Friends of Skagit County, WA - promoting livable communities and SmartGrowth in Skagit County

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    Preserving Skagit County's rural character by protecting the environment, supporting        sustainable resource based economies and promoting livable urban communities.


 Newsletter -- 10 Year Anniversary (Special Edition)  -- This issue highlights accomplishments and the struggle over our first 10 years.



Compiled by June Kite, President (May 2001)

1992 – County adopted County Wide Planning Policies

Dec. 4, 1992 – The first entry is made, a transfer of funds from “Help Our Imperiled Environment”.  Checks were ordered and interest from the bank was recorded.

1993 – May Newsletter.  Kick-off party at the Rexville Grange.  Spaghetti supper & dance.

The first membership deposit was recorded for Lee Mann on March 24, 1993.  Deposits followed for many more memberships.  (Under separate cover, individual donors were listed.)  The first check written 4/28/93 was for “Articles of Incorporation” to the Secretary of State.  This was followed by a “Bulk Mailing Permit” from the LaConner post office.  Rick Epting’s band was paid for the “Kick-Off” party, and the membership deposits grew.  Barbara Rudge and Elsa Gruber were reimbursed for expenses.  Mailing labels were purchased for the newsletter and Woody Deryckx (First President) attended a CLE conference.  Membership deposits continued.  “Non-Profit status” was received from the Department of Licensing (Aug. 2, 1993) stamps were purchased.  In November a P.O. box was rented in Mt. Vernon.  Entries for “interest earned, deposits made, expenses paid” continue.

October 1993 Newsletter:  Adoption of Bylaws and Goals (To monitor GMA by participating in public meetings and hearings.)  General Meeting & Film “Smart Growth and Conserving Rural Character” were reported.

November 1993 Newsletter:  Planning Department Open House and Citizen Advisory Committee reports.  Editorial:  “Sprawl Rolls On”

1994 – In January an application for Non-Profit Exemption was made to the Internal Revenue Service.  The first Annual Non-profit Report to the Secretary of State was sent (3/21/94).  The first Annual Meeting was held at the Bayview Hall (3/23/94).  And the first Bullitt Foundation Grant was received (4/18/94) which provided funding for a staff person for one year.  Barbara Rudge was hired.  Membership deposits, interest, expenses and mailings were recorded.

March Newsletter:  “Your Hard Work Pays Off”; Participation-Comments at Land Use Element and Natural Resources Hearings held in February; FOSC held 3 workshops on GMA and SEPA throughout the County.

April Newsletter:  Annual Meeting lists 13 members of Board of Directors and 11 members of the Advisory Board.  Reports on monitoring the Comp Plan for balanced growth

May Newsletter – Officers elected: G. Steel, President & P. Stroosma, Vice-President; Hearings and workshop for Land Use Element and Final EIS were held

June Newsletter – Hazardous Areas and Other Critical Areas; Transportation Element; and Capital Facilities issues presented.

July Newsletter – Gains in Land Use (20% growth in rural area and removal of Planned Unit Developments).  Add Open Space and Greenways.

September Newsletter – Planning Commission Ignores GMA by allowing residential development in forestlands and suburban densities in rural designations.  Majority of policies should be supported, some may require appeals to GMHB.

November Newsletter – Critical Areas Need Protection Now.  Workshop by Ellen Gray from the Snohomish SmartGrowth program.

1995 – A legal account deposit for Bricklin & Gendler was recorded (2/28/95) and the first appeals to the Growth Management Hearings Board regarding County compliance to GMA began.  3/8/95 Gerald Steel’s subscription to the Argus for legal notices kept a monitoring vigilance of county planning and development activities.  A grant was received from 1000 Friends of Washington and membership sent.  Board members Margaret Yeoman, June Kite, Andrea Xaver and Gerald Steel received reimbursement for expenses incurred for the Art Auction held in LaConner in July.  Shawna Wagner & Debbie Aldrich helped with the music and food.   Coyle McClure became the key person working on the Critical Areas Ordinance appeals &7/22).  Contributions for the appeals fund were deposited.  Nov. ’95 involvement in a lawsuit on Lanting vs. Skagit County regarding a large development in the Nookachamps area.  Contributions to  the appeals fund continue.

January Newsletter – Tug of War over property rights.

