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

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

Throughout the Summer – Keeping Cool

Man it’s HOT out there!! What are you doing to keep your home cool?


Posted on August 1, 2018 at 9:34 pm
Tracie Gulit | Category: Tracie's Thoughts

The wallpaper beat me, but in the end I won!

How we turned our Bellingham house into our home

Here’s a little story about the time that I accidentally fell in love with accent walls! An accent wall (a.k.a. “feature wall”) is a wall whose design differs from the design of the other walls in the room (thanks Wikipedia for that definition). An accent wall can be made with paint, fabric, wood… even straw (anyone else remember those horrible accent walls gone bad from Trading Spaces??). Chip and Joanna from Magnolia homes and the ever popular reality show Fixer Upper have made wood accent or ship-lap walls all the rage… and I’ll admit, I love them too.

Master bedroom wallpaper in Bellingham, WA Home

The Problem – Wall paper…so much wall paper

The first Accent Wall I ever did was not exactly planned. My husband and I had purchased this sweet little home in Bellingham, WA. It was in need of some TLC, but we were confident in our DIY abilities. As a real estate agent in Bellingham, I’ve seen my share of DIY gone wrong. I was sure that we could make the seemingly small improvements to make this house our home. Step one was to remove the horrific wall paper from the master bedroom (see image, then shudder).

Have you ever removed wall paper? I had visions of just starting in the upper left hand corner and ripping off long, sweeping pieces of paper. It did not go as planned. After spending a whole day with my sister, covered in sweat, wall paper glue, steam and vinegar I GAVE UP on ever removing this wallpaper from the wall. We had gotten from the ceiling to about half way down the wall removed on the wall across from this one.

Horrible, RIGHT?! This was the master bedroom! The room that is supposed to provide me tranquility and a sense of relaxation. I could not look out past the wall paper to even try and enjoy some of the lovely Bellingham view that room had. I was disheartened; this amazing potential home we bought, was COVERED in 90’s wall paper.

The Solution- Accent Wall #1

Exhausted, that night I took to Pinterest (and a lovely bottle of red wine from a local Bellingham wine shop) and started scheming. On 3 walls, I decided to do a white vertical ship lap look up to a chair rail height (right where we had given up taking off wall paper any further down the wall). And on the main wall behind the bed- We did this:

TADA! Cheap, rough, cedar fence boards. Not just purchased and slapped on- but “cured.” It wasn’t a super fast process; wood you buy from a discount lumber store like Home Depot or Lowes is still full of TONS of moisture. Moisture makes wood swell… so it MUST be dried for two weeks inside the house or you will end up with gaps between your boards after it dries out on the wall. Next, we “3 step aged” the boards (I made that term up, but I will write another post about the process soon) and THEN hung the aged wood on the wall. We LOVED it and I was hooked. Best part- it cost under $200 to do this large wall! We immediately had the rustic, outdoorsy feel that fit with out Bellingham surroundings (if you’ve never been to Bellingham, check out this footage. You’ll see why we love this area. And if you love it too, call me, I’ll help you find a home in Bellingham).

Accent Wall #2 – The addiction grows!

The next accent wall we did was in the nursery of my son’s room. This time we used tongue and groove pine boards. Stained them different colors and topped them with a shelf.

We’ve now sold that lovely home we completely transformed, and I do miss it, A LOT.

Our new project is to turn a “builder grade” house into a HOME- challenge accepted. I believe another Accent Wall is in my near future! Like I said above, stay tuned for a step-by-step tutorial on how to “age” wood (give it that awesome vintage barn-wood look). AND, if I’m lucky there will be another blog in the near future about my first accent wall at our new home.


From the Windermere Blog below you’ll start by learning more about what an Accent Wall is. You’ll also find tips on how to choose a wall, and other considerations to make when you are ready to take one on for yourself!



An accent wall is an emphasized wall in a room that has been designed to attract attention from adjacent walls. The simplest (and cheapest) option to go about an accent wall is by means of paint, though some may opt for wallpaper or tile. Homes with accent walls add a surprise element to a room and define an area of space that deserves attention.

Choosing the right wall

Experts say that the first wall you see upon entering a room is typically the accent wall. In many cases, the wall will have a fireplace or a built-in bookshelf, or something that suggests it is the focal point of the room. In this case, you want to accent that wall by emphasizing the central point with a background color.

Choosing the right color

Color accent walls can add depth and dimension to a room, and make a room seem bigger, warmer, or brighter. If a room is large, consider using warm colors to make the room appear more welcoming, or if the space is smaller, a lighter color can make a room look more spacious. You can visually enlarge or shrink a room by choosing the right color for your room.

Light reflections

Remember to think about how lighting affects the color of a wall. The color you choose may change depending on light sources that reflect on walls. For example, incandescent lights will have a different influence in comparison to natural lighting against walls. Different light sources can affect color choices, so don’t forget to experiment with lighting against colored walls.

Tinting the ceiling

Typically, wonder-walls function independently of the ceiling, as they usually remain white. However, by adding a few drops of the wall color paint to a can of ceiling paint, you are able to slightly tint a ceiling. This subtle color scheme can make for a perfect ceiling finish to compliment an accent wall.

How to do it yourself

Painting an accent wall is an easy home improvement or do-it-yourself project. All that is needed is a short list of low-cost products, including:

    • Painter’s tape
    • Paint (with primer)
    • Tarp
    • Roller and brush
    • Putty and scraper
    • Sandpaper

The directions are simple: tape off the desired wall, spread tarp across the floor, fill any holes or cracks on the wall, sand and smooth out the surface, then paint the accent wall using zigzag strokes.

Painting an accent wall is a great DIY project for anyone to tackle over a weekend or even a few hours. What is your take on the one-wall wonder? Is an accent wall an overstatement, an understatement, or a room well-balanced?

Posted on May 17, 2018 at 2:24 pm
Tracie Gulit | Category: DIY, Tracie's Thoughts | Tagged , , , ,