Literacy Programs


“Step with care and great tact, and remember that life’s a great balancing act.”  – Dr. Seuss


What is Read Across America Day

Read Across America Day was created by the National Education Association (NEA) and is held annually to promote reading for children and young adults. This day was created on March 2, 1998, and coincides with the popular American children’s book writer Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Schools and education systems across the country create events and activities on this day to bring people together and participate in reading books. This day is tremendously important to educators, parents, and children across the nation as the NEA represents about 3 million teachers, faculty and administrators that are provide activities and resources.


How do schools celebrate the day?

The NEA launched Read Across America last year by having a reading extravaganza with over 400 public school students. This kick off was in Washington D.C. where special guests The Cat in the Hat, Thing One and Thing Two, and The Great Zucchini entertained and read to the public-school students who attended.  In hundreds of other schools across the U.S., teachers read students their favorite Dr. Seuss books. Some also dressed up as the Cat in the Hat and prepared green eggs and ham.


How is Windermere Involved?

Last year, the Windermere Foundation was proud to assist many community and school programs that provide resources for students in need. One example is Olympic Hills Elementary School in North Seattle which was able to purchase 130 new books for their library from a grant that came from the Windermere Foundation.


You can help support local schools and programs like the one described above by clicking the Donate button and selecting the Windermere Real Estate office near you. These donations go a long way towards helping non-profit organizations in your community.

Posted on February 28, 2018 at 1:21 pm
Tracie Gulit | Category: Community