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.


Next Meetings

February 27, 2020

March 26, 2020

Board Meeting 1:00 p.m.

New location: 419 S. First Street #207

Mount Vernon, WA 98273

Please RSVP to 419-0988 or


Thanks for Giving!   Use your credit card at the Network for Good button on the left of this page, or write a check and send it to P.O. Box 2632, Mount Vernon, WA 98273-2632 to arrive by December 31st. 

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Thanks very much!


New Physical Office Address as of January 1, 2020

419 S. First Street, #207

Mount Vernon, WA 98273


Mailing address and phone stay the same.



   » About Friends of Skagit County

Learn about FOSC’s mission, history and accomplishments; meet our staff, board members and supporters.  Contact us! 



Skagit County Planning Commission Next Meeting


Second and Fourth Tuesday, 6 p.m. unless otherwise scheduled.

Please see the website for the agenda.

Skagit County Administration Building Hearing Room

1800 Continental Place, Mount Vernon, WA


Click here for meeting agendas & other information.


Please confirm future meeting dates at the County website. Click on Planning & Development Services and then on Planning Commission.

Agendas, transcripts & video of past Planning Commission meetings.

Please check the website to confirm the meeting time, date and agenda.

Public Comments - 3 minutes per person at the beginning of each Planning Commission meeting.  Comments cannot be about items under deliberation by the Planning Commission on that day.


Sign up on Planning and Development email list for notifications. For more information, contact Linda Christensen, Planning & Development Services Administrative Coordinator, at (360) 419-7620 or


Skagit Co. Planning Commission Historical Info


Proposed 2019 Comprehensive Plan Amendments Click here.


Public comments accepted on any proposed policy, code or mapping changes.

Click on links above to see how to comment and proposed items.

You can also read comments already received to see what others are saying.


Proposed 2018 Comprehensive Plan Amendments Click here.


Update on 2017 proposed Comprehensive Plan Amendments

The Board of County Commissioners accepted a few of the citizen proposed amendments and added a few of the suggested amendments to the Planning and Development Services Department work plan for 2017. Thank you to all who read the proposed amendments and the staff report on each proposal and made comments to Planning and Development Services by email by Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016, 4:30 pm.  We urged the County to evaluate the success of Conservation and Reserve Development (CaRDs) and involve citizens in this process.  We also requested establishing a standing Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) to assist the Planning Commission in its consideration for annual and 8-year Comprehensive Plan, planning policies and code updates.


We still support standing citizen committees to work on the annual and 8 year Comprehensive Plan updates.


The BOCC rejected a proposal to change the county's codes, comprehensive plan and policies to allow Fully Contained Communities (FCCs) in Skagit County (currently not permitted).  The Avalon project would provide homes for another 8,500 residents on 1200 acres of land currently zoned rural resource, agriculture and other rural zones.


Thank you for  telling the County Commissioners you oppose a stand alone community outside of cities and Urban Growth Boundaries (UGAs) because the cities, towns and county currently have enough development capacity to accommodate the projected population growth.


Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) update

The Planning Commission is still deliberating on the Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) update.  Please check the Shoreline update website for upcoming meetings.


ACTION ALERT:  Do you have an idea for better land use planning policy?

Here's your opportunity to tell the County policies that you want to see for no charge.  Every year the County accepts suggestions for changes or additions to the Comprehensive Plan, county planning policies or Development Code. 

Go to the Skagit County website and fill out the Comprehensive Plan Policy or Development Regulation Amendment Suggestion Form (Word .docx) (instructions on the form) and email to by July 29th, 4:30 pm



2016 Comprehensive Plan Update comments due June 23, 2016, 4:30 pm


ACTION ALERT!  Send comments to or deliver to County Administration Building, 1800 Continental Place, Mount Vernon or fax 360-336-9307.


Please see the County's 2016 Comprehensive Plan update page for drafts of the Comprehensive Plan, Development Codes, Countywide Planning Policies and other information including staff reports.



Please email comment on the 2015 Comp Plan amendments & mapping changes

Comments are due by Thursday, Oct. 29th, 4:30 pm on the proposed policy, development and map amendments to the Comprehensive Plan.  Among these are:

  • Over 20 proposals from citizens to improve public participation, the comprehensive plan, code and policy changes.

  • A stand alone Urban Growth Area (UGA) 1,200 home development in the Avalon Golf Course area proposed by Skagit Partners

  • Providing sewer and water services to Raspberry Ridge affordable housing (existing & proposed)

  • Expanding the Mineral Resource Overlay by 38 acres by Lake Erie Trucking

  • City of Sedro Woolley UGA expansion to include Northern State campus and exclude other properties from the UGA.

