Anacortes UGA Commercial/Industrial Expansion Is Limited to 2 Acres

by Ross Barnes Friday, August 31, 2012 3:09 AM

From Ross Barnes
To: Brad Adams; Brian Geer; Eric Johnson; Erica Pickett; Cynthia Richardson; Bill Turner; Ryan Walters
CC: Ryan Larsen
Subject: Anacortes' UGA C/I Expansion Limited to 2 Acres
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2012 03:09:02 -0600

Dear Council Members, 

The UGA expansion application proposes to convert the Samish owned 14.69 acre parcel from industrial to commercial zoning and "free up" an additional 14.69 acres to accommodate the proposed 11.15 acre UGA expansion.  However, this rezone proposal appears to be unaware of the process of allocating commercial/industrial (C/I) acreage under GMA in Skagit County.  Anacortes received an allotment of new commercial/industrial acreage as a combined number and Anacortes is free to zone it either commercial or industrial or change the zoning, but changing the zoning does not increase the combined allotment (see August 24, 2012, Email from Gary Christensen attached below).  Anacortes has 2 acres of their current allotment left for UGA expansion of C/I acreage, and rezoning the Samish property does not change that number. 

In a recent Email to Tethys and Ryan Larsen, Skagit County Planning Dept. Manager Gary Christensen wrote: "The most recent Anacortes UGA modification (2003) utilized all but 2 acres of their allocated commercial/industrial acreage.  Post requests to add additional commercial/industrial acreage to the Anacortes UGA have failed.  Any request for commercial/industrial acreage beyond the banked 2 acres would be denied as well." (see attached May 24, 2012, Email below). 

Perhaps the Samish parcel could be formally removed from the Anacortes UGA, thus freeing up the 14.69 acres for UGA expansion.  However, the current UGA expansion application makes no such proposal, merely mentioning a speculative transition to federal trust status at some time in the indefinite future. 

Also, the UGA expansion application discusses loss of 6.5 jobs per acre on the industrially zoned Samish property, which is the standard jobs factor for urban industrial land as used in Skagit County GMA planning. However, the application fails to mention that rezoning to commercial will actually increase the potential jobs on the property to 20 per acre, which is the standard jobs factor for urban commercial land as used in Skagit County GMA planning.  And that increased jobs potential will remain in Anacortes' UGA for the indefinite future. 

SCC 14.08.020 (5) says that "each UGA boundary may be considered for modification once in every 7-year period...."  Depending on the specific timing and action of the Board of County Commissioners, negative County action on this application may preclude Anacortes from timely submission of a new and (hopefully) much improved UGA expansion proposal--a proposal much more responsive to the specifications of County code and GMA process, and far more accommodating of the needs of Tethys as clearly demonstrated in the Tethys site plan which spills far beyond the proposed UGA. 

Ross O. Barnes

PS.  Both the "silent" and "vocal" portions of the majority of area residents expect the City to deliver on your promises of numerous good jobs at the end of the Tethys site planning process.  If that delivery is thwarted because you insist on forwarding a seriously flawed UGA expansion proposal for County review, why should that majority not consider your actions a betrayal of public trust? 


Attachments:  (Bold highlights are mine)

(Attachment 1)

From: Gary Christensen
To: Phil Bastien
CC: Ryan Larsen
Subject: Tethys project process and procedures
Date: Thu, 24 May 2012 17:31:44 -0700

Phil,

This email is regarding your client’s interest (Tethys bottling plant) in the process to amend Skagit County’s urban growth area for the City of Anacortes.  I understand that you have had some preliminary discussions with Kirk Johnson of this office and Kirk asked that I follow up with you.

On April 13, Brandon Black of this office and I met with Tethys representatives and Ryan Larsen, Planning Director with the City of Anacortes, to discuss the project.   Our discussion focused on process and procedures and to some extent the environmental review of the project.

That said, for your information I’d like to refer you to Skagit County Code 14.08, Legislative Actions.  See Chapter 14.08 LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS.  This chapter of Title 14 addresses how comprehensive plan and zoning district maps, and urban growth area boundaries are changed, modified or amended.   In addition, the attached document indicates how the joint city/county review is to occur regarding modifications to urban growth areas (UGAs).

With regard to UGA amendments, it is important to note that the project proponent is to make application to the City and that the City then determines whether to submit a petition to the County.  You will need to work closely with the City of Anacortes in preparing a comprehensive plan map amendment petition for a UGA boundary modification. 

Each jurisdiction (city/town/county) has been allocated commercial/industrial acreage through the Countywide Planning Policies.  See Countywide Planning Policies , policy 1.1.  Each urban growth area has been sized to accommodate a 20 year growth projection (through year 2025) pursuant to the requirements of the Growth Management Act (RCW 36.70A).  

The most recent Anacortes UGA modification (2003) utilized all but 2 acres of their allocated commercial/industrial acreage.  Post requests to add additional commercial/industrial acreage to the Anacortes UGA have failed.  Any request for commercial/industrial acreage beyond the banked 2 acres would be denied as well.  Possible options would be to “borrow” acreage from another city/town that has allocated but unmapped acreage, or propose a new look at commercial/industrial acreage needs and allocations.  There has been mention of the later, but this would be impossible to complete before the end of July, 2012, since it would require studies, analysis, and agreement among all of the cities and towns and the county.

I have copied Ryan Larsen so that he is aware of the process and issues.

Please call me next week to discuss these matters.   As a reminder, Monday, Skagit County offices are closed in observance of Memorial Day.

Regards,

Gary R. Christensen, AICP
Manager
 
Skagit County Planning & Development Services
1800 Continental Place
Mount Vernon, WA  98273
Phone: 360.336.9410 Ext. 5624
Fax:  360.336.9416
E-mail:  garyc@co.skagit.wa.us
web site: skagitcounty.net

(Attachment 2)

Subject: RE: Industrial and commercial UGA allocations
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2012 08:07:03 -0700
From: Gary Christensen
To: Ross Barnes

Hi Ross,

Always good to see you fully engaged.

See my responses to your questions below.  You may also want to read: Skagit County Population and Employment Forecasting and Allocation

Gary R. Christensen, AICP
 
Skagit County Planning & Development Services
1800 Continental Place
Mount Vernon, WA  98273
Phone: 360.336.9410 Ext. 5624
Fax:  360.336.9416
E-mail:  garyc@co.skagit.wa.us
web site: skagitcounty.net
 
"Helping You Plan and Build Better Communities"

From: Ross Barnes
Sent: Friday, August 24, 2012 2:32 AM
To: Gary Christensen
Subject: Industrial and commercial UGA allocations

 

Dear Gary,

Its been over a decade since I saw the GMA planning documents from the late 90's so I'm not sure of my remembrance.  I will state what I think I remember and you can correct my memory. 

I think the cities in Skagit County were each allocated a certain amount of industrial/commercial acreage for their respective UGAs thru a collaborative effort and the cities where then free to zone commercially or industrially as they see fit within their own allotment.  Is that right, or?    (Christensen response: YES)

Even if commercial and industrial were allocated separately, does the combined total stay the same for a given population planning cycle?   (Christensen response: The C/I allocations are as one acreage per jurisdiction, there is no commercial allocation and a separate industrial allocation.)


If a city converts some industrial zoning to commercial zoning in their UGA, does that change the combined total industrial/commercial allotment or increase the available industrial/commercial acreage they may still have for UGA expansion?   (Christensen response: No.  Again, each jurisdiction is not able to exceed their total C/I allocation.  They are to decide how much is commercial and how much is industrial.)

Thanks. 

Ross Barnes

 
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