PO Box 223
Anacortes, WA 98221
January 27, 2000
Growth is inevitable on Fidalgo Island. To confirm this all one needs to do is witness the many new subdivisions that were not here a year or a month ago. Saturday morning traffic continues to increase toward what sometimes seems a critical mass. Trees that were here yesterday will disappear tomorrow. This we all know and, by degrees, must accept. For growth is here by design and in keeping with zoning boundaries and densities established by the City of Anacortes in 1993 and by Skagit County in 1997 as a result of the Growth Management Act.
However, if county commissioners have their way, the population of Fidalgo Island will explode far beyond the original numbers proposed and envisioned by the comprehensive plan. With the next 20 year, the original number of people living on our inland could almost double.
Commissioners are “considering” a study to rezone very large tracts of Fidalgo Island. The areas of north of Whistle Lake and the Havekost/Delmar Sections (adding up to 1,000 acres) currently designated for on house per 2.5 acres could be changed to one house per quarter acre. All told, the study, if undertaken and then approved (and we have every reason to believe that one event will be followed by the next), population on our island could be allowed to increase to about 12,000 above the projected figures proscribed by 1997 guidelines. The current plan calls for an increase of about 6,000 people over the next 20 years.
Evergreen Islands is strongly opposed to this proposed study/plan amendment. Why? Millions of tax dollars will be need for services, schools, etc., to accommodate the inevitable onslaught. And, just as important to us, the quality of life and rural character of our island will be lost forever – a way of life that the overwhelming majority of citizens on Fidalgo Island who responded to a survey in 1993 said they wanted to keep and who, we believe, still want to keep today.
In our view, the comprehensive plan is not a perfect document but it has achieved a delicate balance of town/suburban amenities and rural living. If the proposed study is undertaken and approved, we believe that our island will never be the same. As City Planner Ian Munce puts it, “If you’d like to see a model of what this rezoning will bring, just look at Mount Vernon.”
If you feel as we do, we urge you to call and writ to all of the county commissioners, especially Commissioner Bob Hart, and write to express your views in our newspapers. For further information on this or related matters please contact Evergreen Islands.