  • Adding residential zoning back into Bay View Ridge UGA

  • Other development proposals in Edison

If you oppose sprawl and want to keep Skagit County rural, please take the time to read the proposals and make comments.  There is no limit to the number of pages or additional documents that can be submitted for review.


You can submit comments by email, regular mail or fax to the Board of County Commissioners, 1800 Continental Place, Suite 100, Mount Vernon, WA 98273,  360-336-9300 phone; 360-336-9307 fax.



Updates on the CDI (formerly TDR) Program

Following the recommendations of the Skagit County Planning Commission, the Board of County Commissioners did not pass the Conservation and Development Incentives Program.


Skagit Planning Commission Meeting

Public Hearing on the proposed C&DI Program Nov. 2, 2015

Tuesday, 6 p.m.

Skagit County Administration Building Hearing Room

1800 Continental Place, Mount Vernon, WA

Conservation and Development Incentives Program (including TDR Transfer of Development Rights)

The agenda for this meeting will include the Proposals for the 2014 Comprehensive Plan update which includes the continued deliberation on the application for re-zoning Birdsview Brewery and a public hearing on Conservation  & Development Incentives Program - CDIP  (formerly known as Transfer of Development Rights (TDR).

Friends opposes using Transfer of Development Rights in farms and forests.  TDR programs depend upon the development market demands for density in receiving areas (cities, towns or UGAs Urban Growth Areas around cities/towns).  Skagit's Farmland Legacy Program (FLP), funded by your tax dollars, already conserve farmland in perpetuity. TDRs are used where planning and zoning have failed to conserve open space, farmland, forests, critical areas and natural habitat areas.  Skagit County's Comprehensive Plan, passed in 1997, has successfully preserved much of our resource lands. Please come and tell the Planning Commissioners your opinion on whether we need a TDR program in Skagit County.


Shell Anacortes Rail Unloading Facility

Scoping Comment Period - Sept. 21 - Nov. 5, 2015

Scoping Meeting - Please attend! 

October 13, Mount Vernon Best Western Plus, 2300 Market ST.

Anacortes Middle School 2202 M. Ave., Oct. 14,2015.

5: 30 pm - 7:30 PM Facilitated verbal public comments

Instructions on how to comment.

4 - 8 pm Open house with information about the proposed project

Shell Puget Sound Refinery is located on March Point, along Padilla Bay.  Shell proposed to build a rail spur from the existing BNSF Railway mainline onto Shell property to accommodate unit trains of 102 tank cars transporting crude oil.  The facility is being designed to receive and unload a maximum of 6 unit trains per week.  The project also involves installing equipment and facilities to pump oil from rail cars to existing tanks within the refinery, construction of several stormwater retention ponds and other safety and spill response measures.  In addition, Shell proposes mitigation for approximately 26 acres of on-site wetland impacts through restoration of a portion of a nearby tree farm on Padilla Bay back to tidally-influenced estuary.  The oil received by rail at this facility will be used to replace and supplement oils that Shell currently receives by ship.  The proposed project does not increase Shell's refining capacity.


Skagit County To Hold 4 Community Planning Workshops-The public is invited, plan to attend & bring your friends and neighbors!

Tuesday, September 22nd, Anacortes

October 8, Concrete High Schoool

October 27, Big Lake Fire Dept.

November 10, Edison Elementary School

Open House:  5:30 pm - 6 pm

Program: 6 pm - 8:00 pm

The Skagit County Planning Department is holding these workshops as part of the County's 7 year Comprehensive Plan update process.  This is a good opportunity to come and learn about the update and bring your questions and concerns to the Planning Department staff and any elected officials who attend.  Some members of the Skagit County Planning Commission will attend.


Skagit Transit Community Meeting

Monday, Sept. 14, 2015, 2 pm, Anacortes Senior Center 1701 22nd St., Anacortes.

Skagit Transit is seeking community input on transit needs in the South Fidalgo and March Point areas.  The Skagit Board of Directors has directed staff to use community feedback to understand transit needs and develop possible transit options for serving these areas.  For info contact Carolyn Chase - 360-757-8801.



Skagit Council of Governments Upcoming Meetings - check here.


SCOG 2015 Regional Forum

Thursday, September 17, 2015, Skagit Station, 105 Kincaid St., Mount Vernon

Discussion with staff starts at 5 pm with program at 6 pm.

Please print this flyer and post in your community and/or send to friends and ask them to attend!  SCOG spends millions of your tax dollars on transportation projects.  Let them know what you think is important to fund and what you need in your area of Skagit County.


Skagit Council of Governments Transportation Policy Board Meeting

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Port of Anacortes Meeting Room, 100 Commercial Ave., Anacortes

1:30 pm

Open to the public with 3 minute public comments at the start of the meetings.

Agenda:  Discussion of proposed additions to the SCOG public participation plan including forming a Citizen Advisory Committee.