March/April Newsletter – Legislature swamped with bills to gut GMA

June/July Newsletter – Serious Flaws in Comprehensive Plan.  Hearings Board Ruling – Skagit County failed to protect critical areas and natural resource lands.

September/October – GMHB rules in favor of FOSC on all appeals.

1996 – Grant monies and memberships were deposited and the bulk-mailing permit was renewed.  Another Bullitt Grant was received (august) and the Lanting Lawsuit continues.  Skagit Valley Herald calls FOSC a “Nemesis” (Def – “Just punishment for evil deeds, a person who punishes another for evil deeds.)  A newspaper and brochure advertising campaign for Growth Management in Skagit County was supported by local contributions in October.

January/February Newsletter – County rescinds interim controls & FOSC takes immediate action.  Starbird and Nookachamps vestment court hearings.

April/May Newsletter – County Commissioners find new delaying tactics.  Taxpayers pay Seattle Attorney $210/hr to test constitutionality of GMA.  The cost of defending the Hearings Board falls on FOSC.  Public hearing for Critical Areas & Natural Resource Lands scheduled.  Paying for Growth—Stop Sprawl in Skagit County.

June/July Newsletter – County Commissioners pursue lawsuit appealing Hearings Board ruling of invalidity.  The state’s right to establish and enforce the goals of GMA disputed.  County Wide Plan Policy changes proposed (70/30 urban:rural split rather than 80/20).  Extension of water lines and major industry outside of UGAs.

August/September Newsletter – 32000 acres of farm and forest lands removed from resource lands. 

1997 – Support was given to Friends of Conway in the opposition of a large planned unit development and golf course in the rural area.  Grant money from the Bullitt Foundation was received (March).  Stoney Bird was reimbursed for his slide presentations to local organizations.  FOSC sponsored a Burlington Bike Ride (July).

January Newsletter – Sprawl Follows the Pipe.  Alger (Buggia) appeal Rural Level of Service.  Hearings Examiner ruled for FOSC.  Court denies Starbird project.  Nookachamps development allowed thru door.  County forms Drainage Utility.

1998 – FOSC vs. Alger, an appeal decision regarding freeway interchange development is files.  The Bullitt Foundation awarded a new grant (July).  In September a fee was paid to file an appeal of the Comprehensive Plan on non-compliance issues.  Work was started on a web site (Scott Weatherly and NetWork Solutions, Inc.)

Spring Newsletter – Game Plan for Save the Salmon

Fall Newsletter – Planning Commission considers changes to Comprehensive Plan; Controversy surrounds Mineral Ordinance;  Asphalt Plant draws local opposition; Starbird proposal of 6-pack well systems opposed by Conway area residents.

1999 – March was the last month with data entries by Howard Pellet and I thank him again for his excellent management and recording of the financial history of “Friends”.  FOSC continues its membership with 1000 Friends of WA, sough services of Advertising management/Fund Raising Consultant and explored an Outreach program.  Bullitt Grant was received in November but the funds were put on hold.  Expenses for the continued work on the Critical Areas Ordinance were recorded.

Newsletter Topics – Bayview UGA agreement – requires County to drop Court appeal (the 4th stipulated agreement).  Also reached agreement over 30 Comp Plan issues.  Rural Intermediate designation – GMHB allowed county to have limited areas.  Mineral Ordinance appealed – Mineral operators persuaded the county to cut the public review process.  Skagit County’s appeal on Commercial Designation fails.

2000 – Printwise did our solicitation letter.  An add was placed in the Skagit Valley Herald in May regarding the Comp. Plan Mineral resources Ordinance.  In July an appeal was filed on the County Administrative approval of the Woycoski RV and Horse Arena for lack of a SEPA review (Skagit Audubon, FOSC, Evergreen Islands, and the Tribes were co-contributors).

2001 – Membership mailing was sent in February and response contributions deposited.  In March and April contractual agreements for legal representative Gerald Steel and Program Director Ellen Gray were approved.  In May a mailing was sent to the membership for authorization to proceed with Superior Court Case to support GMHB decision.  An office was opened in Mount Vernon with utility expenses.  Received generous equipment donations for the office.  Enrollment in TREC Education series.  Opened email account with and obtained the services of Kelley Bush as facilitator for the annual retreat.


Preserving Skagit County's rural character by protecting the environment, supporting sustainable, resource-based economics and promoting livable urban communities.

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