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Community Council Meeting of July 8, 2009

Deception Pass State Park Headquarters Building, 6:30 PM

Our monthly meeting will be held at the Deception Pass State Park Headquarters Building, 41020 State Route 20, Oak Harbor, WA 98277.

Directions: follow Highway 20 across Deception Pass Bridge traveling toward  Oak Harbor. Take the first left turn into the Park Headquarters

Agenda items:

Ellen Bynum, Director - ex officio  of Friends of Skagit County will be our guest speaker. Friends of Skagit County (FOSC) is a local non-profit organization working for the benefit of the Skagit community to manage growth and stop sprawl.  Through grassroots organizing and advocacy they work to protect our open spaces, farms, forests, and natural heritage, and to support compact, "walkable" neighborhoods in our towns.

Our County Commissioner, Ron Wesen will also be joining us at our meeting.

Fund-raiser Pot Luck
Subarea Plan


South Fidalgo Community Council


July 8, 2009

Council members in attendance: Tom Carson, Jan Hersey, Harold Harrington, Cyndi Walters, Robert Atterberry, Dave Pearson. Leigh Sawyer was excused.

Guests: Friends of Skagit County Director Ellen Bynum, Skagit County Commissioner Ron Wesen, Skagit County Planning Commissioner Carol Ehlers, Skagit County Civil Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Ryan Walters, Ron & Susan Adams, Chuck Peterson, Mike Goodman, Bob Bell , Laurie & Tim McIntyre, Tom Glade, Brenda Lavender.

Chair Tom Carson called the meeting to order at 6:30.

Introductions were made around the table.

Ellen Bynum, our guest speaker from Friends of Skagit County, gave an overview of her organization. They monitor the county comprehensive plan, work with planning commission on land use, work with cities on smart growth, and litigate development regulations. FoSC is funded by individual contributions. They are doing a lot of planning by adjudication. Planning after the fact is expensive. She stated that a local council could become the planning group for subarea and planning issues. The format used by Guemes is AIA R/UDAT (American Institute of Architects, Regional Urban Design Assistance Team). She has offered her group's help to find community members that have skills that we need to write the subarea plan, and ultimately work beyond the subarea plan. We need to look at the big picture first then inventory the land within subarea, identify wetlands. It is important to have someone on the council that understands the economic impact the GMA has on a rural county. (a developer, builder, retiree from a large company). We need carrying capacity studies of islands. How many people can you actually have on an island? Put a number on the capacity of Fidalgo Island. Plan: what's here now, what do you want to keep, what do you want to increase.

Public Comments:

Bob Bell congratulated the group for the job we have been doing so far. He talked about the Highway 20 project. His crusade is against all the various lights in the area. He would like to reduce light pollution on south Fidalgo and would like the group to consider taking on this issue. Ryan Walters spoke up and said that one of the new Skagit County Planning Commissioners has requested a countywide ordinance to deal with light pollution.

Ryan Walters brought information on the drainage study and maps. Skagit County Public Works expects the drainage study to be complete by August. The report will include a list of problem areas and a list of proposed solutions, all of which will be projects to move water off the island faster and better. The county is the unit of land use decision making. The state projects what they think the population will be then the state requires the county to plan for the allocated population. Community Councils work in other jurisdictions. The county's Countywide Planning Policies (not the GMA itself) require the county to size Urban Growth Areas for 80% urban growth and 20% rural. The Guemes plan is moving forward with a couple glitches, one being transportation. The key for development of our plan is to work with the Planning Department to figure out what will be a sticking point so that we don't run up against problems after the plan is made.

Carol Ehlers offered to donate some of the maps she has. A public comment period is currently open on the county's Miscellaneous Code Amendment proposal. It is necessary to look at the codes as they are now and what is being proposed. One of the things to look at is definitions.

The Chair called for an end to public comments as it was almost 8:00 pm and we had a large agenda to go over.

Harold moved and Jan seconded to accept the minutes from June 10th as written. Motion was passed.

Treasurer report: $263.14 in our acct. We paid $10.00 to renew our state corporation filing, $185.00 bulk mail stamp fee, and $35.00 for PO Box 1168. Donations were made in the amount of $69.00.

Plans for the 2009 Election: the Chair asked the council to accept a plan for our upcoming election, either by USPS mail or Plan B - a proposal he had developed to hold the election via ballot box rather than mail-out ballot. Harold moved and Robert seconded to use Plan B to run the election. Discussion: Dave said he was sorry we didn't feel comfortable asking the public for money to run this election. That said, he would go with whatever the council decided. Motion passed 5 in favor and 1 opposed. (Dave)

 Robert, Jan, Harold, Cyndi said they would work on the election details and give a report via email within a week so we can talk about the election on the 22nd. The subcommittee meeting is to be scheduled after adjournment.

Plans for the July 22nd public meeting and dinner:

Things to work on:

  • Presentation
  • Format
  • visual aids
  • handout
  • 1. Info SFCC brochure
  • 2. Website
  • 3. Election info
  • Date
  • candidate filing application
  • 4. upcoming dates of hearings/meetings, (drainage, SKOG)
  • Have drainage info available to send home with people.
  • 5. survey
  • 6. Address to send money
  • 7. definition of 501C3

Press release for fundraising dinner:
Jan will send out the press release. Our meeting will be at 6:00 pm at Dewey Beach fire hall with a dinner to follow catered by Bob's Fish and Chowder House.

Robert: Have posters made. Put up flyers.

Cyndi: email alert

Farmer's market: this Saturday, 7/11 Harold and Tom will man the table/booth. Publicize the dinner.

Shoreline Management Plan-County has grant money. This will be a big deal. Betsy Stevenson, Skagit County planning department is the contact.

Open Space - Revised date for next County Planning Commission deliberation is July 30th.

The Planning Commission has a new website. Go to, then click on Planning Commission. This will give you all the dates for meetings.

Commissioner Wesen thanked us for being on the council and encouraged us to keep on working and because of the lack of funding things will have to be handled different. We can be a lot of help to the county. He appreciates our imput.

Carol Ehlers has invited us to attend the Planning Commission meetings. Check the website for dates of meetings.

Add link to website to SCOG website minutes.

August meeting date: 8/12/09

Meeting adjourned at 8:55 pm