By State Law, A Public Hearing Was Required Before the 2011 Anacortes Water System Plan Was Adopted

by Tom Glade Thursday, February 28, 2013 9:03 PM

I presented the following comments to the Anacortes City Council both verbally at the Citizens Hearings portion of the February 18 City Council meeting and in a letter to the City Council dated February 25.

In general my comments (my spoken comments are emphasized) were as follows:


Good evening,-

My name is Tom Glade, and I reside at 210 Mansfield Ct, Anacortes.  I’m speaking this evening on the behalf of Evergreen Islands.

I’d like to read you some direct quotes from Washington state and City of Anacortes official documents.  I’ll be brief and I ask the Council to allow me the courtesy of speaking freely without interruption.

 The laws[1] of Washington State requires the following:

After preparing the comprehensive plan, or successive parts thereof, as the case may be, the planning agency shall hold at least one public hearing on the comprehensive plan or successive part. Notice of the time, place, and purpose of such public hearing shall be given as provided by ordinance and including at least one publication in a newspaper of general circulation delivered in the code city and in the official gazette, if any, of the code city, at least ten days prior to the date of the hearing. Continued hearings may be held at the discretion of the planning agency but no additional notices need be published.

In Section 3, Ordinance 2872[2], Adopting The 2011 Water System Plan, states:

The Water System Plan approved and adopted by this Ordinance supersedes and replaces the City’s earlier Comprehensive Plan for the City of Anacortes, 2000, (the “2000 Water Plan”) The Water System Plan approved and adopted by this Ordinance is hereby incorporated into the City Comprehensive Plan (at Chapter 3, Goals and Policies, Goal 6) in place of the 2000 Water Plan. City Ordinance No. 2757 (December 18, 2006), and any other ordinance inconsistent herewith, is hereby amended to incorporate the Water System Plan. Further the Water System Plan shall supersede any City planning document or policy inconsistent or in conflict with the Water System Plan.

The City Council minutes[1] for March 5, 2012 Council meeting, the meeting that the Council approved the2011 Water System Plan, states:

Mrs. Richardson asked if any of the customers who received written notice in the mail replied with comments on the plan. Mr. Reynolds said no, the only comment received were from the State Department of Health and the Skagit County Health Department. Mrs. Richardson clarified that state law doesn’t require a public hearing for the plan, only a public informational meeting such as the present one. Mr. Geer moved, seconded by Mr. Johnson to approve Ordinance 2872 adopting the City’s Water System Plan, incorporating the Water System Plan into the City Comprehensive Plan and ratifying and confirming prior acts. Mr. Walters moved to postpone consideration of the item for a week or two because he hadn’t read it. The motion died for lack of second.

I asked (our attorney), whether the 2011 Water System Plan required a public hearing, and (our attorney) responded that under RCW 35A.63.070, a public hearing was required.

Evergreen Islands requests answers to the following questions about the 2011 Water System Plan and water planning in general:

  1. Why does the 2011 Water Plan include only 3.4 MGD for future industrial use, when the Tethys Waters Service Agreement specifies 5.5 MGD requirement (a 2.1 MGD oversight)?
  2. On December 7, 2001, why did the City “voluntarily relinquish 9.7 MGD supplemental water rights”?
  3. Why are the citizens of Anacortes being prevented from publicly participating in the planning of our water?

When you took your oaths of office as an Anacortes Councilmembers, you swore to support “the Constitution and Laws of the State of Washington.” Your oath does not allow you to support the laws of the Washington state at the City’s and your convenience.


[1] RCW 35A.63.070, Comprehensive plan — Notice and hearing; http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=35A.63.070

[2] Ordinance 2862, Water System Plan Update ; http://www.cityofanacortes.org/Legal/Ordinances/2012/file.asp?ID=8

[3] Anacortes City Council Minutes – March 5, 2012; http://www.cityofanacortes.org/Council/Minutes/file.asp?ID=340

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