Tethys Bottling Plant: Anacortes Proposes UGA Expansion - Part 2

by Tom Glade Sunday, August 12, 2012 8:00 PM

This post is the second installment of a series on the City of Anacortes’s problematic application to expand its urban growth area (UGA). This post illustrates the significant disparity between the proposed UGA site and the proposed plant layout.

Finding a Site for the Tethys Bottling Plant

On July 31, the City of Anacortes submitted an application (the Application) to amend the Skagit County comprehensive plan to change the Anacortes urban growth area boundary.  In the application, the City proposes an amendment to the Anacortes Comprehensive Plan that would add 11.15 acres to the Anacortes UGA (see map below).  This rezoned land would serve as the site for the Tethys bottling plant (Tethys has a contract with the City for 5 million gallons of water a day (mgd) from the Skagit River.

The Resulting UGA Can Meet the 30 Acre Minimum Requirement, BUT…..

When the proposed UGA extension is combined with the Culbertson UGA (see the map below), the resulting UGA can meet the 30 acre minimum requirement specified in the City’s water service agreement with Tethys Enterprises.



BUT…The Layout of the Resulting UGA Is All Wrong!

The layout of the resulting UGA does not meet the needs of the plant site layout, and as a result, the bottling plant facility extends well beyond the limits of the UGA.

The City’s proposal included the conceptual plant layout shown below.


The site layout demonstrates the following major deficiencies with this site:

  1. The facility itself intrudes into Culbertson’s Rural Marine Industrial (RMI) zone.
  2. The loading tracks, the unloading tracks, and the intermodal tracks also intrude into the RMI zone. These tracks must be able to accommodate 1-1/2 mile long “unit trains,” which probably means that the tracks will actually intrude into the Rural Reserve zone (RRv).
  3. The 2 initial inbound tracks and the 3 future outbound tracks not only extend into the RMI zone, but these tracks also require that the newly restored marsh and lagoon complex at the head of Turners Bay be filled in!

In his June 25 e-mail to Dale Pernula, the Skagit County Planning Director, Gary Christensen, the department manager wrote (emphasis added):

I’m hearing that the project acreage may spill over beyond the Anacortes UGA and would like to utilize some portion of a Rural Marine Industrial (RMI) zoning district. See my attached emails to a Tethys attorney regarding the project and comprehensive plan and zoning map changes, and Ryan Larson, City of Anacortes Plng (sic) Director, in which I indicate that it might be difficult to locate any of the project in the RMI zoning based on the nature of the project.


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