Bay View Ridge UGA Sub-area Plan May 7, 2004
FROM: Friends of Skagit County – June Kite, President
RE: Bay View UGA Sub-area Plan
In a previous comment letter on Bay View UGA (for the Planning Commission Hearing) Friends of Skagit County gave recognition to the good work that all parties have made toward this sub-area plan that can be an example for future sub-area plans. We recognize that all plans are subject to review and change as need arises. Innovative and flexible housing types are being considered for residential development in the UGA and the Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) is being introduced.
The Growth Management Hearings Board Compliance Hearing on the 1997 Skagit County Comprehensive Plan ruled, in part, the Port District is in compliance, the residential UGA is under invalidity, and strong provisions must be in place to preclude conversion to residential sprawl and preclude incompatible land uses adjacent to airports. Efforts have been made in this regard. At times, some people do not realize why we plan, do not comprehend what is rational and voice objection to any proposed change. The Bay View UGA sub-area plan is a thorough study of the factors that comprise good planning and has addressed the issues of the GMHB.
-- WHY PLAN? –
2 -- PLANNING FOR TOMORROW – Comprehensive Plan Chapter 7 – “critical step for rational policies”.
3 -- CHAPTER 7 -- UGA’s -- designation of a boundary separating urban from rural -- historical and existing urbanizing development patterns -- urban services available -- requiring levels of service.
4 -- JOINT PLANNING – inter-local agreements
5 -- URBAN/RURAL POPULATION PROJECTIONS – Table 4 – Comprehensive Plan.
6. -- TAKING STOCK OF COUNTY’S VITAL SIGNS – Argus – April 21, 2004
Population Unincorporated Incorporated Total
1995 – actual 36,674 56,426 93,100 Table 4
2000 – census 44,506 58,473 102,979 Argus
****2003 – OFM 45,830 60,870 106,700 Argus
**2000-2003 increase 1,324 2,397 3,721
*Eight-year growth 9,156 4,444 13,600
***2005 Projected 39,116 75,519 114,635 Table 4
2010 Projected 41,503 84,007 125,510
****2015 Projected 43,593 94,107 137,700
Skagit County adopted Planning Policies goal is a 20% new rural population vs. 80% in urban** While the county has improved the ratio in the last 2 years, the rural areas have accepted 35% of the new population, far above the 20% goal.
*** Comprehensive Plan Update required in 2005 is underway as Office of Financial Management (OFM) figures are in 5 yr. increments.
**** The 2003 rural population is 2,237 greater than that projected for 12 years into the future.
The county has failed to protect rural resource lands. The failure is not with planning, the failure is in implementing and enforcing good plans and policies.
CHAPTER 7 – URBAN GROWTH AREA ELEMENT
This section of the Comprehensive Plan (Criteria – Joint Planning – Goals & Objectives) will be the focus of the 2005 update. How much change will be proposed in view of the county’s failure to enforce adopted regulations. The County has failed to enforce development regulations in some of the city UGA’s, how then can we expect the county to enforce the proposed non-municipal Bay View Sub-Area plan?? The method and statistics for tracking the actual population growth in the individual city UGA’s is lacking.
In view of the current rate of population increase in the rural areas, it would seem appropriate to place a moratorium on development in rural zones and Bay View residential UGA until the TDR program is a reality, until the aggregation of substandard lots in resource lands is accomplished, and the 20/80 goal is reached.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment.