The Blaine Wharf District Master Plan is the City’s and Port’s coordinated strategy for the future of the waterfront. It establishes public policy and development standards for all new public and private development in the Wharf District that will create a lively mixed use district for living, working, and playing. This Plan, in conjunction with development regulations set forth in the City of Blaine’s Land Use Regulatory Code, will guide development in the Wharf District as it becomes a gateway to and from downtown. It envisions a mixed use district attuned to the intrinsic qualities of its water setting that compliments the Central Business (CB)-Market District.
The Wharf District Master Plan focuses on individual policies, projects and regulations to realize the Wharf District’s potential as an attractive setting for maritime industry, civic redevelopment, and water-oriented recreation. Taken together, the total impact of these efforts will be much more than the sum of the individual actions themselves. They will create a waterfront that:
- Is an active, diversified destination attraction and focus for the City.
- Features a variety of integrated recreational, commercial, marine, industrial, and residential activities.
- Is well connected with other districts in downtown Blaine.
- Is easily accessible by pedestrians, boaters, vehicles, bicycles, and visitors.
- Offers a wide variety of physical settings, landscaped parks, and pedestrian attractions that are connected by a continuous two mile
- loop of trails, walkways and promenades along the waterfront’s edge.
- Is based on environmentally sound shoreline management with improved water quality and more ecologically productive shoreline.
The Blaine Wharf District contains approximately 2 miles of continuous shoreline off Semiahmoo Bay and Drayton Harbor and is adjacent to the City of Blaine’s downtown core and Central Business and Market District. The Burlington Northern Railroad right-of-way separates the upland downtown area from the harbor area. The Wharf District is bounded on the east by the BNSF main line railroad tracks, and wraps around the Blaine Harbor Marina’s breakwater on the south to Fisherman’s Pier on the northwest, and continues around to a northeast point of land near Marine Drive back at the railroad tracks. Marine Drive is the main arterial to the Wharf District and separates Port property to the south, and the City-owned property to the north of Marine Drive.
Wharf District Plan Goals
Within these policies and guidelines, the Blaine Wharf District Master Plan promotes public access and the enjoyment of the shoreline. The key for success, however, lies not only in public access to the waterfront, but also in providing a strong connection from the waterfront to the City’s downtown core and beyond. The six major goals that direct this plan are:
- Integrate the Wharf District with the upland downtown Commercial Business-Market District.
- Create a pedestrian access system with a continuous waterfront trail along the shoreline.
- Provide opportunities for mixed use development, public/private investment, recreational opportunities, and public access to the shoreline for the citizens and visitors of Blaine
- Establish design and development guidelines for land use and development of this publicly-owned property.
- Manage the shoreline to further optimize circulation, public access, development, and environmental restoration.
- Retain and enhance all characteristics of the waterfront that support marine related activities.
- The rich industrial past of Blaine’s Wharf District provides the atmosphere of the waterfront. This history should be highlighted in infrastructure and development alternatives. These include designs that integrate the working waterfront and maritime themes.
In all, the Blaine Wharf District Masterplan is made up of seven planning areas, as follows:
- Planning Area 1 – “Gateway to Waterfront” (Visual & Physical Access)
- Planning Area 2 – “Plover Park” (Recreation & Boat Launch)
- Planning Area 3: “Mariner Village” (Mixed Use)
- Planning Area 4: “Harbor Gateway” (Marina Support)
- Planning Area 5: “Waters Edge” (Public Access)
- Planning Area 6: “Shipyard Industrial Park” (Industrial)
- Planning Area 7: “Dakota Commons” (Commercial)