Regular SCOG Board meeting at 2:30 p.m. same location. Agenda.


Stormwater Code Update

The Skagit County Planning Commission completed its deliberations on the update to the County's Stormwater Code.  You can read the recommendations they made to the Skagit Co. Commissioners here.  Read the recorded motion as well as the staff memos and other documents to understand if this applies to your land in your neighborhood.

Wa State Dept. of Ecology (DOE) Stormwater Handbook



Skagit Co. Planning Commission NO Regular Meetings in August

Next Regular Meeting  2015  6 pm.


All meetings are open to the public and you can comment at the beginning of the meetings about topics NOT

on the agenda for a public hear on that date.  You can watch them on Skagit 21 live or on demand in the archived programs. The Skagit County Planning Commission's regular meeting schedule for 2015 is the first Tuesday of every month. Regular meetings begin at 6 p.m. in the Commissioners' Hearing Room, 1800 Continental Place, Mount Vernon. For further information, contact Linda Christensen, Planning & Development Services, (360) 419-7620 or


Skagit County 2016 Comprehensive Plan update schedule


2016 Comprehensive Plan Resolution passed by BOCC on Dec. 16, 2014 (approved under the Consent Agenda, Dec. 29, 2014)

Please read!  This resolution includes the items that will be considered in the 2016 Comprehensive Plan update.  The CP update is only done every 7 years;  the annual updates are for mapping and/or UGA changes and does not usually address policy or development regulations changes.  The County opted NOT to appoint a Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) to do the review and appointed the Skagit Co. Planning Commission as a substitute for the CAC.  The Planning Commission will hold public hearings on the issues in this resolution before July, 2015.  The update is to be completed and adopted before the end of 2016;  however the July deadline is for proposals for Comprehensive Plan amendments to be considered by the Planning Commission and the Board of County Commissioners. Anyone can submit a Comprehensive Plan amendment without charge.  The instruction sheet for the CP amendment submission incorrectly stated that a $5,000 fee would be charged for CP amendments.  The fee ONLY applies to development applications.

Please read, share with friends and neighbors and discuss if you have concerns which are NOT going to be addressed in the review.  If you wish to submit a CP amendment please go to the link below to view and download the form.  The form can be submitted anytime before the July, 2015 deadline.

Skagit Co. Commissioners (BOCC) Public Comment Time

Every Tuesday, 11:30 a.m. at the Skagit Co. Administration Building. Find agendas, minutes, ordinances and resolutions as well as other info at: Skagit County Board of County Commissioners website

If you want to speak directly to the BOCC and Skagit viewers, please come and participate.

Skagit Council of Governments

The Skagit Council of Governments is made up of mayors of towns and cites, Skagit Co. commissioners, representatives from the port, PUD #1 (public utility district) and tribes.  SCOG will soon celebrate 50 years of operations and is (finally) considering putting a Citizens Advisory Committee in place to assist with review of transportation projects.  Funding from WA State Dept. of Transportation receives no public review.  Currently SCOG's Technical Advisory Committee is made up of recipients of the grants that the Committee reviews, ranks and selects.  We think it is time for SCOG to have citizens participating in the project review and selection process as well as other policy issues where citizens' input can make a difference in projects that the public needs.  For more information click here and go to SCOG Transportation Policy Board meeting minutes.

Past Public Meetings

2016 Comprehensive Plan Update workshops

Previous workshop: May 19, 2015, Rural Lands Uses Element

Previous workshop:  Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Subject: Transportation Element

Previous Workshops:   February 17 Housing Element

Workshop Flyer | Agenda | Handout | Housing Issue Paper



What would you do if you found the County had made mistakes in land use decisions?  Listen to one Guemes Islander's account of his neighborhood and why he appealed the decision and continues his appeal..  If you want to support him, plan to attend the hearing on April 7th.



Skagit Council of Governments

Proposed Public Participation Plan - click here

Please read the proposed plan and make comments TODAY!

DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS - April 3, 2015, 5:00 p.m.


IMPORTANT PUBLIC FORUM sponsored by Friends

Skagit County Land Use Planning & Decisions

March 28, Saturday, 2 - 4 pm

Burlington Public Library


If you are concerned about the future of Skagit County, please plan to attend and bring your friends.

Every 7 years the WA State Growth Management Act requires counties to update their Comprehensive Plans by reviewing the plan and if needed making changes.  Skagit County decided to only review part of the Comp Plan, only 6 or 7 of the 13 elements.  This forum is an opportunity to discuss how the Comp Plan can be fully reviewed and a discussion on how that can be accomplished by citizens.

