July 9, 2003
Anacortes City Council
Anacortes, WA 98221
Dear Council Members:
Friends of Skagit County is committed to promoting livable urban communities and to that end we have a long record of supporting smart growth projects and policies and opposing projects and policies that we feel would make our communities less livable. We are in favor of city codes and policies that direct development toward existing communities, allow for and encourage compact building designs, and create a range of housing choices. We have many members who are Anacortes residents and who are therefore impacted by the City’s policies on critical areas.
We are in favor of policies that protect the natural environment and allow urban residents to enjoy the benefits of sharing their communities with critical areas and wildlife. State law requires that critical areas receive protection from undue impacts. The high quality critical areas in Anacortes (e.g. the tidal wetlands at Ship Harbor, the non-tidal wetlands in the Ship Harbor and Shannon Point area, the March Point Heronry, etc.) are tremendous community resources that need protections. And they need them now.
We encourage Anacortes to adopt a thorough and comprehensive critical areas ordinance that is supported by best available science and that has all of the necessary elements to bring the City into compliance with state law. We encourage you to immediately adopt and implement the “Model Critical Areas Ordinance” developed by OCD and use it while working to develop a customized ordinance in order to meet other state-mandated deadlines in 2005.
June Kite, President
cc: Mayor Dean Maxwell