Skagit Council of Governments

LaConner Maple Hall, Jan. 21, 2015  1:30 pm & 2:30 pm

Skagit Council of Governments coordinates work and public meetings about transportation planning as well as other land use issues.  Please click on this link to learn when the meetings are schedules and what is on the agenda. SCOG Agendas & Minutes


If you care about Skagit County, PLAN TO ATTEND & MAKE COMMENTS!

Dec. 15, 2014 - 11:00 a.m.


2014 Comprehensive Plan Updates Hearing including a proposed TDR (transfer of development rights) program.

The County Commissioners are taking public comments on mapping changes and the TDR program.  TDRs are a tool for increasing density in urban areas by transferring development rights from rural lands including farms and forests.  Friends does not see evidence that this program is needed at this time.  Please oppose using TDRs especially in the Ag-NRL zone.  The Farmland Legacy Program funded by taxpayers which has protected 10,000 of the 90,000 acres of Skagit farmland to date.  THIS IS YOUR ONLY CHANCE TO GIVE PUBLIC COMMENT.  If you can't attend, please send an email comment to Planning & Development Services or contact the BOCC either by phone, e-mail or letter to:

Skagit County Commissioners Ken Dahlstedt, Sharon Dillon, Ron Wesen

Skagit County Administration Building

1800 Continental Place, Suite #100

Mount Vernon, WA 98273

360-336-9300 phone; 360-336-9307 fax

Future public hearings are published at the bottom of the Commissioners' Agendas. Click on the current week for the current agenda.

2016 Skagit Comprehensive Plan Update Scoping

Board of County Commissioners Public Hearing

Nov. 17, 2014, 11 a.m.

Skagit Co. Administration Building

Comments due by Thursday, Nov. 20, 4:30 pm

To read all documents go to:

A periodic review and update of the County Comp Plan and development regulations is required to ensure consistency with the updated state laws, population and employment projects.  Skagit Co. must complete this update by June, 30, 2016.  This meeting is to establish the scope of the review and the process the County will follow in conducting the review.

The County has proposed using the Skagit Co. Planning Commission as a substitute for a Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC).  In the original writing of the Comp Plan the CAC involved many citizens in a year long effort to complete the plan.  The 2005 update used an appointed CAC.  FOSC suggests a voluntary CAC formed by citizens who want to work on the proposed updates.  If you are interested contact the BOCC and let them know this is what you prefer for the update process.


Skagit 21 TV & website


PUBLIC MEETING ON RURAL WATER IN THE SKAGIT WATERSHED                     The Department of Ecology will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, October 1, 2014, from 6 - 8 p.m. to discuss the impact of last year’s Supreme Court ruling which impacts rural water use in the Skagit watershed.  At the meeting at the Lincoln Theatre in downtown Mount Vernon, members of the Department of Ecology as well as the Skagit County Board of County Commissioners will be on hand to discuss the ruling and provide a synopsis of the impacts to landowners.   Legislators from the 40th, 39th and 10th Districts and local-area Mayors have also been invited to take part in the discussion.  From 6:00 until 6:30 p.m., Ecology staff and contractors and County staff will be available to answer questions informally, and at 6:30 p.m. the presentation from Ecology staff and contractors will begin.  We hope you are available to come and listen to the presentation by the Department of Ecology and learn more the progress they’ve made towards rural water solutions in the Skagit watershed.  


Transfer of Development Rights updates click here.


Citizens' Re-write of Skagit County Code 14.44 click here.


2013 Comprehensive Plan Updates on Skagit Co. website here.


Shell Oil Refinery Proposed Expansion of Oil Train Deliveries & Off-loading Site

Shell Oil Appeal by Local & State Groups


Over 300 comments received on the proposed Shell Refinery Expansion - public hearing this summer - County memo to Interested Parties click here

Click to see the Shoreline Permit and Forest Practices Permit  

Skagit County issued a MDNS (Mitigated Determination of Non-Significance) for the SEPA (State Environmental Planning Act) application by Shell.  Shell says the permits are to "maintain and not increase production".  The company must apply and receive 17 permits for the project to go forward.  Please take the time to contact the County Commissioners (info below).  The project involves logging near the shoreline, filling wetlands and other activities which do not appear to take into account the higher frequency of train oil spills. Please ask the BOCC to extend the public comment time as well. Comments due May 9, 2014.  Thanks!


2012 Annual Comprehensive Plan Ammendments.

Skagit Water Issues


Planning Projects of Current Interest -  Link to County website.


Skagit County Comprehensive Plan Info

Click for Skagit Valley Farm Map

Click here for Heritage Barn Project at the County Museum


Hearing Examiners Articles by Diane Freethy Skagit Citizens Alliance for Rural Preservation (SCARP).


Click here for a list of the 3,000 ACRES of Skagit FARMLAND Converted as of Sept. 2008.


Friends Annual Meetings Information

For more news, please click here 


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

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